October 2017
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Crafting good times

Square 1- Fantastic!

I’ve been knitting and crocheting a lot again. After taking some time off from squares, I started the 2017 Moogly CAL, despite not finishing the 2015 one. I only have a few square left of that one, and I thought maybe I’d just do a few squares I really liked towards the end of 2017, and then piece both blankets together at the same time. Of course, I have to actually do the squares this time around. Like…all of them this time.

I went with a purple color scheme this time around, though I have another idea, depending on my mood. I used a light purple, and a dark purple, as well as black and gray. I wanted a silver, but couldn’t find a good silver in the same weight (at least, not without having to order it online. I was much too impatient to do that.) I’ll probably piece them together in a white. I used Loops and Threads Impeccable in Amethyst, Lavender, Black and True Grey.

Square 2- Danyel’s Square

So far, the squares have been relatively easy, which I’m thankful for. Too complicated, and it starts to be less fun, unless I happen to be in the mood for a challenge. FatChocoboMom is in full blown laziness mode.I’m happy with how each turned out, particularly the second one. They both need a little blocking though.

This year, I plan to do more crafting. While this primarily means knitting and crochet, I’ve also expanded to learning to sketch and paint. Polycraftual does her best to influence me and make me fall in love with other crafts as well, so I should have plenty to do. In fact, I created a small project 50-style community on facebook (shameless plug?!) for sharing and talking crafts. While not everyone has accepted the challenge of making 50 crafts this year, it’s still a good place to showcase your projects.

 

 

The trouble with the Square Enix Store

This is what I wanted. This is what I ordered. On October 25th. Unlike previous orders, wherein the money was deducted when the product was actually shipped, the money was taken right away.

Silence.

December 7th. Notification of shipping.  YAY!

Even at this moment, the shipping tracking says the same thing. “A UPS shipping label has been created. Once the shipment arrives at our facility, the tracking status–including the scheduled delivery date–will be updated.”

We waited. Patiently. Hoping maybe it was just an error, that my book was on it’s way. Christmas goes by. New Years. Finally we try to contact the Square Enix store.

There’s no number. Only email.

Fine. Email them. Less than 24 hours later, my order is cancelled. Refunded, yes, but cancelling was NOT what I wanted done. I wanted my book.

Email 1.

Dear Shannon,

Following your instructions, we have cancelled and refunded this order #######. You should receive returned funds within 7 business days.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate contacting us.

The Square Enix Team

Whhhhhhaaaaat? THOSE WERE NOT MY INSTRUCTIONS.

Email 2.

Jane D.(Square Enix US Online Store Support)

Jan 6, 09:22 CET

Dear Shannon,

Thank you for contacting the Square Enix NA Online Store Support.

It seems it was a shipping issue. As we run out of stock for this product, I will proceed with the refund.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Best,
Jane

The Square Enix NA Online Store Team

OMFG. Ok, “Jane”, if that is your real name which we KNOW it’s NOT, Shinji (It’s a Shinji, I just know it because only Shinji would suck this much.) This is NOT an explanation. And it’s poor Engrish. Shipping issue? Well duh, it’s obvious IT WAS NEVER SHIPPED. How about having a way to contact you that involves talking? So I can say “well if there is more in stock (there’s still a waiting list on the site.) just hold my order and make it one of the first to ship.” Cause damn it, I still want my damn book.

This is not the first time that the Square Enix store has messed things up. There’s the fact that shipping is horrendous. There’s the fact that if you pre order something, and order something else at the same time, they don’t ship until the pre order comes out! OH AND THEY DON’T HOLD THAT SOMETHING ELSE THAT WAS IN STOCK AT THE TIME SO WHEN THE PREORDER IS RELEASED, THEY’VE SOLD OUT OF THE FIRST ITEM.

*Deep breaths* I know this is not important. Not truly important. #firstworldproblems and all. But it is super annoying that some American hack in Japan can set up a first rate site so people can order candy, porn games and other Japanese novelties, while a huge, prominent video game company cannot make a decent online store.  It’s 2017 Square Enix. Get your asses together and stop fucking your customers.

