Santa and Grumplings

Santa Lives

I’ve been going through this strange set of emotions since getting out of the movies on Thursday night. ¬†One of the things I am learning about myself is that I am in fact deeply susceptible to nostalgia. ¬†Growing up I honestly thought I was not nostalgic at all, because the things I cared about never seemed to align with the things I was supposed to care about. ¬†Photos for example are just not one of the things I care about that much, and the only time I take a photo of something is when I want to show it to someone else. ¬†I have a pretty good memory when it comes to visual images, and I can always summon up images from the past when I want them… and as such I never placed much value in having a physical representation. ¬†My mother on the other hand… ¬†that is the thing she finds most important in the world and has taken volumes of photos that the world will likely never see… because she never does anything with them. ¬†My nostalgia… seems to be firmly rooted in the things and places that gave me the most joy in the world. ¬†The king of all of this will always be Star Wars, because it truly was my first love. ¬†For so many years I doubted my memories, or at least doubted that I had as much fun with Star Wars as I seemed to remember.

Then Thursday night I watched Force Awakens and remembered just what it was like to experience that level of joy again. ¬†Now I am just riding the giddy contact high of the experience, and looking forward to talking about it with anyone that has already been indoctrinated into the club. ¬†Yesterday there was a sequence of tweets trying to decide when it was time to talk about the movie, and I guess personally… I am going to wait until January 18th. ¬†I am going to give the world a full month to watch it before I start openly talking about spoilers and spreading the world with my theory crafting. ¬†Spoilers are such a weird thing…. because for me personally they do not adversely effect my enjoyment of the movie. ¬†I personally guessed at four or five of the plot points from the movie, and it was in no way tarnished for me when I saw them coming. ¬†In fact there was a bit of strange excitement coursing through me when I realized that things were playing out in one of the ways I had imagined them. ¬†For others though… once something is spoiled it ruins the experience, and as a result I am going to try my best not to ruin anyone else’s.

The “A” Team

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I love the Star Wars universe, and while I was greatly disappointed for years… ¬†shows like the Clone Wars and the current Rebels made me remember just how awesome the setting COULD be. ¬†I think they were essentially the gateway to allowing myself to indulge in the hype leading up to Force Awakens. ¬†The problem with Rebels is that as good as it is… ¬†it isn’t the team of characters that I wanted to be engaged with. ¬†Shows like it or Agents of Shield… no matter how amazing they might be… will always be stuck in the rut of being the “B” Team. ¬†These are the characters that are ALSO in the universe…. but aren’t really the characters that you really want to be watching. ¬†While shows like that might raise the excitement level a bit every now and then with a “special guest appearance” you know at the end of the day… you are never really going to get back the characters you care the most about. ¬†While to some extent the new movie is setting up a brand new cast of heroes to take over the throne… in the form of Finn, Rey, Poe and Ren, it still very much feels that we are going on another adventure with the characters we grew up loving: Han, Luke, Leia, Chewie, R2, and C-3PO.

There is a continuity that other derivative products lack, and in a way I am more okay knowing¬†the cast of the original trilogy will always play a secondary role in this new trilogy of movies. ¬†The Avengers are still an active team… and while they exist… Agents of Shield will always be the lesser product. ¬†Similarly no matter how cool Rebels is… and how awesome it is for filling in the gap between the prequels and rebellion era movies… ¬†it will always be the story of people we didn’t know existed until Disney told us they did. ¬†So in the meantime I am going to embrace the joy I am feeling, because there were points yesterday where I wanted to take my hot-wheels Millennium Falcon and go running around the office making “space” noises. ¬†There is a kid inside me that has woken up, that has not been awake since the 80s… and I am perfectly okay with hanging out with him again. ¬†Part of my whole mission to limit the negativity in my life, and to be less cynical… ¬†was to be able to truly feel unbridled joy again… and this movie has paid off in spades. ¬†Sure I am almost forty years old… and sure I probably shouldn’t be enraptured by Star Wars. ¬†To that I say “fuck it” I get to decide what sort of Adult I am going to be, and I choose to be the one that never really grew up inside.

Grumplings

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The most annoying part of any in game holiday event… are the things you have to fight other players for to get spawns. ¬†In the new Winter Veil garrison event, you have to fight players for patches of snow on the ground, in the hopes that instead of getting a snowball of various kids… ¬†you get a Grumpling pet. ¬†Last night after looting many piles of snow I managed to get one… and now I am done touching those piles of snow. ¬†I am not going to be one of these players that tries to profit off this event, because it is my hope that by removing myself from the picture others will have an easier time getting their own Grumplings. ¬†Now however I am still going to be completing the daily event… until I get the damned mount. ¬†I’ve decided to send all of my packages to Belgrace my MooCowAdin, because he seems to be the closest to getting all of the appropriate factions for the flying mount. ¬†So among the four characters I have that can do the daily, I am hoping ONE of them gets the stupid mount.

