Friday, May 29, 2009

I am reminded...

I just recently joined Goodreads, because I am a bibliophile at heart and cannot resist the lure of a place to catalog all the books I own, have read, and desire to read. It's just the way I am. But, browsing the never-ending lists of books in any of the genres I particularly enjoy, I found myself despairing of all the books out there that I have not yet read, and all the free time I find myself stuck with, and all the books that I'm not quite ready to re-read yet.

I'm broke as broke, and as much as I'd like to spend lots and lots of money on lots and lots of books, it's hard to justify. Partly because of the student loans looming over my head, but also because don't have enough bookshelves for the books I've got, let alone the ones I desire.

And that's when the duh moment hit me. That's when I was reminded of the glorious building I've eschewed since I went to college, for reasons entirely unknown to me. The shining beacon that called to me twice a week during the summers between my years in high school: the library!

I haven't had a library card in ages, and it's gotten to the point that I'd entirely forgotten such a wonderful place even existed. All this time, I've been dreading the finish of a book, because it would mean I'd have to decide which book out of the many I own to re-read next. And there are problems with my collection, too. Due to mishaps and irresponsible purchasing practices, whole series sit on my shelves incomplete. How can I begin a book in any one series, knowing I'll have to inevitably skip over the book I do not own?! It's madness, it can't be done.

How silly I've been. I have the day off, and Winona has a public library. The math, even for me, is simple. Is it weird that I'm actually salivating at the thought of browsing the stacks again?

Edit: Library card achieved! Now, to finish reading Catch 22, so I can put this bad boy to use!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nerdery and such...

I am, at heart, a gamer. I really really less than three video and computer games. And board games. And all (1) pen and paper tabletop games I've played. And card games, and puzzles, and drinking games (especially drinking games!) and other game-type activities that don't involve much physical activity. As a result, I spend a great deal of time, energy, and sometimes even money devoted to the pursuit and enjoyment of such games.

I haven't played a lot of games, certainly not in comparison with other gamers I've known. For instance (and time and terminology are not currently conducive to clarity and brevity), before we were married the man who is currently my ex-husband and I rented a home that was frequented by his gamer friends. They eventually spent so much time there that one by one, they moved their computers into our living room, and we set up a LAN, and there was perhaps never a time in that house in which it was either empty or quiet because everyone was asleep. Extra televisions were moved in, and multiple game consoles to accommodate them. The width and breadth of games readily at my fingertips thanks to these guys even now boggles the mind. And they never stopped gaming. Everquest and Halo, Diablo 2 and Soul Caliber 2, Settlers of Catan and Neverwinter Nights, Lord of the Five Rings (the card game and the pen-and-paper rpg) and even, once or twice, some Dungeons and Dragons.

This house was Nerd Central, and I participated in only a small portion of all that went on; I occassionally had to force myself to focus on my college classes (and yes, my grades did suffer more than a bit at this time).

I forgot where I was going with all that, but the point is this: I like teh campooter gamez. I spend more time than I care to admit just browsing games on Yahoo Games, Whirled,, and other game-type websites. I've only recently broken my WoW addiction (strangely enough, through extended disinterest... O.o), but I still often turn to Neverwinter Nights, Age of Empires II and the good-old standby: Solitaire (especially Spider Solitaire).

But the game I'm loving the hell out of right now? Puzzle Pirates!

I've been playing PP on and off for about three years now (and I have the Third Order of the Jolly Roger to prove it!) and I think it just keeps getting better and better. And I just came to the conclusion that I think I like it more than World of Warcraft. Ultimately, the fact is that PP's simplicity makes it much easier to enjoy than WoW.

Bullet Points!

  • PP is cheaper than WoW. One doesn't necessarily need to pay to play, as most games are aviailable to non-subscribers at different times through the week (and some games are always available) but even the monthly subscription is cheaper.
  • PP is less demanding than WoW in the technical sense. I haven't uninstalled WoW from my hard drive, and it takes up a good chunk of space between the three expansions. Patches, too, are hefty. The pie graph below illustrates the four major games I have on my computer, and their comparative size in megabytes. (ignore the title, please, I've just realized it's not quite accurate to the data).

