Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Shit-hole Apartment (Part 1)

I recently read a blog about what may be one of the worst and funniest landlord sagas I've ever heard. It got me thinking that my apartment life horror stories haven't been so bad in comparison, but put all-together, I can weave an epic tale of terrible apartment/landlord/roommate luck.
I think I'll chronicle my ridiculous experiences living "on my own" (i.e. away from the parental units).
And I'm not just talking design/ugly apartment messes here, there are plenty of resources out there for those simple problems. The horrifying tales I will regale you with go far beyond being fixed by a little paint and some creative furniture placement. But let me start at the beginning...

I think my mom prepared me for living on my own as best she could, in fact, she may have over prepared me for dorm life-half the football team had to help me move all my crap in. Mom taught me how to do laundry/iron (skills I have improved upon thanks to required wardrobe crew assignments for theatre credit in college), I know how to balance a checkbook (although this skill would very soon become obsolete with online/mobile banking), and I know how to clean up after myself (whether or not I choose to do so is another story.) That being said, preparing for doing things on your own is a whole different ball game than actually figuring life out on your own.

My First Time Living Away From Home:
The Dorm
I studied Theatre Arts at the University of Northern Colorado (the other UNC) in Greeley, affectionately known as G-Town. It's about 90 minutes (driving while mostly obeying designated speed limit signs) northwest of Denver. The "Powers That Be" in the housing department must have thought it would be hilarious to put two freshman girls together who shared the same name and have them live across the hall from 2 guys named Bryan/Brian. Lazy-ass bastards. (In housing department's defense, we remained roommates for all four years of college and I was in her wedding, but still...lazy.)

We lived on the 2nd floor of a T-shaped dorm building called Wiebking (web-king) Hall. It had 3 floors plus a basement where the laundry room, common room, kitchen, and the kids who must have pissed off someone lived. The 3rd floor was the all-girls floor aka "The Nunnery." The 2nd floor was generally where all of the performing arts majors lived. Our R.A (Resident Advisor) was a very straightlaced, overbearing double business major whom we shall call Lindsay (mostly because that was her name). Lindsay sounds like the perfect resident advisor for a bunch of artsy kids who've just been given more freedom/less responsibility than any of them have ever had (or will probably ever have) in their lives, huh? Were we loud? Yes. Were we obnoxious? Definitely. Were we overdramatic? Der. Did she treat us like people? Nope.
From day one she had a little power trip and expected us to all bow to her without trying to get to know any of us personally, you know...as people. And yet, she could never understand why none of us respected her. And as far as I could tell, she never "advised" us on much of anything...except what a bitch she could be.

Dorm life was an adjustment but nothing too alarming happened, except for the night the alcoholic kid down the hall got drunk and decided to take a shower at 2am only to pass out in the boys' shower in such a way that his ass blocked the drain and he flooded the second floor hallway. Yeah, he and his drunk drain-blocking-ass got expelled. Or the time the dumbass bitchy girl down the (other) hall tried to hang a jacket on the sprinkler head (you know, the one that sprays nasty-ass flame-dousing liquid in the event of a fire or it being tampered with) and broke it and thousands of gallons of water flooded her room, 1/3 of the second floor, the 1st floor, and the basement. Yeah, her ass got sued.

Yup, just a typical college freshman year living in the dorm.

Monday, September 26, 2011

So, this is why I'm a klutz...

I mentioned earlier that I injured myself. As it turns out, I hurt myself a lot. In fact, I'm shocked that in the 4 years I went without health insurance, that I didn't get hurt more often or more seriously (especially since I was young and stupid then). Well, it turns out that it is not my meniscus, it is actually my quadricep that is torn plus I also have a tiny cyst behind my kneecap. Awesome.

As I've also pointed out in the past, I do not run. Running and I do not like each other. I will sprint is deemed necessary (necessary meaning running from mugger/police/zombie, running towards train/bus/ice cream truck, etc). Heck, I don't even own a Wii Fit/PlayStation Move/Kinect. The most physical activity involved in my gaming involves me screaming at the TV or getting up to pee every hour or so.

