So, for the last couple of weeks I've been pretty busy playing The Talos Principle.
It's a lot of fun, folks--though I'll admit to using a cheat sheet to get past some of the puzzles because I don't really feel like taking four days to figure something out. But the scenary is absolutely gorgeous, and the mechanics remind me of the Portal games, which I greatly enjoyed, but with an added meta game on top of the puzzle aspect. You get to make choices that have actual consequences for future gameplay, which is kind of rad. But mostly it's just a lovely virtual space to hang out it.
If I had to describe it in one sentence, it's like Portal and Soma got married and had a supermodel virtual baby. Or something along those lines. The only bits I don't like are the handful of puzzles that aren't actually puzzles, but rather a matter of reflexes, with explosive results if you twitch wrong even once. Just have one more of those left to somehow get through, and I'll be done the first cycle of the game, which is exciting.
Also, I stayed up way too late last night rereading Georgette Heyer's Cotillion. Guys, it's such a delightful story. If you're a fan of the "we have to pretend to be married for Reasons and now we're going to accidentally fall in love for real" trope, this is a lovely, light-handed example of it. Kitty's naive enough that you can understand why she'd propose it in the first place, and Freddy's amiable and responsible and just likes her. He's probably my favorite romantic 'hero', just because he's so ... reliable, without ever being smug or overbearing. He knows he's not clever, and isn't bothered by it--just works his way through things carefully until everything's managed.
"A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year For a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter." And the camels called, sore-footed, refractory, Lying down in the melting snow. There were times we regretted The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces, And the silken girls bringing sherbet. Then the camel men cursing and grumbling And running away, and wanting their liquor and women, And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters, And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly And the villages dirty and charging high prices: ( A hard time we had of it.Collapse )
When I was a kid, I thought New Year's resolutions were kind of dumb, but the last couple of years I've tried them with some success: take a photo every day (lasted 6 months); post on LJ every day (rocky start, but that's been going for about 9 months now). This year the resolution is pretty simple: don't use my computer in the mornings before leaving for work. I've only had a few days to try it, but it's a banging success so far. ;)
How about you folks--any resolutions this year? Any successful past resolutions you're proud of?
In a Week timestamp - It takes a week for Sam to realize no reaper's coming for them: a week of Dean being too obsessed with the damage being inflicted on the Impala's interior to really notice that, well, they're dead, and it looks like this time it's going to stick.
Evil That Walks Invisible [SPN AU], a joint project with zmediaoutlet:
In a Cursed Hour, prologue and chapters 1-2 - He sat, and waited. Low sounds came from behind the door, and for a few seconds there was a sharp smell of sage smoke, and then a burst of sound as the chanting grew quite loud. His stomach rolled, slowly, and he sat very straight against the window with his hands on his knees. He recited the Sura Al-Falaq to himself, and the names of the thirty-three gods of the Vedic tradition, and then he visualized the exact working of the spell to incapacitate a cockatrice, and then before he knew it the door swung open again, and he found himself on his feet as Ted said, “Mr. Winchester?” He didn’t know where Josie had gone, and his nerves were no better, but he swallowed, and nodded, and then he walked through the door to finally earn the right to his father’s legacy.
Ship In Harbor - Sam could drown in the cornfields, he thinks sometimes.
Merry and Bright - Lebanon wasn't really the home of Christmas cheer to begin with and living in a hidden underground bunker didn't help, but Dean had never been daunted by any of that.
Patience on a Monument - The thing is, in the 22 years since they moved to the bunker, Dean’s never known dad to be late for anything, so for the first day he actually thinks he’s misreading the calendar.
Something Sweet [SPN] - "I'm pretty sure the only food in the fridge is that leftover Thai that we both decided was too spicy to finish."
Lost and Found [mythology] - For some reason Demeter comes to Hera during her campaign to get Persephone back.
Moveables [SPN] - Once upon a time, there was a boy named Sam who had a laptop. It was the fastest, bestest laptop in the world, and Sam loved it very much.
Skydiving [SGA] - “Well, here goes,” John said, a slightly manic gleam to his eyes that Rodney recognized a moment after it was too late.
Wildlife Encounters [SPN] - In the future, Dean will look back and be able to acknowledge that two months of nothing but milk-runs had made them sloppy, and sooner or later a hunt was bound to go sideways on them.
Delivery Service [SPN] - The thing is, Dean's a complete pushover when it comes to kids.
Through every precinct of the wintry city Squadroned iron resounds upon the streets; Herod’s police Make shudder the dark steps of the tenements At the business about to be done.
Neither look back upon Thy starry country, Nor hear what rumors crowd across the dark Where blood runs down these holy walls, Nor frame a childish blessing with Thy hand Towards that fiery spiral of exulting souls!
Go, Child of God, upon the singing desert, Where, with eyes of flame, The roaming lion keeps thy road from harm.
Bon jour, bon mois, bon an et bonne estraine Good day, good month, good year and happy New Year Vous doinst celuy qui tout tient en demaine, Be given by He to whom all belongs, Richesse, honnour, sainté, joye sans fin, Riches, honour, health, boundless joy, Bonne fame, belle dame, bon vin, Good fame, beautiful lady, good wine, Pour maintenir la créature saine. To keep the creature in health. Après vous doint qu’en joye on vous demaine And then may He have joy bestowed upon you Et lyesse tantost on vous ameine; And you be given happiness soon Ainsi pourrez avoir, soir et matin, Thus may you have, night and morning, Bon jour, bon mois, bon an et bonne estraine Good day, good month, good year and happy New Year Vous doinst celuy qui tout tient en demaine, Be given by He to whom all belongs, Richesse, honnour, sainté, joye sans fin. Riches, honour, health, boundless joy. Et puis vous doint esperance certaine And then may he give you certain hope Sans tristesse, sans pensee villaine; Without sadness, without ugly thoughts; Tous voz desirs acomplir de cueur fin. that all your desires be achieved of pure heart Sans contredit soyez en la parfin Without doubt you will in perfection Lassu logee en gloire souveraine. Be received above in sovereign glory.