Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life on MooMoo Farm: Adventures in Harvest Moon-ing (Part 1)

When I was a freshman in college, I lived in a co-ed dorm with my roommate Jessica.  Jessica and I lived across the hall from Brian and Bryan (very creative on the part of the housing department.) I got along quite well with the Bri/yans, mostly because they were fun, but also because they played video games. Bryan's favorite game on the N64 was Harvest Moon.  He would sit and play it for hours, and if we were hanging out doing other activities, he would often excuse himself to go water his crops or milk his cows.  Watching him play, Brian and I made fun of him and his endless pursuit of farm nirvana...or whatever it was he was trying to achieve in game. We both chalked it up to him growing up in rural BFN western Colorado or something, and continued to tease him and ask about his cows in unrelated conversations for the rest of the year.

Cut to a year later: Brian and I are roommates living in what I later dubbed "the house from hell," (not because of Brian) but that's another story for another time. Brian bought a Nintendo GameCube and we would often try to beat each other home from class to stake a claim in front of the TV to get a head start gaming.  Our major competition was with Prince of Persia Sands of Time. We would sneak home between classes to try to get to the next puzzle to beat the game before the other person.  It was ridiculous.  Brian ended up finishing the game first because his schedule allowed for major blocks of free time ( majors) while I was a slave to the theatre department (don't let anyone ever tell you that being a theatre/performance major is easy. They're lying to you. Free time does not exist.) After the Prince of Persia competition had ended, Brian decided the next unofficial competition would be Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life. I rolled my eyes and laughed at him at first, but then when I sat down and watched him play, it looked kind of fun. 

On a rare day that I was home when Brian was not, I sat down to start my own Harvest Moon game and thus began my love affair with the franchise. Unfortunately, through a series of life events and circumstances, I have never actually gotten to finish Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life. Brian and I moved to separate apartments after that year, Brian later sold me his GameCube but had wiped the Harvest Moon game saves, then I sold my GameCube and all my games for extra cash to move out east after graduation. I have the PS2 version of Harvest Moon A Wonderful life, and last year I got further than I ever had in game, but our PS3 is currently on its last legs, so it looks like I may never get to finish this damn game.
The game mocks me.
This all leads into my birthday this year.  Boyfriend got me the newest game in the Harvest Moon franchise: The Tale of Two Towns. There are things I love about it, and things that are pretty good, and things that are just ridiculous, like all Harvest Moon games. The newest in the franchise keeps the basic formula the same but adds in some extra plot and challenge elements.  And you know what else? My train of thought just derailed violently and I realized how long this post is thanks to my brief trip down memory lane up there, but there is still so much to discuss about this game.  Hmmm, well, to summarize this post: I love the Harvest Moon franchise thanks to Brian and Bryan, and I now have the newest game and I am really enjoying it, but a more detailed review will follow, I promise!

P.S I just realized how many times I mentioned Harvest Moon in this post. Whoa. It's like counting the number of times characters "whisper" in an E.L. James book.
(Take THAT fanfic and your 10 million copies sold! Yeah. I showed you.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Gurl Likes Girls Like Robots

It's time for another video interview from PAX East 2012!
This time I stopped by the PopCannibal booth in "Indie Alley" and was so impressed with all the indie games this year! I interviewed the charming Margaret Scott about the game Girls Like Robots.  I know I say it a bunch in the interview, but I am super excited about this game!
If you can't see it embedded below, watch it on my YouTube Channel.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker (A Nerdy Movie Review)

