Saturday, April 8, 2017

Cleaning up!

I've been having an amazing time on this week off, though I feel like I should have taken off much longer! I have taken a lot of time to rest and relax, as well as to play as much Persona 5 as humanly possible. But on top of that, I've done some cleaning out, and right now I'm trying to find a new home for some action (and inaction!) figures! Here they are:

 Big Ass Silent Bob, signed by Kevin Smith:


 Some Inaction Figures, one signed by Kevin Smith:

Grifball figure, signed by Geoff:

 Star Wars Galactic Heroes figures, some signed:

I have no idea how to sell action figures! I've never sold them in my life. Does anyone know how much these dudes are worth? I have someone interested in the Dogma figs, and the Galactic Heroes Dengar and Boba Fett. From what I can tell on eBay, they're worth:

Galactic Heroes Dengar and Boba Fett, signed - eBay, between $20-40 unsigned
Dogma Jay - eBay, between $10-20
Dogma Silent Bob - eBay, between $20-30
Dogma Silent Bob, signed - none signed on eBay, but one other Dogma fig went for $70 signed
Dogma Bartleby - none on eBay, others went for ~$10
Dogma Golgagthan - eBay, between $10-20

I'm not sure what are fair prices to ask. Does anyone have any experience with this?

I'll write a proper update later! I also had my first experience with Buffalo Exchange, which went well! I sold some clothes and donated the rest at Philly Aids Thrift. I have lots more clothes to go through, and I also want to purge my books, video games, and board games, but that will take more time than I have left on this vacation. It's a slow process, and I'm trying to feel good about what I did do, rather than lament what I didn't!

But ok, I'm going to play some Persona 5 and then get down to business. Hope everyone's having a great Saturday!

Monday, March 27, 2017

You were right about Titanfall 2

Whoever told me to stick with Titanfall 2, you were right. I had analysis paralysis the other day trying to decide which game to play next, so I decided to go back to it, since I hadn't played it in months and really did want to finish. I got to the Effect and Cause chapter today, and wow. It was freaking amazing. I would play an entire game like that. I think I'm nearly done it now - hopefully I'll finish it tomorrow or Tuesday and go back into an indecision spiral.

Oh, and we went back to Supernatural, after not watching that for months. We were at the very end of season 10 - I think we have one more episode left now. And we did a freaking ton of work this weekend. I'm so exhausted but I also feel pretty great and productive. But also exhausted.

I hope you had a great weekend, my friends! *heart emoji*

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I definitely understand technology

So, yesterday, my friend Gina sent me a $75 gift card to Modcloth as a congratulations on getting a new job. SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS! That is too much money. I slammed the reply button and sent her an all-caps reply:

(The link goes to this awesome thing, in case you were wondering.)

So great story, right? Except one second later I received an email from Modcloth saying they'd opened a ticket for my email. Because I sent that email to support at Modcloth and not Gina. And then forwarded that email to Gina and told her in all caps that I was literally dead from laughing.

Because I was.

The end.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I'm leaving Drexel!

Wow! It's been years since I've written in this thing. So much has happened! So much has happened in the last week. This has been an intense year so far. Last year was also super intense. Maybe I should just write about right now to start.

I finished graduate school! Well, I handed in my last two papers on Thursday, and I consider myself done. I don't think there's any way I could have failed those classes, but stranger things have happened. Anyway, barring any disasters, I am now an MS in Library Sciences. It's been a long road, and I can't believe it's over.

"So, Nicole," you might be thinking, "Are you going to go for your PhD now?"

Yo. Can I live?

I got a new job! I never thought I would leave Drexel. Ever. But here I am. A few weeks ago, I received an email from the Department Head of CCI, asking if I was interested in a research position at a company, and giving me a small description. I was interested, and sent her my resume. They contacted me that day, and I had a meeting with them a week later. A week after that, I went in for an assessment test. Wednesday of last week, I went back for a follow-up, and they offered me the job the next day... right after I submitted my last papers for grad school. In a few weeks, I'll be starting my new job as a Research Analyst.

