Monday, April 28, 2014

Way to go, cupcake!

My little Cthulhu man is complete!

He wasn't nearly as difficult as I was expecting, considering it's my second crochet project ever. I must say I love crocheting techniques (maybe more than knitting..!) Have to come up with my next project :)

Had lunch outside on this gorgeous lake one day last week. I love it here :)

This past Saturday night there was a fundraising event going on in Oak Ridge. Two people from my office were unable to go, so they were giving away their tickets. I quickly snatched them up, since I already had plans to hang out with Michelle I thought it'd be something fun we could go to together. Met up at her house beforehand to get ready. Anyone who knows me (all 2 of you reading this blog), knows I'm not a particularly girly-girl. I've never "done-up" my hair, and I definitely never wear makeup (unless it's Halloween, and even then it's been years.) Michelle took this opportunity to be the "master of all girl things" for the night, and we went through the works! She took me through curling my hair, and putting on make-up from base, to eye shadow stuff, and even to mascara. It was quite the learning experience :D

Photo for proof!

We had a blast hanging out. The fundraiser was pretty neat. Played a little roulette, ate some good food, and even participated in the silent auction (aka bidding on bottles of wine for a mere $5!) Afterward, we headed back to her place to enjoy some random television shows. It's crazy to find someone else who watches some of the same junk TV that I do!

Landed a beta spot for Wildstar this weekend as well. My cousin Kyle hadn't been too terribly excited over it when he was in beta a few weekends ago, so I wasn't expecting much. However, I am so glad that I got the opportunity to play... I love it! The styling pulled me in immediately- it's very Torchlight 2 / Ratchet and Clank. Within the first 10 minutes of me playing, there was a Warehouse 13 reference. I mean come on! How can I not love this?

The classes are fun and varied, gave each one a shot until level 5-ish. My favourites were spell slinger (kind of like a dual pistol-wielding sharpshooter) and the stalker (rogue.) Warrior would most likely be a close third. The esper (mage), medic (gunning healer), and engineer (assault guns) were okay, but not the best. On top of selecting a class, you also get to pick from one of four paths (settler, soldier, scientist, and explorer.) These offer you additional quests and objectives as you travel around. They also allow you to unlock different environment-manipulating options. For example, settlers can raise different buffing stations and NPCs like vendors in random locations. Scientists are able to unlock secret doors that normally lead to lore items. The variety in the classes and paths is a nice change. They seemed to have done a number over on professions, as well. The system, from what little I saw, was unlike any other game's I've seen thus far; particularly with cooking.

Outside of the Warehouse 13 reference, the scripting and voice acting in general is hilarious. The game doesn't take itself seriously, and it's perfect for me in that aspect. The first level-up congratulations took me by surprise: "Oh shi-, you leveled up! Way to go, cupcake!" So awesome :)

So, I enjoyed my little bit of time in the beta so much, I went to Gamestop yesterday and pre-ordered it. w00t! :)

Deadlight is free on XBox for Gold users this month. GO GET IT.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Can I pay you in Mudkips?

Mike surprised me with a visit up to Knoxville this weekend. Well, sort of surprised me. He wasn't going to tell me, but ended up giving me a heads-up on Monday or Tuesday. Gave me time to ask to work from home Friday so I could spend more time with him :)

The last time I saw him was when I visited Gainesville on Pi Day. I brought with me key lime pie, which it turns out Mike doesn't like, so I was determined to bake him his favorite the next time he visited. So Thursday before he arrived, I baked him a dutch apple pie :D

Friday we just relaxed around the house while I worked. Ended up going out for Indian food for dinner. He had never eaten Indian cuisine before, and I was happy that he enjoyed it :D I love me some chicken tikka masala flosho.

Saturday we headed over to Gatlinburg, aka tiny traffic Orlando town XD Just wandered around looking into shops... until we realized every block had 2 of the exact same shops on it. Quite literally, they were all named the same, all had the same goods (either crummy t-shirts, an assortment of swords and airsoft guns, a photobooth front, or a peddler's store), it was quite strange. He did drag me into a moonshine store and got me to do the free tasters :o I've never had moonshine before, although I had the opportunity to drink some at Greg's wedding. Their stuff was probably a bit less legal than what they were selling in the store ;) It wasn't bad, but I didn't care for the unflavored samples. I'm not a fan of shooting straight liquor so :P The flavored types weren't bad. Could probably drink the lemonade flavor all day, haha!

After we ditched the city, we headed into the smokies for a bit of outdoors wandering. Made our way down a little hiking path to a waterfall. It was gorgeous :D Thought it was amusing that they actually had signs bolted to the cliff side to notify individuals that there was a drop off in front of them. /eyeroll

This bear needs to cover-up! I mean, out in public like this, really??

