Enhancing My Demon Hunter CrossBow Part 1

After my trial run of my Diablo 3 Demon Hunter cosplay at Fan Expo Vancouver, I decided that my crossbow needed more dramatic detailing. It came out really thin and flat in photos, so I decided I’d try to add some of the cool flare panel on the bow of the weapon. The photo below is the official BlizzCon 2011 cosplay Demon Hunter. I will be replicating the cool flare detailing on these crossbows.

BlizzCon 2012 Official Demon Hunter Cosplay

I decided for feasibility that I’d use craft foam sheets. They’re flexible yet strong so I’ll be able to cut, paint, and glue them onto my wooden crossbow frame easily. They’re also super cheap, but should produce the appropriate effect.

Next I traced the above cosplay photo in Adobe Illustrator to get the outlines of the crossbow flares.

Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Crossbow Tracing

I then broke the traced pieces apart and sized them correctly to fit my bow, and printed them out to be transferred to my foam sheets.

Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Crossbow Tracing Pieces

This is still a work in progress, so I’ll post another update when I get to cutting and painting the foam pieces.

See Part 2

Comments Off on Enhancing My Demon Hunter CrossBow Part 1 | Posted in Art & Design, Cosplay, Games, Geekery | Tagged , , , |

The Demon Hunter Arrives at Fan Expo Vancouver!

Vancouver’s first comic con, Fan Expo Vancouver was held this weekend and it was my opportunity to try out my Diablo 3 Demon Hunter cosplay. The super talented Miko Styles duo crafted this amazing get-up for me and I rocked it out at Fan Expo to many “Cool costume” comments.

This was my dry run of the outfit, as there are still plenty of little details that are to be added including custom boots which I am very excited to be getting! The completed costume will be ready for San Diego Comic Con in July, so you’ll have to tune in then for the finished look.

>> Check out the completed Cosplay at San Diego Comic 2012!

Comments Off on The Demon Hunter Arrives at Fan Expo Vancouver! | Posted in Cosplay, Games, Geekery | Tagged , , , , |

How I remember my grandma

When I was a little girl, maybe 6 or so, ma ma would come to pick me up from school every day. She took care of my brother and I for many years when were kids. And every day after school we would walk hand in hand home. Although she was a tiny lady, at six I was still quite small, so to me she was my big grandma leading me home safely.

I was a pretty odd child, extremely shy. And on most days, I didn’t just walk home, I’d skip home, bounce around and do weird things that kids did. And grandma was always there, watching me, but she never thought me strange. She never asked me why I did the things that I did. She simply watched me watching, as if trying to see what I saw. And every day, while I bounced home and she watched, she’d tell me, “Mun, you have sharp eyes, just like your mom. Mun is very smart! Hands fast, feet fast, you’re capable of anything!”. And she would say it day after day after day. 25 years later, she’s still telling me the same thing.

I never understood why she told me these things. Though now I realize, even as a little kid, she saw something in me that nobody else did. While I was a skinny little kid with a weak humour, a delicate personality, and a shy exterior, and where few thought I was very smart, she saw something stronger in me. She saw goodness where others could not. I think she was the first to believe in me before anybody else did. And I guess, she wanted to remind me every day of who I was, and what I was capable of.

As a kid, I also remember her looking me up and down all the time. She would start at the top of your head and scan you from top to bottom. I thought back then, it was because she was inspecting me because I was funny looking. 30 years later, she’d still look me up and down each time she saw me (only now she’d be looking higher up) and I realize this was her way of taking you in, remembering your face, your stance, the clothes you wore, accessing your well being. I think this was her way of seeing into you. Picking up on the finest details and comparing them in her mind from the last time she saw you – how you have changed, or stayed the same.  From this, you could tell the intensity of her love for you by the way she looked at you, and memorized you, like taking a mental picture, so to speak.

I think these were some of the things that made her so beautiful. She had an incredibly sensitive heart, so she was always aware of the people around her. But most of all, she had the ability to see the qualities of you that make you, you. She always saw goodness in you – always. Of course, she saw your weaknesses too, but she always encouraged you to be your best because your goodness was what mattered to her, not your faults, not your mistakes.