I'm terrified. But also excited! But also terrified. But also excited. I've been at the same job for 15 years - 20 years if you include the years I went here as an undergraduate. But I'm super excited to move on to a new job and get out there and actually apply what I learned in graduate school.

That all happened last week. But there's lots and lots of other cool stuff going on, too!

We have another board game coming out! We were approached to make a game for IDW in their new Atari line of board games. We're making Centipede, of course. It's been a much different process than we're used to, but it's been a great experience. Here's my favorite image on the Internet, which I'm stealing from Mashable:

That is badass.

We went to PAX East and UnPub! Yes, we went to PAX East up in Boston, and then I had to finish up two term papers, and then we headed to UnPub down in Baltimore. It was totally worth it, but, real talk: I can't believe I survived it. I'm freaking tired.

OK. and that was all from recently as well. But there's been so much other stuff going on. The last time I wrote in here was October of 2014! I don't know if there's a good way to list all of this. Maybe with... a list?

  • Anthony and I moved in together earlier that year, and our first game, RESISTOR_, got into the Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX Prime that year as well. It was also in the IMB at PAX East in 2015, and we launched our Kickstarter for it, and got picked up by a publisher, Level 99! 
  • In 2016, our next game, Lazer Ryderz, got picked up by Greater Than Games. 
  • For gaming, we went to a ton of events in 2015 - 21 - and then upped that in 2016, when we went to a whopping 28 events!! 
  • Two of my estranged family members died - first my grandmother in February, and then my father in October. 
  • I taught for the first time in my life, as an adjunct at Moore College of Art and Design. 

Oh hey, also, in August, Anthony and I got engaged! We plan to be married this year, but with everything that's been going on, it might get pushed to 2018.

Of course, there are tons of things I'm forgetting. I'm giving you the quick and dirty of the last two and a half years. I've made tons of friends, some of them best friends I want to see all the time but only get to see at events, and others local friends I can't spend enough time with. I've played a lot of board games and video games, read loads of books, and even got into writing more - I started a bullet journal and got back into writing poetry (oh noetry!). I can't even begin to get into it all. But hopefully, if I keep to this, I won't have to. It'll be more organic. I guess we'll see!

Also, Colleen wanted a mention, so she gets one:

That's all for now. Oh, and I'm still fascinated by Juggalos.

Like you had to ask.

Much turtle love!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

remember that time i talked about surgery

wow i have been so insanely lax here... the last time i wrote was in january (over nine months ago!) when i wrote about medical issues. i never wrote what happened after that - nor have i written ANYTHING since. so, here goes!

in january, the doctors mentioned SURGERY, and i just about had heart failure. i went back in february, and saw a specialist, and the first thing she said was that they absolutely did not want to perform surgery, because i'm too young and it's dangerous. she laid out all of the options:

1) surgery. don't want to do that.
2) nothing. really don't want to do that, either.
3) IUD. no no no no no.
4) hormones.

now, with the hormones, there were four options as well:

1) IUD. already nope.
2) the shot. kinda didn't want to do that.
3) the implant. didn't really want that, either.
4) the pill.

i've had some mixed results with the pill. i went on it when i was 19, and was on five different ones between then and 28 - nearly 10 years. by the end of that time, i was getting vicious, blinding migraines, and while i was terrified to not be on them - who was i, without them? - i was glad for the pain to stop.

well, it turns out, horrible migraines are a really bad sign when you're on the pill - in fact, it is a pretty clear indicator that the pill could cause a stroke. the doctor told me that it's the estrogen that causes that, so she wanted to put me on a progesterone-only pill. and so in february i went back on the pill again for the first time in seven years.

at first, it was horrible. i mean just the worst. my periods were painful and my flow was heavy, and i had moody PMS. now my period wasn't as painful, nor was it as heavy, but i was getting it once every two weeks instead of every four. then i was getting it every other week. then it would be just a few days in between periods. and my mood swings were absolutely crazy by that point. my hormones were out of control.

