Video Game Blog Challenge: Questions 7 – 9

7. Favorite Game Couple

First up is my FemShep and Thane from the Mass Effect series. I loved Thane. He is a drell, which is like a snake/reptile type species, and I always thought he was beautiful. And his story was great too. So my FemShep romanced him, which of course, meant (spoiler alert) that he ended up dying. My favorite characters always die. It’s like subconsciously my brain knows what a sucker I am for a tragedy and psychically picks out which characters will meet their untimely demise for me to weep over. Poor Thane.


Also, Zack and Aerith from FFVII. This stems much more for my love of Aerith than Zack (although once you learn about him, he’s pretty awesome too). Again, a tragic love story as when you meet Aerith, Zack is already dead and Aerith dies halfway through the game. Cue tears. (Also, I know you learn a ton more about them and their relationship in Final Fantasy: Crisis Core which I would kill to play. Alas, I’ve never had a PSP, so I can’t. Blargh).


8. Best Soundtrack

This is super easy – all the Final Fantasy games. I own three different collections of Final Fantasy music – the original FFVII soundtrack, FFVII Piano collections (which is amazing!!) and Final Fantasy 20/20 which is collection of music from all the Final Fantasies performed live by an orchestra and choir in Japan. The music for them is so extraordinary, and I would love to give Nobuo Uematsu a giant hug someday just for making such beautiful music. (On a side note, I should draw a portrait of him). Below are two of my favorite tracks from FFVII Piano Collections, and also Vamo Alla Flamenco from FFIX, which is also amazing. I love to listen to piano music while I draw, and these are such great pieces of music. I am so in awe that JENOVA is just two hands playing. It’s so complex. I have the sheet music for it and it is unbelievably hard to play at speed.


9. Saddest Game Scene

Oldie: Aerith’s death. I mentioned it briefly in my first VGBC post, and it was truly a heartbreaking moment for me. I was so completely enamored with FFVII, and especially Aerith. I sunk hours of time into leveling her, doing all her sidequests, and enjoying every aspect of learning about who she is and why she is so special. To say I was blindsided by her death is an understatement. At twelve years old, I had never experienced a game where you are give a character to love, nurture, and grow and then have them taken away. Gone forever, with no warning. I cried. A lot. And had to stop playing for a few days. It was intense.


As for a recent game, the scene that comes to mind is in the first twenty minutes of The Last of Us. If you haven’t played it and plan to, stop reading now as SPOILERS!!

First, a little personal backstory. I’ve never been that emotional when it comes to family type things in any media (movie, game, or book). Movies that normally pulled at peoples heartstrings never really affected me much. I mean, I could recognize things were sad, but never to the point of crying. Then I had a kid and everything changed. I am now a huge sap. Anything involving families being torn apart or children dying and I’m a weeping ball of tears and snot. So, when twenty minutes into The Last of Us Joel’s daughter gets shot IN HIS ARMS for crying out loud, I was a bawling wreck. In game, full out running from zombies (and the Army) while tears stream down my face on the couch. Now, I’m sure my being a mum has a lot to do with it, but I’ve heard a lot of people sans kids who say even they were pretty moved.



I’m using the questions from the Video Game Blog Challenge found here. All screenshots/photos you see are found via a basic Google image search. Copyrighted to their respective owners.

Can’t Get Enough. . .

Lianne La Havas.

I discovered Lianne La Havas via a random tweet. Somebody mentioned her having an awesome voice, and I was looking for some new music so off I went to YouTube. And loved her! I was planning on saying “This isn’t what I normally listen to”, but then I actually started thinking about the music I listen to. Which doesn’t fit a category. I don’t really subscribe to one type of music genre, so really this fits right in! I think Age and Forget off of the Is Your Love Big Enough? album are my faves of hers right now.

I love her voice. That’s a biggie for me, as I can be pretty picky about female voices. I find her music has the fantastic balance of being something I can listen to in the car and jam out, and also perfect ‘rainy day’ music meaning I can put it on in the background and it just provides great ambiance.

Also, though this has nothing to do with her music, she is totally stunning. I’m drawing a portrait of her in fact, as I think she is just so lovely!