She was also the kindest most gentle person I knew. And so she always told us to be kind to each other, to not fight, or get angry, to be patient and thoughtful. She cared about how you got along with each other. She cared about the relationships you had. So she’d always ask, how is Ryan, how is your mom, how are your in-laws, how are you? And she genuinely understood what really mattered in life. Not superficial things like money or status, not necessarily physical beauty either, but that delicate yet intrinsically difficult task of being well.

She told my aunt May (Goo Mah) recently that your brothers and sisters are important because they grow up with you, but it is your spouse, your husband or wife or partner who will spend the rest of your life with you. So be good to each other, she said. Listen when you can.

And I think about all the things she’s said and realize that what she wanted for her family was to be well, in every part of life, whether it be making sure to eat vegetables and getting a balanced diet, or wearing enough clothes, but particularly in the matters of the heart.

So when I think about her, I see a small yet infinitely graceful woman, who loved us gently yet with devotion. I see her walking in her blue spring jacket and hat, and I remember her warm and happy voice telling me every day of who I am and what I am capable of. And I reminded of all the goodness that she was and all the goodness that she had given me.  Because without her, I think I would have been a much harder person. And for that, I am so grateful for having had her.

Bye bye ma ma. I will miss you.

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Bell responds to my illegitimate iPhone

This morning, I received a call from the executive office at Bell Mobility. The representative first apologized for the mishap with my phone and expressed their regret for the way that the situation was handled.

[See Original Story: Is Your Bell Phone Legitimate?]

She explained to me that the illegitimate phone that I received was likely a returned phone. She believes that the person who returned it likely switched the body with this illegitimate phone. This returned phone was then re-circulated into Bell’s system and resold as a new phone.

I was told that at Bell, a new phone can be returned within 15 days of purchase with no more than 14 minutes of use. These phones are still considered “new” and are re-sold as “new” phones.

As pertaining to the “BLK-UNLK” description on my Proof of Purchase, the representative told me that it is a standard description for all new iPhones. All iPhones delivered from Apple to carriers are unlocked. Carriers then “brick” the phone to their carrier, or “lock” the phone to a particular carrier. So all iPhones have this “UNLK” description on the receipt, but are in fact “locked” before being sold to customers.

In terms of delivery of the phone, I was told that according to the information they had, my phone was delivered straight from Bell’s warehouses in Mississauga, ON to me in BC. So it was unlikely, she explains that the phone would have been tampered with during delivery.

In response to this, Bell Mobility is delivering me a new 16GB iPhone 4, which is the product I was promised. They have also upped my data, and offered me 100 additional minutes free.

I have re-iterated to Bell that they must take more stringent security measures to prevent such phones from ever being circulated in their system.

At this point, I am glad that Bell’s executive office has personally addressed this issue with me and has clarified how I came to be sold this phone.

As for consumers out there, I urge you to be aware of the phone you’re receiving. There really is no way for you to know if you have an illegitimate phone, but if you see finger prints or anything out of the ordinary with your phone at purchase, then take it up with the carrier immediately. All phones delivered to you should be sealed in a plastic wrap. iPhones should have protective covers on the phone, and should have no visible print marks.

This has been a stressful situation for me, though I hope that my experience will assist consumers, and more importantly, Bell in recognizing insecurities in their operations, and improving their processes so that this never happens to anyone else again.

[See TechVibes’ Coverage of this story]

4 Encryptions | Posted in Advocacy, Education, Personal | Tagged , , , |

Is Your Bell Phone Legitimate?

[See Bell’s Response: Bell responds to my illegitimate phone]

Do you actually know what you’re getting when you purchase a phone with Bell? Think again. What I believed to be a legitimate, new iPhone 4 turned out to be a tampered with illegitimate phone.

About 9 months ago in May 2011, I purchased a contract and iPhone with Bell Mobility. It was couriered to me within days of purchase. When I opened the box, I found an odd finger print underneath the plastic screen protector on the glass of the screen. At the time, I waived this off as nothing, though as the situation has transpired, I have come to believe this print mark is more important that I first believed. But let me continue… yesterday afternoon the phone failed and refused to boot up. Knowing that my warranty with Apple expired in May 2012, I decided to bring my phone into an Apple store to have it looked at.

