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Video Games

2012 in review…

Hello dollfaces! It’s been a hot minute since I have had the chance to sit down and update my lovely little blog. There has been a ton going on in life, which I will touch on soon. I hope everyone had an incredible Christmas, and I can’t believe that it’s New Year’s Eve! So instead of rambling on about what’s going on, I’m going to take this time tonight to look back on some moments from the past year.

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JANUARY:
1 – One of the first pictures of me earlier this year in January.
2 – Did a ton of dancing at Asylum, which I so lovingly called my $4 therapy session. Barcode shut down in January and Asylum moved to The Park.
3 – I attended Baconfest with friends and had my first maple bacon donut from Doughbots here in Sacramento.
4 – Started hitting the gym to burn off some feelings instead of eating them.

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FEBRUARY:
5 – Spent a lot of time at parks on the swings.
6 – Dug out my old Game Boy and started playing some old games.
7 – Finally moved my bed out of my closet.
8 – Something died in the wall at work and we tore the office apart trying to find exactly where. We were unsuccessful.

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March:
9 – I had some really blue hair for a while.
10 – Richard and I went to Knotts Berry Farm after foiled plans to go to Disneyland.
11 – Despite the minor hiccup, we did spend 2 days at Disneyland and it was one of the major highlights of my year.
12 – We also hit the Santa Monica Aquarium and saw a bunch of awesome creatures that had been right under my nose for the 14 years that I lived in the area.

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April:
13 – In March I also took a pole dancing class which ran into April. I had never been more bruised and banged up in my entire life. I also felt myself getting stronger, but ultimately had to quit because it’s freaking expensive.
14 – I made this fancy pants Easter basket for Richard.
15 – We visited my parents and had a chance to show Richard my Dad’s studio.
16 – I packed up my toy collection due to lack of space.

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May:
17 – My hair grew exceptionally long.
18 – I worked a few shows that I actually enjoyed the music that was being played.
19 – I changed my name to apron according to Starbucks.
20 – I found this pallet at work and it worked perfectly to display my toy collection.

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June:
21 – Hung out with friends and kicked serious laser tag ass.
22 – Played at more parks.
23 – Started really getting into The Guild and comic books.
24 – I also tried my hand at painting.

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July:
25 – Played lots of video games to win tickets for junk.
26 – My roommate is engaged and we celebrated in Reno, NV in June and had a nice shower for her that I designed the laminates for in July.
27 – Richard and I bought an arsenal of fireworks and had a great time with friends in the driveway.
28 – A friend left for med school and we had a great time at her going away party and her now fiance’s parents house.

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August:
29 – In need of a change, I cut 14 inches off my hair. It still feels weird.
30 – Finally saw Iron Maiden in concert. AMAZING.
31 – Worked Outside Lands in San Francisco and had a great time.
32 – I was a bridesmaid for the first time for my roommate.

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September:
33 – Started to try to enjoy reading.
34 – Richard and I went to Effie Yaw and threw rocks in the water.
35 – More comic books and video games passed through my hands.
36 – Spent more time outside.

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October:
37 – Tried my hand at fancy nails that I saw on Pinterest.
38 – Spent a lot of time hanging out with a handsome fella named Midnight.
39 – Moved out of my old place and put a bunch of my belongings into storage.
40 – Started a new blog that took off.

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November:
41 – Found out that this cat has extraordinary skills.
42 – Blogged lots about food.
43 – Started writing to my best friend.
44 – Had an amazing Thanksgiving feast with my parents.

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December:
45 – Lost my job for the first time. (Hopefully the only time)
46 – Started taking an online class.
47 – Christmas!
48 – Had to put this sweet boy down way too soon.

Here’s looking to 2013 – please be safe tonight if you plan on going out!

31 December, 2012
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Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

lotr2

Since beating the main story line of Lego Lord of the Rings, Richard and I have started more avidly playing War in the North. We originally started working on this game in October, but only recently have been putting in some serious hours. The game allows you to play as 3 different heros, Farin the Dwarf, Eradan the Human, and Andriel the Elf. Richard is playing as Eradan and I am playing as Andriel. As a group (Farin accompanies us as well played by the PS3) we travel to various towns in the Lord of the Rings storylines and complete various quests. This game is considered more of a background story to the main LOTR lines, and we encounter the regular cast of characters such as Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, etc. throughout our travels.