And give me my damn book.

Horrible terrible death

We attempted Palace of the Dead last night.  We started at floor 170.  We made it through the Chimera hell of floors 180-189.  Then we fought the GodFather. Without being 100% sure of what to do.

We died a terrible and horrible death.  Because of rookie mistakes.

Don’t hit the lava bomb away from the GodFather.  Only the healer hits it.  TOWARDS the Godfather.

Holmgang, Choco.  BEFORE massive burst.  And if not holmgang…run to Tomo.  Away from the Godfather.  To give Tomo a chance to heal your little butt before the Godfather punches you again.

Don’t run into the little balls when they are exploding.

Kill the remedy bomb.

Oh god, I have PTSD.

Back to floor 50 on Sunday.

The Last Guardian

I got this for John for Christmas. From the makers of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, the Last Guardian feels like a blend of the two previous games. It’s amazingly beautiful, as the other two were. It’s one of those games I love to watch others play. Don’t get me wrong, I’d play it too, if it were my game and I had endless time. But it was a gift, so I let the recipient play. 😉

This was my husband playing, though I think this scene was shown at E3. Still, it was a fantastic part. Just one of many “Oh Sh*t!” moments of the game.

Again, my husband game time. We thought this part was neat. The entire game is pretty much this: figuring out how to get Trico (the beastie dog thing) to wherever the boy is. Lots of jumping and having to trust Trico is going to save you, lots of fending off these dudes. There’s puzzles, and searching for food for Trico. The puzzles don’t seem as perplexing as the ones in Ico, but they are still fun.

I won’t give spoilers, but let me tell you…if this game ends in me crying my eyes out, I’m gonna be pretty angry though. There better be a happy ending.

The Return of Eorzean adventures

Happy New Years!

It’s been along time since I gave a FFXIV update, and figured three posts of WLS in a row was just a bit much! Chocolate needed some attention in 2017!

Awhile back, we beat A9s and A10S. But our group needed a break. We had one member that was just turning into the pretentious prat type, and even our most patient of members were starting to get ticked off. We also had a Brazilian player who was sacrificing a lot of sleep to be able to stick with us. Since Final Fantasy XV was coming out, we decided to put aside raiding until Spring.

Half of us decided we’d dedicate ourselves to doing the full 200 levels of PotD. It’s been fun. Honestly, until about floor 160, it doesn’t get very hard so long as you have your weapons at +99. 180…well, that’s another story. We’ve died there twice, and if you play the game, you know the consequences.  Back to floor 50. It’s so cruel! We also died at like 150 once, because we weren’t paying attention, and I think that same night we died at 80 something because we were just rushing through.

Our group, with almost matching mounts…

Tonight, we got back to 170, and stopped there. We attempt 170 to maybe 200 (probably 190, if we survive) on Thursday. Fingers crossed, because I don’t know if I can handle doing 50-160 again. It’s such a pain in the ass. But I love it. I’m also attempting to solo it, but had to restart to change jobs. I also haven’t been able to pry myself away from FFXV, or watching the husband play The Last Guardian.

Tomo and Chocolate celebrate the Starlight Festival and Heavenstrum.

But we still play a few times a week. I think we both still find it a good way to relax together, when we aren’t arguing about hugging walls. (Inside joke, perhaps only the husband can appreciate.) It’s been nice to expand our interests back outside of the game. We’ve been watching Vikings, and Sherlock, as well as the above mentioned games, which by the way are fantastic and I will be discussing them at a later date.

I think we’re both excited about new content, both patch 3.5, which comes out January 17th, and the newest expansion, which comes out in June 20. Super excited about that!

We still love each other.

The Biggest Question

So why weight loss surgery? I mean, come on Fat Chocobo Mom, eat less! Workout more! It’s.just.that.simple!!

To be honest, that is one of the dumbest statement I’ve ever heard. If eating less and working out worked for everyone, obesity wouldn’t be the problem it is. New diets would be created every 15 days, and the diet industry wouldn’t be a million dollar industry. Simple statements like the above don’t take in other factors.  Look, this is a scientific fact. There are other factors, outside of what you eat and how much you move. There’s genetics. There’s diseases. There’s differences in metabolism, and which foods our bodies react to. There’s external factors, like childhood upbringing, and stress.