The Apple technician did some diagnostics on the phone and opened up the phone to inspect it. What he found would lead to the most unusual fraud I have ever encountered. After inspecting the phone, he told me that the phone appeared to have 2 serial numbers, one on the SIM tray which corresponds to the original box of the iPhone, and another serial number on the body of the phone that did not correspond with the tray or the box.

Further, the phone appeared to have been opened and tampered with, as stickers on the internal elements of the phone were moved. My Apple warranty was void because my phone was tampered with and had 2 unusual non-matching serial numbers. He suggested I contact Bell for assistance.

I immediately contacted Bell customer service to explain my incredible findings. Customer service were insistent that Bell only ships brand new iPhones, though they could not explain why my device had 2 serial numbers on it.

The next day, I decided to do some of my own investigating. I went to a Bell Mobility store to ask them to check both serial numbers to see what accounts they were attached to. The tray serial number which corresponds to the box was registered to me, as on my contract. However, the serial on the body of the phone showed no results. They did not seem to have the body’s serial number in their system.

I then did a search on Apple’s support coverage to check the warranty on the two serial numbers, I found that the serial attached to the tray expired in May 5, 2012, corresponding correctly to the date I purchased my phone on May 5, 2011. Interestingly, the phone body’s serial had a warranty that expires on May 2, 2012, 3 days before the tray serial warranty.

In search of an answer, I called Bell retention and reiterated the situation to them. What they found was that:

A) The serial number on the body of the phone is attached to an UNLOCKED iPhone and that it is not registered to any carrier. It is an unknown, unidentified phone. Which as you may recall explains why my phone’s internal elements looked tampered with, as it was unlocked prior to being shipped out to me.

B) However, my phone number was activated on this UNLOCKED iPhone.

C) And yet, the tray serial number was registered to my account, and was apparently never registered to anyone else.

D) And furthermore, the tray serial number was attached to a supposedly legitimate iPhone 4 that is registered with Bell (but that I do not have in possession). So on paper, it appears I have a legitimate iPhone 4. When in reality, I have an illegitimate phone.

The case at retention was escalated several tiers up the chain of command (apparently the highest ever seen by customer service), as they had never encountered the situation before. Following a long series of escalations, they came back to me and said they could not resolve the issue and has stopped the investigation because they found that the serial number on the body of my phone belonged to an unlocked, unidentified, unknown phone. They however, could not answer how I received an iPhone 4 with 2 serial numbers, one of which belonged to an UNLOCKED phone. They could not explain nor would continue their investigation as to HOW AN ILLEGITIMATE TAMPERED PHONE got into their system and was delivered to their customer posed as a brand new phone.

The last word was that I, the customer, would have to contact the executive office to file a complaint, and that Bell was not able, at this time, to assist me in this matter.

I am left with an illegitimate, probably illegal phone that Bell provided me. Bell has admitted that my phone has 2 serials, yet cannot explain how that is possible, and is not willing to rectify the situation.

Consumers, I ask you now… is your Bell phone legitimate? And how are consumers to trust telecommunications companies that are selling illegitimate products to their customers posing them as new?

Please help me spread the word about Bell and my situation, as I’m left without recourse!

[See TechVibes’ Coverage of my Story]


UPDATED INFORMATION

March 10, 2012
After reviewing my Proof of Purchase slip, I have found a very curious SKU Description. It states I have purchased a “Device, Apple, iPhone, 4, 16GB, Blk-UNLK”. I believe “Blk-UNLK” stands for “Black-Unlocked”. Which of course is true, as I have a black unlocked iPhone. However, that black unlocked iPhone has a different serial number from that which appears on the tray of the phone and my contract. It also is not recognized in Bell’s system. How can this be? What was I sold? And from my understanding Bell nor any carrier is allowed to sell unlocked iPhones. Why was I sold this illegitimate phone?

March 10, 2012, 3pm
I contacted Apple to investigate the origins of my 2 serial numbers. They confirmed that the serial on the tray, does correspond with Bell Mobility and which is associated with my account. However, the serial of the body of the phone is linked to a carrier called, Swisscom, a telecommunications company located in Switzerland.

