101 Goals, 1001 Days: Baking Something New

It’s not good to waste food, and I had some products of which I knew would spoil if I didn’t use them, so I looked up a recipe with blueberries, greek yoghurt and eggs. There used to be a time when you used Google to find a recipe for that. Now you have Pinterest. Most bloggers are already creating beautiful images to go with their posts (I’m lagging behind, I’m well aware), and it’s easy to select something to looks good and sounds like what you want.

I picked out a lemon blueberry yoghurt cake, because it had all the ingredients that I want to use and the others I always have in stock. It turned out well as you can see in the photo above and it tastes great! It’s the first of many new recipes I’m going to try, although I don’t know what I’ll try next week. I’ll add the recipe below later.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Follow on online course

What’s the easiest way to learn something? Through the internet, of course! In my opinion, nothing beats following on online course in your PJs with a pot of tea and cookies to keep those brains active. I’m also a person who learns from people talking to them. I loved following the not-so-interactive classes in university. I would take notes until my hands cramped or class ended.

Over the past years online courses have grown exponentialy. Universities offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for free, or just upload the recordings of real classes. Coursera is probably the most famous one, with classes from Ivy League schools ranging from science to the arts. Earn certificates in your own field or in a new discpline to widen your skill set. Check out MOOC List to find all the MOOCs available, even the ones not on Coursera.

I have a few goals on my list that could benefit from an online course. Learning Python for example. There are tons of ways to learn to program. Codeacademy is another example. I already use Duolingo to learn Japanese. That combined with my interest in anime and Japanese shows (thank you, Netflix, for providing them), and a Japanese sister-in-law, I know I’ll get there.

I have found an online course that I want to follow, even when it has nothing to do with the learning goals on my list, and I want to share it with you. I can’t remember how I found it, but I want to tell you about it, so you can share it with others.

I’m a writer, as you probably know, and I like to learn from other writers. I recently finished On Writing by Stephen King and I have View From The Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman, Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer, and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamotts lined up to read. So when I found the online writing course taught by Brandon Sanderson I knew I had to follow/watch it. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s educational. I hope you’ll enjoy it with me

Here is the full play list. Have Fun!

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Finishing up the house

It’s a little over a year since we moved into the house I had built. Some of you might remember my posts about ‘Real Life Sims‘, where I talked about designing a terrace house with the help of an architect. They finished building it in April last year and we moved in at the end of June. We wanted to move as soon as possible, because we were paying for two houses, and because of that, we left some jobs undone.

We still need shelf space in the guest room, game room (so many figurines!) and in the laundry room. Art is still on the ground instead of on the wall. I’m sure there are at least twenty more boxes that need to be unpacked. Yes, lots to do.

The new IKEA book came in with the new collection. I’m working on a shopping list for the next we have some time to go. I already know that I’ll leave with more than that’s on the list, because it wouldn’t be IKEA if I didn’t.

I’m also making progress on a different goal: reading. I finished my first book of the hundred that I want to read in these 1001 days. It also counts towards my yearly Goodreads Reading Challenge of 30 books. With Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone finished, I’m still three books behind on that goal, but I know that I’ll get those 30.

If you have any books to recommend, please let me know! I still need a few more.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Reinstall my PC and Journaling

Reinstalling my pc has been on my to-do list for a long time. The past few months the blue screens and crashes became more frequent so it had to be done. After a crash the day before yesterday I thought it was time. I backuped my data and my husband started the reset process. I think that’s one of the biggest improvements of Windows 10. Resetting your pc is so much easier now than it was before.

I went for a full reset, without saving any personal settings. I wanted a clean start again, also because I wanted to know where my problems came from and that is easier with a clean install. I saved the important files to my other hard disk, hoping that it’s not faulty.

