Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 22

Offer an evening of free childcare to someone who needs to get out

I thought of this one well in advance because Christmas is coming up, and I know a couple parents who don’t have enough time to spend a few hours together on a date. It is so important for couples (especially after they have children) to remember to date!! Dating is what keeps passion in the relationship and keeps it fun. I know that the daily ins-and-outs are wonderful and they build stability

and commitment, but passion comes from alone time!

Childcare in the evenings is rather expensive. I have been paid 80-140 for a few hours of work. I hate accepting the money, but I know that I am agreeing to get paid when I am asked to work for them. I know that people consider it their night out and they budget for a babysitter. That’s why this is a part of the Giving Back challenge. Parents often avoid going out as much on dates because they can’t afford the outing plus childcare. That bothers me. I want people to be as happy in their relationships after children, as they are before. It’s so important to spend as much time with your partner as much as possible.

I provided child care for two children (18 months and 4 years old). I adore these children! …plus their parents are pretty sweet too! They insisted that I needed to be paid, but I made it very clear this was a challenge of mine. So instead of paying me, they donated $90 to the teen parent family that I am sponsoring this Christmas.

Aside

A Year Has Passed

I was afraid of yesterday. I didn’t know what to expect. I knew December 13th was due to come and I knew I would have to face the anniversary of my Dad’s death.

I remember every moment of the day. Every phone call. Everywhere I stood, sat, and finally fell to the floor sobbing. The drive to Chilliwack and the snowy roads. The phone calls I had to make and the complete veil of uncertainty and strength I knew I had to face. I remember parking the car, stepping over snow and ice and walking into the hospital.

Looking for my family members. Knowing that he died already. The hospital was waiting for me to get there to say goodbye. They needed to send his body away. There was nothing more they could do.

It was 12 days before Christmas.

That’s what happened. My mom and sister were at his bedside and he was already gone. My little brother was storming the halls and my other brothers were just sitting quietly. Processing what just happened. I had to to think of what to do next. I had to stay strong for my family. Or at least that’s what I felt I had to do.

It’s in my characteristic to make sure that everyone else is okay before letting myself feel what’s really going on. If I fell apart I wouldn’t find the logic to help me through. I focus on reason, and it’s virtually impossible when thrown into an emotionally driven situation.

I’ve had bad days in the past, and I’ve had bad days since my Dad died. Nothing compared to this. Nothing could have prepared me or comforted me. I just had to go through it.

My Dad was 50 years old and he died from cardiac arrest. My little brother was with him. At the same moment that my dad was dying my two older brothers slid off the road and drove into a ditch. They were okay.

In the past year, since my Dad’s death, I’ve also had to deal with the death of my eldest brother. Hypothermia in August. My 2nd eldest brother was with him. He tried everything to save him, but couldn’t. A few months before Derek’s death, I lost an old friend from highschool (Jess). She committed suicide. And finally,within the past few months I’ve found out that my baby brother (who is 22) has cancer. He was in denial for a month. Or he was processing it. Either way, it took him a while to admit what was happening and start treatment. He has been going through chemo for the past 2 weeks. He is so strong and I fully support him and love him more than he knows.

So… this year has had it’s fair share of crap. I’ve had enough and I am not going to let anything else happen. To the best of my ability of course!

Everything that I’ve been through has made me stronger. I’ve grown from each experience and I’ve come to realize things about life that makes sense to me. There is a reason I smile at strangers and created a blog challenge that focuses on helping people in the community. It’s not just a challenge for me. It’s a way of life. Whenever I buy a coffee or go into the grocery store and I see someone who could use a cup of coffee or a hot meal, I never hesitate to get it for them. All the money and stuff in the world means nothing. It’s only good for here and now and it’s selfish. Unless you can use it to better the lives of other people. That’s my mission. That’s why I think everyone is here. To work together and help the people who need it.

I don’t mean going to Red Cross and donating a lump sum of money. Although I’m sure that’s fantastic and everyone should do whatever they can. But, I mean go to your local food bank and sort through their packages of food. Offer your time to help a charity. Time is valuable. People need it and sometimes you have excess so get out there and give it away.

We only take with us AND leave behind what we put in the universe. Our actions matter. Our words matter. Our thoughts matter.

Fable 3 Villager

Upon my return to Bowerstone Market, I found my villager that I created online!

I chatted, danced, played “pat-a-cake”, hugged, kissed, and then proposed marriage to my villager! Oh fun!

After which I had to find a suitable house to live in and decide what type of wedding. I bought a house in Brighwall Village. Each city had their own type of wedding ceremony. In Brightwall, the best wedding you can have is an “Academy Wedding”. Hmm… I would rather something outside!

The most expensive wedding is a “Canal Wedding” in Bowerstone Industrial. It’s a rather dire city, so I’d rather not get married there. I found a “Lake Wedding” in Millfields. Perhaps I shall marry my villager there! It will be a gorgeous, luxury ceremony in the gazebo that stands on Bower Lake. Sounds divine! 😉

This is my first marriage in the game. I’m pretty sure that you can be married to multiple people at the same time. I am wondering… Who in their right mind would want to do that!? An upkeep and maintenance fee for all those lonely house wives/husbands (depending on who you marry of course)! 😉 Nah, one is plenty for me thanks!

The ceremonial music was lovely! Wait… what! It’s over! That’s it! $5000 and I get a 10 second marriage. Yea, I guess it’s pretty close to reality eh!

Uhh my wife wants to have sex now! She wants to procreate. I would like to know how she is going to do what with my female character!

…back to my game! I am really enjoying Fable 3. It’s a fantastic game!

Aside

Ramblings

I have been sort of awol from writing in my blog for the past couple weeks.

