30 Days of Me: Day 17 - An Art Piece

Note: I wrote this up like Wednesday night and had scheduled it to post for Thursday (yesturday) but I just noticed that Blogger failed and for some reason (like it's been doing lately) it saved it as a draft instead and never published it. So here is the 2nd entry for 30 Days of Me this week.

When I first read the topic for today, I automatically assumed it meant a piece you did yourself, so that's where I'm going.

Being a graphic artist with a background in layout and design with a Bachelor's Degree in Art I have quite a bit of pieces to show off, which can be easily view by clicking the "My Art" tab under my blog banner up above here.

I can't really pick just 1 piece, so I post and share some of my favorites I've done.

http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs131.snc1/5612_689441506839_30800316_39374223_3172663_n.jpg  http://www.nationalgalleries.org/media_collection/18/GMA%201119.jpg 

This first one is a master artist study that we did in my Painting I class in college. The project was to find a well-known artist and select a piece of theirs to do a study on and then replicate it using the same means and techniques that the artist did. I built the frame to the correct dimensions thanks to the woodshop in the art building (which I HATED by the way as I always somehow got covered in sawdust, lol), built my canvas and began working away. The artist I chose was Max Ernst and this piece is called "Sea and Sun." I love surrealist works as they're a bit strange and out there and a lot of Ernst's work is surrealist. For a beginning painting class, I think it turned out pretty well and this one is proudly displayed in our living room. Mine is on the left, the original is on the right.


The photo for this next piece doesn't quite do it justice. This was a project for my Painting II class I took in college. The project was 2 combine elements of 2 different artists to create a work of our own. Jackson Pollock is a favorite artist of mine as love his paint drip technique that he uses and I've always wanted to do a Pollock-like piece myself and used this as my opportunity. I forget who the other artist I crossed Pollock's style with for this project, but I remember it was a woman and she used fabric in all her paintings. I thought it was interesting but I wasn't that crazy about it so once I took the piece home, I pulled off most of the fabric flowers I had originally put on it. This frame was built with stretcher bars, I built the canvas and used 3 smaller buckets of paint from the paint store in black, lilac and turquoise. It's a bigger piece and I'm quite happy with it now that it doesn't have most of the fabric flowers on it - it's currently hanging over the loveseat couch that's in our bedroom.


This next piece I did near the end of my Intro to Watercolor class and it was probably one of the better pieces I did for that class as I royally sucked at watercolor. As you can tell, it's Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants with his rock house in the background as well as Gary the Snail. I say it's probably one of my better watercolors as this was one of the few pieces I did for that class where I actually felt like I "got it" - unfortunately though, this was near the end of the semester. I hope that Jay will like Spongebob and perhaps we can hang mommy's watercolor in his room or somewhere.


This is another watercolor I did for Intro to Watercolor and it was one I did in the middle of the semester. I was quite into anime during college (thanks mostly to my ex), and I decided to incorporate the black kitty from Trigun into a piece. In it, he's rolled over, playing dead, trying to avoid all the bullets (the black dots in the painting) from a shoot out that's going on (as there's plenty of those in Trigun). Like the Patrick one above, this was one of my better watercolors I did in that class (I really didn't like watercolor!).


This one is from my 3D Art class I took my 2nd semester in the art program at my college. Our instructor had us watch this creepy Russian claymation Alice in Wonderland video (which I found out later belonged to my best friend at the theater) and then explained that our project was to show a pair of hands interacting with each other and we had to include x-amount of wire and x-amount of plaster as our mediums. Playing off the creepy Alice video, I decided to be a bit abstract and show 2 hands "building" each other. It was interesting project and I'll admit, I enjoyed playing with the plaster.


This last one is a project I did for my Intro to Printmaking class I took my last semester of college. In the class, we had to do several different type of etchings, where we used different mediums to create an etching onto a sheet metal plate and then we had to print it onto our paper. A lot of my projects in this class were hit and miss, as it was a learning process and we only had x-amount of time for each type of printmaking we were doing at the time. This Hard Ground etching was one of my better etchings out of the set we did (I believe we did 3 or 4 different types of etching). It's a hand picking up a heart on a chain.


