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Writer1983 Blog

Censoring the internet..help tell congress this is NOT okay!

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As of Thursday, if this bill is passed, we could lose/have censored Youtube, all torrents sites, twitter, any picture-sharing sites,all email, anything that could be considered "copyrighted" by ANYONE..our internet would become as censored as China's; where everything has to go thru their government before it can be posted or used online! This is a vast abuse of our freedom of speech, and we are hoping to flood congress' phones and inbox by stating how we don't want our internet to become censored in ANY way! Please help! This may go thru as early as Thursday! I normally ignore bills, but since this affects everyone on gamespot/gamefaqs, you need to be alerted! stop internet censorship now! click on the link above to contact congress. We're trying to flood their email inbox, and their phone lines to show our support. Please, PLEASE, help! even if you don't vote, or care about bills, if you ever torrent, share pictures, use email or social networking sites, this bill affects YOU!

Hey Guys..remember me? It's been a long time..

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Yes, I am aware its been something like a year or so since I last posted! In that time, I have moved to a bigger apartment in a nicer complex, had a baby boy, learned how to be a mom to two busy kids, potty trained my daughter (she helped me change the baby when he was real young, then decided she was "too big for diapers"!), and am now teaching my THREE YEAR OLD how to do sums, sound out words and read, and teaching her to play games. She is an excellent second player in Kirby's Epic Year and Donkey Kong Country Returns, you know! I had a rough time with Curtiss' pregnancy, and didn't spend any time on the computer. However, he's now a happy, healthy almost-one-year old now who eats everything he sees; and is the most effective "vacuum" I have! lol Anyway, I'm back for what I hope is a good long while, and am now catching up on everyone's blogs (enjoying reading Geekydad's archives right now!) Okay, enough gushing about the kids, what am I playing? Got a Nintendo 3ds and PSP Go with tax refund money, we have a 360 (got it with LAST year's refund) and play a lot of LIVE and Indie games on it. Loving the 3ds, playing Nintendogs 3ds almost everyday. I had never played Rayman and am loving the 3ds version of the game, Pilotwings and Steel Diver and Ghost Recon are all excellent games, as well. More on them in another post, I promise. My psp is actually the one getting the most play-time right now. I am busy going all-digital, and with the psp's internal memory about 16 gigs, and my micro memory stick another 16 gigs, I have plenty of room for all my favorites; though I still have a psp 3000 and 1000 for UMDs and multiplayer Monster Hunting. I'm busy playing such gems as Patapon 3 online, Phantom Brave, Persona 3 (wonderful game; probably will be in my top ten list!) Tactics Ogre, Dissidia 012, ZHP ( just beat it and love it; has multiple endings, so I am going to go find them all!) and most recently, Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection; since I have yet to finsh FFIV! I am now a Playstation Plus member, and check the Playstation network each Tuesday to see what has gone up, what's on sale, and what's new. Note: I am a portable gamer at heart, with no preference to which system is best. I have a DSi, 3ds, psp/psp go, and all the older iterations of the gameboy and gba. I'm really enjoying my psp, but I could just as easily be hooked on a 3ds game or ds games next week. Gotta go put the kids down for a nap, more coming...

PSP World is looking for new writers

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 PSP World and the other sites in the GameFlavor Network are currently looking for volunteer writers to join our talented staff. The GameFlavor Network is one of the fastest-growing resources for video game news on the net, and we have exciting plans to take our site to the next level in the coming months. Our network currently reaches more than 200,000 readers per month. Come and be a part of gaming history as we bring together a unique blend of industry news, fan insight, and community features. Ideally, we are looking for someone with both a passion for writing and video games, who can contribute new articles and blog posts 2-3 times per week. In addition to perks like occasional free review games and accessories, your name will be on each story you write and post. Working for GameFlavor is a great way to gain credible exposure for those of you looking to break into the gaming industry. More info here It's a great site, and one which I love reading. I applied last week, and after reviewing my work, I got to join the handheld staff!*waves at Sergio* ..I'm currently focusing on the psp, but watch out Sergio, if you get too busy and there are no news or new reviews on the site(s)..I may have to step into your ds territory *friendly sock on the shoulder* I will soon have my first post up on the site (my First impressions of Persona for the PSP), and when it's posted, I'll link to it. Let me know in the comments what you think. We need more folks commenting and posting in the forums on the GameFlavor Network. And if you're interested, by all means, apply! I got in, so could you!

