Coffee and Thoughts – August 14

So, first off, I know I promised I would post something every day this week. But I feel like death warmed over today so it’s not gonna be a very long one. But it will be something at least.

I’ve been branching out into the world of art. I’ve had a few emote commissions I’ve done as well as sub badges and just little things for friends and strangers on Twitch. It has been an adventure and has pushed me to learn and do more art than I know how to do and I’m proud of how it’s turned out.

But on that note, I’ve contemplated starting a comic of sorts featuring the lil’ monster that is the LilMonsterPam mascot.

It would definitely be something new, but I love writing and stories and such and I feel like it would be a fun attempt to give my monster her own story. I don’t know if it’d last long, or if I’d stick it out, but the thought is there.

Anyway, like I said, not very long. My sore throat disappeared and then returned in full force with it’s sickly buddies so I just feel exhausted and can’t think very well. So TTFN. Hopefully I’m more alive tomorrow.

 

Pam Out.

Coffee and Thoughts – Aug 13

I’ve always been a homebody/keep to myself type person, same goes for my boyfriend, which may be a big part of why we’ve gravitated towards each other over the years. We’ve had our ups and down, including a few break-ups here and there, but we recently decided to get back together and aim for the long haul, wherever that road takes us.  A big part of this involves talking and being more open about things when they are bothering us, something that, while we confided in each other about things outside of the relationship, is difficult for us to confront to each other.

Since I’ve begun my streaming ‘career’ (a girl can hope right?), I’ve opened up a brand new world of online communities and friends that I never imagined I would consider as dear to me as, if not more so than, family. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time on my phone/computer chatting on Discord, Twitter, Twitch, etc.

Last week, my boyfriend was acting incredibly down, and after urging him, he confided that he had been feeling very far away from me, something that I had not felt in the slightest (I say this because it’s usually me that feels him being distant). Though he didn’t say it specifically, I gathered that it was due to the excessive amount of time I’m online and in the clouds, which even I admit is a LOT recently. He would never ask me to stop streaming, or stop communicating with my friends and such, and he does his utmost to support me in everything I do, streaming included.  We had three days together before some massive changes coming this week that will effect both of us in a huge way.

So, without his asking or saying, I decided to tame my online time significantly this weekend; partially for him and partially because I was feeling like shit and it was just getting overwhelming trying to keep up. (I have to add, I had a severe sore throat and could barely talk for the first few days, and being that sick feeling just made it way to hard to keep up with social media).

It was an amazingly, wonderful weekend. We connected more, did more activities than usual, and just were together and actually present with each other the entire three days. Yes, I got online here and there to send a quick tweet or check Discord, but for the most part, I was offline. I definitely had moments where I felt like I was missing out on things, or worried I would make people upset or something if I didn’t get online, but for the most part I was able to enjoy myself, rest, and actually feel better, both physically and mentally. On top of that, my boyfriend and I were able to get much closer again and resolve his feelings of being faraway from me. Towards the end, he thanked me for not spending as much time online the last few days. He told me he had noticed and it meant a lot to him.

Now that it’s Monday, I obviously am back online in full force, Discording, streaming, tweeting away, but it was wonderful to be able to do something so simple to show him how much I love him and now I have a better resolve to be more present when I do get time with him.

Anyway, not sure where I was totally going with this, but, it’s what I was thinking. I guess the moral is, don’t let the online world prevent you from being present in your physical relationships. It happens all too easily and sometimes has more of an effect than you can see.

Anywho, You guys are all fantastic people and I hope you’re having wonderful Mondays! See you all tomorrow 😉 (for reals. I’m determined to do a blog post every day this week, AT LEAST!)

Omg, I’m in love with Android Pie!

The excitement in my belly when my phone alerted me to the fact that Android Pie was being dished out to the Pixel phones was unreal. I’ve been waiting a while for this latest Android instalment because I was told not only would the UI be different but that I would find I’d be using my phone less, which naturally, I love the idea of because I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows for sure that they’re glued to their phone all day every day.

At first appearances, the UI wasn’t strikingly different. The edges seemed more round, which was nice. However, when swiping between apps and screens, I found the transitions to be much smoother and more fluid and it felt and looked miles better. The recent apps screen now displays in a card format which is easy to navigate, although I’m not loving the fact that I have to scroll through alllll my recent apps to get to the “Clear All” function.

I’m currently running Android Pie on a Pixel XL and it’s fast. A noticeable difference from version 8, which froze a little and on occasion juddered its way through opening apps, version 9 is a walk in the park and actually a genuine joy to use. The notifications which pop up at the top of the phone also look better and smarter which is a nice touch and thankfully, my phone now also asks me if I want it to stop displaying notifications from some apps. I still can’t seem to get to grips with the clock now being on the opposite side of the top of the phone though… BUT, I do love that they’ve brought the instant silent mode back. No more keeping your finger on the volume down key to put your phone into vibrate or silent, you can change it again, like before, with the press of a button.

