peacewish: (mating dance)

Squeal, they're done and ready to go! The Knot says no earlier than Labor Day for an April wedding, so I've been patiently waiting all month to send out what I finished way back before even my birthday. My homemade Save the Dates, are they not so cute? Not to mention thrifty? Eagle-eyed followers will no doubt recognize the lavender cardstock leftover my penguins Christmas Card two years back, and I already had the hilarious stamp left over from a friend's wedding project years ago. White cardstock and ink were already in possession. All I had to buy was the photo prints ($10) and the postage stamps ($15). Okay, and the envelopes ($2).

On a side note, I'm still aghast at how much a wedding can cost!!! I realize there is absolutely nothing new in this statement, but I guess every first time bride has to go through it herself before she really, truly understands. And I think I'm being pretty thrifty, too. I'm DIYing my own StDs, the invites, centerpieces, menu cards, toss bags, welcome bags, and programs. Okay, no, I'm not DIYing my actual dress, but I'm buying it from a woman on Etsy and she's DIYing it for a fourth of what the average bridal gown costs. We're getting a food truck instead of a caterer. And yet - and yet, I am still busting my budget at the seams. Crazy, no?

But for all that, still no regrets. I'm still having a blast doing project management for the most fun project ever, still lapping up Pinterest articles and harvesting herbs for toss bags and just generally briding the heck out of life. Now that it's September, my dress should be arriving any week now. (bounce) So excited!


Jul. 16th, 2017 07:39 am
peacewish: (Default)

And so begins my weekly dose of dread, wondering who's going to get killed off this time.
peacewish: (blame starscream)
Having said all that, I know you have to follow the American tradition of having to have happy endings, so I know you'll put them together. Which is why I like the original European movies better that the Hollywood remake, there's no quick "....and they lived happily after" I also get that there are lots of people who don't understand what a real relationship feels like.

Ah, hmm. I know my story provokes strong feelings in people, and that it can be easy to get carried away in reviews, but I really don't know how to feel about this comment. 50% of my audience has made it abundantly clear they want to see Jazz and Soundwave make it work, and 50% has been quite vocal for the opposite. I've known for a while that I'm not going to please everyone, whatever happens, but I really don't care for the sweeping generalization of what I'm likely to do because of the race I belong to, such as it is.

Leaving aside the stereotyping, I know writers like to have a Happily Ever After. That doesn't mean the HEA is quick - most certainly in a story now topping 50 chapters in length - or unsuitable. Sometimes people do get HEAs. Many people I know in my own life have HEAs, at least pending further developments. And having suffered through the last 7 years of what anyone could fairly call "a real relationship", complete with money squabbles, lifestyle choices, hurt feelings et al., I'm pleased to report that we stuck it out and are planning a wedding for next spring. So I don't know what she means when people say they don't know what a 'real' relationship feels like, unless they're so young they simply haven't been in one at all, because every relationship in this world is a real one.

It's just condescending and dismissive, and I really don't like it. This is part of a conversation that's been going back and forth for a few rounds now, but I'll elect to not respond at all rather than tell her I found her comments hurtful and offensive. Hence getting it off my chest here.
peacewish: (blame starscream)

I overcame the hump that IS Hot Rod, and have managed an update, now housed in its new home in the above link. And I write this, crossposted I hope, from my old DW journal. Never really quite adjusted to the DW environment, which is why I gave up on crossposting, and I still don't know if I like it enough to stay here. But for now it's good enough, while this tired and poor refugee seeks to find a better home.
peacewish: (megobama)
A few thoughts that need getting off my chest, before TFP comes back swinging this weekend for round 2:

spoilers, lots of 'em )
peacewish: (mating dance)
bon jovi photo IMG_20130410_215508_zps887f8748.jpg

Went to the Bon Jovi concert when they hit Austin last week; only just now having enough energy to post a photo of it. I was pretty thrilled to have the chance. I'd known BJ was coming for months, but sadly declined on the purchase of tickets because even the cheapest of nosebleed seats were starting at $70 a pop. That's way too much for me, especially since I knew M would be my date and he's just not into that sort of music at all. (his loss)

