In Times of Great Crisis…

… we need things to take our minds off it all, and boy oh boy am I prepared for such things. An extensive gaming backlog to clear out, current ongoing games like Civilization 6, World of Warcraft and Street Fighter V, not to mention Monster Hunter World… I can lock myself away and forget about the outside world for a bit!

A WEEK UNTIL ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW HORIZONS

I’ve preordered it, I have a Switch Lite case arriving soon, the only thing I am missing… is the Switch Lite itself! As mentioned previously, I’m working overtime so I can buy one (when combined with gift monies from Xmas and my upcoming birthday) when I get 15% work discount (every month the week after payday!), because why the hell buy anything at full price and dip into savings?!

Pokemon

I was looking up the list of available pokemon in Sword and Shield and JIGGLYPUFF IS NOT ON IT. RAGE.

I will have to be content with Clefairy for now, because Clefairy is also awesome… but just not as much as Jigglypuff, you know?

PANIC PANIC PANIC

A list of things work has run out of, because of people panicking about coronavirus:

  • Toilet rolls
  • Non-expensive kitchen towel
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Pasta
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Hand wash that’s antibacterial
  • Various cleaning fluids
  • Paracetamol
  • Hayfever pills?
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Lube!

A list of things that are inexplicably NOT running out, despite them being what I’d buy if I had to quarantine myself for weeks:

  • Alcohol

Because I sure as shit would not spend the entire time sober, let me tell you.

World of Sleepcraft

Honestly the Blizzard Agent should live on my road, there’s a pub whose burglar alarm goes off at like really inconvenient times (we’re talking 3am or so) most nights, it wouldn’t sleep through that.

Honestly the most concerning thing about the persistent burglar alarm or car alarms in my area is the fact that everyone’s like “SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU’RE DISTURBING MY SLEEP” rather than “OH NO CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IS TAKING PLACE I MUST CONTACT THE POLICE” and yes I am guilty of that too. I think it’s more that they’re oversensitive and get set off by a slightly stiff breeze though, because nobody is breaking into anywhere that often.

Love Is In The Air, Everywhere I Look Around

Love is in the air
Every sight and every GIVE ME THE DAMN ROCKET YOU BASTARDS

Working To The Bone

So I am attempting to do as much overtime at work as I can be bothered to do (which, honestly, is not much) because I want to be able to combine overtime monies, potential birthday monies (April 3rd, remember it), leftover Amazon vouchers from Christmas, and a 15% work discount starting April 9th to buy myself a Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Sword (because Farfetch’d), Animal Crossing, and Fire Emblem without dipping into any savings.

Always nice to have a plan, even better to actually stick to it, so let’s hope there’s no more emergency costs coming out for a while.

World of Lovecraft

Not just because of the tentacular nature of this patch, but because it’s LOVE IS IN THE AIR, and it’s time for the yearly disappointment that comes with not getting the love rocket. Having 12 attempts a day is both a blessing (the number of chances!) and a curse (the fact that the dungeon is over so quickly, after 10 characters, the remaining 2 have to wait for an hour).

The upside of this is that I’m playing classes I don’t normally play (hello warrior and DK) and it’s made me really enjoy shadow priest, so I’ve started tentatively levelling him.

He’s my perfect void lord panda, and he just wants to consume the world hug.

BEHOLD THE GLORY THAT IS THE TANDEN ENGINE

SETH SETH SETH SETH SETH

HE COMES THIS FRIDAY!

I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a Street Fighter character since Rainbow Mika (who is still my main, since day 1 yo!), and to think it’s SETH, the bland move-stealer from IV. He looks AMAZING now he’s in a replacement body, and his moveset? Inspired by characters from other Street Fighter games, and even other Capcom series entirely?

Yes please! TWO DAYS TO GO.

I love that it’s using a female-presenting body with the old male voice, it’s really (intentionally) jarring and helps hammer home that Seth is less a person and more an AI consciousness that can, if needed, inhabit any form it likes! Plus, fabulous hair. Definitely gonna use that Bison-inspired battle costume, yes indeed!

