- Saw The Force Awakens again last night. I can see why people keep going to see it. You pick up new things each time. The friend I went with also had an interesting theory about a certain character. I don't know if he's the only one who has thought of this, but even if other fans have had this idea, it's still a neat one:

Spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens )

- Oh, and after the movie we did dinner and we ended up sitting in the lounge. The waitress actually carded me. Seriously? I still look like I'm under 25? Lady, I haven't been 25 in a while. I guess I should take this as a compliment, but it's still weird.

- Now that my Christmas knitting is done, I find myself with more time on my hands. I know that time should be used to go job hunting, but I'm just not feeling it.

- Instead, I've gotten back into my video games. I started playing Assassin's Creed: Unity. It's for the PS4, so it's a next gen game, and it looks gorgeous. The game play and the cut scenes have the same level of detail. The game was notoriously glitchy when it first came out, so hopefully they've worked out the bugs by now. The game is set during the French Revolution so I like to think I'm learning some history while I play. ;-) Actually, the French Revolution is something they teach in Canadian high schools, since Canada doesn't have a violent revolution of its own to learn about, so I should know some of this stuff already. At one point the main character is thrown into prison and I instantly knew it was the Bastille. And what do you know. The character is still there when Bastille Day happens. My cruise in May visits Paris, so if I end up touring the city, I can look for places from the game. I mean, I did the same thing in Venice and Rome last year. :-)
Finally finished Dragon Age: Inquisition last night. So that took me what? A month? A month and a week I think. According to my save files, I sunk 82 hours into the game. New record for me I think. This was me compulsively playing from start to finish, with no weeks off, so this is definitely the longest it's taken me to finish a game.

Spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition )

And despite all of the time it took me to finish the game, I'm actually ready to do another playthrough. You make a ton of choices in the game, so I want to see what happens when I make some other decisions. I always tend to play a male character on my second playthrough, mostly because my second playthrough is a showcase for my "is a big jerk and makes all of the mean decisions" character, so it's always easier to do that if I'm a guy. ;-)
- I received my five year recognition award at work today. I had completely forgotten that I had reached five years with the company. Okay, technically, I've been with the company for six years, but I was a temp back in 2008 and I didn't officially become salary until 2009. For everyone's five year award they get a watch and it's not a bad watch. It's definitely fancier than the digital watch I have. So it's nice that they still do something, especially now when the market isn't so hot and the company is looking for ways to cut costs.

- Finished another batch of books since my last post about books. Among Others, Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror, and My Real Children. I quite enjoyed Among Others, though the ending was a bit of let down. Take out the magic and fairies from the plot and the book is really just about a girl growing up and trying to navigate life. I think it's going to be the book I bring to my book club's Christmas book exchange. It's not overly fantasy so a non-fantasy reader can still enjoy it. My Real Children is by the same author as Among Others and it was all right. The only sci fi conceit in the book is that a woman remembers living two lives. I always like alternative realities, but aside from that, it's a story about family and growing old. I had issues keeping the two lives straight so maybe that's why I didn't enjoy it as much.

The Doctor Who books were all right. I managed to read all three Twelfth Doctor novels. I think the best of the bunch was The Blood Cell. The Doctor felt the most in character in that one and I didn't mind that the entire plot was told in the first person and from the point of view of the prison governor. Gave it a different spin. The Doctor really gets beat up during the course of the book, so it was odd to see him in that sort of situation, but he breaks out some Venusian aikido at one point, so clearly he can look after himself. :-) I'm working through Doctor Who: Engines of War, the War Doctor novel, and I'm not too sure about it. It has Daleks in it and it's set during the Time War, two things from the show that don't really hold my interest. But I'm only a few chapters in, so I'll give it a few more chapters before I make a judgement.

- My book club is next Saturday so it'll be nice to get a pile of real books to read. It's super convenient having books on my phone, but staring at that tiny screen is straining my eyes.

