(My layout vanished, I guess this means it's time for a new one. Until then, A POST! It's a rainy Sunday miracle.)

I love games. Anyone who knows me long enough to come over for dinner on a random Friday (and subsequently strong-armed into a game of Lips or Arkham Horror)can attest to, I have them everywhere. Board, computer, console. I heart them with my squishy girl heart.

Racing, RPG, Survival Horror (squee!), Casual. All sorts of genres and I'm always pretty open to trying new things. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is randomly select a game from the store (usually used, usually under $20.00) based solely on it's description. Sometimes it's a horrible, unspeakable thing that makes me want to cry and throw up in my mouth at the same time. But sometimes, it ends up amazing (Deadly Premonition, right Zach?).

I also take others advice very seriously, especially when it comes to games that are new or expensive. So, when I was told not to play Dragon Age: Origins when it came out eons ago (in gamer years), because it wasn't that good of a game, I passed it up. Six months later, I passed it up again on the same advice. Then again around Thanksgiving. Instead, I got Skyrim for my birthday, and have enjoyed calling down electric storm wrath on unsuspecting villagers and beheading random bandits...I mean, saving the Nords from a terrible fate.

So a week or so ago, after I was tired of fetch-questing peoples lunches and giving them to their sister/husband/love interest ten feet away (one of the sad face downsides of Skyrim, which seems to be a trend in open-world RPGs) I saw a copy of DA:O Ultimate for dirt cheap. I figured, why not? If it's awful, it was only a few dollars. I'm not too proud to admit I've bought some craptastic games. Plus, it comes with all the expansions and DLC. That's a good buy. If anything else, it'll help fill out the game shelf. Seems reasonable, so I bought it.

So I had it for a few days without even taking the shrink wrap off it. It sat there on the game shelf until I felt bad, and took the plastic off. Then it sat the for another day before I decided since I had an extra hour or two, and I didn't really want to be super productive, I'd give it a shot.

I'm sure everyone else on the planet knows all about this game, but I'm going to say it anyway. The character creation allows you to select from three races (Human/Elf/Dwarf) and from there you select your class, and then your background. Some classes/backgrounds are exclusive for some races. (For instance, Dwarves can't be Mages). For sake of simplicity, (and because I liked the VS, which I admit is pretty shallow, but don't judge), I selected a Human Noble.

So I play through my Origins story, which I thought was very sad (but let's face it, you knew what was coming, I mean, obviously, this is an RPG after all). Then I got to the end of my Origins story, and I was very sad. I felt like for 40 minutes or so of gameplay, a pretty good job was done of making me feel a little bit connected to the story that was happening.

I mean, okay, I get emotional at dog food commercials. Let's be honest. Pixel people are not real people, and I didn't cry (I got maybe a little misty eyed, ok?) but I was sad about spunky parents being slaughtered as they held off bad guys so I could escape. Especially spunky mom, I liked her.

My own mom is very spunky, this must be why I was a little sad about it.

So, I travel to Ostagar, do the Warden joining, all that stuff. So far? The game isn't bad, it's got good points, a good storyline in the first hour (and that says a lot bad opening story lines can kill a game), and some fantastic voice acting. I'm not a huge fan of the battle system, and some of the menus drive me crazy, but it hasn't been a horrible train wreck.

Then, I get to this scene (video is not mine, but found conveniently on YouTube), and make the same dialogue choice at the very end.

I'm pretty sure I couldn't breathe for at least five minutes.

I'm not much further along in the game then just after getting to Lothering, but the humor in this game, just in the couple hours I've played, has me completely hooked.


OneWord: Thirst

It was the heat that made it the worst, made you stiff and lethargic, like a lizard drying out in an aquarium where your six year old owner forgot to fill your water dish. He knew he didn't have much longer, foot falls crunching on the hard ground, and only the sun keeping vigil over his certain doom.


Boys are cleaning out my fridge right now. This is how God intended it to be.


Savvy just messaged me, she wants to go this weekend and see Blood: The Last Vampire which looks like fun. I'm excited. Nothing says hello weekend like campy horror movies. It has Jun Ji-hyun in it, who is a fantastic actress from South Korea.

I'll let you know how it goes.
God is smiling down upon us today, our hot weather is gone replaced with lovely overcast breeziness and the thermometer topping out at about 64 degrees right now. Kins says she is freezing, but that is only because she's a crazy transplant from the south and anything below 85 is cold to her. Also, she's a big baby, but don't tell her I said that.

I'm working from home right now, purely because it's easier for me to get this work done on my own system, then the laptop and touch pad of death in the office. Also I can work in my PJ's. Not that I'm in my PJ's...I am in fact naked dressed, but the idea of working in my PJ's is just as relaxing.

Two of the 'mates are sleeping, one is still gone off gallivanting about. Banana is supposed to be home today, she's been gone since Friday. I actually haven't been in the same room with her for more then five minutes since last Wednesday. It's most likely because she hates my guts with a passion, it seems I inspire that in people by just living. I find it hysterical. I haven't seen any of my 'mates for very long since last Wednesday, come to think about it. I kind of miss their happy faces...or something like that.

I've got a ton of Red Cross stuff this week, I'm trying to get as many hours in as I can before I go back to The Book Place in two weeks(ish), because once that happens I'll be working to jobs, and I just won't be able to arrange the blocks of time they need. Our chapter is in need of super help, so if you're in my area and you've got some spare time this summer, give them a call. Also, if you can give up some tasty..er...important red stuff, you should do that too.


So cool and cloudy!

Today is a day for books,

And piles of laundry.

I've been working from home, and I took the weekend off, so I haven't been eating myself to death with delicious food at RG. I will be back there tomorrow though, and I'm not sure what I'll be trying but I'm sure whatever it is will be super tasty.


