Monthly Archives: April 2021

The Cafe

I waited for the bus, took a quick bite of my doughnut. The sun shone after a week of rain. It’d been just as long since you’d last called. A hopeful smile lifted the corner of my mouth. Today could be a good day. Maybe you would call again. Several dates and constantly exchanged text messages for the last few months had been more exciting than I could have ever hoped for. Ah, the bus had arrived!

I climbed on to the bus with the same little smile that had graced my face as I thought of you. There was a little bounce in my step as I wiggled my way past people who gave polite nods when I made accidental eye contact with them. I had pleasant thoughts of our time together. Sure, I’d not heard from you in a week, since you spent the night, but that was simply how it was. People got busy with work. With life. Not everyone could go to work, then go home, settle in and loose themselves in a book. Not everyone was as introverted as myself.

I briefly checked my bag, making sure all the tools I required for the workday were in there. Yes, nothing seemed to be missing, I would have no issues today. I could continue to float by on this mood you had left me in.

The work day seemed to pass by in a blur of cheerful humming. Even while I sat at the desk working through the mounting piles of papers that had to be signed and passed along up the office ladder to be cleared. 

People commented on how I seemed like a new person, how much I seemed to have a whole new hop in my step. Of course I did, I had you in my life. How could I not help but float around my day-to-day wanting to tell everyone about you? Though it had still been a week since you called.

They even tried to make me feel better about your absence. Do not worry, they will contact you. Work keeps everyone busy. Life has surprises. Maybe they got caught up in a new game? Oh, didn’t that new book just come out. Yes, these were all things they knew me to get lost in. Of course, the love of my life would have a similar issue.

When the workday ended, I slipped out of the office, still humming the soft song that seemed to fill my head. Was it an actual song? I was unsure, it could have been some strange tune that popped in to my head when I thought of you. Like some sort of background music during the love scene of a movie. Smooth jazz? No, something more heroic. A knight had rescued me from my dull life!

On the bus, I checked my bag once more. Yes, I remembered to bring everything home with me. I looked out the window, watching the store pass in a slow semi-blur of stop and go city traffic. I had a wonderful idea. I could stop at our favorite cafe and pick up an after work snack!

I got off the bus a couple stops early. It would make my walk home a tad longer, but it was worth the sweet from this lovely little location. 

I made the short walk from the bus stop to the cafe, pausing outside it to enjoy the location of our first date. I peaked inside the window before I entered, simply to enjoy the memories. Oh. But there you were? Oh, I thought you had to work all week. Oh, you were here with someone. Oh no, that could not be. Oh. That could not be allowed.

I walked in to the pleasant little cafe, picked up the nearest potted plants stand, those silly fancy, but flimsy metal things they put pots in to look high end. I made my way over to you. I am unsure when I stopped beating you with it. There was screaming and there was blood. I am even less sure of when they pulled me off of you. 

I know that the room they keep me in is a bit on the cold side and they say I may not contact you. But do not worry, I promise once I feel better I will come see you.

Is it still worth playing? Lord of the Rings Online

I have an MMO weakness. Anyone who reads my blog regularly can see that. Lately my guilty pleasure has been The Lord of the Rings Online, an older, but still entertaining game! So what makes this older game still so much fun to play? Well, there are several aspects this now free-to-play game takes advantage of that some of the more popular names should probably consider.

First, the game sticks close to the lore of Tolkien’s books. It takes some creative liberties where there are holes, but the story stays loyal to the source material. And even those creative liberties are not overly annoying. No more surprising than say, the Hobbit movies.

The gameplay itself feels slow these days, but given the game was released in the early 2000’s on the heels of the well loved movies, it makes sense that some aspects of it would not hold up to the expectations of people who are used to more fast passed MMOS of the 2020s.

If you’re heavily concerned with how your character looks, the character creation is pretty limited, again this is a game made in the early 2000s. However, there is a lot you can do with armor and dyes. The game has a detailed clothing appearance aspect and you can choose when to display your shoulders and helmet, as well as collect various dye colors.

Now I said the game was free-to-play now. As such, there are a few pay walls that you can take down with a subscription, like most MMOs these days. However LOTRO has one aspect many games do now, you can earn currency in the game to unlock everything you need to pay for. Sure, it may take you a bit longer to grind out deeds to buy what you need and progress through the game, but it is entirely possible to play the entire game free with this method.

All in all if you enjoy story more then graphics this is a game for you.

Awesome Female Video Game Heros

Women in video games are nothing particularly new. Any gamer can name a handful. And even someone with little game exposure can often at least name Princess Zelda, even if they may mistake her for Link and Princess Peach. But there is much more than a handful of well-known damsels in distress. And no, I am not discounting the heroic actions of the previously mentioned princesses; they have of course had their moments in the various settings and situations of the multitude of games that their male counterparts Link and Mario span.

But we want to look at more empowered heroines. The characters that make you feel as though you should cheer or weep for them regardless of gender. These are characters that show strength and skill that are not bordered by a sense of gender requirements. Some may be slightly sexualized, a subject that is slowly being corrected by many companies as years go on, after all video games are still a predominately male aimed genre. While others may seem oddly androgynous to the point, the player may not have even grasped their gender until it is revealed. Sometimes gender is simply not important to the story. In this series, we will cover several badass female video game characters.

Let’s start with Samus Aran. 