 

Marvel Heroes Binge

A Truly Amazing Day

avengers-age-of-ultron-art-poster-133238 One of the huge positives about where we live is that we are close to an awful lot of things that are within reasonable walking distance.¬† Over the last year or so we have tried to take advantage of this fact by walking to dinner more often.¬† This weekend however I did something I should have done a very long time ago and walked to the movies.¬† There is a theater literally less than two blocks away from my house, but I‚Äôve never actually walked there before.¬† Granted when walking to dinner we walk past it all of the time.¬† Sunday I decided to go to the 10:30 am matinee and watch the new Avengers movie.¬† The movie itself was pretty great, and i feel like I need to watch it again to really take in all of the sights the movie had to offer.¬† This is a very ‚Äúbusy‚ÄĚ film packed with some absolutely insane action sequences.¬† I feel like it is a toss up between the Hulk and Black Widow as to who stole the show, but I have always been partial to both of them.

As I was exiting the theater I texted my wife to let her know that I would be on my way home.  However when I poked my head out into the light there she was waiting on me.  She walked down hoping to surprise me, and then the two of us walked over to get lunch.  It was a really beautiful day, and she is constantly telling me that I need to get more sunlight.  While I am still not the biggest fan of the sun, she is probably right because I feel better today after having done all of this yesterday.  We had some errands to run, but by the time we got back to the house we both decided it was nap time.  After getting back up we ran to target really quickly and then she went outside to read in the rocking chair, and I played games.  It was a pretty great day, and I am hoping to take advantage of the movie theater being so close in the future.  There are a lot of movies that I want to see that she has no interest in.  Walking down makes it feel less of a hassle for some reason, and also serves as some exercise.

Marvel Heroes Binge

MarvelHeroes2015 2015-05-03 19-40-14-108 It was probably because of the awesome Avengers movie, but when I got home I ran a quick expert roulette and then logged to play Marvel Heroes.  This game has really grown on me and I am feeling like a massive failure for not giving it a chance before now.  Normally the whole Diablo thing is a bit of a turn off anymore, but for whatever reason the combination of Super Heroes and Diablo works well for me.  I have been accumulating a lot of various boost potions, because they give you plenty of them as part of the daily login reward system.  Yesterday I opted to take several of the various 2 hour boosts and see what all I could accomplish.  I pushed Captain America that has become my main from 22 to 27 almost 28 over the course of those two hours.  Right now there are a lot of things working in my favor since there is an event happening that gives Avengers a boost.  The only bad thing is that the cosmic gear I am wearing has yet to be replaced which bums me out slightly.  I guess I might have to try my luck again at the cosmic boxes from Adam Strange.

I am just starting the Savage Lands which according to my friend is one of the more frustrating areas of the game.¬† I personally found that the tail end of Stryker‚Äôs camp to be extremely frustrating with Sentinels dropping on me every five seconds.¬† I keep feeling like I should probably play other characters up since I now have this whole synergy thing unlocked‚Ķ¬† but really I am still having a blast playing Cap.¬† His skillset is almost perfect suited for my particular play style.¬† I can charge through a bunch of mobs taking them out, and then when I get into the center of a pack twirl my shield around taking all but the blue or better mobs out.¬† Then I just mob up with shield throws or punches and repeat.¬† It feels very enjoyable, but I am actually looking forward to seeing what the new heroic difficulty that I unlocked is like.¬† There are absolutely times that the game feels mindlessly simple, so I would be curious to see if Heroic is like hard is for Diablo 3‚Ķ aka the new ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ.

Closing in on Botanist

ffxiv 2015-05-04 05-52-41-84 Another thing I worked on last night was pushing Botanist up a bit more.  I really want to finish leveling this to 50, and have felt the need to do just this before really starting in on crafting proper.  I realize this might be a bit strange of logic but it works for me.  I spent my evening catching up on Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley, both shows that I had not really watched for the last few weeks.  While doing this I ran a whole slew of Botany leves and managed to push from 35 to 45 which hopefully means I can finish off the leveling process at some point this week.  I will be happy to have finished leveling the two harvesting professions that I am going to need to most while leveling my other  crafters.  Right now however I have to collect 20 high quality mistletoe to turn in to the quest giver.  This is going to be a fairly daunting task, given that I cannot simply buy my way through it.  It seems HQ mistletoe is in short supply as there was absolutely none on the market board.    As a result I will be spending the next little bit in the Whitebrim area harvesting like mad trying to complete the 45 quest.

The other thing I really want to do soon is push my Arcanist from 22 to 30 so that I can become a scholar.  If I manage to do that I can get to 50 relatively easily doing the fast healer dungeon queues.  Depending on how many leves it takes me to get to 50 Botanist, I might follow this interesting guide posted on the FFXIV Reddit.  Ashgar pointed this out, and it seems like a perfectly reasonable way to level.  I actually like chain running leves because it is also a decent source of retainer tokens.  I would love to see myself level a few more classes to 50 before the expansion, because I have 100 level weapons waiting on them.  I have been dumping my excess soldiery into buying the various weapons, and just have one left to purchase, which admittedly is a little insane.  The problem is… what else was I going to use that soldiery on?  I am actually right around the point where I need to buy the final weapon, which makes me feel like a slacker for not leveling all of those classes to 50.  Final Fantasy XIV has way more content than I could ever hope to do… so at times I just feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that I want to be doing.