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Turning the Page on Life To 26

birthday cupcake image

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far. So, January 14th is my birthday and this year, I turned 26.

When I was younger, I used to make such a big deal about my birthday. I’d get all excited every time it came around to the point where I’d tell other people it was my birthday just so someone would wish me a wonderful day.

Well this year has been a little different for me. For once, I was more relaxed about it being my birthday and not making as much of a big deal about it. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve come to the realization that it’s not something I need to make such a fuss over. That if someone wants to wish me well, they will and if they don’t then on well.

Either way, this year I felt calm about it being my birthday and just took the moment to enjoy the day no matter what happened. I was at work all day and it was busy because of payroll being due for me to turn in so it came and went quickly.

While I’m another year older, I don’t feel that much different than any of the days before. I feel like just the same person that I’ve always been and that not too much has really changed. But at the same time, I feel happy with where I’m at in my life and that there have been some changes that I’m proud of.

For starters, I’ve acquired a new job that’ll put me in the right direction in life. Not to say working in food service isn’t a noble thing, it just isn’t where I picture myself working for the rest of my life. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of this job because I originally wasn’t doing well at it my first couple weeks. But now, I feel like I’ve gained my ground and am starting to adjust to my job responsibilities and handling whatever tasks get thrown at me. If anything, I find I’m busier now than when I started out due to us hiring more employees and being given more responsibilities by my boss. I see this as a positive thing because I believe they wouldn’t give me more work if they weren’t happy with the way I’ve been handling things. While I don’t know where this work experience will get me in life, I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity and to get the experience.

I’m also thankful/happy because I have a poem published in an anthology. I know I’ve already talked about this quite a bit, so I probably won’t say too much else about it, but I’m still excited that a poem I’ve written is physically in a book that people can buy and read. One of my dreams is to one day be an author who writes her own stories and gets published. And I feel like with the anthology, I’ve accomplished my dream of being an author even if it’s just having one poem I’ve written getting published. While I hope that’s not the only piece of writing of mine that’ll be read, I still want to continue pursuing that dream and having more of my voice going out into the world. I know my blog here on WordPress also helps me accomplish some of my writing goals so I’m extremely thankful for that too.

All of this I accomplished when I was 25. So, I can’t wait to see what 26 has in store for me. Hopefully it’s as wonderful as being 25. I’m hopeful that it could be another great age but will wait and see what life has in store for me.

 

First Impressions: Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery

Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery One

For the past couple months, I’ve been anxiously awaiting Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery to come to the Apps Store on my IOS. As a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I was really excited when I first heard this game was coming out. Now that it’s out here, I’ve been excitedly playing it in between completing other tasks at home.

For those unfamiliar with the release of this game, Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery is a new Harry Potter mobile game where the player gets to go to Hogwarts. As a Hogwarts student, you get to attend different classes where you earn different attribute points and if you successfully complete the class, points for your Hogwarts House. Along with attending classes, the game allows you to explore the Hogwarts grounds in order to complete the main game storyline.

From what I’ve played of the game so far, your character has an older brother who’s been missing since being expelled from Hogwarts. He’s expelled from Hogwarts because of his obsession with the Cursed Vaults, which your character decides they want to learn more about in order to find out what happened to their brother. So with the help from friends you’ve made at Hogwarts (Rowan, Penny and Ben, the first set of characters you’re introduced to during your first year), you set out to find out more about the Cursed Vaults and to find your missing brother.

I find that this plot in Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery is one of the many reasons I’ve been enjoying this game so far. It’s not too complex of a storyline, but enough to get me interested in playing this game to see where it goes. I’ve also enjoyed it too though because I finally get to play as a student who attends Hogwarts. Since I fell in love with the Harry Potter series, I’ve always wanted to be a student at Hogwarts, and this game allows me to do just that.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery Me Sorting Hat
Me during the Sorting Hat ceremony, where I choose Ravenclaw to be my house.

I’m also enjoying this game because it’s not too complex of a game. The controls are pretty simple, it’s mostly just pointing and tapping to get from one area to the next. The same with classes too where you just click on what’s highlighted in blue until you’ve completed that particular task. It’s also very slow-paced because a lot of the objectives you complete (classes included) involve using your energy under a certain amount of hours until you collect a number of stars. Once you get the number of stars you need, you then can actually take the class and learn a new spell, potion, etc.

As your taking these classes and progressing through the game, your character also gains attribute points. There are a total of three attributes that you can level up: courage, empathy and knowledge. Courage represents your bravery, empathy represents your ability to understand others, and knowledge represents your academic aptitude. None of these attributes have any real bearing on the decisions you make in the game at this point in time other than being able to say certain things to people if a particular attribute is at a high enough level. But I love all of these features and how simplistic this game has turned out to be because it makes it a very relaxing experience to play. While you’ll have to do a lot of waiting to get your energy so you can continue with your lessons, I don’t particularly mind because I use that time to do something else while waiting for my energy to refill.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery My Character Attributes
My character in Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery. Even though I’m a Ravenclaw at heart, in this game I seem to have an easy time leveling up my courage and empathy more so than knowledge.

