Tuesday, February 12, 2019

TWIP: Waterworks & The Last Of Us

After our big re-plumb last week - you know, where John replaced all our interior pipes to prevent any possible future leaks? - we discovered that Someone has a wicked sense of humor. 

Yep, the very next day, just hours after John finished patching all the walls back up, and after triple and quadruple checking every connection, which were all bone dry for 2 days straight... our washer hookup leaked in the laundry room. This had nothing to do with the re-plumb, and wasn't even anything John had replaced! Arrrrrrg.


No one wants a picture of a puddle of water, so here's Suki being cute instead.
We later learned that the rubber washer ring inside the hose failed, scrunching itself inside the hose and leaving a gap. This is so ridiculously improbable we'd have both said it was impossible, but there it was, a steady drip of water raining all over our proverbial plumbing parade.

As a further kick in the teeth, that washer held for two days after we turned the water back on, and didn't fail until AFTER we went to bed. Then in just 6 hours it managed to pool and soak through our wood flooring in the adjoining kitchen.

 
Suki understands. Suki is here to make it better.

I'll spare you the gory details, but suffice to say that was a terrible, no good, very bad day in the Yates household. We spent the next 24 hours ripping up flooring, drilling ventilation holes into drywall, moving around industrial strength blowers and de-humidifiers, and just hanging on to each other.

In the end we managed to save almost everything and prevent any mold growth, but our floor has a lot more bumpy swollen joints now. (It's OK, we'll replace it someday.)

We were so frazzled, though, and in John's case, so sore and tired, that we spent the rest of the week doing little, happy things where we could.

 

I've officially caught up on the current season of Critical Role, and now have started back on the first campaign. I'm roughly 6 eps in, but...  I'm not sure I like it?  0.o  Help me out, Critters: did it take you a while to warm up to season 1? Should I keep going? (There's more gore and torture than season 2, and the sound quality is so bad, it's hard to hear through the yelling and volume changes.)


 I finally went to Walmart and bought those holographic/iridescent shoes I first saw on FOE, and lemme tell ya, this may be the best $16 I've ever spent. LOOK HOW GLORIOUS:



They're super wide - one of the reasons I like buying kids' sizes - which means I can fit some extra insoles in there. That makes them crazy comfortable. I'm already wearing them so much, I may go buy a 2nd pair as a backup!

 Sunlight turns them into a technicolor dream.

We had to leave the house for social calls twice this week (THE HORROR), and these shoes made it worth it. Although I do stare at my feet maybe too much while wearing them.


Eva doesn't get enough glamour shots of her own:

There's a reason for this.

(She may not be photogenic, but she's still my snuggle buns.)

I found some old art while cleaning out a closet this week, including this cross stitch I did nearly 15 years ago:


I mentioned on IG that it was going to a thrift store, and wow did THAT cause a ruckus. Ha! Who knew so many of you like cross-stitched wizards? So needless to say, it's going to one of you, instead, and I'm glad it's getting a second life. 


 Random Pro Tip For Brownie Lovers:

GUYS. If you make your brownies in a cupcake pan, then you'll get chewy/crispy edges ON EVERY SINGLE BROWNIE.


 I can't believe it took me my whole life to try this. And I am never going back. Also the gluten-free mix from Aldi is so good, I'm still using it even though I'm not GF anymore. Bake them a few minutes too long to get them extra chewy, and top with a few chocolate chips for maximum nomz. Mmmm.


And finally, here's the main thing John and I were up to all week:

 

Binge-playing The Last of Us

This is an old enough game that I doubt y'all need a review, so I'll just sum up: If you can handle excessive gore, language, and disturbing/sad imagery, then this story will suck you in and leave you on the edge of your seat 'til the very end. It is, at times, literally breath-taking. (Basically the opposite of Kingdom Hearts 3 in every way, hah.)

The gameplay is secondary to the story, so you can just watch it (that's all I did; I let John play through) and enjoy it just as much. In fact, this is a perfect game to play with a friend/SO, since it can be a little scary, plus it's nice to have a second set of eyes watching for the fast-moving bad guys. So yeah, definitely not for the squeamish or sensitive (oof), but easily the best story since BioShock. I can't wait to see what they do with the sequel.


Well, that's it for over here, gang, how's your week going so far? Hope you're staying warm - and dry, SNERK - wherever you are. 

40 comments:

  1. The first series of Critical Role takes time to warm up. If you think they had 100s of episodes of experience before they started the second campaign and were able to plan those characters knowing what they were going into. I think it creaks sometimes because they're playing characters they were originally playing for fun but now in front of a rapidly increasing audience. I do say stick with it or read the recaps people do for episodes you find draggy. Personally it's worth it just for Percy!

