Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Perils of a Casual Gamer

It is kind of funny if you think about it.

The wife of an "Esports Shoutcaster", doing a blog about casual, noncompetitive gaming.

I get it. The irony is not lost.

Allow me, however, to explain. I love watching esports. I love hearing, first hand, the ins and outs of the tournaments first hand, I love the set up, the hype, the community (for the most part) surrounding and supporting the game.

When I play however, give me a pace that is a little, well.... more casual. Maybe even just single-player, solo play.

Why? It is a mix. When I play, high-level stress does more harm to me than good. And unfortunately, it's because a few people are jerks.

There is such a focus and concentration on professional That they believe unless you are knowledgable and very frickin good at the game, you are not worthy to play in the first place.

Now, before you go all "NOT ALL GAMERS" on me, notice I said a few. It only takes a few jerky-jerky-boogerheads to ruin a good thing. Take Overwatch for example. I absolutely refuse to play competitive. It would be fun to see me rise in the ranks, and learn to play on a higher level. But I became burned out with the negativity and the in-team trash talking. What made it worse is that the moment I tried to use my mic to communicate, they found out I was a girl, which made it so much worse. Now, again, this wasn't all the time, but even once is enough, and two times is too much.

For someone who is in a field in customer service and making sure everyone is happy, having people judge and berate you can be exhausting and stressful. I just want to play the game for crying out loud.

So, you would think, more slow-paced solo games would be more my speed, right? You would think so. Yeah, Hearthstone is ok. I get friend requests from opponents, but because I use my original handle and, again, don't like stressful confrontation, I hardly ever, if at all, respond to those requests. So I can be more of my own gatekeeper, so to speak.

Pokemon Go was great. For a while. This instance is actually why I created this blog post in the first place.

I was playing on my lunch break, professional clothes and badge and all. I was approached by someone who could tell I was playing, and asked if I was taking this gym that was right there. I responded with yes, I was. I guess that opened up some kind of door, because he started talking at me about the game, and how only hard-core fans are playing now and why he joined (to which I couldn't tell you because he started spouting off words that honest-to-goodness sounded like a different language) I nodded and continued to grind to take this gym. Literally, buried in my phone, clicking like a madwoman trying to defeat 5 Valor Pokemon to get the gym for Mystic. He asked if I played Pokemon before Pokemon Go. I replied, no, not really. He scoffed. Then he asked what rank I was, to which I proudly replied that I just reached 28. Again, a scoff. The conversation ended when Breaky came up with our daughter and I defeated the gym, just in time. We headed to lunch, and I realized he had taken the gym the moment I placed my Snorlax.

I started playing Pokemon Go because it was something fun Breaky and I could do together, then it became the driving motivator for me to be more active, especially during my lunch breaks. I stayed because the quests were fun and motivating, and I was seeing progress not only in my game, but in my walks as well.

No, I didn't play it when I was younger. No I'm not level 39. No, I do not play with the intention of becoming any kind of professional. Does not mean I am any less a gamer.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Dota Underlords






A blog post about Dota Underlords!


Long ago, it was determined I would probably never play Dota 2. Just as sure as we were that I probably would never play HoN.





Now, this caused an unintended consequence. I try to tune in to Breaky's streams and casts, which are primarily Dota 2, and for years had been HoN. Other than understanding the basics of who is winning(ish) and by how much (ish), I didn't understand anything.



I made some progress when we went to TI 7 in 2017 (while I was pregnant, I might add). Breaky explained so much of the game and those that were around us were super awesome in explaining things too, it almost made up for the reputation that sometimes clouds these MOBA games. Not so much as I would actually PLAY, but still. It was a great experience, and I would go again in a heart-beat.













Despite going to and enjoying a TI, I still don't understand Dota 2 the game. I now know some characters and the basic idea of what has to be done to win and I understand the scene so much better. I still go back to my trope of "when Breaky gets loud and starts talking super fast and there are lots of lights and sounds that means a big fight is happening." which, yes makes me seem like the ditsy wife, but it's true!





When Auto Chess came out, Breaky was trying to explain the game and how it came to be. He said he thought I may be interested, based on my love of Hearthstone. At the time, the only way you could play is if you actually owned and downloaded Dota 2, which I wasn't going to do as my computer is dangerously low on space (yay too many games!)

When it was announced that the makers of Auto Chess were creating a mobile version, I decided to give it a whirl. Knowing full well that this game was not from Valve or Dota, I still felt like this was a step in the right direction as far as being able to connect with Breaky on something Dota-ish.


Well, it was a little more than that. I started playing it quite a bit and became pretty decent at it, all things considered. Breaky commented that he hadn't seen me so obsessed with a game since Hearthstone.

.


Once Dota Underlords came out, I definitely downloaded it on mobile and on my PC. I've pretty much been playing every day since. Now I am not at the level of Breaky (Mr. Boss rank person) and I still do have a lot to learn, but I am thoroughly enjoying it.





One of the great things is that it allows me to be so much more involved and understanding of something that Breaky is involved in as well. He's started casting and hosting Underlords tournaments, which if you play, you should totally sign up for. You can follow him on twitter at @breakycpk for updates and tournament information and/or follow and subscribe to his Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/breakycpk



So long blog short, I love the game, and I am so excited to finally be involved in a game that Breaky both enjoys, plays AND casts. AND I can understand what he's talking about when he does cast these professionally. I feel like this is going to be good for our marriage. Right?


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

You May be an Esports Significant Other Part 2

I did a blog post about what happens when you are an esports significant other.

The post can be found here

I figured it was time for a little update.
So here we go

Friday, May 10, 2019

Food Friday: Rice Pudding


Welcome back to Food Friday with the Good Geek Wife. 

