Friday, August 3, 2018

Our MCU Run Through Phase 2

Breaky and I continued our Marvel run, despite a very, very busy summer, filled with cabin trips, weddings, weekend trips, baby things etc...

But we did make it through the "second phase". Well, the unofficial phase 2. We are doing the whole chronological run, instead of the release date order.

Iron Man 3
Watched 6/7/2018

While I liked this more than the second, it still doesn't touch the first Iron Man movie. The twist was unexpected, but wasn't actually necessary. If the bad guy had remained the bad guy through the entire movie, I think it would have been rated higher.

BreakyCPK Rating: 2.5/5
DuchessCPK Rating: 3/5

Thor: The Dark World
Watched 6/18/2018.

Probably one of my least favorite Marvel movies. Doesn't mean I didn't like it and it didn't have great, funny moments. The bad-guys were meh...and the story seemed kind of lazy.

BreakyCPK Rating: 3/5
DuchessCPK Rating: 2/5

Captain America: Winter Soldier
Watched 6/28/2018

I don't give 5/5 just because. This is a great movie. It contained probably the biggest shift of the Marvel Universe thus far, after the Avengers of course. The action was not boring, and the story was spot on.

BreakyCPK Rating: 4/5
DuchessCPK Rating: 5/5

Guardians of the Galaxy
Watched: 7/14

Remember when I said I didn't give 5/5 just cause? Well this 5/5 was because it was just a great, fun movie. A 5/5 for different reasons than Winter Soldier. If you didn't know any better, it would be hard to say this was all connected to the other films at all. Not to mention, the soundtrack by far is the best.

BreakyCPK Rating: 5/5
DuchessCPK Rating: 5/5

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2
Watched: 7/16

We know this was released way later, but chronologically, I guess this one came next. It was not as good as the first one, but still very entertaining. Some great moments too. Along with another great soundtrack. 

BreakyCPK Rating: 4/5
DuchessCPK Rating: 4.5/5

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Watched: 7/24

The last film of Phase 2. One of Breaky's favorite villains. It was not as good as the first Avengers film, but I still enjoyed it, as it introduced several favorite new character

BreakyCPK Rating: 3.5/5
DuchessCPK Rating: 3/5

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Butter Boys

An appropriate Throwback Thursday post.

I know I haven't been posting much lately. I could go on and blame the baby and all the time my hands are tied with taking care of her, or how busy work is because we are moving offices (not by choice) but to be completely honest, I haven't been in the right head-space to write anything.

I had a really disappointing professional set-back involving a position that was basically made for me in an institution I thought I'd end up back in. Because of reasons that are still unclear, (although it appears they may have had someone else in mind from the beginning), I did not get that position. It was devastating to me, and I was not in a good place. Breaky was, as always, the best support system I could ask for, but even he couldn't quite reach through this fog I was in. It was a funk scarily similar to the depression I battled years and years ago.

As I mentioned before, our office is moving, which contributed to the funk I was in. As a result, I have to pack up my office for it to be moved. One item that I packed up was an empty (and clean!) tub of "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter".

It's not that I had forgotten it was there, or why. It's just I hadn't stopped and looked at it, having had it placed in the same spot for 2+ years. Of all things, this tub of butter helped me get over my slump and made me feel a little better.

Why you ask? Well, have I got a story for you.

Just about 11 years ago, I worked for my university's student ambassador office. Our main jobs were giving the campus tours around the university and calling students at night who were either applying or had been accepted to the university to see if they had questions or concerns, or sometimes to even tell them they were accepted. The behind-the-scenes stuff which the public did not see is where I thrived. I was the Technology Coordinator, the Coordinator of the Campus Visit Center, I was a night-time supervisor for the phone calls being made, the list went on and on. Most of my leadership skills and organizational skills either was born there or was honed there. I owe my career to the student ambassador office.

As a result of my multiple leadership positions, I helped out, professionally and personally, a lot of individuals. Two of which were two guys who would often work the front desk together. If you worked the front desk, you had to either wear the black polo or the "butter yellow" polo. It was the "butter yellow" polo, because that was the exact name of the color in the magazine when we chose the polos. Whenever these two individuals worked together, they would both wear the butter yellow polo. I do not know or remember if this happened accidentally and they just went with it, or if it was by design from the beginning, but henceforth, they were nicknamed the "Buta Boys." (which sounds like Buttah, like "Butter)

Not one of the Butter Boys, but a friend in the "butter yellow" polo! 

I am not one to do things for recognition. Helping people was something that came naturally to me. A result of my upbringing, or just my personality? A combination of both? Who knows. I would listen to anyone who came to me for help, and I would do my best with any advice or help I could give. Individually, each "Buta Boy" had come to me for one thing or another. Some of it professional, some personal.

At the end-of-the-year banquet, the Buta Boys went up to present their own award. While listening to them talk about this wonderful person who helped them out so much during the year and how much they appreciated it and so on and so forth.... I was convinced it was not me. I was preemptively a little hurt, and my self-esteem had taken a hit. A few sentences later, and they said MY NAME. I was awarded the Buta Boy Award (I believe it was called) and the empty, clean tub of "I Can't Believe it's not Butter."

Looking back on it now, I wish I had listened more carefully to what they were saying when making the award. I was so wrapped up in my own self-pity, I did not enjoy and appreciate their very kind words. Got me really thinking. Yes, I can feel sad and defeated, but I can't let it get in the way of forward progress. I may miss something really important that others see in me that I couldn't see in myself.

The "Buta Boys" just not in their butter yellow polos

I have not spoken to either of the "Buta Boys" since graduating college more than 10 years ago. Not as a result of some bad rift or anything. That's what graduating college will do.

I have had that tub of "butter" (but not butter) in every incarnation of my office I've had since I graduated college. A reminder that, though it may not seem that way, people do notice the good that is done. I have it right next to the painted rubber ducky that was given to me, disingenuously by a former boss because "a conference told her to" to recognize my hard work. That reminds me that not all recognition is true recognition and how sometimes recognition for my efforts can come in different forms.

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

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.