Looking For Group

From time to time I like to catch up on some of my favorite web comics. A really good, amusing World of Warcraft one is the award-winning Looking For Group comic which has been running since 2006 and updates on Mondays and Thursdays.

This series follows a group of Hordies as they adventure in Azeroth.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:EPLckt6FXLpPXM:http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h128/devillo/lfg.jpg&t=1We first meet Blood Elf hunter Cale and his big black cat pet Sooba and a sadistic Undead warlock named Richard. Cale is your stereotypical blonde male Blood Elf and is often the brunt of some jokes. Richard is always up for killing things - especially cute fluffy animals that Cale is "oooh"-ing and "awww"-ing over.

Early on, the duo runs into a green Troll priestess named Benny when they try to rescue her from some thugs, but quickly learns she is quite capable of taking care of herself.

We are also introduced to Krunch who is warrior/shaman type of Tauren with great strength and is a bit of an intellectual. Him and Benny go back a ways and he often refers to her as "Gid" which is short for "green kid."

From Wiki:
Looking for Group's Ryan Sohmer and Lar deSouza draw the themes of Looking for Group from many influences, such as Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series,"Dungeons and Dragons", Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire (with several acknowledged news posts of this), and Blizzard Entertainment's popular MMORPG video game World of Warcraft. The art style and the title imply that it was originally intended as a parody of World of Warcraft - the four main characters resemble four of the five Horde races in World of Warcraft. Though the comic began as purely humorous in tone, it soon shifted to a more serious (albeit complicated) adventure, with most of the remaining comedy carried by Richard the warlock. A recurring gag in the comic features characters resembling famous fantasy characters such as Frodo Baggins, Obi Wan Kenobi and a Smurf appearing and then immediately being killed. Dialogue from The Lord of the Rings is often parodied, and pop culture references in medieval guise abound.
Source: Wikipedia

It's got comedy, action and a bit of drama as the group makes their way in the realm. If you enjoy reading web comics or World of Warcraft related stories, be sure to check out Looking For Group!


30 Days of Me: Day 16 - A song that makes you cry (or nearly)

http://whi.s3.leg.entries.lg1x8.simplecdn.net/20081127224816.jpgI do have a song like this...

And it makes me sad as the scenario in the song and the thoughts the singer ponders is something I have been through and experienced in recent years. Strangely, the song was a single at the time I went through what I did, so I heard it quite a bit... not sure if it helped or not though, but at the time it was nice having a song I could relate to.

I don't really want to go into the details, as it's kinda private, nor am I going to say what the song is, as that'll probably give away the gist of what happened.

I haven't listened to the song much in the last year or so. I'd rather not think on what happened and not dwell on the past but keep trying to move forward with my head high and make the best of where and how things are now. As it is, I still occasionally have slight moments of doubt or random thoughts and memories what happened pop into my head. I hate it - I really do. It's hard enough trying to move forward when that happens from time to time, but I try to shrug it off, stuff those thoughts away in the back of my mind and not dwell on it.


Music Shuffle Monday 09.27.10

http://www.veryicon.com/icon/png/Media/iPod,%20Therefore%20I%20Am/iPod%20Mini%20Blue.png1. "Help You Find Your Way" by Michael W. Smith
This song is from Smith's late 80's era album "i 2 (eye)". As typical of his music from that period (and most others), it features electric guitars and lots of keyboards and a big "booming" chorus plus a guitar solo thrown in. This was a pretty good album though - one of my favorites of his actually.

2. "If Today Was Your Last Day" by Nickelback
Now I know awhile back I wrote a post (which many of you commented on on Facebook) where I stated bands like Hinder and Nickelback should just stop making their crap music. I will admit though, Nickelback does has a few good songs - I really enjoyed their "Leader of Men" album that came out when I was in high school, but then once they "made it" and in recent years they kinda focused on singles that have a lot of stupid sexual content in them. Anyways, this song, off their latest album "Dark Horse," is actually pretty inspirational, as it poses the question of "If you knew that today was your last day, what would you do?" and encourages us to live everyday like it could be our last and make it count.

