The Road to Mel: Pre-PAX Prime 2011 Edition


 
Hey all!  Hope you've all been having a good summer!  It's been a while, so this one will be slightly long maybe. 
 

Games!

 
Currently playing Vanguard: Saga of Heroes on and off because I never really gave it a decent chance.  This also reminds me that I'll have to update my MMO list/reviews.   I'm not sure why I never really gave it a chance before.  It's not too bad. 
 
Went back to Age of Conan for a day or so after it went free to play.  Apparently if you had a subscription, and it's currently inactive, you can still go back to your old account, but you can only "unlock" 2-3 character slots, whether currently occupied or empty.  Must pay for additional. 
 
Tried the trial for Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising because I was really interested in that game years ago when I first heard of it, but it was... meh.  Not bad, but not great at all.  If you've read the recent Game Informer article on it, I'd have to say that sums it up nicely. 
 
Other than that, I guess I haven't played a whole lot.  Will get to the reasoning for that a bit later.    
 
*Edit*  Oh yeah... and I'm ticked about the whole Diablo 3 thing... online only, auction house with real cash.  Screw all that.
 

PAX! - Which is still Gaming!

 
So excited that PAX is under a week!  We got our passes last weekend.  Two three-day passes (for me and the hubby), and 2 Friday passes (for our daughter and housemate).  Hotel room for me and the hubby at the Sheraton Saturday night.  Will be AWESOME. 
 
Also, I'll be cosplaying for the first time ever this year!  Mad Moxxi!!!   I did, however, just decide to do this like... yesterday or so, so my costume is very last minute, very ghetto-ized.  But I think it will work out well.  I have the hat done, I have to the cuffs, collar, and buttons to the jacket, and it will be mostly done.  Will have to post pics!
 
Moxxi & Claptrap

 

TV!

Sure, GB isn't Screened, but I still like to share some of the shows I watch, because there are other fans out there. 
 
Alphas (SyFy Network) - X-Men meets X-files or something?  I have really been digging this show lately.  My favorite character has become the autistic kid. 
 
 

Suits (USA Network)

 - It's not just that I'm a law student and this is a law show.  I love the sarcasm and witty banter in this show. 
 

Haven (SyFy)

- A town full of Fringe/X-files stuff.  Digging it so far.  Missed the first season, but that's okay. 
 

True Blood (HBO)

- Yes, I'm a truebie.  Not a big one though.  But I do have to watch my show. 
 
Other shows that we've been watching lately almost more for hilarity factor are Legend Quest and Ancient Aliens.  I mean seriously, Giorgio Tsoukolos's hair IS an ancient alien! 
 

Otherwise!

 
The first term of law school went well I think, but I won't know for a while, as there's a long turn-around for grades.  But it's going well.  Fall term starts on Monday.  Law school DEFINITELY puts a cramp on my gaming though.  Ah well. 
 
I'm still unemployed, which sucks.  I've had some interviews that went really, really well, but just never seem to pan out.  Hopefully I'll find something soon. 
 
As I said last time, for some reason, I never forum as much when I'm unemployed.  But I can often be found on Facebook at /melcene.  If you hit me up, let me know you're a duder. 
 
Finally:  Saturdays are starting to look good for Rock Band nights online for me.  I know someone from here messaged me about that on XBL, but I'm not sure who they are here.  But I'm down to do some vox for duders!
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The Road to Mel... July Reappearance Edition


 
Howdy Folks!  Long time no type, I realize.  Life has been having its ups and downs.   Let's see... my last update was just after Memorial Day Weekend.  Ouch.  I was doing pretty good with the weekly updates too. 
 
 
And what the hell happened to the blogs?  Maybe its because my Google Chrome at home has been funny so I'm posting in IE, but damn, this lack of formatting sucks.  (By lack of formatting I simply mean that although I may select a line and press H2, it's not showing up in header format.  Sadface.)
 

Games!