While I love playing Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery, there are some things this game does need that would improve it for me. For one, I think it would be nice if there were more clothing and hairstyle options for your character. From what I’ve seen of the clothes, there is a lot left to be desired. None of them are things I’d honestly really wear, and the things I do tend to see that I like require more gems or coins than I currently have. It would actually require me to spend money on this game to buy them. While I wouldn’t necessarily mind spending money on this game, it has to be something really worthwhile for me to consider it. And right now, there’s really nothing in the game currently that I find worth me to spend my money on. So for now, I’m sticking with wearing my Hogwarts house robs until I can afford clothes for my character I actually like. There also aren’t a lot of hairstyle options for your character when you first start playing the game. It isn’t until later on that you unlock more hair options. But like with the clothes, those hair options require more gems or coins than I can afford, and I’m perfectly fine with the hair my character has right now anyway.

The one thing everyone who’s played Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery believes needs to be improved in the game is the energy system. While I agree in the sense that the wait time for energy needs to be reduced a little, what I really believe would improve this game immensely is if the game was a little more interactive. I think it would be cool if there were more things you could do in the game while waiting for energy for classes, whether it be side objectives to complete that give you attribute points or fun games you can play that level up your character. I think for me what would make this game exactly what I want it to be is if we as players could control our characters and if the choices we made in the game had an actual impact on the plot in the game, whether it be differences in house points we gain or lose or the people we become friends with and the spells we learn during classes. I want all of these different features in this game because I want it to feel more like I’m attending Hogwarts myself rather than it feeling like I’m just playing a game on my phone. I also think it would be nice to have games you can play while waiting for your energy to refill because it would give players something fun they can do (if they so wish), but it would also give them more opportunity to work on their attributes and leveling up their character.

Another feature this game is missing that would make it a really great gaming experience for me is a Sorting Hat quiz. While I don’t necessarily mind being able to choose the Hogwarts House I want to be in (since in the books, the Sorting Hat does say it’ll take the house you want to be in into consideration), I like the idea of taking a quiz to see what house I’d be placed in. While I know for people who identify with a certain house that might cause problems, I love taking online quizzes to see what I get and I think having one here would’ve been another way for people to see if they truly belong in the house they want to be in. I also think for a lot of people it would just confirm for certain the house they identify themselves as being in and would make playing this game feel even more like we’re attending Hogwarts.

So while I’ve enjoyed playing Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery, there are a few features I believe need to be implemented or improved for this game to be the Hogwarts experience I want for myself.  But I do believe this game is making a great start in creating a Hogwarts universe that all of us who love the Harry Potter series can be proud of.

What about you? Are you currently playing Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery? If so, what Hogwarts House did you choose and why? And if not, what Hogwarts House do you associate yourself with and why? What do you like about the game so far and what do you think about the game can improve? Please leave a comment below because I’d love to hear from you.

 

First Impressions: Sword Art Online: Integral Factor

Sword Art Online Integral Factor Image One

I’m sure those who follow my Instagram account aren’t surprised to see this game pop up as my next video game review. I’ve been playing it for the past week now and I can honestly say I’m hooked to it right now.

For those who are familiar with the anime show Sword Art Online (also known as SAO for short), Sword Art Online: Integral Factor is a mobile role-playing game. This game centers on the beginning plot of SAO, which involves the main characters in the anime trying to clear all 100 floors of Aincrad in order to escape the game. But now you are one of the people in SAO trying to get out of the game too.

As someone who’s a big fan of anime (and SAO in particular), I’ve really enjoyed playing this game so far. It has the look and feel of the SAO universe and its one of the first role-playing games I’ve truly enjoyed in a long time. I think part of the biggest appeal for me is that I was actually able to create a character that closely resembles my real life appearance. My character doesn’t look exactly like me (because there aren’t too many games where that’s possible), but I found the appearance I was able to make for her closely resembled my real life self.

Sword Art Online Integral Factor Avatar Image One
My avatar in Sword Art Online: Integral Factor. At the point I took this picture, I was on the 2nd floor in the game at level 19.

I’ve also enjoyed playing Sword Art Online: Integral Factor because the fighting and game play is so much fun to me. In this game, you can equip your avatar with two different weapons and switch between them during fights. Each weapon has different skill sets that you can get as you complete quests, and you can equip those skills in order to gain an extra attack against monsters. I find that fighting these monsters using these skills can be quite a bit of fun. As someone who doesn’t particularly like grinding in games all that much, I really don’t mind it a bit whenever I’m playing this game because fighting these monsters is actually a bit more of a challenge than in most other role-playing games I’ve experienced. Especially when you enter the dungeons where you have multiple enemies attacking you at once. It makes this game that much more of a joy because it challenges me to be a better player and to continue leveling up so I can clear the floor. I also like that you have more than one weapon you can choose from. This allows you as the player to be able to become skilled at using more than one weapon during fights, which I think is a good skill to have in this game. I like it because I was able to find early on which weapons I enjoy using, but I also have the chance to use other weapons too if I want.