by july, i was at the end of my rope. i couldn't stand it anymore. i called the doctor, crying, and they told me to just hang in there until my ultrasound... which turned up fine. my cysts and fibroids were gone, meaning the pills were successful. my period was still coming fast and hard (and often), but i'm glad to say that - finally! - this month, it seems to have become somewhat normal. i got my period this weekend, and the last time i got it before that was a full month ago, so... yay!

in other health news, my stomach issues are seemingly more under control as well. i actually ate cheesecake today - CHEESECAKE!! i haven't had cheesecake in four years. i couldn't believe it. i think it's partially because - while i've still had a lot of stress - i've gotten my anxiety more under control. i've even been able to gain weight - i'm back to the 145 i was years ago before i was diagnosed with gastroparesis. sure, all the clothes i've been wearing don't fit anymore, and i could use some working out (i've been trying to walk to and from work when i can), but i'm actually happy.

there's lots going on in my life other than that - we're getting RESISTOR_ ready for kickstarter after showing it off at pax prime and boston fig, we've done lots of traveling, i've been playing tons of games/reading books/watching stuff (aaagh american horror story), and after having very little time to do so, i've been writing again - and hopefully will keep it up.

but right now, it's time to finish up some laundry and work on dinner. oh, and finalize our halloween costumes, because, you know, it's in two weeks. but i wanted to get my medical information out there, because people have been asking me about it. so, yay! :D

Saturday, January 11, 2014

in which i give a lot of information about medical stuff

warning: there is going to potentially be TMI here about my lady parts. seriously. don't read if you don't like hearing about periods, uteri, and words like "gynecologist."


ok! so yeah. i have had a pretty poor history for the last, oh, i don't know, 15 years of my life? when it comes to my lady parts. when i was 19, i had an abortion, and afterwards i found out that i have a tilted uterus, which is why i have such horrible pain and bleeding. to counter that, the doctors put me on the pill, which worked on and off for ten years. in 2008, after years of having horrible migraines and trying to work out what medication would work best, i decided to stop taking the pill. my migraines stopped, but wonderful adventures in terrible pain had just begun.

as each year goes by, as each month goes by, i'm never sure what's going to happen. my period never comes on the same day each month; sometimes it comes five days early, sometimes it's a week late (that's always fun). the pain has become worse and worse, to the point that in november it was so excruciating - and the bleeding was so heavy - that i went to the gynecologist.

i guess i should backtrack a bit here. when i was 21, i was diagnosed with HPV, which was terrifying. i had to go to the doctor every three months for constant checkups, and in 2007, i was told i had CIN 3 cells, which is pretty darn close to cancer. i had to get a LEEP done (DO NOT RECOMMEND MUCH PAIN), and after that, i needed to have my birth canal scraped, because they thought the cells had passed through there to my other organs, and that i was at high risk for cancer. (again, fun weeks.) my HPV cleared in 2010, which meant i could go back to normal yearly visits. but i started having horrible pain and terrible bleeding, and had to go in on an off-time to get checked out. the doctor recommended an ultrasound, in which they found nothing - from my descriptions, they think i had a small cyst which may have ruptured. GOOD TIMES ALL AROUND.

so, in november, i went back, complaining of the same pain and heavy bleeding. they did an ultrasound and found two masses - one they said was possibly a cyst, and the other was possibly a "degenerating fybroid," i think was the exact term. she wanted me to come back in 60-90 days, right after my period, to try to see if it was still there or not.

i went back this past monday. the larger mass was still there.

now, i went back monday thinking they were going to say "yup, no big deal, it's gone." instead, what i got was a phone call from my gynecologist, saying that the mass was still there, that it could be an endymetria, and that she wanted me to make an appointment with one of the physicians there because they might want to perform surgery to remove it.

i just about had heart failure when i heard her say the word "surgery."

i haven't done what i usually do, which is google the shit out of this stuff to figure out what exactly it is, because i am currently paralyzed with fear over it and am doing my best to try not to think about it at all. the soonest they can see me for a consultation is february 6th, so i'm just going to do my best to not freak the fuck out about it and go about life as usual. but it's been really difficult to concentrate, and even things i normally do to zone out have not been successful.

