Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I'm an adult now... well, sort of.

And there was my 24th birthday. I'm 24 years old now and I feel like I'm supposed to be an adult now, but I still feel as in-between as I did 10 years ago. At 14 I felt in-between a child and an adult, and as a teenager that's what I was. At 24 I feel in-between a teenager and an adult. But that's the problem; I'm not a teenager and I feel very grown up when I'm around them, but I also feel very young and inexperienced when I'm around older adults. I also feel as if that's what they think about me. Older adults don't think of me as an equal - as someone just as grown up as they are, they still see me as young, almost a child. I don't belong with the adults, not really. But I neither belong with the teenagers.

I've heard of a rift before. That my generation is taking longer to "grow up" than earlier generations. That my generation considers themselves grown-up around 30-35, while earlier generations considered themselves grown-up around 20-25. I don't know if it's true, but I certainly feel that way. It's sort of conflicting. I'm supposed to be an adult now, but I don't feel it.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Doctor Who series 8 - my thoughts

This post is basically a major spoiler. I you have yet to complete series 8 of Doctor Who don't even look at it! And if you still do... well, it's your funeral.

Series 8 of Doctor Who is over and I'm a mess! I saw it today and omg it was a masterpiece! I don't even know where to start. Every single episode has been amazing in its own way. My favourites by far are Flatline and the double episode finale Dark Water/Death in Heaven. Capaldi's Doctor grows on me the more I see of him and amazingly Clara has grown so much as a character in this series that I'm actually sad to see her go. There were hints before the season started that Jenna Coleman wouldn't be around for another season and that last bit of Death in Heaven felt very final. But I don't want it to be. Clara is his new best friend. He needs a best friend, we've already established that he shouldn't be alone for too long. And I've come to like Clara, although I never thought I would, I don't want to see her go.

Then there's Missy. Holy shit Missy! There were whispers from the very first episode that she was a new incarnation of some gallifreyan from Classic era. I was hoping for Romana, and I after the revealing in the end of Dark Water I couldn't really wrap my head around the fact that Missy was the Master. But now after I've seen Death in Heaven it fits so well. Missy is the Master and she's bananas.

The series have been bursting with references to Classic and I feel all warm inside when I spot them. Although I still haven't seen further than half of Pertwee's era. And oh, the double finale were basically filled to the brim with references! The Brig finally got his salute and I felt like crying (and all I did was smiling like an idiot). I also felt like crying when I thought Kate died and when Osgood died...

But seriously, these episodes... Was Doctor Who always such an emotional roller coaster? Series 8 has been emotionally amazing, and no episode can be forgotten.

Deep Breath. I've already talked about Deep Breath. But let's sum it up once more: Paternoster Gang, sequel to The Girl in the Fireplace, dinosaur in London, wonderfully steampunk, and absolutely brilliant.

Into the Dalek."Don't be lasagne." The episode in which the Doctor is actually a doctor. Well, trying. Trying to help a dalek get better and the only reward he gets is being called a good dalek. Nice one. Also parallells to Eccleston's first dalek episode.

Robot of Sherwood. "I am the Doctor and this is my spoon." I don't think any other episode of this season has made me laugh as much as this one. It was hilarious, although it got a little confusing at the end with the Sheriff being friends with robots who needs melted gold... But on the whole a really heart-warming and funny episode.

Listen. I feel like the episode was ruined by the ending. It was properly creepy up until you found out the source of everything, then it all just collapsed and I felt a bit disappointed. But up until that moment it was a fantastic episode! Unfortunately it's one of those that can only be seen once because all the mystery has now been taken out of it...

Time Heist. "Basically, it's the eyebrows." A bit James Bond/Mission Impossible themed. I really liked it. The fact that the bad guy and the good guy were the same person was really interesting and the whole objectibe behind the scheme made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The Caretaker. This episode was basically about Danny getting in the way of the Doctor. I was looking forward for a cameo by William Russell as Ian Chesterton, who was a teacher at Coal Hill School in the 60's and is apparantly now on the board according to last year's Christmas special. But nope. Still a lot of fun (albeit a bit annoying) to have Danny get in on the action.

Kill the Moon. Probably my least favourite episode of the season, but it still had its moments. Courtney was definitely one of them. I feel like the Doctor's behaviour was a bit unfair towards Clara, and I definitely understood why she got angry with him. The episode in all was a bit depressing, but also exciting and a bit creepy. What other TV show can get away with making the moon a giant egg? And what was that thing that came out of it? A space dragon? xD

Mummy on the Orient Express. Another of my favourites. Beautifully steampunk, with a homicidal AI. It felt a bit Sherlock Holmes, like a video version of one of those Sherlock Holmes point-and-click games, but set in space instead of Victorian London. A wonderfully haunting episode, with a whodunit twist.

