State of the Brenna, New Year 2019

It’s almost 5:30am Eastern time, so now I can say this and have it up to date for any of you who may be reading:

2018 Sucked. Hard. I went into the year angry–not with my life, I suppose,* but with the universe. Cause you know what? The universe has fucked a lot of shit up lately. In spite of the universe’s cosmic-level fails, though, I managed to drag, walk, and eventually breeze through a lot of it.
*There wasn’t no anger with my life coming into the year, but there was a hell of a lot of unhappiness. 2017 had been a very, very difficult year. 

Anyway! We’ve made it through 2018. Here are some highlights, I suppose:

  • I lost my job–three days before my birthday. I worked at the apartment complex for 12 years, and for many of the final years it had become a very unhealthy environment. Losing my job was the only way out, though; while there, I could apply for other jobs all I wanted but couldn’t ever actually leave thanks to my apartment being directly tied to the job. Being let go gracefully meant I could transition without having a complete breakdown publicly or privately. And we had an emergency backup that wasn’t available for voluntarily quitting, so we weren’t completely alone like we could have been.
  • My bipolar improved. No one’s ever completely well, but thanks to getting out of that office, I’m a thousand times better. That’s how unhealthy I’d let the apartments become; losing my job boosted my health in a way I couldn’t imagine before. I’ve had lesser swings and phases, but no full mania or severe depression.
  • I finally got my new job, and it’s wonderful. On the surface, it probably looks like boring desk work… but it’s not. Not for me, at least. Cause yeah, I’m at a desk, but my mind is busy the whole time, I work with people I like and am friendly with, and it’s an introvert’s dream: almost all communication outside of the office is by email. Seriously, my phone’s rung maybe a dozen times in seven-ish months. It’s. A. Dream. It’s the healthy environment I needed so much
  • I lost over 20 pounds. …And still counting, too. The first 5-7 lost were a bad situation–a new medicine I started literally has “anorexia” as a possible side effect for early in treatment, and it hit me hard. I couldn’t eat when I tried, so I stopped trying for a while. I gained most of that back (at least the first five pounds), though, so even treating that first loss as a fluke I broke the 20 pound mark on Christmas Eve. I’m almost to a size 10, which is my actual goal instead of total pounds lost. Once I get there and maintain it for a while, I’ll decide if I can work my way down to an 8 and still be healthy. Oh, and since I did it killing myself in the gym, I’m actually stronger now, too, not just skinnier. (Okay, not really that intense, but intense enough that I have visible definition in a few places, and my calves are amazing.)

So yeah, that was 2018 for me. The positive outweighs the negative by a long shot for a change. The year would have been even better if the world wasn’t imploding, but here’s to hoping that gets better as we continue along.

So! 2019. I don’t see any major changes personally or professionally for my life this year. Incremental improvements, sure, but nothing massive. And I don’t do resolutions, so there’s nothing like that to stress over. I mean, props to people who are motivated by resolutions and can keep them, but to me it’s just something to overwhelm people and eventually scare them away from what they wanted to do in the first place.

Just because I don’t do resolutions, though, doesn’t mean I don’t have want-to-do-s most years. For the last few years I’ve wanted to do the New Year Dragon Age Re-Everything. That hasn’t successfully happened yet, but when we get closer to The Dread Wolf Rises and hype rises again, I’ll give it another shot.

This year I was considering doing a thing I did in… 2011? 2012? where I flat out Did. Not. Play. any game I’d finished before. (I think I did it that year to fight off Dragon Age burnout then, too, but I don’t remember 100%.) And it was a great way to change things up. And I have a ton of games I could play instead even without counting my Steam library. The problem with repeating that for 2019 is that I just started replays of Skyrim, Stardew Valley, and Chrono Trigger. What I’ll do instead is finish these replays, mix in newer games (Let’s GO Eevee I’ve already started, and I’ve had I Am Setsuna saved for later for years) as I go. It’s not a pure go at New Games Only, but it’s better than nothing… right?

Bren Does Christmas, Part 2 of 2

Holy crap, I made it back to post when I said I would! Okay, so some finishing up for the day.

The afternoon went great. We do a Secret Santa where the “best” gift gets a literal championship belt, which means no one gets real presents from their Santas and it just gets more absurd (and sometimes vulgar, like the best/worst games of Cards Against Humanity) year after year. This year’s winner involved a pin the tail on the donkey variant involving… sasquatch testicles. Like I said, the best/worst. No, I didn’t take pictures of that one. I mean, it’s not like it would have passed the filters on Tumblr.

