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Battle of the Mold

Battle of the Mold

This post (14/31) is part of the Blaugust Reborn event! You can find out more about the event at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. Armagon created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.

I’ve been a bit preoccupied as of late, which has put me behind with Blaugust (if you hadn’t noticed). And I just needed to do a bit of, well, bitching. So please feel free to skip this post!

It all started on July 20th, when this happened…

Which then resulted in this starting on August 2nd, which still hadn’t fully been taken care of as of August 21. Which, y’know. Is totally healthy.

So I’ve spent close to a month fighting with the complex to try to get someone to come and take care of the mold. I did get fed up with everything, and put in my 60 day notice to cancel (just before the mold appeared) as per my contract, but then when the mold appeared, and it hadn’t been taken care of, I went down to change the terms of cancelling my lease. Luckily, things went in my favor with the manager, and I’ll be moving into a new place on September 14th.

I finalized everything with the manager today, and paid my prorated rent for September. We also signed a page I came up with so that laid out everything we agreed upon (so if things go south, I have that in my corner, too)—prorated September rent, no termination charges (typically charged per leasing contract and early cancellation), and no charges for any damages, repairs, or cleanup to prepare the unit for the next tenant (good luck, next tenant!).

Thus…

Depression and Streaming

Depression and Streaming

When Depression Hits

I’ve never shied away from talking about how I suffer from depression and anxiety. I may not always get into full-blown details, but it has never been something that I hide. It has, however, been very intense the past month or so. Which in turn has been making it difficult to do even basic things. You may have seen me talk about “spoons” on Twitter (relating back to Spoon Theory). I honestly prefer “Spell Theory”, though, if I’m explaining it to my nerdier friends.

Well, on a typical weekday basis, I have a lot to do—get up for work, prep food for work, take care of the pets, get ready for work, go to work (possibly have multiple meetings), go home, take care of the pets… and then depending on the day, my evenings differ. I could have a LARP ST meeting, or pole class, or date night, or WoW raid (currently on hiatus, which helps). Then add in any chores that need to be taken care of, or a shower… you get the idea.

On a day when my depression is good (manageable), and I’ve filled my spell slots because I was able to sleep the night before, I can manage pretty much everything (maybe taking out some chores, or a shower), and then add in some streaming because I feel good, and enjoy streaming and interacting with folks.

But life has been stressful (car accident, multiple chronic health concerns, apartment flooding), and thus my already limited spell slots (I haven’t been sleeping well due to the other chronic health stuff) have been used up lickity-split on things from managing contact between car insurance and car loan, to just getting out of bed in the morning and getting to work. It’s to the point where I come home, take care of the pets, and take a nap so that I can try to function and tackle minor things.

I do think this week is starting to be a turn-around week, however, due to laying out some short-term future plans (planning moving to a new apartment, car accident management is almost done, doctor appointments have been made), and being able to manage my spoons a little bit better (sleep is starting to get better, slightly, slowly increasing my spoon count).

Schedule Going Forward


So what does that mean for streaming? Well, that means my schedule for the next few weeks will be up in the air. I will not be streaming this week (July 22-28). I do want to slowly get back on the wagon with streaming, however. So I’m going to be working at this by looking to stream one day a week to begin. The downside is that this day will be up in the air, and the game I’ll be playing will also be up in the air depending on where I’m at, and what I can manage.

Once I’ve conquered more real-world shenanigans (the car being settled, getting set to move and break my lease, going to doctor appointments), I’ll be able to do more of the follower giveaways, etc. that I’ve set up and haven’t gotten to due to the depression. I am going to wait, however, on setting up my web cam for streams, because I’ve already started packing some things up, and it was one of those things. That’ll finally get used in late-September, early-October (after moving).

I originally wanted to try a birthday stream (my birthday is next week) sometime in early-August, but there is no guarantees on anything, anymore. I will probably nix a birthday stream, and just do a long Halloween-themed stream instead, because it seems much more manageable after moving.

