Latest Addition to Our Blu-ray Collection

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Blu-rays can be rather expensive. My husband keeps a wishlist or something on Amazon and checks periodically for sales. Last week, seasons 2 and 3 of Star Trek: The Next Generation were on sale for $49.99 apiece, so we snapped them up. Their MSRP is $129.99, so we saved $80. Of course, hardly anywhere actually sells them at the MSRP, but they usually go for about $80, so we saved around $30. That’s enough to buy at least two more Blu-ray movies on sale. Our collection isn’t nearly as large as our DVD collection and we don’t have any intention to replace ALL our DVDs with Blu-rays, but there are some things we just HAVE to have. Star Trek is one of them.

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My Plans for the Long Weekend

Monday is Labor Day, so I don’t have to go into the office. WOOT! It looks like the weekend is going to be busy, though. I don’t mind when it’s stuff that I WANT to do and I almost never do non-ME stuff on the weekends.

Of course, I’m going to try and play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as much as I can. However, with all the server issues and the fact that both my son’s AND my husband’s accounts are locked so they can’t play, I’m not sure how much time I’m really going to be spending in Eorzea. Why are they locked, you ask? Well, both of them were playing with Early Access/Open Beta accounts. Once you get your product key, you simply have to apply that code to your account, and voila, you can play the game. Well, my son doesn’t have his key yet because the game hasn’t arrived in my mailbox yet. I bought the physical collector’s edition on PC through the Square Enix store and they sent me a shipping confirmation e-mail on August 20th. It is now the 30th and it hasn’t gotten here yet. When I track the package through the US Postal Service’s website, it shows that it left the west coast, but it doesn’t make any mention of whether or not it has arrived in Hawaii. So no code for him. Now for my husband’s account, that’s another story altogether. He ordered his digital CE for PC, so he was able to get his key e-mailed to him. Great! Well, when he went into Account Management (now called the Mog Station for some stupid reason), there was a button to click for “Add Service” or something like that. So that’s what he did. And instead of applying the code to his existing account, where he already had a character, along with his preorder bonus items, it CREATED A NEW ACCOUNT. Apparently, you have to click this little purple button with a quest icon on it and no words. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So he had to submit a ticket so get this problem fixed. This is a widespread problem. There are several threads on the official forums about this. Here’s one. Also, there’s a form to fill out SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS PROBLEM. Shouldn’t that be an indication to Square Enix that they need to, oh I don’t know, CHANGE SOMETHING?!

So, if I’m not going to be playing much Final Fantasy, I have a LOT of other things to do. For instance, I’m a bit behind on some of my MOOCs. I’ve been focusing most of my time on FF and putting off watching the lectures and doing the homework. I’ve got my work cut out for me since I’m taking quite a few classes. There’s an exam for Introductory Human Physiology that covers the first three weeks of lectures, but I’m still only watching Week 2’s stuff, for example. I’m enrolled in 5 other classes and I’m about a week behind in most of them. Hooray for long weekends!

I’m also planning on going to the 31st Annual Okinawan Festival. Good food, entertainment, and culture will abound! I love eating andadog. It’s like a corn dog, but the batter it’s deep fried in is andagi batter. People often refer to andagi as an Okinawan doughnut or doughnut hole. Whatever you want to call it, it’s sweet, fattening, and delicious.

Then on Monday night, my husband and I are taking a friend of my parents out to dinner because she lives in the city we’re thinking of moving to. We want to pick her brain about it and get some advice for where we should stay when we fly up to visit later this year. I’m probably the most excited about this over anything else during the weekend. Planning to move across the Pacific Ocean to the mainland is like a grand adventure for me. Since I had my son when I was just shy of 20, I never really got to do that whole adventure thing that so many young adults do during and right after college. Now that my son is in college, it’s MY turn and I can’t wait! So getting real information about it is making it feel like I’m getting closer and closer to making it a reality. You may be wondering why the hell someone would move from Hawaii to the mainland, so maybe I’ll cover that in a future series of posts. It’s far too complex to talk about here.

I also need to go shopping for a new suitcase and some Aloha shirts for my husband, so we’ll probably hit the mall this weekend as well.

Lots of stuff going on this weekend. I’m going to need a weekend for my weekend! 😉

Retail Therapy – 8/26/13

On Monday, I was having a really horrible day. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. One of my bosses misspelled my name when she e-mailed me and she’s been working for the company I’m at for OVER A YEAR. I had this incredible backlog of work to do and people were bombarding me with requests. The aforementioned boss asked me to see if I could download a tax report from our payroll company’s website even though she had already talked to the payroll company, making me do extra work for NOTHING when I was already busy. I had spent most of the weekend trying to play Final Fantasy XIV and running into server issues. People were driving like morons.

You get the idea. Every little thing was raising my blood pressure and sending me spiraling into a fiery rage. I’ve always had somewhat of a temper, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to roll with things and take them in stride. After all, there’s no sense in getting all worked up over things that I have no control over. However, sometimes I just can’t seem to be mellow. It’s like my younger self resurfaces and takes over like a body snatcher or something.

So on my lunch break, I splurged on a spicy ahi bowl and then visited Hakubundo. Hakubundo sells products imported from Japan as well as Japanese language textbooks. They’ve got stationery, manga, toys, books, magazine, cellphone accessories… It’s a very dangerous place for my wallet. On this particular visit, I bought toys:

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I bought one each of the Kamen Rider Tokusatsu Heroes.

