Fun and games

I’m still playing World of Warcraft. Disgaea 2 is on hold because Kevin absconded with my PS2 so he could play God of War II. I was not as happy with God of War II as I was with God of War, but it was still worth watching.

Anyhow, my WoW playing is slow, because I mostly play on weekends. It’s so easy to play on weekdays… all day… that I have to be careful and have some disciprine. Plus, I prefer to play with rested XP. But I finally have a character over level 40! That means she can ride around on her riding wolf, and I can play in areas I’ve never seen before. But that’s just my first character, and she’s really only level 40 because she’s been around for a very long time. I’m a wizard at getting characters to level 12 quickly… and then from 12-24 takes forever, and then…. nothing. Well, we’ll see if that remains true. I’ve got this new character, see… and I’m sure she’ll work out! No, really. Because she’s based on a similar character from a different server and a different faction that I actually pushed to level 30 pleasantly. Woohoo level 30!

I wish it wasn’t so expensive to move characters between servers. It costs as much as some game expansions do, and while I suppose it’s an equivalent experience in some ways, it’s just… annoying when you’re trying to save money but you’d also kind of like to see old friends again.

Why am I so easily worn out?

Still not done with IF thingie, IFers. Sorry. Not forgotten about. Something to do with insecure PHP variables supposedly.

Just planted the everbearing strawberries. They arrived a few days ago, a bit early, and I wanted to get them into dirt and water.

That Carouselchain story is still basically not done. It started out well, went along for a while, and once I started having real trouble with it the writing took a turn for the worse. Now all that’s left is a climax of sorts and I even know what it is but I’m plagued by doubts that it’s lame. I think I should write it anyhow so I can put it in the ‘to be edited’ pile rather than the ‘to be finished’ pile but it’s so easy to find distractions.

While I suddenly seem to have lots of ideas for stuff that is totally experimental or a tried-and-true nonsale (like poetry), Kevin has been gently nudging me on the road of novels. I think I can start up TFN 2 again. I hope. What I think and what turns out to be true have so little in common these days, with regards to my writing.

It continues overcast here. Dante likes to chew on the peat pots I got for my seedlings, sometimes with seedlings inside. I need to get him more officially sanctioned chewbones.

In the name of writing, I’ve been exploring national tourism sites, building a list of ‘well-known features/attractions of a country’.

Cooking, sleeping, very bad housekeeping, American Idol, Disgaea 2, shouting at dogs, visiting seedlings, reading books on decorative painting, thinking about writing, scribbling bad poetry. Running errands. Coughing up breakfast and a lung. That about sums things up. Expect a pregnancy-themed post Monday afternoon, if my doctor actually manages to keep our appointment.

I’m so damn embarrassed by this– by what a gentle person would call writer’s block. So damn ashamed.

Merry Christmas!

Cathy, Kevin’s mom, is here for the holiday. She’s leaving before New Year’s, though. We decorated our artificial tree last night– Kevin finally gave in on the real tree issue because Raymond is allergic to tree sap. It looks very nice. I made cookie dough which I’ll probably bake half of today and half later in the year; I think Raymond likes those cookies.

I have been playing Disgaea and Kevin has been playing his early Christmas present a Nintendo DS. He also informed me that he was giving me a Wii for Christmas, just as soon as they were in stock somewhere.

Kevin’s insurance has changed and apparently they’ll cover Stratterra now. So I need to decide if I want to go back on it again. Long term, I would like to. But if I get pregnant, I’ll have to stop again, and, well, theoretically it could happen at any time. And yes, pregnancy is something I kind of have issues about, but Kevin and I want the end result so I guess I’ve got to suck it up and cope. Well, I hope I have to suck it up and cope. I’ve read enough infertility stories to not want to go there. Anyhow.

I have lots of excellent presents for Kevin and I’m reasonably happy with my presents for other people. Perhaps more on that later!

Christmas always raises my anxiety level significantly, so hugs and kisses, everybody. Be well and be happy and, if you feel so inclined, reassure me that you care.

Alas ( a general update )

Apparently my blog was a lot more interesting when I was at work. I’m sorry!

In between novel work I’ve been playing Star Wars Legos, Neverwinter Nights 2, and a bit of World of Warcraft. I’m also rereading the Belgariad. I chase the dogs around a lot. I gained a lot of weight during the move and I’m trying to bring my step-count up but it’s been raining. Shopping is good on those days but I’ve also been sleeping during the day a lot and that cuts into shopping time.

I don’t have nightmares about moving or being back at work nearly as much as I did last month. I’m starting to have other dreams again– but I haven’t yet recaptured the trick of remembering them, a trick stolen by the Zoloft (as far as I can tell).

The house is still basically a disaster area. It’s better in some ways than before we moved (we rarely run out of forks) but there’s still an enormous amount of unpacking to get done and it’s been hard to motivate anybody to work on that on weekdays. I keep wanting to post pictures of our house but I want it to be clean first, too. And unpacked. It’s definitely going to have some nice rooms once everything is in place and it shouldn’t be too hard to keep decent once everything is in place.