I especially like that clearing floors in this game isn’t easy. I’ve been playing this game for a week now and have only made it to the 4th floor. It allows you as the player to see exactly why it took the original SAO players so long to progress. But I also appreciate it because I love playing games that are a challenge to complete.

What I think makes up for it, however, is that you as a player do have the option to join other players and form a party. As someone who’s used to playing games solo, I like that if I so wanted I could join a party because it definitely would make clearing monsters in dungeons so much easier. While I’ve yet to really use this feature (I’ve only been in a party truly once so far since I started playing), I like being able to interact with others who love SAO and want to fight together. I don’t really get the chance to play video games with other people that often so it’s nice that I have that option if I so choose to do so.

Another thing I like about this game so much is that it allows me to be in the SAO universe and interact with the characters from the anime. Ever since I watched SAO for the first time, I’ve always wanted the opportunity to explore that universe, see the monsters Kirito fought and try my hardest to help clear each floor. Now that this game is out, I get to do just that, even get to talk to the characters from the anime. Even better, some of the choices you make in the game change the outcome of the original story line. And I really like that because you can save characters that were originally killed off in the anime. I also like that you get to explore the SAO universe because you actually get even more story line content in this game that you haven’t seen before. With each floor you clear, you learn more about Aincrad, get to do quests that you didn’t see in the anime.

I think my favorite thing about this game overall though (well besides playing this game, of course) is getting to see the SAO universe. I love getting to explore each of these floors in this game, especially the moment when I defeat a boss and get to see what the next floor looks like. I like this particular moment in this game because the SAO universe in this game is graphically beautiful. I find that each floor is beautiful in its own way and can’t wait to see what the next floor looks like.

Sword Art Online Integral Factor World Image One
Me at level 42 whenever I get to the 4th floor for the first time. So far, the 3rd and 4th floors are my favorite floors graphically in Sword Art Online: Integral Factor.

There are however, some issues I do have with this game that if cleared up would make it a much more enjoyable playing experience. The biggest issue for me when playing Sword Art Online: Integral Factor is lagging/freezing during game play. I’ll be fighting a monster on one of the floors and notice that its health isn’t going down, even though it’s clear that my attacks are hitting it. So I’ll reset my game, which usually results in my character losing a majority of their health, sometimes even dying. I’ve actually died a couple times in the game because of this problem and it’s really frustrating to deal with. I’ve also noticed from the one time I was able to really join a party that most of the conversation I had with my party members somehow gets deleted to where I can only see things I typed when talking to a party member. I don’t know why, but it’s something I easily noticed and it annoyed me. But despite these difficulties, I’m still playing and enjoying this game a lot.

Another criticism I have for Sword Art Online: Integral Factor is that there aren’t really a variety of quest options for a player. Besides the main quest storyline, you have two other quest options: fighting monsters to collect items and boss fights. I get that the overall objective in this game is to clear each floor of Aincrad in order to escape the game, but I was hoping the quests in this game would be more story based. Or that there would be more to them so that they would be just as challenging as the main quest storyline. While it does benefit you to do some of these sub quests anyway (mostly because you can gain experience to level up), I find them to be just plain and not to be too much of a challenge to complete. It almost seems pointless to do most of them, especially because you can do them multiple times if you wish with very little reward.

I’m also critical of this game because it doesn’t really explain how you can improve your skills very well. When I first started playing, I thought I understood how it worked, but it’s taken me longer than expected to understand it and to improve the skills I have equipped. I’ve managed to do just fine not really understanding it, but it’s frustrating because I want to do the best I can to be a good player in this game. I know with time I’ll have it all figured out, but I still wish the game had explained it better so that I wasn’t dealing with so much confusion.

But overall, I’m enjoying playing Sword Art Online: Integral Factor immensely. It’s a much better SAO game than I was expecting for mobile and I’m having so much fun playing it that I don’t know if I’ll ever stop playing it. It just needs a couple adjustments here and there for it to be a much more enjoyable gaming experience for me. But I still love it all the same and can’t wait to play it some more.

First Impressions: Arena of Valor

Arena of Valor Picture

Arena of Valor is a multiplayer online battle arena game for mobiles published by Tencent Games. In this game, you are on a team with four other players as you try your best to destroy their home base. Doing so requires a lot of leveling up and good teamwork. Depending on what hero you choose determines what abilities you have. For example, some heroes are good at jungling (where you go into the wild and defeat monsters to gain experience and level up your hero) while others are good tanks. So do the best to choose heroes to balance out your team so you can win.

Arena of Valor Pic 2
Via Flip Geeks.

I just recently started playing Arena of Valor when I saw one of the Youtubers I follow play it. And man, do I really enjoy it. What I enjoy about this game is that its team based. While I enjoy playing video games by myself, I don’t mind a game that involves playing with other gamers and trying to reach victory together. It gives me the chance to interact with other people who enjoy video games as much as I do.

