15 March 2010

The husband's doing a fantastic job

Final Fantasy XIIIThe husband has returned, and he has racked up major brownie points! Upon finishing his class, he returned home and changed out of his uniform. He asked me to check the pockets before he threw it in the laundry—and what did I find but FINAL FANTASY XIII! I've been wanting sooooo badly to play it! Then he told me to go see if the new pillow he bought while he was up there smelled funny.... and the FFXIII strategy guide was sitting underneath it!

What a guy!! The most impressive part of this feat is that he managed to pull it off without me spoiling the surprise somehow, like... buying it myself by the time he got home, or meeting him out by the car before he got a chance to tuck everything away. I am extraordinarily skilled at unintentionally ruining surprises.

The game is completely awesome so far. The thing I'd heard about it the most is that the story wasn't very good in comparison to previous games, but I'm actually really intrigued and this is the only Final Fantasy that has ever made me cry! Twice already! The graphics are amazing (of course)... to be expected since this is the first FF made for Blu-Ray. They have actually reached the point where the people in the actual gameplay segments and in the cut-scenes are almost indistinguishable. I LIKE the characters, and in particular the clothes and hair are just so cool! There are a bunch of knit items as well, and I'm just waiting for patterns for those to turn up online somewhere...

Anyway, it's been sort of busy this past weekend with a nephew birthday party, hanging out with friends, and doing a little website updating for my former employer. I've still got a lot to do on the webcomic template for Danielle, too. Dusting off these rusty HTML skills has been a rough experience. Perhaps the generous application of MORE COFFEE would help?

Right now it's time to catch up on all of our anime and then play some more FFXIII.

Current Music: The sound of Bryon watching a silent movie version of Last of the Mohicans in the background. I bet it sticks closer to the story than the Daniel Day Lewis version did (not that that would be difficult).

12 March 2010

Brass Needles podcast

I'm just getting into this whole podcast thing, but I've already found a second podcast to love!

It would be difficult to find something more "my cup of tea" than a podcast about knitting, cosplay and sci-fi—and Brass Needles, by "Miss Kalendar," fits all of these requirements quite nicely.

Each episode features a brief discussion of these topics, focusing perhaps on a particular knitting trend, a sci-fi show, or convention cosplay. Miss Kalendar is clearly passionate about all these subjects and I enjoyed her insights and opinions. I also found the snippets of fashion analysis (so far provided by Gail Carriger, author of Soulless) very interesting—they even made me go look up the companies that were mentioned.

I will continue to listen to the Brass Needles podcast and I encourage anyone with an interest in these subjects to do the same. The episodes are brief (around 10-12 minutes) and you can easily get your daily dose while checking your e-mail or updating your Ravelry notebook!

11 March 2010

With a little help from my friends

Oh, the good stuff that happened today. I feel like I got a lot accomplished.

  • got up earlier than I have in a while
  • put the Netflix DVD in the mail already (the one that I watched last night)
  • mailed out the agreement for my severance pay
  • activated the debit card that my unemployment goes on
  • finished reading The Pilot's Wife, which I can now ditch
  • called the unemployment office
  • turned in a bunch of video games at Gamestop to take advantage of their EXTRA 50% trade-in credit promotion (which ends Sunday, by the way!)
The best part, though, is that I finally listed a whole bunch of stuff on eBay, including some games that I thought I could make more money on than I would have at Gamestop. Well, the biggest batch of games (.hack parts 1-4) were listed at 8:19 and sold at 8:40 for their Buy It Now price of $64.99!! That's $15 more than Gamestop would have given me for turning in ALL the games I had brought in. Now we'll just see if any of the others sell—but even if they don't, that first sale has covered all the listing fees and everything else is just gravy.

(That would be Bishop helping me with the eBay listings—by flopping on the computer desk between me and the keyboard.)

Now I'm off to knit and watch more of the the BBC Robin Hood with its absolutely ridiculous action scenes. Ahh, Netflix, how I've missed you and your instant viewing.

10 March 2010

"Mailbox Zero" and randomness

In the spirit of actually contributing to the "green living" aspect of this blog, a link: How to Achieve Mailbox Zero. It's suggestions on how to get less junk mail (or other mail, since it also advocates switching your bank statement to online billing, etc. etc.). I would like to point out the first comment, though, that suggests that sending your junk mail back to the post office isn't going to help anyone.


Tonight, I sit here consuming a decadent triple-chocolate-chip muffin from Dunkin Donuts... thinking about a job possibility that scares the stuffing out of me (more on this later), and reading bits of a couple of books here and there.