PSP Go not all that great..ugh..So, like many others I got a new PSP 3000

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I was so excited to get a Go, but after a lot of thought (I know it has only been one day between posts, but I have spent several weeks thinking about this; now that the reviews are coming out, I worry it's not all I was hoping it would be!) with a lot of my favorite sites starting to give it rather poor reviews, I decided to cancel my preorder. I DID get a shiny new system and a few new games with that money, though. GameStop-exclusive bundle for $200 (nearly all my PSP Go money):  it comes with 1.)a special-edition silver psp 3000 with these lovely bluish buttons (see the picture) 2.)Dissidia: Final Fantasy 3.)a 2 gig memory stick 4.)Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children UMD movie *I also found a copy of Rock Band Unplugged used- price? One of my birthday gift cards! *Today I found a new copy of the new Persona with the 2-disk soundtrack (I'm renting it from Gamefly right now..not getting very far due to just sitting and listening to the soundtrack!)- price? another of my birthday gift cards! *Bought $20 playstation network card because NIS is having a fantastic sale Oct 1-7th: all their games get slashed 50% (I know, a PSN sale?! Gasp!). My copy of Disgaea is falling apart from use, I want Disgaea 2 and Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? and I'm planning to see what else pops up on that list. This Thursday, as in two days from now, the PSP Go comes out, but more important, we see what new/old games get released/re-released on the Playstation Network. It's like waiting for my Birthday..or Christmas! For those wondering what's wrong with the PSP Go, I'll give you my main concerns 1.) Uses a completely new memory stick format the M2..get ready to toss your sandisk pro duos! 2.) it's flimsy..not much metal and the thin plastic encasing it probably won't last very long with heavy use 3.) Battery life is about 3-5 hours! watch a movie, charge it. Play a few hours of a UMD game with intense graphics? charge it again. No thanks 4.) It's top-heavy when open. 5.) It's quite cramped when playing, even for someone like me who has small hands. 6.) Bad glare even on its brightest setting and completely unplayable outside even on an overcast day! 7.) Digital Distribution..ONLY..make of that what you will 8.) Price. 'Nuff said See, I thought I could get past a few of those shortcomings, but I need a system that will last a while, since I may not have much spending money until after.. HEY! I forgot to tell you guys! I'm expecting again! I'm about 8 weeks along; hoping for a son this time, but will be happy with whoever God gives us.

Want a PSP go? For $212 and FREE shipping?

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No, this is not a gimmick to get you to look at my page, nor is it one of those *Free/discounted sites that promise you a *free system (if you participate in sponsored offers often more expensive then the item you wanted in the first place!) This is genuine coupon code you can use to get it for this price and free 3-5 day shipping! The catch? It is only through dell's website (or over the phone if you call them, like I did) it's only available in black right now (or so they say) and you must use this code by Oct 31st this year. Note this is a preorder. The PSP go will be available by Oct 1 Here's the details if you are interested: PSP go for $212 with free shipping at Dell Dell Home has PSP Go System available for pre-order for $249.99 - $37.50 with code 6FWJ247J1P44CK = $212.49 You can save even more with a Dell Credit card and make your shiny new Go $206; but since I normally hate dell(long story; I'll write about it someday), I'm not going to bother with a credit card with their company. Here's the additional details for those who have that credit card or regularly purchase computers and upgrades from Dell. If paying with Dell Preferred Account (DPA) you may save an extra 3%, here is how: 1. During checkout, select Credit Card as method of payment 2. Click "Change Payment Type" 3. Click "Choose" link under Credit/Debit Card (again) 4. Under "Save 3% with Dell Preferred Account! (Discount applied at Final Checkout)" click "Click Here to Take Advantage of this Offer" link 5. Click "Choose" under "I already have a Dell Preferred Account" if you have one, or sign up for a new one if you don't 6. Checkout, enjoy your 3% savings  I want a GO. People say the battery life is terrible like they claimed the DSi's would be, but I use my DSi all the time (mostly for taking pictures during the day as my camera phone sucks and my digital camera went belly-up) and playing Mario and Luigi 3: Bowser's Inside Story in my spare time. My own psp 1000 recently broke (which is how I was able to play games like Final Fantasy VII downloaded from the Playstation Network for the first time) and between my mom and I, we have a selection of games, movies and soon, some tv shows (HOUSE and Law and Order: SVU are up!) we share on my PSN account. I can't play any of those right now. Plus, I have small hands, and the Go (like the mico) is a perfect fit. The psp 1000 I just got from ebay doesn't hold a charge and I was using for playing my 22 UMD games, but I need something I can take along with me, you know? (I can play the other psp plugged into my outlet, which kind of defeats the purpose of a PORTABLE System!) I've sent it back and can get a psp 2000 (or "slim") with the refund. Or get a GO and share my mom's for playing UMD's..we share the UMD's anyway! (For those that are curious, she loves Super Collapse 3, Puzzle Quest, Pangya: Fantasy Golf, Star Ocean: First Departure and Daxter.) I also have money for the Go I've been saving all summer, and with my birthday this weekend got the remainder needed for the Go with this deal. I'm sick of buying used psp's! Until I got the PSP slim new, all my other psp systems for myself and family had been PSP "fats" (1000's) and we have gone through SIX broken units this summer. (Everything from not charging, to the joystick won't work, to the UMD drive is broken) Even my mom had to upgrade to a slim recently! Oh, and the majority of my UMD's are starting to break! -Including Jeanne D'Arc! *Sniffle* (Even though I keep them in their boxes when not in use or the UMD drive when in use! Bah!) So you can see why I'd like a Go. Besides, I kind of like new portables. Anyone else with me? For $250 the price was ludicrous, but for a little over $200 with free shipping? I can do that! Now, I'd like to see what games they bring out for the PlayStation network around the 1st of October. My sources say 250+ back catalog games/newer games will be made available then. I'm hoping for Dissidia, Rock Band Unplugged and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for starters! Note to my commenters: Would you all like me to do an Unboxing (of my GO) when it gets here? I don't have a video camera, so It'd have to be done in pictures.

