Holiday Aftermath

December 27, 2010

It’s been absolutely craaaazy over here in the last week. I bought a house. My parents and grandfather visited us from overseas and my brother flew in from Toronto (it was a pretty big deal since I only see my parents an average of once a year and it’s been ages since the whole family has been together). And of course, on the day I finally see them all off safely to their hotel near DC — they were planning a trip the next day to the nation’s capital — my husband and I (and Strider the pup) were hit by that monster of a snowstorm that hammered the east coast on our way back home. We practically spent the night on the I-95 on our 11-hour trip that normally takes two-and-a-half, and today was spent with the neighbors digging our street out of of all this white stuff.

It was a stressful week but also joyous, and I’m grateful for health, love, friends and family, and the kindness of strangers. I’m also grateful to my readers, who have to put up with my sometimes nonsensical ramblings on this blog. I’m a little late here, but since I believe in better late than never, I want to wish you all a happy holidays, and hope everyone had a great time this weekend.

I also want to give a special shoutout to Victor Stillwater, my not-so-Secret-Santa who got me a Steam game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. And of course, many thanks to Stargrace of MMOQuests.com, who took the time to set up the Secret Santa event. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to participate this year, given my wacky moving schedule that could run anytime from mid-December to mid-January, but the ever-flexible and accommodating Stargrace did her thing and arranged the possibility of digital gift-giving!

I don’t know much about Amnesia, but it sounds like a rockin’ game from the descriptions of the gameplay on Wikipedia:

Amnesia is an exploration-based adventure game played from a first-person perspective…allowing for advanced physics based puzzles and interactions such as opening doors and fixing machinery.

Amnesia does not give the player access to weapons, giving them no defense against the gruesome creatures that wander Brennenburg Castle. As such, the player must use their wits to escape and hide from the monsters until they lose interest in finding the player. Players can also choose to hide in the shadows at the cost of slowly losing their sanity.

Separate from the player’s health bar is an indication of the character’s sanity. Being in darkness too long, witnessing unsettling events, or staring at the monsters for too long will reduce the character’s sanity. As the sanity level decreases, visual and auditory hallucinations start to occur and the player is noticed by monsters more easily…this forces the player to find a balance between the amount of time they spend in light and shadow. Sanity is restored to full once the player completes an objective or progresses the game’s story.

It sounds creepy, but it’s definitely my kind of game. Can’t wait to check it out! Thanks again, Victor!

Got some other great loot this year. No other games though, which is probably a good thing considering my already massive and ever-growing to-play list. But I did get some great gifts, including the newest generation Kindle (my brother was quick to pounce on my 2nd gen, reminiscent of the hand-me-down times of our youth), a beautiful pair of turquoise earrings from Thailand, some Body Shop bath soaps and lotions (mmm, mango scent!) and a Victoria’s Secret gift card courtesy of my husband because he thinks that I — and I quote — “don’t buy enough clothes for myself.” Thanks, sweetie, but Victoria’s Secret? Looks like I still wouldn’t exactly be buying clothes “for myself”.


  1. Sounds awesome, apart for the 11 hour highway trip. My present hauls were minor, the one I’m most excited about is a new shower curtain (odd and sad I know). However, I had some incredible meals and met some awesome people over the holiday weekend. My town also got it’s first white Christmas since 1882. For a holiday weekend I was expecting to suck, I did well.

    • Glad to hear you had a great holiday weekend, and about the snow! White Christmases are a real treat! Ours was a day late LOL.

      And regarding the new shower curtain, no, not odd or sad at all! Actually, I could use a couple new shower curtains myself! Hahaha 😀 Happy holidays, and take care!

  2. Ha! My wife got a 3rd Gen. Kindle and I got her 2nd Gen. Normally when it comes to tech toys she gets my hand-me-downs. But given I’m still pissed at Amazon over their patent shenanigans I’m more than willing to deal with hand-me-downs as long as I’m not the one paying retail for the stuff. 😀

    Gift wise it was mild (just shirts, really). But on Steam? Whoa boy!

    Here’s the list so far:
    Lead & Gold
    Spore + XPack
    Just Cause 2
    Silent Hunter V
    Patrician IV
    Alpha Protocol
    Fallout 3 – GOTY (all XPacks)
    F.E.A.R. package (both games, all Xpacks)
    Left 4 Dead 2 (I was opposed to purchasing this one but the price, $5, means by boycott lasted long enough)

    Also a friend gifted me the Indie Future Pack. I had asked for System Protocol One (I love tower defense games). So:
    System Protocol One
    Uplink (Yay! I didn’t know it was on Steam or I would’ve gotten it ages ago)
    Hacker Evolution (not as good as Uplink)
    Hammerflight (EwwW…)
    Twin Sector (Yikes!)

    • I usually try to limit myself to one Steam purchase each time they have a sale, but I kinda went two games past my quota this Christmas. For me, that’s kinda crazy 😛 Oh, and I was like *this* close to getting Spore too!

  3. *gives hugs and love all around* 😀

    • Hope you enjoy your secret santa present 😉

  4. Also… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIRo0iT0qNw

    NSFW language and hilarious hyperventilating. 🙂

    Go to 2:22. 🙂

  5. Sounds like you had great time. DGF and I managed to get a little WoW time in on Saturday evening and again on Sunday; though apparently I was “playing for her” by the end of the night. I can be a little intense, I guess.

    She roled a gnome last night and was working through the newb quests (mostly) on her own, while I was chatting with my girls. You were right about the excessive XP. I had to send 10 gold from my Worgen (only 15 himelf) to our human toons just so they could train and stuff, because we get no extra money with the XP.

    • Excessive XP is good for if you want to level fast, I think…but for a new player, it might be better to take things a little slower. Too bad you don’t have an option to “opt out” of the accelerated buddy XP, at least I’m not aware of one…

  6. your husband is a very wise man :p

  7. Amnesia: brrrrrr! i still have the closet hiding flashbacks…

    • Ooh, someone who has played it! Sounds great 😀

  8. Wow, Amnesia…

    Keep a pillow handy if you suffer from any sort of motion sickness, and take frequent breaks if said motion sickness comes into play. Also, don’t underestimate its ability to scare. That game is atmospherically horrific like a mofo. It is what you don’t see that will freak you out.

    • Wow…I like games that creep me out, but I never expect them to really, truly scare me. Amnesia sounds like it just might mess with my mind! I’m going to have to tackle this game ASAP.

  9. […] I played this game, one of my commenters warned me not to underestimate its ability to scare. In his words, the game is “atmospherically […]

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