After installing the basics, Firefox, Chrome, Steam, Guild Wars 2, I also installed Fortnite again. I’ve been enjoying it every time we play, but we don’t have much time to game together, since our dog isn’t allowed to come up to the game room. Fortnite used to load slowly. It would still be launching while I booted my husband’s pc, logged in, launched the game and collected the daily. Yes, it was that bad. I just test it and it launched in a few seconds! I should’ve done this a long time ago. Hopefully, my other games will run smoothly as well, and no more crashes in League of Legends.

I’m also working on my other goals, like blogging every day and writing in my journal. Of course that’s not something I’ll be sharing with you, but I’ll tell you a little about my journaling habit. I used to write one page a day, as a journal, with no rules except that it had to be one page. It helped me figuring out myself, my life, my dreams, but it also gave me a chance to talk about important events and reflect upon them. I stopped early this year after my health got worse and I wanted to sleep instead of writing my page.

Skipping one day isn’t enough to break a habit, as long as you’re conscious of it and willing to continue. But after not doing that thing for a few days and you’ll forget it’s a habit and it’s becoming something you do instead of something you do every day. I believe this is why people tell aspiring writers to write every day and to never skip a day.I want to get back into that habit of journaling each day, although I’ll probably use the morning to write instead of the evening. My mind will be fresh and that first page can be a good warm up for further writing.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Finish one game

I was looking through my Steam list to find games for my two goals, finish one game and play five games I’ve never played before. I have about 460 games in my Steam library and I only have one game 100%, which means I have all the achievements. I’ve only finished about a dozen, not getting all the achievements, but finishing the story line or all the puzzles.

For these two achievements I was looking for games with zero hours played on them. Otherwise it wouldn’t be fair. I also ruled out games of which I knew have about 100 hours of game time. That’s just not realistic. Any games that don’t have a real ‘finish’ status are also ruled out, so no Age of Empires, Civilization or Tropico. I love them and I know some of them have story lines, it’s not what I wanted.

I’ve had Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons in my library for a long while, but never played it. I’ve heard and seen that it’s an amazing game and not too long. The true challenge for me is to control the two brothers at the same time. My hand and eye coördination is terrible and has gotten worse since my hands started hurting. That means it’ll take me longer than the average player, and that’s ok. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it just as much.

I’ll post a report and screenshots when I start playing or when I’ve finished the game. I haven’t planned time for it yet, and I doubt it’ll be soon with everything going on now, but I’m glad I found a game I’m looking forward to playing.

Another option would have been Transistor, which I might play for me other goal. I still haven’t decided on any other games. And I haven’t even bought that many the past few years. I blame Humble Bundle.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Complete a season of Diablo 3

Gaming goals, why not? I still like to game and I have an amazing backlog, but that doesn’t keep me from playing games I love. I couldn’t think of a good goal for League of Legends since I have no intentions to play ranked and ARAM is about the only thing I’ll play. I have a million goals in Guild Wars 2, especially with the new expansion coming in September, but meh. So Diablo 3 it is.

I’ve participated about half a dozen times in the Diablo 3 season with various classes. This is the first season with the new necromancer class. Of course I wanted to try it out and the seasons are always a good excuse for me to create a new character. (Yes, even when there is no character customization, I still like creating characters.) Seasons are ladders that reset after three months. People usually try to level characters as fast as possible, but to make things more interesting Blizzard has added achievements. You first start with four chapters needed to unlock a full item set for your class and two cosmetic rewards. Be careful which class you pick to open the item set bags, you can only acquire one set per season and each season the sets are different.

I’ve picked this goal because I always seem to fail the last few achievements needed to complete the four chapters. This is mostly due to time spend elsewhere and not lacking skills. The first chapters are much easier than the later achievements that give out bigger and better rewards. More stash tabs anyone? This time I actually want to complete a full season. Also, the reward is ghostly pet dragon. Adorable.