3. "Somewhere Out There" by Our Lady Peace
This one is actually labeled incorrectly on my iPod - it's listed by being by the band Default (known for their songs "Wasting My Time" and "Deny") but it's really by Our Lady Peace, from 2002. I remember this came out near the end of my senior year of high school and I got a copy of it when I was in college. It's a pretty song - a bit emo, but it's got some cool instrumentals playing in the background too.

4. "Sanctuary" by Utada Hikaru
If you've ever played the PS2 game "Kingdom Hearts II" by Disney and Square Enix (the sequel to Kingdom Hearts), you know that this is sort of the theme song for the game. It's a J-Pop techno-ish song, that's very calming and serene. Utada has a really pretty voice too. If you've never played the Kingdom Hearts games, in the first one a boy named Sora is trying to find his friend Kiari and Riku whom he was separated from when The Darkness began taking over their world. In his adventures he meets Goofy and Donald looking for King Mickey who also went missing on their world when The Darkness took over. The trio fights through a variety of classic Disney worlds, encountering and getting help from various classic Disney characters along the way. Part 2 is much of the same basic premise, only there's a new kid named Roxas who's storyline is interchanged with Sora's which we learn why later on. In addition to The Darkness, there's also a group of baddies called Organization XIII working alongside them that needs to be defeated. There's also some of the classic Final Fantasy characters thrown in too (many from FFVII)! If you like RPG games, this was a pretty fun series!

5. "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve
When I hear this classic late 90s song I think 1 of 2 things - the amusing video of the singer walking down a sidewalk, being a jerk to everyone by deliberately walking into them rather than go around them when they get in the way of his stride, OR the epic ending to the movie Cruel Intentions, as the song closes out the last few scenes where Katherine (Sarah Michelle Gellar's character) gets her due. Anyone else that saw the video think the singer looks a bit like an alien? I mean he's like really tall and his eyes look so dark like he's almost wearing sunglasses and it makes him look like he has "bug" eyes... lol... he always kinda weirded me out!


Some more fun stuff for mommy

Awhile back I saw an ad on Facebook for baby/pregnancy related coupons and discounts so I signed up and from time to time in my email I get some offers for different products through this site I signed up on.

Last week I got an email for a 1 day only sale on nursing covers at a site called Udder Covers (I found the name amusing!) - using the promo code in the email, you could purchase a $32 nursing cover for free - just pay the $9.95 shipping and handling. They also had gift sets on this site for $37 - since the promo code was good for $32 off products on the site you could get the gift set for just $5 plus the $9.95 shipping and handling. In addition to the nursing cover, the gift set also comes with a Milk Bands nursing bracelet that helps you keep track of which side you last nursed on and for how long and at what time, as well as 5 ply 100% cotton breast pads to help you from leaking. Since the set was only $5 more we opted for that and it just arrived today!

I got the black nursing cover, as they had various colors and patterns to choose from:

https://www.uddercovers.com/_/images/index.php?images_id=35&width=360 https://www.uddercovers.com/_/images/index.php?images_id=34&width=360 

I thought it was a pretty good deal for $14.95 when normally it would have been $46.95! I just looked - good thing I acted when I did too - they're all out of this particular pattern, both separately and in the gift set!

http://dynamic.images.indigo.ca/ProductImage.aspx?width=140&isbn=018713541222&quality=85&cat=dvd&lang=enWe were also watching something last week that made me think of maybe trying yoga to help with stretching and strengthening a bit. Since I have some Amazon gift cards still in my account I went on there to look and see what they had and came across the Summer Sander's Prenatal Workout DVD. It includes some stretching and simple weight work to help keep your body toned and build up your muscles since you'll be carrying your kiddo around and need that upper body strength. It's got 3 different workouts - 1 for each trimester - and each workout has a "full length" 50 minute version and an "express" shorter version. It had mostly good reviews and seemed to be one of the best pregnancy workout DVDs so I decided to get it.