The week my knee/leg started hurting, I do not recall running at all. I was walking a little more than normal due to an event at my job, but nothing really strenuous. My Physical Therapist thinks I may have had so many "micro-tears" over the years (I was really rough on my knees as a kid) that it finally just ripped. Boo. So, no yoga for a while and probably several more weeks of wearing this ridiculous knee brace and hobbling around like a cowboy who just got kicked by a pony. Oh well, more time to game!!!
Oh-wait...no, because now I have PT homework...le sigh...

Happy Day of Birth, Mark Hamill!

70's Nerd Porn (International Mark Hamill Fan Club)



(Skadi Forum)


And what a glorious day it was, 60 years ago today! Nothing else significant happened on this day except for Mr. Hamill's birth. Nerds everywhere rejoice!

Now, I will leave you with this:

P.S Forgive my crappy HTML skills.

Friday, September 23, 2011

20 Something Bloggers

Visit 20 Something Bloggers

I'm attempting to join 20 Something Bloggers, a network and online group of other bloggers who are in their 20s. I never thought such a group of bloggers would be hard to find, but apparently it was very difficult before this group came along. My application is pending approval at this time, but I just wanted to promote them, because so far just by perusing their site, I found several very interesting blogs.

Don't worry, it's not some shameless grasp at getting more followers or trying get paid or "discovered," I want to hope I'm not that shallow (a girl can still dream, though). I poked around the site for a while before deciding to submit a profile and I'm really impressed! It's an awesome resource and I'm sorry I haven't found it sooner. I'm hoping to improve my writing skills and really find my "voice" in my blog, because I still feel a little lost right now. That's why this took so long to get up and going. I've been thinking about starting this blog or even writing it as a web-series/mock gaming news show for over a year. In the end, I decided it was easier to start as a blog as I can always find time to write, while finding/coordinating time to write, film, edit, etc especially having to rely on other people with complicated schedules and projects of their own. I have some plans for some videos, but they will be coming in the not-too-distant-but-not yet-near future (for reasons stated above).

P.S Please excuse any typos today, normally I am a stickler for grammar and spelling, but I'm having some trouble typing due to injuring my thumb and first finger on my right hand. I'm a klutz. I'll explain later.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So Excited For This Game!

This is one game I'm super excited about. I've owned a guitar for years and used to take lessons, but then life and gaming got in the way. I'm excited to bring both my enjoyment of gaming and my desire to learn to play real guitar (not just a plastic one) better into the same activity. I applaud your efforts, Ubisoft! I hope this rocks as much as I want it to.

P.S I couldn't get the video of the game trailer to not autoplay, but I recommend checking it out on Ubisoft's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My First Time Rage Quitting

The Frag Dolls are having a contest called "My First Time" so I want to thank them for the inspiration for several blog topics.

I don't rage quit too often. I do rage scream/rant at the game or characters in the game a lot to the point where my boyfriend thinks I should turn off the game (ask him, he'll tell you all about it). My latest rage quitting was with Fallout: New Vegas. I pre-ordered the special edition last year and it was glorious. I loved the poker chips, the platinum chip, the card deck, and the graphic novel that came all with it. As many enthusiastic gamer soon found out, the game was full of some glitcheroos and was really dodgy to play. Now I know there are so many elements that have to come together to make a video game, yet alone an amazing one, but come on! It was very frustrating. Luckily Bethesda listened to us and came out with a patch (or 3). Eventually I beat the game and all was well. Then came the DLC. A friend of mine bought the first 2 DLC stories, Dead Money and Honest Hearts and told me not to play Dead Money, it was awful and frustrating. So, I played Honest Hearts and loved it. But, me being the completionist that I am couldn't resist and bought Dead Money also. I rage quit that bitch so many times. That was one of the most frustrating and annoying DLCs I have ever played!

-Increased the level cap by 5

-A creative/spooky location and backstory

-Provided some closure to Veronica's story


But I digress, this was supposed to be about my first time rage quitting, not my most recent (and probably not my last).

The first time I did rage quit was on my Sega Genesis playing ToeJam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron. I love TJ & Earl, but those damn tourists taking pictures were so annoying and their chittering little kids too!!! I screamed at them and mashed the power button in such a way that my finger got pinched, which just pissed me off more. I still have that game and every time I get nostalgic and start playing again, I remember why I quit in the first place.

