Friday, August 29, 2008


Well, I've been tagged by the lovely RJ Flamingo to complete this meme! It's been quite a while since I've done a meme, even moreso on this blog. So, without further ado, here we go:

1. Link to the person who tagged you *points up*.

2. Post the rules on your blog (this thing here).

3. Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).

4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them

5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up

Six Things About Me

1. I'm more bendy than you'd expect.

2. I'm a baking and cooking fiend. If I ever have the finances/time, I'd love to go to culinary school.

3. I was assistant stage manager of my high school theatre, and rocked that place.

4. I'm addicted to True Life. *is watching a marathon right now*

5. I wear sandals/open toed shoes almost exclusively year-round. I own one pair of sneakers, and I haven't actually worn those in years. My socks collect dust in the drawer.

6. I'm earning a degree in sequential art (comics), but have more work experience in graphic design/illustration.

Tag, you’re it: Amie, Ashton, Teresa, Helen, Kate, Skeet

On a side note, I've got a secret plan going that I'll inform you all of in a few months.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Directory Searching

So, let's say I'm living in North Carolina and need to look for a raleigh moving company. There's a lot of places I'd look, right? The newspaper and yellow pages would be a good place to start, but it would probably be far easier to just do a search online. It's not hard to do, and with the trend that's happening right now, I would most likely get better/more diverse results. Same deal if I want to search for Raleigh landscaping companies. is a good place to search for companies in your hometown, just like the yellow pages. This little directory is growing by the day, so if your own company isn't listed you can easily add it. Even if you don't use clicksmart, it's good to know there's another good directory site out there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who Watches the Watchmen

WHOO! I got my copy of Watchmen today and I'm quite excited about reading it. Finally, I won't feel like a loser in my own major. Jeez, how much of a geek am I to think that?

So this will finally be one of those few times when I actually read the book before seeing the movie. Fantastic! Now, onto the reading!

Cell Freedom

When I was researching new cell phones a few months back, I did take the time to look at phones not offered by my chosen cell company, Verizon. Unlocked cell phones are a huge market, but I don't especially want to bother with them. I know officially there are a few companies that allow their phones to be unlocked and used with any cell company and plan, like Motorola. But the phone I wanted, and ultimately got, was a Samsung, and I couldn't find it for an especially good price outside of Verizon, or unlocked for that matter.

Teenage Woes

Man I'm happy I'm no longer a teenager. Even though I never personally had a problem with it, I knew several kids who had trouble with acne. No matter what acne cream, or wash, or patch, my friends' faces were still blotchy. Of course, as time wore on and they grew up, their skin cleared up more and their acne troubles almost completely went away. I'm sure they're happy they're no long teenagers too.


I love my cat. He means the world to me and I always feel pangs of sadness when I'm away at school. At 15, he's an old fart, but he's my old fart of a cat. I'm really a cat person, I don't like dogs as much and I really never want to own one, but I still support animal shelters and all that they do. Any non-profit organization that rescues pets is okay in my book. I really enjoy watching Animal Cops on Animal Planet, it's a sad show but also uplifting in that you get to see these poor animals either find good homes, or get put down humanely and thus ending their pain.

Really, I support the ASPCA and the Humane Society which is prominently featured on Animal Cops. We adopted my cat from a Denver Human Society outpost in a Petsmart, and I'm so glad we did. I'm not alone in wanting to support my pet shelter of choice, and it's easier than ever to do so. Zootoo is a great go-to site for pet lovers. You can create a profile, that includes your pet of choice, and gain points to support your local pet shelter and rescue center. It's free, and easy, and the site itself is a great resource for anything pet related. It's got classifieds, individual shelter pages with reviews, and a great help-out section with tips and opportunities to assist your favourite animal sanctuary. Really, it's a fantastic website and I'm glad to see a large community of animal lovers out there supporting such a good cause.

The ASPCA and Humane Society along with smaller shelters need all the help they can get. Non-profit ogranizations such as these need our support so they can continue to provide a great service to the local animal population. I've adopted from a shelter and I plan to do so again. But in the meantime, I'll assist from online.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Waiting for Guest

I'm a big Christopher Guest fan. I love his films, and he's a fantastic actor. From seeing him as the 6-fingered man in The Princess Bride when I was just a wee one, to Nigel Tuffnel in what was to become one of my favourite films, This is Spinal Tap. His group of actors that he uses for a lot of his films work perfectly together, and all classic comedians.