My Gaming & Giving Back Challenge got scattered due to some rather unfortunate situations at work. I can’t wait to start participating again in my own Challenge creation!

I have recently resigned from my position at work and I couldn’t feel better about my decision. Although I am really sad to leave such wonderful families and some fantastic staff members, I couldn’t handle working there anymore. I am not going into more details in my blog, not right now anyways… but if I feel like ranting at a later date, this might be my venting plate. Hey! That rhymes 😉

On the plus, I got a NEW job on my first day of being unemployed! I am still teaching, and hopefully this environment is more professional and doesn’t rely on gossiping to pass the time. Also, I am going to attempt to write some game reviews for Nerdemic. For fun of course!

With Rock Band 3, I am currently ranked #19 in the world. I have been playing with Lowieee and Hginct14 a lot! …and of course Kari Rose (when our xbox allows us to connect) and a new friend HeyRiles. I can’t seem to get enough of this game! I have always loved Rock Band 1 and 2… and now 3!

I am ranked #1 in the world for the Vocal Battle “Alone in the Car Mixtape” by Harmonix.

If you look under “quickplay” and then “play a setlist” you will find “battles”. There are custom battles and global battles. The one that I am #1 is a global battle. Woohoo!

For the next week, I have a challenge with HeyRiles to see who gets the furthest on the Total Rock Band vocals leaderboards. After that, I will have to take over the Rock Band 3 vocal leaderboards. I am currently ranked in 300 or so. Fail. I haven’t been playing the new songs that much. I have way too many DLC (downloadable content) that I want to sing along to!

I picked up the new Sims 3 game for the xbox. Sadly I think it was a huge waste of money. It’s terrible. I can’t justify sitting there controlling a fake “me” and watch as “I” play video games, make dinner, go to the bathroom, and search for work! What on earth was I thinking before purchasing that game (AGAIN!). Sigh… sometimes I just never learn! I already had this game on the PC and never played it cause it was rubbish. I thought it might have been better

I created my very first YouTube video of my lovely Midnite Faery rocking out to Evanescence. Check it out when you have a chance. I am going to try to record and upload more videos as much as possible.

Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 21

What is your favourite video game to play? Give a detailed description of the Pros & Cons

My favourite game to play on the Xbox is Rockband. I have been playing since the first game came out. I was never a huge fan of Guitar Hero because I enjoy singing. Rockband offers that, in addition to the guitar, bass, and drums! I transferred all the Rockband 1 songs into Rockband 2 (when it was released), and just recently I transferred everything into Rockband 3. The release date was October 26th, 2010. It is by far my favourite game! I love singing.

Pros:

The game play is similar to Rock Band 2. The tour is new and broken into different travelling sections. Similar to the later Guitar Hero games.

A huge pro is that the game accepts all (or most) of the songs from the other Rockband games (Lego and AC/DC included).

“Pro Mode” for guitar, drums, and keyboards seems to be successful! I haven’t played in “Pro Mode” because they don’t have it for vocals. I don’t know why! There is the option to turn your pitch correction “off” so why isn’t that “Pro” mode? What defines a Pro-vocalist? In Rockband, it is suppose to be the ability to keep the right pitch and octave. Oh well, another thing that they can look at for Rockband 4 😉

Cons:

The thing I miss the most in Rockband 3 is the vocal duals. I want to challenge friends in real-time. There is the element of beating them in quickplay and seeing your overall score, but there’s something about playing with the person at the same time… I miss that.

I don’t like the controls in quickplay for leaving a band. I will “drop out” but then I am stuck in the song selection menu for a few minutes until the game either crashes or it finally goes to the main menu.

When joining a career, you never know if you will be playing your own career or someone else. I think that they should have had similar options to Rockband 2, where you could “join” another band OR invite players to your band.

I suppose the harmonies would be fantastic if I had someone to sing with. Oh wait… it’s an online game right? Perhaps I could find someone else who wants to sing! …Nope, not with the harmonies. You have to be playing on the same console. I think the reason that Rockband gave for this was because there could be lag. I don’t see how that would matter though. It doesn’t matter what the other instruments connection is. Wouldn’t it just run the same? I am not a game designer or programmer but I’m pretty sure the same coding could have worked.

Another feature that isn’t implemented in online play is the 7 person band! I know that the roadways would be small if there was 7 people playing, but if you can have 4 I don’t know why you can’t have 7. Rockband was talking about how cool it would be to play with up to 7 people. This feature is only available to people playing on the same console. I am not planning on squishing 7 people into my room any time soon! Although it would have been cool to play with online friends.

Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 19

What 5 friends on XBOX Live do you wish you knew more about?

Lowieee

Enemy Fire

Mr. Kukla

Shake and Bake

KarmaKrazy412

…so what are you waiting for? ❤ 🙂

 

Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 18

Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while

This was a hard decision, I didn’t know who I should call. I have a girlfriend who just had a baby. We have been chatting through text and facebook. I also have a few friends who have moved away. I suppose I could pick up a phone card and call someone overseas that I haven’t spoken to in ages! I still have to write a letter to my friend in New Zealand, perhaps I should ring her!

Nah…. my life has been a bit too stressful for the past few days and I am not a huge fan of the phone, so I texted some love to a university friend and I’m sure she smiled! I got a lovely text back too 🙂
I will call someone when I feel a bit happier!

I did do a couple nice deeds however. I gave a homeless man a coupon for any drink/any size at Starbucks. I gave a LEGO Rockband code to an xbox friend so he could have the songs on Rockband 3. I smiled at a bunch of strangers and offered to do additional childcare after work tomorrow 🙂

Good night