Have a safe and happy 4th of July Figments! And a special Happy Birthday to my bother, Buddy, who turns 16 today. Holy crap, where did all that time go? He is now legal to drive, and I am scared.


Meal Number: 2

Selection: Him Ma Parn with Pineapple

Price: $9 for vegetarian or tofu/$10 for chicken, pork or beef/$12 for shrimp/$13 for seafood

It's time for meal number 2. The menu description for this is:

Cashew Nuts Stir-Fry, sauteed in sweet chili paste, onions, bell paper, water chestnuts, cashews, carrots, pineapple and green beans

It sounds nummy, and it's very popular (in fact, I think it's the best seller after Pad Thai) but I didn't pick it. I took my life into my own hands. I told the chef to surprise me during a dinner with my roommates who came to the restaurant and this is what she made me.

Again the portion size was fantastic, and it was served over a pile of perfectly cooked rice noodles (it's usually served over rice, but rice and I aren't friends, and the chef remembered, which is sweet), topped with veggies and chicken in a sauce.

The sauce wasn't spicy at all, it was very mild and sweet, and it complemented the veggies and pineapple perfectly. I know some people find cooked fruit, or just cooked pineapple to be a turn-off, but combined with the veggies and stir-fried nuts it was very well matched.

Again my veggies were cooked just how I like them, and the chicken wasn't completely lost in the flavor of the sauce.

I enjoyed this dish and I'd recommend it for anyone looking for an alternative to normal cashew chicken from a Chinese restaurant.


As some of you Figments may know, 'Skyte Design, on occasion, takes up miscellaneous work for local small businesses that extend beyond just web design. Computer maintenance, logo design, ad design, computer networking, grant writing, I even dog-sat once. Why? Because I heart my clients with every gooshy ounce of my ventricles, and I want to provide good service for them. Thanks to these non-traditional web design requests, I find myself packing with me a deck of very strange skills. Need me to set you up with a local alcohol distributor? I can do that. Need some Dora the Explorer napkins on the cheap? For 200? I can do that too, with adequate sympathy.

Do these skills help me in real life? No. Do they look good on a resume? Absolutely not. But they pay, and lets face it boys and girls, I just wouldn't be nearly as witty if I was homeless.

So about two weeks ago I took up a position that I've dubbed Bookkeeper Interim of Awesomeness (Or BIA) at a local restaurant in Keizer called The Red Ginger. My job is to catch the restaurant up on it's bookkeeping since a reshuffling of ownership and to get their accounting system up and running so it's organized and efficient for them. Yeah, I laughed at first at the idea of me organizing something, but I'm fairly certain I can figure it out.

The Red Ginger opened about a year ago, and reopened (a long story) again about six months ago. They have fantastic food at very reasonable prices, and the atmosphere and service is amazing. Their food is organic, and nearly 75% of the ingredients are from local farms. No MSG, low sodium and they are vegan, vegetarian and gluten allergy/sensitivity and Celiac accommodating. The last is important to me, as Prana has celiac disease and I think it's completely awesome that they are aware of it and try to make food that their customers can enjoy again and again.

The chef there has a nearly psychotic need to feed everyone, all the time, constantly, with no end. Don't get me wrong, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside that someone want to make sure I eat sixteen meals a day, but a girl can only eat so much before her intestines rupture.

Every day I go, every day she wants to feed me. I feel horribly guilty if I say no, so I have her make me small stuff. That however, didn't work long, because she decided the small stuff wasn't enough, and started making me more, and bringing it to me herself to the office demanding I eat. How do you say no to that? You can't, that's how.

So, I decided to use this to my advantage. I decided that I would try everything on their menu, and then review the dishes. I've never eaten anything bad there (and that's saying a lot, because...well, I've probably eaten the equivalent to an elephant in weight worth of food from that place). The cook thinks it's hilarious, but I think she's laughing at the fact that I've gained a thousand pounds in two weeks, rather then that I'm blogging about her food.

Meal Number: 1

Selection: Pra Ram Peanut with Shrimp

Price: $9 for vegetarian or tofu/$10 for chicken, pork or beef/$11 for shrimp/$13 for seafood

So in doing the bookkeeping I've been entering in the daily sales of the restaurant, which catalogs the percentages of items sold. This dish has sold quite a bit, and is very popular with the Regulars that frequent the restaurant. I decided to give it a shot, the menu says:

Grilled meat stir-fried with veggies and topped with a homemade peanut sauce

I am a sucker for Red Gingers peanut sauce, it is fantastic, and I would swim in it, if I could. I see this dish mostly with chicken, but I had a hankering for shrimp so I got it with the shrimp instead.

The plate presentation was great, lots of fresh veggies which included green beans, snow peas, carrots, green and yellow pepper, broccoli, bok choy, onion, celery, baby corn and water chestnuts. There was also some fresh basil leaves stir fried with the veggies. Topping them was a good portion of shrimp and the yummy peanut sauce.

The veggies were cooked perfectly, they weren't limp or soggy and they weren't charred, which made me a happy girl. Shrimp were also cooked perfectly and weren't like chewing on a balloon when you ate them.

You can get rice to go with this dish, but I dislike rice (sorry rice lovers) so I didn't have any. That was fine though, because I was so stuffed I wouldn't have been able to eat the rice anyway.

Very delicious and I can see why people order it so consistently. The price is also reasonable. It's not as inexpensive as eating at some other Thai restaurants in town, but the quality and ambiance of the restaurant and food are worth the extra dollar or so and change.

Give it a go! Up next? Him Ma Parn.


I would like to state the following:

Differential Calculus is no fun when you've got pneumonia.