Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weekly post: The most beautiful San Francisco Saturday

Last Saturday was probably the most gorgeous day I've seen in San Francisco since moving here. It was both sunny and amazingly warm. Not to be one to waste perfectly good sunshine I was determined to go out and enjoy it, so Rich and I ventured out and walked around the city for almost the entire day. First we walked up to the North Beach/Fisherman's Wharf area. We could've taken a bus, but it was so gorgeous outside that we walked instead. There were some CRAZY hills and beautiful views from the route we took.
 






Alacatraz!

I didn't expect to stay long at Fisherman's Wharf. I wasn't that hungry yet (and was pretty set on eating at the North Beach Street Fair we were eventually heading to) and Rich isn't a seafood fan. So I was confused when he led me further back, past multiple food vendors, but he was ultimately leading me to a place I had no idea existed, but that he knew I'd love.

Musée Mécanique, a collection of antique arcade games and other coin-op machines. I was instantly in love with the place. I love arcades, especially those with older machines, they fascinate me. Some of the machines were a little creepy (also why I linked to the Wikipedia article on the place and not the official website, it has some CREEPY laughing on it, like nightmare material stuff). Only had a $1 and a $20 with me so I didn't get to play much, but I have a crapton of quarters at my apartment so I'll definitely have to go back with those sometime soon.



The arcade I worked at through high school and summers during college had (still has actually) this pinball. It's one of my favorites.





Closeup on the pinball

We spent a decent amount of time wandering around the arcade, mainly since I wanted to try and at least look at all the machines they had.

By this point we're both decently hungry, so onward to the North Beach Street Fair!

Unfortunately, since it was SUCH a nice day out the street fair area was wall to wall (building to building?) people. So we quickly grabbed some fair food, and delicious fair lemonades, stuffed our faces and decided where to go next.

The street fair happened to be right next to Chinatown and since neither of us had gone to Chinatown before, we decided to stroll through there while deciding on what to do next. Lots of cool shops and buildings, lots of delicious smelling and looking foods, but we were too stuffed to bother. Definitely planning on going back to eat there sometime soon too!

Eventually we started on our way back home, this time taking a bus due to being tuckered out from walking in the sun (and also full of food) where we spent the rest of the night watching TV and playing video games next to each other. D'aww.

Waking up on Sunday morning and looking outside we were disappointed to see that San Francisco had reverted to it's normal, slightly chilly, foggy self.

Bonus Pic: How Rich has spent the majority of his night tonight in order to cover all the Nintendo Direct news. (actually very little of it spent on the phone but I don't think he's moved from that spot but once since Nintendo Direct started at 8pm).




Thursday, June 14, 2012

Last weekend's SoCal trip



Shit, it's Thursday? Already?! Time for another weekly post?! Oh man, oh man, what to write about?!

I already updated about the Best. Gift. Ever. So...umm I guess I could write about the rest of my weekend in SoCal, huh? Not the most interesting thing in the world but, hey, it's something!

After work last Friday I flew out to spend the weekend in SoCal with my amazing boyfriend. Ended up getting to the airport hella early, so I sat around for an hour and a half (longer than my flight!) wishing that I had booked an earlier flight. Oh well, I'll know for next time.

It was pretty late when we got to Rich's parents' place so we went almost straight to bed (after him giving me my gift and me promptly posting about it all over the Internet, of course).

Saturday was pretty relaxed. Drove around in the sunshine, got some coffee (well, tea for me), went shopping but ended up not buying anything, tried to figure out what the hell the XM radio stations played based on their names (The Coffee Shop? The Loft? Fuck, just tell me what type of music the station plays already!) and drove around SoCal soaking up the sunshine and heat. It was so nice to wear shorts and tank tops all weekend. Definitely wish that San Francisco was hotter.

Went back to his parent's place and met the parents for the first time and also got to see some cute baby photos of Rich! D'aww. His parents are SUPER awesome and nerdy and sweet.

The four of us went out to dinner together to a really awesome barbecue place, then went and saw Prometheus. Was a pretty decent movie but I felt like it raised more questions than it answered. Like, I was legitimately curious about all the questions the scientists had from the beginning, but none of those got answered! Guess I'll have to wait for a sequel, in which they probably still won't answer any of those questions and will just try to tie it to the Alien movies more.

Sunday was more relaxation and sunshine soaking up. Short day really since we both had to fly back to San Francisco around 6pm and the drive back to LAX would take an hour and a half to two hours with traffic. So we left his parent's place around 2 and started our trek back. I loved our drive back just talking and listening to music. I actually really enjoy road trips a lot (and Rich loves driving) so I'm hoping we'll get to do more trips like that together soon. Just a matter of renting a car and deciding on somewhere to day or weekend trip!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Best. Gift. Ever.

After getting back to Rich's parents' house late last night after my flight to LA there was a gift bag waiting for me on their coffee table. Rich had mentioned early in the week that he got me something that I was going to love. I tried to get the information as to what he got me, but though all my pestering and questioning I never managed to crack him.

I'm glad I didn't.

