Awesome art I bought today

I went to Eastern Market this morning and bought this amazing antique copper tile:

It's going to be a lovely antidote to my sparse bedroom walls! I'm going to save up some money for more because the sellers have hundreds, in many sizes and patterns and colors. They also have some beautiful mirrors made out of enameled copper as well. I believe it is all scavenged from historic buildings that were demolished. I believe they all originated in the Scranton, PA area. For reference, this tile is about 9"x9"
boomer goo tub

You're killing me, ONTDP

So uh, this happened.

SWEET MOTHER OF PEARL! I was late leaving for work this morning, because I could not tear myself away from the utter trainwreck that is the comments on that post.

And lo, a new LJ note was born.
Lady Mary

OMG Julian Fellowes kicked me right in the heart

I just watched the latest ep of Downton Abbey. SO MANY EMOTIONS!

[Spoiler (click to open)]
This show is a TRAINWRECK. Poor Sybil...first Fellowes commits gross character assassination on her all through season 2 and now he decides to kill her off? What a hack writer. Let's also not forget him totally dicking Edith over a couple of weeks ago.

Robert needs to die, like yesterday. I hate that bastard. I hope Cora teams up with Matthew to ice him out of the estate both personally and professionally.

And still, this nonsense with Bates continues? I have never cared so little about a storyline. I hope they just shank that motherfucker and let Anna get on with her life.

lee frak

EA continues destroying all the games I love

This has been a frustrating week in gaming at my house.

First, Mass Effect 3 started giving me the dreaded "Checking DLC infinity loop" error. The only way I can get the game to start is by taking my Xbox offline. That's fine for single player but clearly doesn't work for multiplayer. My googling revealed that this bug has been happening since the game was released and....they still haven't fixed it! I didn't get this bug until after I got the Arrival and Leviathan DLCs so I'm wondering if I delete them if it will fix it? Regardless, I am pissed. Some people have come up with a temporary fix of unplugging their ethernet cable, starting the game, and then plugging the cable back in. That doesn't work for me because I connect through wifi thus, I am screwed. ::shakes fist::

Second gaming issue is ALSO the fault of EA, those bastards. I decided to get the Sims 3 because I finally got a computer that can run it. Sure enough, I download the game and install it, and on the FIRST play it starts being all glitchy and crashing. I finally got a game going but when I tried to create more sims it started freaking out again. Now I it crashes constantly, won't save, freezes mid play, etc. etc. etc. I've done a bunch of googling about this as well and the consensus seems to be that EA fucked something up and hasn't released proper patches. This error has also been happening for years.

All I want to do is play a damn game without getting all raged up! Is that too much to ask? Apparently.


Is there a non-sucky LJ client out there? I just tried to make a post to ontd_political with semagic and I gave up trying. It's like I can't use tags, the lj cuts are all wonky and messed up, it makes wacky html decisions, randomly freezes, etc. etc. etc. etc. Is there some magical lj client I don't knwo about that makes things less irritating for posters? I would enjoy a product like that.

Productivity is my friend

Over the past few weeks my brain has been slowly convincing itself it needs less and less sleep. I wouldn't say that it's insomnia, because I don't struggle falling asleep, but I simply am not getting tired until late (for me) in the evening. Example: last night I was up until 1:15 and woke up at 6:15. That's absurd! The plus side to this is that it's now 11am and I've accomplished all of the following:
got a haircut
went to the grocery store
wrote a cover letter and applied for a job
replied to 2 emails
played Minecraft for an hour

If I fall asleep at 3pm I think we'll all know why.
shark week

Shut your pie holes, Olympic Commentators.

It's time for some Olympic talk. First: I've been watching it, yay!

I much prefer the Summer Olympics to Winter as I loathe the snow and thus deeply question the people who willingly go out to roll around in it. Sorry skiiers, I will never trust you.

I so rarely watch live tv (and by live I mean, as it is airing, not from a dvd or illicitly downloaded) and OMG I forgot how fucking frequent and annoying commercial breaks are. It's really irritating.

So far I have determined that I love tennis, gymnastics of all sorts, swimming, beach volleyball, and yet strangely am bored to tears by indoor volleyball. I don't know why. Track and field blows my mind because I can't muster up the urge to even jog at a slow pace, much less run really fast and then jump over things. No doubt it's a skill that I'll regret developing when the inevitable zombie/robot apocalypse comes.

As I'm sure is the case for many people, watching the Olympics is a painful reminder of how lazy and uncoordinated I am. Time to kick up that exercise routine again!

I really enjoy tennis, and I remember I used to like playing it in high school. Unfortunately, I don't understand the scoring. It continues to baffle me, no matter how many wikipedia pages I read. Thus when I watch the matches I rely almost entirely on the excited/sad crowd noises to clue me into what was a good move or bad.

I'm amused that they made the gymnastics arena (?) Barbie pink, and while it's tolerable on my tv I think if I was an athlete actually forced to perform in such an environment I'd probably be too distracted by the onslaught of in-your-face color. However, it's an interesting contrast to the gray jackets Team USA has been wearing. I'm assuming the jackets were surplus from Star Trek and were available at a significant discount because that's the only reasonable explanation for such bland and yet futuristic looking sports attire.

Speaking of blasting things into space, I would really like to send Bob Costas and Shaun White there. While watching the trampoline event (I forget if it was men's or women's) Bob Costas interviewed Shaun White (yes, the frizzy headed snowboarder) for his input on the event. Shaun White's commentary can be summarized as this: "Trampoline is okay but snowboarding is way harder, because we have a board strapped to our feet and go faster when we do flips." Assuming he is not also secretly a professional gymnast, I can only assume he has never TRIED to do triple backflips on a trampoline and thus is talking out his ass. Rather than saying, "Hey douchebag, let's not trash talk our fellow Olympians" Bob Costas asked him inane questions about what he's done since the last Olympics. Thanks for the stellar journalism NBC!