I was told that Google had worked very hard on the AI which was built into the latest firmware and so far I’ve found that (and I’m not sure whether it’s just coincidence or not) but when I mentioned at work about having to put my Google Playlist on because the radio was awful, I opened my phone and my Google Music app was ready and waiting in the shortcuts list. Aside from this, and the fact that my phone is slowly remembering which apps I tend to open at certain times of the day and which apps have messages or updates waiting for me, so show up in my shortcuts in the apps screens, I haven’t actually noticed any “AI” to speak of.
When first announced, one of Pie’s updated features was its battery saving tech. Whilst I’m not overly sure how it manages this, I have noticed that my phone has lasted ever so slightly longer than usual.
With regards to “using my phone less”, Google has introduced something called “Digital Wellbeing”. I looked all over my phone’s settings for this and it turns out that because it’s currently in Beta testing, you have to sign up for it. So I’ve signed up and checked it out. You can set timers on apps so that they lock out after a certain time and I’m not sure that this is a feature I would use, like my mum used to unplug the landline to disconnect the dial-up modem when I was younger and she wanted me to come off MSN Messenger and go to bed. I do however really like the idea of the “greyscale” mode, helping you to wind down at night.

All in all, bearing in mind I haven’t managed to test the Digital Wellbeing mode yet, I am absolutely in LOVE with this new version of Android. Best. Android. Yet.

Game Review: A Hat In Time (spoilers)

So, last month, I bought the Humble Bundle August bundle and it came with Conan: Exiles (which you can find Kate’s review of here), The Escapists 2 (which I have yet to play) and A Hat in Time.

A Hat in Time is on the surface an adorable, kid friendly game starring a cute little Hat girl that has a squeaky little voice and runs around with a top hate beating up Mafia Men and Spoopy Fire Foxes that want to die.

Our archnemesis is the Mustache Girl. Yes, you read that right. Mustache. Girl. She wants to strangle Mafia men and squish them into mush and bottle them up to kill them.

Wait….is this sounding less cute to you? Less…childish?

Yup. This game is fantastic. It has the look and feel of a cute, innocent game, with sarcasm (like the lever who’s only purpose is to control the brightness of the glowing panel) to morbid humor of how the Mustache Girl wants to destroy the world.

You go to Mafia town where you get to fight Mafia men that play pat-a-cake-punch-your-face and try to blow you up. And then you move to Dead Bird Studios, where you conduct a death-defying parade (literally. Don’t fall off the highwire or you will die) and then fight the boss who is more than willing to stab you with a kitchen knife and then try to blow you up.

Oh, and then there’s Subcon Village where you sign your soul over to some Spoopy black ghost thing and you can MAYBE get it back if you run some errands for him that involves helping a group of glowing foxes to commit mass suicide to fulfill their life purpose.

The game play is very simple and overall, the levels are very chill until they surprise you with CHAOS and you find yourself panicking and stressing out over everything and mashing the keyboard like crazy in the hopes that you won’t die.

But for real, this game is fantastic. I have yet to finish it, and I think there is a lot left to it, but these are my initial thoughts and I would highly recommend this game to anyone and everyone that enjoys fun, entertaining platformers.

 

Painting the Girl Cave (Not a Euphemism)

I’m terrible for changing my mind.  I used to do my dad’s head in by rearranging the entire downstairs of our house on a regular basis.  He would come home from work and go to put the TV on, only for it to have reappeared at the opposite side of the room.  Sometimes I could see a flicker of confusion when he walked through the front door, which was already unlocked, into a room which now had a completely different colour scheme and furniture, wondering if he’d walked into one of our neighbours houses by mistake.

Since he moved out two years ago, my boyfriend has been the latest victim of my indecisiveness.  I’ve had him completely revamp our kitchen, living room, dining room and bathroom – I mean painting the walls a totally different colour, buying new furniture and hanging new things on the walls.

When he first moved in,  my bedroom was where his man cave is now and I had the little box room as my office.  I then decided we’d move our bedroom to the master bedroom which my dad had just vacated and I would turn my old bedroom into my girl cave, giving him my little box room for his man cave.  I rearranged my girl cave a half dozen times and then six months later I changed my mind and wanted my little box room back.  So we swapped rooms again.  I had a lot of stuff to move.

I’ve not been happy with the little room since moving back into it, it was very cold and grey and not very welcoming at all.  I had also ordered a monster of a computer desk which shortly after being assembled and used, I decided I hated and desperately wanted my old, crappy, second hand wooden PC desk back from the depths of the dusty garage.  I didn’t have the heart to tell my boyfriend that, since he nearly lost a couple of fingers and mildly missed being decapitated while erecting the new monster desk.  The desk is also black and gets dusty really quickly, which used to drive my OCD insane.  I couldn’t wait to get rid of it.  And I could see the glint in my boyfriend’s eyes at getting the opportunity of a nice new computer desk, hand-me-down PC and getting set up to be a PC gamer (sort of).