Rice pudding is something I used to only make around Christmas time. In fact, it is a part of our Christmas family tradition two days before Christmas when Breaky, and now BabyCPK celebrate Christmas as a small little family before heading to celebrate with more family. 

Well, come to find out, it is a hit any time during the year. Including a big hit for the BabyCPK, who, let's be honest is more of a ToddlerCPK at this point.

So here is my recipe that I use for my rice pudding. 



  • 2 cup cooked white rice (or however much rice is left after making WAAYY too much for dinner)
  • 2 cups milk (or 1 cup half and half or 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup creamer)
  • 1/2 cup sugar or stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • as many raisins as best suits your fancy
In a saucepan, combine rice, vanilla and sugar. Cook uncovered over mediumish heat until thickened, stirring often. We usually serve cold, but some serve it warm. If it's during the winter, we will actually just stick the whole pot in the snow to cool it down. Because=Michigan.

Then you add raisins when you are ready to serve. If you are feeling super fancy or if it's Christmas time, adding a little cinnamon could be fun too. 






Friday, April 19, 2019

Food Friday: Game of Thrones

Winter is Here!

No, legit, winter is still here. It was friggin snowing on like, Sunday and Monday. I had to let DogCPK out when we were watching Game of Thrones on Sunday and opened the door to Winterfell instead of Kalamazoo. IN APRIL.


This is a picture of Winterfell. Not my backyard. 
Ok, mini-rant over.

Breaky and I hosted family from out of town, so we didn't have or go to a big geeky-fied party to watch the season 8 premier of Game of Thrones. But we did kinda celebrate.

I made us drinks and dessert! Then, of course, we watched the episode.



WHITE WALKER
Enjoyed a "White Walker" courtesy of Pinterest browsing. If you haven't hit up my Pinterest boards yet, take a look! 



 LEMON  (CUP)CAKE(S)
I was going to make Sansa's lemon cakes, but I suck at baking, and we ran out of time. So I made cupcakes. With lemon. They were good, and sometimes that is all you can ask of me. :) 
The lemon cupcakes were also a simplified recipe. I used white cake mix, a can of lemon/lime pop (soda for non-mid-westerners) and juice from one lemon. Stir everything together, put in my cupcake tins, follow the directions for cooking on the back of the cake box, and BLAMMO, really fluffy lemony cupcakes. 


Better written down recipe for my Sansa's Lemon Cupcakes
Ingredients
- one box of white cake mix
- one can of lemon/lime pop 
- juice from one lemon
Supplies
- cupcake tin
- mixing bowl


Mix the ingredients together in the mixing bowl. Pour in to the cupcake tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.








Quick Game of Thrones Episode 1 Review with No Spoilers-Ish

Basically, read at your own risk. 


I know a lot of fans were bemoaning the lack-of-action and speed of the episode. Honestly, though, it had  many of the reunions I personally have been waiting for for YEARS. And honestly, I was ok with the pace. It is a lot of set up for future big events, and honestly, a lot happened! Just because it wasn't a ton of fighting and dying, didn't mean it wasn't a big important episode! TO be completely honest, the prospect of what could come next and at the end has me super stressed out.

But I will watch until the end! Because in the end: "Valar Morghulis", all men must die.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Friday, March 29, 2019

Food Friday: LFG Bar Kalamazoo



Every once in a while, Breaky and I get a date night or two. We are getting to a point where we are more comfortable leaving BabyCPK with others, AND Breaky has been home for longer than a few weeks.




Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Pokemon Themed 1st Birthday Party





Our One-derful BabyCPK turned 1.

Since we did a Pokemon Themed Pregnancy Announcement, and BabyCPK is too young to choose a theme for herself, we decided to go with a Pokemon themed birthday party.


From some suggestions from Pinterest and lots of shopping on Amazon.com, I decorated and came up with some creative names for party food that involves Pokemon.

I could not have pulled this off without my amaaaazing family. They did sooo much work for this party. I do not have an "excuse" for not doing as much as I could have, although work, at the time, was a drama-filled frazzle cake. Even Breaky chipped in and was the one who made the pizzas!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Empowerment: The Women Who Came Before Me, Who Stand Beside Me and Who Shape the Future After Me

The whole "Your Word of the Year" was popular this year during the new year.

Mine was "Empowerment"
Now,a s you can tell from the definition above, it can mean to either empower someone or the state of being empowered to do something.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

One Year Old. Looking Back and Bonus Cake Smash Pictures!



If you are not familiar with my blog, I purposefully do not use names in order to give us a little big of privacy. 


On 2/28/2018 our lives changed forever.

BabyCPK was born.

2/28/2019 she turned 1. The Earth rotated around the sun. Her father and I changed, but not half as much as she did. From a little potato who could pretty much only cry, feed and poop to a toddler who can say "dada" and "Aa daa" (all done) and "Hello" and thinks it is hilarious when Daddy has to chase after her when she crawls all the way to DogCPK's water bowl before we notice.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day!




Breaky travels a lot. That means that sometimes he misses holidays or milestones. We've been apart for an anniversary, a number of Thanksgivings, a birthday, was gone four days before our wedding and two weeks before BabyCPK was born. Needless to say, I'm used to it by now. 

This is our first Valentine's Day apart however. 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

What a weird $%^&*() week

What a weird $%^&*() week


We knew the weather was going to be bad this week. I even took my work laptop home with me just in case. It's Michigan.

So the weekend went very well. We did a bunch of organizing, baby proofing and cleaning. Sunday night, I started to get some heartburn and feel a little weird. Weird turned into gross and well..... either I had the stomach flu or food poisoning.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year

2018 was a whirlwind for both me and my family.

I could write a novel about all the firsts, all the highs, all the lows, lots going on.

So instead, I'm making a bunch of top 5 for 2018.