I also like Arena of Valor because of it being a 5v5 game for mobile. While I’ve never played a game like this on my phone, I like that MOBA games are being brought to mobile because I feel like the controls are a lot easier. I also think it’s very convenient too because you don’t have to worry about booting up your computer or laptop to play, it’s all just right there in your hands. The controls are also pretty easy to learn too, which is another plus to me because the player doesn’t have to worry all too much about what buttons to push to use their abilities.

I love that this game has a variety of heroes for you to choose from. Every time I play a game feels like a new experience because I want to play as many of the heroes I can so I can see which heroes work for me. I like that as you continue playing the game and getting a feel for how it works, you can unlock more heroes to experiment with along with more talents. This gives me incentive to continue playing Arena of Valor and seeing how far I can get.

Arena of Valor Pic 3 Heroes

My biggest challenge playing this game is that I don’t yet completely understand how to use the Arcana system and what items I should be buying when I level up my heroes. While I get how the Arcana system works (you have three types of Arcana: red is strength, life is purple, and green is willpower and as you play and level up, you unlock more Arcana to build up your heroes), I haven’t completely figured out how to use the Arcana and the items I buy in game to my advantage. I know I’ve just started playing recently so this’ll come with time so I’m just doing the best I can with it until then.

Arena of Valor Pic 4 Arcana Building

While I really love playing Arena of Valor, I do have some things I don’t like about it. The biggest thing I don’t like about it is the Credibility system that’s in place to make sure players aren’t leaving games or trolling. With this Credibility system, if you leave a game for any reason at all, players can then report you for being AFK and you lose credibility points. While I get why this system is in place and do overall believe it’s a good thing to have, I think it needs some improvements. I’m not the type of person to leave in the middle of a game intentionally and then come back later. But there have been times where I’ve been playing and the game suddenly froze on me and I wasn’t able to get back into the game no matter how many times I tried. And I’ve lost credibility points whenever this has happened to me. This then left me frustrated with the game because I wanted to continue playing and enjoy it, but getting points taken away from me due to a system error made me less inclined to do so. And there is no way to dispute when someone reports you for being AFK, even if being gone from the game isn’t your fault. So people could end up taking advantage of this system, which is why I think they should have it set up where there’s a way to check that someone is actually AFK verses having system problems. I think there should be a way to tell so people don’t keep getting penalized because they have a crappy system because it’s hard to enjoy a game when it’s laggy and you keep being penalized because of it.

I also don’t like with Arena of Valor that to unlock some heroes you have to pay for them. I get having something in place to unlock heroes as you level up and play. But I don’t think you should have to pay to unlock heroes you really want to play as.

However, I am overall pleased with Arena of Valor as a MOBA game and am excited to continue playing it. I remember playing League of Legends and enjoying that a lot, but I think I like this one a little more because of how convenient it is. I also hope to try out more games like this one in the future because I know they’ll definitely be fun to play.

First Impressions: The Sims FreePlay

The Sims Freeplay Image Two

I’ve been playing this game for several weeks now, not sure exactly if I wanted to write about it in the first place. But after some much needed thinking, I figured why not?

I started playing The Sims FreePlay because I wanted to play a Sims game. I wanted to immerse myself back into this world where I control the actions of the characters I’ve created. Where I was given total power over the choices I made and could see the consequences of my actions play out in front of me.

In this version of the game, which comes on your phone or tablet, your main objective is to build a town full of people of your own creation. You build all sorts of homes and locations for your Sims to either visit or work on their career in order to make some money so you can further create. Along with creating these places, there are quests you can fulfill to your own discretion which will gain you more items, hobbies or locations to unlock. It’s up to you what you do in your town, but you also need to make sure to satisfy your Sim’s needs as well.

What I like about The Sims FreePlay is that it’s free. Unless you want to spend money on this game so you can get these different types of points to progress on your tasks, you don’t have to spend any money on this game whatsoever. You can play the game without spending any money and I like it because I don’t want to spend money on app games if I don’t have to. As you progress your town, you also earn Simoleons and XP for each of the buildings you’ve created whether it be homes, businesses or career locations. I think this is a nice feature in this game because it allows you to earn money without only having to invest in a career and gives you more experience points.

I also like that you have so many choices of things to do in the game. You can complete tasks whenever you want, though there’s a time limit to gain certain items if you don’t complete tasks by a certain time. You can also choose which buildings you want to build as long as you have enough Sims living in your town. Some buildings cost more money and need more Sims in the town than others, which can sometimes be a pain because it could be the exact building you need, but you need one more person before you can start building it.

In The Sims FreePlay, you also have a variety of hobbies you can choose to complete. These hobbies are things like cooking, fishing, fashion designer, and woodworking, just to name a few. What I like about having these hobbies is that you can unlock more of them by completing certain quests. However, the downside to these hobbies is that your Sim can only focus on one hobby at a time. I don’t know yet if that changes after you’ve mastered the hobby, but I find it to be very inconvenient because whenever you try and learn a new hobby, you lose all the progress you made on the hobby you’d worked to master before.

