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Ramadan is coming! A story of miracles and sorrows

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Hi all! So despite mufujifi's suggestion, I finally have a story to tell. This is good, somewhat, I promise you!

It all started with mufujifi suggesting to me to get Borderlands 2 and for some reason, I became really obsessed with the idea of getting it. The thing is, I have been watching another friend... Okay, you know what, just for you guys, let's make this story more interesting and juicy ya. This other friend, Cullen, plays BL2 too and quite often stream his co-op play on Twitch. And this Cullen is the guy I talked about previously. In a post somewhere before my progressive play series I think. Yes, my feelings for him has went on for more than year now but you know, you can't force love. Now that he makes me feel that I am only good for another lifetime, know what, forget it.

My love runs deep down into the earth and reaches high up to the sky yet my feet are bound to the ground and hands are tied up to the sky. Yes, I was putting things in a poetic expression that means as much as I have that amount of love for him, there is nothing much I can do when I am bound to earthly and heavenly laws. Still cryptic? I am Muslim while he is not. Go figure.

Can't blame him.

So... Life goes on. And I hope that was juicy enough for you guys. Haha!

Anyway, I have been watching those streams, basically because I do enjoy his playthroughs but I never really felt like it was a game I would buy. 

In fact it felt like a game I would never buy because I feel like my skills fall short of it and therefore I would never enjoy it. It's the same sentiment I have for The Last of Us.

But yeah, don't know why mufujifi is so magical in making me fall in love with BL2.

Then, last Sunday night, Cullen alerted me of a sale on GMG. BL2 + season pass for 14.99 on top of a 10% discount. So I got it for 13.50. USD of course.

So I spent the entire night playing with two other girl friends. OMIGOSH! I was so ridiculously happy that I even shared with Cullen's friend (who randomly added me on Steam that same night, on the grounds of BL2 I suppose) about how ridiculously happy I was. It felt surreal. Like, wow, I am actually playing this game that I thought I would never touch. It was just beyond my wildest dreams. We played until 3am in the morning? Hahaha! It was good fun!

The following day, Monday afternoon, we played some more and this time round Cullen's friend joined without me inviting him. I was like, woah! Really? So random! So it became a whole lotta fun with a full room of four people!!!! OMIGOSH!

Yeah, that's like the best first-time BL2 experience for me. I will forever attach a sense of nostalgia to this game really.

And speaking of nostalgia...

I dreamt of my late paternal grandfather last night. Actually, it was around 5am to 6am when I had the dream? Because I set an alarm to wake up for school but I dozed off. (HAHA FAIL!) He was in good condition. As in he was standing compared to when I last saw him bedbound and frail and just skin and bones. He was also dressed in his usual attire whenever he goes to the mosque. Black songkok (go Google if you don't know what it is), white baju kurung top (again, Google) and black pants (the kind you wear to work). I didn't talk to him. In fact I ignored him. We weren't really on talking terms when he was alive. Old habits die hard. And then my father brought him to his room. After that, my father emerged from his room and was holding a thick book that kinda looks like your regular textbook. He was telling me that he needs it for something and that I should read it too. Somehow I was holding a mini-version of it and was trying to convince my father that the version I have is exactly the same only smaller. Then my father realised it and exchanged the book he was holding with me. I remember the title vividly. It's "Why you are a Muslim".

So when I woke up, I immediately knew I had the book. I looked for it and I found it. It's in my bag now. For some reason, I just feel like keeping it close to me.

It is most definitely a sign.

You see, the solution to the Cullen conundrum is simple. I just have to convert out of Islam and I can have him. Easy as ABC. Heck, I even got close to becoming reckless and just forsaking everything and everyone and just have a baby with him. I suppose I was getting fed-up with having so much love, which is simply going nowhere because I couldn't do anything about it yet at the same time, I actually could.

However, I would like to believe that my late grandfather has been looking out for me without my knowledge.

The whole BL2 thing was simply too miraculous and timely. I have been struggling with school and work that BL2 makes a good coping mechanism for me. Something for me to look forward to at the end of the day.

On top of that, I am being consoled about the Cullen catatonia through that book.

I think my late grandfather communicated that to me through my father because he knows we are not on talking terms. He can't guide me but my father can and he can do so in real life.

And you know, a Muslim woman's obligations are to her father until she is married, when her obligations are transferred to her husband. Two-way street of course (for some reason the media do not tell you this); the male (father/husband) is highly responsible for the women under his care to the point that he will be held accountable in the afterlife should he neglect or is unable to fulfill his duties.

