Friday, June 15, 2018

Fortnite and Esports: Thoughts






Breaky and I finished up eating on Tuesday the 12th and made plans to continue our Marvel CU run through with Thor: the Dark World .

Breaky quickly realized that it was actually the night that E3 was hosting the Fortnite Pro Am at E3. The Pro Am at E3 was Fortnite's big debut in to esports for the game, combining pro streamers and players with celebrities who play the game. All proceeds and winnings went to charities of the players' choosing.

Recently, Epic Games announced it would be providing a $100,000,000 prize pool for their first year of esports. The big question remains, though, is how they are going to divide that up and with how many games/tournaments. Epic Games stated it will not be in a league format, like that of Overwatch, and will be open to everyone. They, however, have given little details as to what kind of games/tournaments. Will they continue with this celebrity trend? Groups of two? Teams of 2+? Individual/solo tournaments? Personally, I'd like to see teams of more than two. But I digress.

Tuned into the stream, only to realize that it is unfortunately already a half hour late to start. We both can empathize, we have both been a part of and witnessed how things can go behind the scenes at esports evens. However, being it's first inaugural esports event, it did not bode very well.

I was  most interested in how the spectating was going to happen for this game. If you are not familiar with Fortnite or any kind of battle royale style game, think Hunger Games, but with building supplies, pinatas and emotes. Oh, and weapons.  Which means you have 100 people in different points of the map doing different things, and battles happening everywhere, or nothing happening. Turns out, it took quite a while for us to find out. Pre-game shenanigans occurred, like interviews, crowd shots, information about who's competing.



When the competitors came on stage, no formal introduction was done. Just commentating on specific people if the casters happen to notice. Read: if you were not Ninja, Marshmellow or Joel McHale, you got very little screen time. I think this annoyed Breaky the most, was the very disjointed announcement of competitors on stage.

When the games actually started, I have to say, for the most part I was pretty impressed. The spectating was better than what I had imagined. I think the only complaint that either of us had was the fact that the system did not yet have the capability of alerting when a big fight was underway, similar to the HoN system, which still has one of the best spectating systems in place. Not that we are biased or anything.

Overall, we were entertained. Not surprisingly, Ninja and Marshmellow took home the "gold"




Not going to lie, I did play Fortnite: Battle Royale when it was just a free-to-play add-on to the original game: Fortnite, which was debuted at E3 last year, and both Breaky and I were interested in it. It was a zombie survival game in which you can build structures and traps to destroy the impending zombie waves. It seemed that the Battle Royale option was a tag-on to get people interested and to ride the wave of success PUBG was having. Breaky and I and a few friends played probably for a few weeks, enjoying the game very much. Personally, I wasn't very good at the whole building things, which you have to be now to be any good at it whatsoever. It has definitely changed, and I don't think I would be any good anymore. How hipster is that of me to say? I liked this game before it became popular. Ha.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Our MCU Run Through Phase 1

Since Breaky and I are a little behind on the Marvel universe, we decided that, before watching the new ones we haven't seen (Black Panther, the New Avengers) that we would kind of do a run-through/repeat of all the previous Marvel Movies. The only one we did not include was the Incredible Hulk, and that was because of the change of actor. Personal preference.

So we kind of made it an at-home-date-night.



Since we have a few hours or so in between when BabyCPK is asleep and we go to bed, that's when we decided to give this a shot.

We also are doing them in time-order, meaning that, since Captain America happened during WWII, we watched that first.

So here's our Phase I run through with some comments, GIFs, and a DuchessCPK (ME) and BreakyCPK (Breaky aka my husband) rating


Captain America: The First Avenger
Date watched: 5/13

Actually, I had recently watched it for the first time, like a month ago. Really regret not seeing this one sooner. Has to be one of my favorite Marvel Movies as of yet.



DuchessCPK rating: 5/5 stars
BreakyCPK rating: 3.5/5

Iron Man 
Date watched: 5/14

This was actually the first Marvel movie Breaky and I watched as a couple. We watched it in his apartment on a big projector screen. It is Breaky's favorite so far.



DuchessCPK rating: 4/5 stars
BreakyCPK rating: 5/5

Iron man 2 
Date watched: 5/20/2018

Good movie. It's a continuation of the story, but nothing truly groundbreaking. Other than making me kind of anxious. The whole gloom-and-doom and subsequent meltdown had me on edge the first time I watched it. Now though? Since I know how it ends, I can watch and enjoy.