So someone with the tray of the body serial has registered it to Swisscom in Switzerland. Strange? I think so.

March 10, 2012, 4:31pm
I called Bell customer service to see whether they sell unlocked iPhones. The representative said they do not sell unlocked iPhones. All phones delivered to them from Apple are locked. However for an $80 fee, they can unlock the phone (in the same way a regular consumer would unlock a phone). Further, she stated that the receipt of the purchase would not indicate that the phone was unlocked.

Why then does my proof of purchase seem to indicate that my phone is unlocked? Why was I not charged the $80 unlock fee? It is true that I do possess an unlocked iPhone, which it appears was unlocked by Bell, as stated in my proof of purchase. Though the serial number on my tray indicates that my phone is a brand new iPhone that is not unlocked. How can this be? How does Bell reconcile this discrepancy?

March 12, 2012
Bell has RESOLVED this issue with me. Please see my updated post: Bell responds to my illegitimate phone.

19 Encryptions | Posted in Advocacy, Education, Personal | Tagged , , |

Ringing in the new year under surf and sand…

It seems Ryan and I are making it a tradition to spend our new years with the coastal sands in Tofino. We’ve been venturing out to our favourite retreat the last 2 new years, and this year was as blissful as the last.

Last year, we were lucky to experience a surprisingly mild, sunny, precipitation free week where we rang in the new year amidst the stars and surfs. This year, we got the full storm experience, complete with rain storms, hail storms, and wind storms. Luckily we were spared a snow storm (phew!). It was splendid relaxing at our own little cabin on North Chesterman beach. On the few days where the rain broke, we ventured out and came back with these visual tokens, albeit a very poor representation of the vast and seemingly endless beauty that lies at the edge of the earth, in a little rainforest town called Tofino.

Enjoy.

View more photos here

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Remembrance Day

On Remembrance Day, I reflect on what it means to remember those who have fallen in war and peace. I am reminded that war is waged even in so called peaceful times where death, suffering, and injustice are inflicted on people outside of battlefields and war torn zones. Sometimes the biggest injustices are inflicted without weapons, but with rules, treaties, and laws.

No policy, dogma, or government can bring back a fallen soldier, or a victim of war. But every policy and belief system shapes the evolution of peace and conflict. Remembrance Day is a solemn reminder that our struggle for peace rests not on whether our armies are strong enough, or our national security robust enough, but on how we build a world that values human life over economic gain, political dominance, and cultural hegemony, both locally and globally.

We are at a time in our lives where our financial world is collapsing, where the political spheres are polarizing ever more, and where even the richest nations of the world are tripping over their own heels. The social safety blanket we have been so warmly coddled under is beginning to recede as wars of class, religion, politics, environment, economics, and culture collide.

We continue to march towards wars with rifles and tanks in the name of peace, in the name of freedom. But the greater war that we fight today is not in the battlefields we so elaborately orchestrate, but in those that rule our daily lives.

I know the motto goes, “Lest we forget”, but I don’t think that really even matters anymore. I believe we remember very well, we simply don’t care anymore. Perhaps complacency is our biggest threat.

So today, I want to remember those who have fallen on the battlefields as an outcome of the “peaceful” wars we wage everyday in the choices and non-choices we make.

Buy less, read more, vote, tend a garden, walk, be thoughtful in your actions and demand more from your community. This is not the full list… but it is a start.

Remember, reflect, and do.

By three methods we may learn wisdom;
first, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by imitation, which is easiest;
third, by experience, which is the bitterest;
– Confucius

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BlizzCon 2011: Achievement Unlocked!

BlizzCon

My first BlizzCon adventure has been conquered and unlocked! Sadly though, this also means Vanessa’s Geektastic Adventure has also come to an end. The year’s trifecta of geek cons including San Diego Comic Con, PAX Prime and BlizzCon is now complete. I definitely have enough geektastic memories to last me at least until next year’s Comic Con. So without further ado, onto the highlights!

BlizzCon is perhaps the nerdiest of the three cons I’ve attended this year. And by nerdiest I mean, it’s dominated by the most hardcore of geek gaming culture you’ll likely ever encounter. This generally translates into more sweaty boys in black t-shirts than you’ll ever experience in one place at one time (26,000+ of them!). However, you’ll also find amongst this nerd herd, the most passionate and best gamers in the world.

