Tag Archives: adventures

Wildlife Adventures

Tonight I went out to play frisbee golf with some ETC alums and some park in Pasadena. It was a fun time all around, but being out in the park really drove home for me how unfamiliar I am with the plants and animals of my new home.

Ever since the sixth grade (go Holy Family Ecology Team, woo!), I’ve had some ability to identify trees, and while I may not remember their scientific names anymore, I could always name the more common varieties in the woods of Kentucky and Pennsylvania. The animals I ran into always felt familiar to me. I mean, I grew up with all of that, right?

Tonight at the park, I saw some lizards, but didn’t know what kind. We flushed out a family of some kind of ground bird with a stray frisbee. Kind of like quails, but I don’t think they were. And, of course, we trudged through all manner of desert scrub and under trees which I couldn’t name if I tried.

Basically, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. Surely the library will have one of those tiny books on identifying local trees.

Speaking of trees, around the 13th hole, we saw some guys who had treed their frisbee, and couldn’t get it down by throwing rocks (it was wedged high up among the small branches pretty good). I was feeling adventurous, so I clambered on up into the high branches of the tree (about 15 feet up), then walked out onto a bough near the edge, in spite of the terrified protests of my friends below. I managed to prod the frisbee out with a stick, and climbed back down without injuring myself (though I did sustain a fair amount of scrapes).

The two guys were extremely grateful, and I felt very happy knowing that I can still climb a tree at 27 – I’m pretty sure the last time I did so was in high school or earlier. Adventure! I’ll probably regret it tomorrow morning, but for now, I feel hard core 🙂

Fourth of July Fun and Feasts!

What a day of splendor! I spent the holiday with Josh, and we had a fantastic adventure of a day! Our primary goal was to defeat the grill and make something tasty, using the book that my mom lent us as a guide for proper grillin. We picked up some porterhouse steaks from Whole Foods and inevitably, as always happens when Josh and I go to Whole Foods, we indulged in purchasing way more tasty food than we’d originally planned.

I was pleased and surprised to see that the Whole Foods in Pasadena carries Garlic Expressions – my favorite salad dressing of all, and I introduced Josh to its majesty via an heirloom tomato & avocado salad, drizzled with the garlicky, vinegary goodness. DELICIOUS!

We also picked up fancy cheeses and breads and apple butter, which proved to be fine supplements to the steaks (which, I may add, were grilled to absolute perfection). Afterwards, we finished devouring the rest of the cherry-blueberry pie I baked yesterday.

In addition to the foody decadence, we played games (finishing Gears of War 2 finally, and starting through Half Life 2 Episode 2) and had not one, but TWO naps! It was the finest and laziest way to spend a holiday.


Banana Tortilla

So I’ve been in my new apartment for a few days, but my stuff won’t get here until tomorrow. Thus, being left with my cast iron skillet, my travel/camping spice kit, a banana and some corn tortillas, this delicious treat was created…


1 banana
2 corn tortillas
vegetable oil

1) Drizzle some oil on the cast iron skillet and heat it up, medium-high
2) Slice the banana and throw the pieces on the skillet; sprinkle pieces with cinnamon
3) After about 30 seconds, flip the banana slices and sprinkle cinnamon on the other side
4) Remove banana slices and divide between two corn tortillas. Drizzle with honey and fold the tortillas over
5) Heat the banana-filled tortilla on the skillet, about 15 seconds each side.


As for other updates, I LOVE my apartment in Burbank. Love it! It is so beautiful, and the area is filled with fragrant flowers, and the view outside my sliding patio door is so pretty and placid. I’ve already set up an herb garden and printed out a few of my Phipp’s photos to hang on the wall.

Once I get all my belongings in and set up, I will be keen on visitors for sure. I start work on Monday: excitement!

San Francisco wrap-up

Ugh, I have been sick like a dog all week with post-convention funk. I think I’m finally killing it, though.

So, GDC was fun times for sure, but several of us stayed an extra day over the weekend to hang out around San Francisco. Andy, Edmundo and I stayed with M.E. We got up the next morning and headed for Chinatown to meet Carlos, Carren, and Carren’s sister. The goal was dim sum, but no no, not just ANY dim sum.

You see, when the crew went on their ETC West Coast trip two years ago, they went to a specific dim sum place while in San Francisco. They were all determined to find the same place again, but had no idea what the name of the restaurant was, and nothing but fragmented memories about where exactly it was located.

Between looking up dim sum places and seeing if they looked familiar on Google Street View, looking at photos from their West Coast Trip to see if any pictures contained street signs in the background, and trying to combine their memories (“I remember it was at the crest of a hill!” “I think we were parallel to the Transamerica Tower!” and no less than a dozen “THIS LOOKS FAMILIAR!”), we walked up and down nearly every block in all of Chinatown and STILL didn’t find the place.

I suggested that perhaps it were a magical place, and you could only find it if you’d never been there before. All the same, I wasn’t about to go wandering around by myself to test the theory.

Nevertheless, there is no shortage of good dim sum in Chinatown in San Francisco, so we still had a DELICIOUS lunch!

The other big highlight of the day was going to see the Exploratorium. I had heard many sing the praises of this science museum, and was anxious to check it out for myself. The songs of praise are true! It is, by far, the best science museum I have ever been to. All of the exhibits are 95% interaction and only 5% text (The Louisville Science Center’s newest installations could learn from this place for sure) and the interactions were significant and engaging (not just “press this button”).