 
So let's see... since that fateful day, I've played the following: 
 
Forsaken World 
 
 
 
Yes, her boobs are out there.  My husband has pointed this out several times.  Personally I kinda liked the artwork style of this game.  Anyway, this was one of the free to play MMOs that Steam put up a while back ago.  Only awesome part was, I was able to play it as a single player game if I chose.  Just a press of a button, and I could turn off seeing other players.  It was actually pretty nice.  I enjoyed Forsaken World, but because it's free to play, they are big into micro-transactions, and without paying for currency that way, it takes a while to get anywhere.  My priest/cleric/whatevertheycallhealers is 30something out of 70, and I was still enjoying myself (and that is NOT a picture of her, btw).  But my gaming ADD got to me... and although I have it on 360, I bought it on Steam..... 
 
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 
 
I don't think I have any neat screenshots to add, and you could probably find plenty anyway, but after playing the hell out of Risen, I really wanted to go back to an open world RPG.  And I never got to experience Oblivion on PC.  Ohhhh Oblivion on PC.  You are so evil.  Tilde key, you are the bane of me.  You make it so easy to give myself gold, or that really cool looking armor I want. 
 
Right out of the prison, I actually ended up going straight to Shivering Isles and going through all those quests.  That was actually a lot of fun.  I really dug the whole Mania/Dementia (I was totally a Mania person) thing, and I dunno... the whole thing was neat.  I suppose at this point I should interject that I am typing this blog while slightly inebriated. 
 
So as I've always done, once I got done with Shivering Isles, I got into the regular game, and immediately started setting up all my DLC homes.  And also per usual... lost my interest for the game nearly immediately after that.  But law school was starting up at about that time so no biggie.  But I can't go without something to play.  So as we speak, I'm alt-tabbed out of.... 
 
Neverwinter Nights II Platinum Edition 
 
What can I say... it was on sale during the Steam Summer Camp sale, and I didn't own it.  I think I got it on the last day of the sale too.  So I've been playing that the last few weeks.  But with law school, I basically only get to play on the weekends... It's an odder creature than the original NWN, and I'm ticked its not Bioware, because I have a harder time finding any mods I'm interested in.  Just a basic world chest mod.. is that too much to ask?
 
And while I'm thinking about it the order above is wrong.  It was Oblivion, then Forsaken World, then Neverwinter Nights 2. 
 

Where I've been...

 
Well, besides being busy with law school... I was let go from my job shortly after the Memorial Day weekend.  I was told that my "performance had declined."  Which I thought was BS.  So did one of my coworkers.  She facebooked me 2 days later asked WTF.  I explained, and she said that was bullshit, especially considering one of the secretaries had been showing up to work drunk and had only gotten suspended.  Bah, whatever.  Big firm life isn't for me.  I prefer small firms I think. 
 
Other than that, law school has been keeping me busy.  I start class at 6pm, but because of my commute leave at 4:30pm.  I only have one class during the summer, but they're trying to cram us full of a shit-ton of information over the course of 6 weeks.  We're there till 8:15 2 nights a week, and 9pm the other 2 nights a week.  then I spend, on average, another 3-4 hours per school day on homework and whatnot.  I can definitely say it's more work than I expected.  See, I was the type of student in high school and college that could get by with at least a B without hardly cracking a book.  Not possible in law school.  At least I don't think so... I haven't dared try.  My first law school final is in just over 2 weeks, so we'll see how things go.  Although I'm kinda stressing over it, I am also fairly confident I'll do well. 
 
Otherwise... PAX is coming up!!!!  Well.. next month anwyay.  I'll still be there!  Looking forward to meeting duders there. 
 
But because I'm currently unemployed, I don't visit my normal forum haunts as much.  I can be found on 360, Steam, Facebook, wherever as Melcene.  If you hit me up, let me know you're a duder. 
 
And now it's time to get back to drinking and gaming with the hubby.  Hope ya'll are well.  Take care.
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The Road to Mel: Post-Memorial Day Edition

         

Gaming! 

Risen

 
 Man, I'm so disappointed I'm done with this game.  I was really really enjoying this game while I played it.  By the end, I looked pretty damn badass (as seen above) and was one heck of a mage.  Unfortunately, there's no play after the credits roll.  I'm debating whether I want to go back and play as a thief or hunter type.  I just can't say enough about this game.  I know I've said it in previous blogs, but this game is definitely worth a try.   

