Oh No, He’s Going On About Video Games Again…

Yes, it is that time again for Devyn to go on and on about video games and other nerdy things.

I finally received my 2DS XL the other day, and I sort of have already amassed a bunch of games for it. I’m not done yet, though. There are so many more games that I would like to acquire for the system. I’ve also been researching games for my PS Vita and for my PS4, as well as for the Nintendo Switch–which we haven’t purchased yet, but are hoping that the price of them goes down soon. People are selling them for insane amounts.

3DS Wish ListPlayStation VITA Games Wish List

I’m in the process of making lists for the Switch and for the PS4 as well. For now, however, those two lists are basically me collecting games. Will I play them all? Who knows. I just really want them to at least try.

As for 3DS games that I own–I have ten of my own now, as well as a few that Covey owns that I will play and borrow (they donated their 3DS to a kid that lost his home last year in a fire, but the games they had for the system were a bit too adult for the child. We ended up keeping them, knowing that I would be getting a new system eventually).

Mother’s Day…For the Rest of Us

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the grandmothers, aunts, sisters, etc. who take on the role of mother when no one else will, or no one else can. Happy Mother’s Day to the single fathers out there, to the men who step up and play both the role of the father and the mother. Thank you, all of you. You are loved.

Happy Mother’s Day to the mother-in-laws, to the grandmother-in-laws, the sister-in-laws, and so forth.

And to all of the children who can’t say “Happy Mother’s Day” to their moms for any reason, it’s okay. You, too, are loved.

Today is going to be a rough day for me. I have plenty of mothers myself–a wonderful birth mom, a stepmom, a mother-in-law, a grandma, a nana, etc. It’s just that sometimes we don’t all get along. There is some family drama happening right now that I am certainly not into, nor do I want to be pulled into it. Hopefully today goes off without a hitch.

Hopefully.

It’s strange for me, too, to not be celebrated this Mother’s Day. Not that we have children in the traditional sense; we have Jasper, our fur daughter, but no two-legged, human children. That’s fine. We are still a family.

But today isn’t for me. Father’s Day will be my first one that I can celebrate as myself. I am Jasper’s dad, and this year, I can fully celebrate that part of my life. It kind of makes it more special to me, more awesome. And today is definitely a day for my beloved spouse, even if she doesn’t consider herself one way or the other (but, to Jasper, she’s mom).

Today, I have begun to wonder if the titles of ‘mother’ and ‘father’ really matter that much in the long run. There are parents out there that are horrible people–people who are abusive in a way that can kill their child, or harm them in other ways. Then there are parents out there that aren’t the textbook definition of ‘parents’–they might be legal guardians, or they might be an older friend who just cares for that person, that child. Hell, it can sometimes even be an animal that cares for them enough to keep them alive.

Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Minor Updates; Probably Some Rambling

My 2DS XL will be here tomorrow, along with some other orders. I am still waiting on the boots I purchased. My spouse managed to snag a used SNES Classic Mini from the website Mercari; it seems to be lost in the mail. Hopefully everything will make its way to us soon.

I feel a little robotic tonight. I am going through the motions, just living. Existing. It’s Thursday, which means we will be playing Dungeons and Dragons in about half of an hour. There will be food to eat shortly as well; Covey is cooking sauteed onions and mushrooms to go on steak, along with corn on the cob, and cheesy garlic bread. A right feast.

Why do I feel so bland?

Sleep! Finally!

Last night, I was finally able to get a full eight hours of sleep. This marks the first time in about a week that I slept for longer than four hours. It felt nice, but now I am super groggy! I guess you can’t have everything.

I should know today (in about five hours) if I won the bidding on a gently used New Nintendo 2DS XL in orange and white. It comes packed with the charger and a copy of Pokemon Sun (which comes without the case). If the bids stay where they are, I will have an extra forty dollars afterward–the current bid is eighty-one dollars, and my max bid is at one hundred twenty five. I’m not holding my breath, though. It is very possible and likely that I will lose the bidding war, as handheld consoles are super popular right now.