In the DVD, Summer is 7 months pregnant, so it's nice seeing someone with a baby belly doing the workout with you and being able to watch as she does things so you can do it correctly too. I tried the full length version yesterday since I had time. My arms were a little tired so I wasn't able to the 2nd set of bicep and tricep exercises, but the rest of the DVD wasn't bad - I used 5lb weights instead of a resistance cord and that worked just fine. Also, they have you do floor stuff on an incline of pillows too - I need to get a few more cuz my couch pillows weren't working as well.

I felt really good after the workout though and seemed to have more energy than I seemed to be having lately too. I'd definitely recommend this DVD to anyone that's pregnant and wants to work out properly and safely!

Twitter and celeb encounters

Awhile back I mentioned the first time I ever had a celeb (or at least someone I've watched on TV) Tweet a reply back to me.

I love when people who are famous or at least semi-famous take the time to interact with those of us not on TV that follow them.

Summer Sanders' Prenatal WorkoutEarlier this week I ordered a Yoga/Workout DVD for pregnancy by Summer Sanders off Amazon.com. Summer is an Olympic gold medal swimmer and in addition to her hosting duties in the late 90s/early 2000s on Nickelodeon's Figure It Out game show, she also does specials and such on ESPN and was a contestant on Trump's Celebrity Apprentice 3 that aired this past Spring. In the DVD, there's 3 different workouts - one for each trimester you're in - and Summer is 7 months pregnant in it so it helps to see a fellow pregnant lady doing the exercises and being able to watch how she gets into these different positions so you don't hurt yourself. Each trimester workout has 2 versions - a full length one that lasts about 50 minutes or a shorter "express" version. I tried the full length version yesterday since I had the time and wow! What a workout! I felt pretty good afterwards too!

Anyways, impressed, I decided to look up Summer on Twitter and just give her props for doing a great pregnancy workout DVD:

And to my surprise, a little while later, she Tweeted me back!
It was a nice surprise! I never expect celebs or sem-famous people to response back to me on Twitter.

Also, awhile back, I had an amusing conversation with Ambre Lake - the winner of Rock of Love 2 - regarding the Shake Weight. She made a mention of it and I just simply responded:
And then she Direct Messaged me back:
However since she doesn't follow me, I couldn't Direct Message her back so I had to respond to her like normal:
In which she responded back:

It was pretty funny!

And last week, to those that follow me on Twitter, you know I've been hyping/promoting I Love Money 4 with a bunch of others as VH1 isn't promoting it, despite the large fanbase for the show:

Sorry for the spam!

Surprisingly, a few days later in my email, I get this message from Twitter:

Kinda cool and I felt obliged to follow her back. She also Retweeted one of my I Love Money 4 plugs the other night and other people were Retweeting it too!

How cool is that?

Twitter's made me feel special this week =)


The fascination with crazy colored hair dolls and their little naked butts

Originally known as Leprechauns, but also referred to as Dam dolls, Gonks, Wishniks, and Norfins, we simply called them Trolls or Treasure Trolls.

Who would have thought a scary fantasy creature such as a troll would be widely popular with young kids throughout the decades?

Before the Beanie Baby outbreak of the mid-90s, there was the Troll craze. Different stores in the mall would carry various Troll dolls, all with different colored hair and cute, clever outfits - there was a troll dressed for every season and almost any activity a kid could think of!


I remember I had a whole shoebox full of these guys! The first one I ever got had yellow hair, however I did have the ever popular Rainbow Hair Troll too.

 http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d64/mom2brenkae/DSCN5607.jpg http://s4.hubimg.com/u/940351_f260.jpg

http://vintagegameworld.com/images/Treasure%20Trolls%20G148.jpgThey also created larger dolls with outfits you could interchange with other dolls (I sometimes used Cabbage Patch Kids clothes, as they fit!) - I had one that was like a ballerina. I also had the troll pencil toppers that caused plenty of fun at school! There was also the Treasure Trolls game - I forget the point of it, but it came with 4 mini troll dolls (about the size of the pencil toppers) and since we didn't play the game much, I just put them in my shoebox with my other troll dolls!

