Vacation

Two weeks of freedom?

As I sit down to write this blogpost I’ve had a really long tiresome day. Having barely slept last night I could only think of my bed when I was at work but now that I’m home, and it’s actually time to sleep, my head is a bit too filled with random thoughts to really settle down and snooze. So instead I’m just going to write down what’s going on inside this messy brain of mine today and see if that will help me clear it.

We have a midyear evaluation at work and I had mine today. I tend to get the same comments every evaluation: you’re not professional enough and you lack some communication skills. So far I’ve taken the criticisms as they come but there has never really been a follow up to them. I tend to get told that I’m a bit blunt which may come across as me being bitchy at times but I don’t really see it that way myself. It may come with the fact that the moment I step foot into the office people start asking me questions within two minutes of me sitting down. I get a bit annoyed by that sometimes because I really would like the first ten to fifteen minutes of my work day for myself to make a planning, look at what kind of mails I have and just settle down before the questions are fired. I’m already not a morning person by any means so stuff like this just tends to get me irritable, which I then show in my answers to people. It’s not something that is completely concious but it happens nonetheless.
My manager has offered me to work with me on my professionalism and my communication skills and I’ll gladly take any chance to grow as a person at work. I’m just seriously curious what exactly I should do to make strides and grow, but I guess I’ll see in a few weeks when we have our first “session”.

In other news my dad and his girlfriend departed for Spain this afternoon to enjoy a two week holiday over there, leaving me alone in the house untill the 28th. I have to say that I’m kind of happy to have this time to myself because I was getting irritated a lot by them lately and I just really needed some space. I do hope that I can use the coming two weeks to start getting into the habit of going to the gym again. My weight has been bothering me for a very long time now and now that I’m able, for two weeks atleast, to spend my time the way I want to I kind of want to use to start setting up a gym routine again. Working out is healthy and even though the first few weeks tend to be tough I also know that it gives me energy and stamina, which translates into a better mood overall for myself. I may use the topic of gyms and workouts for my blogposts the coming weeks but that is yet to be seen.
For now though I want to reserve some time on the weekends, probably in the morning, and weekdays after work to go to the gym for 30 mins – one hour. I realise that I have to start from scratch again but that’s okay. I’m not setting the bar extremely high for myself. I just want to make sure that I’m going again and build a steady rythm of getting myself to go before actually pushing hard for weight loss goals.

Tied into the whole gym thing I also want to cook healthy for myself these two weeks. I have one pizza in the freezer for emergencies but as far as I’m concerned I want to cook myself healthy meals every day if I can. This probably means a lot of rice and veggies since that is what I enjoy. I’m also stocking up on stuff like yoghurt and fruit so I can take that as a snack during the evening/weekends instead of candy or crisps and I want to make sure I’m taking fruit with me to work every day. I have a new backpack incoming and an insulated lunch bag which means I could cut myself some fruit in the evening and put it in a plastic container in the fridge so that it can go into the insulated bag in the morning, keeping it more cool and fresh than it would be otherwise. I could also try to do something with the yoghurt that way but for now I’m a bit hesitant because it’s dairy and already kind of sour so I don’t really want to take it with me where it’s not properly cooled, because I probably can’t taste if it’s gone “sour” that way.

As far as games are concerned I  want to cut back on time on those and spend that time on my gym stuff and some other hobbies instead. I am probably going to tackle Trine 2 with a friend and I will still be playing WoW probably on a daily basis but that will probably be it. During the weekends I will have a bit more time to do some more and branch out to other games like FFXIV or a single player game of my choosing but for the week nights it’ll be WoW exclusive.
I want to get back to reading my book and tackling an embroidery kit that I’ve started a few years ago but never finished. I also really want to build one of the Toy-Cons from the Nintendo Labo kit I scored for cheap a while back, probably the motorcycle one since I can use that with Mario Kart for fun and giggles. I will make pictures during my building process to post for my blog so definitely stay tuned for that!

At the end of the day though my plans for the coming two weeks are hopefully a foundation for a change that is more lasting. I want to step away from constantly gaming and work on my health. I also want to pick up some of my old hobbies and make myself less reliant on my PC/PS4/Switch for enjoyment or relaxation. The biggest thing is that I want to start having a more structured life where I am more calm and capable of getting things done. As for right now I feel like I’ve gotten off my chest what has been going on in my head, which means I can close down the house and get ready for a good night’s sleep.