Now if you have been gaming for a while. Or simply do not live under a rock, you probably know who Samus is. For those who do not, I will take a moment to explain. Samus is the main character of the Metroid series. Introduced in 1986 game Metroid. Since then there have been numerous games with the character either as main character or playable in some manner. 

In the first Metroid game, we assumed the gender of the character male throughout the entire game, and she was even referred to as a male in the game booklet. It was not until the end of the game that the helmet of our hero is removed and the flowing blond hair reveals him to in fact be a her! Despite knowing this, I still got a thrill when I finally got through the game once I was old enough to play it.

Kathren of Aragon by Alison Weir

Another historical novel for you. And yes, another Alison Weir tale. As you can probably tell by now, when I find an author I enjoy, I inhale as much of their work as I can get my hands on. This time we cover Katherin of Aragon by Alison Weir. It is, as you may have guessed, a historical fiction work. But a rather entertaining one.

This book covers the life of the titular character, and covers from her youth, through her trials and uncertainty in England, to her Queendom and sadly, her sorrowful death. As a historical fiction work, there are obviously holes filled in for entertainment purposes. Though over all the story sticks to the commonly held beliefs about the first wife of Henry the VIII.

If you enjoy historical fiction, I strongly suggest you pick up this colorful look in to Katherin of Aragon.

Essential Housing Tools for ESO

Yes, another post about a game addon. Why do I keep spitting these out? Simple. I enjoy addons and mods. Now I push that we should only use these sorts of things after we have enjoyed a game properly. That being how it is provided by the developers, and one would hope how they intended it to be enjoyed. But some additions like mods and addons keep something from becoming to stagnate.

That being said, we move on to The Elder Scrolls Online. This is a game I play casually. Well, let’s be honest, I play pretty much everything casually because I do it for the role play. Why? I love to write and it helps me keep myself creative. I am a nerd; I know.

Today we are only looking at one Addon. Essential Housing Tools. 

EHT as it is more common known is an addon which adds to the already amazing housing system that ESO has going for it. It allows for additional ways of placing items and even lets you arrange ‘scenes’ so you can move items when you interact with another. It’s great for creating elevators, opening doors or lowering a drawbridge! Why would you need to do these things? Simple answer. It’s fun!

Another amazing Ava MacAdams Regency Romance!

So I love a good Romance novel. You all know that, and I have also had the privilege and joy of being an arc reader for Ava MacAdams. Here we have another of her wonderful works, A Courtesan Countess Worth the Scandal. I have to. This novel absolutely impressed me! It is going on the top of my list of new favorite romances.

A Courtesan who’s had enough of being treated like a plaything for men to get by. She lets lose their secrets by writing about them in local scandal sheets. This naturally amuses her peers, empowers many of the local women to defend themselves, and naturally earns to ire of every man she’s spoken ill of. Despite using a pen name, most know it is her behind the nomenclature. Who else could know these stories? One gentleman who witnesses her mistreatment ends up stepping in as her protector. Though the two are more closely tied than they could have ever thought!

As with other works by Ava MacAdams, this story collects the best parts of regency era romance novels, with a color flavor that makes the story as interesting as the ‘steamy’ scenes many read romance books for.

This, like the other books by MacAdams that I have reviewed, I sincerely suggest you pick up if you are a fan of the genre.

The Children of Henry the VIII by Alison Weir

The Children of Henry the VIII by Alison Weir picks up where her biographical work The Six Wives of Henry the VIII leaves off. It covers the lives of his three children, Edward the Vi, Mary the I and Elizabeth the I, as well as the short ruling Jane Gray. It covers each life in as much detail as possible and still remained interesting.

As stated in my previous coverage of Alison Weir’s books, this historical work is entertaining in original book forms and Simon Prebble’s reading of the audiobook version. Alison Weir adds assumptive sections, but these are usually in locations that are commonly accepted by other historians as well. 

They present the book in chronological order and is easy to follow. You do not have to be a history nerd like me to take anything from this book. It is informative and carefully written leading to an enjoyable time. If you are a fan of history of just Tudor England, you should enjoy this book.

My Three favorite WoW Addons

So I do not talk about it much here, but I play a lot of World of Warcraft. More so, as is probably easy to guess, I am a massive nerd who plays on an RP server. If you do not know what RP is, it stands for Role Play. Now there are a lot of addons for World of Warcraft, but we are going to go over the main three I used to give myself the nerdiest, and easiest time of thing. That being said, I have found a few of handy addons throughout the years that make this experience much more pleasant.

The first is Total Roleplay 3. Now this is an addon used commonly on RP servers, it allows you to write a profile about your character. With various template options, you can get as basic or detailed as you like. There are also a few addons for this addon which allow you to expand your role play experience, such as, if you get the TRP3 Extended addon for TRP3, you can create your own items and trade with people who also have the addon.

Next one I enjoy is Musician! This addon is another popular RP addition, though not as commonly seen as TRP3. You can use it to play MIDI files of songs in the game. This is great for more social RP gatherings.

This next addon, WIM, is a super useful one. Now if you can remember the 90s clearly, like myself, you can probably figure out this stands for WoW Instant Messenger. By default, your whispers simply show up in your chat tab. Sure, you can make new tabs for them, but that can get hard to manage. WIM has whispers pop up in individual boxes, you can move around the screen and open and close easily! Much like the old messenger applications of by-gone days. This makes keeping track of various conversations at once!

If you are interested in these, you should download the CurseForge application for your desktop. Yes, I know the rumors about this application but I have been using it since it came out with no issues. Plus, it is the easiest way to install new addons!