Weight loss surgery is not the easy out. It’s a tool that can help a person lose weight. A tool that involves surgery, and all the side effects and risks. I’m a big woman, with poor genetics, and medical reasons that make weight loss difficult. I like to think of it as a reset button, something to get me back to a better baseline. It’s a tool to help me lose while I address mental hunger, comfort eating and redefining the relationship I have with food. Even after I have surgery, I intend to continue to see a therapist, and to attend support groups. Instead of living to eat, I will eat to live. But I’m under no delusion- this will be hard.

Nor do I think I’m going to walk out of this some skinny super model. I’ve been plus size all my life, and I know that I’m going to have a lot of excess ugly skin. Insurance doesn’t pay for skin removal, as that is a cosmetic surgery. I do this because I want to be healthy. I want to eliminate diabetes, I want to reduce my risk of heart attack and stroke. I want to be able to work out without as much pain so that I can live a long healthy life. I want to see my kids grow, and grow old with my husband. I don’t want to die young like my Mother, her mother, and even my father.

I would not do this if I didn’t think it’s worth it. I’ve seen negative people who still cling to the belief of calories in, calories out. I’ve seen them trash people who’ve had surgery, and those who fear for their loved ones say “but you could die.” It is my thought that if I stay obese, I face a bigger risk of dying of heart attack, stroke, or even the complications from diabetes. My choice is scientifically based, with an overwhelmingly supportive scientific and academic basis.

It’s hard to imagine, but despite being a little afraid (Who likes having surgery?), I’m also excited. To get healthy, to lose weight. I’m not excited about the “diet” aspect, particularly the first 3 months of post op food.  Full liquid diet the first 3 weeks. Purees for another 3 weeks…soft foods for another 3 weeks after that. But during that time, weight is lost, and there’s a lot of mental training happening. Relearning.

Of course, there’s also vigilance. At no point can I ever return to enjoying food at the level I do now. But I recognize that level is unhealthy. Even after I return to “normal” foods, it’s in tiny quantities, with a focus on limiting sugars, and fats.

To be honest, I’m ready for it to all happen so I can move on. This is the sort of boring part. It feels more like mental preparation, when I want action. I’ve never been the patient type. And like I said, I’m scared, of course. There’s risks, and the fear of the unknown. There’s knowing there’s going to be some really miserable parts. I just have to believe it’s all worth it. Hopefully my wait won’t be too long. I mean, it makes for some boring blogging, doesn’t it?

Welcome to 2017

Happy New Year!

New year, New life. New year, New me. Isn’t that what New Year’s resolutions are? Well, it was kind of a secret until now (though, not really…more like I just didn’t talk about it anyone and everyone), but I’ve actually been working on some pretty big changes in my life since the end of November. It’s not about the new year, but it’s coinciding with it so here we are.

2017 is going to be my year. I’m making changes to myself, because if I don’t, if I see another year go by at the unhealthy level I am, it’ll be bad. Bad for my life, bad for my kids and my husband. At some point, I realized, I need to take control or risk having my life end like it did my mom. Not a happy subject, I know. But let’s be honest, it’s a necessary one.

This year, I’m working towards bariatric surgery. To say I’m scared is a bit of an understatement. To say I’m determined would also be an understatement. If there’s one thing I understand at this moment is that one path will lead to a really ugly, and unnecessary death. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not 2017. But eventually, my body is going to tell me off for keeping on the path it’s on now. The other path, the one I’m picking, is going to have a lot of struggle, a lot of pain, with a SMALL chance of death. But it’s the path that has the potential to go further, the one to help me lead a longer, happier life. It more uphill and a lot of internal work, but for me…it’s worth it.

So my blog is changing, but only a little. I want to include this journey.  But it’ll still have my geeky side- video games, anime, music and all my nerdy love. Crafts. Hopefully lots and lots of crafts. But it’s also going to include what I hope is an inspiring personal side. Maybe Fat Chocobo Mom can be healthy and happy Chocobo Mom. And maybe I can also be a little more consistent in the whole blogging area. I’m really bad about keeping up with blogging.