Food was good; the only thing better would have been banana pudding at the end. Me and some banana pudding are kinda like happy on the wallet Brian got me, seriously. Also pictured? An entirely new Pop Vinyl wall; six from Brian and three from family. Not pictured, Let’s Go: Eevee. And I love my eevee… It lets me scritch its head. ^_^

Okay, one last bit and then I have to get ready for bed: I discovered the “12 Days of Socks” packs last year. I got the Star Wars pack then, and the socks themselves are the best. So when Brian found out this year that each pack’s socks are different (each year, and each cover art when there are multiple covers) he got one of this year’s sets for me. I started posting these to Twitter as I opened them each day, but decided halfway through to save them for now. Seriously, if you ever find ANY of these sets, grab them up. All different fandoms, super soft, and last year’s set are still good even after wearing them literally all year. I’m sure any of these sets that are left over in stores are going to be on clearance, so grab them grab them!

Okay, well, it’s late (by “late” I mean it’s 10:30 pm, cause I get up by five in the morning) so I’m going to get to bed. I had one killer nap this afternoon, but it’s not going to be enough to carry me through tomorrow. So until I have a chance to post again, enjoy this stock footage of me and Mina cuddling up for the night.

good night bedtime GIF

State of the Brenna, Thanksgiving 2018

Sooo… Happy Thanksgiving, for those in the States. And happy Multiple Days Off Work if you’re lucky enough to have a job that gives you these days off. I’ve had jobs that give these days and jobs that don’t, and if you have one that doesn’t give you time off please be careful driving (especially openers), don’t skip eating to keep up your energy (even if it means just one bite at a time in the back room), keep lots of Advil, etc, on hand (your co-workers will thank you!), and remember:

Just because you have to pretend the customer is always right, that doesn’t mean they are. If they’re “just” dumb and rude, grin and bear it. If they’re being abusive, call them out on it in any way that won’t lose you your job. Or maybe a way that will lose you your job. You know your situation, including if you can afford that risk. …Okay, that went on a tangent. (I do that sometimes.) The point was, they aren’t always right; you already know that just from normal days at work. Try not to let them get to you. If it helps (and this always helped me, even at the apartment complex) make up stories about those assholes as the day goes on. Funny stories. Mean stories. Whatever. It can be a good distraction. (But maybe don’t let your manager in on it, unless they’re the kind to help out.)

But hey, it’s Thanksgiving, right? So I guess I should give at least some thanks:

  • Brian, for putting up with all. of. my. bullshit. And I mean all of it. So much bullshit. Thanks, love.
  • My cats, for keeping me warm when Brian takes the covers.
  • My new job, for being a healthy environment. I never hold hard feelings against my last one, but it wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t healthy because of it.
  • People in the gym who clean the damned equipment properly.
  • Also, people in the gym the same height as me, because it means I don’t have to adjust the seats and such in the timed circuit room.
  • Um… a preemptive thankfulness for the three pairs of jeans I’ve had since 2012, only one of which I’ve ever actually worn, because when I lose about five more pounds and can fit them I’ll have ~$75 of “new” clothes that I won’t have to spend a dime on. Cause seriously, there aren’t a lot of dimes to go around and saving that much money is one of the best things right now. 

Um… Damn. Okay, so I made the mistake of not finishing this post before going to the gym, and since then I’ve had breakfast, played games, napped, and had my official Thanksgiving dinner. That said, I forgot everything else I was planning on writing. Oops.

Anyway, enjoy your Thanksgiving; try to enjoy the weekend whether you’re off work or not, and take care of yourself especially if you’re working. If you go out shopping, don’t be a dick. I guess that’s really all there is to it.

Currently Playing: Stardew Valley (Mountain-Type farm) and Skyrim. Both on Switch this time.
Currently Reading: none at the moment (planning to re-read Good Omens once Brian finishes it)
Currently Watching: The Good Place
Listening To: AltNation on XM Radio (channel 36?), since there’s a free period this week. It’s basically the same as the Google Play station I linked in my October post.