 Last night Boyfriend and I attended a one-time-only screening of Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker. The movie is a feature-length animated movie produced by Bioware and FUNimation and is set in the Dragon Age universe. The Japanese film was released in February and the English release will come to DVD and Blu-Ray May 29th. The story follows a young Navarran royal Seeker named Cassandra Pentaghast as she uncovers and tries to stop a conspiracy to overthrow the chantry. That's really all you need to know.  Why? Well, to say that this movie was boring is the understatement of the week. Cassandra, the main protagonist is an angry bitter bitch, to say the least. Her family was destroyed by blood mages when she was a child, thus she holds a burning hatred for all mages. I don't know why she was so pissy about mages, none of the mages in the movie used their magic all that much-they fought with sticks and sythes. (Yes really.) The most magic we see is when the circle mage helping her on her journey, Galyan, is healing her injured inner thigh with his "filthy mage magic" in the most awkwardly semi-sensual scene ever. #ThingsThatMakeYouGoBleh

I can't tell you anything about Cassandra as a character other than she is angry and I'm not sure why anyone else likes her.  She's a kick-ass strong fighter, but she's an angry angry bitch. I got tired of her spitting out all of her lines "angrily" the whole movie, but maybe that's just the actor in me.

Speaking as an actor who loves cartoons and video games, all the voice "acting" was appalling.  I didn't care what anyone had to say because I didn't believe they meant the words that were coming out of their mouths. I just kept picturing these tired voice actors in a studio fighting to not roll their eyes while they said the dialogue with as much conviction as they could muster. I'm willing to concede that the dialogue problems may stem from some lost-in-translation issues when converting it to English from Japanese, but I'm being extremely generous there. Especially since the movie was very dialogue and "knowing glances" heavy. Boyfriend and I believe we could have cute down at least 10 minutes of the 90 minute movie just by cutting out all of the "knowing looks" and "pensive face" moments.

This man has no cheek bones and is guilty of far too many "knowing glances"
I did notice that the movie was shot very cinematically.  Then I realized that the reason for that was that all the animation was MOCAP and rotoscoping, which gave the movie a very unique "live-action-anime" look to it. I actually thought it was really interesting and pretty.  However, it would have looked a lot better had the shading and texturing guys spent a little more time on characters' faces, the armour, the horses, etc. There were shiny horses people! Shiny horses! All the horses looked like they were made out of rubber and plastic and were full of helium.  They had no weight to them, it was silly. Also, all of the chracters' faces were white with no shading or shadow. which I know is common in the anime style, so maybe that's what they were going for, but it made it look flat and like each character could only do 3 facial expressions: angry/fierce, pensive/sad, and happy.

Believe it or not, this is "happy" Cassandra
The coolest parts of the movie however, where the monsters and dragons which, for a movie entitled Dragon Age, did not get enough screen time. The final dragon fight scenes were really exciting and crazy (and would have been more so had I cared about any of the characters involved.) Once we got to the big dragon and monster scenes, it became clear what the texture and shading guys were working the most on. The ogres, golems, and dragons looked really scaly and rough and heavy.  They were bad-ass.
The dragon! The dragon! The dragon!
So, was it worst thing any of us had ever spent $10 on? No. Was it worth the $10 and the free t-shirt? Not really. Nevertheless, the overall experience was fun-ish, but the movie itself was lacking a lot.  I would say it was more appropriate for kids with how simplistic, predictable and condescending it was towards the audience.  I would say it's for kids aside from all the violence.  Lots and lots of awesomely glorious violence. And blood.  Goopy goopy blood.  But, what do I know? I'm just a nerd. You can view the trailer here and judge for yourself. Let's see...on my patented rating scale of 5 nerdy objects:

I give this movie 2.5 out of 5 Blood Mage Icons, because I'm feeling generous.
(Did I mention that the mages didn't fight with magic, like, ever?!)


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Get Excited For Another Birthday Post: Or Nerd Lub - Embrace it!

Note: Normally I'm not into a lot of mushy stuff, I try to describe my affection in the least "girly" of terms, but this blog post is about to be a love-fest.  You've been warned.

Today is the day of birth of someone very special.  You may have heard of him, I call him Boyfriend. Boyfriend grew up in NC and I grew up in CO. We graduated from two different colleges, with two different majors, in two different cities, in two different states. We both moved to two different parts of the east coast at two different times. How on earth did the two of us get together in such a big city like New York? The story of how Boyfriend and I met is sort of weird and a tad "unconventional" but I was never really one to follow expectations too much.