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  2. Like Phaedra^ said, Campaign 1 definitely gets better, but it does take some time. I'm not a big fan of the first arc in Kraghammer, which is the first 16 episodes, but once they get into the Slayer's Take episodes, it really picks up. And the arc after that is definitely one of my favorites. So stick with it! And the recaps are really detailed, so if you feel like skipping episodes, the recap gives all of the important details.
    Also, the sound quality definitely improves throughout the campaign. Those first we episodes are super tough to listen to in comparison.

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  3. My husband and I played through the Last of Us. What a great game! We can't wait for the Last of Us Part II to come out.

    I've never made brownies. This method looks like a really neat idea. I think I'll try it! :)

    -Ally

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  4. Just wanted to say that I love your outfit (the one you put together to match your shoes). So cute. Love that skirt, especially!
    (and P.S. so sorry to hear about the plumbing issue... that sounds miserable! Way to go -- all that work to salvage and prevent mold!!! wow!
    (and P.P.S. Still watching Critical Role (season 2) with Husband-- we are loving it :) . thanks again for the recommendation!)

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  5. Stick with it. I also did all of season two that was available, then went back to season one. Season one is harder to start. They were having to do a lot of adjusting from home game to live streaming, but they do eventually hit their stride. Read the recaps if you just can't stand watching an episode. Remember, at dawn, we plan!

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  6. it does get a lot better. I usually start with the Briarwood arc. I am re watching it again right now

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  7. I watched my hubby play last of us and it was SO Good! Did you get the DLC where you play as the girl and her friend as a prequel? It's short but sad/sweet. Also very much looking forward to the sequel!!

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    1. Yes, the DLC came with the remastered version, so we played it right after! It added so much to Ellie's character, wow. Definitely sweet and sad.

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  8. Keep going! Took me a while to come around to it too. Like above, they had quite a bit of transition to work through before they hit their stride. It is well worth it to stick it out and keep going. Things get very emotionable! The dynamic between Pike and Grog is adorable.

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    1. It's funny how Travis/Grog is the funniest character so far! Such a role (roll? hehehe) reversal from Campaign 2.

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  9. Do you know about Sheila G's Brownie Brittle? Publix sells the Original varieties. In the cookie aisle. The Toffee Sea Salt is my favorite in the Original line and I can no longer have it. They only have 2 varieties (so far) in the GF line, Chocolate Chip and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt. The DARK is my fave of them. I keep requesting the Toffee Sea Salt in GF! I have only found the GF at Wal*Mart so far in the GF section, and only the Chocolate Chip. I had to order direct from Sheila G's website to get the Dark. They are based out of West Palm Beach, so shipping is pretty quick. All crunchy. No squishies! So. Damn. Good! I literally can eat the whole bag and not even think about it! They are on Facebook too.

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    1. I remember eating a bag of Brownie Brittle in one sitting once - I wonder if that was the brand! So good, so dangerous.

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  10. I respect your right to your opinion about brownies, but I'm going to have to politely disagree. Brownies should be fudgy and gooey, not chewy and crispy. If you are looking for chewy and crisp, you probably want a cookie, not a brownie. These are a good compromise and worth the effort to make from scratch.

    Either way, I'm glad you found some chocolaty treats you can enjoy. And that the cats are offering moral support for your plumbing issues.

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  11. Even Suki’s toes are fluffy! :D Glad you were able to prevent a mold problem.

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  12. Yes, you can just read summaries until Orion is off of the show, and then Critical Role season 1 is just as heavenly as season 2. Different characters, of course, but the same dedication to the story, their relationships, and playing together.

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  13. Sound issues are a thing in campaign one for a while, alas, which makes the podcast version pretty much impossible to listen to. I had a really, really, REALLY hard time getting into it for the first bit, but trust me, it's SO WORTH IT. A lot of people will say to skip the first arc but honestly, I would advise just pushing through because it introduces a lot of characterization (and NPCs) that will pay off later.

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  14. I personally loved the first Big Bad fight in the Underdark, and there are more good moments in "Chapter One" of Season one, and the Trial of the Take episodes in "Chapter Two" that introduce some of the recurring guest stars are lots of fun, but the others are right- it doesn't really find its stride until "Chapter Three" starting with "The Feast" and then possibly my favorite episode "Crimson Diplomacy" - I won't spoil anything, but it is AMAZING!

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  15. Sorry about the plumbing but THANK YOU for the Suki pictures. And the Eva. As for the cross stitch - I'll take it.

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  16. Campaign 1 is definitely worth a watch if only for the stone cold classic that is Sam as Scanlan. Also Liam and Laura make the cutest twins in the world. And Travis as Grog. And No Mercy Percy. Tbh they're all pretty great.

    It just takes them a bit to get comfortable. Not only had they never done anything like the show, but they also switched from playing Pathfinder in their home game to playing D&D 5th Edition on the show. (For the uninitiated: they're different rule sets for the game.) They've had several years of experience in streaming and how to do the show in C2 vs. C1. It is 100% worth sticking with.