As Bent As The Soviet Sickle

And as hard as the hammer that crosses it.

Yesterday, the bf and I made tarka dal, which is basically an Indian lentil curry. I might do the recipe on this blog one day, because it’s awesome and everyone should eat it, but I don’t think I can churn out 20 paragraphs of preamble beforehand just yet.

I’m not a good cook. Never have been, I was raised by parents that loved to cook themselves for everyone, then I left home to move in with a bf that can cook amazingly, so I’ve never really had to. Oh sure, I can marinate chicken breasts and throw them in the oven, or bung stuff in the microwave, but that’s not really cooking, is it? It’s more “heating up” if anything, especially when it comes to the latter.

So yeah, I’ve had not much experience in cookery or baking, which is why it’s always a surprise to me that I get so enamoured with reality TV cooking shows, particularly Nailed It (which is more my level let’s be fair), Bake Off, Zumbo’s Just Desserts, and also general cookery competitions like Masterchef or Final Table. Perhaps it’s an idolisation of people doing amazing things with food I could never hope to replicate? Maybe I just like cake?

The general gist of this is that it’s Valentine’s Day soon and the bf said “maybe you can cook for us!” and I excitedly agreed and now I’m completely stumped on what to do. This isn’t an appeal for recipe ideas, I have a general idea of what I could do, but that idea ranges from “a fancy fry up” to “roast dinner” to “maybe some sort of non-chicken curry idk.”

Maybe all these baking shows are leading me to some sort of weird dessert-dinner hybrid, like an entire roast beef dinner turned into a croquembouche somehow, where all the pastry balls are filled with roast potatoes, or beef, or gravy, and now that just sounds positively nightmarish. The physics alone, my god.

Maybe instead of sweet pastry balls, I can make it out of veggie samosas?


I am still enjoying the current WoW patch. I’m doing the dailies in the Vale and Uldum every day (and occasionally taking a quest in Uldum that takes me BACK to the Vale I just completed dailies in, which has fooled me TWICE now, but never again!), I have 25k Coalesced Visions, I’m at cloak level 8, I am always excited for the Horrific Visions because they’re actually fun (and are making me MORE excited for Torghast, especially if there’s no massive barrier to entry, like you can enter as many times over, rather than farm 10k currency to buy entrance), and the raid is super fun.

Except Skitra. Even on Heroic that fight is a massive snoozefest. It feels like it’s missing a mechanic, especially when compared to Maut and Xanesh, or even Wrathion who came before it!

The only thing I am not so enamoured with is the fact that everything seems very alt-unfriendly. Not actively hostile to alts, as you can use the tokens to get them to a respectable gear level rather fast, but the dailies take time to do on ONE character let alone more than that, especailly if you get the “kill 3 rares” quest, because NOTHING EVER SPAWNS GODDAMMIT.

Still, I am willing to actually put in the time and effort to get my warlock up to scratch because as much as I like the hunter, I miss Shokei and Metasik, I miss Arak’zekeel and Betxia, and even little Pip’tok the imp and Wraadrom the felhunter. Yes I still remember all their names, without having to look.

It’s amazing the small things you emotionally bond with, isn’t it? Even when it’s a minion that comes with a name you can’t change or select yourself!

Things That GIVE ME ENERGY

Hello there. Let’s get straight into it.