Walk Off the Earth

On Tuesday, my brother and I got to take a fantastic roadtrip to Portland, ME to see Walk Off the Earth!! If you haven’t heard of them, I highly recommend checking out some of their music. They are the most talented musical group I think I’ve ever seen, and definitely the best concert I’ve been too. They all play multiple instruments, and their show was absolutely incredible. You expect to see a band and have them sound like their CD, for the most part. These guys sound BETTER. They don’t just come on stage and perform, they make music. Besides being 100% interactive with the crowd, in between songs (and sometimes mid-song) they would rock out these jam sessions of pure, fantastic, music. No lyrics, just jamming out. It was incredible. That and who doesn’t love a concert involving confetti, glitter, and gigantic balloons?! It was such a fantastic night – full of dancing, singing, and cheering until we had no voices left. Below are some of my favorite vids they’ve posted. Check ’em out!

This is a cover of their own song REVO in Paris – I don’t know which version I like better!

I think this is my favorite cover they’ve done.

Another original, I think this is my second fave.

The single off their latest album.

You may be thinking, where are the concert pictures?! I actually opt not to bring a camera to concerts. I find that when I do, I spend more time focusing on taking photos than I do enjoying the concert I’m there to see! I think the memories of being fully in the moment at the show far outweigh any photos I could take. I did get some souvenirs though – besides my ticket obviously.


I consider it a requirement to get a t-shirt when I go to a concert (unless it’s a band I’ve seen before and already have one) but this time I decided to get a sweatshirt instead! I had JUST ripped a hole in only acceptable-to-wear-outside-the-house hoodie so this was a perfect time to get a new one!

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The front and back of my sweatshirt – covered in cat hair now since it’s been in my house for more than 10 seconds.

Also, the band that opened for Walk Off the Earth was called Parachute (whom I had never heard of) and they were awesome! We headed out to the lobby during their last song so we could snag CD’s and then get them signed before WOTE came on.


I was so glad I got to go to this show just me and my brother. Despite a rather separated childhood, my brother and I are really close as adults. He lives a couple hours away from us, but comes up quite often which I really appreciate. I love that our little miss gets excited when her uncle is coming up! That being said, there is rarely a time that I see my brother where we aren’t with family around, which is great! But it was SO nice to have a night together where I didn’t also have to be mom, and wife. I could just be me, my bro’s little sister, and we could crank the music and sing at the top of our lungs, and use swear words in our conversations if we wanted to. A refreshing change from the norm!

Me and my bro circa 1989ish.

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Our Annual Family Reunion

I feel like for some people, a family reunion can induce a lot of stress and eye rolling. The complete opposite is true for me – I look forward to our annual family reunion every single year. I have been going for 25 years (I was three months old for my first one and have never missed one yet!). I even wrote my college essay on this particular event and what it means to me.

Family has always been extremely prominent and important in my life, and I love that our whole family feels that way too. We have a HUGE, widespread family, but every year for the third weekend in July we all come together to celebrate how lucky we are to have one another to call family. An average size year means about 130 people show up. We camp in a giant field (all forms of camping – RV’s, pop-up campers, and good old fashioned tents) and spend the weekend making music, playing games, and in general enjoying each others company. How fabulous is that?

Loving the tent.

Bubbles in the field.

My hubs relaxing after setting up the site with my brother.

Having such a large gathering takes a lot of work and coordination. We have officers in our family (President, VP, Secretary, and Treasurer) who each have designated jobs that keep the reunion running smoothly. We have games for the kids with prizes, and we also run a raffle and 50/50 raffle to raise money for further family reunions. I’ve been the family secretary for the past two years, which means I’m in charge of keeping everyone’s addresses up to date, and helping out the President in sending out updates, etc. I love it, and hope to ‘stay in office’ for years to come!

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              A very happy camper!    My brother – such a handsome fellow.

This year one of my cousins organized a special raffle. She had been in Peru volunteering at a girls orphanage and wanted to raise money to send back to them. She was raffling some of her gorgeous photographs and two beautiful handmade cups that the girls in the orphanage had made! I very much wanted one of the cups, and I got it. I literally jumped out of my chair when they called my ticket number! All in all, our family raised $270 to send to the orphanage – not too shabby if you ask me.

The beautiful photos and handmade mugs in the Peru raffle. I won the mug on the left which is the one I wanted, yay!!

My family is also incredibly musically talented. Saturday night is the designated evening for entertainment and it never disappoints. A full band gets up and plays under the tarp, and then later we all move around the big campfire and sing/play guitar acoustic style until the wee hours of the morning. My little miss fell asleep in her camp chair cozied up by the fire listening to the sounds of her cousins singing. Those are the memories I want her to have growing up.

Family band time!

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My miss was just loving the music – she danced the night away, and even had to bring my brother’s girlfriend up to dance with her!

My childhood memories are bursting with different recollections of the reunion, and I can’t wait for my baby girl to be ecstatic about going too. I just love my family!


See you next time!

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