Eradan is a ranger and Richard usually equips him with dual blades, and I am a mage and usually have a staff equipped and prefer ranged combat vs. hand to hand. Farin is slightly helpful, but mostly just gets in the way and pulls way too much agro and dies often. Your armor in the game is constantly being changed and upgraded by wares that you find during quests and in various towns. It also degrades as you fight, so it is important to repair your items or carry back-up gear in case your items break. So far, I have not had the latter happen, fingers crossed. As a mage I pick up various herbs and craft potions and edibles, Richard’s ranger abilities allow him to follow various side paths that only rangers can see. Some of the battles have been exceptionally hard and we have died countless times, but luckily we have been able to apply different strategies to our approach and have been able to keep the story going instead of rage quitting (which we have done as well).

We are currently in Mirkwood fighting the last portion of the quest. So far I have really enjoyed this game, now that I have got a handle on the various menus for my learned skills.

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

Do you think you’re yourself at work, or do you think your co-workers don’t know the “real” you?

I like to think that my co-workers know the real me. I make no effort to hide my interests and hobbies, as some of them are tattooed right on me for everyone to see. For the most part, I tend to try to not talk religion or politics because it usually ends up with peoples feelings hurt. I always try to bring a nice mix of professionalism and my nerdy quirky self to work – and hope that my co-workers are not putting up a front to me.

14 December, 2012
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Po. Ta. Toes.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Richard and I have been working on the new Lego Lord of the Rings game that recently came out. On Thursday, we were able to complete the entire story mode and beat the game. I have been a fan of the Lego video game franchise for a while and when they announced that they were going to make a Lord of the Rings game? *TAKE ALL MY MONEY*

When I was a kid, I always wanted Legos but never got them. I imagine its because my parents had some sort of insightful knowledge that I would have left them on the floor to be stepped on in the middle of the night. For this parents, I forgive you. But now that I am older, and tend not to leave things on the floor like Legos, I have started collecting sets of my own. Who knew they were so dang expensive? Currently to buy the sets that I want, I would have to sell a kidney or take out a second mortgage on a house I don’t even own.

The game itself is fun. I’m glad they decided to put it all together in one game vs. splitting it up into 3 different games. The major problem that I had was that the game was SO GLITCHY. I have done some searching online to see if anyone else was having problems, but as of right now, it seems they are few and far between for most people. Us on the other hand? We couldn’t go maybe 30 minutes into the game without it glitching to the point that we could no longer play the game. This ranged from characters disappearing, getting stuck on various objects, not being able to switch between items or people, all the way to the game just freezing all together.

If you can get past all the anger associated with these happenings, the game itself has HOURS of play to it. The storyline is beatable in about 3 – 4 hours, but going back and unlocking all of the characters, items, mythril bricks, etc. is easily another 40 hours. Any game that adds stuff to extend the experience is alright by me. I would definitely play through this game again (and probably will) but if you decide to pick it up, save early and save often, just in case.

Anybody that has experienced video game glitches I am sure can understand the level of frustration that comes along with them. Luckily people like James the Angry Video Game Nerd make hilarious videos such as the game glitch one that take the edge off just a little. (warning: if you are offended by vulgar language or have no sense of humor, you will not enjoy this video)

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

What is the best way to relax after a hard day?

There are a few things that I find relaxing after a long or hard day at work. Here is a short list!

  • Listen to music
  • Play video games
  • Write about my frustrations to get them out
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Eat a delicious meal
  • Work on something creative
  • Go to the gym
  • Hot shower and clean sheets

How do you relax after a hard day?

7 December, 2012
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While at my Mom’s house for Thanksgiving, I found myself completely lost after she decided to “rearrange” things in her kitchen. I scoured the shelves where I thought the sugar would be, and found TONS of powdered sugar. More powdered sugar than one person should own. I poked around a little more and finally gave up. Then a light bulb went off. I opened the spice cabinet and BINGO. SPRINKLES. This turned my wheat Chex into something exceptionally more exciting. Try it some time, you might not be able to stop smiling through your breakfast.