State of the Brenna, Early October

Heyas… I guess it’s been longer than I’d planned between posts. Even my Project365 had to be dropped, thanks to my phone flipping out every time I try to get more than 2-3 consecutive shots of something. And that sucks, cause I was having fun with it. Maybe I’ll try it again for 2019? I’ll have to think about it, assuming I can afford a new phone this year. If not, then there won’t be any point to try it again (yet) since the phone freezing is why I stopped it this year. I do have another idea for a photo series, though; it’s actually one I’ve toyed with for over ten years. Comments on photos would be formatted similarly to my Vampire Protection Door Mat series of posts, but since the subject is much more broad than the one product type I’m having trouble working out a consistent way to measure each item.

Other than trying to figure out that photo series, there’s not much going on. I finally picked up Good Omens yesterday (I’ve had it on Kindle for years, but much like games in a Steam library, the books in my Kindle library are completely forgotten 13 seconds after I download them. >.<) and my GOD I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to start. And since the only thing from the upcoming TV show I’ve let myself see before starting the book is the Angelic/Devilish poster also out this weekend, I was able to read the first few chapters without any influence of the show. Even still, I can see David Tennant every single word, step, and swagger of Crowley; it’s such a good match than I went to watch the trailer anyway, just to see how close it was. And the trailer? Pretty much exactly, word for word, going up to Crowley and Aziraphale having their little lunch date. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to it. The only thing so far (and I’m 20% through, according to the app) that I’m worried about is that there’s so much motion and so much inner monologue to the text. Books-to-screen always seem to fail in that part of the conversion, so I’m curious how they’re going to handle that. Other than, idk, Family Guy style cutaways or something.

Anyway, yeah. My lunch break’s just about over, so I need to go. Until I can find the next thing to post about and/or figure out a format for that photo series, have a picture of Brian wearing a unicorn head:

IMG_20180930_114728

Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, mountain-type farm
Currently Reading: Good Omens
Most Recent Anime: Fairy Tail Zero
Listening To: Google Play Music Station inspired by Imagine Dragons’ “Natural” (I have no idea if that link will work; if not just let me know.)

State of the Brenna, June… Something-something.

God, there’s been so much going on since my last general update (about this time last month). In that time I’ve started a new job that’s… not difficult, or challenging, just very busy so it keeps me pretty occupied. It means less time online, and even less for games, though, since I’m so tired* when I get home. (More on that in a moment.)

I mentioned the day-before and the day-of that I was going to the Thursday night opening of Solo, and it was much better than expected. Not some cinematic masterpiece, but good for what it needed to be. Donald Glover as Lando could actually have been more animated, imo, but he wasn’t lacking by any means. The BFD, though? Oh my god, that cameo at the end. (I’m not saying who or what because there are still plenty of people who haven’t seen it, and IMO it’s that big a deal. I will, however, post a link to this gif of that moment–click at your own peril!) When that cameo happened I made noises that Brian described as something “only bats could hear” and that’s pretty accurate. I could only hear half a second the sound I made; I only know I made sound because I could feel it in my throat. Trust me, it’s good.

Um, let’s see…. E3 was last week. I didn’t get to watch all the pressers like I usually do, and still haven’t caught up on those I missed. Overall I was unimpressed with this year’s showing, though. There were amazing games–Anthem, Kingdom Hearts, Cyberpunk 2077, Ghosts of Tsushima, and of course Kojima’s bizarre brain child, Death Stranding. The last one actually had some content in its trailer this year, though; normal-ish (for the subject matter), even. I normally wouldn’t bother with the game in spite of how intriguing it is, but looking back on my P.T. stream from last summer I’m wondering if maybe I should (and stream that as well).

As for current games, I downloaded Skyrim and Pixeljunk Monsters 2 to my Switch. It’s my third copy of Skyrim, but my original is on PS3 and in storage & I’m not able to play on PC for the foreseeable future. So, Switch it is. Also, it has that added Switch-bonus of not needing to be played docked, which means Brian and I aren’t fighting over the tv.

Unfortunately, I have a very complicated relationship with PJM. I adore the games, but I’m so stubborn that I can’t move on to the next stage, much less the next area, unless I’ve collected all available rainbows on any given map. That means I haven’t made any progress at all. Oops.