Did you know that Trolls were originally created in 1959 and besides being popular in the late 80s and early 90s, they were also popular in the 60s and 70s? They also made it onto the Toy Industry Associations's Century of Toys list too!

In 2005 there was a short-lived and failed cartoon series called Trollz, and apparently it was recently announced by Dreamworks that a Trolls movie is in the works as well.

Fall TV preview

Yesterday, I posted my Summer TV Recap of several shows hubby and I watched over the summer.

Since the Fall TV season is upon us, I thought I'd also share what I'm watching this TV season.

I plan on watching both Glee and No Ordinary Family.

http://www.byterology.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/glee-season-2.jpgI didn't watch Glee when it first started airing, however after hearing a bunch of my friends and family on Facebook talk about it each week, I decided to check it out before it returned for the Spring and got all caught up when the new episodes started airing. I got hooked on it and enjoy it - sure it's a bit corny at times, but it's got some fun drama and the music and plot are both pretty good and enjoyable. For those not familiar with the show, Glee follows a school's glee club that is being threatened to be cut due to the school's tight budget. In order to not get cut, they have to make it to the regionals and nationals, etc to prove their an asset for the school, however many of the members seem to be the school's underdogs and get treated poorly by other students. It's got some typical high school drama with some adult drama thrown in as well. It airs at 8/7c Tuesdays on Fox.

No Ordinary Family, as I've heard it described before, is basically a live-action version of The Incredibles - a regular family suddenly gets super powers and abilities after their plane crashes in the Amazon River. The show follows them as they learn to live with their new powers and abilities while stopping the bad guys. Michael Chiklis (from The Commish and The Shield) stars as the dad in this series and it looks like it could be pretty good! It airs Tuesdays, starting next week at 8/7c on ABC.

Since Glee and No Ordinary Family both air at the same time, I'll probably end up watching Glee online in the days after it airs since hubby isn't a fan of musicals, much less a show about a Glee club with singing - I'm sure he'd much rather watch a live-action Incredibles instead.

On Wednesdays we tend to watch The Middle, Modern Family, South Park and Tosh.0.

The Middle stars Patricia Heaton (from Everybody Loves Raymond) as Frankie Heck - a working mother and wife living in the middle of nowhere in Indiana. When she's not working as a used car saleswoman with her friend and co-worker Chris Kattan, she's at home with her husband trying to raise 3 kids - slacker teen Axl, their younger unpopular teenage daughter Sue, and 7 year old son Brick who is a bit socially awkward and often reminds me of Dewy from Malcolm in the Middle. It airs Wednesdays on ABC at 8/7c.

http://static.tvfanatic.com/images/gallery/modern-family-poster.jpgModern Family is another ABC sitcom starring Ed O'Neil as the Pritchett family patriarch. Ed O'Neils character Jay is the oldest and at the start of the series he is recently remarried to the much younger beautiful Columbian Gloria who is not much older than his kids. With Gloria is her young son Manny, who is about the same age as some of Jay's grandchildren. Also in the series are the families of Jay's daughter Claire and his son Mitchell. Claire is married to Phil and they have 3 children - a typical lovestruck teenage daughter Haley, brainiac daughter and middle child Alex, and a son named Luke whom Alex often uses her above-average knowledge on to often scare or prank. Mitchell is a gay man who has been with his partner Cameron for (I believe they said) 6 years and at the start of the series they recently adopted a little Vietnamese girl named Lily. The show often features multiple storylines in a single episode, interweaving all 3 parts of the family together somehow. It's pretty funny at times though and somewhat relatable. It airs Wednesdays on ABC at 9/8c.

South Park is South Park, plain and simple. However we enjoy the satire it does on pop culture and recent going-ons and find it to often be quite hilarious. Sure, some may find the content offensive, but it's all in good fun and honestly, nothing is safe or sacred on South Park - they point fun of it all! It airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Comedy Central.