I'm watching Waiting for Guffman at the moment, hence this post. Also, I need an excuse to post Corky St. Clair's dance:

Yeahhh, this film is gold. I don't own it yet, and I know it's part of the Christopher Guest Collection, but well...I already have A Mighty Wind, and Best in Show is somewhere on DVD. Also, I want to wait until there's a mega-super-ultra collection to get. Oh, I do have plans. And I plan to see every Guest and company film he creates.


Do you remember that weird Japanese (by way of England) betting show on Fox called, Banzai?



Because it was quite the unique show. Perhaps this clip will jog your memory:

Yeah, looking a bit more familiar now, isn't it? Banzai was quite the odd show to be viewed by American audiences, shown on FOX but not for very long. I think it only lasted a season or so. It didn't catch on in quite the same way as it did in Britain. Unfortunately, most American audiences just didn't get it. But that's not stopping Channel 4 and Screenlife games from releasing a DVD game!
ScreenLife Games is at it again. They launched a new Banzai game. Check it out:

I liked Banzai when it was on t.v., it was just weird enough for me. However, I think the major issue with the show was that it had a betting theme, but you couldn't actually bet. It's far better designed for an interactive game rather than a television show. I had the chance to play it too, and it is crazy.

J and I decided to spend a lovely Sunday night cozying up and settling in for some hardcore sushi betting. J had never seen the show before so he had no idea what to expect. Which, might I say, is an excellent way to play Banzai. The game itself is pretty easy to learn, and after a practise round you're ready to start betting!

I've never played a DVD game before, but the controls were quite easy for this. If you watched the video above you'll see how to play so I won't go into that here. I will say that the hardest part of the game is using the chopsticks to effectivly shovel in many sushi pieces.

The little animated characters and sushi bits are fantastically cute. Tako, the game's red octopus mascot, is adorable! He even has his own myspace page, what a talented octopus indeed. My favourite sushi piece is the New Jersey Squirrel Roll, even though he looks more like a hamster.

So, on to the gameplay itself. The DVD randomly picks a clip to show you, so it's harder to view one that you already bet on. We saw a lot of weird clips indeed. Recurring characters are always fun, and my favourite is Lady One Question, who I showed in the first clip above. I love her interaction with Graham Norton, (also shown above) which we bet on. She actually cracks up, so it makes the bet all the better. Perhaps the craziest dare we saw was one where to children had to pull out metal skewers from a guy's face. Whichever child pulled out the skewer attached to the pickled onion won. Yeah, that was an odd one to watch...

We played for about 2 hours before we had to resort to sudden death to finish the game. J and I were just so in tune with each other that we kept betting exactly the same over and over! We even lasted 3 sudden death rounds because of that. I'm sure if we play with a larger group, that will be less of a problem. Banzai is a silly game, but quite fun. However, it is a bit more adult so I'd say nobody under the age of 14 should play it, but otherwise it looks like a great party game. Hopefully this will become a bigger hit than the t.v. show!

Sponsored by ScreenLife Games

Saturday, August 16, 2008


The Wii has been gifted unto my mother and has now blessed our house with hours of exquisite remotetainment. My arms and legs are actually hurting a bit. The family played for several hours. Yep, a good video game workout indeed

J and I spent some time playing Raving Rabbids II. You may recall I rather enjoy the Rayman: Raving Rabbids game, as I got the second one for DS. While the DS version was just a lot of mini-games, the Wii version appears to have a little bit more of a plot. Just a teensy bit though, so far it's been one hell of a round of mini-games.

When I finish I'll probably post a review, but so far I'm having fun!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Editing Made Easy

So, I've been having to do a bit of video editing lately. Nothing big, just transferring video from a DVD, editing it, and reformatting it for web. I also occasionally have to reformat video for my own, personal, ventures. While I wish it was just as simple as renaming the file fromAVI to MPEG, it's not. You can't trick video into a format it isn't predestined for. But, there are a fair amount of programs to make it easier.