- Thankfully, all of this reading on the commute leaves me with plenty of time to play video games at home and I need every free minute to finish Dragon Age Inquisition. There's just so much to do; the side quests are practically endless. I'll think to myself, "Oh, I'll just play for half an hour" and then two hours later I'm still running around. A sign of a good game, really. :-)
- Happy 51st Whoniversary! if I had a copy of "The Day of the Doctor" handy, I'd be watching it right now.

- Next year it's New Who's 10th anniversary. Kind of hard to believe it's been ten year since the show came back. I think Moffat has said he doesn't have anything planned, but it'd be cool if they had a little something. Have the Autons back for a story or sneak in Nine somehow. It shouldn't detract from whatever Twelve is doing in the episode, but a small acknowledgement would be fun.

- On a completely different note, I stumbled upon the trailer for the Paddington Bear movie and I giggled when I saw Peter Capaldi. I knew he was in it, as Mr. Curry the mean neighbour, but reading about it and seeing actual footage are two different things. Is this Capaldi's niche? Playing grumpy guys? I'm actually kind of interested in seeing the movie purely because he's in it. See, he impressed me so much as Twelve that I will watch anything he's in. :-)

- I started playing Dragon Age Inquisition this weekend so I foresee all of my free time being dedicated to killing digital demons and hellspawn. I haven't done too much yet but I did have a good giggle when I realized that one of my party members is voiced by Gareth David Lloyd. Seems like someone at BioWare is a Torchwood fan. ;-)

Bleh

Sep. 15th, 2014 06:51 pm
locker_monster: (The Professor Doesn't Give a Damn)
- I ran into a skunk on the way to work today. It just walked out in front of me, about two metres away, and we both just stopped and looked each other. I've seen all sorts of animals walking to work - deer, hares, geese and goslings, ducks and ducklings, even two coyotes and a porcupine - but this was the first time that I stopped dead in my tracks. Oh sure, the coyotes could have bit me or something, but they started running the other way the second they saw me. This skunk just stood there for a second or two and I did not want to make the first move. Going into work smelling of eau de skunk would not be cool. And, for the record, skunks really stink. I caught just a whiff of it as it waddled off and pee-yew. They must exude that musk all the time.

- Alas, my time of running into random animals while on the walk to work is growing short. On Friday I found out my project is moving downtown to be closer to the client. First moves should start November 1. This really sucks. I live so close to work and I don't have to bother with transit. There's nothing wrong with taking transit, don't get me wrong, but when there are delays and power outages and whatnot, then it becomes really frustrating. We're not even going to the central part of downtown. The building is near the edge of downtown. And this building got flooded last year, too, and it's not the newest building to start with either. Sigh. Plus, I was told the cubicles have short walls. Really? I mean, come on! I don't have a lot of privacy in a cubicle to begin with. You want to take away what little privacy I do have?

- I suppose the only upside of the move is that I will have more time to read. It's a 30 minute train ride into the downtown core from where I live. So that's an hour, at least, each day of read time. I'm going to blow through books like no one's business.

- Playing more of Destiny. I still can't quite say what makes Destiny unique from the other first person shooters I've played. You shoot the bad guys, they drop loot, and you gain XP and/or money. The desolation of the setting reminds me of Borderlands and the weapons are like the ones in Halo and some of the building design reminds me of Mass Effect. I suppose the public events and the open world where you can run into other random gamers is a bit different. But Nathan Fillion voices a character in the game! And Gina Torres does, too! And if you play a female character, the voice actor is the same voice actor who played Wonder Woman on the Justice League cartoon. So I always have a good giggle when I hear Nathan issuing me a mission. :-)
- The summer snow continues. It had melted a bit yesterday but a fresh snowfall this morning made everything white and wet again. I regret not wearing boots this morning. My runners were soaked by the time I got to work. I guess that's mostly my fault since I walked.