Opening Ceremonies

We started the day with BlizzCon’s opening ceremonies. As expected, Blizzard’s high quality productions go beyond games.  BlizzCon is also the most high production of the conventions I’ve been to this year, full with tons of stage lighting, sets, smoke machines, props, celebrities, and of course, live casting.


More Photos @ Flickr

Our group of 7 staked out a spot in the main hall bright and early to hear the latest announcements from Blizzard including some very exciting releases for World of Warcraft and Diablo 3 (read on to learn more).

Felica Day & MeUnfortunately, while I decided to sneak off to get a temporary tattoo before the opening, I ended up losing my spot back in the Main Hall. Though, not all was lost. While waiting in line, Ms. Felicia Day walked by and I quickly snuck in for a photo. Cheese! It’s me and Felicia Day, star, writer, and producer of The Guild! How cool is that?

I watched the remaining Opening Ceremonies on the many projectors and TVs throughout the convention. The biggest announcements for me is the introduction of the Pandarens and the new Monk class in World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Mists of Pandaria! Not only are we going to get a new cute and cuddly race to play, but the Pandarens will also come with a gorgeous Asian inspired world called Pandaria with new quests and dungeons! I got in to play a short demo of the Panderans, and boy is it pretty! This expansion may well bring me back to the game. Let’s just say both me and the girl in front of me in line were squealing in delight when we heard the words “Panda” come out of Mike Morhaime’s mouth. Wow.

Next big news for Diablo fans, is that Diablo 3 is slated to come out early next year. No official date yet though it looks like it’ll be Spring 2012. And for those who already play WOW, you’ll be happy to hear that with a 1 year subscription to WOW, you’ll be receiving Diablo 3 for free! Pretty sweet, no?

Game Demos

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

I got in on the new World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria 15 minute demo. The demo only featured the male Pandaren, though I’m very interested to see what the female Pandarans will look like. Nonetheless, the Pandaren are a very cute, furry race of ninja skilled bears. The Pandaria world is beautifully crafted, with gorgeous asian temples, lush green scenery and mystical creatures at every turn. The world is so unique, that at moments it almost felt like I was playing a wholly different game. The world looks like nothing we’ve ever encountered in WOW thus far. And having played WOW for years, Pandaria is definitely a fresh take on a game that sometimes feels rather repetitive.

Spaces in Pandaria definitely feel tighter and more concise. Though, I found the questing still feels a bit lacking. It’s always been a pet peeve of mine in WOW. The questing always felt a little chaotic, moving you around the map without clear direction or goal in the overall adventuring scheme. But of course, a 15 minute demo is definitely not enough to gauge the overall experience.

The new Monk class is an interesting melee class. Unfortunately, the 15 minute demo really did not allow you to experience what the Monk is all about. It appears it’s a lot of punching, swiping, rolling, and such skills. I’m not sure what kind of weaponry the Monk will wield, but it is definitely a martial arts type combat and you do feel like you’re a pretty fierce ninja when you’re running around punching monsters right and left.

Diablo 3: PVP

This was my first taste of Diablo 3’s new PVP game, and first impressions were impressive. I left the 15 minute demo wanting more.

Diablo 3 Open Gaming AreaMore Photos @ Flickr

The demo was basically a 4 vs 4 death match. You get 15 minutes on the clock to kill your opponents. The team with the most kills wins the game. I played the Witch Doctor and the Demon Hunter for two matches and found the game challenging and very addictive. PVP combat is extremely fast paced with instant re-spawns. The Witch Doctor didn’t seem to fair too well when I played her, but the Demon Hunter was definitely a competitive and fun class to play in PVP. She had enough quick shots, traps and vanish skills to be fairly survivable yet lethal. The Barbarian though, was definitely the class that seemed to overpower and outdo most of the other classes. But it seems the key to success for the game is to gang up on players. 1 on 1 fights just didn’t seem very even at this point.

Overall, Diablo 3’s PVP is extremely fun, and I’m looking forward to its release soon! I do hope though that Blizzard adds more PVP maps and objective based games. Death matches are fun, but they can get stale quickly. I’d like to see perhaps a King of the Hill or Capture the Flag maps added in the release.