I do have back-ups just in case I do not win the bid. GameStop.com has a pretty nice selection of used and refurbished 2DS XL consoles, along with their 3DS XL counterparts. I have to get the “New Nintendo” model of either, though, as there are games that I have and that I want that will only place on that version of the system.

To prepare for the arrival of my newest gaming child, I have drawn up plans and written a tutorial for myself on how to sew a traveling case for the 2DS XL system. It–once I’ve made it–should hold the console along with eighteen games and an extra stylus. If it works out, I might consider making some to sell in different sizes. For example, I would make ones for the 3DS/2DS XL systems; some for the Nintendo Switch (both the Lite version and the regular version); PS Vita consoles; etc.

I will probably work on that today. I also have an order of masks that I have to make between today and tomorrow morning. They are due at around 3:30pm tomorrow afternoon, and I have to make eight of them in total. I’m going to be trying something new; I’ll be adding a third layer of cotton as the CDC suggests for better protection. I’m getting a bit of money for them, but honestly that money goes toward more supplies to make either more masks to sell, or for my new wardrobe.

Making My Own Wardrobe

A few things have happened to me during this pandemic. Some good, some bad. For example, the bad–my Grandfather passed away; Covey, Jasper, and I were forced to self isolate for a week due to symptoms that turned out to be nothing (but it’s okay; better safe than sorry); it snowed in April; and I haven’t been able to get out as much as I would like to (not only stores, but to see family, friends, and to go out for walks).

The good–we finally received my stimulus check; I explored my gender and discovered that I am just a really feminine straight male; Covey and I have been able to spend a lot of time together; we have been budgeting better; and I have had a lot of time to do things like sewing and art.

The most important thing, though, is that we are safe and healthy.

Also I am getting a new Nintendo 2DS XL from either eBay or GameStop.com! This makes me crazy happy. We were going to purchase a Nintendo Switch as well, but they are sold out absolutely everywhere.

Starting Wednesday, I am going to be creating a bunch of pieces for my wardrobe. I’ve decided to not be afraid anymore, and to embrace who I am. Part of that means dressing how I feel comfortable (and handsomely pretty!). My style (or, at least, the style that I would like to start dressing in) is sort of a colorful Gothic aesthetic. I want to wear Victorian-inspired outfits but in modern day hues, along with a bit of a feminine flair. There will be down-time days where I will simply wear a t-shirt, pants, and a vest or light suit jacket, along with some shoes (either boots or heels). I’ve also started to style my hair differently. It’s long enough so that I can pull it back, but since the sides and back are shaved, it allows me to have this neat look (my brother called it a Djinn’s tail, and I freaking love that).

A bit of makeup some days as well and I’ll be all set! It should be noted that, though I am male, there are days when I am going to want to look feminine. I don’t know how to explain myself other than my style is my own, but the body I am in currently is wrong. When I see my breasts, when I look down at myself, I’m disgusted. I feel all wrong, like someone put me in something that doesn’t fit right. So, while I am male, I still love some feminine things, and I still act a bit feminine–just because that’s who I am.

Ah, but I’ve gone off track! The entire point of this post was to introduce what I am going to be sewing for myself over the next month or so. Below are some images that I’m going for. I may post pictures of myself in my new outfits when I’ve finished them, but until then–just picture it!

Then there’s the more casual style I’m aiming for (probably my look during most of the summer months).

So, that’s about where I am right now. I need to purchase a lot more black fabric! As I mentioned above, though, there will be color in my wardrobe. I’m just sort of a colorful person. I’ve already got planned some pinks, reds, blacks, whites, and creams. I think I’m going to add some deep greens as well, and some royal purples or maybe more of an Eggplant purple? Something along those lines. A few brown pieces here and there, too. And, of course, on my casual days, my shirts will be geeky or joke-inspired.

