New Blog and the Saga of the Garage Sale Leftovers

I’ve started a new blog on, where all my work-related posts can live in harmony with their corporate bedfellows in the blogosphere.   It’s called Clerical Chick.

I’ve started it off by moving three previously published and re-edited work posts over there.  I’m sorry if you made a comment on any of them here; if so, it was lost when I moved the post.  Don’t feel obligated to reread them, but if you want to I’m fine with that.

I’ll try to update it (and this one) more often, now that I’m home all day.  You can only watch so much daytime TV.

Nickelodeon. It's the new crack.

Photo by Elizabeth West
Don’t ask me what’s going on with Miranda Cosgrove’s head in that picture.  My camera obviously isn’t action-oriented.
Today I put out a whole bunch of garage sale leftovers to donate to a local thrift store that helps victims of domestic violence.  Well, that’s where they ended up, anyway.   They have the same phone number as the state Council for the Blind, who originally called me asking for donations.

I was reminded last night to put all my stuff outside on the driveway by 8:30 am.  Noon rolled around and no truck.  I called and was told it was out on the route, it would be there, don’t worry.  I was worried.  It was supposed to rain and it took me a half hour this morning to move it all out.

4:45 pm.  No truck.  Called again, and discovered I wasn’t on the route sheet and hadn’t even called the right organization!  But the guy dragged the truck out and showed up right before it started raining.  Yay!

I hope they sell the stuff and it helps someone out.  You can look around your community for similar organizations that help those in need.   Donate some decent stuff, give money or just volunteer.

Time to stalk dinner.  Check the new blog out if you get a chance.  If you have any suggestions for work-related topics or questions I can answer, leave a comment over there.  Thanks for keeping me on your blogroll!

Console Games are Kicking My Butt

With the exception of a few PC titles such as the Myst series, an old Cyberflix title Titanic: Adventure Out of Time (I LOVE this game) and Angry Birds, I haven’t played many RPG or puzzle games.  It’s a nerd weekend, however, since Egon and I are attending VisionCon (see my post Geek Heaven). We also checked out a really cool ‘80s-style arcade downtown in my city.  Ah, Pole Position.

Egon has a nefarious plot to turn me into a gamer.   He loaned me a superfluous PS2 and is making me play my way through Final Fantasy X.  In a clumsy, excruciatingly slow manner, I’m actually enjoying it, except for one thing.

For a newbie, this crap is DIFFICULT.

The controller is evil.

During my first stint in college, I spent hours at the mall arcade.  Ms. Pac Man, TRON, Centipede, Galaga, and Tempest were my favorites.  All these games have only a joystick and maybe one trigger button.  Playing Myst on my computer required only the arrow keys and the mouse.  Easy!

The PS2 controller is a freaking nightmare.  There are buttons.  The buttons don’t go the way you would think.

Worst of all, each game has different controls.  L1 for this, X or O for that.  I spent hours getting yelled at by the King of All Cosmos in Katamari Damacy just to get the hang of moving the little Prince around.

It even LOOKS evil. Like something Darth Vader would have.

Photographs by Elizabeth West

An unfamiliar strategy is required.

One of my biggest challenges in Final Fantasy X is figuring out HOW to fight monsters.  I can’t just indiscriminately shoot.  I have to target each monster’s weakness with each character’s strengths, without getting everybody killed in the process.

A perpetual goof is forgetting to scroll to Black Magic when it’s sorcerer Lulu’s turn, and hitting Attack instead.  You can’t fight Ochu with Moogles! They don’t do anything!

Okay, ignore Lulu's enormous boobs. See the little stuffed animal she's holding? That's a're still staring at her boobs, aren't you?

Too many things on the screen

Myst, Riven and Exile have nothing but scenery.  You walk around and touch everything, following your instincts (or if you’re impatient like me, the hint chapters in the strategy guide).  The only things to read are journals and letters scattered around.

FFX and other games have status bars everywhere.  I can’t read all that stuff at once.  That’s why I don’t read comics; I have to stop and look at every panel twice in order to get it all.  It’s annoying.

I’m not good with numbers either.  Don’t make me do math or I’ll run away crying.

Too scary

Silent Hill 2.

It's only a's only a's only a---GAAAHH!!!

It’s not all bad.  I love watching Egon whip through Portal 2 and I really do like playing.  If I had more time, I daresay I’d get the hang of it.

Below find some of the games I’ve finished / sampled / want to play:

Flower – sooo pretty.  Relaxing ambient music, and a cool interface that allows you to swoop and soar as the wind spirit.  When you touch all the flowers you’re rewarded with a buzz from the PS3 controller.

Final Fantasy XIII – I rode the chocobo.  Whee!

Limbo – very creepy.  Arachnophobes beware.

God of War III – Egon let me fight some skeletons.  I think I would like this one.

The Hitman series – I have them, but haven’t played yet.  Love Jesper Kyd‘s music.

Some of the Harry Potter games (not the LEGO ones) – I bought them used. I think they’re simple enough they won’t drive me crazy.

I think I’m getting into the groove.  Lucky for me, I don’t have a job now so in between filling out online applications and getting some writing done, perhaps I can play more.  What the heck, I’ll work later. Hand me that controller….


RENOVATIONS: Sounds like a design firm, doesn’t it?

If you’ve been reading any of my older posts and noticed there are pictures missing, it’s because I had an issue with my gallery.  Somehow I clicked the wrong thing and deleted most of them.   I’m slowly but surely putting them back and replacing ones I probably shouldn’t have linked to in the first place.

It’s a learning process; I sure don’t want to step on someone else’s work, but it’s hard to find things to illustrate what I want to say when there’s not much here to take pictures of.  I’ve been carrying my camera around and never seem to see anything unless I’m in traffic.

So bear with me while the blog is under renovation.   In the meantime, please enjoy this video of Teddy Bear the Porcupine predicting the outcome of Super Bowl 46, February 5 2012!