Stupid cows.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm So Excited!

As a lover of the Fallout games, I am so excited for the new DLC for Fallout: New Vegas-Lonesome Road coming out on September 20th (so they say). I have high expectations for it after Old World Blues and Honest Hearts (I can't say I enjoyed Dead Money at all).
Here's the new trailer, if you haven't seen it yet.

Why Has No One Thought Of This..?!

Last night I went for a massage. It was a combination of Thai Reflexology and Swedish Massage and it was delightful. I don't hold a lot of faith in "alternative" medicine (if it worked consistently and had scientific backing, why wouldn't they just call it medicine?) so I really don't believe that everything that's wrong with me can be fixed just by putting pressure on my hands and feet, but it feels so damn good! The healing properties of massage do exist; it is not good for us as people (especially us "office workers") to hold tension in our muscles or strain our bodies, and massage provides an excellent release and an excuse to relax and let go. But being the somewhat ADD person that I am, my mind rarely relaxes for very long, it's always thinking about some crazy idea or another.

Thomas Edison was said to sit in his armchair to relax with two large ball bearings in his hands and two pie tins on the floor under him. He believed that his best ideas came to him in that special place that lies just between asleep and awake. So he would sit in his chair until he fell asleep, then when his body relaxed, one or both of the ball bearings would fall and create a loud noise in the pie tins to wake him up, then he would write down his ideas. A somewhat unconventional method, but I think his theory could hold some water, as I have thought of some of my more creative and favorite ideas right before falling asleep at night.

So last night, while the massage therapist was working the tension out of my fingers and my hand, I was on the verge of sleep when I thought, "why has no one thought of a massage geared towards gamers?" There are all types of "specialty" massages out there: Pre-natal, post-natal, infant, geriatric, sports, high-heel, office worker, immune boosting. Why is there no gamer massage? I know there are plenty of products out there to improve the avid gamer's body or to help with gaming-induced afflictions, but massage can do so much more.

Think about it: we hold our hands/fingers/wrists in strange positions for long hours, we get eye strain, we sit on our backsides in front of TVs or computer monitors sometimes for days at a time with few breaks; we could totally benefit from a custom massage. My gamer massage would target the neck and shoulders, then the hands, fingers, wrists, then the glutes and sciatic muscles/nerves. I would set up a booth at every gamer convention world wide, it's genius! Now, just to get over my aversion to touching people...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Tester Season 3 (1 Day left)

Well, at this point in the open casting competition, it's looking not-so-good for me getting to move on to the next round. I'm not giving up hope yet, but with only 1 day left for voting, I'm at least 200-300 votes shy of where I would need to be to move on to Round 2 (only the top 100 move on).

I've enjoyed the experience so far, and I kind of blew my chance last season, but I know it worked out for the best because I don't think I was ready last year. I feel ready this year...or at least readier. There's still hope to get in as a "wild card" even if I don't make it into the top 100 people. There is also the chance that some people who are currently ahead of me in votes might be deemed ineligible, not that I wish ill on any of my fellow gamers and tester-wannabes, but that is a possibility.

Whatever the outcome, I am thankful for the experience, and I will continue to support my fellow gamers by voting and offering encouraging words, and I hope anyone reading this will do the same.

My audition video.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Letters To The World

Dear little mouse in my Brooklyn kitchen,
You are so little and cute, but I'm sorry, you are vermin and your little poopies carry Hantavirus and therefore, you must die sooner than God intended. Please know that I will feel a considerable amount of guilt when I hear the click of the trap. No hard feelings.
Your Host,

Dear radio station,
I don't know who or what you are, but you are the only station with perfect music-to-talk-to-commercial ratio at the wee hours of the morning when I have to wake up for work. That being said, could you please play something other than Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers every morning at 6:30am? This is why I'm buying a light therapy alarm clock. No hard feelings.
Your cranky listener,

Dear MRI Machines,
You are giant and scary and loud. I do not like you. I fear and dislike you so much, that I (a late-twenty-something-year-young woman) brought one Perry the Platypus plush into the procedure with me. I hope you're happy. The technicians I'm sure had a hearty chuckle at my expense after I left the facility. Do not judge me, MRI machine!