So it's like, if I were to be reckless, I'm only going to get my father into trouble when all he has done for me is good. I mean, it's not fair that my old man is to be punished albeit in this world or in the permanent afterlife for something I did. (Of course, I will have my own share of punishment, d'uh.)

For 23 years he has fed me and clothed me and bought me things I begged for like a freaking princess (laptops and computers, electronic keyboard, 4GB Samsung K5 MP3 player with slide-out speakers which I still use today and a whole lot more). Whatever I want, he WILL get it for me. It's just a matter of time. I am serious. My siblings are often jealous of me because he doesn't seem to fulfill their requests as much as he fulfilled mine. He helped me secure my education. I now have first-class Honours in Communication and am currently studying for a Diploma in Early Childhood and Care Education - Teaching (English). (Just a side-not here to the garbage media who kept saying Muslim women are oppresed and uneducated: _|_)

Ugh. (Well, something happened to me and something happened in Singapore that gave me low-blows about my headscarf and religion that I just got pissed off there, sorry.)

In retrospect, that middle finger should not have come out but oh wells.

So yeah back to the story. So you know, to throw the old man's efforts of 23 years for some guy who doesn't even love me back (actually he is very vague about what he feels about me so I guess I'll never know) and hasn't sacrificed that much for me is just...

ludicrous.

So yeah.

Summary: 1) BL2 is love. 2) There is a love greater than mine.

Because mufujifi said so

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I am being coerced into blogging but really I have no idea what to blog about.

What would you like to know?

On holiday!

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Just a 2D1N trip to Bintan Island, Indonesia for my dad's company family day.

Still....

^_^v

 

Anyway, which one are ye? I'm more to the nerd! Click on image for a bigger picture.

 

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Make-up inspi' American McGee's Alice

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I am still very much infatuated with American McGee's Alice even though my gaming experience with it is not so romantic.

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I was inspired by her make-up and attempted my own interpretation. Didn't go well AT ALL. Looked nothing like her. Still, I think my eye make-up looked decent. OK, I lied. I actually love how my eye make-up turned out!

 

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Yeah, I took them at different times of the day. Before and after work. Before work, my eyes are open. After work, it's ZZZZZZZzzzzz. Hahahaha!

Progressive Play: American McGee's Alice Part 5 (End)

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Okay, so I actually managed to defeat the Jabberwock by persistently zapping it with the Jabberwock Staff.

And as kfjl commented, after defeating it, I just realised that I haven't been fighting it properly.

Anyway, the Jabberwock boss fight wasn't the last daunting thing to occur in the game. In fact, I found Battle Royale section to be exhausting.

A sizeable number of card guards just jumped down on me after taking 10 steps? I had to be very patient. I tried to use the Jackbomb but it didn't seem to burn the enemies like I would expect a flamethrower to.

Anyway, as usual, I grew impatient towards the end and decided to use the Deadtime Watch and just legged it.

Ascension was somewhat tricky but it wasn't as bad as Battle Royale for me. Additionally, there's this cricket or grasshopper thing waiting for me at the foot of the castle. All I had to do was use the Deadtime Watch again, consume the cricket or grashopper and morph into it, and just leap upwards into the next section Castle Keep.

Yeah, i'm not extremely proud of "cheating" but I figured I could use less rage playing it.

Castle Keep was annoying in terms of having to re-kill enemies that just kept on respawning. The puzzle is cool though. I didn't mind going back and forth to unlock the doors to the Red Queen but as I said, I minded having to kill off the Card Guards in my way over and over again.

Well, at least there were only Card Guards and not Boojums.

So after completing the puzzle to unlock the doors to the Red Queen, it is of course, time for an epic fight with it!

I did die many times but with the power of saving at any given point of time and multiple slots to save, and awesome Jabberwock Staff and predictable Red Queen moves, the boss fight is actually alright.

In fact, even after you have supposedly defeated it, you are transported to another realm and this time the boss looks like a Mayan god-like creature. It was a breeze. Seriously, after all the shit that the game has put me through, the finale was a breeze. I did die, not out of health, but out of poor platforming a couple of times. Other than that, seriously, a breeze.

Makes me wonder if I can now play anything after all after going through this hellish game.

But I gotta admit, this game is a winner in terms of its aesthetic in portraying dark elements, moods, undertones, and basically, give a very nice alternative retelling to the C.S. Lewis's classic.

In fact, I've grown to think that the game's narrative does follow the storyline. The stages and sections in the game align with Alice's encounters in the novel. So that's cool.

