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Diary of an ADD WoW Player

I got back into playing World of Warcraft with my sister, room mate, and fiance. Though I am very ADD and tend to only play in spurts and all of my characters are very low levels because I bounce around because I get bored with one and have to switch to another off and on. I’m so bad!

Here are all of my lovely characters. I have learned that my favorite races are Trolls, Blood Elves, and Draenei. My favorite classes are Hunter, Warlock, and Shaman. I’m getting used to playing as a Mage and Paladin, and I’m starting to try another class I have never played as before, a Priest.

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Nerdy Maestro Chronicles: The Old Republic

My character Mirra Nite, in a cut scene,

So, I just started playing The Old Republic yesterday. I am currently only to level 3, so I haven’t played enough to get a set opinion of the game. Though I do feel that if you are a MMO game fan, you will get into this game quickly and easily. I may not be a World of Warcraft super fan or anything, because I am more of a casual player – but I experience from WoW made getting into this game easy.

I enjoy the character creator a lot more than the one provided in World of Warcraft though because for me – I love having a lot of options for character customization. This one allows you to change the height, hair color, eye color, tattoos (if the race allows you), scars, skin color, face shape, and a few other race specific options. After careful deliberation, I ended up going with a Zabrak bounty hunter. I almost went with a different race/class because I experienced the Bounty Hunter when I got selected to try The Old Republic beta. Then I thought “No no, you must be a bounty hunter!” – I’m a huge Star Wars bounty hunter fan, so much that I collect Boba Fett stuff and what ever other bounty hunter merch I find. Though I am bad and I exclude Dengar because I think he is just plain goofy and I don’t care much about any of the new Clone Wars stuff.

Anyways, back on topic….When I started the game, I already noticed that it seemed a lot less glitchy than what I experienced in the beta test. Though it still has it’s moments here and there but it’s a brand new game so I don’t feel like I can be too picky. It does lag here and there but I don’t know it that is due to the game or the computer needing more memory. I also completed a few tasks given to me so far and I will say that it has been very hard to earn any dark side points in the game. I started off deciding that I would be a neutral character so I figured that I would be in the middle on both. I’m a bounty hunter for the Imperials and I have not gotten a single dark side point yet. Sure, I haven’t invested a whole lot of time into the game yet, but really? Apparently despite my character’s attitude problems, she is still getting light side points. Though, one of the tasks given forces you to decide if you would like to be a cold blooded killer or not. I decided that I didn’t want to be in that situation, so I was given 100 light side points.

I will say though that it is pretty darn cool to have cut scenes and the ablity to choose how you would like to reply to the people you have to interact with. I feel like that gives you the ability to mold your character into the way you want them to be. The choice option layout is very similar to the look in Mass Effect 2, if you have played that game before. It is also pretty neat to hear your choices spoken for you when you choose them. Though, for me – I don’t mind not being able to have the lines voice acted, but it’s a really neat touch.

Here you can see the command bar, map icon and options icons above.

Here is the first Bounty Hunter trainer. Her name is Zinny and she teaches you new skills as you reach new levels.

Movie Journal: The Invention of Hugo Cabret vs. Hugo

[SPOILER FREE]

For my degree, I had to take a class that focused on Children’s Literature. For the class, I was required to read the book: The Invention of Hugo Cabret. This book turned out to be my favorite of all the books that I had to read for that class. Not only was the book unique on it’s own, but if you learn about some of the history behind the book it creates an educational tool as well. If you ever see the book, it’s huge due to it being 550 pages in length. Don’t let that scare you if you aren’t a avid book reader. The book is filled with wonderful pictures all drawn by the author. The pictures are important in helping you understand the story. If you ignored the text of the book and just flipped through the book, it is supposed to give you the feeling of watching a movie. The book was inspired by the old black in white silent movies, so each picture is a black and white sketch and of course the text pages are designed to look like the text screens in those movies. The story of Hugo Cabret was compelling to me because in the beginning, you are as lost as he is – not knowing where the story is going to take you. What you don’t realize in the beginning is that the story takes you through a world grounded in history and imagination. You don’t realize it at all, until you learn the research that the author – Brian Selznick put into writing the story.