  1. when someone on a competitive reality TV show is odious enough to be Designated Villain. Now obviously, this is usually as a result of editing and whatnot to make said person come across as bad, because every show needs a villain (yes, even nice fluffy baking shows need that one person who’s there to WIN and not MAKE FRIENDS and will TELL EVERYONE THIS OFTEN), but I don’t care, I buy into it every time. If I could get a t-shirt with the villain’s face on in a circle with a red line through it, I would. Every time they say something like “I know what food kids like, they like NATURAL ingredients and NOT SUGAR” and then the child goes “ugh this beetroot cake tastes like dirt and unhappiness” I get that same sort of sensation as I do when I eat a creme egg.
  2. when people fall over. Honestly, don’t tell me about the time you slipped on a chip and fell over in a supermarket because I will absolutely die of laughter.
  3. the cold. Bye bye summer, HELLO GLORIOUS FROST.
  4. when local newspapers/websites publish stories of ANGRY RESIDENTS being mad at things, especially if they have photos of them too. Here’s a po-faced woman and her child with terrible hair, mad at the fact that he got put in isolation for his “extreme haircut”! Here’s an angry woman complaining about the pot hole that’s been in the road for TWO YEARS! Man holding phone bill for £86,702 sent to him by mistake! Mum horrified as cafe owner denies her son use of the loo unless she buys something, a policy that is mentioned on a poster in the window AND behind the till AND in front of it too for good measure, AND there are free public toilets 2 minutes walk away!
  5. the Thunderpuss remix of It’s Not Right But It’s Okay by Whitney Houston.
  6. seeing pictures of old 90’s fashions. Anneka Rice in those shell suits on Challenge Anneka or Treasure Hunt! Literally anything ever worn on Clarissa Explains It All! The sorta blond curtain hair that at least one member of every boyband had! Denim everywhere!
  7. when people I like do well. Yes, you!

I Don’t Like It

I love it love it love it UH OH.

Ugh I hate that song. It gets stuck in my head all the damn time and I have to flush my brain with Abba or something to make it stop.

YOU ARE THE DANCING QUEEN, YOUNG AND SWEET, ONLY *cough*TEEN


So on Sunday, it will be my 10th anniversary with the boyfriend. Ten years! My god, about the only thing I’ve stuck with longer is my current job, and that’s only because I like having money in my account. TEN YEARS.

When I mention that to people I work with, I always get the question “you gonna get married? ’cause you can now!” and honestly? Nah, that’s not my cup of tea. I mean, it’s obviously fantastic that gay people CAN marry, and I have strong opinions about equal rights, but just because the gays CAN doesn’t necessarily mean they SHOULD, same as any straight person. It all depends on your personal ideals and circumstances, and whether you need that whole ceremonial stuff. I personally don’t, but I love to GO to a wedding, gay or otherwise (though let’s be fair, the LGBT crowd throw the best parties). I’m a party girl, I guess, but one who doesn’t want the added pressure of it being all about ME.


There were raid cinematics. They proved controversial. *shrug*

/shrug


You know, I’ve never “officially” come out to someone. Like, I came out to my mother accidentally that one time, and I’ve passively revealed the ol’ homoness to people in conversation (you know, someone talks about their other half, and I go “oh my boyfriend is the same way” etc etc*) or by my general campy flailing mannerisms, but I’ve never had the old “MOTHER, FATHER, PLEASE SIT DOWN, I HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO TELL YOU” super-dramatic coming out.

I’m quite glad of that. Like, I’ve never had any issues with it, I’ve not had the worry, the fear, the dread that comes from hiding 🏳️‍🌈 THE 🏳️‍🌈 SECRET 🏳️‍🌈 from those you love, and I’m very lucky for that. I know, though, that not everyone is that fortunate, so let me tell you right here and now, I support you and I am here for you, if you need it!

*one time when I did this, the other person looked very shocked and said “You’re gay?! I didn’t realise! I thought you were just well-spoken!” which never fails to make me laugh. But also, honey it’s not like I’m really masc, like at all, so how the frig did you NOT know?


 

Random Thoughts About 8.3

A new patch has hit us square in the face like a baseball bat, and I have ThOuGhTs!