Flatline. Easily my favourite of the season and the most creepy of them all. This episode also gave Clara a huge opportunity to shine, which she really did. Two dimensional creatures trying to figure out how three dimensions work and accidentally flattening people in the process. Isn't that lovely? Having the Doctor trapped in his Tardis did call for some funny moments too :)

In the Forest of the Night. This was a weird one, but it can also be seen as a homage to nature. The trees protect us. Although the episode was weird and hard to make sense of it was also a milestone in Danny and Clara's relationship, as well as getting the Doctor to declare the Earth as his new home. It was teary-eyed beautiful in the end, despite all the confusion.

Dark Water. Danny died and I was unsure whether he would come back. Moffat had addressed his problem with reviving dead characters during the summer, and I took that as a hint that dead characters would stay dead in series 8. No more Rorys. I figured out that the finale concered Cybermen pretty quickly. Something stirred when Dr. Chang told us that only organic matter was visible in the dark water, and then everything clicked when I saw the shape of the windows in the doors. Then there's the beautiful reference to The Tomb of the Cybermen.

Death in Heaven. The Master is back, Cybermen all over the place, the Brig is there, UNIT is around, Osgood is quoting Eleventh, Missy is quoting Second ("Oh, my giddy aunt!"), and Danny saves the day. I was right that Danny wouldn't come back to life, so now I'm also sure that Osgood won't. I was so relieved when they found out that the Brig had saved Kate - they can't kill a Lethbridge-Stewart, and that's final! I'm pretty sure that Missy will be back, though. They were hinting towards her getting killed, but honestly the Master has cheated death so many times that it wouldn't even be Moffat's fault if she did come back.

I don't know why people complain about the new Doctor. They say he's too grumpy, too mean, too cynical... I love him. He's not the good-looking potential love-interest boy anymore. He's like he should be. Like he was supposed to be to begin with. And who says the Doctor is not funny?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 update

NaNo is not going well. It's day 12 now and I'm supposed to have hit 20,000 words. I'm 6,000 below that. I know if I really put my back into it I could do all those 6,000 words in one day, but I keep getting side-tracked. I knew from the beginning that NaNo probably wasn't my thing. Writing a novel in 30 days, are you out of your friggin' mind?! But I thought that since I have no job or school work in the way for this year's NaNo I thought I'd give it a go. What I've found is that it's no my thing. I have a more leisurely pace of writing. I can write thousands of words in a day, but that happens when I'm not stressed over deadlines. NaNo is a huge, deadline that looms over me, makes me stressed out and that stress clears my head from any inspiration.

When this week started I thought I could do it, now I'm halfway through this week and now I''m convinced that I can't. NaNo feels like being extremely hormonal and going through puberty all over again. It's an emotional roller-coaster and I don't know what to do with all the feels :P

I'm going to keep writing because maybe there'll be a miracle and I'll finish on time. But for the rest of this day I'm going to play The Sims 4. I've been staring at that screen for long enough for one day.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Sims 4 - first impressions

I finally bought The Sims 4 last Sunday. It was time. Interestingly enough the households I created in the demo weren't available although I have both the game and the demo on the same profile on Origin. To get those households, I had to start up the demo, share those households to the gallery, and then start up the game and download them there. Honestly ^^; I also realised that with Origin, the only way to get screenshots is to play the game in windowed mode - just like I did with The Sims 2. Origin really ought to introduce a screenshot button à la Steam. Here are the households I did in the demo:

Thus far I really enjoy 4 and I'm actually looking forward to following a Sims game again, with releases etc. When I started the game last Sunday I created a girl named Sonequa Malkins. I played her a little bit and then I started up a new household consisting of a girl named Sakura Umetani. I've played the most in Sakura's household.

However, I've come to realise that although the neighbourhood isn't open like in 3 (thank god) time still passes in other households while I play on one specific lot. So imagine my surprise when I later return to the Malkins household and realise that Sonequa and her subsequent boyfriend have gotten two roomies without my knowledge! xD

I've mostly played on Sakura, though, and she's now a widow with six children :P She got twins twice! Not my fault! :P

I've experimented with building, decorating, careers etc since I bought it last Sunday. But something I really enjoy are the steps you take to create successful Sims. Like it's not just a skill point and attendance that matters. The kids need to do a bunch of stuff to get a better grade and there's more than just skill points to advancing in a chosen career as well. I really enjoy that!