Planetside 

 
 So after I finished Risen, I decided to take advantage of some of that Free SOE account time and checked out my old Planetside account.  Bad news: I totally had forgotten how to play.  Which made my first attempt at Instant Action a bit less than desirable.  I took my husband's advice and figured out what did what before I tried to jump into combat.  So I went through all the training sessions, and decided I really wanted to play my stealther.  She was THE toon to get into a base or tower and hack it before anyone realized she was there.  That was... at least 6 years ago according to my veteran rewards.  I mean, I did get in and cap a few towers, though they weren't being fought for that hard, if at all.  But the base that I kept trying to get into.... that was a joke.  I finally gave up and decided it was time to go do something else.  I do still miss running around stealthing and hacking.  Maybe another game.
 

Warhammer Online

  
So I already have a Warhammer Online account, but I created a new one this weekend, specifically for the Endless Free Trial.  Sure, I'll be capped at level 10 (maybe 11?) and I'll be stuck in Tier 1 for the rest of my life.  But that's where I've had a ton of fun.  And that's all I really want out of the game at the moment - to go play the hell out of some Tier 1 PVP.  More minor changes to the game, and yet another game where I forgot half of how to do what (like auto-attack.  I had to look up the key binding for that).   But it was already giving me that "ahh... this is what I was looking for" feeling. 
 
I have no idea why I'm on this PVP kick.  That's fairly unlike me, but it happens.  And those two games had some awesome fun PVP.  And they're free for me at the moment.  And that's my big requirement.
 

TV/Movies

Game of Thrones: How to Train Your Prostitute 

 
 
Apparently when you own a brothel (or several, as the case may be), you should train your prostitutes on... well as Littlefinger put it, men already know that it's all an act.  It's the prostitutes job to make them forget that it's all an act.  As such, Littlefinger pairs prostitutes together and makes them each take turns at being the man, while the other practices her faking (or just really enjoys herself).  Such was the case with Sunday night's episode, as we watch one prostitutes fuck the other while Littlefinger waxes poetic about his lost love, Catelyn Stark.  I gotta say though, it was a fairly hot scene. 
 
 
 
 
River Monsters
  
 
Have you seen this show yet?  It's actually pretty awesome.  This guy (Jeremy Wade) is a marine biologist and extreme fisherman.  The episode we got to see this weekend was another awesome one.  He was hunting Bull Sharks that had taken to living in freshwater rivers.  It turned out that the sharks were content not to attack humans because they had learned to catch easy prey right off the fishermens' lines.  Recently we actually saw an episode we had to turn off though.  It was about the Candiru Catfish.  These things punch bullet-sized holes into other fish (and humans) and eat their insides, leaving just skin and bone.  But the most disgusting one was one particular breed of Candiru that swam up a man's penis.  Yeah... we had to turn the episode off before we learned more than we'd like about that. 
 

Life & Law School

  
Over the weekend I received a Revised Financial Aid Award Letter.  In addition to the federal Perkins loans, I've also been offered the Grad Plus loan - in an amount that MORE than covers tuition.  So I'm no longer stressing about tuition so much.  And even books and such will be covered.  I'm pretty happy.  Feel like I finally got things for school all tied up and I don't have to stress about suddenly not being able to do law school. 
 
Memorial Day Weekend was pretty quiet for me.  Saturday became a day of yardwork, for which my back is still paying.  Sunday was recovering from Saturday night.  And Monday was just taking advantage of the extra day off.  Although I felt very productive on Saturday, I still feel like my weekend should have been more productive than it was.  Perhaps soon.  I told the hubby I think I'm going to be doing some painting in the house this summer.  I'll fit it in somewhere in there.
 
 
 
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My Happy Hour cherry

I lost my Happy Hour cherry today, and I feel dirty and awful. 
 
Ok seriously... I've never watched a Happy Hour before... but if they have a female, is the chat always that bad??  I mean, I get that Sara Lima is attractive.  But jeezus.  No wonder there are stereotypes about gamers and nerds, people.  The previous segment with the Asian chick wasn't a whole lot better.  (Of course Sara's tube top helped really derail that chat.) 
 
But besides that... holy crap the chat is tough to keep up with sometimes.  I think maybe I'm glad of it though, because if it were easier to keep track of, I might be there too often.  And I already spend far more time than I should messing around on GiantBomb/Screened and not doing work.
 