Perry the Platypus judges you.

My Meniscus and Me

So, this story doesn’t have anything to do with gaming, really, but it affects me, so I wanted to share, and hopefully we can all laugh at my pain together. Like most gamers (or anyone who owns a gaming system, really), when something upsets me or I’m injured or don’t feel well, I want to lie around on the couch and play video games (or sleep). However, since I am slightly injured right now, but not so injured that I can stay home from work, I am currently at work and writing is my only means of escape at this time…plus if I’m typing away at my computer, I look busy (shhh don’t tell).

Last night I had to get an MRI (that's Magnetic Resonance Imaging for those of you who don’t watch House) on my left knee. It was scary. It’s the 2nd MRI I’ve had in my life, and the first time was horrifying (more on that at another time). I’m the host to all sorts of fears and phobias and general “weirdments” (yes, it’s a word…well, it is now) including ye olde claustrophobia. In case you don’t know, there are fewer things that are panic-inducing in me than being strapped to a table and pushed feet-first into a scary dark tube and being told not to move (because if you move, they can’t get a clear image and thus, this terrifying procedure lasts that much longer). I’m just glad I read this today and not last night.

(Yes, I'm pushing 30, and yes, Perry the Platypus accompanied me into my MRI. Don't judge me, it was SCARY.)

Why did I need an MRI? Apparently my knee is just fucked. Seriously, I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but I’ve been in pain for close to a month now, they have to bring out the “big guns” and look inside me instead of just guessing. So far I’ve been “diagnosed” with a sprained knee, a strained knee, tendonitis, a cyst, and a torn meniscus. None of which have been confirmed, and nothing I’ve done has really made me feel any better. I’ve bought 2 different braces for support; I ice it multiple times a day, and have taken so much Naproxen that I’m amazed that my insides aren’t slowly bleeding out. What’s almost worse than the pain is talking to acquaintances about it. I like to think I’m fairly well-adjusted and social for a geek (we do have a stereotype of being awkward, no?) but I do also suffer from some chronic anxiety and minor agoraphobia. So social interactions have become stranger as I’ve gotten older. I want to believe that people are well-meaning and good-intentioned, but unsolicited advice is just that, unsolicited and often-times ridiculous. (So don’t do it.)

Here is how a typical interaction with any acquaintance has gone for the past month:

Acquaintance: Hey, Jess, are you limping? What happened?

Me: Oh, yeah. I don’t know, I hurt my knee somehow, just waiting to see what the doctor says.

Acquaintance: What did you do? Did you fall?

Me: No. I don’t know what happened it just hurts a lot.

A: Do you run?

Me: No. (Anyone who knows me should know that, no, I do not run. I loathe running. If anything, I try to avoid running if at all possible ever since gym classes in school for probable psychological reasons. I refuse to run unless it is in an emergency/life-or-death situation. I don’t even own a Wii Fit, Move, or Kinect.)

A: Oh, well are you icing it?

Me: Yes, multiple times a day.

A: Well that’s good. Oh, have you tried..?(insert some random homeopathic ancient practice/remedy here)

Me: No, I’m just waiting to see what the doctor says before I do anything else. Thanks…um, see you later.

Long story short, I don’t know what I did to my knee, and I’m really tired of it hurting (and this was so much funnier in my head last night after leaving the imaging clinic). I want to go home and play Red Dead Redemption. Was this all TMI? I hope not, because we haven't even scratched the surface of my medical history! But, again, that's for another time. I don't want to scare anyone away. Hello...?

Monday, September 12, 2011

This man sees into my soul!

Ok, seriously, if you don't know who Freddie Wong is, know him, love him. He is living the nerd dream. Major kudos to him, he makes awesome videos like this one:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Have You Ever...

Played a game waaaay too long and waaaay too late into the wee hours? This man can relate to you.

Fanime 2011 Masquerade Cosplay

One of My Favorite Female Protagonists in One of My Favorite Games:

Ok, This Guy Wins...

Why Do You Want to Be a Tester For Sony/PlayStation?

Here's a post in honor of my fellow Tester Wannabes!