Cleaning House

I’m sitting here staring at my blog, wondering what to write. It’s been a while and even though I have a lot of things to discuss I’m not sure where to really start.
Maybe I’ll start with telling you guys that I just came back from a wonderful 8 day trip to Mallorca. I’ve been needing a vacation for quite some time now and flying off to the sun for a full week was something I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I managed to get some relaxation time in and tanned a little bit. I’m really white skinned so getting any sort of tan takes me a while, especially having to prevent turning lobster red instead. I’ve done a lot of things, visited a water park, aquarium and midget golf, but mostly I took the time to destress and relax away from home.
I had my 3DS with me and I managed to finally sit down and play a few games that I’ve been meaning to. I’m about 4.5 hours into Bravely Default now, playing through Chapter 1. I never got past the intro first so it’s a milestone! I also spent about 5.5 hours total playing Ever Oasis and I’ve fallen in love with that game. The combination of having to maintain a town and also dungeoning is quite refreshing and the whole atmosphere of the game is insanely cute. I might dedicate a post to it later.

Next to going on vacation I’ve been using my free time to work through the mess that is my room and the attic. My room is more or less empty right now and I’ve thrown away about 3 trash bags worth of stuff from the attic. I’ve also been giving away a lot of my old children’s books which frees up even more room. During my cleaning I’ve stumbled across my old Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in the US) and all of its’ games and the two nintendo mini classics you see on the picture at the start of my post. I’m fully intending to put batteries in atleast one of these and hang it on my bag to play. I remember having a very good time as a 9 year old with these games and I’m sure if they still work they’re still a blast to play. The silver one is Super Mario Bros. and the green one is Donkey Kong jr. It made me insanely happy to find these because well, I like my game collection and these two were “missing” for quite a while.
It feels nice to get rid of things. I’ve never been a hoarder, but a lot of my stuff got chucked up on the attic out of habit. It was and still is quite full with tons of things that I need to sift through, but for now I’m happy with my progress and I will continue a later time. Ideally I want the shelves that now hold old toys and books to be reserved for my older gaming gear, mostly so I know where it is and it’s easy to pick up whenever I would want to play it.

Speaking of games…
Ofcourse I have played the shit out of Stormblood. My Ninja is currently sitting on level 70 with a full Lakshmi Ex kitted right side and waiting on her Susano ex weapon. I am going to do Omega Normal tonight with my Free Company, something I’m quite looking forward to aswell. Leveling a DPS hasn’t been the easiest this expansion, mostly due to insane queue times. I think the longest I’ve had so far has been an hour. And that’s not even counting the queue times to get on the server itself. I really enjoyed the Stormblood story, especially the Doman part. My Ninja plays really nicely if we forget about Ten-Chi-Jin for a minute and my static will be starting up Savage raiding soon. I’ve really enjoyed Lakshmi ex aswell, although the Bollywood music tends to get kind of annoying after two straight hours of it.
As far as the new classes go I’ve mostly been exploring Red Mage. The playstyle is very refreshing and fast once you get the hang of it and I’m pretty sure I’ll level it up fast after Bard and Warrior. Samurai right now just feels very complicated. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it once I start playing properly but for now I’m leaving the class alone. Bard is a different story. I really like that they removed the casttimes and what they did with the songs. It’s my second favourite class after Ninja and I’m slowly leveling it up, being stuck at 63 right now.

I’ve also been grinding out my crafters, kicking my miner up to level 50. I notice that the game as a whole is taking up a lot of my time so I might take a bit of a step back, map out what I want to do exactly and invest a bit less time. There’s a lot of other things that need my attention right now so I want the time that I do put into FFXIV to be useful, be it through leveling another class, working on my gatherers or getting my Ninja in the best gear. I may actually make a “roadmap for Stormblood” in which I put weekly, monthly and yearly goals. I know it sounds like quite the project but it’s something I’ve been thinking about longer and I may actually just go forward with it.
Ofcourse I’ll share this on the blog aswell, hopefully somewhere the next week.

All in all the vacation time has done me good. I’m more relaxed and focused and ready to take on everything again. I hope this also means I can get a bit more structured with my routines and include blogging more again. For now though I will have to finish here and head to bed… Seeing as I’m more tired from the vacation than when I flew off to go there!

Sun, Games and Planning

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It’s always a sad moment when you find yourself sitting in your room, typing up a blog post when only two days ago you were still enjoying the amazing sun in Lisbon, Portugal. I really wanted to go down to southern Europe for a vacation or citytrip this year. Here in the Netherlands the sun is scarce and temperatures are often cold. We don’t really have a summer to speak of, not in the way southern Europe has so I never really get a chance to tan or enjoy the weather here. So way back in March I decided I wanted to go on a citytrip to Lisbon, dragged a friend along, and there we were.
I have to say it’s a seriously amazing city. The weather was great, even though we had clouds on our second day, the food was good and cheap and the people were nice and all spoke English very well, something a few other countries can learn from *stares at France*. The climate alone has me wanting to go back to Portugal for atleast a proper vacation. It’s a beautiful country and I really want to explore more of it, but that will be something for in the future. Now real life has started back up again and I’m only 4 days off going back to work.