Also:  What are the odds that the IT department at work would be able to track the streaming activity to my computer?  That's why I don't really ever stream videos.  Concerned about getting in trouble.

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The Road to Mel is Paved with Games: Pre-Memorial Day Edition

 

 
 

Edit:  I just discovered Giant Bomb TNT

 Whoa... so I clicked the button since we have that new thing that shows when the TNT is playing live.  I didn't know there was a chat that goes with it.  That's very cool and yet scary.  And I would be down for watching the TNT's but I'm afraid to stream too much at work....  Yeah, I'm a wuss.

 Game of the Week!

          It's still Risen.  I'm truly impressed by this RPG.  It's like an Elder Scrolls RPG only better in some ways (and of course, lacking in others).  One thing that I prefer about Risen over Morrowind or Oblivion, for example, is that the world is certainly open, but it's not nearly as overwhelming as the ES worlds.  Maybe this is because the world is much smaller?  Less quest hubs and such.  There's a good degree of difficulty and dedication needed for this game, but not so much that it would make me throw up my hands in frustration and give up.  I played the game for a few days before I finally got to be a real mage with fireballs and stuff.  

Then again, I didn't take the "short" route to magedom, which is to get yourself arrested and conscripted.  I even enjoy alchemy in this game more than I did in ES.  Maybe it's because there's a smaller variety of plants/potions.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I loved my ES games, but they just got overwhelming sometimes!  I'm not a completionist, but I always had to work on my faction with all the guilds, plus there's the main questline, and whatever else Bethesda throws in there for fun.  This game, there were two basic factions, and you choose one over the other.  One of the things I do wish this game had was a mount of some sort.  But I did finally get to a point where I'm collecting "teleport stones" which allow me to instantly teleport to specified locations around the map.  Pretty darn handy.  I do really like that stuff respawns after a while too.  And I kinda dig that mobs sort of level up as you do.  For example, hungry wolf becomes wolf becomes black wolf as you level up.   And the artwork.  I can totally deal. 
 
 
I don't usually go on about games, but it just feels like it's been a while since I've found an RPG that really hit the spot like this one.  I feel satiated almost in that after-sex way.
 

Bacon! 

So there was some thread about bacon-related foods and it got me to thinking.  I just don't understand this huge bacon fascination.  I mean don't get me wrong.  I love bacon.  Bacon totally belongs on my burgers and club sandwiches.  I can eat, and often have eaten, just a few strips of bacon for breakfast and been perfectly content.  
 
But there is taking it too far.  I'm looking at you, Denny's, with your Baconalia.  I dig some bacon.  I love ice cream.  But the two just do not mix in my mind.   
 

TV/Movies

I finally saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World yesterday.  Yeah, yet another party I was totally late to.  I'm not sure why I hadn't seen this sooner.  And I wish I had seen it in the theater.  It seems like it would have been a great theater movie.  I was truly entertained.  The movie was over-the-top, sure, but that was part of what made it good.  And it was a coming-of-age movie, sure, but it also had lots of action. 
 
 
I also watched Cirque de Freak recently and that wasn't really terrible.  Wasn't fantastic, but coulda been worse.  Actually had a pretty (surprisingly) good lineup of actors. 
 

Funny Kid Story

Sometimes our kids do things we have to share.  These things may be cute, or make us proud, or may be embarrassing for our kids.  It's part of being a parent.  This particular anecdote is one of the embarrassing types that my husband relayed to me when I got home from work yesterday. 
 
My daughter, 11, in 6th grade which is middle school for her.  Yesterday she comes home from school, and her father asks why she appears to have a tail.  I was afraid that this story was going to have something to do with some symbolism of the tail that I don't want to think about for my 11 year old.  But that wasn't the case.  Our daughter was confused by what he meant about the tail.  She looked, and saw she did indeed have a white tail.... of toilet paper... hanging out of the back of her pants.  No exaggeration here - she rips the toilet paper off, says, "Awkward!" and walks away.  My husband was kinda surprised (and highly entertained) that she had the where-with-it-all to toss the "Awkward" out there with just the right inflection and timing.  And then he and I had a discussion about why guys and girls might wipe differently to cause a toilet-paper-tail.  Ah married life. 
 