As for the ending cutscene... the graphics quality reminds me so much of King's Quest IV.

I've started playing Alice: Madness Returns and in fact I've completed chapter 1 already. Judging from the graphics, the game really has gone a long way from its prequel. In fact, there's quite a bit to compare but I'll save it for another post.

Oh gosh this is another terrible post because I'm just bouncing off the walls with this one.

What do I feel after playing it and would I recommend this?

I feel happy. Accomplished more like because as an amateur gamer, I finally chose not to play a game on Easy. And hey,  conquering a game like this on Normal is a feat for me! 

I would recommend this game to those who love C.S. Lewis's Alice in Wonderland, those who love themes of gothic expressions, madness, and on some level, horror, and those who have a lot of patience.

A LOT of patience.

Progressive Play: American McGee's Alice Part 4

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Hi! So as I said (or not), I took leave from work today and this gave me time to play some more AM Alice.

Let's start with Water Logged.

I HATE WATER IN TAINTED WONDERLAND FULL STOP

Yup, I kept getting mauled by the Snarks.

But thankfully that was a short section so...

*SHAKES FIST IN RAGE ANYWAY*

The next section... Yeah, I ended up in the hedge maze again except I don't have to figure out where to go. It's pretty straight-forward so it was only a matter of beating the fiends and jumping correctly. I did had a bit of trouble halfway through it but I persevered and I managed to beat the annoying couple of Boojum and nuclear-equipped Card Guard. The section was slightly longer than Water Logged but I didn't find it too bad. Like I said, it was a pretty straight-forward section and there weren't any puzzles.

And then it was the section I have been looking forward to!

Purely platforming and no malicious fiends!

Unfortunately, it ended too soon for me. I recalled it being longer when I watched mufujifi played it actually.

So... yeah. Bliss ended in a matter of minutes.

And then it's the boss fight against the Jabberwock!

DUN DUN DUN

Believe me, I tried multiple times to defeat it but I am nowhere near being successful.

So yeah, I gave up.

Well, actually, in the words of mufu I rage quit!

So click on the link if you are wondering how the fight against the Jabberwock is like.

Let me know if it is as terrible as I claimed, yeah?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsGix07VSpg&list=PLD42B4D5D756D7946

Progressive Play: American McGee's Alice Part 3

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Righto! As promised, I've played the game after work and now I am blogging about the two main sections I've conquered since the last post.

Firstly, Airborne Terror. It did give me a bit of a problem when I reached the third vent. I just kept getting blown off by hot steam miserably. But I managed to float from one steam to another afterwards more gracefully. The section isn't so bad, considering the only enemies I faced were the Boojums. They're not much of a problem with the Ice Wand, of course. So that section is easy breezy lemon squeezy.

Secondly, Mistifying Madness.

LE SIGH.

Just when I thought I'm done with hedge mazes, nuuuuu, of course not. In fact, I ended up being in a water maze as well. My beef with the water maze? There seems to be invisible walls blocking your way even though the path is perfectly clear. And the Snarks...

You know how I play. I just pretty much prefer to leg it but this time round, clearly, the Snarks have to be slashed to their deaths!!! GRR! STUPID SNARKS! They're now far more irritating than Boojums and it doesn't help that the only weapon you can use underwater is the Vorpal Blade.

I did get viciously mauled by the Snarks many times but I managed to get past them, pull the switch that lifts the barricade to the next portal, forced to make a detour (because that's what switches do apparently -- they open one door and close the other), go through the Snarks-filled water tunnels (AGAIN), and then finally coming up onto the surface.

Did my misery end there?

Not quite. I just ended up on the upper level of the hedge maze. Wow, nice upgrade, huh?

But I've got to admit, I was really lucky this time. It really was a fluke. I took a serendipitous turn to find the Mirror of Inivisibility, used my instincts to navigate my way through the maze and discovered another switch.

When I pulled it, I thought I saw the portal doors open before a gate appears to block it, which made me think that it requires the Deadtime Watch to pause the gate as it shuts or something like that.

So I used the Deadtime Watch, effectively freezing time and tried to pull the switch. It didn't work and I panicked.

So I got Alice to cling onto the gate.

That's when I realised that the portal is on the lower level. -.-"

But hey, this is where I got lucky -- the way down was only a turn away and just as I was about to enter the portal, the two Card Guards frozen mid-air near it unfreeze.

So I managed to escape without a scratch.

Feels awesome.