It’s that time again.

When I wrote Shadows on the Mirror, I recall nights that Galen and Enra discussed me as I slept. My characters don’t usually get all self-willed and disobedient, but they DO develop opinions about my life.

Kevin’s poking at original Devil May Cry.  Dante, impaled by a sword, pulls himself up it, pushing it through his body and then picks it up and does some sword kata. His sexy red trenchcoat is unmarred.

Jinriki, a character in Citadel, says, “Hell yeah! That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Why can’t I get me some of that action?” or, in his more usual parlance, “That is precisely what I would have asked for. If you’d asked me.”

A second thought: instead of Easy, Normal, Hard, these games should have Empowered, Normal, Challenging.

Puzzle Pirates again

I got no words written tonight! Blame Kevin!

Instead I went to the store, made dinner, watched some television with the boys (two days of Daily Show/Colbert Report on the Tivo) and explored Puzzle Pirates. It has the same sneaky time-eating quality of The Sims and Civilization. So now it’s 12:45. And I’ve played several games of competitive near-Tetris, many rounds of near-Bejeweled and many rounds of a strange game that stands in for Alchemy crafting.

As far as I can tell, the economy and item and crafting system in the game goes like this: you get a store. You decide to sell things. You hire people to play the crafting games and fill crafting orders that shoppers place. I haven’t really worked it all out yet, as I signed up to work at a weaving stall and couldn’t find a workstation, and later did some work for an alchemy station and was told that there were no orders to fill but I could practice anyhow. I accidentally skipped past the instructions so it took me a long time to work out what exactly was considered a success in the Alchemy game… but once I did I had to play it five or six more times because it was just so compelling. Basically, you’re spinning tiles with tubing in them in order to fill bottles.

My obsession is nothing compared to Kevin’s, though– he started his dinner tonight and then went and joined a PC pirate crew while it was cooking (preventing him from claiming it when it was done). I’m not really sure how I feel about the longer timesink individual ‘encounters’ create in this game; in a standard combat MMO, it’s usually pretty trivial to step away from the computer for a moment every couple of minutes. But tours of duty (aka gameplaying commitments) and even individual battles seem to take twenty to thirty minutes. It’s FUN time, definitely, but… darn it, it’s also irritating, especially when I’m the one waiting.

Also, it seems to not work very well over the wireless. Apparently it’s pretty packet-needy and gets all irate when the wireless drops the packets. Which means to play it, I am banished to the garage at the moment.

Puzzle Pirates

Kevin installed it last night because it’s all innovative with micropayments and stuff. He played it almost all night. It’s like Bejeweled on top of an MMO, with houses and clothes and stuff and a little tiny cartoony interface. So I was in a whiny mood last night, all rambunctious and persnickety and I played a few of the little puzzle games and late last night when I was trying to convince Kevin it was time for bed, I sat down at his computer while waiting for him to get his act together. I was reading about the micropayments. That’s all.

Kevin came over and I asked him about how the micropayment system worked and he decided he had to log in to show me the money trading house, where status-buying-money (purchased for real world money) can be traded for in-game money (used for clothes and furniture and stuff) and vice versa. You earn in-game money for playing games, see. Anyhow, since he’d already logged in, I decided to try out the two ship-operation games I hadn’t played yet: carpenting and sailing. Kevin was surprisingly gracious about this, practically insisting I play the sailing game when I finished the carpenting game.

When the sailing game was done and I was complaining about how the tutorial journey had ended before I was satisfied with the game, I found out why Kevin had been so generous. He’d installed Puzzle Pirates on my laptop in the time it took me to play two puzzle games.

He should make up his mind on whether he wants me to write or play games!

Well, we did it.

After a very long time, we unlocked some of the more lovely zones in the FFXI expansion Chains of Promathia. Here are some screenshots I took of these and other locations.

Bibiki Bay, where you can dig for clams.
Bibiki Sunset

A lovely view in the Taznavia region.
Taznavian cliff

I really like the way these guys look.

This is our team in a range of mountains where we hunted tigers and rabbits for a while.

This is something we first see in the opening movie of the original game. And yet we can’t see it with our own eyes until the second expansion. Hmmm.

One of the special events gave out rewards that allowed you to turn into a little girl of specific races.

A perk of being high level is fighting things that once flattened you. These guys are especially scary when you’re short like me.

A spectacular waterfall I found while exploring Taznavia.

FFXI Task List

Level up WHM to 21 (~8 hours)
Level up Ninja to 12 (~3 hours
Level up RDM to 10 (~1 hour)
Perform Step #1 of AF1: trade crystal to telepoint (~1/2 hour)
Level up DRK to 6 (~1 hour)
Process millioncorn into insect paste (~1/2 hour)
Go to Jeuno and buy Stonega II (~1 hour)
Go to Selbina and buy Blizzard II and turn in tablet (~1/2 hour)
Practice Enhancing (whatever)