 
And I guess that's it for this week's late edition.  Thanks for reading :) 
 
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The Road to Mel is Paved with Games 5:19


So, first things first.  The project I was working on (many of you seemed to have guessed what it was).  I was using an old website I still had hanging around out there to start up the Giant Bomb Xtreme Girl Advice Line

But... that's coming along slowly at the moment.  I had gotten pretty close to done, but then realize that I may want to switch it over to this other website I have - one that isn't a pre-made template for video game clans/guilds.  So I have to do that at some point.  I'll get around to it.  What would actually be cool though is if we could get Top Men to create a separate page like that within the Whiskey Media site and maybe get some people to moderate it/etc.  So yeah, that's the project.  And it's a weekend thing, and sometimes during work when things aren't too crazy thing.  But I don't even officially have the time to be doing this blog.  Ah well.

This Week in Gaming!


So those who follow this weekly blog know that I had started playing Guild Wars lately.  I had decided that really wasn't hitting the spot.  There's like no good loot in Guild Wars.  While I'm not necessarily looking for a loot-driven game like Diablo or Torchlight, I want something where I can pick up armor/weapons, and when I put them on, I look different.  I want to go quest.  I want to randomly wander around and go explore what's over that next ridge.  I actually considered reinstalling Morrowind.  I never did finish that game.

But instead, I found Risen.  So far this game has hit the spot.  The beginning was interesting - and eerily similar to Age of Conan.  Your character was on a ship that was torn to pieces, and he's been washed ashore.  Both games start with you face down in the sand, groggily getting up and trying to remember what happened, and trying to figure out where you are now.  I must admit, once I found a weapon, I did end up dying a few times.  This NPC did keep telling me that I probably shouldn't be going into that cave, but would I listen to her?  Hell no!  There was a chest within sight and I needed to know what was in it!  The melee combat in this game is very interesting.  It's like a dance.  You have to figure out the rhythm of block/parry/swing with your opponent to do well, and each opponent is different depending on what they're wielding.  And there's a craft system!  While I've fried up some meat, I haven't really messed with the alchemy yet.  But I'm constantly picking flowers.  I joked with my husband that I feel like an herbalist from WoW because I'm constantly stopping to pick some plants.

This asshole.  And his buddies.  But I finally beat them and got their chest! 

However, in most RPGs I prefer to play a mage or healer.  A finger waggler.  Unfortunately, with this game, the "quick" way to becoming a mage is to get yourself arrested.  Which I'm not interested in doing.  So after spending however long playing this game, I just towards the end of the weekend finally got the ability to become a mage.  Awesome.  Now I just have to go make a trek to wherever to go actually learn mage stuff.

Besides this game fulfilling the loot and quest itches for me, there was something about the description that really grabbed me, and that is another great draw of this game.

Alter the destiny of the island by the actions you take.

And it's true.  There are two main factions.  The first faction is a group of people who are native to the island.  They are familiar with melee and ranged combat, but have no knowledge of magic.  Most of this faction seems to be corrupt criminal types - smugglers, bribe-takers, etc.  General rough-around the edges, looking for a quick buck types.  The other faction is the Inquisition.  Their melee combat consists of staff-fighting I think, and they can also train in magic.  This faction came over from the mainland and has displaced the locals.  Once you side with one faction, the other will have nothing to do with you except try to kill you.  Between your choice of faction, and how you handle quests, you really do affect things on the island.

So from all this, I really have been enjoying this game so far.  The graphics are... Oblivion-ish?  I dunno, I don't think they're too bad really.


The Law School Saga

Earlier this week there was an open house at Seattle U that I attended.  It actually was of some help.  I had been really stressing about juggling work, school, homework, family, etc.  The homework was a big stress factor.  How was I going to have time for homework when I won't be getting home till 10pm and have to be up at like 6am the next morning?  But the answer was given to me:  I don't have to.  In fact, it was suggested that during the week, we leave our school stuff in our lockers.  Much like you don't bring work home with you from your job, they suggested leaving school at school for the most part.  Of course there will be things I will have to do.  And then there will be the time leading up to finals.  But this information truly was helpful.