With my female necro Larysa, I’ve been walking around a damned place, killing skeletons with my own skeletons. I’m glad mine are better. So far I’ve hit level 62 and completed one chapter already. I’m halfway through my second chapter with some achievements of the third already complete. I’m glad you only have to complete them once even if it’s not your current chapter. Check out the gallery below for a few screenshots of my journey and click here to see the rest of my goals.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Cook all recipes from one cookbook

I’ll take my time explaining some goals and update on my progress for now and we start with cooking. The goal ‘cook all recipes from one cookbook’ has been on my list since I saw the movie of Julie and Julia and the book inspired me even more. I won’t go for Julia Child’s book, nor will I pick the French cuisine. If I go for a foreign kitchen, it’ll be either Italian or Indonesian.

Cooking is one of my favourite things to do and this will be an education for me as well.  The only down side is that I can’t spend much time in the kitchen standing. My back tells me that spending three hours in the kitchen cooking or baking is too much. This will influence the speed at which I’ll make the recipes mostly. While it’s perfectly possible to make the perfect beef Wellington (another goal), it’s probably the only thing I’ll do that day. But making a sauce is easy to prepare in advance, say in the afternoon, and cook the rest of the meal later after some rest.

I haven’t decided which one it’ll be, I still have time, but I do know I have to set some rules. Since there’s no fish or other sea things coming into this house, I’ll take the liberty to either skip that recipe or recreate it as a vegetarian dish or find a substitute, like chicken.

Hopefully, I will remember to take a photo of each dish, so I can post it here as well and make you drool.

On A New Journey: Taking On 101 Goals In 1001 Days

I’ve decided to take on a new challenge, and not an easy one either. I’ve set 101 goals to complete in 1001 days, starting today. My deadline is May 9th 2020, which seems like for away, but I’m sure it’ll come faster than I want it to.

The goals are separated into five categories: activities, personal, professional, reading, and education. The goals are a variety of long and short term goals. Some of which can be done in a day, some that need more dedication. I’ve also picked some goals that I’ve previously done before, like ‘write a short story’, and some that I can combine, like ‘read 100 books’ and ‘read a biography’.

For some of my goals I need some input from you, my friends. Please give me your recommendations for books and movies. I need at least twenty of each. Riina has already been kind enough to recommend It by Stephen King, so that’s already on my list. You can leave the recommendations in the comments below or @ me on Twitter. Thank you!

This journey will also breathe some life into this site again. As you can see, I’ve updated it with a new theme and I will continue to update it with little things to make it look even better.

Check out the full list over here.

Two Games That I Wouldn’t Delete

…Or wouldn’t reinstall after I’ve formated my pc.

There are probably more games that I would reinstall after a full cleaning job, but these games are special. You’ll think I’m nuts for picking these games. And I know there’s a ton of you out there that wouldn’t pick these games if you could only pick two to have, always.

Ok. Are you ready? First game:

Diablo II: Lord of destruction

It’s one of the best action RPGs of the century. I love that game. I’ve played it so much that my grades went down. I met several great people via Diablo (also some not so great people, but yeah). This is pure nostalgia. I won’t play this all the time, just once in a half year or something.

It was the first game that I played online. I believe I was twelve years old and I was a girl on the internet. You know what happened. The same things that happen now, only then I didn’t knew how to handle it. Hell, I didn’t even know how to handle boys in general. I joined a Dutch clan, Voices of Chaos. They helped me get to max level, kill all the bosses and provided me with some awesome gear.

I found a Buriza (Buriza-do Kyanon) in a chest in Act 3 on Normal. Of course it wasn’t the greatest of Burizas, but it was good enough for my first bowazon. I’ve played my burizon so much. I really wish I still had her. I used her often to boost other people. Baal-runs were one of the things that I often did on my own. Just like Meph-runs (didn’t give me good loot often), or Diablo-runs (I just liked to kill the dog). I could keep going all night.

It was the first game that introduced me to lan parties. I found a bunch of nerds at my school who also played and we played together. We didn’t use voice chat, since I didn’t want to use a mic when my parents were reading the paper behind me. It was still a lot of fun. Playing together. Talking over chat. I really enjoyed playing together with friends.