If I can inspire and help others get healthy as I walk down my own path, that’s something I’d like to do. One of the biggest things I’ve done since I made the decision to investigate this path was read and research.  As much as possible, from the scientific end of things, to the more personal stories. The good, the bad, the ugly.

At this point, I’m confident in my choice, and am taking all the necessary steps as ordered by the surgeon. I’ve seen a nutritionist, I’ve had a psych evaluation. I’m in the middle of losing x lbs to meet what they call a reassurance goal, to demonstrate a willingness to lose. I had x-rays, and blood work, and will be having an endoscopy (hopefully soon…). I’m attending support groups as well, once a month in person, and I joined various online communities. It’s slow going. My next appointment (where I need to have lost x lbs) is January 24th, and if I’ve made my goal, there’s a good chance within a few weeks I can get a date.

Exciting, scary stuff! And with time to spare for all the good stuff… FFXV, World of Final Fantasy, The Last Guardian, FFXIV: Bloodstorm, DragonBall Super, Attack of the Titans, and crafts, crafts, crafts and more crafts, I’m hoping to do a lot of blogging to keep myself occupied. Please…look forward to it!

Alexander Savage

At some point over the summer, I realized I didn’t have time to blog about anything interesting.  My plan was to begin again once the kids were back in school (5 days, omg 5 days!) and resume a little blogging. But I guess I’m going to start early.

Why?

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Because this nerd finally beat Alexander 6 Savage last night with her static.  Now, I know.  No biggie, we aren’t world’s first, other groups did it faster, etc etc etc. It took us around 3 months, but that was with a lot of group issues.  I think in total, we went through…6-7 people, on top taking a few people for a trial run and it not working out.  I won’t speak for anyone else, but there was at least four times during the entire three month span where I considered leaving the game completely.  We moved from 2 night a week to 3 nights a week, though we still stuck to only one lockout per evening, plus one to two runs after.  We had a very set time of ending by 11 pm EST.  And that’s probably what saved my sanity.

With one of our members heading off to a 2 week vacation, we were determined to beat it, even deciding to do a lock out on our “night off.” I wasn’t thrilled, but I’m glad we did.  We finally beat those damn robots. I’m going to change my name to Yoshimi!

I realized I never shared we beat Alexander 5 Savage.  We did! Here’s the win.

And here’s our A6S win:

So what’s next?  Well, we aren’t sure.  With our other tank on vacation, I don’t think we’re going to attempt A7S just yet. We’re positive that we can do it, but there’s the problem of a new patch on it’s way.  Will our group want to stay behind and not focus on new content?  I think I’d actually prefer sticking to A7S while we work on non-raid new content.  I don’t mind not being world first.  People around us seem to get so burned out because they try to everything within a week.  Silliness! It’s much better to take your time and enjoy the game.

Since FFXV is delayed, we’ll probably do raids until then at the very least, and then we’ll have to see.  FFXV in November, and Persona in February…it’s a nerd girl’s kind of year!

Too busy!

So when I was cleaning up and changing themes last week, I was thinking…hey, summer life can’t get much busier. I CAN find time to blog!

And then it was the fourth, and then Lilia enrolled in a local kids theater and is in a production of the Wizard of Oz. And the husband is running the boilermaker, and the kids ran the kids run this morning. And any opportunity to sit down long enough to blog seemed to disappear. Life! You aren’t supposed to get this crazy!!

This week should be a little easier. Maybe. I think Lilia has three rehearsals, though it might be two. The weather forecast is hot so we’ll get some good swim time. But I think after the busy week we’ve had, and the fact that the following week will be spent at Camp, this upcoming week should be nice and relaxing.

IMG_2806

Not the prettiest of cakes (or the best picture), to be honest. But the taste? Divine!