Tournaments

Starcraft Tournaments

BlizzCon GSL FinalsMore Photos @ Flickr

Who would of thought I’d become such a big fan of Starcraft tournaments? Well, turns out, professional Starcraft tournaments are extremely exciting to watch! For the first time ever, BlizzCon hosted the primarily Korean GSL (Global Starcraft League) final tournaments in the US. The two finalists, IMMVP and Slayers_MMA duked it out in a supremely exciting 7 game tournament for a huge $100,000 prize. I’d predict, almost 20,000+ attendees were watching the finals live with many hundreds of thousands more in Korea and worldwide tuning in as well.

BlizzCon GSL Tournament CrowdMore Photos @ Flickr

For those unfamiliar with pro gaming (as was I), there are gamers who dedicate their life to gaming, with a major contingent in Korea where e-sports and professional gaming is massively popular. IMMVP and Slayers_MMA are two of the world’s best Starcraft players. Witnessing their duel is spectacular to say the least. Having never played Starcraft, the pro casters, Artosis and Tasteless, quickly had me following along in the most epic RTS battle to date. And unlike “good gamers” or even “great gamers” out there, the GSL competitors are “Pro Gamers”. They make their living playing Starcraft at the highest level, and are sponsored by an official league, much like any other sport out there. And when you watch these guys play, there is really only respect for their excellence.

MVP is regarded as the best Terran player in the world with three GSL wins under his belt, while MMA is a relatively new face to the GSL, and is regarded as the underdog of the tournament. But MMA’s spectacularly varied game play and often risky maneuvers ultimately defeated MVP’s impeccable methodical style, winning the coveted title of GSL Champion 4-1. The excitement and enthusiasm of the fans that night, coupled with some insanely entertaining Starcraft games, made me a true Starcraft viewer fan. Major props!

After MVP’s loss, he made a huge comeback in the MLG (Major League Gaming) finals against his teammate NesTea. MVP’s Terran vs. NesTea’s Zerg made for an awesome game. NesTea, regarded as the world’s best Zerg player however could not defeat MVP’s immaculate Terran long game.

The GSL and MLG tournaments were truly the highlight of BlizzCon.

World of Warcraft 3 vs 3 Arenas

BlizzCon’s WOW tournies are probably the biggest arenas competition for World of Warcraft in the world, so the competition is wildly competitive and the winning spot is extremely coveted.  Only the best and the brightest around the world are invited to BlizzCon’s WOW arena tournament, with only one team taking the $50,000 prize.

BlizzCon World of Warcraft Arenas Tournament
More Photos @ Flickr

We caught two games, with the last featuring a North American Team vs. a European team (sorry, forgot their names). Although WOW arenas are fiercely competitive and extremely difficult, it’s not the best spectator e-sport out there. The casters do a fantastic job at describing the action, but the combat is so fast and frenzied that most viewers are unable to follow along. The best we can do is to watch the health bars jump up and down, and ooh and aah when the healer miraculously revives his teammate from what appears is certain death.

Nonetheless, the arena tournaments are exciting enough and I have nothing but respect for the teams who make it that far. I am fairly certain I wouldn’t last 10 seconds in an arena with any of the players competing that day.

Cosplay

One of the highlights of geeks cons are always the cosplay. But BlizzCon is the mecca of cosplay. It’s where the heavyweights go to shake their cosplay stuff. In sheer numbers, Comic Con outdid BlizzCon, but in quality and skill, BlizzCon cosplayers win hands down. BlizzCon cosplayers go all out on costumes. If you can imagine it, someone will come as it.

The winning costume though is simply genius. First time ever, Starcraft’s Adjutant in cosplay. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

More BlizzCon Photos @ Flickr

More Photos @ Flickr

Final Thoughts

BlizzCon was intense. It’s 12 hours straight of gaming, talks, and tournaments each day. I didn’t go outside for two days straight. I even lost track of time. But it was epic, and that’s what I expected out of Blizzard. Everything Blizzard does is epic. BlizzCon is aptly so too. And at the end of my Geektastic adventure, I can wholeheartedly say that I am fully and utterly geeked out.

