on video games, or this is my strange life

hey there.  yeah, you there.  can we talk about video games for a few minutes?

well, it’s my blog, so i’m going to no matter what you just said.

so, when i was a super little kid, our house had a nintendo entertainment system, and it was sort of the best thing ever.  we also, at some point in time, had an atari system and a commodore 64 and, well, our household embraced game technology like mad.  always have.

when i was a tiny wee one, though, i had no idea where i would be now.

hell, even when i was in high school, i had no idea.  i thought i would grow up to be a scientist (copper salts burn blue, iron is orange, and magnesium is blindingly white), or a writer (working on that one, still), or any number of slightly more practical things (though not anything to do with medicine, because hell no).

today, i am sitting here writing, as my lovely partner in crime plays some assassin’s creed: black flag.  i marvel at how great, but still silly, it looks.  i mean, the people have smooshy dog-like faces, but so much attention has been paid to how clothes move, and water textures, and you know, all the extraneous detail stuff.

and across the room, i have my nes that he got me about a year ago, for my birthday.  how far we’ve come, right?

with these things around me, i think on where i am in life.  i’m in my 30s.  my kid is heavily into the modding communities for minecraft, and sir is helping to program a minecraft server in such a way that their version of the game is different from anyone else’s version (it’s modding but a bit more fundamental, i guess, involving coding and all sorts of crazy things).

and then there’s me.  i’ve come up from general customer support, to technical support, and now i’m floating around in the world of quality assurance.  i’ve gone from beta testing for wb games and microsoft (and some others), to handling first and second tier issues for popcap, ea games, and firemonkeys studios (hello, australia, i love you!), and then there’s the qa i’ve been doing for the company that will not be named.

looking back, i’d have never seen me where i am now.  surrounded by games (and russians), i wonder if there is any other way things could have gone.

no.  that answer is no.



on being a zombie, at least for a few minutes

the following was originally posted on random and curious, a blog project that is now closed.


maybe a month or two back, i got invited to try something new and different: voice acting.

it was a very simple set up: several mics in a small office.  it was probably a little more technical than i make it sound, but it wasn’t a full blown studio like i’d been in before, for music.

i suppose there’s far less equipment when there’s only one instrument?

so, i came in, and was given a set of phrases to work with.  i was super nervous, even with just a few words!  i like to talk and sing, but not in front of others, and especially not in front of people i don’t even know, so i had quite a bit of anxiety at first.

i said my few words, over and over, in different tones and paces.  it probably lasted all of 15 minutes, and was incredibly fun!

i don’t have any photos, of course (though i am sure i could have asked to take some).  but i do have an actual credit in a video game now:)

i know the coding got a little messed up, but my name is in there!

a year in colour

i’ve been colouring my hair for years, pretty much since high school.  there’ve been large gaps where i kept one colour for a while or went back to my ‘natural’ colour (which usually meant adding something close to what it actually is, and then leaving it alone for a while to even itself out).

this past year has been full of a lot of wild colours, and several folks who know me are now on a sort of colour watch, if you will.  i’ve even had people ask me to alert them when i make changes.  i thought maybe a mini-retrospective of the past year would be of interest to some of you.

for those who work with me, keep in mind that we’ve known each other for 8 months now, so you’ll have seen most of this before.

in early march of 2015, i was working at popcap games, here in seattle.  i’m pretty sure i’d done some wacky stuff with my hair, before this point, but i’d been wanting to do rainbow hair for quite some time, and decided to finally just do the thing.  i thought i was a really patient person, but i learned a lot more about patience when i did this.  with bleaching time, this probably took me about 5 hours or so (yes, i do all my own hair colour).

DSC_0073 yes, my eyebrows match.  no, they’re just drawn on, not dyed.DSC_0227_1

some time after that, i had an interview for my current employer.  i thought it would maybe not be best first impression to show up with extremely faded rainbows in my hair, so i did my best to get the colour out.  pravana makes some incredibly durable red, let me tell you.  i ended up with what you see below.


i got the job.

shortly after starting, i asked what the policy was on ‘unnatural’ hair colours.  i’ve learned to do this, after having a boss say it was fine if i had purple hair, and then changing his mind, and being told to dye it to a normal colour again.  i had the last laugh there, because the purple was not permanent, and dying over it just led to it fading and taking the other colour with it, leaving a weird surreal pink.

so, armed with permission from two managers, i managed to create the oddly appropriate-to-my-current-workplace look seen here:

DSC_0470it is grey on the underneath layer, yep.20150920_130849DSC_0473this is what it looked like when braided.  very awesome.

once it started growing out, i decided i needed something completely different.


i figured i’d give my hair a little tiny bit of a break, and didn’t bleach it out in between these two.  i kept the bottom layer grey, and added a couple stunning purple and teal shades.  all the colours used so far in this post were pravana (except the pink – i think that brand was called one and only…the pravana pink i tried did absolutely nothing).


the next two photos are from around and on halloween.  the first shot is a product shot for hair falls i created (in roughly the same colour as the purple in my actual hair).


this second shot is from about 6am the day of the halloween party at work.  some of my coworkers were extremely confused, because i had just changed to purple and teal…why did i re-do it in red?  i had to explain, a few times, that it was just a wig!


and then, a few months later, i did this:


yep, that’s a fork.  if you get the reference, you rock.  these colours are from sparks.  i think i originally tried sparks because they were less expensive than pravana.  they turned out really well, as you can see.


as time went on, the sparks faded, leaving me with what one coworker described as ‘sunset’ hair.  i don’t seem to have any photos of this, but it really looked pretty neat.  sparks is a self-described ‘semi-permanent’ colourant, so i had expected it to fade, and i was pretty pleased with how it did so.

so now, a year later, i have used the sparks line to return to the rainbow.  the blue i used this time is much darker than the pravana i used last year, but i expect it will fade to something much better than the weird lime green i was left with last time.  i’ll try to get more photos this time around, and maybe post an update in a few weeks.