I went to college with a great guy named Tommy who I had a bit of a crush on. We were buddies, but he graduated long before I did, moved to NYC, and got married to the-bitch-who-shall-not-be-named-and-if-I-see-her-again-I-have-vowed-to-kick-her-in-the-box. BTW their marriage did not end, shall we say, non-violently.
(I just realized that made it sound like murder was involved. It was not. No murder, just a broken heart and a broken nose, but I digress.)  Long-story short: Tommy happened to meet Boyfriend while they were working at a restaurant on the day his marriage officially fell apart and those two became fast friends.

Some months later, Tommy came back to Colorado to visit his family and he and I started hanging out a lot. My big ol' crush on him flared up again, but he threw me a curve ball and told me I should meet his best friend because he's boyfriend material. Whaaa? So, just to humor Tommy, I looked up Not-Yet-Boyfriend on MySpace (oh yeah, remember when that was a thing?) We became "friends" online, and that slowly evolved into texting, and then evolved into calling each other every night. This went on for 5 months or so until I visited NY to find an apartment before I moved to the east coast. Not-Yet-Boyfriend and I went on our first "date" that weekend.  We got a slice of pizza in Chelsea and then we went to his apartment to play Mario Kart Double Dash. Nerdiest. Date. Ever.

Boyfriend later told me that he knew he was falling in love with me when I called him crying one night because I had to sell my GameCube so I could have some extra money to move to NY. I honestly can't say the exact moment I knew we were right together. Once we officially started dating after I finally moved, it just felt right like your favorite pair of shoes, like it was always meant to be that way. In our five years together, we've had some less-than-perfect moments, some disagreements, some fleeting moments where we probably wanted to stab each other in the leg.  I know I can be exasperating with all my idiosyncrasies and neurotic tendencies. Boyfriend talks a lot, especially when whiskey is involved. No matter. I can't imagine there is anyone else on the planet who would be a better mate for either of us. We're nauseatingly perfect together and disgustingly in love. It's gross, we know. Nerd lub is the best lub.

Happy birthday, my lub!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Z is for Zooming Zeldas in the Zazzle Shop! I survived this challenge!

That was a rough month.  I started the challenge a little late due to PAX East, but I did it!!! The most challenging part was actually finding an idea or a topic to write about each day, yet alone a video game topic to write about each day.  Anyone who wants to get serious about exercising their writing muscles and pushing their creative mind to do more, I would recommend doing the A-Z Blog Challenge.  It doesn't have to be in the time frame set by the challenge blog itself.  I didn't let missing the deadline stop me, and you shouldn't let it stop you. In elementary school when they made us run a timed mile every quarter, I was always the slowest, but I always finished. Taunting ensued regarding my slow-ass time, but I finished and I took pride in that.

I found it much easier to blog or at least plan blogging time having this challenge in place, it gave me an attainable daily goal but it also pushed me.  There were days where I didn't feel like writing at all.  There were days where I was too exhausted to even think about writing something, and there were other days when the thought of trying to be funny made my brain hurt.  But, there were plenty more days where it felt easy...or at least easier. Some days I thought of a brilliant idea for a letter that would be days away, so I would save it in the draft folder. Sometimes I would write almost a full post under a letter that wouldn't be posted for a week, and then by the time that post was scheduled to go up, I'd think of something entirely different and better for the letter and I would have to do some post rearranging.

At any given time, I have at least 5 drafts in my draft folder.  Sometimes they are just a jumble of words that are complete gibberish to anyone who reads them, but I know exactly what idea they are referring to. Other than my draft folder, I also have 10s of notebooks, scrap papers, post-it notes, notes-to-self stored in my iPod, and just random scribblings lying around. Whenever I think about getting around to digitizing all of the paper notes, I get distracted by a game, or a brilliant writing idear, or the occasional shiny object.