Until next year friends…

Comments Off on BlizzCon 2011: Achievement Unlocked! | Posted in Games, Geekery, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , |

Vanessa’s Geektastic Adventure: The Final Leg

The final leg of my geektastic adventure is now in full view. In a little over 72 hours, I’ll be on my way to Anaheim for my first BlizzCon! For those unfamiliar, BlizzCon is Blizzard Entertainment‘s very own conference showcasing their three largest titles, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo, all global blockbusters of mega proportions.

As some may know, I was an avid player of World of Warcraft back in the hay days. In fact, WOW was the gateway game for me into MMORPG’s and video games in a broader sense. It introduced me to the immersive and impressive experience of games and ultimately the catalyst that sparked my love for PVP. Who knew I was so blood thirsty for player versus player action? I didn’t… until WOW.

Since my retirement from WOW, I’ve played several other MMO’s, though WOW still holds a very special part of my gaming heart and gaming point of reference. However, I am most excited to see the latest developments in Diablo 3. I had the privilege of playing the friends and family beta of the game a few weeks back and it is indeed as good as its been hyped to be (Read my review here). So it’ll be very exciting to see what else is in store for Diablo. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for full beta keys in the swag bags?! Please Blizz, pretty please?

And to close out the con, I’ve just learned that the Foo Fighters will be playing live on Saturday night. What better way to end a year of Geek cons, than with the Foo Fighters?

Well, there’s also Disneyland and Universal Studios, which Ryan and I will be hitting up as well while we’re down in SoCal. Cannot wait!

So the countdown to the last leg of my horrendously awesome, geektastic year of cons begins now…

Comments Off on Vanessa’s Geektastic Adventure: The Final Leg | Posted in Games, Geekery, Personal | Tagged , , , , |

This is a love letter

Every Monday morning, I lie in bed thinking about how the week has begun again – groan I say. And I lie there, eyes closed, wishing to imagine it away. Monday did not go away. Nor did I. Imagination is mental suicide. Though apparently I am very bad at killing myself.

This is not a love letter, Vanessa!

I promise you, it is.

On Saturday, I went to Dim Sum with my husband and a friend. A much larger crowd than normal filled the room, and men with white faces painted with decorative hair dressing marched around the tables, false lashes fluttering about. I smiled. This was Saturday morning and a bearded man in heels with a sparkling veil just glided past me. My rhythm skips a beat. It was Saturday morning.

I putter about, waiting in line, when someone taps me on the shoulder. “Hi!” he grins. It is a friend. I hug him and smile back in delight. It was Saturday morning. I was standing in line while a bearded lipstick puckering man in heels passes me and a friend crops up in surprise.

Our table arrives just in time, as my husband and friend follow suit behind. The hostess recognizes us and hands us an English menu because she knows us by face. Husband, friend and I talk about games and movies, and happenings. We hadn’t seen our friend for over a year, but it feels like yesterday. We haven’t changed that much, yet he smiles more gently now, it appears.

In the afternoon, I decide to tend to my yard. I own a house with a gigantic leafy green tree that has probably been there since the early 30’s. Each year, it drops its leaves right about this time, and my husband and I go and collect it in bundles.

I rake the leaves, my husband gathers it. We gathered thousands of leaves, it appears. I look up at the old gnarly tree and see that this is only the beginning. There will be more to collect next week. Surely, the next week after too. I think to myself, “There will always be more”.

In the evening, we decide to get take out from our neighborhood burger joint. It’s been there since I’ve been a kid, but I never liked their burgers as a kid. I’m 29 now and I love them. I get a root beer too. It’s Saturday evening, and I’m feeling like I deserve it. The burger is perfect. The coleslaw has too much mayo, but I eat around it. Everything feels familiar.

It’s late. There’s only blackness outside, aside from the twinkling street lamps that feel sleepy themselves. I close the blinds inside, so that you cannot see me outside. I shut the light off, and close the doors behind.

I slip under the covers and wrap myself up snuggly and reach over with my feet. Yours are always there. Warmer. It is Saturday evening. I close my eyes, but I do not imagine. I recall the day instead.

It is Saturday morning…

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