so i guess what i'm saying is, if i seem stressed out, or distant, or just flat out disappear for hours/days at a time, or i don't get something done that i should, please don't take it personally, and please feel free to prod me if you need something. i'm a little distracted right now.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

well hello, 2014

in the weeks leading up to it, i wasn't sure what we were going to do for new years eve. it's anthony's favorite holiday, so i really wanted to make it special, but i wasn't sure what we could do. we moved to west philly a few months ago, and honestly, we haven't gone to a single bar out here, so i wasn't even sure what would be a good place to go. two years ago, we went to lucky thirteen down in south philly, which is near his old place, and met up with some friends. we drank, talked, laughed, and had a lot of fun. last year, we went to our friend jason and kim's house, where we ate, drank, and played board games all night. this year, when i asked anthony what he wanted to do, all he said was that he wanted to "have a few drinks and dance."

my immediate reaction to that was "let's go to silk city!" but it seemed that every place had some kind of cover charge just to get in - whether open bar was included or not. finally, on new years eve, our friends adam and stacy texted us saying they wanted to come out, too, and to let them know what we were doing. we texted our friends fritz and kristin, who had come to the bar with us two years before, and formed a small posse. after some consulting, we decided on dahlak, an ethiopian restaurant/bar/hookah bar just a few blocks away. it was a really sweet night - we all met up, talked, laugh, drank, and even danced a little. oh, and we used the photobooth/jukebox to take some pictures, too.

the kittens were a nice touch.

afterwards, anthony and i headed back to stacy and adam's place for nachos and television, where we proceeded to watch impractical jokers until two in the morning. when we got home, we stayed up playing video games - i finally, FINALLY finished infamous 2, which i thought was a pretty big disappointment. i mean, seriously, the good ending is that cole DIES? that's really, really stupid. everything about that game was just sort of blah. i am really hoping that infamous second son is as good as it looks, because i need my faith restored in the series. i absolutely loved the first infamous, but even playing the demo for infamous 2 made me feel like something was off about it. i don't know. maybe i just got soured about the new voice actor and never got over it. but i also wasn't into the controls... they were just different (and inaccurate) enough to be annoying. it probably does help that i didn't play it on evil, which is where you get all of the world-destroying powers that are way more fun.

we woke up the next morning and did nothing but play video games all day. that's not true... i did do a load of laundry! so that's something. we played legend of dungeon co-op on his computer, then torchlight II with our new setup (ant on his new computer and me on his old computer attached to the television in the living room), and then hammerwatch on his computer. they're all so much fun, and it's so exciting to be able to play them together, whether it's side-by-side with controllers or a room away with our separate PCs. we ordered dinner, watched an anime ant likes called giant robo, which is really interesting, and then spent the rest of the night writing and playing games. it was wonderful, other than the fact that 3AM rolled around and i still wasn't tired, and had to return to work in the morning. i finally laid down until i fell asleep, and then woke up bright and early and made it into work on time.


it was interesting being back at work after being off for over a week. i had lots of emails and plenty to do, but classes weren't set to start until monday, so it was nice to have time to ease into it without too many people around. anthony got sent home super early because his office was full of asbestos - yikes! his boss told them to be sure to call the weather hotline to see if they had work in the morning (he works at university of penn), and he said, will they know if the asbestos has been cleared out? and she said, do you not know it's supposed to snow a ton tonight? and he laughed and said no. adorable. our friends josh and phin came over, and when i got home, they were playing the board game anthony made, kobolds, with super dungeon explore pieces. it was fun! we played some tok tok woodman afterwards, and then spent the rest of the night writing and gaming. we are trying to get the platinum trophy in diablo III, which seemed totally doable until we got to the "get five million gold" trophy. we have beaten the game four or five times and only have two million. aieeee!! that's going to take forever.

friday morning we woke up to... a snow day! hooray! i had a doctor's appointment but i rescheduled it because there was no way i was going outside. i need some new snow boots, which i'm putting off because i want to get the perfect pair, which has proven to be difficult. i want something waterproof, that is warm enough for the snow but cool enough for the summer, and also attractive. it looks like sorel might be my best bet so far. i mean, look at these beauties:

these are not my feet.