This blog post is brought to you by sleep deprivation, loathing, and by the Crappy Company Coffee Co. 

P.S. I now have a Zazzle Shop! Thanks to *popular demand, you can now buy your Epic Girlfriend/Boyfriend gear today!

P.P.S * Popular demand = 2 people.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Y is for Youda

 No, I did not misspell the name our favorite green Jedi Master.

Hmmm, methinks misspelled my name you have.

No Yoda, I'm not talking about you, and stop ending sentences with prepositions! It makes a grammar nerd crazy. I love you, but please speak normal English. Wait, you're in my head why are you using poor grammar if you're in my head? Leave my brain alone, Yoda!

Hmmm, I sense much anger in you. Anger lead-


I love simulation games.  I grew up playing SimTown, then SimCity 3000 and Sim Theme Park and then the big papa of them all, my favorite, my obsession: The Sims. You know how some people lose hours, days, weeks, months, years of there life to WoW? Like crack addicts they just can't stop?  The Sims is my crack. The Sims is my WoW. It's like logging in and playing god for hours.  You plan all these great futures for these little beings that you make and then they csn go and screw it up all by themselves.  Or you can screw them over yourself. Bwahahaha.  They were my own personal voodoo dolls at times.  Ways to act out my darkest fantasies without hurting anyone.  It was my own digital dollhouse. It makes me think that if I really am "made in God's image" then that dude has one sick sense of humor...but I digress.

Some of my favorite quickie downloadable simulation games are Youda Games. (Like Youda Farmer...You da farmer and game title AND a pun?! Yes!) Have you ever played these?! It's like the best of Harvest Moon meets Diner Dash meets SimCity! Some games are much better than others and like the Playfirst Games' Diner Dash franchise, Youda Games are simulation, time management flash cheapy games (as I refer to them-games that you can download for $10-ish.)

I think Youda deserves a mention because I quite enjoy their games and I am struggling finishing out this A-Z challenge in a timely manner.  I know not all the posts in my alphabet were amazing pieces of writing, but I know that it fulfilled its intention which was to stretch my writing muscles every day and to challenge my creativity.  It did these things.  I know I didn't quite fulfill all of the requirements for participating in the challenge-I didn't complete it in the month of April, having started the challenge a couple weeks late due to PAX EAST; I didn't post every day due to that pesky thing I have called a job.  I thought at least some of these A-Z posts should revolve around gaming, so I chose Youda Games for today.  Plus it's just fun to say.  Youda. Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuda.

Phoned this one in methinks you have.

I hate you, Yoda-in-my-head.

Note: I'm blogging from the road for a few days with iffy Internet connection, so sorry for the infrequency of posts and the possibly questionable quality and rambly-ness of said posts.
P.S I wrote the majority of this post whilst sleep deprived riding on a bus crossing 3 state lines. No drugs were involved in the writing of this post. Does that answer your question?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

X is for XBOX360 and why I prefer my Playstation (UPDATED)

Ever since my first experience with how defensive other gamers could get during the console wars of the 1990's, I haven't really been hard core one side or the other. In the days of cartridge game systems, I was in love with my Genesis and I admit I scoffed at the idea that a console that used an optical disk could ever be better than a cartridge. I changed my opinion slightly the first time I played a Playstation. 

I was babysitting and had put the kids down for a nap/bedtime.  They didn't have cable and I had not brought a book or magazine to read, so I was bored after cleaning up the house (yes, I was an amazing babysitter, I also cleaned.) Bored obsessive gamer me noticed the kids had a Playstation.  I managed to hook it up to the TV and started playing the only game it looked like they had: Spyro. The graphics were so clean and crisp and the joystick controls, while it took a moment to get used to, were so smooth in comparison to my fumbly control pad of my Genesis, or the jerky joystick on my N64. Even though the loading screen irked me-with cartridge games there was no load time-I quickly got over it.  Ever since then, I remained fairly neutral about the console competition until I had personally tried one or the other.