The Sims FreePlay Fishing Hobby

What I like the most doing in this game is completing these tasks. I like them because they are interesting and can level you up faster. I also like them because you see your Sims doing all sorts of interesting things. For example, while I’ve been playing this game, I’ve been focusing on the Sim I created in my image to start learning the spell casting hobby. I did this by completing one of the quests in the game and just following every objective that has to do with spells or magic. This now allows any of my Sims to learn magic or brew potions if they choose.

However, I do have some criticisms for The Sims FreePlay too. One of my criticisms is that skills like painting and playing the guitar advance your career instead of counting as hobbies. While it’s nice because you can get promotions for your Sims faster, I wish they could be counted as hobbies instead because that would be more realistic. Instead, they are activities you can do that count towards career promotion.

Another criticism for me of this game is that it’s way more time consuming than any of the other games. What I mean is that when you go to do certain tasks, you have to wait a certain amount of time until what you’re doing is done. So for example, a task that takes 5 minutes won’t be completed until that time has passed. Unless you have points you can use to get these tasks done faster, some tasks you’ll have to wait for hours until they’ve been finished, which can be a pain when it comes to completing these quests. Especially if you decide to do them under a time limit to unlock certain items. I usually complete them whenever I feel like it and don’t worry about stuff like that, but I feel like it can still be a pain for those who want to get tasks done at a faster rate. In the other Sims games, you can usually fast forward time so this isn’t an issue whenever you play. But for those who want to complete things at a faster pace, just know you might not have luck with that.

My biggest criticism for this game though is the style options. In this game, there really isn’t a whole lot of clothing and hair options for your Sims. Everything is pretty basic, making it extremely difficult for you to make unique Sim characters as you continue building up your town. I’m hoping as I continue to play this game that I’ll be able to unlock even more unique clothing and hair options so that I can try to make my Sims look different from each other in the future. But right now, my options are pretty limited.

But overall, I find myself enjoying this game as much as I do the other Sims games I’ve played in the past. It’s to the point where I’m starting to play the Sims game I have on my PlayStation 2 again in the hopes of progressing further than I ever have before. In many ways, you could say I’ve become hooked to the Sims again, which has never been that much of a struggle before. I highly recommend this game if you are looking for something casual to play or if you’re looking for a Sims game to play but don’t know where to start.

If We Were Having Coffee: Being a Productive Member of Society

If We Were Having Coffee 03

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week and are enjoying your Saturday so far. For me, I’ve been pretty busy, which is what I’d like to begin with talking about for this post.

In my last #weekendcoffeeshare, I mentioned that I was going in for a job interview on Tuesday. Well, I definitely had the interview and guess what? I got the job! They had me start the very next day, had one of their coworkers show me what my main responsibilities would be while I was there. So the position I applied for is to handle the front of the deli, but specifically, I’ll be handling the salad bar foods and helping serve to customers whenever my section is running slow. I’m also responsible for cleaning the bathrooms and cleaning the salad bar whenever we close, because I applied for this position to specifically work at nights in this section. Whenever I applied for this position, I was told by my friend that they didn’t really have someone for this position at nights and that they were having trouble finding good people. So I figured, why not me?

So far, I really like it. I like it because I’m constantly on my feet moving to restock my section. There’s no down time for me or anything at all, which is good because I like being busy. I don’t like just standing around with nothing to do when I’m at work so it’s nice to have a job somewhere where that’s not really much of a problem. I also like it because my coworkers are a friendly bunch and there’s no drama. I come in, do my job the best I can, leave whenever they are satisfied with my cleaning abilities and there’s not too much fuss about any of it. As long as I do my job and they are satisfied with my work (which so far, has been the case, from what I’ve heard) then there’s not a problem. I also like that we get 50% off on food and get free refills of fountain drinks. It’s nice to know I can save my money whenever I eat there. We also get money from credit card tips that’s split up among the people working during a particular shift. These tips go into our total paycheck, which is nice because it’s additional money I can save and it shows how much the company values their employees.

There are however, some small downsides to this job so far. For one, I’ll mostly only be working nights. While it’s nice because I’ll be able to sleep in and use most of my day however I please, it stinks in the sense that I won’t be working quite as many hours as I’m used to. I also have to adjust to working again, to being a productive member of society. What I mean to say is I’m having to get used to being on my feet again, which is something I always seem to struggle with whenever I go back to work after having summers off. I know part of it is because I’m always at home during the summer and don’t take time out of my day to work out or go walking, which is something I should probably be doing. But I can never seem to put that into my schedule for whatever reason. I don’t know, but it’s something I can always work on in the future.

But so far, I’m really pleased with this job. Everyday I’m there, I’m working with different people, all of whom seem really friendly and am constantly on my feet the whole time. I go home, usually tired but satisfied about my day because I know I’ve done a good job. But it feels right because I don’t feel quite as miserable. Because I have a new job though, I’m going to have to make some adjustments when it comes to my writing. I’m not sure yet how often I’ll be posting here on my blog. Once I adjust to these hours, I’ll know for sure. But right now, I’ll have to play it by ear and see.