Super Mario Time
I took my 3DS with me to Portugal and managed to get a lot of time to play New Super Mario Bros. 2. As you all may remember, or maybe not, one of my goals for this year was to finish that game since it’s one of the first games I bought with my original 3DS and I never really finished it. So 3 hours back and forth on an airplane would be an ideal time to atleast work through some of the levels… And I have! When I started out a few days ago I was still sitting at the first level of world two, now I’m halfway through world four! Which means I only have two worlds left to complete after this.
I’m not running a perfect game, when the big coins you get in every level are too hard to reach I just skip them, but I do try to obtain them wherever I can. Then there’s the issue of seeing hidden levels and not really knowing how to get there, not even to mention the two complete worlds that you need to access via a special way. I will look up how to get there eventually, but for now I just want to aim to defeat the last boss… And then go back to unlock additional stuff.
Next to Super Mario I’ve also spent a lot of time playing FFXIV. I have unlocked all the patch 3.3 content there is on my Moogle character next to being on time to finish the Golden Saucer event on both my characters. I also dinged my MCH level 50, so I’m quite a way in when it comes to my gaming goals for this month! I even switched over to Monk now and she is sitting at level 42. I hope I can push that to 50 aswell before the end of the month.
All in all my gaming comes along really nicely. Which brings me to my next topic…

Planning my life
I am hopeless when it comes to starting and completing things. A lot of my time is spent either staring into the abyss or lying on my bed feeling tired when I’m home from work. I have real issues deciding what I want to do on any given day, and when I have decided it takes me forever to get my butt into gear and go. I think the foundation of this lies in the fact that I’m a very chaotic person who on top of that is quite unmotivated to do a lot of things. So I decided to set things straight and start using Google Calendar to plan my days and sync said calendar to both my iPhone and my tablet. Although I don’t really plan every minuscule detail for every minute there is a bit more structure to my days now, which allows me to actually get stuff done. As example I “reserved” an hour to blog today (from 10-11am). I probably won’t use the entire hour this time, but sometimes when I have a bit of a writer’s block I do need an entire hour to blog, so that gives me some space to work with. It also helps me settle down and actually write instead of thinking “I should blog sometime today” and then just not do it.
The same goes for planning my gametime. I realise that sitting on my butt and gaming all day on my days off is just as bad as sitting on my butt in the office all day… So I’ve been hacking my gametime into 1 or 2 hour periods inbetween doing other stuff like chores, working out or appointments. I’ve also decided to already fill in those chunks of gametime because I know myself too well. If I don’t plan in advance what game I want to turn my attention to I will never play anything but FFXIV, and that’s seriously a shame. Obviously 1-2 hours isn’t enough to really get into the big RPG’s and thus I’m saving those for the weekends when I have more time to play and I can fill more blocks with one single game. Instead I’m choosing mostly platformers that I want to play and can play for an hour or so and then just shut down without feeling like I should be playing more or that I forget where I was.
This whole system is still more or less in a testing phase, but I do hope that I can start using my time better and actually feel like I’ve accomplished something, instead of now where I wish I had done a lot of things in hindsight.

A Good Vacation Start

Today kicked off my vacation and it couldn’t get off to a better start. I went to the gym first thing in the morning and have been feeling energetic all day. I played some WoW, some FFXIV and Pokémon X aswell as watch the last few episodes of Gotham I had left, which means I have finished the first season.
I haven’t felt this relaxed in a very long time and very motivated to game again. Funnily enough I decided to spend a lot of time on World of Warcraft yesterday evening and tonight. I have made some goals for WoW this month and I’m happy to report I achieved one of them today already! With a small stroke of luck I had gotten an Elixir of Rapid Experience and two Champion’s Honor’s from my missions. I sold all of those combined for about 20-25k gold and I broke the 100k gold barrier once again. I’ve been flooding the markets with a lot of other stuff I still have on my various toons (mostly crafting mats) and I’ve been raking in a lot of money. As of now I’m looking forward to getting another 800 gold just from selling Savage Bloods. It really proves that the economy on my server isn’t as dead as I thought it was. It’s certainly alive enough for me to make a nice bit of gold atleast!
100k gold! And selling more.For now I’ve mostly sent all the gold from my inactive alts to my Warrior, only really using my Priest and Paladin to generate even more revenue since they both have level 3 Garrisons and a lot of gold missions aswell as missions that give me more stuff to sell on the AH. All in all the gold flow is nice and I’m building up a nice little fortune before Legion launches.