That all being said, I LOVE my PS3, even when it succumbs to the YLoD, again and again. Boyfriend's co-worker/friend gave us his first gen XBox360 last year because he wanted a newer one, plus his had suffered from the "Red Ring of Death" and Boyfriend figured it would be cheaper to fix this one than buy a new one. Yay free console! (And it turned out to work just fine!) Currently we only have a couple of games for our XBox because we strongly prefer our PS3. The XBox controller is large and clunky especially for my tiny girl hands. The buttons get stuck (even after buying a new slightly smaller controller) and the user interface screen is not user-friendly, even if my avatar is super cute.  What really pisses me off the most about XBox/Microsoft is while generally the XBox360 tends to cost less than PS3 (with the exception of the awesome special edition Star Wars kinect console...not the game though...*sigh*) Microsoft is crafty in their ways. They find ways to make up for their console costing less. After our PS3 crapped out for the second or third time, we discovered that to watch Netflix streaming from our XBox, we have to upgrade to the "Gold member" account and pay a monthly fee.  
So, let me get this straight-I have to pay Netflix for the access to their streaming movies, PLUS I have to pay Microsoft to use the console that was already paid for just so I can watch said movies that I'm already paying for? I call bullshit. I've already had Netflix screw us out of a bunch of money by jacking up their prices despite having been a loyal customer for a long-ass time, I don't need Microsoft taking my hard-earned monies too. So there. PS3 is better. The end.

Wow, that was a bit of an angry rant.  I must be stressed out. More coffee!
Let's go kick ass today.

UPDATE: 5/17/12
Of course our PS3 would die the day after I write a shitty post professing its superiority to our XBox.  Why wouldn't it? *sigh* Seeing as how the rumors of the newest console from Sony seem to be just that, looks like we'll be saving our pennies for a new PS3. 'Tis a sad sad day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

W is for Who Has a New PAX East Video up..?

This girl!!!

OK, so I'm cheating a little bit by posting a video for my A-Z challenge post, but this is my blog, so I make the rules. So there.
Enjoy my quickie interview with Jeremy Handel of Handelabra Studios about their new iOS game, Uncle Slam.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

V is for Vamping or Vorpmi

Vamp (verb)-To put together; fabricate or improvise
Vorpmi- Improv spelled backwards

We're coming down to the final days of A-Z Blogging challenge, and I'm sort of falling off the writing-everyday-wagon again. Sorry! My pesky job keeps getting in the way this week (you know, the place where people sleep at their desks, come in 20 minutes late every day and steal my birthday balloons because I was out sick and not there to defend them, and give said balloons to another employee on their birthday-I wish I was joking. *Sigh* That place.)  No matter. It's Thursday and every other Thursday Boyfriend and I get together with our friends and play Pathfinder. Tonight is a Pathfinder night! Huzzah!
I am currently playing a half-elf Urban Druid named Bronwen. The name Bronwen is of Welsh origin and depending on your source, can translate to mean fair or blessed breast (heh, breast) and the variation of it can also mean white or blessed raven. My character Bronwen stands 5'9" tall and weighs around 135 lbs. Her slender athletic frame is covered in milky white skin which is juxtaposed by a full head of flowing charcoal hair. Being an Urban Druid, she is not quite as athletic or knowledgeable about nature as her forest brethren.  Her piercing green eyes always seem to hint that she knows something she 's not telling you. Bronwen's past is somewhat vague.  She knows very little of her parents, as they died mysteriously when she was quite young.  She was raised by a kindly human druid who was never blessed with a child of her own, but always wanted one.  Bronwen is very quiet and keeps mostly to herself, always having felt as though she was more welcome in the presence of animals than humans. She has never felt as though she quite fit in with humans or with elves, so she tends to keep to herself. She has found her druidic order to be the closest thing to a family in her life, but even there, she still feels a bit amiss.