I’m not at work today though because Mum got tickets from work to go to see one of our local baseball teams play. So whenever I was interviewed for this position, I let the manager know about it beforehand. But other than my new job, I haven’t been up to too much this week. I did however finish reading Before I Fall and am still continuing to play The Sims Freeplay on my phone. I’m still debating whether I want to write a review on it in the near future or if I’m just going to continue playing it and not worry about a review. I think as of right now, I’ll just wait and see as I continue playing it how I feel. Playing this game though has really made me interested in wanting to play other Sims games. To the point where I’ve actually been watching another Youtuber I enjoy play The Sims 4, which is the one I really hope to one day get whenever I have the funds to buy myself a new laptop.

Before I forget, I also want to let you know I’ve also recently decided to share my blog posts on my Instagram account. I figure it’s one more means of getting my blog out there with the possibility of getting more followers through it. I mean, it is another form of social media so I really don’t see too much of the harm in it. Hopefully that will get me more followers and it’s another form of social media I use quite frequently.

So I think that’s really all I have to say about my week. I don’t know yet if I’ll be doing another one of these posts next week since I’m still getting used to my new work schedule. If I do, I’ll be sure to let you know how the baseball game went. But I hope you’ve all had a good week like I have and I’ll talk to you again soon!

If We Were Having Coffee: Another Beach Trip, Another Day in Paradise

If We Were Having Coffee 02

Hello everyone! Wow, it feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve written one of these. Luckily, I actually have a lot to say this time around, partly due to not doing one of these last weekend. But also partly due to having some good news to share along with it. Anyway, I hope you’ve all been having a good weekend so far. I know I have, and I haven’t really done anything since I’ve been awake.

Hmmm… where to start? Okay, I guess I’ll start with what I’ve been up to during the week leading up to going to the beach last weekend. I mostly spent a lot of that time sleeping, reading, watching television, and playing app games on my phone. Seriously, I really didn’t do too much else leading up to when my sister Laney and her boyfriend Lawrence came to the house Thursday night. Though since my last weekend coffee post, I’ve been a very productive reading reviewer. Since my last coffee post, I’ve completed a total of four books, each uniquely different than the previous. I liked each of these books for a variety of different reasons. But I find myself surprised at being able to read this many books in this amount of time. I think part of it is because it’s been awhile since I’ve given myself the chance to really sit down and enjoy reading. And now that summer is here, and I have so much free time, I feel like I can do that. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the time I’ve spent on the books I’ve been reading while I’ve been employed. It’s just that I haven’t quite had as much time to sit and enjoy them, though I’ve definitely made the point in doing so when I was reading them.

Along with reading these four books, I discovered two other games in the App Store that I’ve started playing and enjoying, one of which I’ve actually played before a long time ago but quit because I felt like I couldn’t really do too much with it at the time. The first game I came upon made me chuckle because I was amused by it, but now I’ve become really hooked to it. And that game is called Pokémon Magikarp Jump. It came out last week, actually on the day when I first heard about it so I figured I’d give it a try and see how I’d like it. So far, it’s been very enjoyable and addicting to me. It has some Pokémon nostalgia that really makes it a fun game to play, even though the Pokémon you’re raising is one of the weakest ones in the games. The other one is called The Sims Freeplay, which is pretty much a mobile version of the games out on PC and console. I think part of the reason I stopped playing it the first time was due to it not having as much stuff for you to do. I remember the first time playing it I spent most of the time in my house working on filling my Sim’s needs and not going out in the world to really do anything. But this time around, it seems like there’s more things to do, and I have quests to complete too. I’ve also been making sure to keep the Sims I have busy by sending them away to work or having them compete in a competition because these things take them hours to do in real time. This allows me the chance to do other things while they are increasing their skills and making money, but can also be a hindrance for playing the game. Especially because the Sims games normally don’t have that time feature in them. Usually when you’re having a Sim do something, you can make time go a little faster and be done with it within a couple minutes. You unfortunately don’t have that option in this one, but that’s okay because these things always give me something to look forward to whenever I do go back to check on my characters. While it’s yet to be as much fun as the ones I know and love, I know once I unlock and build more of the town the game will get better for me.

The Sims Freeplay Image

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how much fun I had when my sister came to visit us last weekend. On Friday, Laney and Lawrence actually had to put in some hours for work so I for most of the day hung out in the living room playing Pokémon Magikarp Jump and reading. I also got my hair cut short, the pixie cut style I love because I like it so much while Laney had a job interview she had to go to. After all of that, we hung out at home for a little bit before going out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant with the people we love. We continued the night after dinner by buying some wine and beer at Total Wine to enjoy at our house. Then on Saturday, we drove two hours to go to Charleston and Sullivan’s Island. We first stopped by the Charleston Marketplace to see what all they had to offer. We saw a collection of all sorts of different things, from necklaces and jewelry to paintings to spices and even Christmas decorations. Then we drove around Charleston to show Lawrence some of the different homes and historic landscapes before heading to Sullivan’s Island to spend the day on the sandy beach. We also grabbed some barbecue to eat for lunch, which turned out to be really delicious.