So, TL;DR? Keep an eye on Twitter, or join the Caticorn Palace Discord to keep up to date on streams, and just chat in general.

My Bujo Journey, Part 2

My Bujo Journey, Part 2

The “before”.

This is the second part of my post on bullet journaling. To get a background on what I’ll be covering in this post, head on over to the first part!

A look at my system before Bullet Journaling was pretty revealing. I was spending way too much time and energy trying to stay organized, rather than actually being organized. So I decided to try the bujo method after hearing about it from Jaedia.

The Bullet Journal Method


You can watch this nifty video on Bullet Journaling to get an idea on what it’s all about. But the TL;DR is—”[it] is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above…”.

And it’s true. My bujo has become all these things. It might seem confusing at first, but once you sit down and do it, it really does become second nature. And keeping it up to date is simple. It takes me five minutes at night to update tasks, notes, write my gratitudes, track my habits, and set myself up for the following day. Maybe it takes me ten or fifteen minutes if I decide I need to journal on top of it.

It took me about an hour to set up January because I was learning how to bullet journal, and I was setting up the yearly items (Index, Future Log, Yearly Gaming Log, etc.). It took me about a half hour to set up February, even with all the lines and boxes I drew out for the various logs I decided I wanted.

My Bullet Journal

I’m not going to be showing pictures of my bujo, as some of it is kind of personal, but I use it as a replacement for most of the items I covered in my first post, and I’ll talk about it.

Getting the supplies was the easy part. I just purchased the cheapest dot grid notebook I could find on Amazon that had a decent rating. You don’t need anything fancy. In fact, when I was waiting on this to come in, I just used one of my lined journals (which, admittedly, I didn’t enjoy as much, but it was something).

I also have a set of erasable pens that I absolutely adore made by Pilot. I like being able to erase (I hate scribbling thing out—it drives me crazy), but I also like the flow and feel of writing with a pen. These pens have been a godsend for me in that regard. Especially since they come in different colors. Unfortunately, I’ve only been able to find refills in Black, but that’s okay, because they’re the pens I use the most often out of the pack.

I decorated my journal a bit with some scrapbooking supplies, and I used sharpies (lesson learned for next time: Don’t. Use colored pencils instead.) to color code the edges of my pages as a secondary index (for instance, January is red and in a specific spot every time it’s a page relating to January). But all this isn’t necessary to bujo. There are plenty of people who use a minimalist approach, and honestly on a day-to-day basis, I use a minimalist approach. There’s barely anything decorated, and I only use cursive because I write faster in cursive than I do in print.

How the Systems Compare

  • Trello – I used this to track my media. Now, I have pages in my bujo dedicated to each type of media: games to play (listed), books to read (listed), comics to read (listed), comics to buy to try (listed), movies to watch (listed), and television shows to watch (using a grid-like system). Just to name a few.
  • Google Calendar – I still use this as a backup for when I don’t have my bujo, or when I need to pull up an address to GPS, or when I need an alarm reminder for a specific event.
  • Plum Planner – The bullet journal itself has taken on the job of my old plum planner.
  • Sticky Notes – I still have some laying around, but they’re more for when I’m tanking in raids. For instance, when I have to drag Cenarius around in Emerald Nightmare, I’ll write what marker order to drag him to (shorthand) and put it on my second monitor. They are no longer a to-do list or random thought dump area.
  • Tumblr – This used to be my journal. My journal has since completely moved to my bujo, and I’ll probably save my important posts and delete it.
  • Gratitude Journal – This has completely moved over to my bujo as two pages in the front of the month. I have space to write two shorter items, or one long one every day.
  • Legal pads – Everything I did on these (to-do lists, menu and grocery planning, thought dumps, etc.) have since moved over to my bujo. They’re kind of just sitting and collecting dust, now.
  • Magnetized Memo Pads – I still keep these on the fridge to write down what I’m out of when I notice I’m out of it, but other than that, they don’t get used for anything. Stuff I need to buy gets copied into my menu/grocery page for the week and off I go to the grocery with my bujo.
Overall I’ve seen a vast improvement on my stress/anxiety levels, and my pocketbook is glad to have much less in it on a daily basis.
My Bujo Journey, Part 1