She realizes that life in her settlement of Westcrown, in the infernal Cheliax, is not all it could be and with her alignment being neutral good, she has grown frustrated with the tyranny that comes with living underneath Hell's thumbnail. She has grown weary of the people living in misery due to the mismanagment from the Chelish nobility. She has grown sick of the fear that that the people of her settlment live in mostly due to lawfully evil hellknights andf the mysterious creatures that violently hunt the town at night.  Hearing hushed rumblings of the possibility of the existence of a small but growing uprising, Bronwen heads out one evening (hopefully returning home before sundown) to investigate these rumors. She gathers with many others at Vizio's Tavern for a secret meeting led by Janiven Key. Even before a plan can be set, hellknights descend upon the tavern intedning to arrest/dispatch any and all of thw conspiritors. After narrowly escaping into thwe sewers with several other townsfolk, Bronwen decides to join the grassroots movement as a member of the Children of Westcrown.

During our four sessions so far, we've encountered many foes who have almost beaten us, but somehow our band of misfits seems to prevail.  We've battled undead, hellknights, sewer goblins, and torch-wielding goblins intent on burning horses alive, all before we reached level 2 (that's right, we saved the ponies.) 

I love you, Allie.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

U is for Uncolored Un-truthers

Ok, so un-truthers is not really a word, but for all intents and purposes of this blog post, it is now!
I've mentioned before that I'm also an actor. It's what I went to school for, it's what I still enjoy doing, and my dream career would be something incorporating my love of video games/nerdy stuff, writing, and performance (much like my newly-appointed mentor, Felicia Day.) So this is another post about pimping out my friends and their/my creative projects.  Don't feel obligated to give to their Kickstarter campaign just because I'm in it (I know you all love me so much...all 3 of you reading this right now.) We're all starving nerds/artists right now, I get that, but if the video Imma bout to share makes you laugh and/or intrigues you, go check out the webseries' website or YouTube channel or vote for them on Funny or Die and maybe give a dollar if you feel so inclined (seriously, no pressure.) I think it's hilarious, hopefully you will too! Without further ado, I present the season 2 look at White Liars:

Like them!
Tweet them!

Monday, May 7, 2012

T is for Today

Today is a new day. It's not yesterday, it's not tomorrow.  It's now. Not last week.  Now.  I can be anything I want to be today.  Today-Me is stronger, wiser, better than Yesterday-Me.  Tomorrow-Me will think the same thing about Today-Me, but that's not important yet. My only concern today is today.  It's good to have a plan, but I need to remind Today-Me to stop regretting and worrying and beating herself up because of what Yesterday-Me did or didn't do and stop fretting about how Tomorrow-Me will handle tomorrow. Today is important.  Today is what matters most right now. 

Last week, Friday-Me heard some unsettling-yet-not-entirely-unexpected news about something I'm not supposed to know about.  It has made Today-Me look at the world a little differently.  It made Friday and Saturday-Me a little scared, a little desperate, a lot angry, a little sad.  But Today-Me is strong. Today-Me is confident...ish. Today-Me knows she has the will-power and the stubborness to not get pushed around.  Today-Me is going to kick ass today. And Tomorrow-Me plans on doing the same but Today-Me is not going to worry about Tomorrow-Me today, she can handle herself because she will be stronger, wiser, better than Today-Me.

So, tell Today-You that it's Kick Today's Ass Day, because Today-Us suck less than Yesterday-Us!


May 7ths that historically sucked less than May 6ths:
1429Joan of Arc ends the Siege of Orléans, pulling an arrow from her own shoulder and returning, wounded, to lead the final charge. The victory marks a turning point in the Hundred Years' War.

1824 – World premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Vienna, Austria. The performance is conducted by Michael Umlauf under the composer's supervision.

1846 – The Cambridge Chronicle, America's oldest surviving weekly newspaper, is published for the first time in Cambridge, Massachusetts

1847 – The American Medical Association is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1992 – The Space Shuttle Endeavour is launched on its first mission (STS-49).

