Hello WordPress, my old friend

I’ve come to post on you again.

I’m not even a little sorry for that. Nope. Newcomers: I’m definitely sorry for that, but it’s been a long week and I just don’t have it in me to pretend I’m more than a golem constructed from bad jokes, neuroses, and the occasional good idea. I got briefly distracted because I made the mistake of trying to refresh my Facebook while working on this post…only to discover my WiFi has once again crapped all over itself. Thanks, Comcast. Forever holding your products to the lowest standards. Continue reading

Night Four – Five Nights at Freddy’s 4: My, what sharp teeth you have

Five Nights at Freddy’s 4: Closure…?

Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 feels like a fully-realized vision for what Five Nights at Freddy’s could have been. It’s the best possible progression from the first game in so many ways. Writer’s Note: any instances of the animatronics’ names implies, unless said otherwise, that I’m talking about the Nightmare versions in this game. I realized I omitted that title a few times and I’m just too tired to fix it. Not even sort of sorry.

The Plot

FNAF 4 is unique in that it’s played with a child for the main character. The story begins with a Fredbear plush trying to calm down the protagonist who is crying because he’s been locked in his room again. It becomes clear that there is a party in five days, that the protagonist’s older brother torments him regularly by preying on his fear of the animatronics, I won’t really say much more, as the game is still new enough that I’d hate to spoil even a little of it. Just know that this game seems to be another prequel-sequel.

Bonnie, overall, has always been my favorite in terms of creeping me out. This? Damn it, Scott Cawthon.

Bonnie, overall, has always been my favorite in terms of creeping me out. This? Damn it, Scott Cawthon.

Continue reading

Standard New Year Hullabaloo

Happy New Year! To those of you reading this in the year 2015, on January 1st, in a world that hasn’t devolved into some sort of post-apocalyptic Hellscape, I bid you good tidings. To those of you who are in such situations: best of luck, and embrace your new robotic/insectoid/alien overlords in hopes that good behavior will be rewarded.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day mean a number of different things to a number of different people, of course. That’s a fairly obvious statement, I should think. There’s the easy way of viewing New Year’s Day as the start of a new calendar year. Another day that will, in all probability, be followed by three-hundred-sixty-four similar days. It’s a series of weeks in which the previous year sneaks into dates on virtually every document until, damn it, those guilty of such forgetfulness finally move forward and accept not being time-travelers. Some people view this as a time to enact change, small or large in their lives via resolutions while others view it as a time to continue with more of the same. Neither of those options is particularly bad on its own. It’s all a matter of how the resolutions or staying the same (which, in itself, is a resolution of sorts) are carried out. I’ve established I prefer to set goals that feel more achievable and moving forward from there. Such behaviors, I feel, were instrumental in the completion of my first novel, achieving my first paid publication (upcoming at a presently-unknown date), and surviving one hundred consecutive days of blogging, among other victories. However, I did allow myself a fair few more naps than I care to admit, more cheat-days with my writing, and other grievous creative and personal sins. However, I aim to make gradual, and hopefully very productive, changes this year. My goals for the year, as of now, will follow. Before that, I’d like to encourage the sharing of goals in the comments as well as the sharing of encouragement. Continue reading

Christmas Cheer/Pox

It’s now officially Christmas day and I still have all the eagerness of my much-younger self when it comes to presents. The key difference now is I am very excited to share something special, carefully selected after a mix of gift-hunting and procrastination, in hopes I make at least one person’s Christmas a little brighter.

Unfortunately, the only thing roasting on an open fire seems to be this writer. I’m fairly certain I have a case of the Christmas Pox, complete with fever, aches, and a generally bah humbug sensibility. Fret not, as I am at least fighting that last symptom tooth-and-nail as I refuse to bring down the mood today. Continue reading

Requesting a little help for a friend in need

Well, I use the term friend a little loosely here because “fellow Twitter-beast/writer who happens to be a generally good person” doesn’t really roll off of the tongue. I’d say both titles are applicable for the sake of brevity.

Heather, who I better know as MortuaryReport, is currently facing her third surgery in the past sixteen months. As someone who has only undergone a small handful of minor surgeries (and I’m not referencing those cosmetic procedures wherein I needed painfully infected ingrown toenails removed in time to look my best for bikini season), I can only imagine 1) how stressful this in terms of any anxiety relating to the surgeries, 2) how stressful this is financially (insurance isn’t going to cover everything), and 3) how stressful it is in relation to work and being off for extended periods of time to recover. I’ve asked people to donate to Kickstarters in the past, as they were things I supported (the Girls Make Games Kickstarter campaign springs to mind). This week has left me a little less capable of handling words well, and so I will politely borrow-steal Mort’s in this case.

In the summer of 2014, Heather was finally diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome after a decade of dealing with undiagnosed, life-altering chronic pain.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a chronic, systemic, degenerative collagen disorder that causes the body to produce collagen incorrectly. An inherited disorder, it’s poorly diagnosed and often misunderstood. Collagen is present in every part of the body, from your skin to your organs to your joints. Incorrect collagen production can affect everything from your memory to your sleeping patterns.

Because of EDS, Heather deals with daily joint dislocations and subluxations. She has spinal disc degeneration, loridosis, herniated discs, and a spinal hemangioma. Her body falls apart on a daily basis. She works fulltime as a funeral director and apprentice embalmer, helping the community and giving her all to the families she serves.

In 2013, she underwent two surgeries on her tempromandibular joint after it closed locked in her sleep. A hard-working funeral director, she missed out on almost 6 weeks worth of work. On the heels of her surgery came an unexpected divorce, two moves, and the loss of her military health insurance.

