Sunday, December 31, 2017

On Change

Here we are....on the last day of the year. When I was younger, that felt magical. When I hit high school, it just meant the end of the longest break from school for the year. In college I became all about the resolutions.

This year is different. I know I keep going back to it, but the two years since my grandparents and uncle passed have been under more scrutiny than any other time period in my life. Maybe that's because it coincided with my 30th birthday. Maybe it's because my family dynamic changed suddenly. All I know is that this December 31st is vastly different than any other December 31st that I can remember.

This year was a jumble of medical issues (broken finger, infected finger, having strep twice, more fighting with anxiety and depression), and a roller coaster at work. Opening the outpatient clinics, the big Children's Hospital move, and then winding up unemployed.

What I do know for sure is that change will happen. Independent of anything I do, change in inevitable. Knowing that makes the whole idea of resolutions silly. We are never the same people at the end of the year that we were in the beginning.

This coming year I want to focus on accepting change more readily. Last night I read Rage Planet, which is the first graphic novel featuring Jessica Cruz. This serves as the intro to the two new Lanterns, and is amazing beyond explanation for someone suffering from anxiety. Jessica's partner, Simon Baz, is unimpressed with Jessica because of her struggles. However, through the course of the book, they come to trust each other and to see that even though flawed, there are reasons why each was chosen to be a Lantern.

I absolutely love the character of Jessica Cruz. She's more than just a superhero. I can relate to her as a human being.

I know the Green Lantern interjection feels like I've fallen off course in this post - I haven't. I promise. You see, rather than trying to change, I want to be better at handling change. I want to be able to go with the flow and not be so rocked by change. I want to believe in myself. I have Family and friends, and I know who I can count on to help. But I think it's time I learn to believe in myself.

Change will come, whether we want it to or not. The only thing we have control over is how we handle it. This coming year, I am focusing on handling it with grace, optimism, and no small amount of self-forgiveness. I know this won't be easy or immediate, but it feels like a goal worth working towards.

Have a safe and happy New Year, and don't be too hard on yourself. You've got this!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Catching Krampus

December 12th marked the beginning of Krampusnacht - the holiday event for Secret World Legends. Given my work schedule this week, and being without a car until we could take it in for service, I haven't really gotten into the game until today.

I thought I was burned out from the Halloween event, but seeing all of the snow, Christmas trees, and costumed characters has certainly put me back in the mood!

Every hour you can kill a boss called Hel, which is a huge naked lady who packs a helluva punch! You can find her in Agartha, where the seasonal raids are. Every day that you log in during the event you are given a Malevolent Snowflake, which you open after killing Hel. You also get a message from your faction handler and a package for every kill. The message and package don't have a cooldown. You get them each time you kill Hel. If you're behind in snowflakes, like I was, you can open those until you run out. You just have to kill Hel each time you want to open one. The buff lasts for a little bit, giving you time to exit the instance before you have to open your snowflake.

The seasonal rewards are pretty fun! I'm currently rocking an ugly reindeer sweater, and previously I was wearing a teal Elfin shirt. Looking around, there's so much to get! There are Victorian era caroling costumes, different elf outfits, and general winter-themed clothing. On my last round, I got the Revenant Bear pet. I haven't looked into how many pets are new for this event, but my brother told me there's about three. My niece is big on them. The first day of the event, upon logging in, the main reward was a Christmas-themed tree pet. Part of the Padurii creatures in the game, they resemble a mixture between a bulb and a tree stump. I'm not sure if it's the tree hugger in me or the rampant eccentric, but I freaking love these little tree-guys!

 

The title card for the game has also been changed to reflect the new event. Instead of the red we're used to seeing on logging in, we now see cool blue. The girl in the picture is also holding a present, and surrounded by ugly Krampus figures with glowing eyes. It's creepy, stylish, and everything you could want from Secret World Legends' holiday event.

Another change that Krampusnacht has brought is the introduction of the Winter Cache. Drops include weapons (with wintery skins), a winter clothing set, and more. For the moment I'm just enjoying collecting the caches, I'm still working on the Haunted Cache. I don't have the tarantula bike, the weapons skins, or the black widow pet. Once I do, I'll most likely sell the rest of my caches to a vendor.

Continuing my run of poor in-game fashion (according to Phoebe), I have decked myself out in the blue knitted reindeer sweater, knitted heart gloves, boots, and bell bottoms. Since the most recent patch also introduced the much-awaited Barbershop, my hair is also now purple.

Dipper contends that I look like a teacher, Phoebe thinks my bell bottoms are embarrassing. I, however, am in my glory! I am on a mission to collect as many of the knitted sweaters as I can. Right now I have a black knitted sweater and my Illuminati faction knitted ugly sweater. I also have the teal Elfin tunic. The purple accents of which match my hair flawlessly!

Look for future posts on this most festive of events, and if you haven't already, get thee to the Secret World! You don't have to get a paid Patron account right away (though the cache key, and shardless teleporting to cities makes it extremely worth it!), you can just play for free. Either from Steam or from the website directly. It's not going to become a second job like some online games (Warcraft - I'm scowling at you!) and the player base is largely friendly and helpful. If you do decide to give it a whirl, you can find me as "deadaeris". Drop in and say hello!

HEEEEERE'S HOLLY!

I promise you, Charnel House Reviews is nowhere near dead! Despite an absence of several months, I have returned to bring you honest reviews on everything HORROR. For those of you wondering where I've been - it's all been work related.

For over a year I've been a temp with a local healthcare company. Myself and several other temps have been working to move a local children's hospital. It went in stages - first were the outpatient clinic moves. We moved them to two floors of a building in what's called the "medical corridor". Basically my company is creating a centralized area with special hospitals and clinics so it's like one-stop shopping. I work with the hardware installation team, setting up computers and the peripherals (printers, scanners, etc.)

The clinic moves were smooth and quick, compared to the hospital! The deadline for the hospital was November 10, 2017. Up until that date I worked 6 days a week, often more than 10 hours a day. As crazy as it sounds, other support departments like Environmental Services, Plant Operations, and Clinical Engineering worked as much (if not more) than my team! Electrical wires don't install themselves, in the same way that patient rooms aren't sterilized until a team goes through and cleans them.

All in all it was grueling, exhausting, and sometimes unnoticed work. (People don't always realize how much support services do - I know I certainly knew only a drop in the bucket of what the other services did until working with them.) Along the way I met some really amazing people, and we pulled it off in ways we hadn't even expected, given the obstacles we encountered along the way.

In many ways I'm still recuperating from the exhaustion. But knowing we did it for the kids makes all the difference!

The hospital is up and running, we've passed our critical support period, and things are settling in nicely. I'm getting back to my hobbies and trying to get ready for Christmas. The 29th is going to be my last day with the company, unless I am hired on permanently. I am one of 6 applicants, and bossman says he'll let us know next week. Fingers crossed!