My top Ten Games of All time

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My Top Ten Games of All time ("A grrl gamer's top 10 list") I didn't have access to any video game systems (except when I was very small and was being baby-sat from a friend of my parents, that's how I learned what Ice Hockey on the NES was all about) until I turned 7 years old and got my first gameboy with a copy of Tetris and Super Mario World. It wasn't until just before High School that I learned about a monster battling RPG that was getting critical acclaim: Pokemon! We even borrowed a copy of Blue and Red for a family vacation and I played it with my brother. I have learned over the years that I love Monster Battling RPG's, Rouge-likes, Puzzle games, TBS, SRPGS, "Old-school" rpgs (think Dragon Warrior). I don't like sports games or FPS's nor any overly-violent games; so you won't find any of that here. This list is very unique; most of the games are old, portable titles. 10) Ice Hockey, NES 1988  This was my first game on the NES. (My first video game.) It was finally released on the Virtual Console, and I was delighted to play it again! It's still just as challenging to play as it ever was: however, I can usually beat any challengers at it! The only sports title (not including Mario sports titles) I loved. 9) Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness, PC  These are games my father(not a video game player) got me hooked on back in Jr High. It was my first introduction to the Real-Time Strategy genre, but I have since found those too hectic and prefer the more cerebral challenge of Turn-Based Strategy's more. Yes, I also played and enjoyed StarCraft, but I liked Warcraft 2 just a bit better. 8) Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, GBA  I had never heard of this series before, however, I needed a new game for my gba, and picked this one up. My husband and I loved the farming aspect of the game; To this day, he still hasn't quite succeeded in marrying the Harvest Goddess. We also loved to go digging around in the mines in the winter season to try to get the "cursed/blessed" equipment. I had lots of fun breeding my animals and putting them in shows. 7) Pokemon Red, GB  This was the game that got me into Role-Playing Games. After I finished it, I started branching out to some of the gameboy Final Fantasies and Dragon Warrior games. A close second is Pokemon Silver; it got me hooked on the breeding aspect of pokemon. 6) Tetris, GB (1988)  In 1988, I was 7 years old and Tetris was the game that came with my new Gameboy. The thing was ancient, ate up 4 AA batteries at a time(until I got an AC adapter for it) and I have it and Tetris to this day! I was so excited when I got "The Fiddler on the Roof" animation for beating the game on it's highest difficulty a couple years later (I wasn't very good at it in the beginning). Quite a feat for a child! 5) World Of Warcraft, PC  This is the game that I have been playing fairly regularly for the past 3 or so years (we got into it the summer of the year it came out). I have a level 70+ character; though that took me nearly 3 years to do as I tend to make a lot of alts to play when I get bored with my character. My husband and I play it a lot, mostly on the Sen'Jin and Moonrunner servers; Alliance side. 4) Fire Emblem (gba) and Advance Wars (gba)   It was a close race between this and Advance Wars. In all actuality, I was hooked on both for years (still am! Turn-based strategy is one of my favorite genres!) but I have played Fire Emblem so much and with it perma-death system and my obsession with not losing ANYone, the game ate up my time! I have yet to beat it on Hector (Hard) mode, though. 