The game I'm currently addicted to on my DS. Just wait till the new Civilization comes out in June. OMG.
Several weeks ago, when looking at the newly arrived books in the library, there was only one that really stood out. It was Why Video Games are Good for Your Soul, by James Paul Gee. It struck me partially because it was an interesting title, and different from everything else on the shelf, but also because, well, I'm currently addicted to the New Super Mario Brothers.
You may remember our Nintendo DS from a previous post. It's wonderful and portable, which means I can play Mario almost anywhere; at home, in the car, waiting to be picked up after work, on the bus, wherever! In addition to being lots of fun, playing Mario always puts me in a good mood. This is especially nice (for Chip especially) on the mornings I'm feeling grumpy. I just play Mario on the way to work, and am in a much better mood by the time we are nearing campus.
So there you go, video games really ARE good for the soul.
Wonder of wonders, we have had a fun new fancy gadget for like a month and a half, and I'm only now getting around to writing about it! When Chip reads this, he'll say "Well, its about time!"
Meet the Nintendo DS Lite. Isn't it pretty? Chip has several games for it, and I've played a few, but the only one I spend any time on is Brain Age. In fact, I try to spend a little time each day, because you know your brain needs exercise, too!
Brain Age is a interactive game that's supposed to train your brain with word, math and memory puzzles. And there's even a funny little doctor character who asks what you ate for breakfast, then makes you try to remember a week later.
The best part is, it displays every players daily brain age, and you can look at graphs that compare players brain age and performance on tests over time. Which means Chip and I can play at totally different times, and still compete against each other. Now thats our kind of game.
Why haven't I posted for a month? Really, I have no good excuse. Blog worthy things have happened, as well as unworthy events I would normally have blogged about it. But I still haven't written. Maybe it was laziness or Civ addiction or just falling out of the habit, I don't know. But here's trying to change the pattern with a few updates.
Chip has a job! He started working three weeks ago, and is really enjoying it. He's doing scientific programming using Fortran, and it has something to do with fluid dynamics. Its very similar to the kind of programming he did in grad school, but in a very different environment with different sorts of results. So its familiar yet challenging and fun. We went out last night for a sushi dinner to celebrate our first month with 2 pay checks since we moved to San Diego. It was oh, so yummy.
My job update
I really love my job! It can be a little overwhelming at times, especially since its really up to full speed, but I still feel like I have a lot of learn. It recently became official that I am in charge of the Urban Studies and Environmental Studies collections in addition to my Government Documents duties. A few weeks ago, I taught my first library instruction sessions for a couple Urban Studies classes which was very stressful, but I think they turned out well, and were kind of fun! I've already had one of the professors ask me to do an instruction session for his other class, which made me feel like the first one couldn't have been too bad! In other job related news, Alanna has an interview at the end of March for a job in my department. How fun would that be if one of my super good friends came to live in San Diego and work in the library with me!
Other random tidbits
We recently played Clue. I love Clue. We went to a really fun Mardi Gras party. It was the first Mardi Gras party either of us had been to. This is a bigger deal for Chip, being from St. Louis, which usually has the 2nd largest Mardi Gras parade in the country (the largest this year.) No paczki though. Today a couple friends took us to Ramos House Cafe. It was an hour drive away, but boy was it worth it! Yummy, yummy.
I'm sure I'm leaving out key features of the past month, but I think this is long enough for now. Anyone who has missed my posting, can thank L (who likes to remain mysterious & anonymous) for prompting me into action.
Last night I went to my first ever Hockey game. It was so much fun! Ryan (Chip's sister's husband) got 4 free tickets to the Blues Hockey game at the last minute, and the four of us (Chip, me, Alicia & Ryan) went together to the game. We were warned that the Blues weren't very good this year, but the game was really close, and went into overtime, and they had to have a shoot off. Very cool! Although I have to say, one of my favorite parts was the fight in the first period. I've never attended a a sporting event where players start fighting and the refs just stand there and watch! Here's a picture from the game. I would have included one of the fight, but I was too engrossed to remember to take a picture!