After South Park, we watch Tosh.0, which is like The Soup's web clip spin off Web Soup, but so much funnier! Hosted by comedian Daniel Tosh, we get to see some hilarious clips that people have posted on the web while Tosh gives his commentary and thoughts on them. He also has some amusing segments, such as the weekly Web Redemption where gives the target of certain video that went horribly wrong or was just terribad in general a chance at redemption by doing their video over with better results. It's a pretty amusing show and airs Wednesdays on Comedy Central at 1030/930c.

Regular shows I watch on Thursdays are Community, The Office and I Love Money 4.

http://images.starpulse.com/Photos/Previews/Community-tv-22.jpgLast season on Community, the show followed a group of students at Greendale Community college who were all taking Spanish 101 and 102 together and formed a bit of a study group. While the point of the study group was to focus on Spanish class, they all bonded together and became a bit of a family. Each character is pretty funny in their own right though and this season, needing a reason to keep their regular study group sessions, the group decides to take Anthropology together, which is taught by Betty White. The great thing about this show is all the classic movie and TV references, the variety of characters, and the pop culture references - it comes off as being really laugh out loud funny! This one stars The Soup's Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, and Ken Jeong (from The Hangover). It airs Thursdays on NBC at 8/7c.

The Office, now in it's 7th season, seems to be going strong and is more of the same old same old, but it's still pretty funny! Based on a short-lived British series of the same name starring Ricky Gervais, the premise of the show is that a documentary/reality TV film crew is taping the everyday going-on's at paper company Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lead by clueless boss Michael Scott, the employees do their jobs the best they can, however it seems like there's always something going on at work! With an ensemble cast, there's plenty of characters to like, each often having some subplot of their own. I'm sure more people would be lining up to work office/desk jobs if their office was nearly as fun, crazy and hilarious as Dunder Mifflin is! Sadly though, this is the last season that Steve Carrell (who plays Michael Scott) will be in . It'll be interesting to see how they write him out and what will happen after his departure - many say they should just end the series with this as the last season, others are speculating over who will be the new boss. It airs Thursdays on NBC at 9/8c.

Last week I posted about the return of I Love Money with the previously unaired season 4. In this VH1 reality competition show, cast members from previous VH1 "...of Love" shows compete to win $250,000. They compete in different challenges while on teams, alliances are formed and people are voted/kicked off each episode. It's kinda like a VH1 version of Survivor, but with a lot more scandal, backstabbing and drama! It airs Thursdays on VH1 at 11/10c with various reruns late at night throughout the week.

http://sharetv.org/images/my_dad_says-show.jpgTonight we tried the new CBS show $#*! My Dad Says starring William Shatner. Knowing it was based off a Twitter account and hearing the creator on a radio show awhile back, I thought it would be pretty funny... hubby and I were both pretty disappointed though, as it wasn't nearly as good or funny as we thought it would be - we only laughed a few times. In fact, I think we laughed more at Community's parody and mention of it in tonight's episode than we did at the actual show! (In Community, we learn that Troy has been living with Pierce over the summer and since the old man says some pretty funny stuff, Troy created a Twitter account called "OldWhiteGuySays" to share these gems of Pierce's. At the end of the episode, when it's revealed to Pierce what Troy has been doing, instead of telling him to close the account, he points out they have over 600,000 followers reading Pierce quotes and that they should cash on it - "we could turn it into a TV show!" he declares. The group pauses and then says "nah" and that that would never work, lol...).

http://www.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/outsourced_nbc_tv_show_logo.jpgAnother new show we tuned into tonight was NBC's Outsourced, which is about a guy who learns that the American novelty company he works for has recently outsourced their call center to India and in order for him to keep his job, he has to go over there and manage it. The show shows some pretty funny interactions and reactions when it comes to dealing with a clash of cultures as India and America are pretty different in the way they view things. This one seems to have potential and I'm sure we'll check into it for a few more episodes at least. It currently airs Thursdays on NBC at 930/830c while the show Parks and Recreation is on hiatus.

http://editorial.sidereel.com/_img/featured/the_soup.jpgOn Fridays we watch The Soup on E!. Hosted by Joel McHale, we get to see some of the funniest clips from the previous weeks reality shows, talk shows, and other random shows. Joel gives some pretty funny commentary and thoughts on the clips, often pointing out the ridiculousness of some. There's also special celebrity guests that pop in from time to time. If you want a good laugh but don't enjoy much of what's popular on TV and only care for the highlights or funny parts, be sure to check out The Soup! It airs Friday nights at 10/9c on E! with reruns throughout the week.