3) Digimon World DS, DS  I desperately needed something to tide me over until the release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, and I'd had it on my GameFly list for a while. When it came, I had only planned on playing it for a little while then sending it back. After all, this "pokemon rip-off" couldn't be as good as pokemon or dragon warrior monsters, right? As it stands, I was very wrong! The story is original, -if a bit cliched-, there are at least 200 monsters to get, you can evolve them many times to their strongest forms -and de-evolve called "degenerating"- them to make them stronger and to raise their level cap. To "capture" a digimon, you have to battle it a certain number of times; each time you battle it you get a percentage of their "scan data" when it reaches at least 100% (or higher, which makes them stronger, you can "clone" that digimon to have as your very own. While the online play consisted of nothing more then breeding your digimon for an egg (I, too, thought it had online trading and battling, but that is only for local wireless). I liked it so much, I ordered another copy so I could breed my own monsters and have more farms to raise them (you only get 4 farms total per game).Farms are used to train digimon not on your team, though they earn exp per day, as well. Digimon can be equipped with weapons, armor and magical rings, which reflect their strength in battle. You can have 6 digimon, 3 are your active team, 3 others can be switched in at any time, (say if one of yours dies), and it's a great way to level up weaker digimon. Digimon you place on your farms can get stronger, too. All-in-all, even if it's similar to pokemon, I found it to be a bit more fun, due to the fact that evolution has so much customization, and you can even de-evolve digimon and get a different evolution branch that you missed before! 2) Shiren the Wanderer, DS  This game almost made it to the top of the list. As it stands, it's very close! My first taste of this unique dungeon-crawling genre was with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team, which I loved. Then, I went looking for more games like it, and discovered: Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. However, the real fun began when I got my hands on one of the hardest games in the genre: A remake of an old SNES title: Shiren the Wanderer. Dying sent you back to the beginning at level one, unless you had someone rescue you! Very hardcore! I have yet to beat it(I play a little bit each night and get further and further then the time before), but I keep a couple of copies around (to rescue myself using the online feature since hardly anyone plays it anymore) and one day I WILL get to the Golden Condor! 1) Dragon Warrior Monster 2: Cobi's Journey/Tara's Adventure, GBC  This is it: the seminal game that I love so much I pick it up to play even to this day! At first glance, its story is fairly stupid, but the fact that you had to befriend monsters to recruit them got me hooked! At the time, it was the only monster-breeding RPG of its kind, and I was obsessed with trying to find them all! It was unique in that you could find literally "an infinite number" of keys; (based on your monster level, how many monsters you had, how good at breeding you were and how far along in the game you were, etc), those keys would open up new random worlds in the games; some with very rare monsters that would take an eternity to create through breeding. You could put them in areas to fight, but you couldn't directly control them. You had to trust that while you were raising them, they would not ignore your commands. This game was released (ala Pokemon) in two versions with a different main character and different selection of monsters on each cartridge. This is the game I have actually spent hundreds of hours on, that is even better then all of the pokemon games! This is my top game(s) of all time! Sorry, no Final Fantasy titles or Zelda titles. I have played a few of those, but most of them are not outstanding for me. Go ahead and lynch me if you want, but I have a specific criteria for games, and none of those met it. Honorable mentions: Zelda: Links Awakening DX (my first Zelda title!), Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons, Golden Sun(gba), Tetris ds, and Clubhouse games(which single-handedly got my mom hooked on the ds).