The next section is Water Logged. I did a bit of recce and it feels like it might frustrate me to no end because it seems that the only enemies around are the Snarks. :evil: Not happy.

So I think I'll save it for tomorrow night.

But yeaaaaah. Including Water Logged, I'm just left with eight more sections to beating the game and making mufujifi proud.... or lackthereof.

Progressive Play: American McGee's Alice Part 2

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The problem with not blogging immediately after playing is that you forget your experience after weeks have passed by.

And that is a problem considering I have to try and remember what happened in order to vomit out a decent post about my play.

Erm...

OK, I last left it at the Mad Hatter boss fight, yeah? That didn't give me much of a problem. The Jacks, once again, were my best friend.

The first round with the Jabberwock is not a problem either. I just kept hitting it with Jacks and then finished off the Jabberspawns when they appeared with the Jacks too. At first, I thought I would ignore the Jabberspawns and try to finish off the Jabberwock but after three failures, I finally learnt my lesson and just knock the spawns out.

Because you see, the idea was to sort of weaken the Jabberwock before the Gryphon swoops in to intervene and weaken it further for us.

And that's how I assembled my Jabberwock Staff. Gryphon managed to dig his eye out for me to collect it to assemble the staff.

And then... I can't really remember what happened but I think I made my way to the castle grounds after triggering a switch near Humpty Dumpty to retrieve the Blunderbass and...

Well, I don't know. All I knew was that when I loaded the game just now, I was in the hedge maze. Hahaha!

OMG. Hate the hedge maze.

I died numerous times because my health was really low and the Card Guards themselves have upgraded their weapons to be a reckoning force. It's fair, after all, since my new weapons have made me almsot unbeatable.

Luckily, I managed to find my way out of the hedge maze. At first, I used the Deadtime Watch to make the hoarde of enemies freeze so I can get through them but when I did that, the child at the end of it was frozen too so I did not realise that I wasn't supposed to go through the portal on the right. All it did was to respawn the enemies in the hedge maze and brings me back to it. I died instantly after I went through the portal. I was horrificly mauled by the enemies. Luckily, I saved right before the hoarde. So I legged it (I almost died though) and saw the child stepping off a switch button on my left to run towards the portal on my right. Aha! So I stepped on the switch, use my Deadtime Watch to freeze time, which lifts the gate that blocks the correct portal to exit the area, and got the heck out of there.

See, this is why you have to have an idea on how the game goes inside and out in order to have a successful play. If I didn't realise that the Jabberwock cannot be defeated and that I have to witness the child running, I wouldn't have made past the levels for years, maybe. I watched a friend play the earlier stages just now, he was streaming it live, and he simply said the game sucks. Or something along those lines.

I think it is generally a good idea of a game but as I've said many times before, the mechanics are horrible.

And you really need a good dose of patience.

And then I stopped playing.

So... I think the next post will be a bit more interesting, I suppose. I will be doing the "floating-in-the-air" section. I watched mufujifi played it in person and it seems fun. Will have a ball playing it tomorrow.

Why tomorrow when weekdays are busy days for me?

Well, it is June and here in Singapore, it is a full month of school holidays. What are the implications of that for me? For starters, tomorrow I have to prepare for Term 3 lessons form 2.30pm to 5pm and will only be in contact with the childcare children from 5pm to 6.30pm.

That means I wouldn't feel so dog gone tired as per usual. I can pace myself, take little breaks in between unlike before, and feel less miserable about working the late shift basically.

Life is good

for now

and I intend to enjoy it while it lasts.

So... yeah. Hopefully, substantial time for AM Alice tomorrow and a better post than this one too.

Quick update

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Because mufujifi tells me to update my GS more often, here's a quick update on what's the happs about me. I'll be making a more faithful visit to your blogs tomorrow morning. Because y'all are sweet and I wanna be sweet to y'all too.

So here's a quickie:

  • I bought Brutal Legend (PS3) but I haven't gotten around to playing it yet. Hopefully, I'll at least get to touch it tomorrow.
  • I played a few minutes of Alien Swarm with mufujifi on Steam and it was just plain hilarious.... but she hates the game so I guess I'mma have to play it on my own if I want to.
  • I'm actually very close to finishing The Testament of Sherlock Holmes. I have quite mixed feelings about it.
  • I bought Alan Wake on Humble Bundle and I might just play it with mufujifi tomorrow... like a date! Hahaha!

So yeah, that's for games. School and work have been usual -- insufferable.

Don't want to speak of that. I'll save that for my personal blog.

I just want happy things here!

And game, game, game!