1994Edvard Munch's iconic painting The Scream is recovered undamaged after having been stolen from the National Gallery of Norway in February.

2012- Wikipedia writes most half of my blog post for me. Thanks Wiki!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

S is for Star Wars

Star Wars Last Supper
Happy Star Wars Day!
I've heard some people say that Star Wars Day came about because A New Hope was released on May 4, 1977. This is not actually true.  A New Hope was first released in theaters in May 25, 1977 before the Memorial Day weekend. Geeks have adopted May 4th as Star Wars Day because of the pun "May the fourth be with you."

Did you know that we actually have the Brits and Margaret Thatcher to thank for the popularity of this pun? Margaret Thatcher was the first/only female prime minister elected to office.  Her election date? May 4, 1979.  After she won the election, her party took out an ad in the London Evening News saying, "May the fourth be with you, Maggie. Congratulations."

In 2005, George Lucas was giving an interview on German TV about  Star Wars and was asked about "May the force be with you." The interpreter apparently translated this to say "We will be with you on May 4th" and aired it on German TV. This may or may not have been the birth of Star Wars Day.  I can't actually find a "birth date" of this holiday.  Please feel free to enlighten me if anyone finds any factoids I any have missed about this day.  I leave you with this:

R is for Resloution (UPDATED)

Note: This blog is a day or two late.  I'm sort of falling off the wagon this week as far as writing every day.  I did write most of this post yesterday, I just wanted to go back and tweak it before publishing.  I'm warning you now, it's not a happy one.  It's not depressing, just a little bit angry. I think you'll understand why. Also, I would like to say that I am grateful to have a job when the economy and job market are not the best.  However, that doesn't mean I have to like going to work every day. Does it? These were my thoughts yesterday...

Resolution: noun
the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
I understand that in this economy and job market that competition is fierce and people are desperate, pressure is high, and everyone has to bring their "A" Game. But what do you do when your A-game doesn't seem to be enough for some people?  What do you do when you have a supervisor so far up your ass every day you can taste her hair spray?  What do you do when the very thought of having to answer another customer's phone call makes you have a nervous breakdown? Is a poor job market a valid excuse for staying at your job as a verbal punching bag year after year hoping and searching for something better? 

I'm all for helping your fellow wo/man when they need a helping hand, but when it comes to survival of the fittest in such a dog-eat-dog corporate world when your head  is threatened by the chopping block is it ok to throw someone under the bus if they deserve it? I don't like to play dirty if I don't have to, but I also don't want to have to live on unemployment and without health benefits again. But then, do I really want to stay in a place that is so big and cold that my manager doesn't actually even know (or care about) what I do on a day-to-day basis, only how she looks?  Do I want to work in an environment where someone that I'm supposed to "report" to every day sleeps at her desk without reprimand?  Do I really want to stay in a place where if I'm out sick for a few days someone my manager steals my birthday balloons because someone else had a birthday too? (I so wish I was kidding.) Which one is really the lesser of two evils here?

My therapist tells me she's very impressed with my progress and that she knows that I am intelligent, compassionate, and have a great work-ethic. I am stronger than I think I am. This goes back to my oar analogy from a few days ago. If held a lot of stock in "signs" from the universe, I would say that yesterday was a giant neon sign with a cattle prod poking me in the direction I should go.  I need to leave to go on to something better. I can see what I think is an oar floating out there, I just need to be brave enough to jump out of the boat.

"Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid."
-Franklin P. Jones

My bravery tattoo
P.S You know what also starts with R? Roaches! I am sick of those little bastards. There was a gargantuan one under our fridge the other night and another one was hiding in my coffee-maker. NOOOOO! Oh glorious magical brand new birthday present coffee maker!!! I will save you, coffee!

Dear Roaches,
This is your final warning. Leave my apartment or face retribution. Die demon seeds!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Q is for Querida: A Love Letter to Felicia Day

Querida: a Spanish noun meaning dear, honey, or darling.