What I didn’t like was people (often newbies) that didn’t listen to my advice. When I say, stay behind me, in a Baal-run I expect you to stay behind me. Don’t run in like an idiot, get killed, and then blame me for not saving your ass. That’s what pushed me away from playing with people I didn’t know.

Back then I still had to share the pc with my brother. The pc was in the kitchen and we both had to negotiate time. That also made the time you had more valuable. I ran like a crazy person to get what I wanted. It was often that as soon as I had my time on the pc that I only hunted for loot. No, this wasn’t good. The policy my parents gave me was. I learned to negotiate, I learned how to share, I learned to value something of limited resource. My sister, six years younger, didn’t have to share the pc with anyone besides my parents. My brother and I already pcs in our rooms when she was old enough to care enough about the pc. She didn’t learn these things.

Diablo II will always be my number one nostalgia game. My comfort game. The game I know by heart.

Game number two. This one will raise some hairs, I’m sure. Don’t judge until you’ve read my arguments about why I wouldn’t want to delete this game. I’m sure you’ll find you have the same reasons for not wanting to uninstall a game you like. Think about that. Not the game I picked. Read it. See my side of the story. Not just what the internet tells you.

League of Legends

Yes. There it is. It’s no secret that I play this game. It’s also not a secret that I don’t play it often. I won’t hide the fact that I, definitely, aren’t very good at this game. So why is it a game that I wouldn’t delete?

I started playing League of Legends a few years after it came it out. I think Irelia was one of the newest champions. Yes, that long ago. Sivir was the first champion I bought. She fitted with my playstyle in every way. I played mostly ranged classes in other games and my internet connection was fairly unreliable so, ranged was good. Melee champions would get me killed if I was standing in a team fight and lagged out. It didn’t help me, it didn’t help my team, it annoyed the hell out of me.

League of Legends - Sivir

I leveled my way up to thirty by playing against AI. Most people immediately jumped into normal games as soon as possible. I was still suffering from the annoyance that people didn’t cooperated with me. Vs AI was easy enough to win, even when there was no team play at all. As Sivir I was the AD Carry and was supposed to do the most damage. Sivir is a great pusher. Back then the meta was that the AD carry was alone on top. She could far easily and if you had enough range and/or skill, it was easy to win of the bot. These bots only laned, no roaming. You were sure there wasn’t going to be a gank, ever.

So when my friends invited me to play normals with them, I felt weak. I knew my champion and I knew the items. But people play very differently from bots. One of my friends said that people are more predictable than bots. Mostly because they follow a meta, they follow the play of someone else. Anticipation is one of the skills that you need for League of Legends, and that was something I severely lacked.

I didn’t like normals as AD Carry. There was too much responsibility on my shoulders and I thought I was one of the weakest people on the team. So I switched roles to support, with Sona as main. She was perfect. Face roll Sona. She did damage, she healed, she had utility. What’s not to like about her. I was still mic-less, while the others were on TeamSpeak. I was the silent one. Just like Sona.

Sona was a reflection of me, while Sivir was the image of who I wanted to be. Bad ass, confident, deadly and beautiful. These two are still the characters that I can relate to the best. In most rpgs you get to pick your own character. You can customize them and your choices will affect their development. League of Legends isn’t an RPG, but its characters were more relatable for me than most of the characters I created in RPGs.

League of Legends - DJ Sona

When I started to play Sona for my team, I became known as a deadly Sona. I wasn’t the one who let the low HP enemy escape. I was the Sona who sought out the kills. I built ability power next to the normal utility items for support. Once I played AD Sona and kicked more ass than the AD Carry. We had fun. That’s the kind of thing you can do in Normals, not in ranked.

I refused to play ranked. I don’t have a competitive bone in my body. I’m the one that avoids conflict rather than look for it. I didn’t care much if we won or lost. I still don’t. I was playing for fun. What’s the most fun game mode in LoL? ARAM. All random, all mid. You have no idea what you’re going to play. You just have to make the best of it. To this date, it’s still the only game mode that I play, especially when I’m playing solo. It’s quick, it’s fun, it’s unpredictable. It’s still capable of raising my adrenaline level.