Sundays in the fall are for football! Hubby's a big Cowboy's fan so we watch their games whenever we can (since they're not in our market, they don't always air every game up here - the Bears, Packers, Vikings and Colts games tend to take precedence if they're on the same time as the Cowboys).

What are you watching this fall?


Summer TV recap

Hubby and I got into several TV shows this summer that we watched on a weekly basis and now that the series/seasons are over, I thought I'd post my thoughts on them.

Below are season summaries of 3 shows that aired this summer - Persons Unknown, Entourage, and True Blood.

30 Days of Me: Day 15 - A fanfic

Oh geez, I haven't written much of a fanfic in AGES!

Back in Junior High I used to write X-Files fanfiction on the old Prodigy Classic boards - there was a decent group of us, we'd all make up or pretend we were characters from the show and take turns writing chapters and such. For example, my character was JJ Walker - Scully's niece who was a new agent at the FBI, however she had a secret - she was dating Alex Krycek, the 2 were madly in love, and she was sort of his sidekick as he had gone rogue. Ah the dilemma!

Someone else was Scully, another was Mulder, and they would write chapters that were heavy on their own storyline but still keep the continuity of the ones that I had wrote for myself and that others had wrote for their characters, so our writings all meshed together into one big RPG story.

It was a lot of fun, albeit short lived.

Then in college, sometime after I started playing WoW, I started writing some WoW fanfic that included my Paladin Flourentine's adventures in the game. First I started out with her backstory and how she became a Paladin and then I planned on fleshing it out and including various memorable adventures I had had in game - her joining the Templar guild and branching off with friends to create a sister Templar guild; her marriage to Bjorn; her experiences raiding; various friendships she held near and dear over the years...

I didn't get that far though - I had just about finished with her backstory when got busy and forgot about it.

I would post some of it, but well... the only copy I know of where it's at is on my unreliable laptop and I'd rather not have to start it up and try and get it to work right now - I know I sent hubby a copy awhile back and I thought I recalled him having saved it somewhere, but I can't find it at the moment... Maybe another time though!


Cataclysm Alliance Cities & Eastern Kingdoms preview!

I'm REALLY excited to share this week's Warcraft Wednesday with you guys!

Last night I was finally in the mood to play some WoW and decided to give the Beta another try - the last few times I tried to play Beta there was the goblin glitch that kept crashing the game and then another time the servers were down for extended maintenance/patching so it's been about a month since I've actually bothered with the Beta.

The launcher took what seemed like forever to load enough content so I could play (rather than make the Beta a client like the normal PTRs, you download the content through the Blizzard Launcher/Downloader and it continuously downloads/loads in the background while you play, but you have to wait for the initial setup to complete first before you can play).

Anyways, I noticed that you could create Worgen females now, so I decided to check that out first:

The neat thing here, since you have your initial human form AND your Worgen form, is that you can switch between the 2 in the character creation screen to see how your human attributes carry over as a Worgen and vice versa til you find something you like that works for both.

Unfortunately though, when I entered in several names, each time rather than giving me the "Character Created" pop up box, I got one that said "Failure" so it looks like that while you can currently play around creating a female Worgen, you cannot save and play them yet.

I decided that I would check out some of the changes in Azeroth, namely the major Alliance cities and the Eastern Kingdoms. I logged into my human Paladin Flourentine (aka Flour pronounced like "Flor") as she was my original toon that I played the most during Vanilla and for sentimental reasons though seeing all the changes on her would be fun.

One thing I noticed right away was the lack of talents I had, as they had all been reset, so I opened up my talent tree - they changed the look of a lot of the windows, such as the talent tree and spellbook.