I had decided from the off that I really wanted my new theme to be calming and relaxing as opposed to funky and techie.  We went to Homebase and I trawled the paint aisle, sending my best friend photo after photo of colours that I thought might be nice – pinks, purples, baby blues and pastel greens.  I decided on a calming purple (which was reduced to £7.50 because it was discontinued – bargain) and bought some wood coloured floating shelves to replace the current nasty black ones.

My old crappy PC desk was my next project.  Back when I had my girl cave, it had been a God-awful 70’s brown colour and my boyfriend had half-assed painted it white.  It still looked awful because he had only painted where he could see.  I took two tins of pastel blue spray paint to it and covered it, before applying a candy coloured backing plastic to the top.IMG_20180804_164210

I gave my boyfriend my old TV to use as his new monitor for his PC which cleared up some space on the top of my bookshelf and made the room less heavy feeling (IMO).  I put two happy plants and a blueberry crush scented candle on the bookshelf.IMG_20180804_164238

The rest of the additions included pastel pink voiles and an LED strip which I affixed to the underside of my computer desk and set it to rainbow mode to match my keyboard.  Top this all off with a lavender air freshener plug in and my entire room suddenly radiates calm.  I love being in it.  My cat also loves it because he’s spent the last two nights stroking my voiles.  He is absolutely enamoured with my curtains.  Bless him, he doesn’t get out much.

IMG_20180804_164223

Sara Aquilla

Sara Aquilla was the product of a beautiful women from a prominent family in a city near Akron Ohio. Sara never got to know the women well, because her mother died when she was just a year old. Her mother was donating her time to a soup kitchen down town, when a group of unknown people shot up the church she was in. It was a horrific scene with over a dozen being brought out in bags.

Police were hard pressed to find any information on the shooters, and the case went cold. It floated to the bottom of an ever increasing list of gang related shootings in the city. Later in life Sara took solice in the fact that she was so young. She thought it was better to lose without understanding you ever had something to begin with. It was a much healthier approach than the poor girls father.

Alexander will get his own story in these pages, but he hold the key to Sara’s issues in the present. Alexander only had two people that he loved more than any in the world. His wife was the second of the two he met in the United States. Later in his life he had anything he could ever imagine, but never can fill the hole his wife’s murder left inside him. After her death he refused to acknowledge her exsistance completely. Not even telling her only daughter her name.

A year later, Alexander moved with his daughter to Miami Florida. The other precious person to the Aquilla family visited with his family every summer. When Sara turned 6 a dear family friend gave her a picture of her mother, and sent the girl into an astounding depression. The next few years Sara was arrested for grand theft auto at the age of 8. Arrested for smoking marijuana at school when she was 11. Finally at 13 years old, her life made a drastic turn.

Her father didn’t say much before they left Miami. Only that something horrible had happened. They packed up their house, and moved back to the same little town in Ohio where tragedy had torn apart Sara’s family. The night they arrived, Sara saw a gruesome scene magnify in her father’s front windshield.

There was a car burning and charred on the side of the road. There were cops everywhere, and Sara had to take it all in bit by bit. Finally it struck her that the car was familiar to her. It was the same kind of car the family of her oldest friend had driven. Without a thought, she ran from her father’s vehicle and darted under the police tape. Face to face she hoped she was crazy, but finally there his face loomed in a ambulance. Sara ran to him and threw herself into him.

“Andrew what happened, what is going on”

Andrew said nothing did nothing. Alexander walked up behind the two young children, bonded in agony for the rest of their lives. Alexander walked away with a police officer to fill out some paper work, but Sara wouldn’t leave Andrew’s chest. She sobbed loudly into his gotten shirt. Finally Andrew moved his hand, only to stroke Sara’s hair.

“Everything is gone but you Sara, and you have to stay forever now” Andrew said without any emotion in his face or voice.

Sorry this one got rushed guys. Things are pretty busy today but I want to get something out now for you guys to read. I really hope you guys enjoy.

Coffee and Thoughts – August 1

Whale guys, it’s a new month.

And let me just say: July SUCKED!

Between living in a fireworks tent and dealing with an egotistical parent making my life miserable, it was a terrible month. And it seems it may have been that way for more than just me.

But, today is a fresh start.

So let’s put the past behind us, Hakuna Matata style, and look to the future.

I’m starting off the month with a brand new living situation, I got approved for the university scholarship I’d been waiting to see about, and I’ve had an awesome day with all of my online and IRL friends.

All of this has combined to give me hope for a spectacular August! And while it may not end as great as it has started, I have all the hope that it will be amazing and I can only hope it is fantastic for everyone.

Let’s have a better month guys, here’s to August!