The Pilot's Wife (Oprah's Book Club) North and South (Penguin Classics)

ALLLLLLMOST convinced myself to just get rid of the two Anita Shreve books I've had for years without reading them, then got sucked into the first chapter of The Pilot's Wife and now I'm a third of the way through it. Le sigh. I think I'll survive the depressing storyline since I already know the gist of what happens, although I can see that if I let myself think about it too much it could be devastatingly sad.

North and South is our book group's read for the month, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Anyway, I did accomplish some tasks today. The reading program was fun (we're reading Betsy-Tacy and Tib, which I adore), I have officially turned in my cable box, and I have resigned myself to probably getting a car stereo at Best Buy since their prices and selection beat out the local shops by a lot.

It is so time for me to be in bed. Bishop (the cat) is giving me with the "why are there still lights on" face from his perch on the cat tree, so I guess I will force myself to go.

Current music: Metric - Sick Muse

08 March 2010

Battery recharge, YA lit, and stuff to do

Ahhhhh. I made a trip to see Bryon and I feel like the visit recharged my emotional batteries. Lame as it may be, I really hate it when he's not here. I spend way too much time on the computer, frequently forget to eat, and just get kinda down. Being that he was getting out fairly early on Sunday, he asked if I wanted to come up, so I got to hang out with him and also had lunch with him today. I feel soooo much better, and also better prepared to get through week 2.

On the way back here, I made a couple of stops, which involved picking up the following:

Magic Study Once Upon a Marigold Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon (Penguin Classics) Life As We Knew It

Love Com, Vol. 16 (Love*Com) Love Com, Vol. 17 (Love*Com) Vampire Knight, Vol. 9

(Final volume of Love*Com! Woohoo!!! I hope they also translate the follow-up series, Love*Com D... also, Once Upon a Marigold is GREAT so far!)

In the same bookish vein, today I read this fantastic article on Young Adult literature. My mother is definitely a frequent candidate for the "mother test"—I just hope she's enjoyed most of what I've gotten her to read! I also loved this:
YA authors are able to take themselves less seriously. They're able to have a little more fun, and they're less confined by this idea of themselves as Very Important Artists. That paradoxically leads them to create far better work than people who are trying to win awards.
So, so true.

Aaaaaand, what else? Oh yes, the stuff I want to accomplish tomorrow:
  • Take cable box to cable provider (we're getting rid of our cable)
  • Take recyclables back
  • Help Mom with after-school program
  • More job hunting
  • Cook a decent meal for myself
  • Visit the car audio place to look into getting a car stereo that has an input for my iPod. Lack of this feature is driving me bonkers, especially because I have so many CDs that are only in MP3 format (i.e. I can't take the CD in the car unless I burn a copy).
We'll see how all that goes.

05 March 2010

This is Friday Night

I made leek & potato soup. "Made" is a loose term considering I bought a bag of pre-chopped-up leek & potato soup vegetables, and all I did to it was add chicken broth and puree it in the blender, basically. Still, it was tasty.

Now I'm listening to the Nerdist Podcast and cracking up.

I'm also midway through Knit the Season (the third Friday Night Knitting Club novel). Best news: I finally grabbed a book on a book sale bag day that I thought I could probably sell online... and I've sold it already! Two bids! It's got 5 days to go but I've already made at least $6 on it. I feel all validated and stuff.


Matt Bellamy and his red sparkly guitar could convert anyone!!

I'm still recovering from the Muse concert in Fairfax, VA. Kim went with me (since Bryon ended up not being able to go) and they have converted her, MWAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! (I knew they would.)

Drum/Bass jam with Dom and Chris... woo!!

Physically, I'm all back to normal, but I'm fighting the urge to drive 6 hours the other direction to see them in Montreal next week. Yarrrrrrrrrrrrgh. I was thisclose to driving back down to Baltimore to see them Wednesday night, but Mother Nature intervened, and it was snowing here and down the East Coast. Sigh. I guess I avoided another long, boring drive through Pennsylvania... which is way, way too big.

Being that it's the age of the Internets, you can actually watch the entire concert on YouTube, should you desire... here's two of my faves (although the entire thing was stellar and amazing and lots of other really great words):

(Ok, side note, the first part of this video, they're jamming because they're waiting for the crowd to manage to pop the last of the giant floating eyeball balloons. XD)

Bryon is still away at his class for this week and next, and it's pretty lonely at my house. I'm getting lots of cleaning and laundry, etc., done, reading a bit, hanging out with the girls, and even went to see a really great art exhibit at a local museum. (I got to see art by my favorite illustrator—Trina Schart Hyman—and I didn't even know it was going to be there!)

That's about all I have to say for now. I'm off to read some more.