I've registered for my summer class, though I need to re-order my book because the vendor cancelled the order and pulled the book from Amazon.  I've also seen the fall schedule, and I feel better about that too.  I think my latest class in the fall gets out at like 8:15pm.  That's not nearly as bad as I thought.  So on those nights I will be home around 9pm.  Not too bad.    

New Laptop!

So for school I had to order a new laptop.  I ended up going to Newegg and getting a Gateway for $399.  It's a Pentium Dual-Core 2.13GHz, 500gb HDD, 4gb RAM.  The only thing that kinda sucks is the "Intel HD Graphics" onboard.  But this wasn't supposed to be a gaming computer.  (So we'll ignore the fact that it's sitting behind me on my credenza with Steam downloading some of the games in my library.)  But here's the thing:  It's Windows 7.  I'm still running XP at home, and my work computer is XP Pro.  So I'm not really used to Win7.  I've messed with it a little before, but not much.  So I'm having problems with some things.  Like at home, I try to tell it to find my secondary drive on my desktop (that's where all my music is), but it just gets stuck on looking for other devices.  And the other problem I've been having is that I wanted to install Bejeweled 3 on the machine, and I have the setup file downloaded, but every time I click Run, I get the box that gives me crap about the security certificate.  I tell it to run anyway, and nothing happens.  But I'm mostly happy with my new laptop.  And it's MINE.  Last time we got a laptop, my husband told his dad (who was buying it for us) that it was for me for school.  But in fact, my husband used it far more than I ever did.  But this one is all mine.  :)

 And now it's probably time to get back to work.



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Just venting about work Blog

First off, I deal with probates (among other things).  Someone dies, and their family member comes in and says "help me navigate the court system and get the assets distributed and stuff."  I've been doing this since about summer of 2000, other than when I was unemployed.  I like this field of law.  Some may find it boring, but I like it.  Not too stressful.  Not too drama-ridden.  But this is what I do.

So back in October or so, I was given a new case.  The client was one of the partners here at the firm (which means he's a big-wig).  His dad died, we were going to help him and his mom handle the estate.  No problem.  I do up the documents as needed, blah blah.  

He got some of them signed by his mom, but ended up missing some signatures or something, so the attorney I work with, she gave the packet back to him and said get this taken care of.  This was in November.  

In mid-December she (my attorney) had to take off for medical leave.  She was going to talk to him (the partner) before she left and make sure he got the docs back to me so we could get this shit taken care of with the courts.  She wouldn't be back until February 1st.  

I email the partner after the holidays, and then every two weeks or so up until March, also bugging my attorney when she came back from leave, about where the completed docs were.  The partner wasn't responding.

Then a week or so into March, the mom dies.  The file was taken from me, and it was implied that the partner thought *I* was fucking up and not getting stuff done like I was supposed to.  So they gave the file to our newest paralegal.  Who ended up not working out.  

So here I am with the file again, which has become a fucking mess over this time.  And what do I find in the file?  The fucking packet of papers we gave to this partner back in November.  And they never got completed.  Yet it was my fucking fault.

I want to go show them to my attorney.  But at the same time I feel like that would be petty and childish.  It's not that I expect dude to get in trouble.  He's a partner.  But people realizing that it wasn't my fault shit didn't get done would be nice.

Ah well.  Nothing really to be done about it I guess.
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The Road to Mel is Paved with Games 5:10

Plants vs. Zombies!

Yes, I am late to the game on a LOT of games.  But there are some games that I am right on top of the shiz!    So I have to admit.. prior to this last week or so, the only Plants vs. Zombies I'd ever played was the World of Warcraft version:
See?  Looks pretty similar to the original doesn't it? 
Though I did have a blast with the WoW version.  So this past week when I got bored of current games and was snooping through Steam, I came across Plants vs Zombies and decided I needed to try it.  After just 10 minutes out of the 60 minute demo, I decided I had to buy it.  And I had fun with my little game.  Kept me entertained for quite a while.  Of course, making your own zombatar is only part of the fun, and considering the recent headlines in the news, I thought my zombatar was only appropriate:
(Not actually mine - but close to what mine looks like) 
How long does it take before you can open up the other gameplay modes?  I was close to reaching the pool section, but still couldn't mess with the other modes.  Poop!
Ah well, puzzle games can only keep me interested for so long anyway.  I'll probably come back to it.  But I've moved on to something else.