  • Okay so I was slightly disappointed at the lack of hunter changes over the course of the 8.3 PTR, but honestly having played Fuhai exclusively since the patch dropped (because fuck doing those dailies more than once a day) hunters didn’t need anything!
  • okay maybe survival does but eh I don’t play that.
  • TENTACLES GALORE. *looks around Vale* oh N’zoth, I love what you’ve done with the place, it looks very homely.
  • Ny’alotha looks like it’s gonna be one of the most fun raids I’ve experienced (bearing in mind I’ve raided since Siege of Orgrimmar on and off, then since Hellfire Citadel regularly), some of these bosses look really interesting! The glorious return of Il’gynoth also makes me happy, he was my favourite boss in Legion.
  • It’s nice to see Uldum and the Vale used again, even if they are now covered in purple junk/large bugs. Can’t help but feel we’ve made Taran Zhu’s life just full of constant disappointment and annoyance since he met us though.
  • “for the love of… we JUST finished rebuilding this place and NOW IT’S COVERED IN TENTACLES. Taoshi, Cho,  pack your bags, we’re leaving. We’re going to Ironforge, nothing happens there except Brewfest.”
  • Speaking of WoW holidays, mein gott it’s almost time for the yearly Love Rocket disappointment.
  • oh let’s be honest, they won’t be.
  • Um excuse me, where is my pandaren heritage armour? Please thanks?
  • Honestly shocked that humans don’t have a set either but humans are boring tbh.
  • Horrific Visions are pretty cool I guess. Can’t wait for Torghast in Shadowlands though, I’m gonna be in there a LOT. Love me some roguelike mechanics, I do.
  • Still forever disappointed that the pandaren intro questline doesn’t conclude with you knocking Anduin on his arse like you did Varian, but I suppose I’ll get over that.
  • IT’S BEEN THREE YEARS I’M NOT OVER IT.

Other Stuff?

I’ve been replaying Disgaea 2 recently. It’s one of those games that came out back in 2006 on the PS2, and upon release I sunk HUNDREDS of hours into it, almost obsessively, then when it got an upgraded rerelease on the PSP three years later, I bought it again and threw hundreds more hours of my life into it. Just sheer amounts of level grinding, reincarnating, level grinding more, felony farming, item upgrading, seeing just how high I can push the damage numbers or my stats.

There’s something about the Disgaea games that really just catch me in the right way. It’s a grindy game and it’s unashamed about it, and it’s a grind I will forever enjoy because each step is rewarding in its own way, as opposed to all the satisfaction coming right at the end.

Also:

Numbers numbers numbers, love me some numbers.

ESCANDALO!

AIEEEEEE!

I’ve been saying ESCANDALO! a lot in my life recently, at things that aren’t even scandalous (“I need to go to the shop! ESCANDALO!”) and it’s honestly quite enjoyable. I’m living life like a villain in a Mexican telenovela, only without pointing a gun at people or tipping wheelchairs over.

And now, a list of the important things:

  1. The Outer Worlds is very, very good. I’ve not played MUCH of it yet, I’m still faffing around Edgewater, but I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. Need to get a sniper rifle though.
  2. I’m on S9 E13 of RDPR, and I really hope Sasha Velour wins.
  3. IT’S LEVELLING TIME. That anniversary battleground is *chef kiss* for speed levelling, and *fart noise* for your confidence levels because god DAMN the Alliance never fucking wins.
  4. If, back before E Honda was released in Street Fighter V, you had come up to me and said “hey Panda Steve, I know you absolutely hated playing as or against E Honda in 4, but you will actively ENJOY playing as him in 5” I would have slapped your face and cursed your family. Yet here we are, he’s in the game and it makes me HAPPY because he’s so fun to play.
  5. HUNDRED HAND SLAP!

  6. What’s that, you want my ID? THIS FACE IS MY ID, MOTHERFUCKER.
  7. The Christmas songs have begun playing at work, and it makes me grimace, because it’s the BAD Christmas CD, the Michael Buble one, not the cool compilation with Wham, Boney M, Mariah et al. Make it stop, MAKE IT STOP.
  8. That’s it.

No really, that’s it.