Blaze Media Pro is one of those programs. It's a pretty good competitor to software like Nero or Roxio. Worth a look if you're trying to do something as simple as burning your own home video to DVD, or something a bit more complicated like reformatting and editing films for the internet or Ipods.

I just had to convert some audio files from one format to the other. Look at all of the options Blaze offers just for audio:

Reading the watchmen on red koi.

Well, I did it. I finally ordered two things I should have had a long while ago.

Watchmen and a yoga mat. I know, I know, I'm super late for both. I should have bought a mat months ago when I started this new yoga-sizing thing, but I just kept dragging my feet about it. Hoping I would be fine just doing yoga on the carpet. No such luck though, as I tend to slip a bit and I'm sure that's not good for my joints and makes it more difficult to get into poses.

The other...I know I should have bought this amazing comic book a long while ago, but I'm really such a newbie when it comes to owning English comics. I did want to buy it before the movie comes out, so at least I met that goal. I don't want to be met with a huge sudden rush of Watchmen fans, like what happened with The Dark Knight. While it's an excellent movie, which I enjoyed immensely, the giant and sudden "hipness" of Batman just hit too quickly. Yes, yes Batman is angsty and cool. Indeed, the Joker is a fabulous foe who represents what all of us would be like if we just let go of modern day ethos.

Anyhoo, I'm hoping Watchmen will be just as bloody amazing. The trailer at least brings hope:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Transfer Importance

So I keep my account at one bank, but my parent's have their primary checking account at another bank. This is because I needed a bank that would be in the same place as my school, it just makes it easier. But since I'm not at the same bank as my parents, they need a way to transfer money without a fee. So it's quite important to find a bank that offers no balance transfer fee. I'm glad we were able to.

a pool/skating rink would be lovely

I think if I ever own a pool I'm going to have to have some great pool floats lying around so it's not terribly boring. Then again, I probably wouldn't want to use the pool too much in the first place, unless it was shady or I could freeze it and double it as an ice skating rink. But I'm sure if I had kids or other children came over, I'm sure they'd want pool toys to pass the time with.

...I'd rather have an ice skating rink than children coming over though...

Xbox 360 is sad

Ah, and now for a more relaxing Friday. It's nice to just sit around and be. Even though I can't play any Xbox games...yep, it's dead. Turns out it wasn't an A/V cable problem, it's the console itself. Well, the bad news has been told to the owner and now a coffin is on its way. It should take 3 weeks in total for it to be repaired, and one can only hope that this will be the one and only time J's roommate's Xbox will need repair.

This is one thing that I'm happy about with the Xbox 360. It seems to break down more often than other next-gen consoles. At least Microsoft is quick to fix them, but it's still the biggest problem that makes me feel a little ...eehhnn... about buying one. The hope is that I'll get a brand new version with a better cooling system and not have this problem. I'm crossing my fingers.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ode to my PC

Oh hallowed screen
shining brightly through the night
I spend so much time staring at you
I can't imagine what my life might be like
if your light were to fade,
or your image freeze
or your body were to break
I dare say I'd cry for you
and probably bake a sad cake:

For you are my job
you are my life
you are my one and only
Oh PC please do not freeze
and make my evenings lonely you see why I never pursued a poetry career.

Really though, I've spoken many times about my PC troubles here. How my last one died and the torrent of A/C adapters it took with it. It's still living on battery power and it is a good machine. Oh well, so far I haven't had any big hardware problems with this laptop. I don't really think my family stays constant with what kind of PC we get, however we always have used Windows as our operating system. I couldn't tell you why we started using Windows, but it's been the only OS we stick with. No Mac, or Linux, or Unix for this household. I do use Macs, but I'm not a big fan of them. To me, Macs are for people who don't know how to work a PC, or don't want an operating system they can dig deep into and fiddle with. But I love learning about my computer and manipulating its operating system in fun ways. I'm no tech geek, but I can still have fun with Windows and alter it in the ways I wish.

