|S.M. Carrière . com||
Welcome to Sonia’s Sassy Reviews, reviews of games from the unique perspective of a total newbie gamer whose only just started to indulge a lifelong love of video games, who also happens to be an adult(ish) woman. So, here we go!
Look, I know this game is ancient, by gaming standards, and I have been playing it for almost forever. I’ve never quite finished the game (or, at least the story. Can you every really finish this game?) until the night before writing this review. Hush. I didn’t want to finish, okay? I didn’t want it to be over.
Good morning, Readers!
I had a thought – literally just this moment – about geekdom and how much it has changed. Some people’s perception of it appears to be slow in catching up, but that is to be expected, really.
When I was a young girl, growing up in small town Australia, geeks were a bad thing. They were variously sun-deprived, pimply walking skeletons, or sun-deprived, pimply fat blokes. Either way, they were unhygienic outsiders with zero social skills, or, indeed, any redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Rarely now, except for a certain talkshow host who shall remain nameless, do people conjure such an image when speaking of geeks and geekdom any more.
This isn’t, of course, to say that geekdom is without its bad actors. Misogyny and racism (and other foolish ideologies) are still a huge problem in the geek community (though that is thankfully changing, despite the best attempts of a dedicated bunch of morons), but that is a discussion for another day.
Today’s prominent geeks, however, are happily blasting away this stereotype just by being themselves, and it’s wonderful to see. Let’s have a look at some of my favorites geeks in popular culture.
Good morning, Readers!
I have a lovely gamer friend who is using his gaming powers for good. My friend PY is doing Extra Life again this year, in support of CHEO (the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario... at least, I think that's right).
From what I understand, it's a marathon of live streaming to raise funds and awareness for the Children's Miracle Network hospitals, of which CHEO is one. It's just such a sweet thing to do, and it makes my cold, dead heart smile a little.
I would mean the world to me if you could help PY hit his fundraising goal. He's only looking to raise $500.00. It would be really awesome if we could help him blast past his goal. Shatter it. Blow it to smithereens as we race past it. You can donate here.
There is so much shit going on in the world right now, but good people doing good things make me think that maybe we aren't the worst species ever.
So, thanks, PY for taking this on.
And thank you for helping my friend make a difference in the world.
Now i have French to be getting on with.
Good morning, Readers!
I saw on Facebook something that's made the rounds more than once, and each time I find it the sweetest thing I've read in a while. It's about how submarines are not considered "lost." They're simply still on patrol. It's just... It's really just lovely, and you can read the whole thing for yourself here. I really recommend it. It made me smile this morning.
Also making me smile this morning is a list of books read in 2019 by my friend and fellow author, Éric Desmarais in which he rated my most recent offering, Skylark, five stars. That's always lovely to hear, and a boost that I needed, what with this being submission hell, and rejects are par for the course pretty much daily. It's nice to know that someone, at least, likes the stuff I write. There's a whole list of some really interesting reads. You can check them out here, and while you're there, consider getting yourself Éric's latest book, Everdome. It's genuinely good.
Lastly, for this round up of things, YouTube kept recommending me a video that I finally clicked on last week. Boy was I glad I did. The video was for an Irish band - a group of young men who sing in Irish (also English) in a genre I've discovered is called "Alternative Folk" whatever that means. Anyway, The band is Seo Linn and this video was for their rendition of Óró Sé do Bheatha Bhaile, which those of us who don't speak Irish might know better as The Drunken Sailor. Turns out, the Irish language version (the non-Jacobite version) is very much an independence anthem. My favourite kind of anthem.
Anyway, their version is amazing, and I can't stop listening to it. I've bought it. Listening to it now, in fact. Here it is:
At risk of sounding like an old, it really does my heart good to hear these young men singing proudly in Irish. I have some strange deep love of Celtic languages (insert past life joke here), and the thought that the remaining Celtic languages are at risk of being lost really breaks my heart. I'm so glad to see young folks embrace their language like this.
/being the oldest thirty-something year old in existence.
Right, I have to return to my French language learning, though I'm adding Irish to the list of languages I'm keen to learn (right after Welsh... It helps that I will have someone to speak both Welsh and Irish to here in Ottawa. This city is actually super cool, if you know where to look).
Hope you all had a lovely weekend and have yourselves a fantastic day.
Good morning, Readers!
Death Stranding is possibly they most frustrating game I've ever played.
That's it. That's the blog post.
Have a good day.
Alright, that's not really the blog post. It's true though.
Today's blog post is less exciting than that hot take. It's really just to say that I spent all day yesterday writing up a Sassy Review for Skyrim, the game I (finally) "finished" while sulking because of mouth pain this week. I'm happy with the review, though it really did take me all day and I'm not so happy about that.
I'm still sad that I've finished the game. I do think that I'll spend more time in Skyrim, though, as there are things to explore, people to help, houses to finish decorating... Also, I really want that VR set. Le sigh. Can I just live there? I'll join the Bard's College or something. In Skyrim, I'm rich AF, with many houses... most of which have a library. And I have a hell-horse. She's pretty cool.
Anyway, despite not getting much work done this week, I did manage to get a review done at least.
It wasn't a total waste of a week, at least.
Also, did anyone else wake up super early this morning? My alarm goes off while it's still dark outside, and even then, I was awake at least an hour before it went off. What the hell, brain?! I found it rather depressing, since I love sleep so much. Things are all weird in my brain, I guess.
Honestly, I have no real news for you. One day I will. One day soon, I hope.
Right, I should go do things with my day. Have yourselves a great weekend.
Good morning, Readers!
Last night my jaw was still a bit achy, and I was being a big baby about it, so I did not go to training. I was sulking.