Over the years the game has changed a lot. Not only does it have a lot more champions, items changed, the map changed, the meta changed. There was something else that changed as well. Something that you don’t see in-game. Not immediately at least. The universe of the game changed. Riot Games has spend a lot of time, money and manpower in creating a believable universe. This includes lore stories, short animation videos, subdomains for certain events, music videos, mobile games, merchandise.

The foundation for this universe is getting stronger every month with new releases of non-game content. I applaud Riot Games for this. Thank you so much for making League of Legends so much more than a battle arena. I’m writing this blog while listening to the songs they have created. The Warsongs, Pentakill’s album and the first volume of League of Legends music. I’ve watched the documentary Frequency a few times and I often sing along with them.

Once I dreamed about a game. It had five points, all over the map, with one in the middle. There was a windmill, and I was chasing my enemies with Tristana through the bushes. Now, this wasn’t not the map of Summoner’s Rift. I had to kill the enemy team and try to capture the points. Purple auras lit up around the giant circles in the ground. Jarvan then jumped me and killed me. This was something I dreamed before the game mode of Dominion was announced, which was the next day. Is it a sign? Probably not. But it’s awesome. I was so invested with League of Legends that I regularly dreamed about it.

The reasons why I can’t delete the game is this. I can relate to the character in deeper way than I can with other characters. Why? I can’t really say. It’s a gut feeling. I have a connection with this game that I can’t explain. It’s in my mind and I can’t forget it. It’s a game that I love and which doesn’t betray me. I know what I can expect when I play LoL. I love the universe of League of Legends. I love how Riot Games is expanding it. I want to support them. I’m loyal to them. They may not know me and that’s ok. I know my support will reach them (monetary or otherwise).

Ok, so hate me now. I won’t burn down a game based on its community. Of course there are moments when I curse my teammates for playing a sucky game. Then again, I don’t always play the best games myself. Especially when I haven’t been playing for awhile. There will always be people on the internet who aren’t nice, who are mean, who are angry, who blame others for their mistakes, who blame you for the mistakes you make, even when you make up for it later. Those people will always be there. Even in real life. I just choose not to let them get to me. They don’t define the game which I’m playing. I choose to see the positive side.

Time for change

Yes, this is the first real post here in a long time. The arc of young Miira has finished. I’ll upload a pdf version of the complete story soon so you can read it all at once whenever you want.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve already seen me mention some recent changes. Like my new gig at MMOgames.com. I’m doing a weekly Guild Wars 2 column there and some other articles when I can.

I moved last month and we’re still cleaning up and trying to make it look like a home. We’ll get there, just not as soon as we’d hoped. Besides all the normal household chores, our full time jobs, my new side job, commute hours and chronic pains, it just takes a bit longer. I hope you’ll forgive me for taking a break from blogging.

In the off moments I need to play Guild Wars 2 and I’m still working on a new lay out for the site and hopefully make it a bit more fresh. That, and all the other sites I’m working on. I have five in my portfolio now and I want all of them up and running by the end of the year.

At my day job I secretly write my short stories, outlines for novels and do some research for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I still have some bigger news, but that’s for next year, if everything works out :)

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Guild Wars 2 Fiction

Miira Lightbringer:
Fried Moa Steak
Quiet Before the Storm

Young Miira:
Tail Tugging Part 1
A Promise Made Part 2
Night Falls Part 3
Grawling Preparations Part 4
Badazar Incarnated Part 5
Graduation Part 6 - Final

Savyrius Belain:
We Meet Again...

Naella Ysangwan:
Dogs and Ogres

Play with me!

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Diablo 3 Battle Tag: Endalia#1709
Guild Wars 2 Identifier: Endalia.8109

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