So I've gone through all stages of Windows, from 95, to NT, to 2000, to XP and now Vista. On my personal computer, I'm using Windows Vista Ultimate. J uses Vista Home Premium and my father uses Vista Business for the family desktop. While I wasn't completely for or against it, I've learned that it isn't a piece of crap like a lot of people seem to believe. I think it's offering more on the design side than XP did, but I don't see to many issues. And I'm able to work around compatibility issues, so I can play games designed for XP on my Vista machine without problem. Really, I think a lot of people who whine about Vista's shortcomings just haven't bothered to look up how to get around them.

Of course, no operating system is without it's fault and Vista is no different. Even with a fast processor, good hard drive and plenty of RAM, my computer decides it will freeze or give me weird little graphic glitches. The freezing problem is so common with any computer, it's hard to chalk it all up to Vista. The worst part is when it freezes at an inopportune time. Such as when I'm in the middle of working on a large Photoshop document and made some major change but hadn't saved yet. OOOooo and when that happens right when I also need to look something up for work or need to get that image to print? Yeah, that's a wonderful moment to freeze on me, Vista. Thanks a lot.

Oh well, that's nothing that a reboot while muttering under your breath can't take care of. With more serious issues, like trying to connect to another computer via Vista's remote desktop assistance, the customer service reps are pretty useful to chat with on Microsoft's site. Also, their support with Service Pack 1 is free right now, until March 18, 2009. Though I rarely have to use that option, it's nice that it's there. When your operating system includes a search bar built into the start menu, that means it's going to make troubleshooting and file finding easy.

As long as Windows is around, I'll probably be using their OS on my personal computer. As will my children, and my children's children, and my children's children's children.Then they might move to Linux for a year, but that penguin can only hold their gaze for so long before they do a dual install with Windows.

Sponsored by Windows Vista

New Shows

So, small updates on what I've been so busy with. We've been working diligently these last few weeks on two upcoming shows. Our members show; Inspired by Weather, and our glass show; Glass: Evolving. For the members show, I came up with our evite below:

This show will go up after our current one, Farm to Market:

Wonderful evite designed by J

So, the members show features work submitted by VisArts members. It's in a few weeks but we pretty much have everything prepared for that. The glass show, which stays up longer and is a big deal, has much more work to go with it. I've got the evite and large posters all designed for that one, but we've also got a catalogue to be published along with the show. J is working on that, but myself and other gallery assistant, Paula have been contacting artists and getting all the necessary information for this book. We have to get all of the pieces, prices, their dimensions, an artist's statement, and a resume. As you might imagine, this is a lot of work and contacting artists is never an easy process. However, it looks like our hard work will be ending soon, since we've got just about everything we need from the artists and J will be finished with the catalogue by tomorrow.

Whew! Then it's on to the illustration show!

Good customer service is a must for a web host

As you know, I'm in the market for a web site. Specifically, I'm in the process of looking at different web hosting services and coming up with a good URL. J and I have been working off and on to come up with a good joint address that both of us can use, but that's another story.

I have some experience with Network Solutions, it's the chosen webhost for my work and I'd say our IT guy is quite happy with it. From my second-hand experience, I've seen that their customer service is pretty spot on. They are easy to get a hold of and very knowledgeable about whatever issues we have. A good example is when my partner and I were working on redesigning the site, we were hoping to use php. However, at that time, our hosting package didn't include php or ajax options, which would make it impossible for us to actually create the pages we wanted. Our IT go-to guy was able to make a quick phone call to Network Solutions and blammo! We have php support.

Of course, my work also has the pro package, so we get the most with Network Solutions web hosting. I would be looking for a personal package, which Network Solutions is just out of my price range for unfortunately. However, for a business, small or non-profit or otherwise, it is a pretty good deal.


The Wii has arrived! And ye, it is fabulous. My father and I have christened it "Wall-ii". Which is a more creative way to say "wii all". It's a cute name, it's temporary for the moment, in case my mother wants to change it. I like it, and since this is a family machine, it makes sense to add "all" in the name.

Anyhoo, it was quite easy to set up, and very simple to get online. That is quite a benefit of the Nintendo Wii, wifi. For some reason, Microsoft doesn't believe that including wi-fi is necessary for a good game console. Oh well, at least that has better graphics.

We'll present the wii to my mother on her birthday...or...a week before, depending on how long my dad can resist it's Nintendo charms.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Printing Logos for Cheap

I really need a business card, don't I? I've noticed that it's quite the important in the world of freelance and art to have a business card. A memorable one too, how else will people remember your art and want your business? Yeah, yeah I should buy a bunch but I haven't. Why not? Because of money, design, and title.

