By InfiniteSpark 0 Comments
Work Goes Into Overdrive
I feared once spring came around with more tolerable weather that work was going to go into overdrive. Sure enough, it did. The first sign came when the President/CEO of the company issued a “Back on Track” to all billable employees to work extra hours to get all the projects “back on track” that suffered delays from the harsh winter. Then it hit me when I had a rash of out of the normal requests from my group of project managers asked me to conduct. The workload was getting out of hand that I had to carry some of my workload back home to work on them at home. There was a month long period where I never logged onto my home consoles at all because I had to hunker down and work on these work items.
I have not had to carry any work to do at home since mid-May, but work remains pretty hectic nonetheless. It never seems like I get any rest at any time. The cycle of running billings, processing billings, producing invoices to clients, retrieving additional items for particular invoices per client’s requests, filing hard and electronic copies of produced client invoices, then wrangle the project managers to meeting with me to talk collections. Rinse, lather, repeat… all year long! I still have a ton of vacation time that I have not been able to utilize because the cycle never ends. I do schedule at least one vacation day per month if I see an opportunity to do so.
I do not see any breaks over the summer months, with the only breaks coming by United States holidays of Independence Day (4 July) and Labor Day (1 September). I’ll definitely use a vacation day somewhere in mid-August cause I know I will go mad with all the work being done. All the work has drained a ton of energy from me that I have a tough time to get going on my hobbies. I will do my best to deal with all the stress as best as I can, and not get overly frustrated by it.
The Back Strain Injury
On 19 May, I suffered a painful back injury on my commute to work. I worked at the office for two hours with the injury until I thought better and decided to head back home. My parents were able to secure a quick appointment with the family doctor in the afternoon. The doctor performed some things and officially diagnosed me with muscle spasms and suggested that I take a week off to recover.
My week off away from work to recover from my injury was odd. I was unhappy that I was unable to tackle more of my gaming and manga backlog due to my lack of mobility. I also felt extremely out of place being away from the office for so long. I wasn’t able to do much over the week. I focused on keeping good back posture sitting and lying in bed, while taking walks, taking Advil, and using a ton of IcyHot patches to quicken the recovery. I wasn’t fully recovered when I went back to work on 27 May, but I was well enough to do the normal tasks at work. Plus I had to catch up on a ton of stuff at work due to my sudden absence.
I do not have much else interesting to share that happened to me this past quarter. I have fallen into a deep Groundhog Day routine this quarter with every working weekday and every weekend. Each weekday falls into: wake up, commute, work, lunch, work, commute, light exercise (if possible), dinner, whatever, sleep. Weekends are much interesting aside from my brother’s friends hanging out at my house, rest, and doing stuff to keep my mind busy and such.
The Longest Grind Entries
I was able to squeeze in two blog entries under my personal The Longest Grind blog series that I’m surprised and proud to be able to write before work and life decided to throw a wrench on things. I had planned on writing about BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Version 2012, and Bravely Default, but I do not think I will write about those games now. I do hope to write another entry once the opportunity presents itself. In the meantime, feel free to read my personal experiences with Persona 4 Arena and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R.
Highlight Finished Game of Q2 2014
Ys: Memories of Celceta was definitely the best game that I finished out of the five in Q2 2014. Sure, the graphics are pretty rough being a port from an older platform, and the frame rate would struggle during hectic battles, but I really enjoyed everything else from the game. The highlight of Ys: MoC are the battles. The player can choose three characters out of six to field in the world, with each character wielding a weapon of their experise that has a particular attack characteristic of slash, smash, or pierce, along with equipping armor and two accessories. The player can swap between the three characters in the field and have their character attack, defend, dodge, and perform special attacks on the fly. I also love the large sense of adventure that the game provides, as each new phase provides a long section of the world to discover. The story and characters are decent to boot.
Ys: Memories of Celceta was a welcome game to play and experience after being a bit let down from Bravely Default and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Picross e4 was okay, a nice side puzzle game to play in that short period. Muramasa Rebirth was a fun side-scroller hack-and-slash game with amazing visuals, but it did not match the excitement of gaming as much as Ys: MoC did.