The change with the talent tree is that you have first select which spec you want to mainly be - you can't just freely add points to any of the 3 trees like you could before. Flour's main spec has always been Ret, so naturally I started added points to that one and once the tree was filled I could then distribute my final 5 talent points into the first tier of either of the other 2 trees as I pleased.

Since Flour was in Dalaran, I decided I would start my journey in Stormwind so I hopped into the portal and began checking out the changed human capital city.

Here's what the new Eastern Kingdoms loading screen looks like:

(For those not reading in a Google Reader or something similar, our journey begins after the jump!)


Third time's a charm, right?

Wish us luck - after work today hubby and I are meeting with the mortgage lady at the bank to try and get pre-approved for a home loan. Again.

Third time's a charm, right?

We're meeting with the lady we originally met with a year ago, as I was kinda put off by the guy we met with last Spring. I am going to want to bang my head against a wall though if she comments about hubby not being on my MK Visa to help with his lack of revolving credit, as he was originally on it but because it was so new last Spring, the guy told us it was dragging his credit score down and to get him off it ASAP.

I'm *really* hoping it goes well - last Spring his credit was only about 40 points or so off from where it needed to be and we've since paid off more stuff and gotten him off others, so *hopefully* we get it this time... I hope.

Otherwise, even if we took care of the last 2 things that's possibly on there (old old stuff that they told us not to worry about as it was so old that it wouldn't help raise it much at all), we'd still have to wait 60 days for it come off the credit report and well, as of right now, we got 5 months til Jay's estimated arrival to come up with a bigger place to live!

The sooner we can get pre-approved, the sooner we can continue our house hunt and get moved in before it starts snowing (and the sooner I can get started our Mario-themed nursery for Jay!) - I don't mind moving in a little bit of snow or slush even, but in December and January here in Northern Illinois, winter can get pretty nasty and moving in several feet of snow just doesn't sound appealing to me!

Wish us luck or say a little prayer please!

30 Days of Me: Day 14 - A non-fictional book

Right now, as far as non-fiction goes, I've been reading a lot of preggo/baby books lately for the obvious reasons (duh!).

Although there are 2 books I really like that currently reside in our bathroom.

1) "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff in Love" by Richard and Kristine Carlson
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff in Love (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff Series)If you're not familiar with the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series, they're little bathroom sized books with chapters/stories about 2-4 pages long that lay out a basic issue we all deal with in every day life and reminds us not to sweat the small stuff, because really, in the big picture of things, it really is small stuff. In the "in Love" book, Richard Carlson co-wrote it with his wife and they share stories and experiences from their own marriage and others they've worked with over the years to help you realize that some of the "small stuff" your partner might do is really just small stuff that's not worth the argument, as well as other little fun suggestions on ways to strengthen your relationship, like just taking time out of your busy day for each other, or be considerate of each other, etc. It's a really good book and I highly recommend it for anyone in a serious committed relationship or a marriage as there's a lot of great advice in this book for both men and women!

Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul2) "Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul"
I LOVE Chicken Soup books and always have to buy the one that corresponds with whatever "big" event I'm going through in life (ie: Chicken Soup for the College Soul, Chicken Soup for the Bride's Soul - I'm sure there's one for the new homeowner's soul too!). I got hooked on the Teenage Soul ones when I was in Junior High and just kept up with them. The stories that are submitted are funny, cute, and heart-warming as well as helpful too. And they make for great bathroom reading too as the stories are usually 2-5 pages long and sometimes include little poems, quotes/verses/mantras and amusing cartoon comics throughout. While this one says it's for Expectant Moms, there's an entire section devoted to expectant daddies too! What's neat is that the stories are all submitted/written by real people who share their experiences with the topic and sometimes celebrities will submit some too, so it's kinda neat to be able to relate to some of them (the teen ones always had several celeb submitted stories in each of them which was pretty cool).

It started out years ago as just Chicken Soup for the Soul and had various volumes added to it before they started getting people specific - it's amazing seeing how many there are now! In the bookstore, they used to have them all in the self-help section, but there's gotten to be so many that they just include them in different book areas of the store. You name a type of person, pet or hobby and you can almost guarentee there's a Chicken Soup book for that! I love em!