I don't have the money.
I don't have a good design.
And I certainly don't know what kind of title I want.

These are the troubles that prevent me from getting a bunch of business cards. I feel too cheap to waste a bunch of useless pieces of paper, so I want to be absolutely sure that I'll get the right kind. Having the right Logos on your cards are key to making a lasting impression. Whatever I choose as my logo, I have to stick with it, lest people stop associating me with that symbol.

At least there is a cheap site where you can purchase business cards and even get some free ones or 50% Off Business Cards (using coupon code "BizCard08" during checkout). is offering a bunch of useful coupons right now. They offer a wide variety of print options, not just paper items like cards and brochures. Though, 25 Free Brochures (coupon code "FreeBrochures08") is a pretty good deal, especially if you want a cheap solution for a small event. They also offer 25% Off T-shirts (coupon code "TShirts25"), and 50% Off Small Rubber Stamps (coupon code "Stamps50").

From a business standpoint, I need all the discounts I can get. I'm also going to keep VistaPrint in mind when my boss asks about printing places.

Wii time

Well, he did it. He finally did it. My father purchased a Wii for the family/my mom for her birthday.

Yes, I am just as happy as you think I am.

If only Nintendo would get the idea and make enough of these consoles instead of making everyone search like crazy and pay more than they should. Oh well, this should prove to be quite the wonderful toy.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Natural Good Skin

I'm so glad I've got good skin. If there's one thing that stays constant, is that I don't break out in terrible pimples constantly. Even if I did, I'd turn to a natural acne treatment before using stuff like Proativ or the like. I just prefer to get rid of those things on my own, and not put too many chemicals on my face.

I do get a few pimples now and again, but never full-blown acne. I'm quite lucky that way, I suppose.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Aw Nertz

Well, I think I may have broken the Xbox. Not intentionally of course, but last night it gave me an "error 74" which means that there's either something wrong with the A/V cable or the sector chip. AWESOME!

What doesn't make sense is that I moved or unplugged the Xbox only once since I got it from J. And that was for a very short time. So why would it give me this error now?

Did I mention that this is borrowed from J's roommate? Yeah...

Tomorrow J will bring his A/V cables and I'll see if it's a cable or console issue. If it's a cable issue...I guess we'll have to pay $40 for a new one >.< If it's a console issue, we may be able to send it in for repair and still be under warranty. A few weeks ago, my house kept getting brown outs. Where the lights and electronics would loose power for a second. So the Xbox got the 3-red-lights of doom a few times. Luckily, it bounced back pretty quickly but still had me quite scared. Apparently, it logs that error in the memory, so we can technically send it in because of the lights of death, not the wire issue, and potentially get a brand new one.

I kind of hope it comes to that, since that would be the cheapest way to repair it and perhaps even do it without his roommate knowing.

Either way, this is bad news.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cisco Certified?

Everybody needs a backup plan, right? Especially in this day and age where good jobs are scarce and a single person can go through an average of 5 jobs before they find "the one". It's better to have a lot of skills so you won't be out of work for too long, or at all. Which is why one might decide to look to the IT field to help pad out their resume.

But what do you need to become a great IT rep and find good work? Well, having knowledge of computers certainly is a start, but it also helps to have Cisco certification. Too be honest, I don't know too much about Cisco, but I have seen people I know list their certification on their resumes and I know it helps with getting work. I am a bit curious as to what Cisco is, what their training entails and just how could this help me in the future.

Well, it looks like Cisco offers several different training programs to those interested in the wide world of Information Technology. I seem to be fairly adept at computers, but it's more software work than hardware. I'm lucky in that I have a very computer-literate father who's taught me quite a bit about PCs. There's no way I could be considered for any IT job though, considering how I don't actually have much experience or knowledge of the field. I tend to focus more on the design, and visual, side of things I suppose.

Cisco does have a wide selection of certification programmes though, that can be completed via the web. They offer three levels of degrees, Associate, Professional, and Expert. With 6 different "paths" you can choose to center on.