Q2 Video Game Subtractions/Additions
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U) – 6 April
- Bravely Default (3DS) – 16 April
- Picross e4 (3DS) – 20 May
- Ys: Memories of Celceta (VITA) – 6 June
- Muramasa Rebirt (VITA) – 16 June
- Crash Team Racing (PS3) [PSN sale]
- Demon Gaze (VITA) [Limited Edition]
- Disney’s Castle of Illusion featuring Mickey Mouse (PS3) [PSN+ Free Game]
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) [Target Steelbook Edition, Target sale]
- Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS)
- Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
- Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection (PS3)
- Muramasa Rebirth (VITA) [PSN+ sale]
- Picross e4 (3DS)
- Pikmin 3 (Wii U) [Free Game via Nintendo Mario Kart 8 Promotion]
- Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God (VITA) [PSN+ sale]
- Uncharted: Golden Abyss (VITA) [PSN+ Free Game, was about to delist soon]
- Wipeout 2048 (VITA) [PSN+ Free Game, was about to delist soon]
- Zone of the Enders: HD Collection (PS3) [Toys R Us clearance sale]
Q2 Memorable Music Albums and Manga Acquistions
- Andrew Jackson Jihad – Christmas Island
- Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else
- Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
- DJ Shadow – Entroducing…
- Fennsez - becs
- Fugazi – The Argument
- Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
- Swans – To Be Kind
- Tune-Yards – Nikki Nack
- Unwound – Rat Conspiracy [box set]
- Woods – With Light and With Love
- Phantom Thief Jeanne #1 & #2
- Whispered Words #1
Q3 and Q4 Goals and Dreams
Mental Strength and Patience: I expect work to maintain its crazy pace through summer and fall, so I have to do my best not to get overly stressed out over work and things that life constantly throws at me.
Little Steps: I gained a ton of weight over the winter and after suffering my back injury, have taken steps to get healthier little by little. I have been doing a lot of walking around my neighborhood since the injury combined with eating less and drinking my water. It seems to be working a little bit, but it has been tough to maintain this regime where there are times where I do not want to do either. I have to keep this up no matter what.
Job Search: Oh boy, I have failed miserably at doing this. The period where I was bringing home work did not help matter. I should have looked around for jobs during the time I was home with my back injury, but my mind was more focused on recuperating at the time. I really got to hammer down to do some job searching somewhere, but it will be tough considering that from my previous years at work, summer and fall is still pretty filled with work everywhere.
The Longest Grind: I definitely want to continue writing for this blog series, but the same challenges of finding the opportune time and the emotion to dig deep to recall and express fondly over a game I want to share my experiences. I had a ton of fun writing about Persona 4 Arena and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R, and hope to continue that with more games somehow.
Otakon: Attending Otakon last year was the best thing I ever did in my life for quite a while. I would love to attend again but chances seem slim at the moment. My brother said that hotel rooms are quickly selling out in downtown Baltimore, combined with an attendance cap, costs, and this year the Baltimore Orioles baseball team also playing games the weekend are making me weary about attending. I would love to go, but no loss if I do not go this year.
Summer Jam 8: This is an event I would love to attend despite my less than favorable experience attending last year’s tournament. This year, the tournament is held at a hotel in the city of Philadelphia, along with access to public transportation to travel around the city and more food options too. The increased amount of games to play outside of the standard fighting game tournament classics make it more enticing for me to attend this year as well.
NEC 15: Northeast Championships is the biggest Philadelphia fighting game tournament of the three held each year (the other two being Summer Jam and Winter Brawl). I would like to attend the biggest tournament out of the group to see how chaotic it is, along with witnessing high-level P4AU and GG Xrd play at the venue would be cool to witness. It stinks that the hotel that it will probably be held at is at an undesirable location. I shall see if this dream comes to fruition or not.
General Backlog: I will not get to all the games that rot on my ever growing gaming backlog, but I will do my best to take a few games at a time and slowly knock a game down. Slow and steady.
Preliminary Games of Interest for Rest of 2014
Here’s a preliminary list of games I am looking forward to for the rest of the year.
- Arcana Heart 3 Love Max [pre-ordered]
- Bayonetta 2
- Guilty Gear Xrd –SIGN-
- Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth [pre-ordered Premium Edition]
- Persona 4 Arena Ultimax [pre-ordered]
- Super Smash Brothers 4 Wii U
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call [pre-ordered Limited Edition (not the S-E Deluxe Edition)]
- Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late [to acquire through “means”]
- Yatagarasu: Attack on Cataclysm [funded Indiegogo campaign]
Thanks for reading!