So I resigned myself to enjoying the cross-country tour via listening to the promo Bon Jovi Radio channel on satellite radio... and then suddenly, there was Groupon. Four days before the concert, they were offering up all the unsold seats in the arena for just half price. TAKE MY HAND AND WE'LL MAKE IT I SWEAR OH YEAH I WAS SO THERE. I instantly jumped on Groupon and bought two tickets for a total of $70, not knowing nor hardly caring where they were.

I got all gussied up for the concert, too, including a never-before-worn tank of solid sequins, heels, and a bright lipstick that hasn't seen the light of day in months. Fickle Austin decided to sweep us with an unseasonably cold high of 45 degrees that day - figures, it was eighty again within 48 hours - but I stuck to my sparklies. It was worth it. The concert was a blast, BJ puts on a fantastic show, and I was rockin' out like nobody's business (M sat in his chair and hardly moved all night, his loss.) And for what I paid, I was pleasantly surprised by the seats. Nosebleed balcony, yes, but only three rows back from the front edge, meaning I had a distant but perfectly clear and unobstructed view of Jovi shaking his denim-clad ass. He kept changing shirts as the night wore on, and as my friend pointed out, the shirts kept showing progressively more skin. Damn, most guys wished they looked that good at fifty. There was a hilarious moment in which he got a little too close to the women in the mosh pit, and they nearly yanked him straight off the catwalk. All we could see were his legs flopping as he flailed to claw his way back out of the groupie pit of doom. He joked later that Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber probably wouldn't be getting that kind of attention when they're fifty, and it's so true.

He didn't do One Wild Night, my favorite, which was a disappointment but not a surprise - hardly anybody knows that one, even Jovi fans. But he did do Born to be My Baby, Keep the Faith, and Bad Medicine, all close runners-up. It was a fun, exciting night for me, especially since I almost never go to live music concerts. So SO grateful to Groupon right now.
peacewish: (blame starscream)
I looked around my friends lists at LJ and DW and thought, "Hardly anybody's posting." Then I realized, "Oh, jeez, I haven't posted since January! If I'm going to complain about posting habits, then I better step up and make sure I'm not one of the guilty."

I'm here, and I am alive. I am, appearances to the contrary, working my butt off to get the next scene in TGWP written, and have been consistently stymied by friends interrupting my lunch hour, families visiting on weekends, and chances to put in overtime. I am striving to get the update done by this Sunday, though I've already committed to doing some libertarian marketing at the capitol tomorrow, so chances are iffy.

Anyway, last week I was just wrapping up the day's work at my office when a clock fell on me. Yes, you read that right. Luckily, it was one of those cheap plastic/aluminum clocks that hang on the walls everywhere in schools and offices. It was mostly hollow, and the plastic face popped off at the collision, but the battery case inside was kinda heavy and it hurt. I'm lucky that I was leaning through the window to toss my classified trash into the bins, so the clock hit me hard on the shoulder rather than the head. The clock came out of it worse than I did.

I suppose if I was manic enough about these things, I could have sued the boss. The nail it was hanging on came out of the wall at a straight 90 degrees, not even angled upward just a little. It was also pulled out of the drywall with casual effort, having not been properly anchored. However, I am a mellow type, and since my shoulder was just a little tender the next day, I elected to avoid judicial recourse and just get on with my life.

The amusing part is this: I reported the incident to my boss, because we're supposed to do that, and he referred the case to Human Resources. I got a kindly email from them the next day inquiring after my health, and also downloading a bitchton of attachments into my computer. Because I was merely hurt, and not seeking medical care or employers' compensation for said medical care, I only had to fill out FOUR SEPARATE FORMS. I don't even want to know how many forms I'd have had to fill out if I was seeking medical care. Bureaucracy, it is grand.