It looks like CCNA certification is the most basic. If you complete the training for that, you're certified to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks. While this is excellent to get an IT career, it's also great knowledge to have in general so you can properly understand your own home network.

The more I think about it, the more I think I need some IT training. If not for my current job, then to include on a future resume and to turn my own home into a palace of working networks.

Sponsored by Cisco

Dark Sector Review

As promised, my review of the game Dark Sector.

I recall hearing about Dark Sector a year or so ago, but didn't pay too close attention to it. The game looked nice, and its hook (you have evil powers that take the form of a bionic glaive)seemed promising so I was intrigued when J decided it was finally time to rent it. Of course, he knows far more about the game then I do, and showed me that it was, in fact, one of the first games to be developed for next-gen consoles but when through a whole hell of a lot of retooling. So much so, that the only similarity between the original trailer from E3 2005 and the most recent one is the main character's name (Hayden) and his suit design. Take a look:



To be fair, Hayden's super suit doesn't actually show up in the 2007 trailer, but here it is:

So, what's the storyline and why was this game halted for so long?

Well, the story takes place in made-up Lasria (it's Russia, we all know it's Russia), where we find ourselves in the middle of a biochemical war. An American Agent, Hayden, is sent in to destroy the creator of this horrible infection (known as Technocyte) Mezner. Within his first encounter with the bearded super-villian, Hayden has his arm evily jabbed by Mezner's right hand man, The Nemisis. Ouchie!

Hayden on the lefthand side, Nemesis on the righthand side

Hayden's arm transforms into a slimy, metallic, biofantabulous...arm that holds a glaive. This glaive is, of course, Hayden's power. He can kill enemies with it, pick up weapons, explode things, carry elemental power, open locks, grab bananas, slice watermelons, and open 3 letters at once. It really is the go-to tool for the everyday mutant!

Look at it burn! A dangerous weapon and convenient source of heat!

Anyhoo, Hayden progresses through Russia Lasria, looking to kill Mezner and halt his plans to expose the virus to the rest of the world, successfully creating a planet of pissed off zombies and mutants. Along his journey, Hayden fights through tons of fat biohazard-suited humans and creepy Silent Hill/Resident Evil style mutants and zombies.

So, why the drastic difference between 2008's Dark Sector and 2005's? According to the developers, the shift in focus by other gaming companies and publishers contributed to a story change, as well as adding a realism element that they hoped fans would enjoy. They wanted Hayden to be more like a superhero, and therefore more relatable. He stands out in a modern setting, whereas he might blend in, in a sci-fi setting.

To be honest, I don't see what was wrong with sticking with the space idea. Mass Effect (takes place in space) was also released this year to quite a bit of success. I don't really see how making Hayden a superhero is the same as making him relatable to fans. I suppose his mental conflicts do make the story a tad more believable, but he could have just the same amount of mental anguish up in space. Oh well, onto the pros and cons

Pros: This game has some fantastic settings and the graphics really do look better than their original 2005 concept. The concept art for the locations is quite stunning and accomplishes the goal of "don't play this game in the dark."

The glaive itself is a pretty cool idea, and I like all of the powers that centers around it.

Cons: Hoo boy, the cons. The story is somewhat confusing. I found myself asking J "what's going on?" more than once, only to be met with "I don't know". The reason I didn't play through this game myself is because I felt the controls were kind of awkward and just found myself panicking over having fun. It is a good game to watch though, and I was perfectly content doing that.

Hayden....I hate his character design. My tablet's not working again (another story for another time), so here's what I hate the most about him in awkward touchpad format:

It may not be obvious in that image, but he has a really tiny face positioned on a large, round head on top of a neck the same width as his ROUND HEAD! I hate his stupid tiny face. When he has the suit that doesn't really do anything apparently but look cool and hide his stupid face, he doesn't look too bad. But when that mask comes off...grrrr....
Also, what the hell is up with his shoulders and arms and why are they disconnected from his torso so much? I did a bit of "2-minute Photoshop plastic surgery" to show how I think he should have looked:

I just realized I didn't give him a large enough chin, so just imagine this with a proper chin attached.

Yeah, what the hell Digital Extremes?

