2010 Review

– 2010 was a very social year. Granted, a lot of it was geeky socializing (Venture Brothers marathon, D&D, board game night, frisbee golf, Magic the Gathering, craft fairs, crawfish festivals) but I was still probably more regularly socially active than I’ve ever been in my life.

– Goal 1 for 2010 was “Get a Cat,” and so I did! Mr. Davis has become a beloved member of my family and a huge part of my life. He is simultaneously the most affectionate cat I’ve ever had while also being the most headstrong, and I love him very much. I miss his snuggly face and can’t wait to get back to it!

– Goal 2 for 2010 was “Go to Japan,” and thanks to the generosity of host and friend, Scott Coffrin, I had another short but AMAZING trip to the country. I really do love that place.

– The biggest bonus for the year was starting my relationship with Nick, my awesome boyfriend. Last year’s review noted how I was putting off the attempts of dating, and it wasn’t long after that I found someone. Turns out all I had to do to find someone amazing was stop looking, and he came into my life 🙂

– I joined a CSA, which is a small note, but one which I’m proud of (both in that I’m supporting local farmers and doing more experimental cooking, and that I’m actually eating vegetables now).

– 2010 was a big year for me at work. My team was tasked with creating our level into a demo for Sony, and trying to get it to a polished state as a visual high bar for the rest of the game. If you’ve seen the recent stuff for Resistance 3 with the gameplay on the boat, that’s my level! It was a big challenge but a fun one, and my awesomesauce team really pulled together and made something great and fun. It was really exciting when we hit that milestone, and it’s even more exciting now that gameplay from my level is out and about in the world.

– I started playing Starcraft II, went to Blizzcon, and discovered I really like watching RTS games in a tournament setting.

– I visited home and educated the youth about game development, and then turned around and went to another fantastic Project Horseshoe.

– Didn’t get home for Thanksgiving, but had a really fun Orphan Thanksgiving Dinner in Burbank.

– Had a fantastic winter break! First of all, I am ever grateful to work for a company that is not in education and still has a Christmas Break! Second, it was really fun to bring Nick to Kentucky and show off my hometown and introduce him to my family and my most beloved of friends. Showing Louisville to someone who had never been made me look at it through the eyes of a newcomer, and it made the whole experience of being at home feel fresh.

– Meanwhile, I’m finishing off the break with a crazy relaxing time in Sarasota. Many a day I have slept in, and upon waking, reached for my laptop and spent hours WoWing in bed, which is like having breakfast in bed only way nerdier. We’ve had strolls on the beach and met up with Nick’s family and friends, and just mostly chilled. I feel very relaxed and ready to jump back into the swing of work next week.

Maybe it’s a little out of form to post my year review before 2011 has fully rung in, but I anticipate a relaxing evening, some socializing with Nick’s old friends, and then falling asleep in the laziest of fashions. I’m really excited about what the next year has in store!

More Christmas Stuff

This Christmas vacation so far has been just the right balance of lazy relaxing and fun adventures. After Nick left I spent the remaining days with family and friends (mostly being lazy) and had a lovely family Christmas.

I got:
– Donkey Kong Country Returns (played a bit here in Florida with Nick, it’s super super fun!)
– Sonic Colors
– pre-order for Lost in Shadow, which should arrive in January
– a WoW trivia desk calendar
– Amazon gift credits, intended to be used for presents for Mr. Davis. I’m going to get him a cat condo/tree. I also used some of them to pre-order Okamiden
– Some cash monies
– a new pair of pajamas (I get one pretty much every year, which is good, because I wear through pajamas like crazy!)
– Betrayal at House on the Hill

A splendid collection of gifts if ever there was one! My brother and I got my parents Netflix, which they liked a lot. Hopefully they won’t watch through the whole streaming library in a single month 😛

After Christmas I flew down here to Sarasota to spend the rest of our break with Nick. We went to the Ringling Museum, which was pretty varied and interesting. Otherwise there has been a lot of lazing and meeting friends and playing games. I think it will be a relaxing way to see out 2010!

Meat CSA?

So, I absolutely LOVE my CSA (http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com). It encourages me to eat vegetables which I would never do on my own, the produce is yummy, and I like to support local farmers.

Does anyone know if there is something similar in southern California for meat and dairy? Like a meat CSA? I’m going to google it up, of course, but if anyone knows something firsthand, do let me know!

Vacation and Goals

My visit home to Louisville has been splendid thus far! Nick and I hit up the Speed Museum, Science Center, and Slugger Museum. We ate at Dragon King’s Daughter, Ramsi’s, Old Spaghetti Factory, Coco’s Chocolate (fondue!!) and Nord’s Doughnuts. We met Ian’s puppy and played many games with friends and hung out with my family.

Now he’s off to Sarasota so we can spend Christmas with our respective families, and then I’ll join up with him again in Florida afterwards. Josh checked in on Mr. Davis for me at the Cat Hotel, and apparently he’s settled quite nicely and made friends with the other cats! Yay!

Meanwhile, I’m starting to ponder my goals for 2011. Last year the goals were: get a cat (check!) and go to Japan (check!). I already have a few goals in mind financially, but I’m molding some others in the meantime.

First, I’m feeling purge-ish again, and every time i get in the mood to get rid of stuff, the circle of influence of my grip shrinks. This time it’s the old game consoles that are feeling invasive to my space. I’ve been really thinking a lot about the way I consume media. Earlier in the year I borrowed games to try them (offering pies in exchange) and I liked the way it felt. I felt motivated to finish the games because I had to return them, and didn’t feel any guilt over a game half started and then sitting and staring at me from the PS3.

I find myself drawn more and more to Steam and PSN and investigating Wiiware titles because of the lack of physical “stuff” that comes attached to them. Perhaps I will pick up the borrowing habit once more in the New Year.

Which leads me to my second goal of consuming more games more regularly. Right now I play games in long stretches and revel in them, such as Starcraft and WoW and Minecraft. But as has been pointed out time and again, one of the flaws of my industry is how much really good content is pushed out so frequently. I feel like everyone knows someone who has a mountain of unwrapped games that they haven’t even touched yet.

I’ve attributed this need to keep up with games to be like practicing an instrument, and I think this year I need to buckle down on that and really set aside time each day for games. NEW games, I mean, not just the ones I’m in love with and playing anyway. If I can work it into my routine I think I can pull it off, but new routines are very hard to get rolling!

We shall see what the new year brings.

Blog idea

You know how when you’re explaining an idea to someone, sometimes you whip up a little sketch that makes things so much clearer? And yet, viewed out of context, the little sketch looks like an indecipherable scribble?

I’m considering starting a blog and posting these guys, just for fun, unless such a blog exists already. If it doesn’t, would anyone be interested in contributing?