much wow. but sadly much wow is also the price, which is a lot. also, they are called cate of alexandria, which is an amazing name for a show. realistically, what i need is a waterproof boot with a liner that doesn't cost too much money and will last me a while, and also has some kind of tread on it so i don't fall. but i would like for it to be attractive, which seems to be a lot to ask for in a practical boot.

the search continues. also, i know as soon as i buy the right boots, it will stop snowing, so... yeah. i like snow and snow days. i'm not in a hurry, even if it means getting snow and salt on my sneakers.

friday we just bummed around and mostly played more hammerwatch and watched futurama, until adam called to ask if we wanted to play dungeon world with him and stacy. we made ourselves presentable and they came over and we played for a few hours and ordered some delicious indian, which, while delicious, took two hours to get here. yikes! i mean, granted, there was a lot of snow outside, but i was so hungry, haha. it was only my second time playing dungeon world - i had played some sixth world, which is shadowrun with dungeon world rules, but not much straight dungeon world. it was a fun mod, but difficult, because we started with no gear and i was playing a wizard, and i was basically useless the entire adventure. but it was still fun - i always love roleplaying and rolling dice, and i had never had adam as a DM before, so that was great, too. after they left, around midnight, we played more hammerwatch, and then finally went back and got 100% of fez finished. i had been putting it off - i think mainly because i knew once i did it, it would be done forever, and there would be no more fez to do. i was super sad when it was over. i know the designer, phil fish, has his reasons for leaving the industry, but he is just so brilliant, and i wish he did nothing but make games. a lot of games. all the games.

saturday was exciting! it was my little nephew matthew's birthday. i ran out in the morning to get him a gift - i was supposed to go friday, but obviously those plans got messed up. i went to the kmart downtown to pick him up some ninja turtle figures and failed miserably. they were sold out of everything ninja turtle, except a few random lego sets, none of which had leonardo, his favorite. but they did have a spider-man lego set, so i bought him that instead, and then headed back home. we rented a philly car share car and drove out to my sister's place in newtown square. we got amazingly lost on the way there but worked it all out and were there only a little late. 

my sister jenna is amazing, as is her entire family. she is my half sister on my dad's side, and i adore her mom and stepdad and her little sister rachel. all of her friends were there as well, and her boyfriend's family, and everyone is super nice and friendly. and matthew! i hadn't seen him in a while - possibly a year! - and he's gotten so, so big, and talks so much. he said some adorable stuff that just made me want to squeeze him. (i was eating my cake, and didn't want the icing, so i offered it to him. he had just told jenna he was done with his cake, but when i offered him my icing, he said ok, when he was done with his. a few seconds later he was like, ok i'm ready now, and he ate some and said yes, it's good. SO CUTE.) the funniest part of the whole night was when jenna brought out the pinata - i had no idea that they made them with pull strings now so kids don't get hurt beating it up! the first string matthew pulled was the right one, and as he was tugging on it, jenna started throwing candy on the floor from a bag she had. debi and i completely lost it laughing, and jenna said what! all the candy didn't fit. i think it was mostly just her deadpan look as she tossed candy onto the floor that really got me. the whole thing was just too cute! 

I am a bad aunt and didn't take any pictures. Please accept this adorable picture of Matthew.

we left before we had to get the car back, and just got home and played some video games and i started working on some writing, all of which continued into sunday morning and afternoon. that evening was my last podcast for crossed purposes, which is a theology site run by my friend josh. they do a different kind of commentary on games and other media - they talk about it in relation to religion and theology. when they first contacted me to be a part of their site, i was apprehensive, but i decided to give it a try since it's so different from anything i've ever done before. i've really enjoyed it, and the podcast with josh and ian has been a blast! but i have some exciting stuff going on right now that i'm not sure if i can talk about just yet, and i've decided that i needed to change some things around to make room for them. s that was my last time on the podcast - at least, my last time as a regular. i hope to be back on the show sporadically, if i can.