In 2014, just 16 months later, Heather underwent a lapidus bunionectomy to correct joint degeneration in her left foot. After painfully removing chunks of bone and inserting two screws, she still can’t bear any weight on her left foot at all. In order to get around on one foot, she’s had to purchase multiple assistive devices.

EDS also contributes to slow healing, and the bones in her foot are not suturing together at a regular rate. In addition to having missed six weeks of work, Heather must now cover additional costs for a bone-growth stimulator to encourage her foot to properly heal.

Despite overwhelming challenges over less than two years and a diagnosis of a lifelong disease, Heather has met them head-on and as gracefully as possible. Any and all funds will go to recoup medical fees and surgical costs as well as close the gap from missing months of work on unpaid leave.

Please help Heather literally get back on her feet! – See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/robofoot-for-heather-ratcliff/232285#sthash.CQ0gHLRX.dpuf

That’s lifted directly from Heather’s YouCaring page, which actually automatically appended a link when copied and pasted (which is pretty neat, but also seems an awful lot like witchcraft). Be awesome and help out; even a little bit goes a long way, I’m sure, and it might even go some distance towards a karmic balancing-out of the more dubious things you, dear readers, are guilty of. You all know what I’m talking about.

The link again, just in case it’s needed: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/robofoot-for-heather-ratcliff/232285

 

A day of recovery

I’m going to focus largely on the good here, as today was actually an excrement sandwich sprinkled with shards of broken glass and used hypodermic needles of questionable origin. There may be a touch of hyperbole there, but to be fair I also just realized my next post-vacation day off is fourteen days away from when my vacation occurred (with some of those days involving multiple shifts). It makes me tired to even think about it, so I’m going to shift my focus elsewhere.

The stuff – After work, I headed over to Walmart to pick up some ingredients for dinner. I had no actual game-plan in mind, but I figured I could probably mange to make something relatively edible without too much effort. Keeping in mind I didn’t want to do more of the usual, I picked up some chicken (off to a poor start on avoiding the usual) and I wandered around a bit. The end result was I bought some yellow and orange bell peppers, some sugar snap peas, and some baby carrots (which didn’t end up in the dish anyway). I wasn’t quite sure how I’d prepare the chicken until I walked by a display of dressings and spotted a bottle of raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. The dressing, which I’m not ashamed to say I’m actually too lazy to type out repeatedly, ended up being a marinade for the chicken. Tossed it in a bag and let it hang out in the fridge for a bit while I took a nap. Brianne had a very busy day with a doctor’s appointment followed by work followed by one of her grad courses, so I had some time between thinking up dinner and making the actual meal.

Bragging that isn’t really bragging – I managed to get into a Looking For Raid iteration of The Dread Approach after minimal waiting. I was probably one of the lowest DPS players in there, but I also managed to not die. Something about half of the people in our raid couldn’t say about themselves, unfortunately, as people seemed pretty intent on standing in the fire whenever possible. This was my first time really doing any raiding in Mists of Pandaria (ignoring that I did get into an LFR group right at Sha of Fear last week; that was fun). I nabbed a good few pieces of gear and generally enjoyed myself. The best part, however, was that my queue for Terrace of Endless Spring popped right after I completed The Dread Approach. As I’ve not gotten anywhere in my Legendary cloak questing, I was pretty happy to get to 4 of each…er, Mark I guess. Marks of Wisdom and Power? I’m not looking it up. The point is I got to kill things I’ve never killed before, and if that’s not what raiding is all about then I must be doing it wrong. Note to self: I still need to try my hand at getting the other Thunderfury binding before next Tuesday (damn it).

Dinner turned out really well. It’s Brianne-approved, so that’s a plus. It was absolutely awful to look at, but it was a nice and healthy sweet meal I’ll have to try my hand at making again soon.

The best part of tonight is that I feel pretty rejuvenated. It’s a bit surprising, actually, as I ended work and shopping feeling very stressed out. A lot of it is a matter of accepting things that aren’t presently within my control and moving along with the things I can handle in the present (shocking, I know). The nap certainly didn’t hurt.

In closing – Here’s wishing everyone a relatively insanity-free next fourteen days, and in doing so sending the same wishes to myself. Victory is just ahead, right?

The good, the bad, and the ugly of down-time

Well-known fact: I have poor time-management skills for someone who works a 40+ hour a week job but also wants to become a relatively well-known writer. Or maybe it’s a little-known fact for some of you, in which case I’ll take a moment and appreciate my good fortune that not all of my readers readily identify me as a terrible, lazy slacker.

Let me ruin that for you. I came home from my first day back at work and napped, off and on, for about two hours. My body doesn’t always appreciate naps, but it seemed like a particularly necessary evil tonight for some reason. Probably because not being at work for eleven days and then returning after a day of furniture shopping makes for a rather tired person who can’t stop thinking “I need a vacation”. During my vacation, which had been filled with plans of creative time while Jason worked and potentially drunken shenanigans while we hung out, I accomplished far less than I had hoped to during my plotting of said vacation. My world-building for the still-unnamed novel project found some good points here and there, and a couple characters were really fleshed out more than I could have hoped. However, this was not nearly what I envisioned myself getting done.

I’m only somewhat okay with calling this more of a success than a failure, if only because failure seems to indicate there was absolutely no movement towards my goals (which included writing multiple short stories, sending them off for consideration, and accomplishing a great deal towards the page count of the previously mentioned novel project). I can’t, even in my magnificent self-loathing, call last week a complete failure, anyway.  Continue reading