A huge chunk of the story revolves around a man named George Melies. What I didn’t realize while reading the story was that George Melies actually existed. He is a real person that existed in history. George Melies was a french film director, that worked during the time of silent film. He was known for his inventive and imaginative films, and actually made the very first science fiction movie called A Trip to the Moon. George Melies made many many films, you can see a full list of them here on IMDB. Not only did George Melies direct the films, but from time to time he also acted in them, wrote, produced, did the make up, designed, did special effects, music, and cinematography. He was a Jack of all Trades in movie making. His films even inspired the Smashing Pumpkins for thier Tonight, Tonight music video. He also collected and created machines called “Automata” or “Automatons” – the machines worked like wind up toys but weren’t as simplistic as the little wind up toys you see today. These machines were filled with complicated clockwork and would sing, or dance, draw, write, or even sing on a trapeze. The reason I bring up Automata, is because the story focuses on one particular Automaton throughout the story. The author, Brian Selznick actually went to the Franklin Institute in Philidelphia to study the Automata.

Brian Selznick even traveled around France to take pictures to help inspire and insure accuracy in his drawings throughout the story. He actually used people he met as models for the characters throughout the story. He actually used a man named Remy Charlip as the model for the character of Papa George. Remy Charlip is a writer and illustrator of children’s books that Brian Selznick adored growing up. Brian Selznick even watched a lot of old movies as well while writing the book – such as Safety First, a comedy movie of the time period. What amazed me is that he even referenced a train crash that haunted Hugo in the story. The train crash was real, it was the crash of Gare Montparnasse in Paris during 1895. You can see more information about the crash here. I suggest you check out the page, because if you have seen the movie – then the image will probably look very familiar.

What I have to say is that I absolutely loved the story of the book. What I didn’t realize after I read the book was that a movie was already in talks. I remember reading about it thinking “Oh, I hope they don’t mess this one up!”. Sure, Martin Scorsese was directing it so I had hope but I still had my fears. I worried that the magic of the story would be left out. I saw the movie the day it was released with my fiance. He told me to tell him what I thought of it when we left, but then he laughed because he knew he would be able to tell from the expressions on my face or that I might lean over and whisper about it being wrong if I was unhappy. After all he did have to go through some of the Harry Potter movies with me and he was lucky he didn’t have to endure seeing The Golden Compass with me (apologies to my sister). If I love a book, I tend to be disappointed if they make changes to it because often they change the whole story up or miss the things that make me love the book.

To both his and my amazement, I just sat there watching the movie quietly. When we walked out of the movie, I was still quiet saying nothing. Going over the movie in my head. The thing was, I picked apart every scene in my head and I was just plain sucked in and amazed. Right when the movie started it was a direct scene from the story, I felt like I was literally watching the book. Sure there were changes to the book – but they were changes that seemed to fit the story well. I was amazed that they even kept the history involved that made me love the book so much. Including the historic train crash and the Automaton even looked spot on. This is the first book to movie transitions that I left with little to no complaining. Sure, I admit that I was a bit disappointed that the movie wasn’t black and white because I felt it lost the feeling of an old movie but I feel that in the end the color just added to the imagination and whimsy in the story.

One thing I will say is that many people seem to end up a bit disappointed by the turn of plot in the story. What I say about that is sure, it’s not a huge “Oh my gosh moment” but if you truly enjoy movies and the creativity and imagination that it takes to put one together, you will be pleased. I was, I’m all about encouraging wonder and imagination. Sure, you can be the smartest person in the world but without creativity or imagination how can things be created? Movies are one of those creations and being a movie lover, I feel that Hugo captured that appreciation.

What to read more about Hugo Cabret? Go here.

Selznick, B. (29, January 2012). The invention of hugo cabret. Retrieved from http://www.theinventionofhugocabret.com

Disney Animator Dolls

So when I first saw a picture of the new line of the Disney Animator Dolls – I was very interested. No, it wasn’t really something I would rush out and buy for my collection….but I was certainly interested. What are the Disney Animator Dolls? They are dolls of each one of the princesses re-imagined as Toddler aged children. What makes them so special is that two Disney animators were asked to design them – Mark Henn and Glenn Keane. These dolls retail at $24.99 versus the usual $15.00 that I see most of the Disney toddler dolls run for in stores.