monday was back to work for real, which was a little sad but at the same time great because everyone was in such high spirits from the wonderful break. the day flew by in a busy blur, and i left work early to go to the doctor's office to get my ultrasound done. i've been having some lady problems, and my gynecologist just wanted to check - and double check - to make sure everything was ok. i haven't gotten the results back yet, but from what the technician said, everything seems ok, so i'm not too worried. 

on monday night, stacy and i headed to our friend janette's house to watch the bachelor. i had never seen it before, and it was a tradition for them to watch it every week and paint their nails or knit or do something else fun and creative together. it sounded amazing, and i decided to jump in on it. i don't spend very much with other girls - i spend almost all of my free time with "the guys" of one variety or another, playing board games or roleplaying games or video games, so it was nice to spend some time with other girls. i was nervous at first - WHAT IF THEY FIND OUT I AM DIFFERENT AND WEIRD - but stacy, janette, and janette's friend lauryn are all awesome, and we had a great time. in fact, we got there early - janette invited us early since i had never met her daughter, zelda, who is just over a year old. and WOW is she the best kid! she impressed me with her vast knowledge of animal sounds, and was basically just the cutest, most well-behaved kid ever. after she went to bed, we broke out the champaign, and lauryn brought chocolate roses, and i had my first ever bachelor experience. i even painted my nails for the first time since high school, and it wasn't actually that bad! i remember painting my nails as always being a terrible experience because i was so bad at it, but i did a pretty good job. 

Janette took this amazing photo.

afterwards, i headed back home, where anthony and adam were having their own "play date." i was worried i'd come home to find our apartment turned into one big blanket fort, but they were just playing some video games. before i left that night, i had hidden anthony's late christmas presents - the three super dungeon explore minibosses - all over the house. adam found two of them and ant found one, and he was super excited and had them already opened and on the table when i got home. they are so cute!

we watched the latest episode of almost human - i'm so glad it's back on! - and, again, played more hammerwatch. then we went to bed, and before we knew it, it was time to go back to work again. work flew by, and then i came home so we could get some chores done - the apartment was a little messy, and we needed to order groceries, and we wanted to move some furniture around, so that's what we did for the first half of the night. the second half of the night was spent beating hammerwatch, which had one of the most frustrating endings ever. in fact, it's so frustrating, it was immortalized in one of their achievements, "Worse Than Ghosts and Goblins," for which the description is nothing but a link to a video (warning: spoilers!):

after beating the game, we then watched brooklyn 99 - i am so glad my shows are back! and then went to bed.

work today was a little tough because i was tired and had a headache and wasn't feeling great, but it was punctuated by a lot of really great people stopping by to visit and talk, including my friend gina! she brought me some of her amazing cookies, and we sat and talked a bit. her office recently relocated to be a few blocks closer to mine, which is great news, because now we can get lunch at cucina zapata, which is one of the best food trucks at drexel! also it is great news because she makes REALLY good cookies, and is great company.

after work, i rushed home so we could get our groceries delivered, but they were running behind, so i took a nap. they got here around 8, and our delivery guy, clifton, referred to us as "the klines" and said he was excited to see us. he is so nice! we unloaded all of our groceries and then i made some dinner for ant, who stayed home from work today and has been feeling sick. he has become obsessed with a lego program called lego digital designer, and he has been making robots in it that are blowing my mind. he also said that once you're done building something in it, you can just order the legos that you used to build it and lego will send them to you. WAT. there are no words.

we watched agents of shield, and you know, at first i thought the show was hokey, but i'm completely addicted now. i was really moved by this episode, probably because i'm so emotionally invested in them now, and it was really good. after that, i sat on my laptop to get some work done, spent way more time on facebook and looking at bad things cats are doing (thanks, sue!) and squeeing over the fact that grumpy cat favorited geekadelphia's tweet about my grumpy cat book review. AMAZING.

and now i'm just chilling on the couch, writing this blog post, thinking about what i want to do tonight, and realizing it's already after midnight. where does the time go? i'm going to try to at least accomplish a few things on my to-do list before i lay down. that or run around some more in the bravely default demo... or look at more cat pictures. anything's possible.