Damn you SOE!

Over the weekend, I wanted to play something with loot.  Fancy new armor and weapons.  Crafting.  Whatever.  But I wasn't interested in playing Sacred 2 with the hubby.  I wanted.  I decided I'd play some EQ2X (the free, microtransaction version of Everquest II).  Or so I thought.  When I clicked my shortcut for it, instead of the Station Launcher or whatever it is I get, I got a nice message from Sony saying blah blah we're really sorry but Sony Online Entertainment is still down.  Fine.  Guess I'll just go play something else.
But this made me curious, so yesterday I did some searching.  Turns out that Sony doesn't expect Playstation Network (and maybe SOE also) to be back up and running until at least May 31st.  That will make it a six-week outage, and that's if it doesn't go longer.  I'm guessing there was probably already a bunch of talk about this yesterday.  But I wasn't around yesterday, so forgive me.  You know, I'm starting to really hope that Sony does offer all their customers subscriptions to credit monitoring services.  I could really use that.  I almost feel bad for Sony.  Almost.  Not quite though.  I'm still a little bitter about how high and mighty they thought they were.  Back when the PS3 was new, there was an interview with one of the big Sony people, and the interviewer asked if they were concerned because they were putting their product out there at a fairly more expensive price than the other consoles.  Sony said "We're Sony.  People will buy our product."  Ever since then, I've had trouble supporting Sony.

Off to the next game!

So I still needed something to fill that urge.  Loot, quest grinding, character creation, etc.  So I turned to my other free MMO option:  Guild Wars.  I think I mentioned in a past blog that I finally bought Guild Wars.  It didn't really scratch the itch then, but this weekend it did.  And the funny thing about that, is that my husband started playing too over the weekend.  I'm currently working on the following toons:

Necro/Elementalist
Warrior/Monk
Paragon/(maybe monk)
Ranger/???
Assassin/???

So the game is scratching that itch, but there are things I"m still confused about.  Like how you get from the lands in one expansion to another.  And... just other stuff I guess.  But I'm enjoying it for now.

Steam, and Thank You GB!

So I just wanted to put a little blurb in here about Steam, and how Giant Bomb helped me see the light.  You see, I never had a need for Steam before.  And back when my husband got Empire: Total War and it required Steam, I thought that was one of the most ridiculous things I'd ever heard.   I was not shy about my dislike for Steam here at GB as some of you may recall.  But I will humbly admit, I was going off old (and biased) information.  I've come to love Steam, even if I hate it for the ease of buying games that sometimes I wish I didn't have.

The Top Secret Project

Last week I had made a comment about opening up a certain "business."  A few people here seemed really on board with that idea.  Well, expect to see something in the near future!  That's all I'll say for now.
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May the Fourth be with you.

No side-boob in this blog because this isn't a "Road to Mel" blog.  But there's scantily clad chicks!

I'm not really a Star Wars person.  I'd say I'm probably more of a Trekkie.  But I thought that saying for today is catchy.   So it's may 4th.  Which I guess is Star Wars day.  I never realized that until this year.   Are you much of a Star Wars person?  Gonna go home and ask the wifey/girlfriend to do up some Leia buns for you?

   

Well the "May the Fourth" thing is certainly better than fucking seeing Corona everywhere tomorrow.  (We have an office Cinco De Mayo social tomorrow.  I'm seriously hoping there's something better than beer.  Ooooh Tequila maybe?)   I don't really understand why we, as Americans, celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  It's not our holiday.  It's a Mexican holiday.  I'm not Mexican.  Pretty sure little Billy over there isn't either.

   

But most importantly (just kidding) it's my birthday.  I'm 32 this year.  Here at GB that makes me feel old.  At my office I feel like the baby of the group (everyone else is 40+).  I'm not doing anything special for my birthday, I don't think.  I just bought a new car recently, so that's basically it.  I just hope I don't have to cook dinner tonight.  And that I get some tonight.  Birthday sex is always good.  Happy birthday to me (yes, that's a very young me with a Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake).