I was pretty excited by the concept art for each doll, to the point that I even debated on purchasing one to save for my future children. Each doll is even supposed to come with a companion animal from the movie as well:

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as thrilled with them as I thought that I would be when I saw the actual dolls. The first image is how the doll is presented to you on the website, the second one is what you will be getting in the actual box.

I feel that the Rapunzel doll is one of the cuter ones and I love the hair – but to me, her face doesn’t look very yearning at all. Her face looks timid or even a little worried. My sister felt she was looking at someone like they were crazy or something. I just don’t feel that it instills the same feeling that I get from watching the Tangled movie. I would prefer the doll to look just as bright and bubbly and ready to take on the world as Rapunzel looks in the movie. I feel that the Belle one is pretty cute but it’s still not one of my most favorites. Her face is pretty cute and she is at least smiling – though I am not thrilled with what looks like a Superman spit curl on her forehead.

The Ariel doll is my most favorite out of the set – I think she looks adorable. I would buy her for one of my little cousins. She has such a cute face and everything about her is adorable. The Aurora doll kind of freaked me out a bit, I mean her eyes are huge! She has this very mischievous look on her face as well. Then, look at the picture of what you actually get in the box. Look at her face, her eyebrows are furrowed a bit to the point that she looks a little mad. She looks like she wants to go kick someone in the shin!

The Cinderella doll is pretty cute, though it seems to have the same expression on her face that many of the other dolls have. I love the Jasmine doll though, she is pretty cute and I love that they put her in an outfit that fits her culture. Though, still looking at her one way – she doesn’t look like she is smiling either. Where’s the smile Jasmine? Or she could have at least sported her “Uh huh, sure” look that she gets in the movie – with one eyebrow up and one down. I could see her starting that expression at a young age.

I really don’t have much to say about the Mulan doll, but it really isn’t nearly as cute at the concept design. Now, the Pocahontas doll – I just couldn’t believe that one. Sure, Pocahontas is the most serious of the Disney princesses. I mean, few times do you see her really smile in the movie. I really don’t think they had to do that with the doll though, she looks like someone kicked her puppy! Out of curiosity, I went back and read some of the reviews on the Disneystore.com website to see if anyone even bought the doll. The people that did were of coarse, huge Pocahontas fans. One even went on to say that she looks sad because this could have been around the time her mother died. That is just plain sad and I would not want to give this doll to one of my little relatives looking as sad as she does.

I feel like Snow White is one of the cuter dolls as well, she looks happy. She has big chubby cheeks and her eyes are beautiful. Though, she seems to be sporting the same looking away, half smile that a lot of the other dolls do. I also don’t get what is up with the little pigtails they put on her. Tiana is one of my top favorite princesses, and I think the doll is pretty cute. I love her hair with the pigtails and the little girls. Though again, the same look away, half smile.

The companions that each doll comes with, I thought were going to be little plush toys – but they just seem to each be a flat piece of embroidered fabric. So I was a bit disappointed with that aspect as well.

All in all, that is my opinion of the new line of dolls. I love Disney, I’m a huge Disney collector – but I wanted to give my honest opinion. I am just disappointed from what was given through the concept art. I still have yet to see the dolls in person – so they may be much better looking in person. If I ever do get my hands on one, I will review an actual doll, though I doubt that will happen because I am not planning on purchasing any of them.

Lock, Shock, and Barrel plush review

When I opened the door yesterday morning – there was a box outside my door. When I picked up the box, brought in it and opened it – three creepy little children popped out. They told me they were named Lock, Shock, and Barrel and that they were looking for a Sandy Claws to kidnap. I told them I had never heard of a Sandy Claws (who supposedly looked like a big red scary lobster man). Well, I broke it to them that they had the wrong house and there was no one here for them to kidnap.

