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February 5th, 2014

03:07 pm
So I found out what happens when you enter the shrines in Final Fantasy I--you enter a GBA-only dungeon. There's four of them, and one of them is HUGE. Forty floors! You get to fight bosses from other Final Fantasy games. It effectively doubles the playtime of the game.

I'm running out of games to play. I finished Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Had only 5 hours left to play on it. I still need to finish FFIV. After that, I'm not sure what I'll do.

In other news, I've been crocheting and knitting a lot. I finished a baby blanket for my newest nephew recently. We left the baptism party before my sister opened gifts, though, so I don't know how she liked it. I worry about what I'm going to do when I run out of yarn. How am I going to keep busy then?

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(Take an adventure with me)

January 13th, 2014

03:38 pm - preemptive strike!
I've been playing a lot of Final Fantasy games lately.

Final Fantasy: Played this in one sitting, overnight on a night when I had coffee and couldn't sleep. It went much easier than my first playthrough, probably because I was playing the GBA version. I'm wondering if the walkthrough I used left things out, like what happens if you go through the doors in the shrines? So I'm going to play it again and explore. I actually already started a game with four white mages for the challenge of it, but got my ass kicked by the Psychodemons, so will likely start again with a better team.

Final Fantasy II: I wrote a walkthrough for it. Except the bosses were rather easy (again, playing the GBA version) so I have no good strategy notes for them, which means the walkthrough is garbage. I'm now playing Soul of Rebirth, which is hard. I fear I won't have enough ethers to last me the rest of the game. Should that happen, I'll likely restart it, this time taking the time to train up my characters some.

Final Fantasy IV: I'm in the final dungeon. I found this game difficult at times, but I liked the story. I'll probably try to finish it once I finish tinkering with FFII.

Final Fantasy V: I loved the job class system so much I played the game twice, so that I could max out all the jobs in the second playthrough. I even got the 3 GBA jobs. The story is solid, too. I beat Omega, but chickened out on trying Shinryu - something to do for the next time. I also need to try the GBA dungeon.

Final Fantasy VI: Like FFVII, I felt this game was a bit overhyped. I did like it quite a bit, but... well, I had heard people like it better than VII so I was expecting something amazing, and it failed to live up to that for me. What I did really appreciate is how each character had a backstory that was explained. I need to play this again, because I missed some things, like getting Mog as soon as you can get him and saving Shadow.

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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

(Take an adventure with me)

June 11th, 2013

10:58 am - Epic post is epic, part IV: Final Fantasy XV
The big news is that Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been rebranded and is now known as Final Fantasy XV. Except this isn't actually that big of news as it's been rumored that this would happen for at least a month now.

But! The official announcement came with a new trailer, OMG! About time, as it's been four years since my original write-up of the teaser and first trailer, and two years since the last trailer was released.

Here it is. Watch!

trailer break-downCollapse )

The music draws less attention than in the first two trailers, but is still just as epic. I get the sense that like the others, it was arranged just for this trailer. I need the soundtrack to this game!

The trailer solidifies what we've already deduced from the teaser and first trailer. Noctis is a prince. He has some sort of mystical connection with Stella (they both see the light). The bad guys are after the crystal, and want to kill Noct. So, there's not really anything new here... except for a few new faces. Those are umbrella guy (evil), brown-haired guy (ally?), and black-haired woman (unknown). The most intriguing part of the trailer are the words "the fifteenth coming". The coming of what? I'd like to know.

I feel this trailer has less of a WOW factor than the first two. The first two really were excellent story-telling. This one has a bit less story-telling in it and more just showing off. About half the trailer is gameplay footage, which does need to be seen at this stage in the development. Although I'm less OMG! over this trailer than the first two, I think it's a solid trailer.

I am not sure how I feel about Versus becoming a numbered title. Can't help but feel that numbered titles should be turn-based, you know? But then again, 11 and 14 aren't turn-based, so I suppose it's okay. Heck, I'm just glad the game wasn't cancelled! For a while there were rumors that it had been quietly shelved. I can't see that happening now, not when they've upgraded it to be the next numbered title.

What are your thoughts?

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Current Mood: excitedexcited

(Take an adventure with me)

May 25th, 2013

08:52 pm - games and knitting
Wish I had the money to get a paid account here. I miss all my icons. Wanted to use my bored icon, but that's not one of the ones I have as a free account. Grr.

So, the U.S. Sudoku championship was fun. Though I, uh, kind of cheated a bit and used an app I had downloaded the other day. I solved one puzzle legitimately, and another three with help of the app. There's 20 problems so even with cheating I came nowhere near close to winning, so I don't feel too bad about it. Well, okay, I do feel bad because it means I am weak weak weak, but... the goal today was to have fun, and I did. So there.