Crappy Weekend, lost a special family cat

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Over the weekend, we lost a family kitty. Ares Bastet our loveable thinks-he's-a-dog-in-cat's-clothing kitty died suddenly sunday evening. Laura and I were in Forest Grove visiting my grandmother like we do each weekend and I had to drive into Portland to pick up my mom, leave Laura with grammy, and stay overnight with her. We made her something with a little alcohol in it to help her get to sleep. In our family, pets' deaths are taken as hard or harder then human family members. I'm not sure why he died and it's driving me nuts. As a fully-certified veterinary assistant I feel like I should have known and prevented it; all I do know is that he died of acute-onset renal (kidney) failure but not what caused it or why. I'm inclined to think he was poisoned but I have found no evidence of poison. He had similar symptoms a few months ago (thought we'd lose him during my mother's birthday party in late January) but he recovered..or so we thought. He has also had digestive issues as long as I could remember. We got him the year I graduated from high school, so he was about 8 years old..just barely a senior. He was a sweet main coon, one of the biggest cats I had ever seen even though he had started out very tiny. He loved to jump into my lap when I would go visit him at my mom's house and lay right on my chest nose-to-whisker with me and lick my chin with his rough tongue. Huge cat that we was (he was the size of a fully-grown raccoon and almost as heavy) he had a tiny little "Mew" for a voice! Even though he wasn't technically MY cat, I'm taking it pretty hard. My poor mom is beside herself with grief. That was her baby. She got him when she lost our other family cat to hyperthyroidism. (It's now treatable, but 12-15 years ago, it wasn't.) Goodbye, Sweet Ares, we'll miss you. Note: Those first two pics are of Ares trying to get comfortable on my huge belly before Laura was born! Those last three photos were taken with my shiny new Nintendo DSi! Since our digital camera died on us, I've been using my dsi more and more. Even more then my cell-phone camera (images are clearer then my often-muddy cell-phone pics) I'll post more about the dsi at a later date.

Deadly Creatures: A Nice weekend rental, but not worth full price..

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Let me first off state that this is a regular blog entry, not an April Fool's Day joke. I am totally ignoring all the junk that get's passed off as "news" as a "Surprise! April Fool's Day!" Joke. For the record, I hate April Fool's.  The boxart is sure nice-looking Anyway, for the past 3 nights or so, when Baby Laura is snug in her crib, I have been watching my husband play Deadly Creatures. It took him all of about 3 nights playing just a few hours each to beat the game. (It only has 10 chapters.)  The tarantula waits for the humans to leave before moving on. My initial thoughts were: "Wow! Look at the hairy detail on that Tarantula's leg!" or "Cool! We get to learn how to fight as a scorpion or tarantula!" Unfortunately, to borrow a phrase from Nintendo Power, "Arachnid-Fu" just isn't all that much fun. It's tedious to pull off combos and sometimes the controls didn't respond at all. It could get quite frustrating. Plus, the game has a 30 sec- 2+ min loading time each time you start from a new chapter. (Having never played a wii game with loading times, I found this annoying.) The most irritating thing, though was the area loads. The game would be playing just fine, then you go up against a pair of rats and suddenly RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF BATTLE the game pauses for several seconds to load. More often then not, he'd end up dead and have to re-start the area. Then during exploration, the game shows itself as quite linear. You'd think: "Hmm, wonder what's under here?", only to find the game prevents you from exploring that area. Some of it was fun, like getting the ability to dig, then exploring a previously unreachable zone; however, a lot of the game remains frustratingly un-reachable no matter what moves you have. (Also, it can be quite jarring to be playing as one critter, get used to his moves then the next chapter being the other.) One thing that bugged (pardon the lame pun) both of us: You learn lots of neat moves in this game whether you play as the spider or scorpion; however, combat is very fast-paced and you don't often have time to charge up a poison sting before you get knocked flat on your back by a scrawny rat or giant wasp! In other words, even though there must be a dozen moves per creature (spider and scorpion) you may only use a handful because it's easier and faster to kill other creatures with it. The spider can jump, shoot webs to "muzzle" enemies briefly and swing from webs (think link's hookshot in Ocarina of Time and you've got the idea). He was a bit weak, though. The scorpion felt a bit stonger, and could whip his tail to trip enemies, stab them, "punch" (eh, whatever) with his pincers, burrow to attack and dig holes. His finishing moves were the most violent, often ending with him stabbing some critter in the throat or abdomen with his poisonous stinger.  Ambushed by a gang of Black Widows! Some of the moves were pure genius: Burrowing underground required you to turn the wii remote upside down, then flicking it upward to leap out and attack. Finishing moves you could do when you got your enemy down low enough and these are flashy, often brutal moves. For example, In one, the scorpion would whip his tail to trip his enemy (in this case a large praying mantis), grap it by one arm, ram it's scythe-like claw into it's chest, then the scorpion would use it's own pincers to "nail" the claw deep, with a spray of blood! Nasty!  Dig, Dig, Dig The game is quite pretty, and as mentioned there is lots of detail. The "story" takes place in a desert near an abandoned, run-down gas station. There are, appropriately, rats and other sorts of unsavory critters you have to fight, and the many "Boss-battles" sure made us think. Though all it really took was lots of watching to get the pattern down, then "Simon says" where you have to push the same buttons shown onscreen quickly. (I have always hated timed button presses.) As mentioned, these didn't always respond well and often he would end up dead, then staring at a loading screen for a bit till he could get back in the game.  Get used to seeing the loading screen However, the game up until the last couple of levels, is a cakewalk. David didn't even die until he was three quarters of the way into the game. Then, on the final two levels, he died nearly every checkpoint. What was WITH the difficulty?! I think that because the game was delayed so many times, they sort of rushed through it to get it out. In the final chapters, the game starts to show graphical glitches, control issues and other such hiccups that were barely noticeable in the early game. That's a shame, really, because had it had a bit more time, it could have been quite a nice game. One final note: The music in game was suitably creepy and atmospheric, and the story, which we'd see bits of as we scuttled around, was quite okay, though it felt anticlimactic at the end. A nice weekend rental, but not one we'd buy. After watching him play it, I saw enough to know I won't be playing my own file anytime soon. As David put it, "It was fun enough to want to see the ending, but nothing I'd play again."