Of course we didn’t see it all, and I really wanted to check out the Touchdome, but it was sold out for the day. This is fine, for it will give me an excuse to go back to San Francisco at some point so I can finishing exploring the museum. HEY COLIN!! Can I come visit you sometime so we can go to the Exploratorium? 😀

Anyway, it was lovely time spent in San Francisco. (it was actually sunny for the whole week! Not a cloud in the sky! MADNESS!!)

2008 Review

The first thing I learned when looking back on 2008 was that I forgot to do a year review for 2007. Doh! Oh well, such is life!

08 was a good year for me. I think I have changed into something different by the end of it, but something for the better.

– The ETC West Coast Trip: adventure and fun and education! I went to Disneyland for the first time and sniffed out more companies than I had any right to see. It was a fantastic opportunity, and I’m so excited to see this year’s first-years head off on the same trip. Wee!

– I was lucky enough to land a sweet deal for my first project course at the ETC. Bandology was amazing, and I was so grateful to be on a team with such awesome people. I feel like it was a first step in boosting my confidence, and convincing me that yes, I could be a designer.

– speaking of which, GDC ’08 was a pretty big turning point for me. That was when I figured out that I should be looking for a design internship, not a production one. For some reason, I’d held the role of game designer in my head as something that I couldn’t do, reserved for people more awesome than me. At GDC I reached up and plucked it out and held it right there in my hand. It was some kind of magic.

– Ah, the summer. Pre-Insomniac Lisa and post-Insomniac Lisa were two completely different Lisas. Oh, Insomniac, you will forever be the incubator that hatched a new phase of Lisadom.

– Dorky though it may be, ’08 was the year where I did some semblance of end-game content in WoW. Rather, it was the Year of the Tank. Confidence boosts come in more forms than one would guess, you guys.

– Imagine my luck when my second ETC project team was also awesome! Get In Line harnessed a freshly hatched new Lisa and drove her to new levels.

– I got to go to Project Horseshoe! What an awesome experience. I met cool people and stretched my brain in cool new ways and learned a thing or two about myself in the process.

– Which brings us to the most recent: ringing in the holiday season with the Tuesday Night Ballers. It was as though we’d all gone off on our own adventures, then came back to enrich one another with all that we had learned. Such wonderful friends, I am lucky!

I am extremely excited about 2009. A little scared, sure, but who isn’t? It’s going to be some kind of adventure, I can tell already.


I adore the Tuesday Night Ballers, and I often think of them fondly at various times in my most recent adventures. The times when we are able to get together have been more and more adventurous as time goes on.

Tonight, everyone was “on,” and it was brilliant. Not 2 minutes would pass without laughter or wit or some clever exchange sparking another clever exchange. I love them all! Scott, Will, Ian, Brendan, Maria, Matt, Kyle, DC, Beth, and I had dinner at the Mayan Gypsy and launched the night with much gaming. Reviews!

Lots of games…

Things are good

I am in a startlingly good mood today, and I am unsure of exactly why.

Part of it, I think, is that I am so excited about going to Project Horseshoe this weekend that I can barely stay in my seat nor stay focused on any one thing for too long of a time. I have a feeling that it will be something like a Game Design retreat, and I am oh-so-excited to see Insomniac Drew again. I was also delighted to see that James Ernest and Nick Fortungo will be attending, both of whom recently visited the ETC. Plus, I’ll hopefully get to visit with Bryan Cash while in Austin!

My good mood could also be attributed to the fact that Resistance 2 is coming out, and though it probably marks me as an excitable young whelp in the industry, the launch of my first credited title does have me dancing and skipping and giggling in anticipation. First steps!

It could ALSO be attributed that my WoW friends have finally managed to do a full all-guild Karazhan run (with the addition of one helper), and will hopefully do another one this week. Granted, this was enabled partly from the nerfage, but it fills me with joy and love to be able to play the big instances with friends. I think I’ve given up on the notion that I am a casual WoW player, and will move it over into the “hobby” category. It is just such a fantastic means for me to nurture my friendships with those people I love who are far away from me!

Perhaps it is the weather. Who can say!

Halloween Studio Crawl

Last night was prowling about in the local Goodwill trying to figure out a costume for tonight’s Studio Crawl. I have been mildly depressed lately that I haven’t really built a good Halloween costume in ages, and was poking about the aisles hoping to be inspired.

I began thinking about props I could use, and my bright green parasol came to mind. It was bright green, it was Asian in design, and suddenly…that was it! I would go as an Eastern dragon and tote along my parasol! I was quickly galvanized to scour the Goodwill for any bright green article of clothing I could find.

I put together the costume last night and the headpiece this morning. For the headpiece, I used a ball cap and created a dragon face on top with foam and feathers and the like. The bill acted as the dragon’s snout, and I was quite pleased with the whole outfit! I even made three-claw gloves out of some purple mittens (it was nice to fire up the sewing machine again). Pictures to come soon, I’m sure.

Anyway, I joined up with Edmundo, Carlos, and Rich, and we invaded Schell Games as the League of Awesome. Rich had put together a fantastic steam punk time travel monster-hunter get-up, with a brass-plated gauntlet, a steam-powered shot gun, and other such fun gadgetry. Carlos was a mime, and Edmundo was a classic Frankenstein monster. The details in their costumes was delightful, and the Studio Crawl was great fun.

There were other such fun costumes from other IGDA members at the Crawl: Beast in scientist garb, Michael Cera’s character from Juno, a Tonks and Lupin duo, and a FANTASTIC Phoenix Wright getup (the guy just modeled his hair out of flat fun-foam, it looked great!).

All in all, a great night, and a refreshing one at that. Having a venue to go all costumed up is just the spark I needed after several years of dull or effortless costuming on my part. I feel very much in the Halloween spirit.