My Bujo Journey, Part 1

Image from PopSugar

I’m a big to do list/day planner person. It’s one of the things that helps me stay organized, and I use it as a way to assist with my depression and anxiety as a part of my cognitive behavioral therapy. In layman’s terms, I use planners and lists to help manage my thoughts and feelings as a way to make healthier and safer choices for myself.

I’m also big on writing things by hand. It helps me stay focused, and keeps me more grounded in what I’m doing. It’s also cathartic when I can just write and write. In a way that’s different than typing. While typing things out can help sometimes, writing it down by hand gives it more meaning and permanence, and helps me work things out a little bit better than typing.

My old system, however, was starting to get a bit overwhelming, and I needed to find an alternative, and found bullet journaling.

A Look At My Old System

  • Trello – I use Trello to keep lists of media to consume. I’m big on media consumption—movies, television, games, visual novels, comic books, etc. Before using Trello, I didn’t really have a system, and I became overwhelmed with things I wanted to try, or where I was in a particular season of a television show, for instance. Thanks to an episode of the Geek to Geek cast, I tried out making a list, and it helped tremendously to keeping me focused on what I wanted to look into, and made me feel not as guilty for possibly putting something to the side because I wasn’t enjoying it.
  • Google Calendar – Google Calendar is what I use day-to-day outside of my Plum Planner (more on that next). I live via my Gmail, and I use it as a way to keep my contacts and calendar organized. It’s a good quick on-the-go tool for me when I need to add an impromptu work meeting, a get-together with a friend, or a therapy session. And it’s easy to pull out my phone rather than my Plum Planner, which can get kind of unwieldy.
  • Plum Planner – I like paper planners, and I liked this one because I could keep (most) everything in one place. It had pockets to keep papers, to do list sections, menu and grocery planning sections. But, the more I used it, the more wasted pages it had because I wouldn’t use a particular section one week, or I’d be using another one of my systems for a few days, etc. There were also the times when my sticky notes would get lost, or papers would fall out, and I wouldn’t know where something went, and it was just too big to carry around casually in my purse.
  • Sticky Notes – Sticky notes are my go-to “I need to jot something down to remember it now.” sort of thing. Especially when I didn’t have my Plum Planner around. But then they would get lost, or fall out of my planner, and it was never a good thing.
  • Tumblr – As a part of my CBT, my therapist likes me to attempt to journal twice a week. About anything I want. It could be extremely personal stuff, or just general things that I would/sometimes did put in the blog. For the extremely personal stuff, however, I have a private Tumblr account where I could just let it all out. But, typing never really did it for me 100%.
  • Gratitude Journal – As another piece of my CBT, I keep a gratitude journal. Just one or two things every day that I’m thankful for. Or that even just made me happy. I keep these in a small notebook by my bedside table.
  • Legal Pads – I use legal pads like nobody’s business. They end up full of to do lists, but then I have a difficult time tracking if it’s a repeat task (things like dishes get done every day, so did I check it off yesterday or am I behind on dishes?!). And then sometimes I end up with random thought dumps, but then if I lose the pad, I lose the thought dump, and a lot of times those were half-written out blog posts.
  • Magnetized Memo Pads – This one feels like a no-brainer for me. I keep magnetized pads and a container with pens (and a few things like coupons and my stamps) on the fridge. If I need to purchase something for groceries or I have a menu idea for next week, I jot it down. These then get torn off the fridge and used as my grocery list and a way to menu plan (which would then be planned out in the legal pads).