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Last night Richard and I chipped away at more Lego Lord of the Rings. I swear, this is one of the THE MOST glitchiest games I have ever played. The loading ring will just spin for ages in the bottom corners of our split screens, quests will glitch out and not continue on into the story, causing us to restart the game multiple times, items don’t respawn in their established places making it exceptionally difficult to complete story lines. Dear PS3, give us an update already, I am head over heels for the LOTR franchise, but this game is borderline unplayable at times. After struggling through one minor quest portion for almost 2 hours (which should have only taken about 30 to 45 minutes) we went and had dinner at Chipotle. I honestly can’t think of the last time I had Chipotle and it was pretty good. Our friend Aaron happened to show up at the same exact time and it was nice to have some dinner company and remissness about the crazies at my former work place.

After our meal we parted ways, sadly we had not killed nearly enough time before the midnight release of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. We wandered over to The Nugget, which is a fancy pants supermarket. Considering how much time we had before 12 AM, we started at aisle 1 and proceeded to walk up and down almost every single aisle looking at all the food stuffs. Richard picked up some crazy delicious waffle cookie things, some chips, and a bag of cotton candy for me. With all of the aisles exhausted, we decided to kill the last hour and a half or so wandering Walmart. I honestly have never been to a midnight release for a movie (on DVD) and didn’t realize that people would actually be there to buy it. We were digging around in the CD bargain bin and suddenly a bunch of people materialized out of nowhere to buy the DVD. Sadly I could not find a Huey Lewis & The News CD, which I was convinced at least a greatest hits album would be in there, gave up and wandered over to where everyone was gathered. The employee had a huge display on a pallet that he was pushing into place and one guy asked if he could just grab it and go, to which he was swiftly shut down and reprimanded that he had to wait until the pallet was on the floor. Who knew they were such DVD nazis. Anyways, Richard grabbed his copy and we ducked out of there. I promptly crashed out maybe 10 minutes into the movie. Sad.

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

Do you feel most comfortable being a leader, a follower, or a collaborator?

I feel that I am most comfortable in all of these roles in various capacities. I also feel that that answer is a bit of a cop-out, but hear me out a little. I have been a leader, follower, and a collaborator in various capacities of all of my jobs. When I started my first job, I started as a follower. I was new, inexperienced, nervous, but eager to learn and grow. I followed in the footsteps of over employees that I admired, taking direction from both my peers and superiors to improve my performance and the performance of the store I was working for. As I became more comfortable in my role, I started collaborating with leaders on various projects and ideas, which also meant taking on more responsibility and training other employees. Naturally that translated into various promotions until I ultimately landed the role of being the leader of the entire operation.

I feel that all three positions have unique rewards and challenges presented with them. In the role of the leader, you are able to make decisions that directly impact operations and employees. It gives you a position to teach, inspire, and coach others. I often find myself in the leader position, such as a school projects or a complex problem at work, because when it comes to situations like that, I am not the type to sit around and wait for everyone else to do something about it. I want to figure it out, getting done, and move onto the next challenge. Though in the position of leading, comes more responsibility, but sometimes in the end the rewards are greater.

In the role of follower, you are given the opportunity to take on someone else’s perspective with usually little or no repercussions for your actions (provided you follow instruction correctly). I often find that this role allows you to learn the in’s and out’s of the position you are in without having to worry about all the red tape. I also feel that people who start in this role before moving into a leader position (regardless of previous experience) often tend to be better leaders because they can identify more with the “followers”.

As a collaborator, this allows you the chance to both lead and follow. It can be the best of both worlds, provided the people you are working with feel the same way. I often find myself struggling with this the most because I tend to be a bit of a work-a-holic and control freak. But admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? As long as everyone feels valued and people are contributing equal amounts to the cause, being a collaborator can be a rewarding position.

I feel most comfortable evaluating what the situation calls for and assuming that role. By being flexible and dynamic, I feel that I am a greater asset to whatever goal I am working towards.

4 December, 2012
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