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.

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