The magnitude of how amazing this gift is took me be surprise the minute I opened its wrapping.


A Japanese copy of Hyrule Historia. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was THE game that made me fall in love with games, with the storytelling element of games and with game design itself. And while I didn't continue down the path of becoming a game developer, that game helped shape so many aspects of my life (including moving to Chicago and starting out college as a Game Dev major). I remember staying up late on weekends reading Triforce rumors and timeline theories, rumors about new Zelda games and how they'd connect to the previous games. This series means the world to me. This book alone is an amazing gift.

But it's when I opened the book that the gift was taken to another level.


Shigeru Miyamoto. Rich got Shigeru Miyamoto to sign my copy of Hyrule Historia. This man is one of my idols, and this might be the closest I ever get to meeting him myself. 10 year old Kyle could only have dreamed of ever having anything signed by this man.

And not just Miyamoto! There are signatures from Takashi Tezuka and Reggie Fils-Aime as well!

"They all know who you are now too, babe."

Floored.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Weekly update - E3 thoughts and my LA trip

Trying out another PC PhotoBooth clone.

Holy shit, is it really Thursday already? I guess I'm not really obligated to blog this week since I already blogged once (twice, if you count the beer list but I don't think that counts does it?)

Originally when this week began I was upset that I wasn't going to E3, since it seems like 90% of the people I know in San Francisco were going. But by the end of Wednesday E3 seemed like kind of a bust this year and I'm actually glad I didn't go. It doesn't look like it would've been a very thrilling E3 for me. Definitely going next year. It's something I have to do at least once in my life since there's a 10 year old Kyle in me whose dream is still to go to E3 someday.

What were my impressions of E3? Probably the same as any other person who followed E3 this year.

Lackluster all around, except for Ubisoft whose games shown like a beacon of originality among an otherwise very sequel filled show. Watch Dogs is definitely my pick for Game of Show. Then again, I still haven't watched any of Sony's press conference (was on a bus at the time and I don't own any current-gen Sony systems) so I don't really know what Last of Us looks like, but I hear good things. As for Nintendo I feel like they really let us down with a list of good launch titles. Okay, thats great that AC3 and ME3 and whatever other games that are already out on other systems are coming to the Wii U, but by the time Wii U comes out I'm probably going to have played them on another system.

Oh well, it just means that next year's E3 will be a hell of a lot more exciting and I'll actually be there for it!

I leave tomorrow night to go to LA and spend the rest of the weekend there with Rich since he isn't flying back from his E3 adventure till Sunday. Not really sure what all we're going to do since we'll be staying at his parents' place (yep, I get to meet the parents this weekend!) and apparently they live a bit ways out from the city. I'm hoping maybe Santa Monica, but that seems unlikely if they're that far. Might try to make it to Anaheim and stop by Major League Gaming Anaheim Spring Championship since I'll have a few friends there (my old roommate, Cathy will be there too!). I want to go to Disneyland but Rich thinks we should do that when we have more time (plus he's getting sick so I don't wanna drag him around Disney if he feels like butt). To be honest, I don't really care what we do as long as I get to soak up some heat and sunshine!

Till next week!

<3

(also I might have some really cool news about something I might be doing in November, but I don't wanna mention it till I know for sure if I'll be going!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why I'm 2+ years behind on games (and what I'm catching up on)


For the past year it seems I've been playing catch up with video games.

Since around this time in 2009 I have started and finished the following list of games (that I remember...):
-Assassin's Creed 1
-Assassin's Creed 2
-Bioshock 1
-COD: MW3
-Fable 3
-Halo 3
-Halo: Reach
-Mass Effect
-Mass Effect 2

Hardly any of these games are recent releases. And, hell, I still have a HUGE backlog of other games I still want to START (Skyward Sword, all the other Assassin's Creed, Bioshock 2, etc).

So why am I so damned far behind on games?

First to blame is college. I barely had any time to really focus on both starting and finishing a game in any reasonable amount of time between sleep, class, homework and the occasional party (or two, or three, or seven).

Second, I'm going to blame my last boyfriend. Don't want to go into too much detail, but he didn't like that I was a nerd. I quit WoW for the majority of our relationship because of his constant "Are you playing that stupid game, AGAIN?" I also haven't really been able to play Pokemon since that relationship. Anywho. It was a good two years of almost no gaming and it was terrible!

Third, World of Warcraft. Complete other game motivation killer. Why play Mass Effect 3 when I need to log in and check my mail and do my dailies and maybe run a dungeon and...oh shit it's 1am?!

Fourth, SO. MANY. GAMES. So many. Every time I knock one game off my backlog it's like another one comes right out. At least it's kind of slow right now, but I bet by the time I finish the next 2 or 3 games on my backlog it'll probably be time for Assassin's Creed 3 to come out!

So wish me luck.

Currently playing: Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3 and Minecraft (also gaming motivation killer. must. build. lava. moat.)

Current Backlog:
-Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
-Assassin's Creed: Revelations
-Bioshock 2
-Lost Planet
-Portal 2
-Zelda: Skyward Sword