Sometimes, I just wanna be bad for a change..[Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars]

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 Yes, that is an M-rated game on my page. Those that know me know I am not into violent games. I almost never even look at M-rated games. Heck, I rarely even watch movies that go above PG-13! I wasn't remotely interested in this game until the reviews started flying in. Then, I got to thinking about games in general. I'm sick of being the good guy in Pokemon, rescuing the princess in Mario for the n-th time or saving the galaxy from more evil aliens. I want to be the bad guy for a change! I always wondered what it would be like to be on the OTHER side of the law, and after reading some previews/reviews, the verdict is in: Sometimes, being bad is good. Very good. Okay, so there is an uncomfortable amount of cussing, especially the loathsome F-bomb I hate to hear -and this game does have voice overs, many of the cuss words are voiced, making me cringe and look around guiltily wondering if my toddler heard. (I'm now only playing this when she's tucked in for a nap or bed!) and the drug-dealing game makes my heart pound. ..heck, the whole game has me looking over my shoulder because I almost feel like I'm looking at a dirty magazine or something. On the other hand, I'm enjoying the game A LOT! I seem to have a talent for sniffing out the best drug deal, I'm quite adept at hot-wiring a car, and I hate tattooing my new gang members. That just seems a bit too barbaric. I love how open-ended the game is; how I can wander around until someone sends me an email on my PDA begging me for more coke or whispering about a "limited-time hot deal." The cops are starting to tick me off, though. They don't seem to care if I accidentally clip them, but if I steal a motorbike or run someone over in front of them, they come after me. Then, I have to get rid of the cops or outrun them (best way sometimes is ditching your ride for a new one) in order to get off the wanted list. They love to open my door and drag me out then shoot me. Freaking annoying! Missions are fun: though I had a heck of a time trying to steal three fast cars for an upcoming race, trying to tail the Champion of street racing so I could screw with his car; and my latest headaches; help someone win a race by ramming or otherwise disabling all the other racers so he could win; or trying to recruit new members to my gang-I have to rescue them from other thugs before they die, then when I have three, get them to the tattoo parlor to get branded. Those last two missions almost had ME cussing! I had to put the game away for a little while. ..But maybe I'll pick it up when my toddler goes down.. just 30 more minute till her bedtime. Then, I'll try to steak in another deal; or organize my new gang or help my buddy win his race. If I had known it was this much fun to be bad, I wonder if I would have tried it sooner?

Baby update!