DuchessCPK rating: 2/5 stars
BreakyCPK rating: 2.5/5 stars

Thor 
Date watched: 5/29/2018

Thor has to be one of my favorite Marvel characters. Coming from a Scandinavian background, I grew up with some of the stories and mythologies of Thor and Odin and Loki. I truly did enjoy this movie too. Different pace for sure, but my kind of pace.



DuchessCPK rating: 4/5 stars
BreakyCPK rating: 3/5 stars

Marvel's The Avengers
Date watched: 5/29/2018

Believe it or not, this was the first Marvel movie I ever watched. I believe I watched it in theaters when it came out. I was able to follow along with the story just fine, but with this run through, I realized how much tie-in with the other movies I did miss. Also, the soundtrack to this was killer.



DuchessCPK rating: 4/5 stars
BreakyCPK rating: 4/5 stars



We are starting Phase II soon! Blog post to follow.


Monday, May 21, 2018

And We'll Never Be Royals.... But We Can Watch Them Get Married

You may wonder what could compel someone to get up at the crack of dawn to watch two people she's never met get married.

Very good question.

The royal wedding of Harry and Meghan was this past weekend. You may wonder why someone who just celebrated her Norwegian heritage on Syttende Mai (Norwegian's Constitution Day) would be so very interested in the English Crown's latest pomp and circumstance. Well, I am also English by blood too. On my father's side, one half is English (his father's) and the other side is Norwegian (his mother's). In fact, I can trace my heritage in England back to 1240 with the birth of Ralph de Spalding. We, in fact, had several Lords and Ladies in our family tree until the 1600s when the first of the Spaldings (later changed to Spaulding) came over to the Americas.

Ancestry aside, the royal family always kind of held a special place in my family's hearts. My aunt has always had a kind of obsession with everything British, including the royal family. My parents were huge fans of Princess Diana. Heck, my Mom even rocked the Diana hair cut around the time my sister was born. I was far too young to understand what was going on, but I know my parents were devastated when she passed away.

My sister and I got up pretty early when Kate Middleton and Prince William got married. From what we can remember, I had tea to celebrate, but that was about it.

This year, it just so happens that this wedding corresponded with a "girls weekend" with my mom, my sister and my daughter. A perfect opportunity to get geeked out about a royal wedding.




We had scones, chocolates, tea (for me), and champagne. Now, before the mom-brigade jumps down my throat, I had enough champagne to toast to the new couple, and I pumped and tested my milk before giving it to my daughter. 





My daughter celebrated by being super cute in a very pink tutu.



We had a ton of fun, despite the very early morning. The wedding was significantly different from Will and Kate's, as it was more modern, laid back (as laid back as a royal affair can be I suppose) and more filled with celebrities than heads of state. Oprah, the Beckhams, Elton John, Serena Williams...the list goes on and on.

I thought Meghan's gown was perfect for her. I was in love with the veil, which, come to find out, had embroidered flowers for each of the 53 commonwealths. 

I could go on and on about the ceremony and the carriage ride after, but you can take a look at it online. This post is more about the geeky things the women did in our family for the Royal Wedding. :) Plus, an excuse to post about my little princess :)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mothers Day

Happy Mother's Day everyone.

I usually will do a quick Facebook post about Mother's Day. Including what my Mom means to me, a shout out to all the Moms I know, etc...

This year, if I were to do that, I think my post would be far too long for anyone to read.

So, hence the blog post.

First and foremost, obviously the big difference this year is that I, myself, am a mother.



It is the most challenging, rewarding, beautiful, and messy thing I have ever experienced in my life. I am eternally grateful to Breaky for making me a mother and for joining me on this crazy journey.


A huge thank you to my husband's mother for raising such a wonderful, funny, patient caring man. He is the best father a woman could ask for, and that says a lot about how he was loved and raised growing up.


Obviously, I wouldn't be here if it were not for my own mother. More than that though, I owe her so much for being a wonderful role model. Not just as a woman, but as a mother. BabyCPK is lucky to have such a wonderful MiMi, and is lucky that I was raised by such a powerful, strong, smart, amazing young woman, because that is what I strive to be every day for my daughter.

A huge thank you as well to the wonderful mothers and mothers to be in both my family and my friends. Having a support group of women who understand what I am going through is one of the most important things I found helpful with raising this little bundle of joy (sometimes a bundle of terror, but you get the idea).

A very happy Mother's Day to all the moms, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and moms to be.



And in the meantime, don't mind me, I am just taking a well-deserved "me-time" break.