Charleston Trip Marketplace
I love going to places like this and seeing what they have to offer. I also appreciate that all of this was indoors so we didn’t have to be out in the beating sun for too long.
Charleston Trip Charleston Homes
Some of the Charleston homes. Was too busy looking to take any more shots.

Sullivan's Island Beach Trip One

Sullivan's Island Beach Trip Two

Sullivan's Island Beach Trip Three

Sullivan's Island Beach Trip Four
In this picture, you can see the wind moving along the beach and picking up the sand.

Sullivan's Island Beach Trip Five

Sullivan's Island Beach Trip Six

Sullivan's Island Beach Trip Seven

Sullivan's Island Beach Trip Eight

Sullivan's Island Beach Trip Selfie
Of course I had to get some pictures of myself there too.
Sullivan's Island Beach Trip Feet Selfie
Along with having my feet play in the sand.

As a family, we’ve actually never gone to Sullivan’s Island before. We’ve been to other beaches before, but this was our first time at this one and it was really nice. It was a beautiful day outside, which was something we hadn’t seen for a little while due to dealing with a lot of rain. The only downside was that it was very windy there so I didn’t do as much laying out in the sun as I’d have liked. But that was okay because I didn’t have to worry as much about getting burned. It was so windy that when I attempted to lie down I struggled because my towel was trying to blow away from me. I also ended up getting sand all over me because the wind was so crazy that it was blowing the sand along the beach. So I ended up going into the water to wash myself off, which proved to be a little difficult since I had sand in places I couldn’t reach. Once again, I enjoyed the feel of the sand between my toes along with the touch of cool ocean water brushing against my legs with the smell of the sea lingering in the air and the wild winds blowing against my face. I felt the sense of peace and tranquility I normally feel when I’m at the beach but it was wilder this time around, like the wind was nowhere near close to slowing down. It was a lot of fun though, despite the harsh winds because I was spending relaxing time with the people I care the most about. After our time on the beach, we went and grabbed some pizza to eat before heading back home. On Sunday, we showed Lawrence downtown, then went and grabbed some ice cream to snack on before heading back to the house. After that, Mum, Laney and Lawrence went to the gym while I took a nap. Once they were home, we started cooking food out on the grill for dinner and invited a friend over to eat and watch some movies we rented. After watching these movies, we then all headed to bed so we could rest and get ready for Monday. On Monday, we woke up early so that Laney and Lawrence could start packing up their things. We then went to Cracker Barrel for one last meal together before Laney and Lawrence headed back to Tennessee. Overall, I enjoyed the time we had together, and it was nice to meet Laney’s boyfriend for the first time.

And that’s pretty much all I have to say besides one more thing. The good news I have to share with you is that I have a job interview coming up on Tuesday. I have a friend that works at a new deli that’s opened up downtown and in several other places, and he’s mentioned my interest to them. So after completing my application, I heard back from them about meeting with them for a job interview. This is exciting/good news because I might finally have a job again so that I can make money while the other place I work at is closed. It sounds like they really need some good people so I’m really hoping this interview works out so I can get started right away. I also hope it works out to where I’ll be working full time or something because then I can leave the company I’m at now, since I’m not happy being there anymore. That place has just gotten so full of drama that I’m ready to be somewhere else where I don’t have to worry about that anymore. So wish me good luck because I feel like I really need it.

I hope you all are having a good weekend so far. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

 

First Impressions: Pokémon Magikarp Jump

Pokemon Magikarp Jump Image1

Last week, a game called Pokémon Magikarp Jump was released onto IOS and Androids. This game centers on a Pokémon in the franchise named Magikarp, one of the weakest fish type in the games. In this game, you catch a Magikarp which you then have to feed and train in order to get it to compete in jumping leagues. As you level up your Magikarp, it gets bigger and its jump power increases with each nugget of food you give it. Once you reach your Magikarp’s maximum level, your Magikarp will go into retirement and you’ll have to raise a new Magikarp from scratch.

I didn’t know about this game until its release. But I’ve actually found myself enjoying it. For one, even though Magikarp is one of the most annoying Pokémon to train in the other games, I like that this game gives Magikarp a purpose in the Pokémon universe.

I also like the mechanics of the game. I like that the features of this game are very easy to use so that anyone can play. All you have to do is click to feed, train and battle with your Magikarp. The only real choices you have to make in the game involve the events, when you want to spend coins to increase the jumping power of your food and training, and when you want to battle other Magikarps to become the highest jumper. Other than that, most of the game involves just clicking and watching your Magikarp grow.

Pokemon Magikarp Jump Image2

I like that this game has random events that can occur that can either help you increase your Magikarp’s stats or make you start over because your Magikarp just got eaten by another Pokémon. I think these events add something different to the game, but also make the training process even more interesting. Especially when you have a Magikarp that you’ve developed a close bond with only to have it snatched away from you. While it can be frustrating to some, I just find it amusing because I know I can train another Magikarp anyway that could end up possibly being better than the one that was taken away from me. I like when these events happen because it’s fun to see what’s going to happen next in the game.