I also had a laugh at Sakura's budding romance with the Grim Reaper! And since Sakura started flirting with the Grim Reaper after her husband's death the Grim Reaper calls to chat every day! It's hilarious! Also the day after the death of her husband the maid died right on the lawn. So Sakura got another day with the Reaper :P There aren't any expansions yet and the game is already crazy! Love it! The Grim Reaper isn't interactable in 2... Otherwise I would've probably incorporated him in my family there by now :P

Something I don't like is that there are so few lots in the neighbourhoods! (Fair enough, there are two, but still...) I don't remember what it was like in 3. I didn't play 3 enough. But in 2... This is my current neighbourhood in 2 (created from scratch - everything is built by me):

So you see the difference in lots right? xD I hope there will be more neighbourhoods in coming expansions, otherwise this is just ridiculous.

I'm also torn as to whether I should uninstall The Sims 2 from my computer. I've grown fond of my family there, although I haven't played in a while. I still have so many plans to unfold with that family! My plans to have one Sim knocked up by Bigfoot is something I feel that I have to do before I uninstall!

When it was announced that 4 wouldn't have toddlers or pools there was a big outrage. I expect the pool stuff was mostly from Americans, because I've come to understand that most Americans see a swimming pool as something essential to a house. I only know one family IRL who has a pool and it's seen as something extravagant and unnecessary here ;) But some also complained about the fact that the abscence of swimming pools made it harder to kill Sims. I don't kill my Sims for fun, so I didn't notice that. But pools came along in a patch two days ago. I don't even notice that the toddlers aren't there. And I love that the children are more independent in 4 than in 2 (they can actually be home alone - holy shit!). I thought toddlers were mostly annoying in 2, so to not have them is awesome. 

Speaking of babies and children I also love that the babies are automatically sent to daycare when the parents leave the lot! No more late for work because there always has to be one adult around (and I hate the nannys in 2 so I refuse to get one of those). 

The Sims 4 is, imo, a really great game. It feels like an updated version of The Sims 2, rather than the exaggerated we-want-to-do-everything-at-once that The Sims 3 was. I really like it. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Introducing my characters

I finished writing my book in early October and next week it's time for me to ask for feedback from the ones who volunteered to be beta readers. In the meantime I've been using this website to make pictures of all my prominently featured characters. The representations are very "ish" - not everything I wanted for them was available.

1. Tanja (human version and vampire version)
Of mixed French and Moroccan parentage her skin is of a darker hue before she turns. Her hair is later cut short due to events and she switches between 21st century clothing and 19th century.

2. Erik (human version and vampire version)
About 110 years old. Turned in the 19th century and as a vampire keeps the style from thence.

3. Isabella (human)
The school bimbo.

4. Patrik (human version and vampire version)
Hiding his true feelings as a human he's not truly happy until after he's turned and lets himself free.

5. Rasmus (human)
Rasmus is special. The little cat on his shoulder is a hint.

6. Nemesis (undead)
About 180 years old. Her original look is that her left side is decomposing and the hair of that side has no shine. The eye is red on the left side and the mouth can't really smile there. Her right side is stunningly beautiful and elegant.

7. Sanguine (vampire)
About 490 years old. Turned in the 16th century, but spent a lot of time with the humans in the 19th century and adopted that style.

8. Elisabet (vampire)
About 420 years old. Originally from Hungary and just a little crazy.

9. Jack (vampire)
About 120 years old. Originally from England and more than a little crazy.

10. Umbra (vampire)
About 340 years old. Turned at barely 16 years of age she's one of the youngest looking vampires. But don't be fooled by her sweet appearance.

11. Caligo (vampire)
About 230 years old. Has been openly gay since the 18th century and led a difficult life and afterlife because of it.

12. Tenebrae (vampire)
About 230 years old. Bookworm.

13. Mortis (undead)
About 950 years old. Grew up amongst Vikings. His skin is supposed to be spotted, grey, and decomposing. He's also supposed to have a pair of tiny horns on his forehead.

14. Solveig (vampire)
About 750 years old. Originally from Norway. The oldest vampire in Scandinavia and the only one with purple eyes.

NaNoWriMo has started and the novel I will be trying to write this November will be the sequel to this story. Some of the characters will reappear, some more frequently than others. But my three new main characters are here: