narayume: (Default)
Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps, right?

Today I want to:

Have a look at the coursework essay titles
Read the relevant lectures
Print out the recommended reading
Unpack a box in my study
Do my stretching & Tai Chi

Hisashiburi, da ne?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011 12:50 pm
narayume: (Default)
My depression has gotten worse again. I am not suicidal anymore, which I am massively grateful for, but I still seem to have very little in the way of energy during the day time. For some reason my energy levels rise as soon as the sun goes down, just to be weird though (although according to a fellow depressive this is just another typical sign of depression). I need to make a doctor's appointment. I thought it was just stress from visiting my mum, but it's been a week now and there has been no improvement.

I do wonder if some of my symptoms connect with anxiety though, which is new for me as I never saw anxiety as a major problem. However, my migraines always seem to start up when I ponder doing something coursework related or tackling a task I have been putting off thanks to my depression/health/something. I might have to burry my head in "Overcoming Perfectionism" again, to see if that might help.

I had my first Tai Chi class yesterday and while it was fun, it wasn't as energetic as I was hoping it would be. I am wondering if martial arts might not be a better choice for me after all, despite my lack of fitness. I did enjoy the partner work though and am hoping there will be some sparring at some point. Possibly in the intermediate class. However, they have already announced that this particular Tai Chi school is more focused on well being than martial arts. Having said that, it would definitively provide me with a solid basis for any other martial art.

However, even after that little bit of exercise (and it was very much just little) I got a headache, followed by a spike in my depression. Urg. When they said "baby steps" I didn't quite realize how "baby".

Baby steps

Wednesday, 7 September 2011 01:57 pm
narayume: (Default)
I am trying again. Yesterday I learned that my depression values have gone through the roof again and while it shouldn't have surprised me, it did. Well, that shan't keep me.

I have been good about my breakfasts: 30g of cereal, some fruit, a glass of veg juice and herbal tea. Normally I get less good over the rest of the day, but for the moment I will cling to those breakfasts.

I've also been on a shopping spree again, trying to find a fitness program that actually fits me. I've found one that is designed to keep your dog and you fit and aims to use your dog as the social support needed to keep going. I am reading the book at the moment, but haven't gotten far enough to make any comment yet. It has just made me more determined to at least try again.

I've just gotten back from a 20 minute walk with little Loki. 15 minutes slowly, 5 minutes brisk. I could feel my heart beating after the 5 brisk minutes. Don't get frustrated self, remember what the doctor said: baby steps. Loki was terrible in the leash and the traffic noise gave me a headache. The little boy and I have a long way to go if this is supposed to turn enjoyable at some point. I think I might rush to the park next time - away from the noise and try again. May be the puppy course, starting on Sunday will help to teach the little man how to behave on a leash.

Baby steps. Baby steps.

Bike

Saturday, 16 July 2011 10:49 pm
narayume: (meep biking)
My bike has actually arrived! Yay! Today we went to pick it up in the pouring rain XD

As per usual I felt a bit intimidated by the bike shop with all the clothes that would never fit me and a lot of bits and bobs that I could not figure out what to use for. I didn't dare to try the bike out in front of all the members of staff who presumably spent most of their time cycling and thankfully no one insisted. I did try out the demo bike that the shop had lent me at my mum's only to find that the seat kept slipping down - presumably of my weight. I expecting someone to ask me my weight and inform me that the bike I am buying is really meant for people who don't weigh that much, but thank goodness it didn't happen.

We successfully got the bike home and I summoned the courage to give it a try. It rides beautifully - even for a biking beginner like me! Absolutely not comparable to my old bike. I really enjoyed myself and raced up and down the street! I even managed to get up the hill without feeling like I was about to die which was great. Yay for a working gear box (and figuring out which gear does what - for the record the lowest gear is for up the hill and the highest for down the hill).

When i started feeling sweaty and a bit light headed I stopped and we went inside. Poor G couldn't get his bike out of the backyard because the lock has yet again a new combination no one knows, so he spent his time running after me. I wish I was fit enough to do that. I felt like I had been riding for AT LEAST halve an hour only for G to tell me proudly that it was 17 to 18 minutes. *sigh* I guess it is quite an improvement from my original 10 minutes which grew to 13 minutes over time, but still not even close to what I am aiming at.

After coming in I felt my usual symptoms of getting really cold and my migraine hitting in, so I quickly had a smoothies following the recommendation of my counsellor. I finished off the M&S one I had bought for breakfast which had figs, banana and grain in it... And felt my blood pressure immediately normalizing again! O.O I need more of that smoothie! If grain and banana is the magical combination then that is what I shall drink. I am still wrapped up in a thick blanket and about to drink some tea and my head is still fairly sore, but this is nothing compared to my usual sugar crush followed by a depression attack. My stomach has still filled up with air, so the tea in question is peppermint, but that I can definitively live with.

Having settled down I did what I always do when starting a new venture: I looked for advice from people more experienced than myself. However, several google searches and quite a few articles later I found myself rather frustrated. There doesn't seem to be much out there for real beginners! Even a program that was specifically written with overweight couch potatoes of fitness level zero in mind seemed exceedingly unrealistic to me and I do Yoga, Zumba and weight exercises regularly! Obviously not as regularly as I should - especially not lately as I have been really ill with this crazy weather, but I wouldn't classify myself as a true coach potato and while I am overweight (with no real improvement in sight) I know a lot of people - especially online - who have much more to fight with. It almost seems as if fit people want to keep their magical fitness to themselves, teazng us non fit people with promises of higher energy levels and an improved sex drive, knowing that with the tools provided we are really unlikely to succeed.

Or may be the problem is simply that fit people don't know what it is like to be not fit. I assume if you are enthusiastic enough about a hobby to write articles in your spare time for sport blogs, then you have likely always enjoyed sport in some shape or form and your idea of overweight is getting rid of a few extra pounds for the bikini season. May be I am being harsh, but I have so far only found one strength program that actually caters for absolute beginners and provides options for people who can't do a single full press up, let alone 10 and it looks like my search for a reasonable cycle program will take about as ling, but might not be se fruitful. Chances are I'll just have to start cycling, try my best and see what happens. Sadly there are no real cycle paths in the village and I hate cycling in traffic :-/ We shall see how it goes - not as if I am likely to get far in my 18 minutes.

Bike!

Saturday, 21 May 2011 08:44 pm
narayume: (The adventures of narayume and the bike)
I has ordered my new bike :D It shall be red and awesome and foldable. Also it shall be ready in about 2 to 3 weeks ^____^ Now I just need to learn how to ride the damn thing!

Bike:

A few thoughts on dieting

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 11:11 am
narayume: (Dancing kitty)
I've just started reading a book entitled "The Japan Diet" which is by the same author as and inspired by "Why Japanese people don't get old or fat" which happens to contain quite a few brilliant recipes that I still enjoy cooking. It is starting well and based on a "Chapter a day" set up which is one I always enjoy. The author claims to want to slowly guide the reader throughout various changes which will make him or her awesome, healthy, fit and surrounded by delicious food. Okay, may be not fit and awesome, but you get the idea. I shall write more once I have read more. Personally I am particularly looking forward to the recipe part *nom*

The book did however start me on a general train of thought on dieting in general:
First of all, you are meant to walk 10,000 steps per day. A quick google search revealed that that's about an hour and a half, or an hour if you walk fairly fast. Then you are supposed to exercise half an hour a day to the point of getting sweaty, something that just walking is unlikely to achieve. So, there we have two hours. Finally, all of this will not help with actual muscles, more with stamina. So ideally you want another quarter of an hour of pure muscle exercises - although you are meant to only do those three times a week. Oh and you should stretch each day (something that neither walking nor muscle exercise nor stamina building exercises will help you with). I usually stretch for around 30 minutes per day (that includes yoga), but I am fairly certain if you did less yoga and focused more you could do it in less. Still, that adds up to around three hours if you also take the time to warm up and cool down properly. So, ideally you want about 3 hours per day just to keep fit. That doesn't include the time it takes to cook all those healthy meals you are meant to eat. I am fairly certain I don't have 3 hours spare, do you?

I also love how most diet books/homepages focus on usual things like "take the stairs instead of the elevator" or cut down on your meat consumption. I very, very rarely eat meat and always take the stairs. I also only take the car if absolutely necessary - an absolutely necessary I will hopefully be able to cut down on soon once I have my new bike... and I am still fairly overweight and not even close to fit.

Looking at studies out there - there is surprisingly little. The only longitudinal study on weight loss done by Harvard came back with none of their participants being able to sustain weight loss beyond 5 years - despite expert advice and their initial success. In a school district they tried switching all the school meals (2 out of 3 daily meals) for something with significantly less fat and introducing more sports into the children's schedule... and found no changes in obesity levels. Obesity is on a constant rise and no one has been able to find an actual cause. General statements like "less movement" and "more fatty food" are being mumbled, but one generation ago there was a similar amount of movement and fatty food about and yet the obesity levels were much lower. So what is it that is causing them? Every few years another professor seems to throw about a new food group that we should avoid like the plague, but none seems to have made any actual difference. At the same time however various government agencies and health professionals seem to consider it acceptable to shout at people about their weight - without offering a real solution. The justification for all this shouting is that apparently a lot of nasty illnesses can be brought on by obesity. Sadly, recent studies have shown that it is not obesity that is causing the illnesses - it is eating crap and not moving. However, eating crap and not moving is not the same as obesity. I know plenty of very thing people who live of crap and barely move... and I try to stay fit and eat very healthily and yet I am very much obese. Where is the logic?

May be if the government spend halve the money they are using to shout at people and shame them into loosing weight on actual weight loss research, we'd get somewhere.

Holidays!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 08:32 am
narayume: (Default)
4. What do you do online when you're not on DW?

I read livejournal quite a lot. I also have several webcomics that I enjoy and I love looking at foody websides and recipes. Otherwise? Look at university resources, read e-mail, very sporadically check facebook and play WoW. I also really love BBC iPlayer, but haven't gotten around to watching it much lately.

On other news: I HAVE HOLIDAYS!!!! I have just finished sleeping for 12 hours after staying awake for 48 to revise. Freedom is mine! I know that I will be likely to finish the holidays and once again think I haven't got anything done, but for the moment I am enjoying the prospect of months of free time <3 Sadly my cough seems to have gotten much worse, but may be I can have a hot bath later to help with that. HOLIDAYS!

Holidays

Friday, 13 May 2011 05:27 pm
narayume: (Default)
I have holidays on the brain, despite having an exam tomorrow and being shockingly ill prepared. I can't help thinking about all the things I can finally give a try over the holidays and the ability to finally learn what I fancy learning.

Things I really need to consider for the holidays:
- I need to face matters: Apparently my body wants a minimum of four meals a day. Three meals a day just leads to silly amounts of munchies at four. So, how to put this into a sensible set up?
According to my diet, I want to eat around 1600 calories per day.
My breakfast cereal plus milk and berries, usually adds up to around 250 calories.
My morning smoothie adds another 180 to 200 calories. So Essentially around 450 calories are gone by the time I've had breakfast. Leaves me with 1150 calories. I'll presumably want around 500 calories reserved for dinner, as Garry and I enjoy eating a cooked meal at night. Thus my two other meals should be around 300 calories each. In a perfect world, I should burn around 200 calories per day too (150 with Zumba and 50 with Yoga - may be a bit more with pole dancing, but I haven't figured out my routine yet). That should either give me a proud 600 calories for dinner and 350 per meal or a small snack of chocolatey goodness. Bleh. I love my chocolate. Why does it have to have so many calories *looks over at her much loved cocoa dusted nuts and cries*
- I also don't think working for longer than six hours per day is realistic. I want holidays after all! Six hours give me six sessions of halve an hour each of actual work. I'll be wanting halve an hour for Kanji a day and halve an hour for vocabulary revision. Also halve an hour for grammar practice and halve an hour for Rosetta Stone. Ideally I should also be doing halve an hour for Japanese diary writing purposes :-/
-> Suff that HAS to happen each day: An hour of cleaning and tidying. No way around it. This flat is a tip. We have too much stuff and not enough room, so stuff will have to go!
-> An hour of exercise, plus halve an hour of cycling or walking (although I am hoping I can do the latter with Garry in the evenings).
-> An hour of working on the AI thesis. This is my future we're talking about and I want to seriously rock it!
-> Halve an hour of reading a Psychology book/listening to a lecture/writing up notes. Once a week this should have some statistics involved somewhere. Actually I'd like halve an hour of stats per day, I do love my stats!
....
Which leaves me with: NOT ENOUGH TIME AS PER USUAL!!!!

Let's see:
Stuff that's fixed:
-Garry leaves at 8.15 in the morning.
-Garry comes home at 6.30 at night.

7.00 - get up
7.15 - breakfast
7.30 - make lunch
8.15 - hopefully Garry leaves with lovingly prepared lunch box; Also: Return kitchen into original state
8.30 - read stuff on internetz
9.00 - exercise
10.00 - sit down
10.30 - shower
11.00 - Rosetta Stone
11.30 - break
12.00 - read psychology/stats
12.30 - lunch
13.30 - Japanese grammar/reading
14.00 - break
14.30 - AI
15.00 - break
15.30 - Kanji
15.45 - Japanese vocab
16.00 - snack! (Sandwiches? When will I prepare this?)
16.30 - tidy and clean go through stuff and throw some out
17.00 - break
17.30 - write diary
18.00 - break and then Garry will come home
18.30 - sit down with Garry
19.00 - Garry and the dishes have a date! I shall tidy and clean.
19.30 - cooking
20.30 - dinner
21.30 - walk or cycle ride
22.00 - freeeeeedom!
23.00 - bed time >.>

...

This is clearly not working. Just by looking at this plan I can tell that it is doomed to failure. Mainly because it looks very similar to a lot of other plans I've had :P There is no time for any instrument practice, no time for reading Japanese (although I could cycle through stuff instead of just doing Japanese grammar), not enough time for cleaning or my AI project. There is a little bit of space while Garry does the dishes though... May be my chance to clean a bit more?

I am also clearly missing Kanji and vocab time, which will have to go in there somewhere. No point in learning a language without repetition. I shall come back to this during my next break :-/

Edit: This looks more promising. Sadly, that still means that I need to write my new vocab at some point. I presumably don't particularly want more than ten new words a day (apart from day one)! *needs another quarter of an hour to steal somewhere*

Holidays

Friday, 13 May 2011 03:58 pm
narayume: (Default)
I have holidays on the brain, despite having an exam tomorrow and being shockingly ill prepared. I can't help thinking about all the things I can finally give a try over the holidays and the ability to finally learn what I fancy learning.

Things I really need to consider for the holidays:
- I need to face matters: Apparently my body wants a minimum of four meals a day. Three meals a day just leads to silly amounts of munchies at four. So, how to put this into a sensible set up?
According to my diet, I want to eat around 1600 calories per day.
My breakfast cereal plus milk and berries, usually adds up to around 250 calories.
My morning smoothie adds another 180 to 200 calories. So Essentially around 450 calories are gone by the time I've had breakfast. Leaves me with 1150 calories. I'll presumably want around 500 calories reserved for dinner, as Garry and I enjoy eating a cooked meal at night. Thus my two other meals should be around 300 calories each. In a perfect world, I should burn around 200 calories per day too (150 with Zumba and 50 with Yoga - may be a bit more with pole dancing, but I haven't figured out my routine yet). That should either give me a proud 600 calories for dinner and 350 per meal or a small snack of chocolatey goodness. Bleh. I love my chocolate. Why does it have to have so many calories *looks over at her much loved cocoa dusted nuts and cries*
- I also don't think working for longer than six hours per day is realistic. I want holidays after all! Six hours give me six sessions of halve an hour each of actual work. I'll be wanting halve an hour for Kanji a day and halve an hour for vocabulary revision. Also halve an hour for grammar practice and halve an hour for Rosetta Stone. Ideally I should also be doing halve an hour for Japanese diary writing purposes :-/
-> Suff that HAS to happen each day: An hour of cleaning and tidying. No way around it. This flat is a tip. We have too much stuff and not enough room, so stuff will have to go!
-> An hour of exercise, plus halve an hour of cycling or walking (although I am hoping I can do the latter with Garry in the evenings).
-> An hour of working on the AI thesis. This is my future we're talking about and I want to seriously rock it!
-> Halve an hour of reading a Psychology book/listening to a lecture/writing up notes. Once a week this should have some statistics involved somewhere. Actually I'd like halve an hour of stats per day, I do love my stats!
....
Which leaves me with: NOT ENOUGH TIME AS PER USUAL!!!!

Let's see:
Stuff that's fixed:
-Garry leaves at 8.15 in the morning.
-Garry comes home at 6.30 at night.

7.00 - get up
7.15 - breakfast
7.30 - make lunch
8.15 - hopefully Garry leaves with lovingly prepared lunch box; Also: Return kitchen into original state
8.30 - read stuff on internetz
9.00 - exercise
10.00 - sit down
10.30 - shower
11.00 - Rosetta Stone
11.30 - break
12.00 - lunch
13.00 - read psychology/stats
13.30 - break
14.00 - Japanese grammar/reading
14.30 - break
15.00 - AI
15.30 - break
16.00 - snack! (Sandwiches? When will I prepare this?)
16.30 - tidy and clean go through stuff and throw some out
17.00 - break
17.30 - write diary
18.00 - break and then Garry will come home
18.30 - sit down with Garry
19.00 - Garry and the dishes have a date! I shall tidy and clean.
19.30 - cooking
20.30 - dinner
21.30 - walk or cycle ride
22.00 - freeeeeedom!
23.00 - bed time >.>

...

This is clearly not working. Just by looking at this plan I can tell that it is doomed to failure. Mainly because it looks very similar to a lot of other plans I've had :P There is no time for any instrument practice, no time for reading Japanese (although I could cycle through stuff instead of just doing Japanese grammar), not enough time for cleaning or my AI project. There is a little bit of space while Garry does the dishes though... May be my chance to clean a bit more?

I am also clearly missing Kanji and vocab time, which will have to go in there somewhere. No point in learning a language without repetition. I shall come back to this during my next break :-/
narayume: (Default)
Let's start with the meme, that's easiest:

3. Do you crosspost? Why or why not?
I do crosspost my reviews, because I think there's a good chance that at least some people over on LJ care about those. I don't crosspost the rest... may be because I am not ready to share. Most of my journeys contain more failure than success at times (or at least that's how it feels) and I often just need to rant. I don't really need kind advice on how to do things differently and just need... a rant, a deep breath and to get up and try again. Also, I do feel that my friend's list might be a bit fed up with my constant whining and trying, so I'll keep it here for me. Oh and I know that I never read fiction on my friends list, mainly because people on my friend's list aren't particularly great fiction writers (don't tell them), so I feel it is unfair to impose my bad fiction on them. I still would like to keep it in the public realm in case someone can be bothered to read it and give me constructive criticism.

On a slightly less general note - I have an exam the day after tomorrow and I have really, really failed at studying so far. I've tried, but first I got a flu, then my period and then the worst cold I had in ages (with hot and cold flushes and a temperature, I kid you not - you don't feel that a cold should do this stuff!) and since my cold has transformed from a cold of doom to just a standard cold of annoyingness my stomach has been acting up. I am getting a little bit frustrated. Today for example, I suddenly got a massive hunger attack at 4 in the afternoon. Not just "Oh, I am peckish, I could do with a snack", but "I AM STARVING!!! WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE HAD BOTH BREAKFAST AND LUNCH?! THAT IS CLEARLY A LIE FOR I AM S.T.A.R.V.I.N.G.!!!!!!!!!11!". I thought may be it was my blood pressure taking a dive and my body responding, so I had a bowl of cereals with berries, thinking that it would provide carbohydrates, sugar and vitamins, the combination of which should fix it. Nope. After bowl of cereals I was still starving. So, after sitting about for a bit, hoping my body was just slow in realizing we literally JUST had food, I went and made sandwiches. I gobbled down the sandwiches as if I hadn't eaten in a week and after the last one... I started feeling really, really sick. What the hell?

One digestion tablet and two cups of tea later I was back at revision, but couldn't concentrate at all, because I was feeling sick. I wondered if some movement would help. I mean revision time isn't ideal for movement, so may be my blood pressure was protesting the exciting daily running track from the bed to the sofa, from the sofa to the bathroom and from there to the study and back? So, off I went and did 20 minutes of Zumba thinking that it would either tip my sickness into outright throwing up - which would solve the problem - or get my blood pressure going - which should also at least help solve the problem. I survived Zumba alright and all the movement even made me forget about my stomach...

Obviously not having thrown up, I drink some water afterwards and... guess what? I FEEL SICK AGAIN! My stomach can handle excessive wiggly action of latin goodness, but no a glass of water? I am so confused D:

Anyway, I shall have a shower and see what happens, but I have to get back to revision, as I really haven't done much and am not looking forward to the exam. Not to mention that I haven't even started revising for the exam two days after that >.>

21 days for Dreamwidth

Monday, 9 May 2011 09:08 am
narayume: (Default)
2. Why did you choose your journal name?

I actually had a really hard time choosing my screen name here, as tinuviel was already gone. I have actually sent a message to the owner of the name, asking if they are interested in relinquishing it, but I am not too sure if their e-mail address is even current considering they haven't used their account in ages.

So, I started hunting for another screen name. I am not too sure why I didn't want to use Undomerel, my other standard screen name, but for some reason I wasn't happy with it. I wanted something I could write in Kanji, to stick as "my little sign" into pictures I drew and books that belong to me. About three hours later and surrounded by dictionaries I settled on Narayume. I wanted to go for something really meaningful that described the essence of my being (thus the three hours) and then got really frustrated that I couldn't find anything that even vaguely sounded nice. Narayume is a bastardization of 習夢. If you are now shouting that I am pronouncing it all wrong, yes - I know. I can't remember the correct on pronunciation, but I know that I did not like the sound of it >.> So I decided on the kun readings, which combine into Narayume. Considering quite a few Japanese words take liberties when it comes to which reading to use, I decided I could get away with some artistic freedom.

What does it mean then? Nothing really. They are just my two favourite Kanji. 習 are two wings above the symbol for white and mean to learn (習う). I always loved that picture - learning, understanding new things, gives you wings and makes you fly. True freedom is not physical, but mental. Broadening your horizon can be both literal and a metaphor.
夢 on the other hand means dream. It is the first kanji I learned to write properly and my first calligraphy of it still hangs in my mum's flat. On one hand I just think it is an amazingly beautiful kanji, on the other I do think dreaming is important. Not dreaming in the sense of dreaming while you are asleep, but dreaming of a better future, of possibilities. Not getting stuck and complacent.

Both concepts are fairly big in my life and thus the name: Narayume. I found that the name also happens to not be taken in most places, so it has fairly quickly become my new screen name for everything - including a new gamertag I started up in a fit of madness.

21 days for Dreamwidth

Sunday, 8 May 2011 02:24 pm
narayume: (Default)
Meme nicked from [personal profile] martyna.

Day 1: Why did you sign up for Dreamwidth?

Mainly because of the LiveJournal outage, I will be honest. I was getting really fed up with not knowing if I would be able to access my journal today or not. I also decided that I wanted to get a bit more consistent at keeping up with my various self improvement plans and it would be good to have a place where I could pool everything without bothering my friends too much. May be I also wanted to know what all the fuss was about, as at least my LJ friends list has gotten more and more inactive and I was wondering if some of them wandered over to here. I am pretty much only reading communities these days, which is a bit sad, but also means there isn't that much keeping me on LJ. Turns out my friends are not really here, but have just turned off blogging all together and instead are now pooling around facebook. Bother.
narayume: (Gamer girl)
Being stuck in bed, means I have had quite a bit of time to play games. My current favourite being Ghost Recon, which I really did not see happening at all.

This is the first Tom Clancy game I've played, so I can't compare to any of the other games.

The basic story is fairly straight forward: You control the members of an elite American team of "problem solvers" named Ghosts. They have been sent to Kazakhstan as a response to a request to the UN by the Kazakhstan government to help with their raider issues. However, it turns out that their raider issues are far more serious than your Ghost team had anticipated and they are rather taken by surprise when getting shot out of mid-air by a missile or some such thing. It is time to investigate and find out what is really going on!

The gameplay:
The game is a turn based strategy game. If you enjoyed the game play in Advanced Wars and Fire Emblem, you are likely to enjoy this. Unlike Advanced Wars though, you can't produce units and are really just stuck with your main team members - and if one of them dies it is game over. They all have fairly specific and straight forward roles such as heavy support, sniper, assault and medic. The conversations between the team members are fairly entertaining and the story moves on at a reasonable pace. Unlike Fire Emblem you won't have to content with pages and pages of reading material or hours of conversations, however the customizability on the other hand is also miles away from Fire Emblem where you could tailor your team more or less just as you wanted it. To be precise the customizability more or less does not exist. Surprisingly enough that hasn't bothered me much so far, as you have few enough team members that you have to have certain key roles, which is precisely what the game provides you with. You can choose who you want to level up in which order, but that is as far as character decisions go. Hp upgrades, skill upgrades and better weapons come in a pre-set order.
4/5

The graphics:
The 3D works exceptionally well in this game. It is fairly understated, so don't expect surprise explosions to blast out of your screen, but the canyon landscape looks excellent and the smoke effects are amazing. At the same time the graphics are clear and fuss free enough to not get in your way. The characters however look a little plump compared to the very pretty surroundings and telling them apart can be a challenge. Thankfully the game provides you with a convenient little icon next to each person to help with the identification, but I feel that the character graphics let the game down a bit.
4/5

The sound:
The sound is very nice. Not amazing enough to want it on CD, but atmospheric and subtle enough that you don't want to turn it off (and as I usually play all my games without sound that should mean something).
4/5

The story:
...is fairly cliché. Garry assures me that there will be some twists and turns to come, but so far there are the American rescuers with the cool one liners, the mysterious and sexy outside agent who's motives are unclear, the evil Russian politician with wealthy and powerful allies and a right wing agenda... you get the idea. I am not exactly blown away, but it feels a bit like a piece of fluff you might read at the airport when you've just found out that your flight will be at least 3 hours late. It is entertaining enough to not send you to sleep and not stupid enough that you feel like shooting the author, but you are likely to keep playing because of the entertaining character interactions, nice graphics and great game play, rather than because you are desperate to find out what will happen next. If you love spy fluff though, you just might love this.
3/5

Fun factor:
I've been really enjoying it. The game is challenging without being frustrating, the characters are entertaining despite being fairly stereotypical (token black guy anyone?) and factors like line of sight, cover and up to three different terrain levels keep the game strategic. The mission goals are fairly varied although fans of the strategy genre will be unlikely to be surprised by any of them. The missions themselves are of a comfortable length and it is possible to save at any point, thus making it a good bus ride game and fairly convenient for small breaks. Three difficulty levels also make sure that both novices and veterans get their enjoyment - although I must admit to finding the game fairly forgiving even at the highest difficulty.
4/5

Multiplayer:
The multiplayer is played on one console, by handing the game back and forth. The missions are fairly straight forward and the result makes one feel a bit as if playing a board game. It is fun, but I feel a lot more could have been done.
2/5

Bug alert!
Ghost Recon has a nasty bug that leads to the dreaded "an error has occurred" screen. There are two ways around it: Either save every turn, which isn't as much fuss as it sounds and means when your 3DS freezes up, you'll be able to log back in the game where you were originally. Alternatively you can just turn off the Wifi at the console, which also seems to prevent the error. Hopefully there will be a patch soon to make this one go away.

Overall:
85/100

Fail

Sunday, 8 May 2011 11:33 am
narayume: (Default)
...Aaaaand my grand plan of updating every day has clearly failed already. Well, if at first you don't succeed, try try try again, right?

I have a really not done very much, mainly because I have been ill. I am currently suffering from a cold of doom (I did not know a cold could actually cripple you and make you a bed bound, shivering pile of misery, but apparently it can - my body doesn't do things by halves). I have exams next week, so I am not too sure how well I will do until then, but I do have grand plans of picking up Japanese again once the holidays have started. HOLIDAYS!!! How I can't wait for you <3
narayume: (Key to success)
My CBT counsellor told me that the brain can not concentrate for more than 20 to 30 minutes and after that you'll likely end up procrastinating as your brain switches off. So, today I am trying to work only for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. So far it is working pretty well, although keeping my breaks to quarter of an hour is proving to be a challenge.

Staying healthy

Saturday, 23 April 2011 06:37 pm
narayume: (Dancing kitty)
Wanted to go out to cycle today only to be surprised by a thunder storm. Garry and I went out for a long walk instead which was lovely. We need to do that more often. Also Narayume has finished Don Morogh. Soon I can start my mount collection.

First biking post

Friday, 22 April 2011 08:33 pm
narayume: (meep biking)
I was hoping this would be a happy and proud post, but sadly it is not. Garry and I went cycling together, after he spent most of today driving about to get his bike. I had gone out with the bike once before that, just a wobble around the neighbourhood to get a feel for it again. Well, today we wanted to have a go at the cycle path leading to Oxford. I didn't even make it out of Wheatley. We were cycling for quarter of an hour (up hill and down hill to be fair, but nothing spectacular) and I started getting really hot and huffing and puffing. It wasn't a slow, creeping exhaustion, but a full blown attack. I got off the bike to take a few minutes break and almost fainted. In the end I sat hugging my legs on the street asking Garry what the hell was wrong with me. My blood pressured crashed. I felt sick, hot and bathed in sweat. Garry was amazing about it and offered to bring the bikes back and get me with the car, but in the end I managed to walk home - just about.

I have a blood check next week. I am really hoping they'll find something. I have biked on the stationary bike for significantly longer than quarter of an hour, I used to be on the stepper three times a week for about half an hour, I still do my push ups and other muscle work... I have even walked from here to university. I should not be fainting after quarter of an hour. I feel so bad for Garry. Any sports he does with me, I turn out to be useless at. We went jogging together and he ended up going out for an additional half an hour jog after we were done. Now he has gone out cycling with me and I have to turn around after quarter of an hour. We will try again tomorrow, but at the moment I just feel like crying.
narayume: (Default)
I have to admit that when I created Narayume, I created myself a little bit. I found that there was a head that looked almost exactly like me and wanted a character with that head. I had discovered it while in Luxembourg when Garry and I created "us" in WoW so we could spend some time together. Obviously I didn't want to use that character as it was really meant to be reserved for long distance roleplaying, which wouldn't really work if my character was level 85 and his still level 3. So, with a heavy heart I deleted my blood elf, last Hordie on my main account, and created Narayume: A Worgen druid, my third druid overall if you don't count my low level troll druid on the secondary account. I decided to stray from my usual path of tank and try balance for a change (and am currently flirting with going resto for PvP).

So, who is Narayume? Her full name is Mary Narayume Rosefield and her in character story begins a few years before the second war, when she was born the daughter to a minor noble and one of the King's advisors. During the second war she was sent, thanks to her mother's family ties, to house Greymaine as they felt that Lordearon wasn't save for her anymore. The decision saved Narayume's life, as the rest of her family died during the fall of Lordearon. With no one to return her to, King Greymaine's family decided to allow her to continue living on the estate until any remaining relatives might come forward. However, before any relative had a chance to track her down Greymaine wall was build, thus cutting Gilneas off from the rest of the Eastern Kingdom.

Narayume was four when she arrived at House Greymaine and it wasn't until twenty years later that she stepped outside its borders again. For all intents and purposes she considers herself to be Gilnean - even going as far as renaming herself "Rosefield" inspired by the beautiful gardens of the manor, as she did not wish to bear the name of an outsider.