I know, a silly way to start off my review but it’s fun! I am in love with these plushes, I bought them because they were on sale for $4.99 and I had an extra coupon code so I got them all for $2.99 each. Well, I couldn’t buy one without the other two – Lock, Shock, and Barrel are a packaged deal. I wanted to buy some new Halloween decorations for this year, so I figured these great plushes would count. When I got them in the mail, I wasn’t disappointed at all. The quality of each plush is superb.

They are all 12 inches tall and made of polyester fabrics. Each one plush has great detail, with embroidered faces, detailed clothes, and each one holds the masks they wear in the movie. The majority of the plushes are made of soft, sleek microfiber. My favorite details on the Lock plush is that they made his costume out of soft fleece and his boots are made of a velour textured fabric. The Shock plush wears the same witch hat she wears in the movie, her hair is made out of squiggly rick tack. She wears a soft microfiber dress and her boots have a soft velour feel as well. I’m a bit biased, the Barrel plush is my favorite – but then he is my favorite out of the three. My favorite details on him is the embroidered skeleton bones on his costume and the corduroy texture on his hair. His costume is also made of that soft microfiber fabric. To me, he is the cuddliest of all of them.

The masks they hold are sewn to their hands, but I have read a couple of reviews where the women seam ripped them off and sewed elastic bands onto each mask so they can wear them. So that is an idea – I might end up doing the same but then I don’t want to end up losing any of them.

Each plush is currently sitting in front of my game center on the couch. Yes, I told them it was okay to play video games. Ha ha. You can get your plushes from your local Disney store or from Disneystore.com. I think they would make a great addition to any Nightmare Before Christmas fan’s collection.

Watch the video below if you want to see some of the pictures I took of my plushes.

Movie Journal: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Yesterday, I decided to have a Harry Potter day with my boyfriend and one of our friends. Our friend had not seen Part 1 yet, so we watched it first and as soon as that movie was over – we went directly to the theater to see Part 2. I was trying so hard this time to actually re-read one the book before I saw the movie because I had never done that before any of the past movies. Unfortunately, because I am a college student – my studies got in the way. I am still planning on finishing the book eventually to see if I end up noticing any glaring differences. Though, this time I really didn’t notice too many and I really enjoyed it. Watching the movie was extremely intense for me because I already knew what happened and I felt like I was having to brace myself for the impact of the story. I hadn’t been this excited for a Harry Potter movie since “The Goblet of Fire”. I had always been a huge fan of the book series, and my favorite is Order of the Pheonix. The movie version of the book greatly disappointed me so I lost faith in the rest of the movie series. To the point that I wasn’t even motivated to see the rest of the movies – though I still ended up seeing all of them. I also had discrepancies with The Half Blood Prince compared to the book as well, so when they were getting to release the final 2 movies – my hopes weren’t all that high. Yes, I understand that a movie adaptation of a book won’t be perfect but I at least want it to make the most of it’s source material – not completely change the whole thing around.

I will definitely say that Part 2 was definitely a favorite of mine in the movie series. I was so excited about it, it made me feel like I was young again. I remember reading the first book and being so excited for the first movie – to the point that I drug my family to the theater an hour early because I didn’t want to be too late. The feelings that Part 2 gave me brought me back to that childlike excitement that I had reading the books for the first time. I wasn’t disappointed at all, this movie gave me what I needed as a Harry Potter fan. It showed the excitement, the intensity of the story, and let us experience the defining moment for each of the characters when the final battle began. To be able to see everthing about the story come down to it’s final moment.