For the curious, snow in late summer looks like this:

Snow in late summer. Not a pretty sight. )

- Work was also stupid today. I was stuck doing a three rush orders that took all day to get organized and by the time that one of them was ready to send out, the buyer was all fed up and went home. That really pissed me off. Dumbo was all "I've been here since 5:30 this morning and I've had to go home at 3:30 for the past two days so I'm leaving now." Boo frickin' hoo. I always get into work before this buyer and I stay later than he does so he has nothing to complain about. The procurement manager also disappeared on me so when I was sending everything out there was no one to consult when I ran into an issue. Grr...

- The only bright spot to my day? My new Playstation 4 showed up today! I got the Destiny bundle so I have a new game to play. I can take out my frustrations by shooting aliens in the face.

- Should be warmer tomorrow. I might even wear my femme!Eleven coat. Because, really, it's the only highlight I can think of regarding this weather.
- Happy birthday, Canada. You're 147 years old. You don't look a day over 140. ;-)

- It's such an awkward day to have a stat holiday, though. The middle of the week. A lot of people at work were smart and took yesterday off to get an extra long weekend but I was one of the suckers who went in to work. Actually, I kind of didn't have a choice in the matter since I was covering for the other admin who's on vacation right now, but I'm also saving my vacation days for September. It was a very slack day, though, which was nice. It was quiet in the office and there wasn't much to do, so I sort of just sat there and wrote and read a book on my phone.

- As for celebrating today, well, I usually don't do anything. Much easier to stay inside. Ironically, I have been playing Assassin's Creed III today, which is set during the American Revolution. So, so much for Canadian content on Canada Day (though the game was developed by Ubisoft Montreal). I think if the game had been set in Canada during the 1860s, it'd be a very boring game. There would be no battles or assassinations; just sitting in rooms listening to men talk and debate.

- Doctor Who is back on August 23. I'm excited to see Peter Capaldi in action. I wish the BBC would release a decent trailer though. Come on, show us some footage!

- Speaking of Doctor Who, I have found myself putting together a new Doctor Who cosplay. I had sort of promised myself I wouldn't do any new costumes after I bought the femme!Eleven coat, but I got talking to the Seven cosplayer from the local group and I ended up committing myself as Ace for the next comic book expo. So, I've started work on Ace's jacket. It's an easy costume; the hard part is just finding all of the patches, pins, and buttons. It's fun, though. You kind of get a rush when you find an exact match on eBay or wherever. I should be done everything before Halloween so I'll have a chance to test it out before April for the expo.

-Oh, and The Flash pilot got leaked online. Let's just say I'm looking forward to October. :-)
Oh, Diablo, how I've missed thee.

I think it's safe to say that Diablo formed my love for video games. It was the first major game, that wasn't educational, that I really loved and played to bits. Sadly, I eventually moved away from PC gaming to console gaming, so I missed out when Diablo III came out.

Well, thank goodness Blizzard decided to port over the game to the consoles. :-D I started playing today and it's just like old times. Got me my Barbarian and I'm just hacking my way through demons and zombies, picking up gold and loot as I go. And I'm a lady Barbarian, too, though for some reason that means I barely have any clothes, even when I equip better armour. Oh well.

So far, the controls aren't bad. I'm not lamenting the loss of my mouse and keyboard. You can equip at least six skills, so that's pretty awesome. Regardless, I'm a Barbarian so my fighting style doesn't involve much finesse. Your inventory looks good, too, but I haven't collected enough loot to see if it's better or worse. I'm sure I'll reach a point where I run out of room. It's inevitable. This is Diablo after all.

Can't wait to play some multiplayer. I didn't do too much of it, only managed a little bit with Diablo II, but I'm sure it'll be as awesome as I remember.

So I know how I'm spending my weekend.
It was a dash to the finish, but I made it! I finished my Halloween costume on time for Halloween. With a day to spare! Whew. Now I can take a break and catch up on my video games and TV shows.

So for those playing at home, that's two costumes in 39 days. A humongous thanks to my mom for helping out with the sewing. I never would have finished on time if it hadn't been for her.