The U.S. Puzzle Championship is next month, and I'm looking forward to that one. I usually do Battleships, the find-the-differences puzzle, and word search, if they have one. Maybe I will practice with an older test. I'd have to download them since last year's test was done on my no-longer-functioning Mac mini.

I did some knitting today and finished a project. It's a small shawlette, and was done as part of a mystery KAL. Like everyone else in the group, mine came out smaller than expected. I'm currently blocking it, and will probably try to stretch it even more. As is, I'm not sure it's big enough for me.

Right now I am bored. I tried relieving the boredom in Runescape, but the game crashed on me right as I dinged level 56 in Fishing. Don't feel like fighting with Runescape crashes tonight. I'll probably end up playing FFV again, though I'm not terribly in the mood.

Thought last night: Sherlock mood theme. I must investigate and see if anyone has made one.

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Current Mood: boredbored

(Take an adventure with me)

May 24th, 2013

10:46 pm - friday night
I've spent the last few days playing Final Fantasy V. Still waaay behind for [community profile] moogle_university, but I've finished the first world and did THE BATTLE ON THE BIG BRIDGE, which has music so epic it must be written in caps. I got to the first town and decided to break for the night there.

If I keep this amount of playing up, I might be able to finish the game this month. If not, I'll try to finish ASAP in June. I do definitely want to finish this game, though. This is my fourth time trying to play it; something always came up to cause me to put it aside. I don't want that to happen again.

I got an email from the U.S. Puzzle team people reminding me that the U.S. Sudoku Championship is tomorrow. I've done the U.S. Puzzle Championship for about six years now, but never tried the Sudoku. Think I'm going to give it a try. I can do Sudoku but I'm rather slow at it, so there's no way I'd make the team. My goal is to complete two puzzles during the time allowed. I would be ecstatic if I got three done. I tried two of the practice puzzles, and those will probably be the ones I do on the test (standard Sudoku, and Staircase Sudoku).

Still making my way through the 221b Picspam thread. I'm on page 1200 of 1526. The group is doing a Holmesian watch-a-long this month; this week, they're discussing the CBS show Elementary. So I tried watching an ep of it last night on CBS' website. I got about halfway through and turned it off. I should really try to view it on its own merits and not compare it to Sherlock, but... dammit, it wasn't Sherlock. :p I'm not sure how I feel about them making Holmes a drug addict. Picspam reminded me that in canon, Holmes does do some cocaine, so I guess it isn't too far out there that he'd be a recovering addict. I'm still not sure I like it. I wish I could have seen the first episode of Elementary, because maybe it would explain how Watson ends up with him in a way that satisfies me, because I'm not too satisfied that she's his "sober buddy". Though in the ep I watched, it appears they're past that and she's living with him and learning to solve cases.

Anyway--I watched far enough to see The Big Reveal (pretty sure it was the season finale I was watching) which I won't spoil in this post but would be willing to discuss in comments. Interesting. Again, I can't help comparing it to Sherlock, and thus I ended up wrinkling my nose at it a bit. To be non-spoilery: I think I liked it in general but not specific. Wish CBS had more eps on its website, because I'd like to view the pilot but it's not up there, and I'm starting to feel nervous about torrenting stuff, so I probably will pass on it. Maybe I'll give the series a chance next season and catch them on CBS' website as they are.

For now, it is back to Sherlock, with my third viewing of A Scandal in Belgravia. I leave you with this Sherlock fanvid for your amusement.

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Current Mood: bouncybouncy

(Take an adventure with me)

February 13th, 2013

07:26 pm - Final Fantasy II
So I've been following [community profile] moogle_university, in which [personal profile] lassarina and [personal profile] seventhe are playing through the Final Fantasy games. This month it's Final Fantasy II's turn, so I thought I'd play along.

It's a fairly short game: I started it on Friday and finished it last night. Total play time was just about 18.5 hours.

thoughts under cut, including spoilersCollapse )

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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Final Fantasy II soundtrack

(Take an adventure with me)

February 11th, 2013

11:00 am - Nerd Wars, BAMCAL, and other Ravelry challenges
Since I've been knitting and crocheting a lot lately, I've also been spending my fair amount of time on Ravelry. I thought I would share some of the groups that are keeping my interest.

Nerd Wars

Nerd Wars is awesome. Players divide into teams based upon a specific nerdom. A few examples: Team Browncoats for fans of Firely/Serenity, team Jazz Hands for fans of the theater, Team 1-Up for fans of video games, and Team Hypothesis for fans of science. Each tournament lasts three months, with each month composing one round. Challenges are posed in five categories: Discovery, Encyclopedia, Nerdology, Giving Geeks, and Flexible Schedule. Players can also choose to do a dissertation: a project that will take three months to complete. There is no minimum participation required for Nerd Wars; you can join a team and should life implode and prevent you from answering any challenges, that's ok! No one will think less of you.