Over and Over Again

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be the seventh day since we were told to self isolate. My spouse and I will finally be able to go outside again. We will finally be able to go shopping (with masks worn, of course) for food. We will be able to go do our laundry. We will be able to feel the sun on our skin, the wind in our hair.

Oh, Gods, never before have I wanted to go outside as much as I do right now. Who knew that locking myself away for a week would do this to me? Of course, I am not really complaining. We are healthy–it turned out to be a bad cold that attacked us and not Covid-19. We aren’t hungry, or out of toilet paper. It’s just a bit of cabin fever.

We also are not stupid enough to boycott any sort of quarantine. Obviously.

So how have we been keeping busy? Mostly, I have been sewing, cleaning, reading, and watching videos. There has been a bit of playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on my mobile as well, since we don’t have the money for a Nintendo Switch. Even if we did, they are sold out everywhere and going for crazy amounts of money on sites like eBay and Amazon.

Starting tomorrow, I believe I will take an hour or so every evening to relax and play a bit of a video game. I have so many for the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita that I haven’t gotten to yet, as well as tons of old classics and favorites that need some love. For the first game, I was considering a nice horror–either the Resident Evil Remastered Remake, or Resident Evil VII. I’ve started the latter, but because it was so intense I had to fear quit.

Speaking of video games…I used to own a Nintendo 3DS. I loved it, but I traded it in for my PS Vita. While I love my Vita to death, I really miss my 3DS! I’m considering purchasing a used one from eBay, considering how cheap they are right now. Seriously, I can snag one in decent condition for just under one hundred dollars! Of course, I’d have to purchase some games for it (I only have one still that I refused to get rid of when I traded in my original–that game being the Fatal Frame spin-off, “Spirit Camera”).

For 3DS games, there are a bunch that I would like to get–some that I haven’t played before, and others that are old friends.

…Just to name a few, of course.

I just found out that tonight, my Dungeons and Dragons group is getting together to start another game! We will be doing a GURPS game based off of the Shin Megami Tensei series of video games. Oh. My. God. I’m so excited.

Book Review: “Beauty and the Werewolf” by Mercedes Lackey

Beauty and the Werewolf (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #6)Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

While “Beauty and the Werewolf” by Mercedes Lackey is certainly not the worst book I have ever read concerning romancing a shape-shifting person, it’s very close. I have had this book on my to-read shelf for a long time, both on Goodreads and in my personal, hand-written list. I love re-imaginings of the “Beauty and the Beast” story; I love werewolves and other shifters; and, finally, I used to love reading Mercedes Lackey novels. This book seemed like a perfect storm of interests for me.

So, why is it so bad?

Bella is a young woman who should be thinking of marrying. However, she feels a duty to her father to keep his household running properly, as his current wife and her two daughters are more interested in partying and spending his fortune than managing a home. She has a secret obsession with ‘Granny;’ an old wise-woman who lives in the nearby forest.

One full moon night, while walking back from Granny’s house, the red riding hood-clad Bella is suddenly attacked by a beast. A werewolf chases her through the forest to the edge of town, finally succeeding in nipping her ankle before fleeing.

Frightened, Bella returns home and speaks to no one of what happened in the woods. The next morning, however, she is forcefully whisked away to Duke Sebastian’s home. She discovers that he is the werewolf that attacked her the night prior, and now, until they can figure out who let him out of his prison and if she, too, will become a beast during the full moon, she is trapped within the confines of his lavish and comfortable home.

There are a few problems with the book overall. For one, the writing. While Mercedes Lackey is a good author in general, for some reason, with this novel, her prose is lacking. Every within the story is bland and predictable; for example, the main antagonist of the story is introduced right at the beginning–and the reader knows it. There he is, within the plot, the obvious villain. There is no one else really who could fill that role.