Finally: the gym. Yep, I’m still going, though I did have to break my streak of not missing a single day due to being sick a week or so ago. I haven’t noticed any weight differences (or more importantly, changes in how my clothes fit, since that’s a better way to track progress, IMO). The only change I’ve seen so far for myself, in spite of being told there’s actual, overall change visible, is that my calves are different. I’m sure that’s mostly from running doing the elliptical, but I also do that 30 minute circuit room so I suspect it’s also a (tiny) bit of muscle from over a month of strength stuff in there. Going after work instead of first thing in the morning is killing me, though. That’s what the * up above was for. The fact that I’m going around 6pm is torture, and I’m basically asleep before I even eat dinner. I’m trying to get myself conditioned so that I can try going before work (OMG so painfully early) to see if that helps again, but I haven’t managed it yet.

Other than that… yeah, I can’t think of anything. Brian’s become obsessed with “fixing” the Pop!Vinyl wall at our closing Toys ‘R’ Us, the cat went to the vet but is more or less okay, etc.

Currently playing: Skyrim & Pixeljunk Monsters 2
Last movie at the theater: Solo: A Star Wars Story
Watching: Parks and Rec, The Office, random history of video games documentaries on… I think it’s Amazon?
Listening to: Postmodern Jukebox at work & my standard techno and metal mixes at the gym

“Offline”

While I have spent the last few days literally offline thanks to feeling rough, I’m not really referring to that at the moment. Rather, I’m talking the not only few games that I’ve streamed from my PS4, but also FFXIV as well. I’m still gaming, for the most part, but it’s been on my shiny SNESClassic. I’ve only put real time into Zelda so far, which I finished about a week ago (adulting means playing only two days a week at the moment, so not bad time at all).

I’m holding off on a lot of the other stuff on purpose, though: I’ve made it extremely clear that I want a capture card for Christmas this year, and when I get that I’ll be playing the other, more significant games on the system on streams. Well, that means I have to fight my way through setting up OBS properly, but Twitch itself looks like it has tutorials for that so instead of muddling through like I tried before I’ll use those to try and get it set right.

Anyway… yeah. I’ll get some more The Wolf Among Us in sooner or later (streaming), and I’ll be back on FFXIV hopefully this weekend since I’m almost at the end of Heavensward (not streaming). FFXV Comrades is coming soon (stream, but also PSN = BrennaCeDria to join me!), and I still have about half of FFXV to replay for my plot-only streams (including the extra chapter 12 content!). I also have, of all things, Hatoful Boyfriend since it was a PS+ game, and I’ll probably play that online, too. So I have plenty to play between now and my birthday. (At which point a hopefully very special game will be out to add to my list. ^_^ Again, PSN = BrennaCeDria to join me.)

Hurricane

First, Important Stuff™: The Caribbean has been hit by Irma far harder than any of us anywhere in the US will be. If you can, pick one of the charities at the bottom right of this page and throw a buck their way. If they ask, specify that you’d like the donation to go to the Caribbean in general, or any of the specific areas impacted, rather than to a general donation fund. (Also I’d avoid the Red Cross if possible; they’re tied for last on accountability and stuff. I think Direct Relief has the highest rating for percentage of funds actually being distributed to helping, rather than going to administrative costs and stuff.)

Okay, personal stuff: Irma’s way out still and won’t even be touching Florida until… midday tomorrow? …but still she’s already inching away from my area bit by bit and we won’t have any effects here until I’m guessing overnight Sunday-Monday? We were originally down for a direct hit but the track has pushed just west of us that I barely expect a power outage. I mean, we only had one very brief outage with Matthew, and that actually was a hurricane when it came onshore barely north of us.

Of course I say that and now she’ll swing back east at us because I have.

Regardless of what she does or doesn’t do, the entire area is still under a mandatory evacuation starting tomorrow morning. I don’t even consider going anywhere for less than a medium-or-higher category three storm, partially because someone needs to be here to assess the post-storm for work but mostly because I’m massively overconfident when it comes to bad weather of any kind. No joke, most of my life I’ve actively believed I’ll go down from a lightning strike, and that doesn’t really frighten me.

So… either way? I’ll be here. Here at home, here online (again, just like last year). I might spend time streaming; I confirmed last time that the lag in my twitch chat is too much to ask people to crowd-play TWAU with me, but I can still play it in general and anyone who’s stuck home but has a connection can watch that if they want. I’m sure I’ll do at least episode two over the next few days. Or other games, or offline games, idk.

I’ll post if anything changes around here, and if anyone is bored I’ll be around to chat.