Why do the female gymnasts show up in bedazzled costumes with 12 pounds of glittery eyeshadow for events such as the uneven bars and the balance beam yet the women doing trampoline have apparently plain faces and no rhinestones anywhere? If I was going to jump around and sweat profusely on international tv the last thing I'd want to worry about is if my false eyelashes had detached while I was flying through the air. I seriously don't get it. Personally, I'd like to see the male gymnasts all glittered up too, but I don't think that wish will ever be granted.

Finally, I'm really happy for Michael Phelps but if I never have to sit through an interview with him again it will be too soon.

Things that make my head hurt:

The comments on this article.

I love when ignorant, uninformed people make sweeping generalizations about things they have no experience or knowledge of!

The highlights of the comments:
1-Video games are garbage and ruining our culture/youth/education.
2-Only socially inept delinquents play games
3-Women do not play games
4-Women should not play games ever, and especially if they don't want to be harassed
5-Go outside and play a sport (because sports aren't sexist??)
6-Kids today! ::shakes fist::
7-There's no such thing as harassment in online gaming because women say mean things to men too.
9-It's the victim's fault, always!
10-Cry moar, it's just a game.

Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaage! At least there are a fair amount of comments disputing the above nonsense. Sadly, the snobs and trolls don't listen to reason.


I finally finished Mass Effect 3. SO MANY TEARS. D:

Please enjoy this depressing music from the soundtrack while I tell my tale....

I'm putting this behind a cut because, ahoy spoilers!

[Spoiler (click to open)]
Long before I started playing ME I knew that that the ending of ME3 was controversial. I read a lot of gaming communities & blogs and it was impossible to avoid the fan rage after ME3 was released. However, I knew I would play it and didn't want to spoil myself so while I knew something bad happened, I didn't know what exactly. As I got further into the series I assumed some or all of the following was the "bad ending": Shepard dies, Shepard was being controlled by Cerberus the entire time, the Reapers win and kill everyone in the galaxy.

I assumed that the ending was controversial because it was dark and depressing. It never occurred to me that the ending was controversial because it made no damn sense and did not in anyway fit with the plot/aesthetic/characterization that was so painstakingly laid out in the earlier games. Thus, I find myself on board with the Indoctrination Theory, the fan-created theory about what the ending really was.

I'm okay with the IT because it means that rather than dropping the ball at the last minute and totally phoning it in, the writers actually have a big plan, they expect a level of intelligence from the fans in requiring them to read between the lines in the ending, and it leaves the story open for much more development (Mass Effect 4? Yes PLEASE!).

Mostly though, I buy the IT ending because it is the ONLY THING that makes sense. It's just not feasible that Shepard was zapped by Harbinger's laser and woke up, considering just seconds before we saw the same laser shearing through entire buildings and vehicles. Shepard is a badass but she's still human! Honestly when I played the game and got zapped with the laser and then woke up I didn't realize I was still able to play. I died the first time the husks came running at me because I assumed it was a final cut scene showing you Shepard's gruesome demise and failure to stop the Reapers. Then I realized I could shoot the husks, and the shield marauder, and what's this? Hop into the beam and zoom up to the Citadel? Hey, don't mind if I do? What's this, Anderson is here ahead of me despite not ever crossing me in the one way entrance to the Citadel? How odd. Oh and look, it's my old pal the Illusive Man. Has he just been hanging out up here all along? WTF BIOWARE?

Never mind the fact that at the end after I chose the Destroy option (yeah, fuck you reapers! sorry Geth and EDI) Joker is flying the Normandy away....with my crew on board? Liara was just down on the planet with me! To my knowledge, Asari can't teleport. And then they crash land on some crazy tropical looking planet and everyone is okay? This is all just bananas. I choose to believe the IT because it's more satisfying than believing the writers waited until the end of an amazing trilogy and then took a lazy shit all over the awesome product they had created and disregarded the high level of quality expected and anticipated by the fans.

So on that note, I'm doing a re-play from ME1 because I accidentally killed like ALL of my fucking crew through a series of bad decisions. Seriously, I killed all of the following: Wrex, Kaidan, Jacob, Thane, Jack, Mordin, Legion, Dr. Chakwas and the entire ship crew, Tali, ALL of the Quarians, and apparently all of the Geth and Edi by choosing the Destroy ending option. I'm pretty sure they need to change my title from "Commander Vanessa Shepard" to "Genocidal War Criminal Vanessa Shepard." UGH, the body count, it was unreal! At least my BFF Garrus survived <3

For me, the high point of ME3 was the Tuchanka mission because I LOVE KROGANS and I wanted to cure the genophage. I'm really glad I did because it was such a great moment for the Krogans AND the Salarians. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed that I got to free the Rachni again AND Grunt got to be a badass hero. I thought he died at first and I was sobbing my eyes out at the thought that I accidentally killed another Krogan (RIP Wrex) but I was so relieved to see that he survived!! However, after all the Krogan-centric missions my interest in ME3 waned somewhat. I was less invested in the Thessia mission (sorry Asari). I did enjoy the creepiness of infiltrating Sanctuary and seeing all the horrific video footage. I really thought there was going to be a video Miranda had recorded revealing that Shepard was implanted with a control chip/reaper tech all along. I was almost disappointed that it didn't happened because I felt the constant re-hashing of "you didn't get a control chip" was a little too defensive.

Long story short, Mass Effect was amazing even with the bizarre nonsensical ending. I recommend everyone play it! I've started in on the multiplayer now so if anyone on my flist plays it please let me know and we can be MP friends.

This concludes the longest, most rambling video game review of all time.