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Watching and Re-watching Shows Part #2

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD

Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel

Well, I am now on season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and we have started consecutively watching Angel Season 1 at the same time to make sure that my boyfriend can understand all of the crossover episodes. Well, I will say that I still don’t like Faith at all, she has low emotional intelligence and whatever happens to her is her own darn fault. There, I said it – throw all of the tomatoes at me you want. I know she has a huge fan base, but she’s just not for me. Also, because this time I didn’t miss the episode where Oz cheats on Willow with Veruca – I can understand why he suddenly disappears and she falls for another. I also really like the Willow/Tara relationship dynamic in the beginning before they get together. It’s sad that Willow ends up using magic to mess with her a bit after a while. Willow is still a favorite character of mine and the one that I can relate to. Though I find myself relating a bit more to Anya now and I don’t know if that is good or bad. LOL! The Anya/Xander relationship dynamic is great as well. I am glad that they end up staying together. I’ll also tell you that I do like Riley, he is just truly trying to do what he thinks is best. He works for the Initiative thinking he is doing something good and then Prof. Walsh goes and completely screws it all up. I know many people don’t really like Riley, but he is a good shoo in for Angel. Yeah yeah, Angel can’t be replaced because he’s Buffy’s first love but with what all happened, I have come to terms that they can’t stay together. I also can’t wait to re-watch how they flesh out Spike through the rest of the series. I absolutely love Spike in season 4, he is serious and also comical at the same time and he does great balancing the too. The crossover with Angel dealing with the jewel of Amara was fun to watch again. “And I’m all out of that nancy boy hair gel I like so much”. Speaking of Angel, I watched the entire first season of Angel when it aired on TV and I am surprised how little I remembered some of the episodes. It was also sad seeing Doyle go again, he’s so lovable from the very beginning – but that is Joss Whedon for you. He gives you time to fall in love with a character and then just takes them away. (I’m still sad about Wash!)

Supernatural

I told my boyfriend about this show and recently started Netflixing it for him to watch. Well, he pretty much ended up getting absolutely hooked on the show. I watched the first and second season when they aired on television but stopped after that because I just didn’t have time to watch TV anymore being a college student and all. I do still feel that what I watched was really good and I realized that again while watching the entire first season over again. I have been very surprised that some of the episodes I don’t remember even though I know I watched them when they came on TV. The episodes I did remember though, still freak me out. Like the “Bloody Mary” episode, I used to play that game with some of my friends in elementary school. So it really freaked me out the first time I watched it, I had trouble looking in the mirror. I felt the same way when I watched it again – I couldn’t look in the mirror. I also think it’s a great “guy” show, so it’s a good choice for my boyfriend. I mean he’s been enjoying Buffy, but when the main character is female – I am sure it’s hard for him to necessarily relate to her. When this show centers around two brothers, I am sure he can actually relate a little better. One thing I really enjoy about the show is that it doesn’t just focus on demons or vampires but all things supernatural or paranormal. I even get episodes about ghosts, and I love a good ghost story. They even take things from actual myths or folklore, like the Wendigo and a White lady. So all in all, I enjoyed the first season the first time I watched it and I am enjoying it the second time around.

Stargate Atlantis

I am now on season 3 of Stargate Atlantis now. I’ll admit the first time I tried to watch the show, I had a really hard time getting into it. I mean I love Stargate SG-1 and to me, Atlantis was no SG-1. I had grown to love O’Neil, Sam, Daniel, and Teal’c – that by the time I tried to watch Atlantis, the characters just didn’t grab me as much. The premise to the show is great, they get stuck on the lost city of Atlantis and they are having to fight to survive against an alien species known as the “Wraith”, that will suck the life force out of you with the palm of their hand. I’ll say that for me compared to SG-1, the show is still a little shaky for me but I have gotten into it a lot more than I was previously. I will say that my favorite characters are McKay and Beckett. Rodney McKay is great, he’s brilliant and comical and can always manage to get out in a fix. Beckett, well I love his accent and he is able to hold his own among the crew. He even works more on a retrovirus to turn the Wraith human. I also really like Ronin and Tayla and their relationship dynamic, they both can relate to each other. I also love how Ronin makes sure to protect when it seems that she is being threatened, even though she does a pretty good job at taking care of herself. Now Micheal is in the picture and I am curious to see where the storyline goes with him. I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd so I recognized the actor (Connor Trineer) that plays Micheal from Star Trek: Enterprise. It’s just plain weird seeing him as a Wraith! Oh, and I am not sure how I feel about Sheppard, he is growing on me a little – but he is no O’Neil. On an off note: The wigs that they put on the Wraith kind of bother me, they look so fake – like doll hair.