Monday, January 4, 2010

Holiday Crush

Well, the holidays are over. I had a really good Christmas this year, got lots of fun stuff like a new Food Processor and a little Acer NetBook from Ben, various video games, a cool rip-apart Zombie plushie and some cash, as well as other fun stuff.
Christmas day was a blizzard, but my mom, dad and brother stopped by for festivities (soup and vegetable tray and my dad brought his snow blower and cleaned our driveway for us). Ben's mom and aunt weren't able to make it, so we got in Ben's 4-wheel drive Jeep and drove down to his mom's place for Christmas. She got us new office chairs, which we literally loaded on sleds and slid them down the snow-filled stairs to the car.
For New Years Eve, we went to HuHot with our friends Becky and Kevin. I wasn't that impressed, to be honest. I usually eat at Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill down in Kansas City when I visit BenW, and I LOVE that place, so I couldn't help but compare the two and GKMG wins, hands down. Afterwards, Becky and Kevin came over and we just hung out and chatted about nothing until the new year rang. Ben went to bed shortly after, and Becky was tuckered so she and Kevin left fairly early as well. But it was fun and low key, which is usually how I like to roll.
On New Years day (night) we went over to our friend's Jason and Meagan's new house and had a game night with various yummy food (the Amazing White Trash Puff Balls truly were amazing) and fun games (A-Z was fun, I won my very first game of Settlers of Katan [of which I've played before, but never won] and played Things [which is more fun with more people])
Saw a couple of movies over the break. Sherlock Holmes was pretty good, and I thought it was funny that I didn't figure out the twist which should have been very obvious but in the context of the movie was very hard to realize. Avatar in 3d was also really good, a lot better than I expected it to be, but I didn't have any expectations so it made it all the more awesome when it did turn out to be as great as everyone said it was.
The snow has been crazy! Our driveway hasn't been devoid of snow since early December, which is odd since we haven't had any significant snowfall around the holidays since I was a kid. If I had a sled, I probably would have more fun outside, but I don't, so I haven't.
The coming year has quite a few video games to play (thanks to Christmas). I finally finished Bowser's Inside Story last night, so I can start playing Zelda: Spirit Tracks that my bro got me for Christmas. I also got the first Uncharted game (since I played the second one first and loved it, I asked for the first one and look forward to more of cutie Nathan Drake and his treasure hunting), and the God of War collection (which BenW wants me to play since he knows I'll pick up the upcoming third title when it's released). Lastly, I received Rock Band 2, so hopefully more Rock Band nights will happen in 2010.

I don't have any New Year's Resolutions this year. I'd like to quit smoking, I'd like to go to the gym more often, and I'd like to get more done on the house. But I guess we'll see how that turns out as the year progresses.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dystopian Fiction and the Italian Renaissance

I finished Year of the Flood today during my almost-daily Starbuck's lunch. It ended pretty much the same way Oryx and Crake did, which I guess is ok with me. I think Year of the Flood will stick with me a little longer, if only because I liked the God's Gardener's a lot more than Jimmy and Glenn and Oryx from the first book. I hope Atwood continues on with this "series" of books.
When I get a chance, I'm going to check out the book's website, apparently she commissioned a musician to put the God's Gardener's Oral Hymnbook to music, and I'm intrigued as to how they might sound as songs, rather than the poems they appear to be when read. There might be some MaddAddam stuff there too, which would be awesome.

I've also been playing Assassin's Creed II quite religiously. It's just as fun as all the creepy trailers and gameplay videos have made it out to be. I think I'm about 60% done, and man is the game overwhelming! (but in a good way) There's so much more to do, compared to the first game, and not nearly the amount of repetition. I think I liked Altair more than Ezio, but pish posh, both games are great. If the rumored movie actually happens, though, it'd be a crime if Kristen Bell didn't reprise her role of Lucy. I'm sure there would be much fan outcry if the role was recast.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Novels and Nonsense Riddles and Nathan Drake

Quick Update on books and video games

I finally finished The Historian, after approximately 4 years and 3 stabs at it, but I finally did it and I'm so glad I did. The ending (even if Dracula only pops up for about 50 pages in a 675 page book) was totally worth it. All the reveals and reunions and the stunningly described imagery of EVERYTHING made this totally worth the effort, the wait and the stress involved in reading it. Do as I say, not as I do. The book is worth reading, even if my actions made it seem like it wasn't.

After finishing The Historian, I immediately picked up a trashy gay mystery novel (First You Fall by Scott Sherman) to pass the time and finished it in a day and a half. Such is the extent of my ADD brain when it comes to books. The novels I feel I should read and truly want to read take me a lifetime. Those that are twee and flights of fancy between my more serious reads take complete control of my spare time until I'm finished with them. Ah well. In the end, the book wasn't as trashy as I expected it to be, and since it's part of an ongoing series, I can't wait for the second title to come out!

I also completed Batman: Arkham Asylum, which I believe is probably the best that Batman has been put to the video game screen, ever. Both dark and humorous, with tons of awesome visuals and a maddeningly satisfying Riddler sidequest make for great gaming experience. Also, it has one of my favorite characterizations of (and a leading villain role) for my favorite of the Rogues Gallery, Miss Pamela Lillian Isely...Poison Ivy if you're nasty. Again, with the ADD. It took me three to four months to finish Silent Hill: Homecoming, and only about a week to finish this game. Again, I say ah well.