An example of a challenge is this month's Nerdology challenge, A NERD'S DREAM DATE:
Today is you lucky day! You have won a dinner for two, for you and your favorite character from another nerdery!

Now here’s the crucial question: what will you eat?

Your challenge this month is to craft something inspired by the food your favorite character from another nerdery loves so much. Please tell us in your submission who you would have dinner with and what food inspired your project.

Tournament 7 is already underway, but it's not too late to participate! You can't join a team at this time, but you can still play as a Ninja Warrior! Since this is my first time playing in Nerd Wars, I decided to be a Ninja for this tournament. I've already completed the Nerdology and Encyclopedia challenges, and am working on the Discovery challenge.


Short for Block-A-Month Crochet-A-Long, the BAMCAL's goal is to crochet an afghan in a year by completing 1-4 blocks a month (afghan size varies by how many blocks you do). I'm doing both 12" squares a month, for an afghan that will be 6x4 blocks.

Other challenges:

Harry Potter House Cup

The Harry Potter House Cup is very similar to Nerd Wars. Players get sorted into houses, and answer challenges posted under each class. There are also OWLs, NEWTS, and something called BROOM. There is a minimum participation requirement of 1 class per participant. There also seems to be a limit to how many people can get sorted per month, but those who are not sorted can still play as a Not Quite First Year student.

I know less about this challenge since I just discovered it recently via a Nerd Wars player, but thought I'd mention it since I know there's some Harry Potter fans amongst my readers.

Dishcloth Weekly

The Dishcloth Weekly Knitalong is just that. They offer both crochet and knitting patterns. Dishcloths are a great way to practice new techniques, or get some instant gratification since they work up so quickly. This week they are learning how to do entrelac, in both knitting and tunisian crochet.

Crochet Clothing Crochet-A-Long

When I first joined Ravelry I was more of a crocheter than knitter, so it didn't take me long to discover the Crochet Clothing Crochet-A-Long. Members vote on what project to make; this latest round, they're looking at skirts. I haven't yet made anything, but I love that this group exists.

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(Take an adventure with me)

October 31st, 2012

10:53 pm - this is halloween
(side note: I really can't wait until we can choose which icons to keep on account expiration (pretty sure that's a filed bug). I wanted to use my Disney one, but alas, I don't have it right now. Second choise was my fruits basket one, but that one's kaput, too. >_< so, chose this one because the keyword fits halloween)

No one comes trick-or-treating at my house. I didn't dress up or go to any parties. But I did celebrate Halloween - by eating as many pumpkin dishes as possible!

No, I can't give recipes - these are all prepared foods I bought at Aldi.

Earlier today: nommed on Pumpkin Bark

Appetizer: Halloween black-and-orange tortilla chips, served with pumpkin salsa. I liked this quite a bit, and think the salsa would make a good marinade

Dinner: Pumpkin Squash Ravioli frozen meal - Pumpkin-filled ravioli with a buttery sage sauce, asparagus and butternut squash. I just ate the ravioli. They were quite good, but rather sweet, so I could barely finish them.

Desert: Pumpkin sugar cookies with pumpkin spice milk

Earlier this week, I made pumpkin bars from a box mix. So happily, I've had my normal allotment of pumpkin this fall, even while being on food stamps. <3

There's only an hour left of Halloween here, but that's still enough time to enjoy the following two videos from Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World. The halloween parade is my favorite parade there.
videos under cutCollapse )

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(1 adventure partaken | Take an adventure with me)

June 25th, 2012

12:29 pm - overdue status report
Still don't have a job. Have had no money coming in for a month now.

Housing: I have not paid my mortgage in two months, and will be unable to pay it any time soon. I went over to my parents' yesterday to discuss many things. We have set a date of September 1st as the date I will move in with them, unless a miracle happens and I can manage to find a well-paying job before then. While I'm really, really hoping for that miracle, I have to assume I'll be moving.

This makes me incredibly sad for many, many reasons. I've lived in my condo for close to 12 years now, and fuck it, I don't want to lose it. Not like this, anyway. I think deep down I'd be okay with moving, but I wish it was on my own terms and not being forced on me. But, what else can I do?

Both mom and I are planning that if I move in with them, it'd be as temporary as possible.

In the meantime, I'm to call my bank to tell them I can't pay my mortgage and to ask what's going to happen. I'm also going to look for charities that could help me out.

Food: Not at all an issue right now. A few weeks ago I had mom's car because they went out of town, so I stopped at my township's food pantry and got two bags of groceries. Also, last week the Greater Chicago Food Depository's Producemobile came to a church near me, so I made sure to go to that. I got SO MUCH, y'all. Two plastic grocery bags of sweet potatoes, a bag of banana peppers, 4 containers of strawberries, 3 containers of roma tomatoes, 5 bags of baby carrots, two loaves of bread, and two packages of hamburger buns. So, I spent a few days doing a LOT of cooking.