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  17. I watched my son play Last of Us sometimes and what I saw was amazing. Did you know they did a live action stage show with the voice/motion capture actors? The video link has a long intro but worth watching if you enjoyed the game. It includes an alternate ending. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAhT9gbmOtw

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    1. Oh! I'm going to check this out right now! I didn't know this existed! Thanks!
      -Ally

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    2. Whaaaaaat?! Gonna go grab John so we can watch this! Thanks for the link!

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    3. We thought it was pretty cool. The music was great to see live as well. Hope you both enjoy it. :)

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  18. Stay with it!! Campaign One is glorious in so many ways, and there are so many moments that I re-watch again and again because they hit my heart in just the right way. I think you'll get that experience, too. The first 20 episodes are -ahem- rough to get through, for a myriad of reasons. One of the cast members stepped away after about that time, and you can see the cast gel in an immediate and concrete way from that point on. The production value (as you know) goes wayyyyy up after that time too, so just hold on!!! Hugs from a fellow Critter.

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  19. If you bake muffin batter in a waffle iron, the entire thing is a muffin top.

    Never going back, either.

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    Replies
    1. Ooooh, I LIKE THE WAY YOU THINK. Gotta try this next.

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    2. DON'T DO IT! I've tried it. It sounds glorious and it smells glorious but it sticks like nobody's business and is either burnt or not cooked through. The only slightly burnt bits that you wind up with after you pull out the badly scorched bits make okay ice cream topping, though.

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  20. OMG, that cross-stitch is so gorgeous! How are you choosing who gets it?

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    1. I just picked the first person on IG who begged for it, lol. She assured me it's getting displayed proudly in a nerderific home, so I'm happy.

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  21. Sorry about your water damage, but, um…do I sense a new Epbot home improvement video once you replace your floor?

    Also, if you make brownies in mini-muffin tins, you get two-bite brownies.

    -Yet another Jen

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  22. Oh,man! Those stinking water leaks!!!

    On a happier note, if you want good plot games there are so many good options out there! My husband and I have basically given up tv and movies in favor of playing games together! Many times I just watch (with a book to read out loud if it has grinding bits). We PC game, so I apologise if these aren't available for you. But here are some of our favorites that I am thinking of now: Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Borderlands, Batman Arkham Asylum, Bastion, and Deus Ex.

    I'll stop there before, hopefully, it gets overwhelming! Anyways- happy gaming (and all the rest!)

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  23. AHHHHHH! When it rains it pours! but you two are such an amazing team! #lifepartnergoals on a side note WHERE DID YOU GET THAT PUZZLE? I am drooling over it!

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  24. Fun Fact: Ashley Johnson who plays Pike/Yasha is the voice of Ellie in The Last of Us. Also (and this blew my mind) she played Chrissy Seaver on Growing Pains. (The youngest daughter with curly hair)

    I agree that it takes a while to get into campaign 1, but the pay off is great and the quality definitely gets better. The characters are great and I have a new respect for bards because of Sam. And Grog by far is my favorite character, he's just so pure and simple. Like a dog in goliath barbarian form. If your aren't feeling it, don't force it. But, for someone who pushed through I'm glad I did.

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  25. oh man i would LOVE to be able to wear kids shoes they are the BEST
    i have several friends who can wear kids size and they always just complain and im like BUT PURPLE GLITTER HELLO KITTY BOOTS?! i have great big size 10 feet blargh :/

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  26. Oof, I', a little late on this, but I'll just say that I'd love to see a full review of The Last of Us! As someone who is... desensitized to death and violence, to say the least, it's always interesting to read the perspectives of someone who's a bit more normal, ha! Also, my filter for what is considered disturbing or not is a bit off, so those sorts of reviews can also be quite helpful for me when recommending media to friends/family - if something has a good story, I usually want to share it, and sometimes I forget other people don't have to same tolerance as I do. Plus the way you write reviews is very enjoyable to read!

    Also, sorry to hear about the plumbing issues! Hope it's fixed for good this time!

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  27. If you make your brownies in silicone cupcake or tartlet cups, they've got lovely crisp edges and *they're super easy to get out of the cups*.

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  28. Forgive me for being so clueless, but what is FOE? B/c those shoes!!!! I must have them!!!!! Also I am in Canada, so that might make it more of a challenge, as our Walmarts have a different variety of stuffs than yours, athough one always hopes for overlap, in terms of iridescent, hologrpahic footwear.

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    1. Oops, sorry; I forget to spell it out sometimes! FOE stands for Fans of Epbot, which is a Facebook group of about 5,000 readers. It's fan-run and organized, and just an amazing, encouraging place. (I can say that because I have nothing to do with it; there are 7 volunteer mods who do all the work. I just lurk and enjoy!)

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