Started playing Uncharted 2: Among Thieves last night, something to keep me busy between now and next week when Assassin's Creed II comes out, of which I plan to play the hell through. I must say, Nathan Drake is probably one of the cutest video game protagonists I've played as. One could even call him smokin' hot, if those terms apply to VG characters. (sidenote: I thought (and Ben doesn't agree) that he looks strikingly similar to Alex Shephard from Silent Hill: Homecoming, a character I thought was kind of odd looking, but that could be because he was programmed that way (lame Jessica Rabbit reference))

Still waiting to be finished? Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story on my DS. I need to get back to it, but lately my lunch breaks at Starbucks have involved reading, so there hasn't been a good opportunity to sit down with it for any period of time. Eventually, though.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Vince and I had a ghost hunting adventure last night that was a total bust. We tried finding two places in Bellevue (Jewell Park and Bellevue Cemetery) but couldn't seem to find either one. Disheartened, we headed to Papillion to the Papillion Cemetery on Giles and it was total lamesauce. It's up on a hill overlooking 84th street and Giles, so it was brightly lit and noisy because of the traffic. I took some pictures though to see if we could get any spots, but nothing showed up in the viewscreen. Maybe something will pop-up when I upload them to my PC later.
We headed towards midtown and stopped at Bohemian Cemetary and found the creepiness. Lots of graves with creepy stone gollums/women and it was dark, which helped with the ambiance. We tried using my Ouija board on one of the graves, but nothing was happening. One last stop at Lynch Park for nothing more than an out-of-batteries camera and a rabbit making noise, and the haunted Omaha trip was dunzo.
It was definitely a lot of fun, if just for something different to do. Ben was kinda miffed because I didn't invite him on the "adventure", but I just figured he'd be too scared to go or that it wouldn't interest him. Next time I will know better!

And, I let Vince borrow the Ouija board for his own creepy house, and apparently something happened because his lights went out. And his roommate threw a fit about it being in the house. Some people are so small minded, for sure.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hello again, have we met?

I feel like my life is on media overload. Sometimes I wonder what it was like to live in a world without music at my fingertips, video games, DVRs, movie theaters, books and new ebook readers on which to read them, etc. It just seems like so much, and it's stressing me out. But I guess if that's all I'm worrying about, my life can't be going too bad, right?

Our Tivo is always full now, I still need to scale back on the shows I watch, I think. Heroes specifically. We've got 7 hours worth of episodes (haven't watched a single one this season) and I'm ok with that. It was never my fave, and with so many to watch it's easier to be blase about the show and just give up.

I'm still reading The Historian, it's been like 4 months, but I have progressed farther than I did the first time I tried to read it several years ago. I still vow to finish it, and won't start a new book until it's done. It's not that I don't like it, just so much media! (re: above)

In other news, our house is shaping up nicely. In the past several months we've put on a new deck, gotten a new toilet and dishwasher, and generally made it a little more liveable in the process. It's nice to see how the house looks now, considering how it looked when we first moved in. It's a nice feeling. Still on the docket is new fixtures in the bathroom shower and fixing a phantom leak/drip behind our kitchen wall that has been driving us (mostly me) nuts. There's also finishing the driveway extension and drywalling/finishing off the basement with a laundry room/bathroom and a nice storage area. Part of me just wants to tear out all the walls in the basement and reconstruct in as we see fit, I'd kill for some more space down there, considering how big our furniture is.

I'm liking my job, but at almost five years in I'm wondering if it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. I don't know if I want to head back to school and learn a trade or get a laptop and try my hand at writing. God knows, though, I'll still be at Barnes and Noble, no matter what I do.

Well, here's hoping I keep the entries coming.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why does this always happen?

Sucks. I get on a good run of blog posts, and then bam, I slack off, it's a month later, and I feel lazy for not updating.

In a nutshell:
I worked
I went to KC to see Watchmen
I finished Dead Space
I got Resident Evil 5 and thoroughly enjoy it, even though I overpaid for the crappy collector's edition
Been totally getting into Dollhouse
Watched the finale of Battlestar Galactica and was blown away
Debating on dropping a few more TV shows that don't do anything for me anymore, like Heroes and Sarah Conner Chronicles.

That's about it. I need some more excitement in my life, then maybe my blog would be updated more often.

'Til next time

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Somewhat busy weekend

This weekend was a pretty good one. Although we didn't do our separate movie plan on Friday (He was going to see Shopaholic, I was going to see Friday the 13th) because of the snow, the rest of the weekend was quite fun, including Valentine's Day! Ben enjoyed his gifts, and felt bad that he wasn't able to get me anything as great as he did last year.
We had a wonderful sushi dinner at Sakura Bana (with pretty much every hipster kid in Omaha). I even tried "real" sushi, rather than California Rolls. They were called Tijuana Rolls, and had cilantro, tuna and pickled jalapeno, with the rice and seawead. They were good, I was suprised I couldn't even taste the fish.
We also bought a new dishwasher from the Mart (which is being delivered today), had some coffee at Barnes and then swung through World Market and got a vase and a pretty snazzy new candleholder for the bathroom.

On Sunday, I downloaded PixelJunk Monsters (a tower defense game with pigmis, I guess) and we've been playing that quite a bit. It's nice to have a game that we can both enjoy.

I started back up on Dead Space last night too, and am halfway through Chapter 2. I normally don't get freaked out too easily, but I can't play that game for long periods of time alone in the dark, otherwise I think there are things crawling on the ceiling or hiding in my cupboards, waiting to grab me, heh. Fun game though, and it'll keep me busy until RE5 comes out.

My manager accepted my leave request for the beginning of March, and I can't wait to see Watchmen in KC! On IMAX!