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Well, she's technically a toddler now, but she'll always be my baby! This is such an exciting stage we are going through. Everything is new and exciting to her. She's drawn to water and the Great Outdoors, loves to run and climb and (weirdest of all) loves peas! She's learning new words at the rate of one or more each DAY(often after hearing them repeated once or twice) and I'm constantly astonished when I ask her something or tell her to go do something("Go give this to daddy" I told her absentmindedly one evening; to my shock, she did!) I just compiled a list, she can say 30 words-fairly clearly and understands quite a few phrases. Just because she can't talk in full sentences does not mean she can't understand them! For fun, I have listed everything I could think of she can say or do..according to my doctor she's almost as advanced as a two-year-old! (most kids her age can only say about 6-9 words; she can say 30 !) Oh, and "Kitty" was her first word, followed the same day with "Ma-ma" and "Da-da" -"Ma-ma" -"Da-da" -"Yeah?" and "Yeah!" -"Uh, oh!" (When she drops something) -"Uhhhhh-uhhhh" ("Up", when she wants to be picked up, includes reaching hands) -"Kit-tee!"("Kitty") and as Feb 3rd 2008 -"baaay" (Bear) -"yep" -"suuuze" (shoes, learned yesterday) -"duce" (juice, learned yesterday) -"Up" -"MomUp" -"more" -"ish"(fish, learned last week) -"num-num" (wants food; used in response to "Are you hungry, Laura?) -"poo-poo" (needs a clean diaper) sometimes says "pee-pee" -"pooh?" (she thinks she sees something from Winnie-the Pooh") -"Hoo-RAY!" (throws hands in the air and grins) -googirl (good girl) "baby" (when she sees a picture of a baby, real child or herself in the mirror) -Ah-choo! (she'll make that sound when someone sneezes) -"Bur-day" (birdie) "-woof" (dog or wolf, not sure which) "-Papa" (grandpa; or any man in her life not her Daddy with a mustache or beard/gotee or both) "-Mimi" or "Ma-mee" (her word for Grammy) "-Ball" (picks it up and throws it) "-Pretty" (when she sees bright colors, flowers, plants, etc) -"keese" (keys) Can walk and run very well, now -signs for "more" -signs "All done" -can sort shapes -can stack and pull apart legos -can zip and unzip -can buckle but can't yet unbuckle -can drink from a sippy cup and cup with straw -is almost ready for potty training, but can't pull down own pants yet -loves to play with water; pouring it into shallow dishes or small-mouthed jars and pouring it back out again -can scribble with special bath crayons on the shower walls -is learning how to wash her hands -can wash her body with her own "kitty" loofah -can point to "Baby nose", "Daddy's nose" and "Mama's nose" -covers her face and plays peek-a-boo -learning how to feed herself -has make-believe "tea parties" (she "mixes imaginary things" and "eats" them) -puts on my slip-on shoes and walks around in them -loves to hear laughter (she'll "fake-laugh" just to get someone laughing!) -likes to feed me -runs away (usually squealing) when I growl "I'm gonna get you!" -dances or spins in circles -can play by herself for an hour or more quietly in her room or playpen -kisses pictures of cats, babies, etc Understands the following (and can respond) -"Go get Mama/Dada" (she'll run off to find us) -"go show Mama/dada" or "go give this to mama/dada" (she'll take it to one of us) -"Where's your water/milk/juice?" (she'll go get it) -"Are you hungry, Laura?" ("Num-num" and runs to her high chair) -"Are you wet/poopy?" (says "poo-poo" and plucks at her diaper; sometimes runs to get a clean diaper; often says it when I am using the toilet and she follows me in!) -"Want to go outside?" (she'll make a funny gurgling sound and run to the door) -"Let's go get the mail" or "Want to go get the mail?" (she'll take my keys and run to the door) -"Go get your shoes" (learned this today; usually will get me mine, then after thinking and with me repeating it, will go get her own shoes) -knows words and motions for "If you're Happy and you know it"(claps hands, stomps feet and throws hands up in the air "hooray!") -"Gimmie kisses" (will kiss you on the lips!) -"Shower Time!" (if you take off her diaper and set her down, she'll run to the bathroom) -"Lay down, it's nap time" (we're still working on this one, but usually she'll lay down and reach for her bottle) -"Movie time!" (will run to the tv) -"want me to read a book?" (hold it up, she'll come running and climb into my lap) -starting to understand "Wait" or "Patience, Laura" -starting to understand "Hold my hand, it's dangerous" -understands when you say "Leave it!" (will usually will leave it alone) -understands the meaning of a short, sharp "ah!" (instead of "No"-only used for something dangerous) -starting to understand "Gentle" (when petting the cat or touching my hair) -starting to understand the concept of pockets -tries to open doors-can climb up onto the couch; but the bed is still too high I love my job! Each day I come up with new things to do or games to play, and she loves them! I try to talk to her all the time no matter what I'm doing, since she is so eager to learn. Just had to gush about my remarkably smart toddler for a bit.