Being allowed to live a life of leisure, she devoted herself to studies of history and the world in general, as well as experimentations with machines. She can be fanciful, flitting from one area that might interest her to the next. She loves all things beautiful and likes to keep herself looking dignified even as a Worgen. She hopes to one day be among those that will rebuild Gilneas.
narayume: (Default)
Getting a journal to look just so is surprisingly difficult. I've literally spent the afternoon doing just that. I've been through all the journal backgrounds several times. I've had three different ones, before I settled on this one. I've spent several hours finding just the right icons for my various themes. I feel sometimes my perfectionism really can go a bit too far. I am still waiting for lilsongbird over on LJ to finish my commission and then my final icons should be set.

...and then I went to have a look for communities. Originally I did not want to do that at all, but now that I am here I thought I'd have a look what all the fuss is about. After a lot of my LJ communities complaint that most of their members/friends of their members have gone off to join the "dark side" that is Dreamwidth, I somewhat expected this place to be teaming with people and the communities to be buzzing. Doesn't really look like they are at all to be honest. I couldn't find a single active World of Warcraft community, question community (I am already missing my question of the day) or community on Japan. Having said that, there are a LOT of fan fic communities. I am not big on fan fic, so sadly that isn't for me, but I can see how it would appeal to someone who enjoys fan fic. In turn I have joined quite a few prompt communities. Let's see if I can polish my writing a bit. I must say, there is a definitive freedom in writing for no one but oneself. I am not too sure what to put my writing under though. I only have two icon spaces left, which is only enough for my WoW icons. I don't really want to start buying icon spaces already, although I would not be surprised if it was needed at some point considering over on LJ I have over 100 icons and keep finding more.
narayume: (Default)
The journey to a healthy body: I am ill. A lot. I suffer from awful migraines and have done since my very early teens. I can't digest animal protein and quite a long list of other things. If there is a virus floating about, I assure you I will get it. Oh and I have low blood pressure, low blood sugar and am currently fighting with constant tiredness and lethargy. Obviously there is also my depression, which is also a constant battle, despite the medication.

I haven't given up though. I am always searching for things I can do, on top of taking all the pills and following the advice that my amazing doctors are giving me to improve matters. Sometimes I am more successful, sometimes I am less so. Sometimes I get frustrated, sometimes I feel successful. Under this topic there will also be The adventures of Narayume and the Bike, as you can follow me along my way of hopefully learning to bike again. I am sure there will be more, as I am hoping to write about my experiences with Kon Fu, Yoga, trying to build up my muscle mass again, healthy cooking and my beloved pole.

The journey to a healthy spirit: A combination of my own perfectionism and competitiveness as well as my depression, managed to crush most that there was of my spirit. Now I am working on getting it back. I am flirting with Buddhism and my original religion: Wicca, as I feel that my spiritually has gotten completely lost. I am not too sure how much I had in the first place and how much I need in my life, but I want to have the chance to find out. There will definitively be In the realm of the senses and tastiness, which will involve recipes and experience of a culinary delight kind, as I am a foody through and though. Kon Fu and Yoga might also feature, depending on if I ever find the mind cleansing effects that people talk off. Again, I am sure there shall be more, but I am sure the other topics will come to me as I write and time will tell which are worth writing about and which are not.

The explorations of the mind: I love learning and keeping learning up is something that keeps me happy. I will be writing about my attempts to get back into Japanese (Into the Dawn of cherry flowers), my discoveries in psychology and books I particularly enjoyed, as well as random musings. I hope the result will be worth reading. On the way to the Nobel Price will fit into here, in which I shall be writing off my working with the amazing Dr. Westermann and things that made me happy in the area of artificial intelligence.

The journey to find happiness: This will contain things that make me happy. Game reviews, camping stories, hobbies and all that makes me smile. It might seem silly that I need a journey for that, but as people who have suffered from depression are likely to know - finding happiness is not as easy as it might seem when you are dragging a massive black dog around with you.

The journey of Love: I am in a long term relationship. My amazing boyfriend Garry and I have been together for 5 1/2 years and we struggle with many issues that I am sure other couples struggle with too. Particularly my depression has done a lot of damage over the years and now we are repairing. I also feel that there is not enough written about the struggles of a long term relationship, as Disney wisely turns on the lights after the wedding kiss and summarizes the rest into "And they left happily ever after".

The journey into adulthood: Yes, with 24 I should be an adult. Really, I am still struggling with staying organised, cleaning, tidying and all the other boring things that we never thought about when the magical moment of "moving out" came.

The way of the Sun and Moon: This will contain my significantly less serious journey to becoming a good Boomchicken Moonkin or Balance spec druid. Yes, I am talking of World of Warcraft. Expect numbers, achievements, screenshots and general geekery.
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