Sassy Felicia Day being Sassy.
Dear Querida Felicia Day,

You are undoubtedly the geek-a-sphere's Querida, its princess, its sweet yet mighty warrior. I <3 you. I recently watched your episode of Supernatural "The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo" and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I know that I haven't always gotten along with or had any respect for your "handlers" at cons, but I'm willing to put that all behind us because I know it's not your fault. Because of the wonderfulness that is your Flog, and Geek & Sundry, and Dr. Horrible, and your guest spot on Supernatural, I am now declaring you my entertainment industry mentor. You're welcome. You've been in an online musical, you've guest-starred on some fabulously nerdy shows, you've voiced awesome video game characters; you've embraced your girl-next-door "type" and become an icon. Congratulations from another girl who never got to play the "leading lady" because it's just not her type. As your new mentee (it's a word) I would like to appoint myself your new P.A when I move to California. I'll be the best and freest cheapest most economical P.A there has ever been.
-Need coffee? Name the roast/size/flavor. (Actually, you seem more like a tea drinker, but I can brew like a master.) 
-Need to go somewhere? Boom! Driver's License, clean driving record.
-Need a line cue?? Word. 
-Need your violin tuned/polished? I will learn to do such things or I will hire Boyfriend as my assistant and he will do it for you. Boom. Delegated. 
-Need a handler who is polite yet fair and firm with fans and who doesn't shoo away the owner of the con at which you're appearing? Done. 

Actually, with all those skills I have and with Boyfriend as my assistant, I think I will promote myself to Senior Production Assistant to All Things Felicia-related. I'll make myself a hat and everything, you know, so it's official and junk.

Boom. Official. Thank you, Zazzle.

Your Official Senior Production Assistant to All Things Felicia-Related (New York Division):
Jess "GurlNxtDoor"

P.S That's an awfully long title.  As my first action as Official Senior Production Assistant to All Things Felicia-Related (New York Division), I hereby shorten it to O.S.P.A.A.A.F.R.N.Y. Boom. Title shortened.

P.P.S That's a tricky acronym isn't it? As my second act as O.S.P.A.A.A.F.R.N.Y I will shorten the acronym further to OSPA as a time-saver. So says OSPA Jess.

Boom. Post-scripted.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

P is for Portals

Alright, I'm not saying anything groundbreaking here by professing my love for Valve's Portal games. Nor am I stating anything new or better or funnier than what's already been said about "thinking with portals."  I recently replayed Portal 2 on single player and co-op mode, plus the free DLC "conclusion" to the co-op storyline. I forgot how much I love this game, and how much I adore GLaDOS. She is one of my favorite female video game characters and probably my favorite video game antagonist. Portals in other games don't always work out so well as the fellows from Rooster Teeth hilariously showed the world in their Let's Play Mario with Portals video.

I want to believe that having a portal gun in real life would be amazing and that I would accomplish so much more, but let's be honest, after I got bored with making things fall through an infinite loop to launch them out over the Hudson, I'd really just use it to sweep my trash into and make it fall into my crazy neighbor's apartment.  Then they'd be completely dumbfounded as to why they come home to a pile of mysterious garbage, with no sign of forced entry. Take that crazy lady downstairs! We'll walk around just as loud as we want in the middle of the day! So there!

What would you use a portal gun for in every day life?

HOLY SHIT! There is a giant cockroach IN my toaster oven!!! No good day ever starts with a cockroach inside your appliances. Now I seriously want a portal gun just to dispose of all that nasty vermin in our kitchen. Blam! Orange portal in the floor. Blam! Blue portal on the outside wall of the building. Then I just sweep them all out. Mwahahahaha!
Here you go all you young whippersnappers looking to move to the glamorous New York City, here it is. Roaches.  Not like Joe's Apartment roaches where they sing and dance and contribute to society.  Nope. These little bastards are brown and shiny and disgusting.

The future needs to get here sooner.

MTV/Warner Bros. Pictures