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This is Kamen Rider Fourze Fire States.

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And this is Kamen Rider Saga.

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I also got a Dragon Quest Momon cellphone strap. Like the Kamen Rider figures, this was in a package that could have one of many different monsters from the Dragon Quest series of games. I LOVE Dragon Quest. I really want them to bring DQX to the West…

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It was a chibi day, apparently. So here’s a chibi Cloud from Final Fantasy VII. You can even switch out his head and put him on that bad ass motorcycle he rides.

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And you can’t have Cloud without Sephiroth. There were seven other figures and I was tempted to buy them all, but they were $35 apiece, so I settled for these two. I almost bought Squall from Final Fantasy VIII even though he’s one of the most annoying characters in the earlier Final Fantasy games simply because he came with a Cactuar doll. But then if I bought him, I’d feel compelled to buy the rest of them.

So some women buy clothes and eat iced cream when they’re upset. Me? I buy action figures and import toys. I wonder who spends more money… At least I don’t gain weight!

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Server Issues

If you follow game news at all, it is highly unlikely that you missed the news that Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s Early Access has been plagued by server issues.

I played FFXIV 1.0 when it first came out in 2010. It was pretty terrible and I only got to level 9 before I quit. However, because I did actually buy and register a copy of the original game, my original (albeit very low level) character still exists on one of the original “Legacy” servers. When the new version of the game entered beta, I eventually got access and started playing with a friend who had also played briefly during the original release. Both of us were absolutely amazed at the changes and how much fun the game was. It was a completely different game! And it was incredibly fun. The next thing we knew, we had started hyping our friends on it and we’ve now got a group of about eight people playing on one of the new servers.

When my buddy and I first started playing the beta and determined that we were definitely going to play this game upon release, we discussed whether we would go back to our old “Legacy” server of if we would just start over on one of the new servers. Since neither of us had played for very long during the original release, we thought that starting anew on a brand new server seemed like the smarter thing to do. After all, there would be no existing economy and the population should be lower because it would be starting from zero. On the other hand, Legacy servers would have their existing populations and then their friends would add on to those populations. We had this conversation during beta phase 3 and it seemed perfectly reasonable.

Apparently, it wasn’t.

Phase 4 Open Beta was plagued with server crowding and errors, causing people to not be able to log into the game. We were able to play, however, and our progress wasn’t going to get wiped. It was going to carry over into Early Access and then the live game. When I brought up the server woes carrying into Early Access from Phase 4 in our Facebook group, the general consensus was that Early Access shouldn’t be as bad as open beta. After all, Early Access is only available to legacy players and people who pre-ordered the game.

So Early Access started on Saturday. (Actually, it started at 11pm Friday night in my timezone. Woohoo!) I spent more time mashing the 0 button on my keyboard trying to get into the game because the North American and European data centers were having huge problems than actually playing the game. When I WAS successful in logging into the server, I would get disconnected or I’d get a runtime error. Then I’d be locked out of the game again. Half the time, the login server couldn’t even FIND the list of NA/EU servers. However, I never had any issue logging into and staying logged into the Legacy server that my original character is on.

So the game is officially launching today. That means that in addition to the people who pre-ordered the game, there will be new players that are just buying the game today and logging in. After all the emergency maintenance that they’ve done over the last three days, logging into the game is still sometimes problematic. I am seriously considering switching to my old server and starting over. The issue is that I’d be leaving my group of friends behind. My loyal husband would follow me, but that’s it. Playing an MMO without a social network is extremely difficult unless it’s a solo-friendly game like World of Warcraft or many of the free-to-play games out there. In our group, a couple players have already reached level 30.

I’m really torn. FFXIV:ARR isn’t the only thing I do in my spare time and when logging into a game is an exercise in frustration, I have to wonder why I’m playing at all. All I can do is wait and see, I suppose. After the first month or two, the populations should level out. But seriously, why should I have to wait that long?

Also, they’re already talking about updates every three months. How about fixing the servers so that people can actually play first before adding content? Just a thought.

Tales of Xillia Collector’s Edition

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I’m thinking that I should start playing this game or it will end up on my backlog list. The Collector’s Edition came with the game, a statue of one of the characters, a music CD, and an art book.

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(I didn’t open the box with the statue because I don’t have anywhere to display stuff like this in my current house.)

I’m really not sure how much time I’m going to put into this game right now since Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is pretty much live. They’re having quite a few problems with the servers, however, so they are often down for maintenance. I should capitalize on the downtime and play through Xillia…

8/24/13 – Manicure

IMG_20130824_211603Today’s manicure is pretty wild. I’m very lucky to work in an office that lets me have nails like this. I often worry about moving to another state and finding a job because I’d be very sad if I couldn’t have crazy nails at work.

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Here’s the left hand. The other thing I worry about is moving to another state and not being able to find a place that does nail art. Nail art is very popular where I live because of its close proximity to Japan. And if you’ve never Googled “Japanese nail art” in Images, I suggest you do so. They do some AMAZING stuff! The last time I visited the mainland, I went to New York City and I saw very few women with nail art. When I asked my sister about it, she said that nail art was restricted to certain ethnic groups and it was definitely NOT widespread like it is in Hawaii. How sad. They’re missing out!