We slept-in Sunday, and he left after french toast time. Spent the rest of the day playing the free XBox game (Deadlight). It's not bad. Seems rather short. I've had it on my Steam wishlist for awhile now, so I was glad to see if come up on XBox. Should have it beaten in the next day or two.

Retro City Rampage was on sale for 99 cents on Steam, so of course I had to check that out. The video made it look good enough to spend that little on it XD (Like I need more games tho...) Mike told me I need to get down to business and finally beat Mass Effect 2 :P I guess I'll do that next, although A Wolf Among Us episode 3 just came out. Not that it will take me long to go through that :d

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Monochromatic Magic

I finally taught myself how to crochet! It's not as terribly difficult as I was expecting. Made my first cowl, too. Just in time for summer weather ;P

I didn't keep tension proper throughout, I don't think. Which made one end come out smaller than the other. Kind of a cool effect, perhaps? Depending on which way one would wear it, I suppose. Especially if you are going for the dog cone look :)

Looking forward to taking this skill to the amigurimi level :D I always thought it'd be fun to make various little creatures for people as gifts. I have only ever made one successfully, and that was a Mog for Kaitlyn years ago. That was also knit rather than crochet. I think this will be my first venture :)

Mike and I have picked TORMMO (aka SWTOR) back up again, just to experience the Republic side of the main quest line. I'm quite disappointed in what they've done to the game since turning it F2P. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate being able to go through alternative story lines without having to pay to play, but instead of using the subscription portion of the system to encourage free players to pay they punish you repeatedly.

You enter a cantina? An intrusive message splashes across your screen, "ONLY SUBSCRIBED PLAYERS EARN RESTED EXPERIENCE." You hit level 20? Every time you complete a quest they notify you that you are earning experience at a reduced rate. Loot or earn an epic quality item? Guess what, you can't wear it. Oh, and I hope you don't want to be able to afford any of your skills, including mount training (which subscribers get 10 levels earlier- they don't let you forget!), because any credit box quest reward is withheld. You can't even have 3 professions! They limit you to 2.

Rather than making it enticing to pay to play (like Rift), it's terribly more frustrating. Instead of going "oh yeah, I think I like this enough to pay for it", I get the feeling I'll be so irritated with the game I'll quit instead of continue onward.

So I finally found a reusable K-cup that I can use in my Keurig. I don't have one of those fancy newer machines, so the traditional reusable K-cup that everyone mentions doesn't work with my machine. I've got an old Mr. Coffee model that isn't produced anymore. However, I have a feeling that my Keurig is finally dying :( It gets super hot, melts half the top of traditional K-cups sometimes, and makes my coffee taste like plastic. Sigh. At least it was something Mom won forever ago. I think I'm going to pick up a small 4-cup traditional drip brewer at Walmart today. At least I can still use my reusable K-cup with the Keurig at work. Money not wasted, woo!

Went out with work peeps for drinks Friday night. Made our way to a little secret speakeasy in the downtown area called Peter Kerns Library. Was really small, but awesome! Their menus were glued to the inside of encyclopedia volumes, and every drink was categorized into different book genres, and named after a variety of characters. This was the most appreciated by me :)

It's spring time, right outside my porch!

Random kitten shots (it's been awhile, right?)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I turn red lines into green kittens

Sarah had a weekend off from her crazy jet-setting new lifestyle and flew in to hang out with me! :) Did a lot of catching up. Had some delicious foods, beers, and enjoyed some great local punk/ska music.

Mike and I both picked up the Diablo 3 expansion Reaper of Souls. It's been terribly fun, and I think it revived a previously dead, sub-par game. Yes, I would consider RoS the phoenix of D3. Definitely worth picking up!

Been going out with JR and Liz every once in awhile, even spent a night in with Liz last week. She's an awesome person! Also, a fabulous cook :) We had a blast just chatting for several hours, even despite missing out on our own plans to go out to see Cutthroat Shamrock. Oh well, they'll be back again some time!

Got an invite to meet-up with 2 old WoW friends in Nashville next Thursday to see a symphony concert comprised of Final Fantasy music. I got approval from my boss for the days off, but now it looks like they aren't going. Sigh :(

I'm determined to get back into Japanese. Every day I come home from work though, I've spent so much time dealing with challenges or learning that I just don't feel up to it. One day I will though. Lots of vocabulary to get back.

I don't even want to get up in the mornings. It's not that normal "blarg, I don't want to go to work feeling" that everyone gets, particularly on Mondays. It's even on weekends. The progressive loneliness of being without my significant other has been rather magnanimous as of late. /ssde