An Evaluation

This was my “organization”.

As you can see, that’s three digital forms of keeping memos, and five physical ways of keeping memos, all in different spots at different times of the day, with no semblance of organization. It was annoying to, for instance, need my grocery list because I was going to stop on the way home from work, but I wouldn’t have it because it would be in a legal pad or on the refrigerator sitting at home. Or I’d make a thought-dump at work on my lunch break and forget to bring it home because my Plum Planner was sitting on the counter at home. Or I’d leave my planner at work by accident because it was too big for my purse and I had it out to jot something down.

I think you can see where I’m getting with this. In an effort to simplify and keep myself organized, I wasn’t really doing much of anything. And while it helped for a time, it started to just feel overwhelming. So I started looking for alternatives. That’s when I stumbled onto this thing called Bullet Journaling that I discovered through Jaedia, but have since found a few other bloggers that have made it a habit.
I’ve only been doing it a month, but it’s helped tremendously. I’ll delve deeper into what it is, and how I bujo (bullet journal) in another post, however, or this one will become much too wordy.
The “Gimme” List

The “Gimme” List

You Need a Budget

In an attempt to reorganize my life almost-post-divorce and get expenses under control, I’ve gotten back into hardcore budgeting, which is something I let fall by the wayside for a long time with a two-income household (for many reasons that are really a moot point at this juncture).

A while ago, I saw a blog post go by from Liore about this neat program called You Need a Budget, or YNAB for short. It plays to the “envelope method” (though, complete disclosure, I do “borrow” from envelopes to cover other envelopes, which is supposedly a no-no to the envelope method theory) of budgeting but utilizes a sleek and effective interface that has made budgeting easy and enjoyable. Something that most folks would call an oxymoron, I’m sure.

Something I’ve done in my budget is to add “Gimme” items under the “Just For Fun” section of my budget. What are “Gimme” items? You know, when you make that gesture…

The “Gimme” List is Born

We’ve all been there. That thing catches your interest, and you have to have it… now! However, while I am not too financially strained, things are tougher to manage, and being able to make impulse purchases have become much less, well, impulsive.

That’s where my “Gimme” list comes in. When I get excited about something (a trip, a convention, a game, etc.), I add it as an item in my budget, list the price next to it, and then allow myself to move money around for it.

Sometimes, that means it’s going to take a few checks to cover it. Sometimes it means I can get it right away based on how my priorities change. The nice thing about using YNAB is that I can drag and drop the items to shuffle them around.

For instance, I recently discovered that the International Pole Convention would be in Atlanta this year. Pole dancing has become something that has consumed me. While the topic and how it’s changed me and my outlook on sports/myself/life is something for a different post, it is something that I forsee a great deal of in my future.

A full weekend pass (Thursday night through Sunday) is $175. There are also pay-only panels that are available, and there are two that I desperately want to attend because of the teacher, and the content. While I do not know the cost of the panels themselves, I estimate that they can’t be more than $50 each, so that’s another $100 I need to save up.

This gets bumped up in my budget (because I really want to get into those panels!), replacing other items such as purchasing a pole, purchasing a new couch and papasan chair, purchasing a 3DS and PS4, and more. Having a “Gimme” list helps me prioritize how I want to spend that extra money, without feeling overwhelmed at trying to budget it in. And still allowing me enough freedom to move things around and decide what cool neat thing I want next.

It’s Chestnut!

It’s Chestnut!

I’ve been going through a tough time in real life due to some things. It’s been affecting everything—my gaming, my blogging, my ability to adult. It’s why even though I have all these draft posts I’ve only barely made it through posting gaming goals, recently.

I finally word vomited about it to some folks because I just couldn’t hold it in anymore, and one of those folks made me a pic of my WildStar character just because.

Artwork by Deep Triviality (Patreon Page)

Doesn’t it look just like my main?

And she does have green eyes, I just don’t have a screenshot of that surprisingly.