And a pic of the finished product:

Pictures and costume details behind the cut )

A few people at the party recognized my costume but only because they were fellow gamers or their kids play the game. There was one guy on the casino staff where the party was held who also recognized the costume and as I was leaving for the night I heard a guy or girl in the parking lot mention Assassin's Creed so they must have recognized the costume, too. Mostly people thought I was a ninja, Robin Hood, a warrior of some type, or an Arab. Um, some of those guesses are close, but I still shook my head.

There was a costume contest at the party but, sadly, I didn't win. Some guy dressed up like a zombie Michael Jackson won, which I thought was kind of lame. I saw way better costumes than his. I guess being something recognizable helps. :-P

Anyway, for a costume that I made from scratch, I think it turned out pretty good. But next time I want to do some cosplay, I'm sticking to clothing based costumes.
So I've decided on a Halloween costume. Instead of choosing the costume I've already made or the costume that would be easy to make, I have chosen the costume that is hard to make. Yup, no one ever said I was smart. ;-)

For those playing along at home, that means I'm doing the Altaïr costume from Assassin's Creed:

Slight setback though. I had planned to use a Halloween costume for the base of the design but after buying the costume I found it to be very large and very cheap. The material was thin and it felt weird and scratchy. So, I have scrapped that plan. Plan B now involves buying fabric and actually sewing the tunics and the hood. Thank goodness it's a simple design but I'm still going to need my mother's help with this. And I'm making two of these. My sister wants a costume for Halloween, too. With 40 days until Halloween, I'm going to need all the help I can get.

While I plan a fabric run for next weekend, I've been making prop weapons this weekend. I'm using foam board for the first time and it's going all right, I suppose. It's not that easy to cut through I'm finding but maybe I'm just doing it wrong. I've made two short blades and a handful of throwing knives so far. I had planned to spray paint them but it was super windy today and I didn't want stuff blowing away while I waited for things to dry. There was no way I was doing spray paint inside, either. Hopefully the weather calms down at some point.

I'm planning on making the sword next. Still have no idea how to do the scabbard, but maybe it can be a leather sheath instead of a hard kind of casing. I keep finding tutorials on how to make the sword and they've been great, but no one has covered how to make the scabbard. I am tempted to buy a plastic sword from a Halloween store, but I'm trying to keep my budget as low as possible.

In the end, I'm a "good enough" cosplayer. If the end product looks somewhat close to the actual costume, then it's good enough for me. :-) I'll leave the really awesome cosplay to the hardcore cosplayers.
So it's coming up on fall soon and for me that means I should start thinking about Halloween costumes. A friend holds a Halloween party every year so I always have to come up with something. I suppose I could skip the party and not come up with a costume, but that's not as fun. ;-)

Anyway, just some random costume options and thoughts:

- Kaylee from Firefly. I made her coveralls for the comic book expo this year and they turned out rather well, I think, so this would be a good opportunity to wear the costume again. Plus, I know a few people would recognize who I'm supposed to be. Double plus, I wouldn't have to buy anything else so no need to run around like a maniac to make it.

- Katniss from The Hunger Games. I considered doing her costume for a short time last year. I actually did some research and sketched out the design on her jacket. And then I went on a vacation which cut down on my construction time. But it is a super easy costume. Black v-neck t-shirt, cargo-esque pants, black boots, and a dark hooded jacket. Accessories: mockingjay pin (which I already own), a bow, and some arrows. The bow and arrows I could make with cheap materials like cardboard and duct tape. My god, I love cardboard and duct tape. The two of them together is so versatile. My friends have all read the series so they would definitely recognize the costume.

- Altaïr from Assassin's Creed. I've been playing the first Assassin's Creed game a lot lately and maybe staring at Altaïr's backside for hours on ending is getting to me, but I'm kind of tempted to do this costume for Halloween. I really don't know why I want to dress up like a male assassin, but I think I would be fun.