Next to churning out gold I’ve also been doing some other things WoW related. I caught the rumour that Blizzard will be putting the Brawler’s guild on hiatus sometime before Legion launches so right now is the perfect time to start getting involved. As I’m typing up this post my Warrior is sitting on rank 5, which isn’t really that impressive. I aim to get to rank 8 in a considerable amount of time and also to complete the special brawls that I’ve unlocked by finding items throughout the game.  I really like the Brawler’s Guild so far because it makes you think about how you want to kill the bosses you’re faced with. Although some you can mostly get through with using brute force, others are a little bit more difficult and take more strategy to take down. As an added bonus when you reach rank 8 you can buy a nice Mushan Beast as mount for only 1.2k gold. Being the collector I am I obviously really want that mount so I will continue to grind on this as the month passes.

FFXIV and Pokémon X have gotten some love aswell with my MCH dinging 47 earlier today and I’ve reached the city for the second Pokémon Gym, so I should be able to cross two more goals off my list for June very soon. I’m unsure why but I’m really enjoying Pokémon X again over Blue and Alpha Sapphire. Maybe it’s because I’ve never actually finished the game so the story is fresh to me, maybe it’s because I like the setting and all the little quirks they put into the game. There are so many events and places outside of the regular “beat 8 Gyms and the Elite Four” story… You can really notice Nintendo and Game Freak wanted to show off this game as the first 3DS Pokémon game. I hope I can get to beating the second Gym and then continue on because I’ve never really gotten past it in my previous playthroughs so the game is mostly new to me anyway. It looks like I will though because I’m slightly hooked to my 3DS lately and it’s the only thing I’ve been playing outside of Blizzard games and FFXIV.

 

No Overwatch?

Honestly on launch day I can’t really ignore the fact that Overwatch is now officially playable. I dipped my toes in earlier this evening after dinner, but a pounding head and an overwhelming desire to sleep drove me away from the game to relaxation instead. Trying to learn new heroes and staying with the pace of the game while also trying to not fall asleep in my chair wasn’t really doable, so I’ll probably play some more over the week and then talk a bit more about it aswell.
Instead I want to talk a bit about Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright.

A local multimedia store had a nice sale going this week. Buy three games and only pay for two. I took this opportunity to nab a copy of Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World for my WiiU but also my very first Fire Emblem game. I have heard a lot about the series and they seem to have gotten positive reviews, plus I have a serious weakness for JRPG graphics in a game so I got the last nudge I needed to pick up the game and experience what it’s all about. I picked Birthright because apparently it’s the easier of the two latest Fire Emblem games that are out now. I plopped the game into my 3DS last night and played for a bit before hopping onto FFXIV for my roulettes. I’ve also played a bit on the train to work this morning and on the way back home and I think I’m done with the prologue/tutorial part, which takes about 1.5 hours to complete. I unlocked my castle and built my first building and now I’m kind of poking around what exactly I need to be doing to advance in the game. I think I’ll need multiple playthroughs in this game to begin with because the game lets you choose multiple storylines and I kind of want to explore them all… But let’s just start with the one I chose: the Hoshido story. I play the game on Classic mode since that is apparently how it’s meant to be played and I managed to already get two of my dudes killed off so that’s a good start, right?!
So far the story is a bit thin but the graphics and music of the game are absolutely stunning. I haven’t been able to skip a single cutscene just because how breathtaking the design of this game looks. I like how you can customize your character up to a point and how they allow you to switch your hairstyle halfway through the game. As said I’m only 1.5 hours in so I can’t really comment too much on the game yet, but it looks to be an epic experience and I’ve currently set aside all my other handheld games to play it.

From what I understood the story of this game is cut up in three separate games so if I would want to experience it fully I’d need to get my hands on the other two paths aswell. However since this is my first game and I’m not sure how much I like the franchise yet I think I’ll stick to finishing Birthright first, and then I can always look into getting Conquest and/or Revelations later. Maybe Nintendo will let us purchase the other paths for cheaper when the games are out longer. Who knows. For now though the game has really captivated me and I want to know how the story unfolds and how bad (or good) I really am at the strategy parts of this game.

Vacation Inbound
My two-and-a-half weeks off are getting closer and closer aswell. With officially only 5 days of work still ahead of me I can feel my body ache for some nice relaxing time off. My vacation starts on June 2nd and I won’t have to go back to work untill June 20th. The idea of having 18 days off is seriously amazing and I’ve also booked a 4-day citytrip to Lisbon to get me out of the country and the house for a bit. I hope I can use this time to sort through a lot of junk on the attic and in the shed, tie up loose ends in my life, work out a lot and maybe finish a game or two that I have bought over the years. It’s just a really nice feeling to not have any obligations or alarm clocks in my life for a bit and that I finally can spend my time the way I want to without feeling guilty, because next to having 18 days off I also have the house to myself. My father and his girlfriend are going on vacation to Canada for almost 5 weeks, and I will have the house and car to myself for that time. So yay for me!
As for the rest of this week, I’m going to be very busy so I doubt I can get much gaming hours in. I do hope to push my Machinist to level 50 though with my Monk trailing not that far behind. But Overwatch will dominate my free time the most.