The best thing I made was bean burritos. Chopped up the banana peppers and tomatoes, sauteed them a bit in some oil, then added that 29.5 oz can of refried black beans I got from the pantry. Spooned it into some tortillas I bought, sprinkled on some shredded monterey jack cheese (also purchased), and baked them a bit to melt the cheese. When the cooled I wrapped them in foil and froze them. They came out really well. I made more with a can of regular refried beans, and yet more with a can of black beans. Ran out of tortillas for the last, so some of that is just frozen as is, which I will probably mix with rice.

Also made sweet potato casserole, because I didn't know what else to do with them as I've rarely eaten sweet potatoes. First batch turned out just okay, but second batch turned out pretty good. I need to freeze the rest. I had to buy some egggs for the casserole, so I also FINALLY used those prunes I had and made prune cookies. Which came out just ok, but hey, they were edible and I've been eating them for breakfast for a week now. I used the rest of the eggs to make scrambled eggs/tomatoes/peppers sandwiches. The strawberries were quartered and frozen, and then blended. Was hoping it'd come out as sorbet, which it DID if I ate them immediately, but I then froze the rest... and it's now more like strawberry ice. But, still good, and I eat a bit now and then.

So yeah, have plenty of food in the freezer. Mom also gave me stuff yesterday (some frozen chicken breasts, 2 hamburger patties, all the regular soda she had in the house) and Dad & I stopped at the store for stuff like butter and shampoo, which I was out of/running low. And oh gods do I miss my regular salon shampoo! I'm using cheap 2-in-1 right now, and my hair is just... ugh. D:

Mom told me about another food pantry near her that often has meat available, so I gave them a call today. I'm in their service area, and I can use them once a month. Mom wants to take me tomorrow. I really don't need it at this time, but I'll probably go because she's eager to help, and I don't want to turn that assistance down. Plus, I can freeze stuff anyway. Also, while this non-profit is out of funds to help me financially, they said they can direct me to other places that might help, so it's worth going just for that.

Job Search: Really slow going, but it IS happening.

I called back my recruiter regarding the place I interviewed at. She STILL has not heard anything. I told her I'm still looking for a job, and that I'd be willing to take something beneath my level. I need to call her back again and let her know I'm not limited to the downtown area, as mom has offered to buy me a car.

...that would really, really help me out. I'm not going to take her up on that unless it becomes necessary, but really, one of the things I struggle with is lack of access to resources because they're too far away, or the bus won't go there.

I've started working on a profile for Elance.com. Out of the few freelancing websites I know of (freelancer.com and Virtual Vocation are others), that site looks the most professional. While I still do hope to find some kind of regular employment, getting some money in via freelance would really help out.

Otherwise, most of the places I've applied to have been found via LinkedIn, though I've also started to use the IL Jobslink site again, and Twitter as well. I really need to step up my job search... but there's also all this OTHER stuff to take care of (like obtaining food and cooking it. takes forever, meh), so... well, I'll do the best I can to balance things to try to get everything done.

If anyone has any leads/suggestions re: job searching, please let me know. I'm in the Chicago area. I have a B.S. Cum Laude in Math & Computer Science (double-major). I've most recently worked as a Financial Analyst; before that, I did onsite computer technical support. Ideally I'd like to do work involving spreadsheets, but I'm open to any kind of office or retail job.

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(Take an adventure with me)

May 14th, 2012

11:17 am - weather sites
For years I've used Yahoo! Weather as my go-to site for weather forecasts. The main reason I liked it is because it had a five-day forecast written out in text. It also had the 5-day in a graphic, with temperature and an icon indicating the type of weather. Plus the site loaded very quickly, and had easy-to-find links to radar maps on Weather.com if I wanted additional detail.

It worked for me because I could easily see at a glance what today's weather/upcoming weather would be like. Plus, I process text-based information easier than images, so I really appreciated the written out information.

The bookmark stopped working over the past few days. Grr. I've just been Googling "weather (my zip code)" to get a quick check of the temperature as needed, but today I investigated further. My fear was that Yahoo! had redesigned their weather portal.

They have. *sighs*

The new site is a lot more cluttered, IMO. Lots more links to stuff I don't care about. It does still have the five-day in image format, but this loaded slowly for me (my internet is crap right now). Most glaring: no written text explaining in detail.

So, I need to look for a new site. Any suggestions? I'd prefer something that isn't very cluttered-looking. Checking the weather is often something I do right before I dart out the door to catch a bus, so I need to get the relative information ASAP.

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Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

(1 adventure partaken | Take an adventure with me)

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