If I don't have an update on Sunday, I'll blame my sore shoulder. Then we can all hate my workplace together.
peacewish: (how to shoot)
The central point to this post is to figure out if I can cross-post between the DW and LJ journals. I guess by the time you're reading this, I'll know. (crosses fingers too)

So, we've reached the halfway point in Fall of Cybertron and all I can say is GUH. This sequel is amazing; it is leaps and bounds above War for Cybertron, and that is saying something because WfC was hardly peanuts. Everything is better - the graphics are better, the music is better, the characters are better. I mean that last one in every sense too; the designs are better and more engaging, but it's also an internal thing. In WfC, you could get through a level playing Breakdown or Soundwave, and either way it work out to be pretty much the same. Transformer, drive, shoot. There was no acknowledgement of the vast differences between two such different characters, and that they would each deal with their surroundings and obstacles in two very different ways.

FoC has dispensed that. There's no more choosing between characters for every new level, these avatars aren't interchangeable. Every new level you're given a new character that has exactly the specifics necessary to navigate the environment, and no one else would do. Early in the game, on the front lines, we had Optimus, who can plow through squads of Decepticons and rain down holy fire in a most literal way (thank you, game designers, for prime-controlled air strikes). Later in the game, for more covert ops, we played Jazz who can sling his way above the heads of the enemy like a sneaky Spider-Jazz (friendly neighborhood Spider Jazz!). I was especially pleased to see the designers worked hard to preserve the acrobatic side of Jazz, which I love. He does his Bayverse breakdown dancing move every time he transforms, and he tends to throw in an extra flip or two when webslinging his way onto a new catwalk. Jazz also has the best lines so far in the game.

Jazz: (over the sound of alarms blaring as he breaks into a Decepticon lab) Hey Cliff, keep a look out. Apparently we got intruders.

Cliffjumper: If I see any I'll let you know.

Their dialogue was great, though I'm still confused as to why the designers went with Cliffjumper to accompany Jazz on his covert mission. Doesn't Cliffjumper hate sneaking around and enjoy blasting things with his rifle? Why not fellow spy Bumblebee, or (considering they gave CJ a special cloaking device) Mirage?

Leaving aside that quibble, the game is still fantastic. It's far more plot-oriented than WfC ever was; WfC never stopped feeling like a game. Defeat the grunts, bring down the big boss. It was a formula repeated in every level, from both Decepticon and Autobot sides. FoC doesn't feel so much like a game. There isn't always some 'big boss' to defeat at the end of every level, just for the sake of having a big fight. Instead every level is composed of missions, each with their own changing objectives, and it's all feeding into a larger plot. There's a mystery - Grimlock is missing in action and nobody knows where he's gone or why. There's foreshadowing - Shockwave is building a secret new project that he claims can open holes to the far side of the galaxy. There's political drama - I won't even mention what happens between Starscream and Megatron because I don't want to drop that gem of a spoiler.

(But OMG, Starscream posing by a portrait of himself... I've never laughed harder)

My point is, this feels more like a twelve-hour long movie rather than a video game, just a movie that we happen to get to control a character. Short movie clips are blended into the game with astonishing frequency and at unexpected intervals - not just at the beginning and ends of a level, but when you least expect the plot to rear its head. Sometimes they're poignant, sometimes they're hilarious. (Oh, Starscream) FoC is definitely worth every penny spent, and we haven't even gotten to the Decepticon side yet. I've gotten my Jazz fix, but hardly seen more than a glimpse of Soundwave (but that scene that we did, oh it broke my heart) It is a little strange that we just spent two levels playing Autobots to uncover a new supply of energon, only to switch over to Decepticon characters that will now try to steal it back. Such is the paradox of playing a video game in a fandom where at least 50% of the audience loves the villain more than the hero. Ah well, we're about to play a Vortex level, and that should be zany good fun. I'm looking forward to the rest, and will be sad when it is done. Any word on a third installment?
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