So, now that I’m all caught up on the main events, what have I been up to? Anything great and exciting in my life??
But, let’s see what we can find, shall we?
Work has been having a few ups and downs with money. For the most part, everything’s been okay. But there was one check that was about #30 less than I usually make and it hurt. And of course, that was including the week with the snow. *Sigh*. Fortunately, the one after was back on track, but it hurt with extra bills I’ve had to deal with.
Specifically, I got my electric bill for last month. It hurt. A LOT. My budget allowed for up to $150. And the month prior had been $116, so I thought I was doing well. This month was $235!!! I screamed. I didn’t know what to do!
I know it’d been colder than usual and I know I left the heat on somewhat more than I normally do so my pipes didn’t freeze. But dang, that was more than double!
Fortunately, I got things worked out with the electric company and hopefully can get this paid off now. I put down a payment of $150 and doing everything to keep my electric costs down this month. That means I’ve had little to NO heat running the last week. It’s been chilly, yes, but that’s why we have blankets and long sleeve shirts. If I can keep it low enough, I can pay something over the normal amount and help pay it off that way.
Bryan and I have still been doing the 8pm – 9pm no TV/video games/electronics thing. It’s been pretty nice. I can read, he plays with his toys (he recently got a Master chief action figure and has been abusing Jedi with it. Go figure) and it’s just fun.
As for what I’ve been doing, let’s go over the basics:
Reading: I finally finished Gears of War: Jacinto’s Remnant last week. I really loved this book, more than the first one! I found that doubly interesting because this book really doesn’t deal with the Locusts. They’re there to a degree, but just little spurts since at this point, it’s shortly after the end of Gears of War 2 and this book is presenting the COGs view of the war being over. Since we know a Gears 3 is on the way, we can only speculate if the game will build what Karen Traviss has set up, or if Karen has to destroy everything we’ve seen built thus far.
The book instead is heavily focused on picking up the pieces. Trying to figure out how to pull society back together after such a LONG period (almost a century, give or take) of war in one way or another. They have to try and incorporate Stranded, which hasn’t been easy and we see Dom’s heavy struggle with his shocking events laid out in Gears 2 (no spoilers here ;) ). We also learn a lot more about Bernie, a COG introduced in the first Gears book and one I really enjoy. It’s an older woman (compared to the COGs we see in the games) and she is very troubled with people, Stranded in general and about halfway through we figure out why and what her dark secret is.
This was a powerful and somewhat dark story plot and if it hadn’t been handled well, it would have left a very bad taste in people’s mouths I think. But it’s Karen, so I had faith and I was rewarded. This is a classic example of pushing characters to their breaking point and seeing them step for the first time over that line. She crossed it, and Karen did this in such a way as to make you think. Because you can sympathize with the why but not per say the how.
If you’re a fan of the games, I definitely recommend picking these books up!
Now, I’m reading Star Wars: Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil and I’m enjoying this book too. This is dealing with the transition from Bane and apprentice to the Apprentice taking over Master. Reading how this is happening is really neat and I can’t wait to finish it. I’m about a little over a third done.
I know, some people seem to think I enjoy everything I read *cough*Marc*cough* (just kidding!). But trust me when I say I’ve read some I wasn’t thrilled with to ones I can almost hate. Pretty much they left a bad taste in my mouth and I won’t read them again. Like what?
1.) Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Devils’ Heart (horrible Trek Book with only one small part I liked)
2.) Star Trek: Engines of Destiny: It wasn’t BAD, but it wasn’t GREAT either. Characters felt very very off to me.
3.) Star wars: Children of the Jedi: Mediocre and while it introduced potential and a love interest for Luke, the story was bland. Though, arguably, the Han, Leia and Chewie parts were good and felt right. It was just the Luke parts I didn’t care for and at the time, Luke was my favorite!
4.) Star Wars: Jedi Trial: Bland. That’s all I can say. There were parts I liked, but overall, I felt nothing for the situation.
So as you can see, there are some I didn’t care for or like!
Video Games: I haven’t played a lot as far as variety goes, but I’ve been playing one game a lot. Dragon Age: Origins which is a roleplayer by Bioware, using the same interface and game mechanics as Mass Effect. The game has some nice graphics, if not quite up to Mass Effect standards, but that’s okay. The storyline is AMAZING and I love everything about this game. I’ve completed one playthrough and have experienced all the origin stories and all the endings, and I’m playing through a 2nd time as a Mage (first game was a Warrior) and still discovering new elements. The story takes into consideration if you’re playing as a male or female and as such, certain elements will change. Your race will also play an effect, so it’s really neat to see all the different elements come together to from something different from your other playthroughs. The game will also take into consideration your attitude/decisions/actions into account, forming different ways people react to you and further affecting what options are open to you and affecting the story here and there.
What’s also nice is the DLC. Depending on the version you got of the game and where, you get a nice amount of it. The Collector’s Edition (which I got) came with 3 exclusive items for download, a suit of armor (also “usable” in Mass Effect 2), and The Stone Prisoner DLC (which is 1200 MS points online otherwise). I understand if you preordered at Gamestop, you got a couple other items as well, but to me, paying the tax on the game was paying for those items.
There’s other sets of DLC as well and I have to say I loved them all. Each added something different, 1 even adding some closure on a main event in the game itself.
If you have a Ps3, Xbox360 or PC, like RPGs and into Fantasy…GET THIS! I promise you’ll love it.
Aside from that though, I haven’t done a whole lot. Work is keeping me busy and the nights I close, I don’t get home now till 9pm because of travel time to pick up Bryan before I can go home.
That’s about it for now. I feel like I’m missing some things, but I’ll get them sooner or later if I recall them. Till later!