All character bashing aside, there's some massive repetitive-level failure during one part of this game. You just keep walking into room after room, mindlessly killing throngs of mutants without much of an explanation.

Also, I'm not going to ruin the ending but I will say that this game does feature slimy, green gas spewing....tentacles...


So really, overall this game is pretty...meh. It had some good concepts, great background art and creepy potential but the story just doesn't draw you in enough to care about a mutant infection escaping the soviet union. Also, Hayden has a stupid tiny face, that's not the head of a hero to me, not even an anti-hero. That's the face of a glaive-wielding jerk.

It is worth a rent though, just not a buy.

Crazy About Shrimp

Let's get something straight, one of the few pleasures I truly enjoy in life is cooking. I absolutely love to make meals, and desserts, and snacks, and...well, you get the idea. Which is why, as I've stated before on this blog, how itchy I get when I'm at school and away from my full kitchen. While I'm not terribly creative myself, I'm always willing to try new recipes. If I ever get the chance, I'd love to go to culinary school and really learn my way around food.

Seafood is probably my favourite "meat". Specifically, shellfish. I do like beef and poultry, *I stay away from pork* but there's something about shellfish that just makes me want to experiment more. Perhaps it's the cost of shrimp, my typical weekday meal, or perhaps it's the lack of time and fact that I tend to cook for one. Whatever the case, I just prefer to try new things with shellfish. Shrimp, scallops, crab, all great ingredients to experiment with and serve alongside some delicious pasta.

One of my more favourite recipes that I tried this year is Crab Stuffed Shrimp. It's a fairly domestic recipe, in fact I got it from the Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah, though, to be honest, I don't recall seeing it on the menu the one time I went. But I digress, this recipe is a little complicated, but delicious! You can view the full recipe here:

Bacon Wrapped Crab Stuffed Shrimp with Lemon Basil Cream

You'll notice I didn't mention the bacon part, like I said, I don't particularly like pork so I left that bit out. I'm sure it's just as good with the bacon though!

On most nights, I just prefer to do a simple recipe like Shrimp Scampi. It's so easy to put together and fast, thus making the perfect after work, lazy dinner. I've gotten to the point where when I cook something for myself there's not much measuring, but here are the ingredients that I use:

Shrimp - 4-8
Garlic -1 clove
Lemon juice
White wine
Olive oil
Linguine or whatever pasta you're in the mood for

It's all trial and error for me, but shrimp scampi is such a basic dish you can't really screw it up. Unless you do something like bombard it with garlic or add peanut oil instead of butter or something.

Anyhoo, I think if I were to compete in a Cook off, say, a Great American Seafood Cook Off, I'd use the crab stuffed shrimp recipe. It's unique, savoury, and quite possibly one of the best shrimp dishes I've ever had. It's also a very domestic seafood dish. I'm all for the positiveness of domestic seafood sustainability, it's one of the few things grown in America that I'm rather happy about. Plus, there is something nice to knowing where the source of your fresh seafood came from, especially if it's local. Yeah, I would like to participate in a cook off one day, that would be really fun. Though, I am a bit afraid that I would get stage fright being up in front of a crowd cooking.

The more I think about it, the more I believe I would enjoy a seafood cook off. Maybe one day I'll get to participate in something like that. Well, I've just got to keep practising!

Are there any seafood recipes you love to make?

If you do try the crab stuffed shrimp or scampi dish, let me know how it was! I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Quick Dark Sector and Bad Company review

Recently my boyfriend decided to rent two games to try out this summer, Dark Sector and Battlefield: Bad Company. We finished Dark Sector tonight, so I'd like to post a full review of this game tomorrow. At the moment, I will say this; the game was entertaining but not fantastic. It felt repetitive in some parts, aggravating in others. However, the design was nice and it succeeded in being a weird, creepy, game.

I haven't finished Bad Company yet, but I'm holding off because J decided he's going to buy it. So really, there's no rush in completing the game. So far, I've found it to be quite funny and ridiculous. Like, seriously, you can heal yourself at any moment with a simple injection. Which is quite useful during the many times you'll accidently get blown up. Your teammates are entertaining to no end, and the gameplay itself feels quite natural. Right along with other war games like Gears of War or Army of Two.

Anyhoo, full review of Dark Sector tomorrow.