I’ve always been a proponent of the fact that online friends are just as real, if not more so, than those you know locally. And the way folks have offered ears and shoulders and messages and distractions has been overwhelming and has helped to cheer me up and to keep me sane, and reinforce the view that online friends are just as real.

I’m still having a tough time, and there’s some things I need to work through, and things I need to do for myself, but having such an amazing support group of folks has helped so much.

Thank you again, Triviality, for the absolutely amazing artwork. I cherish it. I’ve already decided I’m going to get it printed and framed and put somewhere on the wall near my computer because I love it so very much, and it means so much to me.

Creative Blogger Award

Creative Blogger Award

Way back in February, the amazing Pizza Maid nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award. I had a draft post half written once I noticed it in early March (d’oh! I’m so bad at my feed reader sometimes!), but then forgot about it when work ramped up, and here we are!

Pizza is someone that I happened to meet thanks to the ever-present #BelEffect, and we kind of hit it off with our shared love of Sailor Moon. She has since introduced me to the rabbit hole that is the world of Otome, and here we are, chatting daily on Twitter about whatever floats our boat. She’s a wonderful person, and if you enjoy RP, anime, otome, and Final Fantasy XIV, she’s a great blogger to follow!!

So, what are the rules? I mean, all of these awards have rules, no?

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog. 
  • Share 5 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 – 20 bloggers and add their links.
  • Notify the bloggers you included. 
  • Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do!
I dislike the “nominate double-digit people” thing, so I’m just going to casually nominate five folks at the end of this so this is more of a slow trickle effect rather than a waterfall. I really liked how Pizza answered the facts portion, and I hope to do some of the same, rather than just some random bullet points and calling it a day.

Fact 1: Repeat Recipient

I apparently got the creative blogger award last year, in April. At that time I was nominated by Murf. I find it extremely interesting how things find their way around the internet, and come full circle. I wonder if this nomination is still a go-around of the one I received last year, or when it first started, or if folks have just re-started it up because they could. Regardless, being nominated for these things is fun, and it helps to build community, and I love it.

Fact 2: Blog Move Imminent

So, surprise! This past February, marked six years of intermittent blogging. At some point, I dropped the blog for about a year or two (I can’t find the list of posts per month since starting that I had made…), but picked it up back in earnest in February of 2015 thanks to the ever-present #BelEffect (no, seriously). I had planned to move the blog to a self-hosted WordPress back in February, but finances didn’t quite line up the way I had intended. I was going to use it as a way to clean up my labels and categories and the like. I still plan on doing this, hopefully sometime next month when finances settle a little bit for a few months.

Fact 3: I Hate Moving

I do. Chaide got a new job at a better school, which is awesome, but means we’ll have to move again this summer. I’m so over moving. I hate moving. Not only because of all the packing and unpacking (which sucks) but because it also triggers my anxiety a bunch–all those things that have to be done, and the timelines that need to be followed… Which normally I’m fine with, but the fact that I have to settle into a new place… again… never feels good. It takes me months to feel “at home” after moving, and I was just starting to adjust to the apartment we moved into last summer. Ah well. At least wherever we move to next will be home for at least two years so we can save for a house…

Fact 4: I Really Love Visual Novels and Otome

I’d always been intrigued by Visual Novels, especially after a friend gifted Chaide Analogue: A Hate Story a few years ago. But I’d always heard that they were “casual” and “not actually games” and the like. So I held off from them. It wasn’t until I met Pizza and her friend Sushi, and played Hatoful Boyfriend thanks to Grace that I really decided it was a genre I wanted to explore more in-depth, and that the negative connotations associated with it were a load of crap. Granted, there are eroge and bishojo games that are still something I’m not too keen on pursuing–mainly because they usually lack story and are just fanservice. Maybe one day I’ll explore them a bit more… but I’ll need to get through a large backlog of VNs first!