Pokemon Magikarp Jump Image3

However, there are some downsides to Pokémon Magikarp Jump that need to be discussed. It’s a game that can easily get boring the higher you have to train your Magikarp before it can retire. This is because much of the game process involves doing a lot of grinding from when you feed your Magikarp to when you train and battle with it. When you first play this game, you don’t experience this quite as much. But once your ranking goes up and your maximum Magikarp level goes higher and higher, you begin to reach that point in the game. This results in the game starting to become too repetitive for you, which is a problem I’m beginning to experience. I’m at the point now where I wish there was more stuff you could do in the game because there’s not too much else to the game other than feeding, training and battling/jumping. I really think adding some more features to the game would really make it a game people would continue to play.

But overall, I think Pokémon Magikarp Jump is a simply fun game for anyone who wants to play and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys the Pokémon games.

If We Were Having Coffee: A Week of Writing Fiction

If We Were Having Coffee 01

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve been having a wonderful week and an even better weekend. I’m sorry I didn’t do a coffee post last weekend. I did the Great Strides walk with my best friend last weekend, but I also just didn’t have too much to talk about. But that’s okay, because I have more things this week for you to make up for it.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the Great Strides walk I went on last Saturday was quite a bit of fun. It’s the second time I’ve done this walk with my best friend, and I’m glad I could make it. I was a little worried at first because the weather was calling for rain, but luckily it didn’t rain at all when we were there so we were good. I really enjoyed doing it though because it really got me walking, which is something I don’t do as often as I need to. But I managed to do okay, considering it was a 3 mile trek and I haven’t walked like this since I’ve been away from work. I also managed to talk to one of Erin’s dear friends while doing this walk because Erin and her husband were busy managing their son. He walked with me the whole time and we just talked about all sorts of stuff. It was just nice having the company, having someone there to keep you going until you completed the 3 miles.

Last weekend was also Mother’s Day too so I spent my Friday cleaning the house for my Mom while she was away at work. I couldn’t think of anything in particular to get her (which quite frankly, wouldn’t have been enough anyway, because my Mom has done so much for me and my sister), but I figured having her come home to an already clean house would be a nice gesture. It meant she would have one less thing to do, and it would allow her to just spend the weekend relaxing if she wanted to. I also bought her dinner Saturday night too at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and we rented two movies: Patriot’s Day and Star Wars: Rogue One. Originally we were going to eat dinner then go see a movie, but none of the movies in the theatres that day were anything either of us wanted to see. So we just figured renting some movies for at home would be better. And it was, because both the films we rented were great.

Star Wars Rogue One Darth Vader

What I enjoyed about Patriot’s Day was how true it stuck to the real events that transpired with regards to the Boston Marathon bombing. I also liked it because it felt real personal. Besides having family members who lived in Boston around the time it happened, I felt like it was just a great film showcasing the real life of those who the bombing really affected. Especially near the end when they showed interview clips from some of the survivors and the police officers who handled the case. What I enjoyed about Star Wars: Rogue One was the characters, and how the storyline connected with the rest of the Star Wars series. Though the ending caught me completely off guard and mad me sad, I felt like it was a good side film that could hint at what could come in the rest of the series.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve gotten a lot of writing done this week. I made the decision to write a post about journaling, because it’s something I’ve been doing since middle school. It’s also something I think every writer should do so I wanted to talk about how keeping a journal has benefited my life. I also have this story I’ve been working on since middle school too that I hope to one day get published into a book so I was working on that one day during the week. I’m planning on working on it some more once I get the chance because it’s a project I seriously want to complete. I’ve also completed another Flash Fiction Challenge, which I also think has some serious potential of becoming a novel. It’s a story I started working on that I believe is going to take a while to complete, but once it’s done could be a really good piece. I don’t know yet necessarily if that’s something I’m really going to do with it, but I’m just going to wait and see how far I can get with it at least before I make that call. I’m also going to be doing another guest writer post for my friend Lesley. So look out for that in the next couple weeks whenever it comes out.

Gardenscapes App Game

I’ve also been playing a couple of App games on my phone. In particular, I’ve been playing a game called Gardenscapes, which is a matching level game that allows you to build the outside garden of your dreams. It’s a game I stumbled upon by accident while on Facebook, and I haven’t been able to stop playing it since. Part of it is because it’s such a cute game, and I like the look and feel of it when I play. There’s also just enough of a challenge that makes me come back to it again and again, even when I run out of lives. I don’t know how else to explain it just yet, but I’m considering doing a review of it in the near future. I know I’ve definitely been playing it enough that I could. Plus, I haven’t done any video game reviews in a really long time.  I don’t know, I guess I’ll just wait and see.

I also recently started and finished this book called The Shotgun Arcana this week. It’s a book that’s equal parts western, fantasy, and historical. But it was a really enjoyable book, so be sure to see my book review for it this upcoming week.

Next weekend, you probably won’t be seeing one of these posts because my sister is coming home this Memorial Day weekend, and her boyfriend will be coming too. So we’ll be spending some time together and I’ll get to meet her boyfriend for the first time. But either way, that’s really all I have to say for now. How’ve you all been doing? Did you all have a wonderful week too?

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