Further thoughts about the costume )

That's it for now. I could do some Doctor Who cosplay again, I have a few options I could throw together, but I've done a Who costume a couple of times now and it'd be good to switch it up.

Suggestions would be awesome, too. There are probably easy fandom costumes that I'm overlooking.
- I've been so exhausted from work lately. Not physically, but mentally. There's so much crap going on with this data entry that I do. Office politics, very little support, and so much apathy from the engineering departments. I'd give it up, but then I'd be leaving my co-worker in a bind and he totally doesn't deserve that. I just want to get away from it all for a little bit; thank goodness I'm going on vacation in November. Speaking of which...

-I'll be in London in November. Anyone know what the weather is like then? Online, it says the mean high temperature for London in November is around 8 degrees Celsius. That's downright balmy when compared to home. We can get into the minuses around that time of year and we get snow, too. I'm under the impression that London doesn't get a lot of snow. I mean, if it does snow, no big deal, but do I pack snow boots just in case? Or do I just bring shoes? What if my feet get cold? And do I bring a winter jacket? I've never travelled during the winter before.

-Broadchurch has started airing in North America, so I thought I would start watching. Obviously the only reason I wanted to watch was because of David Tennant and Arthur Darvill, but the show's not that bad. It's so serious, though. I'm used to my dramas having a bit of humour in them. The accents are also throwing me a little. I'm not sure where Broadchurch is supposed to be situated in England, but the accents kind of remind me of Newfoundland accents. I'm almost near the end and I still can't decide who the killer is. I want to think it's someone you don't expect, but a part of me wonders if they went with something obvious. And the show is just chock full of former Doctor Who people.

-Since work is being annoying, I've been playing Assassin's Creed II a lot. It was a free download and that was the main reason I got it, but turns out the premise is really neat and it's fun running around on the rooftops of cities in Renaissance Italy. Assassinating virtual people also helps to relieve stress. With the way missions and side quests are set up, you can do a bunch in a short amount of time, so it's really easy to get lost in the game. I usually think to myself, "Oh, I have time for just one more mission..." and suddenly it's an hour later. And I can see why guys cosplay as the main character Ezio. His costume is pretty bad ass. I'm in the process of getting the first game if only so I can understand more of the backstory.

- I want my TV shows to come back soon. I need some mindless brain candy.
Hmm, I like this "working from home" deal. I'm in sweatpants and a hoodie and I'm checking emails. Too bad most of my job requires me to be actually present at a desk or I would do this all the time.

One plus side to staying home? E3 is on right now and I'm checking out all of the coverage. As much as I like my Xbox 360, I'm not hearing wonderful things about the Xbox One. Suddenly, a PlayStation 4 is kind of appealing. At the same time, I don't know if I want to jump console ships. If only there were games I was super looking forward to. That would help with the decision making. I'm interested in the next Dragon Age game for sure, but that's it really.

My sister did send me the link for the Destiny gameplay demo at E3:


I have to admit that it does look pretty cool. Sprawling sci-fi world, co-op, and lots of guns! My sister described it as a cross between Mass Effect and Borderlands. Yup, that looks pretty accurate. It's from the same guys who did Halo (the original ones before Halo 4). I only ever played Halo ODST extensively, but that was very put together, so Bungie certainly knows their stuff.

I feel like playing video games now, but I also feel like I should be working. I wonder how everyone's getting on without me...
This totally made my day:

Diablo III To Hit Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on September 3

I'm a console gamer, but I'm a big Diablo fan from way back when. It was the first PC game, that wasn't educational, that I played heavily so it'll be great to get back into that universe. It'll be weird to play it without a mouse and keyboard and hopefully the port goes well, but from what I've been reading, the controls aren't bad. And with my gameplay style, which basically consists of running into a crowd and hacking and slashing everything to death, it really doesn't matter how great the controls are. Button mashing, all the way. ;-)

I think my love for tank characters stems from Diablo. I finished the game as a hack-everything-to-bits Warrior, not the kills-from-a-distance Rogue or the wimpy-in-the-health-department Sorcerer. I remember being disappointed that a Warrior wasn't allowed to hold a sword in either hand. Then along came Diablo II and the Barbarian and hello! Dual wield, baby! I went through most of that game just a whirlwind of swords. Makes me happy that the Barbarian is a class again in Diablo III and that you can choose your gender, too. I know what class I'm choosing when the game arrives.

