Posted tagged ‘life’

On Expanding Gaming Horizons

September 25, 2010

When I first moved out of my parents’ house, I was paranoid about spending money. I mean, I’ve always been a relatively frugal person (which is how, on my student loan income, I afford to randomly hop on planes as whims call), but I was really, really scared about spending back then. So to cook, I bought a single seasoning: one bottle of teriyaki sauce.

For just about every meal, for several months, I used nothing but that bottle of teriyaki sauce on everything. I ate teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef, teriyaki seafood…also teriyaki rice, teriyaki eggs, teriyaki bread…you get the picture. I eventually polished off the whole bottle and I haven’t been able to eat anything teriyaki since.

And that, friends, is the story of my life. Gaming is no different. I buy a game, I play it, play it, play it, play it until I’m finished. I rarely play more than one game at time, all my free time and energy is channeled into a single obsession of the season. I play the fuck out of my games. Go through my gaming collection and you won’t find any fuck left in there, it’s all been played out.

Then along came WoW. I’ve been playing WoW for, what, four? Five years? I can’t remember. All I know is that I’ve never reached the end. I keep playing and playing and it keeps getting longer. As a result, I’ve been very cut off from the rest of the gaming world. Why play a new game when you can spend every night in Dire Maul grinding goblin rep for no other reason than grinding goblin rep? I mean, really!

Lately, listening to friends, listening to podcasts, just listening in general, has made me itchy to try something new. But there’s always the excuses of “not enough time, not enough money, need to do all this Old Azeroth stuff before Cataclysm comes out!”

Then Hurricane Igor stepped in and stole my internet for 2 days. (Also, the picture in that link was taken from the hospital where I go to school. As you can see, it was a very wet time)

It was rough…withdrawal…the goosebumps, the sweating, the shaking, the panic…

Just kidding.

Besides my guild getting All You Can Eat (25 Player) without me (they ALWAYS do things like that, meanies!), it was awesome. My room is the cleanest it’s been since I moved in, I did four loads of laundry and I was able to go to all my classes because, without WoW, I had gone to bed at a decent hour.

But was even more awesome was that it took away my excuse of “I NEED TO FINISH VANILLA WOW CONTENT RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW!” I had no internet so I had to dig through the games I had.

I sort of regretted not having set up Starcraft II for offline play. And not having downloaded those games my guildies recommended for me. And not having an emulator on hand to fire up Final Fantasy Tactics (which one reader will be happy to hear that I did discover among my games here).

The first game I popped into my CD drive was The Sims 2. I had wanted that game so badly when it first came out! Back in the day, I had played a lot of the original Sims. From what I read about the game, it had all the good stuff from the original and fixed all the annoying stuff . Unfortunately, it was going for more than I was willing to pay (that was the bottle of teriyaki era). Years later, I came across it in a second hand store in San Francisco for 10$. Yay! Only problem? The friend traveling with me also wanted the game. I think he ended up buying it, but I ended up bringing it home. Yet, because of WoW, I had never played.

What’s the verdict after installing and playing the Sims 2?

Eh. Was very disappointed. I didn’t like any of the pre-made stories. All my Sims wanted to do was flirt with each other. I have a rather large aversion for emotional dependencies so I was quickly disgusted. I tried designing my own neighborhood but got annoyed when I couldn’t make my houses look the way I wanted.

In frustration, I gave up and went back to my pile of games. I pulled out FFVII, an old favourite that I’d been dying to play again. Now, while I’m not very technical (I’m not sure what a motherboard is, only that it sometimes catches fire and that’s bad), I’m somewhat of a genius when it comes to making stuff work. Comes from being very clumsy and breaking a lot of things in my life. Try as I may, though, no combination of compatibility mode options would get the game running.

Saddened, I put FFVII away. The next game I found was Myst. A game I’d played a lot as a child, but, being a child, I didn’t understand it and didn’t get very far.

You can probably guess, though, that if FFVII didn’t want to be played on my computer, Myst, a way older game, just laughed at me.

I eventually settled on Beyond Atlantis. It’s from the same era as FFVII, but unlike FFVII, it actually works on modern computers. It’s another one of those games that I played extensively but was too young to beat. It’s no Myst, but it’s a fun puzzle adventure game and I do quite enjoy fun puzzle adventure games. I’m also proud to announce that I managed to beat one of the levels entirely on my own, without looking up a walk-through. It was frustrating- one thing WoW has killed for me is my ability to figure things out without reading a guide, but so worth it in the end.

I’m not quite finished the game yet, but I hope to finally beat it so I can move on to other, more recent forms of video game entertainment.

Somehow this rambling post reached 1000 words. This is why I don’t update often anymore. All these words come out of nowhere. Anyway, as of this morning my internet is back up and running. I haven’t played WoW yet, but despite my vows to play other games and finish Beyond Atlantis, I somehow expect myself to be back in Dire Maul at the next opportunity. It’s in my nature.

Shared Topic: Leave of WoW Absense

February 4, 2010

Eek! I’m doing a Shared Topic and it’s not Friday night/Saturday! What’s wrong with me? I’m never ahead of schedule like that!

So this week, Nim from Ankh = Life suggested the Shared Topic. He (I think it’s a he!) has recently recovered from a month without WoW (we are glad for his recovery and return) and, in true WoW blogger style, began reflecting on what he did with is time away from WoW, then asked what other WoW players do when they’re away from the game.

I recently wrote about how I deal (dealing badly is still dealing!) without the game, but perhaps I could talk a bit about some of the things I like to do when I’m not playing WoW. BECAUSE I DO LIKE TO DO NON WOW THINGS SOMETIMES OKAY!

