The Last Of Us (and my ability to sleep through the night)

"Play"

About a year and a half ago, when I was still just a volunteer where I currently work, I walked by some of my now-coworkers and overheard them talking about a game. I interrupted and joined their conversation because they were throwing around phrases like: “best game I’ve ever played” and “I just couldn’t believe it, I’ve never played a game like this one before.”

I started asking a few questions, and shortly, I was back inside the edit suite I was assigned to that day, planning on editing an episode of The Huddle, and instead… I watched the first 30 minutes or so of this game.

The Last of Us.

I had never wanted to play a game as badly as I wanted to play this one. I was so excited to head out to the store and pick up my very own copy until I saw the words any XBOX gamer dreads: PlayStation exclusive.

So, last week it was my birthday. Moments after we woke up, Foatographer placed my gift in my lap (seriously, this was at 7:32am – I was still in bed and under the covers). I had NO IDEA that the gift placed on my lap was the game I so desperately wanted – and a platform to play it on. And now, I have a PS4 sitting next to my XBOX 360, and they look pretty good side-by-side, if I do say so myself.

Regardless, this isn’t a post about PlayStation vs. XBOX. This is about the fact that this game is SO GOOD, OMG. I can’t even, it’s just, I don’t. That good. This is a game about the zombie apocalypse, so it is unsurprisingly terrifying. But the story is so good. The characters are interesting and funny and nuanced. The gameplay is phenomenal. And the game art… this is easily the prettiest game I’ve ever played. And keep in mind, this is a game set in a universe where the zombies have pretty much taken over. There is shit and blood and garbage and refuse and destruction and sewage and yet, it is still, hands down, the prettiest – and at time stunningly beautiful – game I have ever played.

Sure, I have to take breaks from the gameplay because I get so freaked out. Yeah, I scream a lot. I’ve even cried once or twice. But I cannot put the controller down for too long because I have to know what is going on with Ellie and Joel. So even though I find this game really scary, I keep going back to it – something that isn’t true for other horror games like Dead Space.

How scary is too scary for you? What are your hard limits when it comes to gaming and are there any exceptions to the rule?

From a different perspective

I started doing a photo-a-day challenge with some of my lady friends from work. I’ve really been enjoying forcing myself to be creative (and isn’t it telling that I started blogging again three days after starting the challenge?). Every once in a while, when I think the picture merits it, I’ll share them here.

Foatographer was with me when I was taking the pictures, and he gave me a few pointers here and there that definitely took the picture from “ok” to “substantially better.”

If you’d like to follow along with our photo-a-day challenge, our Instagram hashtag is #rjcdaily.

Cream in my coffee

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Somewhere around 2.5 years ago, I started drinking my coffee with cream. I didn’t start drinking coffee with cream, and I managed to go 15 years without adding cream to my coffee, so I’m still a bit befuddled at how my cream addiction came to be.

Let’s be honest here. 100 calories of delicious, creamy goodness in my coffee isn’t the biggest caloric footprint. Excluding it from my diet won’t suddenly cause me to lose all the weight I’ve put on. But I’ve struggled so much with weight and being active over the last few years, I’m trying to remember what were the little things I did in my day-to-day that contributed to a healthier lifestyle.

Black coffee was the first thing that came to mind, and conveniently, the cream went bad this weekend. So. Starting now, I’m a black coffee kind of girl again. Let’s see how this goes.

Blogovations!

Over the next few weeks, this blog will be going through a bit of a renovation of sorts as I figure out the posting schedule and topics that suit my lifestyle right now. I plan on breaking down the blog into the five important areas of my life right now.

  • Health, fitness, food and my relationship with them – recently, in a work email, a supervisor from another region mentioned my size in an email to a co-worker and my boss. I’ve been struggling with my relationship with food over the last few years, as well as my motivation to do much of anything other than sit on the couch and play video games. And don’t get me wrong – I love video games – but I’m getting less and less happy with my level of activity, my relationship with food and its subsequent impact on my mental state and level of comfort with my body. I was horrified when I saw my size – oh, no, NOT AN XL!!! – in the email, and it was that moment that I knew: I have to make my health and what I put into my body a priority, or I’m just going to continue down this dangerous path of self-loathing.
  • Video games – I love, love, love them. Originally, I’d tried to blog over at 13exbox.wordpress.com, but I hardly updated over there either, so might as well bring it all in to the same spot. I’ve been playing video games with some degree of regularity for about three years now, and I love what they have to offer – amazing stories, entertainment, art, action, drama, design… so much more.
  • Outfits of the day – gotta stay true to me and who I am! Time to get back to chronicling what I wear. It inspires me to be creative in what I wear every day, and the more creativity I foster in my life, the better I feel about myself 100% of the time. I’ve been paring down my wardrobe consistently since August, and I’m feeling really good about the clothing that’s made the cut.
  • Work and life and stuff and things – I started blogging by having a lifestyle, personal blog, and it is nice to have a place to document the day-to-day elements of my life. I have a really interesting job, and I’d like to be documenting what I do so I can look back and capture those feelings. I’m quickly approaching my one year mark in broadcasting, and I will be involved in the same projects for the second year in a row. I wish I’d documented my feelings the first time around, just so that I could check-in and see how far I’ve come!
  • Photography – I’m still just firmly in the amateur pool of taking pictures, but currently have a photo a day challenge going on with some lady friends from work, and want a place to document the process for how I got to the pictures I’ve taken.

I doubt many people (other than my mom) will be interested in everything I’ll be posting about, hence the blog renos. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m excited to get back to being a blogger again.

Where have I been for so long? I’m sure that will come out in various posts over the next few months. Kind of too big a topic to tackle in one “hey, I’m back” post. But, hey – I’m back.

My favorite way to wear a scarf on my head

Everyone has those days. Those days where you don’t get around to washing your hair… and you can tell that you haven’t washed your hair. This was one of those days, so I turned to my best friend on days like these… No, not being a hermit for the day – a headscarf.

IMG_2438 IMG_2442Scarf: Shoulder (Brasil); Glasses: Clearly Contacts; Blouse: RW&Co; Jeans: Old Navy; Shoes: Arezzo (Brasil).

Photos by FOATography.

Stripes under wraps (a backyard wedding outfit).

Went to a wedding with Aarron recently. It was a backyard wedding in a small town, and the dress code was casual. So… this is how I dressed for casual backyard small town wedding.

Also? It has been forever since I rocked a side-pony, but pinning it in place was like coming home again. For hair.

IMG_2578 IMG_2584 IMG_2589 IMG_2635Earrings: Christmas Gift; Blue scarf and striped dress: Old Navy; Black Wrap: lululemon; Sandals: Wish Shoes.

Photos by Aarron!