Why do I want to be a game tester for Sony PlayStation? The obvious answer is that I love games, and, most of all, playing them. But that’s a given. None of us would be vying for this opportunity if we didn’t love gaming and the gaming industry. So I’m not going to bore you with an essay about my deep love for gaming. I will say, however, that I have many other skills and passions that I know can, and often do, go hand-in-hand with being a great game tester.
I know that Sony probably isn’t looking for just any old game tester; otherwise they wouldn’t be holding a massive audition campaign. Sony is looking for someone who is not only a reliable game tester, but also someone who can be a face to put with their product, a brand ambassador. I want to be that person.
As part of my income, I have done some freelance work as a promotional model for various events. I’ve done everything from Oktoberfest, Nintendo, Big Apple Con, A&E, to Disney. (This requires some mental flexibility and the ability to learn quickly because often times, there is no actual training for a gig.) I understand the requirements of professionally and effectively represent and network for a company or a brand in a positive way, and it’s something that I enjoy. How great does it feel to get someone else excited about a product or event (and it’s even better of you believe what your selling). I do own other gaming consoles other than my PS3, but I also believe that ever since PlayStation came on the market that they have been pushing the envelope and putting the best stuff out there to help revolutionize gaming for geeks like us, and who wouldn’t want to represent that?
I know it’s not all glamour, though. Game testing can be boring, monotonous, frustrating, and mentally demanding. Call me a crazy, but I find those kinds of tasks somewhat invigorating. I’m very meticulous, detail-oriented, and a little OCD about the tasks that lay before me (look how long I took to get my blog up and running for crying in the mud GOGG has been an idea bouncing around in my head for 2 years, but I digress). I’m an organizer. I LOVE making lists. Puzzles, logical/lateral thinking exercises, knitting, and scrap-booking are all activities I enjoy other than gaming. These all require patience, an eye for detail, and creativity. In other words, I like to challenge my brain for FUN! How screwy is that?!
With the pressure of being a visible representative of PlayStation and the stress that comes with the actual testing process, I’m sure it’s easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed. I can relate to this, in that I worked in a high-pressure corporately-owned fine-dining restaurant for 2 years. When things got overwhelming or (sometimes) excruciatingly boring, I would try to find the humor in the small things in life. I now work in a customer service position in a call center, which is less stressful, but still requires plenty of patience and top-notch communication skills. With my ridiculous and dry sense of humor you can rest assured that I will not crack under the demands of the testing job.
Well, have I bored you enough fellow gamers? Sony? Long story short: I understand that this job is not all fun and games and recognition, but I know I have the creativity, the patience, the perseverance, and the sense of humor to succeed. Most of all, I want to be a tester for PlayStation to be a part of something bigger than myself by helping bring games to a new generation and representing the female voice in the gaming industry. Good luck, fellow gamers!

Season 3

Season 3 of The Tester is upon us! Or, well, the open casting call for Season 3 is upon us, but, you get the idea. I am, once again entered and in the running to be a cast member. I sent in my audition for season 2 last year, but unfortunately didn’t realize that my crap computer failed to upload my video for round 3 and thus, was not allowed to continue on. I was angry at myself; I was angry at my computer and really just felt crushed. I felt like life was kicking me in the balls enough already. But, I had my pity party, and got back on that horse called life that has bucked me off again and again. Now I’m back and in the running for the next season. I’m not in the top 100 yet, but I am inching closer every day. Thanks to everyone who has voted and is reading my blog!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Tester

I'm currently watching season 2 of The Tester on PlayStation Network's website. I didn't watch it when it first came out, partially because I didn't have a lot of time due to work/trying to find a better job, and partially out of disappointment in myself for not making it further in the competition to become a contestant (a little petty, I know, but at least I'm honest with myself).

I will also admit that I teared up a little bit when Boo got sent home on the first episode (spoiler?). I gotta stick by my fellow girl gamers! WarPrincess is my favorite probably because she reminds me a lot of myself, except maybe a thinner more-soft-spoken version of myself (I can be loud and obnoxious, especially when adult beverages are present).

I am now also entered in season 3 of The Tester's open casting call, and I am determined to do my best. Vote for me!