It was my father in law’s birthday. I’ve been on a cake baking kick this summer, making some really delicious cakes for my husband’s birthday, and father’s day. I decided to keep it going by attempting to make something epic for my father in law as well. Well, not quite epic. His favorite dessert ever is brownie. So of course, I went with a brownie cake, and to make it more birthday-y (is that a word?), I threw on some delicious yellow cake frosting.

The brownie itself turned out really well, except for the edges being a little harder.  Note to self, trust your instincts and pull the brownie out sooner.  I used the recipe from Back to Seconds, only I used a 9 x 9 pan and not a 9 x 13.  So a little thicker. I think I cooked it about 20 minutes extra, and really, 10 probably would’ve been enough.  Since it sits in the pan to cool, it would’ve finished cooking in the pan.  The brownie delicious though, better than any brownie mix.  It uses butter instead of oil, and three different chocolates and cocoas, so it has all the flavor.  Thick and rich, just a little piece will fill you up.

The frosting was super good too.  At first I was was like…ummmm….when I saw one of the ingredients was yellow cake mix.  Like, who thought of that?  What sort of insane maniac thinks to put in cake mix…into a frosting?  But it worked SO WELL. Now, it was hot yesterday.  Damn near 90, with my kitchen not having any sort of air flow (despite my house having central air.)  So the frosting was soft.  Really soft.  It smoothed beautifully onto the brownie, but the little bit I colored and used as text…well, that didn’t work out so well.  I didn’t have time to let it sit in the fridge.  So the letters sort of just…spread.

No big deal, I just added more sprinkles and rolled with it. After all, this is going into happy bellies. No one really cared that it was imperfect.  What they cared about it was that it was super delicious, and we all needed extra milk.

Summer Vacation

Yes, it’s been like…ages! I’m still here, but it’s not big surprise that life takes over and blogging frankly gets put on the back burner. I’m not one of those super awesome bloggers that get paid! I did however, change the theme and look of the blog, did a few updates here and there, and have a few things hopefully planed for posts.

So summer vacation is here. It’s…slow…this year. There hasn’t been much to do, the weather seems to be hit or miss, and we only just got the pool up. It seems like all our summer adventures are planned for later in the summer. Of course, technically, last week was our first official first week of vacation, which really means we have a ton of vacation left. If our family is good at anything, it’s taking things at a snail’s pace. No rush, no major plans, just sort of taking things as they come, with only the plan that eventually, we will get from A to Z. We have a small list of things we want to do over the summer, but no dates actually set in stone.

I think this is the first year though, where I really worry about the kids, and being a balanced parent. I have no qualms with TV and video games, but now that school is out, there are definite moments where I scream internally that the kids have had way too much screen time. Where I feel like an old fogey yelling that as a kid I never was allowed to sit around watching TV all day, that I had to go outside, and it didn’t matter how hot it was outside.

I’m also the parent that says Hey! I’m not responsible for entertaining you. Go entertain yourselves. I think that in itself sets you up for a lot of whining. In the end, they are good, and find something to entertain them or have a great time outside, etc etc. But the battle sometimes…ugh. Very easy at times to just give in. God, yes, go…go watch something and get out of my hair. Particularly if you want to get things done.

So balance. It’s almost elusive at times. This year I implemented rules and guidelines.They get to watch and play on the tv/computers/handhelds during certain times. Mornings, because hey…I like to sleep in. Afternoon, once Mei is napping, no screens, tvs, handhelds. They can do whatever they want in their rooms, or outside. Though in order to play in the evening, they have to do certain things to earn that time. Reading. Crafting (drawing, painting, knitting, or something similar.) Going outside. Not continually complaining. And helping out around the house.

They also have set chores, which let me tell you, are so simple, it’s almost ridiculous. Just little things, to help around the house, and not make mom and dad feel like maids. Chores also earn them points towards fun things, like allowances and outings, like Billy Beez and Chuck E Cheese, and maybe even friends coming over to play.

So I like to think we have balance, though somedays are better than others. I don’t know if it’s a kid thing (I highly suspect it is.) but if they can get away with not doing any of that, and playing all day (When Mom and Dad themselves are feeling lazy), they will.

FCM will have to keep on top of them, that’s for sure.