Fact 5: The #BelEffect Helped Change My Life

Image from Tales of the Aggronaut

No, seriously. I’m not being facetious, or silly, or anything of the like. Things were going really crappily in WildStar at the time. I was the most depressed I had been in my life, and my anxiety was just as bad. I’d started therapy about six months prior, and it was starting to help, but shit hit the fan in my gaming world–which I was using as an escape from the shit going on in my real life. And I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I was contemplating leaving a hobby that I greatly enjoyed, and friends that I cherished because I didn’t know how to reconcile the two to relieve my anxiety and depression.

So I put out a call on Twitter, saying I needed a new home in FFXIV while I figured things out in WildStar. Bel answered that call, inviting me over to play on Cactuar with all of his friends, and I found myself in a circle of amazing people that he’s befriended, and some that Chaide and I have had the pleasure of befriending and hanging out with while we casually game our way through life. Having them as a sounding board and support system has been amazing, and I appreciate them so very much

The Nominations

Folks don’t need to feel pressured into doing this, but it’s something fun to do if they like!

Sunday Scale and Star Wars

Sunday Scale and Star Wars

Sunday Scale

Sandrian over at Aeternus Gaming is doing this personal challenge that she’s labeled Sunday Scale. What she’s doing is something I am also doing—weighing in on the first Sunday of every month and rewarding myself accordingly for hitting a goal. I found that weekly just doesn’t work for me and stresses me out and defeats the purpose of losing weight, so I was going to go down to once-a-month anyway. But, I felt that we could at least support each other, and hopefully make it a little bit easier!

I’m going to be super candid with you guys about this. First, this is a really tough topic to handle. I am overweight. I know I am. It’s something I struggle with thanks to various heath conditions. But there are so many reasons that I want to lose it, and I’m going to make myself do it. My current weight isn’t a pretty number.

I’ve tried various fad diets and programs and have done pretty much everything that “the experts” tell you to do. But it doesn’t always work for everybody. And for now, I’m going with what I can do both realistically and emotionally.

My goal is to lose 4 pounds a month. That averages a pound a week if I do it right. That’s a pretty healthy and steady weight loss that any doctor would be happy about. Something that Chaide has been trying to get me to do is to get clothes that flatter me better and make me feel better about myself (in hopes of boosting my self-confidence and therefore my moods, which will in turn make it a little easier to lose more weight). So, I’m going to do it. Monthly, I will buy an item I want from my wishlist over at ModCloth. If I meet my goal, I will allow myself to get a second item of clothing (or an accessory, pair of shoes, etc.).

The stipulation to this is that I need to clean out my current clothes collection (no more keeping three boxes of “it might fit someday!” clothes). I’m allowed to keep certain things—costumes, items that are a family heirloom, very-well made/name brand clothes I picked up (like two name-brand dresses I picked up at Goodwill for a great price). Same goes for jewelry, handbags, shoes, etc. If I want to buy that second item as not a piece of clothing, then I need to be sure that everything else is purged.

I think it’s a fair compromise and reward system, no? I’m still rewarding myself for doing my best (and filling out my professional wardrobe which is severely lacking), and if I hit my goal, I get something extra.

Star Wars: The Podcast Awakens

I told you guys I’d keep you in the loop when the next episodes of Wildcast come out. Well, the next episode is out! And it has absolutely nothing to do with WildStar at all!

Avid put this image together. Isn’t it awesome?!

Avid has a friend in the 501st Legion who joined us for this episode, and Behalter put together the awesome intro. We talk spoilers galore, so you’ve been warned. And I delve into my theory on Phasma, which I hope is true to a degree (at least!)! Like so many others, I am so pumped for the next installment, and I want to go see it again. I’m also super excited for Rogue One. I just hope that the momentum generated within this story can keep itself going with the director changes, but I have high hopes for Episode 8.