The other fun thing today, was I got to drive our little truck! We traded cars with Chip's Dad when we moved to San Diego, so our old truck is his now, and here in St. Louis. The CRV is definitely more practical, especially for driving two people, stuff and a cat across the country. But I really do miss driving our little truck. I told Chip, if we ever need two cars, we'll have to buy another little truck. Except this one will have four wheel drive!
I'm hooked on Sudoku. It's this really fun number puzzle that involves no math.
It's easiest to try playing online because then you can find out if you're doing it right. Once you get the hang of it, you can print them out and take them anywhere! You can fold it up and put it in your purse or pocket, so even when you don't want to carry a book, you'll always have something to do! (Just remember your pencil.) You should try it! It's fun!
For YEARS I have been hearing from my Dad and brothers how wonderful and fun Dave & Buster's is. But until last night, I never had the opportunity to find out for myself and it was super super fun!
I still feel torn about whether I like Dave & Buster's or ESPN Zone better, though.
Dave & Buster's was much less busy, so we didn't have to wait so long to play games, or to race against all your friends in some particular game. (But to be fair, I have never been the the ESPN Zone on a week night. Maybe its not busy then either.)
As far as games, its a tough call. Everything at ESPN Zone is sports related (I know, its shocking.) My favorite game at the ESPN Zone is the football passing game where you are actually throwing a regular football through hoops. Its fun. They don't have it at Dave & Busters. BUT they do have really fun non-sports related games like Star Wars Pod Racing and all kinds of shooting games that are fun. They only have one gun game at ESPN Zone, and well, I like guns!
Dave & Busters is also more spacious. I don't know if they have more games, but there is definitely more room to play them in.
If Chip & I were just going to play some games I think we would go to ESPN Zone (plus we have coupons for it :) BUT for a birthday party, Dave & Buster's is the way to go! Lots of room to play games with your friends, plus tickets for playing games! Then you can give the birthday girl all your tickets (like we did) so she can get herself some cool prizes like a set of Dave & Buster's drinking glasses.
Happy Birthday, Brittany! Thanks for inviting us to your super fun party at Dave & Buster's!
As of Wednesday, I am unofficially done with my Master's in Library Science. Although I won't officially get my degree until August, I am finished with everything that needs to be done.
Between Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon I basically did two things: Play Civilization and Library stuff.
I went to work (in a library) Thursday and part of Friday. I went to ALA (American Library Association) conference events Friday afternoon, all day Saturday and on Sunday morning. Pretty much the rest of the time, when I wasn't sleeping I was playing Civilization.
I have been addicted to Civilization since probably sometime in high school when my family got the first version. My addiction always comes in fits and starts. Sometimes I won't play it for like a year, and then I'll just get the urge and I won't be able to stop playing it. In college, when I bought Civilization II, I only installed it on Chip's computer at his apartment, so I couldn't play it at home instead of doing homework. Although sometimes I went to his house when my classes finished early, and he would come home to find me playing Civilization in the dark.
This Fall, Civilization IV comes out. It looks really cool and I can't wait. In the mean time, I'll be playing CivIII. But hopefully doing some other things with my free time, too.
For almost four years we have lived practically down the street from Wrigley Field. A 5 minute or so bus ride, a 25 minute or so walk, both will get us there. Every year, we have to get a Cubs night game parking pass, because we live in the parking zone. And still, I've never been. Chip went as a field trip chaperon our first year here, but I've only been to see Sox games, way on the South side. This week was the perfect opportunity. Chip's Dad's was here on business, and he wanted to go to a game, too. So we all went on Tuesday night.
It was really fun and a completely different experience from a modern stadium. It is really quite small, and still has the old-style score board, and sits right on the street. It doesn't seem nestled inside layers on concrete walkways the way Comisky does. You can even see the lake from up at the top of the stadium! Its also really cool the way the stadium walls don't go up all the way on two sides, and people put bleachers on top of their houses. Chip said the last time he went, it was even more like going back in time, because they didn't have any of the electronic signs they have now (although there's still a lot less than others stadiums.)
Here's a picture I took right around sunset:
See another picture I took during the game here.