1- Getting Involved at School

Yes, even when I’m not playing video games, I’m a nerd. What started off as a ploy to keep busy during my four extra years of school and maybe help with my excessive shyness (HAHAHAHA) backfired. I fell in love with my national student association and found myself dedicating increasing amounts of time to it. While I still get nauseous and shakey at the thought of making phone calls, I discovered that I really enjoy the administrative side of running a local chapter of a national association. Among other things, I’ve had the opportunity to plan a Career Fair, to travel around Canada to meet incredible, inspirational people and to be involved in the writing of an official position statement.

I never thought in a million years that I’d enjoy it this much. I have the lingering feeling that once I graduate, I’ll find myself screwing up election speeches for the grown up version of our national student association.

2- Gastronomy

I’ll admit it, I love delicious food, all sorts of delicious food. I read cookbooks before I go to sleep at night. I spend tons of money on groceries and restaurants. Upon making friends with people from other cultures, the first thing I ask them is about their ethnic food and could they share some recipes, please, please, please. When I travel, I judge cities by their restaurants. I’m not big on loud gatherings with lots of people, but food parties and potlucks are the exception.

Typically, when I tell people about my food obsession, I get the following response: “OMG! How can you love food and stay thin?

It’s actually quite simple. Good food is either:
1) Freaking expensive
2) A lot of effort to make
3) All of the above

Considering that I’m both a poor starving student and really busy all the time, calories are never an issue. I live in an area where uncommon ingredients aren’t easy to find either, which is another limit to my indulgence.

3- Traveling

Typical scene in my life:

Guildie X: Guildie Y is coming to visit me this weekend!
Me: OMG! I’m so jealous! I really want to hang out with you guys. Um…would you mind if I come too?
Guildie X: Sure, if you want.

They never believe that I’ll actually do it and get all shocked when I call them from the airport a few days later. I’m the queen of discount plane tickets and last minute plans. Yes, I have financial constraints like everyone else, but I’m pretty good at working a budget and traveling cheap.

I love youth hostels!

I also have a killer sense of direction in real life (unfortunately, this gift does not extend to video games…um…which side is Festergut’s right again?), a more or less photographic memory when it comes to maps (I find myself giving directions to locals all the time) and knack for getting myself (and others) out of trouble. I’m fearless and I get this crazy rush whenever I’m on a trip, so I have quite the extensive repertoire of freaky travel stories.

4- Reading

When I travel, I always keep a book in my purse. I don’t get the chance to read much in my regular life but, since I can’t stand pesky people cramping my style, when I’m on the go, I spend a lot of time on my own. Airports, public transit, meal times, evenings are made much more enjoyable with a trusty pocketbook on hand.

I’m absolutely crazy about Nick Hornby. I’ve even come to refer to various trips by the name of the Hornby book I was reading at the time. Also, High Fidelity is my breakup book. Whenever I’m bummed about a breakup, I pull out my (very used) copy of High Fidelity, tear through it in a few hours and automatically feel better.

A series by a different author that I enjoy as well is the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey. I have to admit that I wasn’t able to get into her other works (I am dying to get my hands on her Namah series, though!) but her graceful narration in Kushiel is such a treat. Even if the story wasn’t amazing (and it is amazing), the characters not likable (and they are very likable), Kushiel is worth reading for the narration alone.

5- Drinking coffee

Coffee and I have an interesting relationship. For one, I’m most likely allergic to something in most types of coffee. I’ve become good at knowing which coffees will be gentle on my lymph nodes, but I’ve spent many painful days experimenting! I’m also pretty sensitive to caffeine. I get the shakes, the sweats, the palpitations when I drink coffee.

You would think that someone with an anxious personality like me would hate that, but I don’t. I love it! It makes me feel sooo happy, like I’m excited about something. Beyond the physical boost, I love the act of drinking coffee. Coffee drinking is a very social experience and, unlike social experiences like bars or rowdy parties, it encourages conversation and (this is probably just me being weird) creates a feeling of intimacy. I’m not the most social person in the world, but I love discussion.

Furthermore, I do love to mix business and pleasure. Since I associate coffee shops and coffee drinking with happiness, friendship and thinking, I find myself doing most of my work from my favorite shop. And it helps. When I graduate, I’m considering sharing my diploma with Hava Java as this degree is definitely a team effort!

See! I do other things than play Wow!

If you now think I’m even more of a nerd that you suspected, well, you’re probably right. But it’s ok, I’m a happy nerd. I had to pick my five favorite things to do outside the game because I’m so wordy, but no worries, I don’t limit myself to 5 non WoW activities!

To see how others spend their non WoW time, be sure to check out the thread at Blog Azeroth!

The gastronomy pictures was taken from
The youth hostel picture is from my personal collection and was taken in the Hostelling International Hostel in Santa Monica, California.
The Coffee picture was taken from

Oh my, writing ish effortful

June 19, 2009

So the week before finals PROBABLY isn’t the best time to start writing a blog. Two weeks of nothing but studying, then some recovery time where effort was not to be used unless desesparetly required. Before you know it, its been, what? 2 and half months? Ish!

I had a feeling this would happen, so I tried to hide this blog as much as possible. The stats show a few hits and I got a comment from a weight loss bot. It was a nice comment though! They don’t make bots like they used to. I’m hoping that all those hits were from bots, but if a real person somehow stubbled upon my posts, well, I apologise for either my n00bism to blogging or my lag of blog entries, whichever you found most bothersome.

So! I am working an entry (omigod a whole entry!) but I thought it would be best to keep the bla-bla-bla-I-made-a-post-then-disappeared introduction seperate. And with that, back to the real entry.