Other Bits

I’ve also picked up some writing over at MMOGames.com, so that is part of the silence over here. I’m also still writing for QueueTimes (you can actually expect some of my Let’s Play videos of Shadowrun Returns later this week over there!), and catching up with Blogs of Nexus over at WildStar Datacube, now that I have finally conquered my sinus infection!

Work has been seriously busy as well, and with the changes to where cubes are now located and the new open floor plan (bleh), it has become much less efficient to blog during my lunch hour, so I’ll need to figure something out. Possibly writing in a Google Doc? Come February it will be a little bit easier. Chaide and I had a deal that if I could keep blogging semi-regularly for a year I could purchase a domain and some space and get a self-hosted WordPress. So there will be that come February where there will be a blogging lull to get everything off of Blogger and onto WP, etc.

I also ordered a Plum Paper Planner (I’ll probably be that weird person and write a first impressions post!) that I’m expecting at the end of the month to help me schedule my time a little bit better with all of these obligations, plus trying to fit in a bit of exercise every day. The good thing about moving offices is that where I’m at now has an easy way to walk around the building to track exactly a mile, so I can do a quick half mile in the morning, and a half mile before I leave sort of thing. Small doses, y’know?

It really does feel good to blog, so I’m hoping to keep up with it a little bit more now that I’ve gotten over the “I should write something…” mood.

Friendships in Gaming

Friendships in Gaming

In Remembrance

The past three years, December 5th has been a bit of a tough day. One of the people I hold in the highest esteem from my days in EVE Online passed away due to cancer, and his birthday is always a tough day (granted, it doesn’t help when Facebook goes “HEY! Wish your friend a Happy Birthday!”). We knew he was sick, and going in for surgery for unrelated issues, and we knew he had cancer, but it grabbed him hard and fast without much time for treatment.

Thulle was one of those guys who is gruff and off-putting at first encounter. An asshole, if you will. But that was a mask hiding the great big ol’ Teddy Bear he didn’t want you to see underneath–at least for the people he made a connection with. Chaide and I were lucky enough to be folks that he did make a connection with.

We’d spend hours in EVE not doing much outside of chatting in TeamSpeak and waiting to do whatever it was we were going to do for the time we were online. And you really get to know someone when you spend that much time with them. I won’t inundate you with stories, but I have a lot of them of how he helped me better understand combat. How he would skirmish with me to help me get a better grasp of things. How he would take the time to help me put together ships based on load outs that wouldn’t cost me my firstborn child. Lots of stories, and lots of laughter. And I miss him on a daily basis.

We had invited him to our wedding in July 2013, but he was going in for some surgery at that point, and wouldn’t be able to make it to the shindig. Little did we know it was one of the last times we’d get to chat with him.

“Yes, but he was an internet “friend”!” you exclaim. Yes, he was. But that doesn’t mean that the friendship we’d forged is any less than someone I would see on a daily basis.

Friendship is Friendship

Gamers, particularly MMO Gamers, spend hours upon hours daily, weekly, and monthly with the same group of people. Day in and day out. These are the people you tell about your work days, the big milestones in your life, and more.

These are the people you invite to your wedding because you’ve spent so much time with them. To hell if you’ve never met them “in real life”! They’ve been there for you for so long that they’re family.

The relationships you make online, and the friendships that come from these are things to be cherished. And they are just as real as the friendships you have offline–if, arguably, not more so.

So to Thulle–thank you for showing me that the friendships we forge online reach beyond that. And fly safe, dude. Drink a beer up there for us. o7

New GPU Meets Garuda

New GPU Meets Garuda

This post is a part of #IntPiPoMo! You can find out more, and sign up at this link.

New Graphics Card

Here’s the stats. What is priority upgrades? We can’t do everything at once. Thoughts, IT folks? pic.twitter.com/7EDJkOpn7F

— Chestnut’s Roasting (@ggchestnut) November 19, 2015

#IntPiPoMo 33/50 (Hey, I took the screenshot! :P)

Chaide and I have been searching as to how to beef up our computers. Not too long ago, I posted on Twitter asking for advice, as well as within a group of friends whose opinions I regard highly. We ended up deciding to get the NVIDIA GTX 960 for each of us, and the boxes themselves looked super sexy.