All of the articles I've read about the port mention the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360 and even possibly the PlayStation 4, but nothing about the new Xbox One. Personally, I'd rather not have to buy another Xbox just to play a game, but at the same time, I know all of the newer games will be on the new console. If I want to keep up, I will have to buy an Xbox One at some point. We'll see.
So around this time last year I was heavily into playing Mass Effect 3. Despite all the hubbub around the ending, I really enjoyed the game and I was a little sad that Shepard's story was over.

Well, leave it to BioWare to release one last DLC on the game's anniversary. One last good-bye to the video gaming world's best female character (or male character if that's your choice). It took me two days to download the thing, but it was worth it.

Spoilers for Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC )

Man, I'm going to miss Mass Effect. I mean, I'm sure I'll play the entire series over again from time to time, but it's never going to beat my first play-through.
Well, I'm off on my vacation tomorrow. Yes, that's two vacations in one year for those playing at home. ;-) This one was planned first, though. This will be my fourth cruise, but it's a new cruise company, so I'm not quite sure what to expect. Well, I expect a lot of eating; that's always a given.

And it will be so nice to get away from work. I wasn't super busy or anything, but doing the same thing over and over again can get a little tiresome. Also, I can get away from my co-workers. They aren't annoying, but there are some days where it's tempting to tell them to go bug someone else for a few minutes. I don't expect things to fall apart while I'm gone, but every time I go away, I always get the sense that no one really knows how to do anything. It's job security, sure, but you can't always rely on one person. I'm sure I'll have a nice pile of work when I get back.

As for missing Doctor Who, well, I'll survive I guess. It's just that I've really grown fond of Rory as a character and of Amy and Rory as a couple. I don't want to see them go, but that's the nature of the show. Companions come and go.

Also, I wish I hadn't started a new video game just days before my vacation. Borderlands 2. So addictive. I'm going to be so behind the rest of my friends when I get back. Oh well.

See you guys in a couple of weeks!
12 days. Beats my time for the last Mass Effect game. I blame marathon sessions on the weekends.

Oh man, I've been playing this series since the beginning so it's hard to put into words what I'm thinking right now. I suppose it's like any trilogy. The character went on a journey, you followed them through all of the hardships, and now the journey is over. I have to say that the last game was one heck of a ride.

Spoilers for Mass Effect 3. Don't click if you haven't finished the game. )

In total, I say I put in around 30 hours of gameplay, not counting any multiplayer. I'm so ready to play it again with my other Shepard if only to see how different choices affect the end.

But first, I need to take a walk. I'm so close to achieving 1,000,000 steps.
Oh yeah, got my hands on a copy of Mass Effect 3! Not that I'm a chatterbox or anything, but I'm going to be really quiet for next few weeks. Oh man, good-bye productivity.

I should go.
Whoo, one week until Mass Effect 3 is released! I can't wait. I foresee a lot of weekends where I won't be moving away from my TV.



I really like the live action trailer they did. Made by the people at The Mill, the FX house that works on Doctor Who. If they ever make a live action Mass Effect TV show, The Mill should be the ones to do the special effects.

Work hasn't been that great lately, so it'll be great to take out my frustrations on invading aliens bent on destroying Earth.
Yay, less than a month until Mass Effect 3 is released! Have a Fem!Shep trailer:



This is part of the reason why I love Mass Effect so much. They do give the option to play a female version of the main character and it doesn't change the story at all. Jane Shepard is just as kick ass as John Shepard. Actually, more so, in my opinion. :-D And I just love that BioWare is marketing Fem!Shep now. There are girl gamers out there, too.

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