  • PP is challenging, but not frustrating. At least, it isn't so much for me. WoW can be, I think, universally frustrating due to its nature. For someone like me, a PvP server on WoW is utter hell, but there are other factors as well. Mob adds, for instance. Level or gold grinding, dungeon wipes, certain quests (fuck you in your fucking face Betrayal! /angryfayse) ; all these have made me utter words that only the child of two sailors should know in the first place. Puzzle Pirates is so much simpler! I play at a puzzle, and I get Pieces of Eight! If I struggle with the puzzle, I can move on to something else, which will also give me PoE! I could go on, but suffice to say that PP does not make me want to tear my hair out - EVER.
  • PP is a world of pirates. And, unless you're a ninja fan, that's pretty awesome (perhaps PP's parent company should create a Ninja Pirates parallel... that would take a lot of development, though... but it's a fun thought. I'd probably play that too.) WoW is a great fantasy world, full of rich and complex history; I've heard that Blizzard has on staff a person with a PhD in history whose sole job is to ensure that subsequent WoW updates maintain continuity with already established lore. That's just heavy.
  • I can wear many different "hats" in PP. I can be an alchemist, or a blacksmith, or a sailor; none of these are dependent on a choice one at character creation, but are freely available at any time (unless one is not a subscriber, of course). WoW is a little more restrictive. If you roll a priest, you're not going to be able to tank; if you want to try tanking, you've got to roll another character with a different class and level it. The hybrid classes give you a little more wiggle room, but you've still got to respec (I admit, I dropped the game before Dual-spec came out; I'm sure this feature has improved things A LOT!) and will probably even need to keep extra pieces of gear on hand to make the most of the new spec.
  • I love puzzles! I feel like I'm actually working my mind with every different puzzle I play, and whenever the puzzle gets monotonous, I can change gears pretty easily. On WoW, there are challenges, certainly, but it can be pretty much the same. Whichever toon I was on, I had a rotation of spells or actions that I used for nearly every mob I came across. How I was able to spend hours at a time doing this boggles my mind right now.
This is, by and large, about all I've got right now. This blog is long enough, and I fear it's reading like a commercial endorsement when it is closer to a love letter. To be fair, my main complaint with Puzzle Pirates is the use of labor hours; this is more of a whinge than anything - I tend to use up all my 24 of my advance labor hours whenever I forage, and it's no fun to just practice at puzzles! Luckily, the Terra Island Navy pays me well for the fine work I do rigging, sailing, and carpenting (and the poor work I do navigating... but I've just started!)

Yo ho ho!

Friday, May 15, 2009

So much stuff!

One of my biggest problems is that I very frequently think to myself (as opposed to thinking to someone else...) "Ooh, that's something I could write a blog post about!" and then I never get around to actually writing the post. Like my stalled "With Darkness as an Ally" series, a road block goes up somewhere between idea and "Publish Post". It can be anything from the sudden rumble of my stomach, reminding me that I haven't had breakfast yet, or the reminder that I still have 17 videos in my queue on Hulu that really ought to get watched eventually, or I could just get bored and decide that playing a computer game like Puzzle Pirates or Spider Solitaire would be much more interesting than just writing about... stuff.

What kind of stuff have I failed to write about? Golly, I'll tell you!

This article on CNN that I read today; it got me thinking even more about my own atheism (something that's been on my mind quite a lot lately, thanks to recent YouTube discoveries my boyfriend has made). I could write just so much here about so many different aspects of religion that I have a beef with, including one of my favorite stuffs to think about: "What if Satan Wrote the Bible?" That post will probably never come, though, because it would be difficult to ever really end it.

What was going on at Taco Bell at 5:45am the other day? I drive by there on the way to work in the mornings, and the lights are usually off, but that time they were on! There was no end to my speculations, and I briefly entertained the notion of sharing them all with you, the internet, but I was at work for the next many hours and promptly forgot them all.

I've felt the urge to write movie reviews that nobody really needs to read. Sometimes I just want to talk about movies, and why I think The Spirit would have been better with the application of vodka, or why I totally expect someone to re-make Just One of the Guys, and why I will be there on opening night for it.

Does anyone else feel betrayed when spam makes it through your e-mail's Junk Filter? Does anyone else get excited by a "new mail" notification, only to discover that "The best way to win her heart is to buy her a golden watch." Actually, going through my spam folder, I could do an entire blog post just listing the spam titles. I'd share a website that illustrates spam titles, but I haven't been able to get it to load today. /sad

And... I've not only forgotten all the other stuffs that I want to share with you, the internet, but I'm also being distracted by my stomach rumbling, reminding me that I haven't had breakfast yet. Time to hit the little orange button, so I can get at least this much up...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


For our fourth anniversary, my boyfriend brought home this flower for me. It doesn't seem that romantic or awesome, but it is in fact made of win, because I happen to be absolutely mad for lilies of all kinds.