   

It occurs to me that I already celebrated my age earlier this week... when I introduced my daughter to the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie with Kristi Swanson and Luke Perry.  I had to explain to my daughter that no, we didn't all dress like they did in that movie; that Luke Perry was our equivalent to Robert Pattinson - hair and all.  I also fully embarrassed my daughter when I started chanting along to "How funky is your chicken."



My father texted me happy birthday this morning.  To most people this isn't a big deal.  But my father and I went 17 years without seeing each other, and almost just as long without speaking to each other.  We've only just in the last year or two begun rebuilding our relationship.  It's weird, but kinda cool.

While so far it's been a good day and I'm in a good mood, there are a couple disappointing things out there.  Like how I haven't heard from my best friend since *checks texts*  April 12th.  I swear, I always lose best friends when they get new boyfriends.  Oh well.

I wanted to find more, interesting stuff to blog about, like how Canada is now contemplating suing Sony for $1 Billion.  Or how this OBL stuff has made people crazy.  But I really should try to get some work done before the lunch hour.
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7 Stages of Denial of Suckage

Some people suck at video games, and know it.  Others suck at video games and are completely blind to the fact.  They might actually be geniuses at some genres or games, and just flat out suck at others.  It's these latter types, the ones that are used to being good at what they play, that most often go through the Stages of Denial of Suckage.  The following was inspired by watching my husband and a few of his friends play Blops this weekend.  Only one of the friends hasn't grown up with the rest of us...
You sit down to play some Black Ops for the first time in the last week.  Nothing seems to go your way though.  None of your shots land, and the enemy always has the jump on you.    



Stage 1 - Blame the other players

You're much better than this.  It can't possibly be your fault that your game is going so badly.  The other players simply MUST be cheating to be getting over on you this easily.

They must be cheating!  
I bet they all have aimbots.  

I think that guy just used a lag switch on me.
They're totally hacking.


Stage 2 - Blame the hardware/software


Okay, well it probably looks silly to say that ALL of the other players are cheating.  Although some of them surely are.  But it's probably the controller.  I bet that's what it is.  Or the batteries.  This controller always did pull to the right.  And did they nerf something in the game?

My batteries must be dying, my controller won't respond right.
I press the button to shoot and nothing happens!
They totally nerfed shotguns.  That guy shoulda died in one shot.
Ohh no, maybe they made flak jacket work against shotgun spray too.
Only noobs use that fucking weapon, those fucking noobs.

Stage 3 - Blame your connection


So you changed your controller, put in fresh batteries, but things still aren't going well.  Was that a little skip there?  That must be it!  It must be the connection!

I think I'm lagging.  I'm pretty sure I'm lagging.  I must be lagging.
Is someone downloading something?
Someone make sure the cable tv is working okay.
Someone call the cable company and ask what's going on!
Maybe I need a new wireless card/adapter/ethernet cable.

Stage 4 - Go harsh on your controller


At this point you're so frustrated that you're totally harshing on your controller and don't even realize it.  We can hear you clicking that thumbstick from across the room, and we're surprised the triggers aren't stuck in a depressed position.  Your friends, if any, instantly realize that you were one of those children who threw the controller as a kid.



Stage 5 - Swear.  A lot.


Bullshit of this magnitude calls for lots of swearing, even if you don't normally swear.  After all, none of this is your fault, and it is completely unfair that it's happening to you.

What a shit load of fuck!
Cowa-fucking-piece-of-dog-shit! This game is diarrhea coming out of my dick! This game is as appealing as a fucking ooze infested dirty fucking sewer rat shit! I had more fun playing with dog turds!

It fuckin' sucks, it suckin' fucks, it fuckin' blows, it's a piece of shit, and I don't like it!

 

Stage 6 - Yell AND Swear AND bust your controller.


Because surely, if one of these didn't work alone, they will work better altogether as one. 


   
  

Stage 7 - Give up.


Fuck it.  Maybe tomorrow you'll come back and pwn face.




*** Note that some of this may have been exaggerated.  But most of this is based on real events.  Names have been withheld to protect the privacy of those in denial.
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