Part of that sulk was me turning to a long-held tradition of things I do while sulking: gaming.
I played Skyrim. I've been playing the game on and off for many, many years, restarting and never quite finishing it out. Last night, I finished the story portion of the game. I say I finished the story portion of the game because I don't really think that you can possibly finish the game. There are always places to discover, stories to stumble into, mysteries to explore and never solve... There's a lot still left to do in this world.
I'm genuinely feeling really, really sad about finishing the story part of the game. Oh well. I guess I'll just have to get myself a VR headset and 3D copy of the game and go through it again with a slightly different experience.
Anyway, the story part of the game for me ended with the killing of Ulfric Stormcloak. That's right. I sided with the Empire. I genuinely did not make that decision lightly. I actually agonised over it for ages. I understood the Stormcloaks and their desire for freedom, and I absolutely believed in their right to worship Talos. I despised the Thalmor, who believed themselves superior and were willing to kill people who thought differently (like those who consider Talos to be divine, for instance). Ideologically, I was on the Stormcloak's side.
For the most part.
There was a lot about the Stormcloaks I did not like at all. Their xenophobia, for example. They were a bunch of racist fucks sometimes. Well, more than sometimes. Often. Still, it's not like the Thalmor were any better.
One the other hand, however much I disagreed with the Thalmor and the White Gold Concordat, and however much I sympathised with the Stormcloak objective, I agree completely with Legate Rikke. Tearing the Empire apart makes it weaker, making it harder to break free of Thalmor control. Better to stick together for the time being, gathering strength in order to fight back against the real enemy - not the Empire, but the Thalmor.
Because, honestly, fuck those guys.
To be fair, I feel my hand was forced. When it was revealed that Ulfric was intending to annex Whiterun, and kill Jarl Balgruuf, I absolutely could not side with Ulfric. Jarl Balgruuf is a good man, who leads well and sensibly. He refused to garrison soldiers of the Empire, and valued free speech enough that he permitted the open preaching of a Talos worshipper. His concern was for the people of his hold, and he didn't overreach to deny them their freedoms. He was a good Jarl, and I felt particularly loyal to him. It's not just because he was the first Jarl to offer me the position of Thane of his hold, but because I genuinely thought him to be a good man and a good leader for his people. My main homestead (from the Hearthfire DLC) where I will be raising my two adopted daughters, was Hjaalmarch Hall; overlooking Whiterun and close enough to the city to visit often.
I'm writing all of this like they were actual people and not characters in a fictional world, but hell, that's what good fiction does to me.
Anyway, when Ulfric forced the Jarl's hand, I, as his Thane, stood by my Jarl and fought off the Stormcloaks.
It didn't make me feel good to do so, except that I was protecting who I thought should be protected. I was mollified a bit while talking to Legate Rikke, who expressed her belief in a unified empire being the only chance anyone has against the Thalmor, and also by General Tullius, who expressed his doubts about the White Gold Concordat at the end of the game (just between him and I).
Look, whose side I was going to take in the civil war in Skyrim had taken up a lot of head space for me, and my indecision was a big part of the reason I didn't "finish" the game sooner. I know everyone has already had these arguments years and years ago, but I just really needed to explain myself today.
I may, I think, write a Sassy Review for it, though I'm not sure. It's hard to write a review for a game that never really finishes.
Also, I really need to save up for a VR headset. This game is already so immersive, I may just disappear into it entirely.... that might be an argument against VR, actually.
Right, I have work, so I'll sign off now. Have a great day.
Good morning, Readers!
I apologise for not posting yesterday. I had booked an appointment with a dentist due to some pretty severe tooth pain last week, and I didn't have the time or the wherewithal (pain hates rational thought) to schedule a post for the day off I took yesterday so I could go to the dentist.
Everything is fine, by the way. The pain had resolved itself days before I got to the dentist. I decided to go anyway, because I haven't been to a dentist in [undisclosed] years. Lack of funds kept me away, and while I don't actually have the funds for it now, precisely, I figured I really should do what I can to take care of my mouth. I can do a payment plan with them, so it's not too terrible. I guess.
As it turns out, by some miracle of genetics (probably) and despite my long, long absence from the dentist, my teeth are actually in great shape. I was expecting some sort of Lovecraftian horror show going on in there, but no. My teeth are strong and stable, and my bones are doing great in there too.
That said, I do need to go back next week so the dentist can finish up the work they started during my brief appointment yesterday, and then there'll be a final follow up before I head into a maintenance schedule, with just a visit a year or so.
Honestly, so much of a person's health and well-being starts in the mouth, and I find it frustrating and stupid that our health care doesn't cover dental at all. It should. Mouth health affects everything. Literally everything.
Anyway, that's my gripe for the day.
I'm exceptionally glad that my mouth is doing so well despite the neglect. I'm also really happy with Southgate Dental, who took me in on short notice and were exceptionally kind and non-judgemental about my dental situation. I'm so used to dentists trying to up-sell me on things I don't need, preying on my insecurities to try and sell some braces and a few whitening sessions. I will have nothing more than a good cleaning, a new-patient set-up (more X-rays, etc), and then a regular maintenance schedule.
It's expensive, but could be much more expensive. And they deal a lot with folks like me who don't have insurance. They know the drill... uh... so to speak.
All in all, it was a positive experience yesterday.
I'm sore and grumpy today, though. There was a lot of poking and prodding around in there yesterday.
I also have a lot of things to catch up on. Like querying agents. I was supposed to do that yesterday.... I should get on that now. Right, I'm off to work.
S.M. Carrière, a Celtic Studies enthusiast, writes fiction. And this blog.