#IntPiPoMo 34/50

Chaide wanted to use my computer as the “dummy” computer to try putting it together first, so I unplugged it all, and he started working on installing the new card. I had to make a run to the store to obtain some compressed air. The insides weren’t too groady, but since we had them open, we figured it was best to blow them out.

Oh man, when we opened the cards up we were kind of awestruck, and we both commented on “how huge” the graphics card itself was. Now, for those with newer cards, you’re shaking your head and going, “Of course it’s that big. How could you think otherwise?” Well, we were replacing cards we’d gotten at least three years ago.

Old card on the bottom. New card on the top. Troll cat for scale. pic.twitter.com/mORnyZNLFX

— Chestnut’s Roasting (@ggchestnut) November 28, 2015

#IntPiPoMo 35/50
So yeah, there’s that. But I’m excited at how awesome everything looks on the new cards!

Kaijo Diablo

So every time we get an NVIDIA card, there’s always some sort of deal going on. I mean, we don’t get the cards for the deals, so they’re a nice bonus. This time, the deal was a Kaijo Diablo bundle–we get both the Hero and the skin with the card.

#IntPiPoMo 36-37/50

Which makes us obviously download and want to play the game. So we’re going to give it a try, and have someone willing to help us get a Cho’gall each to play with, which is also super cool. The only problem?

@NVIDIAGeForce @nvidia Bought two GTX960 and trying to redeem second UNCLAIMED code, and getting this error message pic.twitter.com/mpNZDenfrB

— Chestnut’s Roasting (@ggchestnut) November 28, 2015

#IntPiPoMo 38/50

Uh huh. Sooooo I’m waiting impatiently to hear back from NVIDIA on what the fuck is going on.

Garuda

But after installing the cards, we hopped into various games, and spent a large chunk of time leveling and working through the MSQ in XIV. I have a lot of posts half-written about the story that I’ll get to posting at some point, but I really wanted to share the new and pretty screenshots we got last night of everything!

THERE ARE SPOILERS, so b’ware if you’re not into the level 42-ish MSQ yet!!

These pictures are #IntPiPoMo 39-81/50.

… Really?! … C’moooooon.

Wait, what? He’s a Garlean? And I didn’t know every Garlean had a third eye… though that explains some design choices, now.

Flashback time!

Oh shit. So his Dad is the one that caused the Reckoning or whatever it’s called? OHSHIT. And I need to know more about this Gaius and why he decided to take Cid under his wing…
They’re baaaaaaaack!

Hold the phone. Is there something I’m missing here? How did I give him the goggles? Am I a time-traveler? Did the Echo use my likeness so he would be more willing to help me later on? What’s going on here…

This fight was ridiculously fun!! We died a few times until we figured out spells and such (like that cast she does without a telegraph? That threw me off…). But I really loved how much more difficult it was. Though now that we know what to do, I’m sure we’d smash her to pieces in one go.

Talk about a literal “death glare”! Time to pull your soul out of your chest, lady!

OHSHITOHSHITOHSHITNOWAIOHSHITOHSHIT!

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTT? oshitoshitoshit!

AHHHHH! I need more story! GIMME GIMME!

Tonight’s plans, assuming I don’t fill a missing spot in raid in WildStar, is to work on our hunting logs and try to unlock Dzemael Darkhold. We just need to bump our rep up two more notches in the Grand Company, so we’re going to work on our logs a bit. That way we can run the dungeon to bump up our EXP fast so that we can continue with the story. Ohhh man, it got good again!! I pretty much sat there slack-jawed as I watched and listened. I’m so excited to get to 50 and work my way through the patch stories!