Secondly, Lackey does a lot of telling and very little showing. That’s writing basics 101. What is shown is bland. Everything else is just hashed out or skipped over. The conversations in the story are often repeated, often boring. I found myself plowing through everything between Bella and Sebastian because it was just a lot of ‘Sebastian says this pertaining to magic; Bella becomes upset and snippy because Sebastian is treating her like an idiot; Eric comes in and suddenly Bella is afraid of being invited into his bed or having him invite himself into hers; Sebastian says something that is supposed to be endearing but it makes him look like an idiot who is somehow brilliant when it comes to the ‘science’ of spells and such…’ etc. etc.

I think the worst part of “Beauty and the Werewolf,” though, is just how cookie-cutter and boring it is. Lackey literally took the basics of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ threw some fancy magic ideas into it, took out Disney’s version of the characters’ names so she couldn’t be yelled at, and then just sort of…mixed things around a little to try to pass it off as new and exciting. It’s not. There is absolutely nothing new about this story. There was so much potential to make an interesting version of the story. Werewolves! She had werewolves! But instead of going into the complexity of what it would be like to be a human one moment and a blood-thirsty monster in the next, instead of exploring the emotions that would bring about, the pain and the horror of it, Lackey just falls flat.

Do not read. I’m sorry, but this is not a good book.

View all my reviews

Productivity

Today’s been sort of odd for me.

I woke up early and, to my credit, actually remained awake. From 8:25AM on, I have been up and doing things. First, I had my breakfast and coffee, plus I took my pills like a big boy. After that, I went into the craft room, figured a few things out for some patterns I am putting together, as well as unboxed some stock dolls for upcoming projects. Then I took a nice shower and did my face routine (homemade coffee and sugar scrub for the win), got dressed, had a bit more coffee, and got a few things together for crafting later.

It was around this time that my niece’s mother texted me. I invited her over (she lives just down the street) and we visited for a bit; Covey was awake at this point. Now we’re ordering some lunch while Covey plays one of her newer PS4 games (Forager). It’s a nice day out (despite some snow earlier), so we have a few of the windows open in the apartment.

Only now that I’m taking a short break do I realize how much I actually got done this morning. This makes me feel good, but at the same time, it worries me. Why can’t I be this productive all of the time? Why does it only come in bursts? Also–why am I most productive when my head is killing me? It’s a bit upsetting, honestly.

Anyway, after we eat (and depending on if our guest returns after she’s thrown her clothing in the dryer), I’m going to disappear into the craft room again I thing. I really would like to start sculpting some of the parts for the dolls I am working on. To do that, I first need to Dremel the legs and feet apart!

(For Muffy and Etoile, I am giving them a slight bend in their legs, digitigrade style. They will be getting cute little hooves as well, and of course, horns! Nox and Balt will be getting horns as well, with Nox’s feet being changed to fit high-heeled shoes. Grell’s base will have something similar done with her feet.)

Speaking of Grell…a lot of her official merchandise has spelled her name “Grelle,” as the English language manga uses. It’s…weird to me? Not that I’m against her changing the spelling of her name to have a more feminine flair, if that’s what she wants. It’s just…everything prior had her name spelled “Grell.” It’s what I’m used to, but even Yana Toboso, the creator/mangaka, has been spelling it “Grelle” as of late.

Ah. Well. Whatever works, I suppose. It’s not like I have much room to talk, really, considering I am legally changing my own name from Kimberly to Devyn.

I realized today that, if I am making a doll of Rumarus, I should probably make Thomas as well. Rum-Rum is my personal character, of course, as is Thomas. They are basically inseparable. Thomas acts as Rum’s servant, but he is also usually the voice of reason. He tends to do Rum’s dirty work outside of the castle, simply because the curse placed upon his master does not work on him. I will probably add him to the line up at some point. I just have to find the right kind of fabric for his suit and for his cloak (his clothing is very otherworldly and shimmery; it’s often compared to the colors of dragonfly wings if they were pressed up against black wool).

Lunch needs to hurry up and get here. I’m freaking hungry. My stomach keeps growling very loudly! We are being bad today and getting pizza. Yum.

Face Masks

The other night, Covey and I spent at least six and a half hours making a crap ton of face masks for friends and family. Thankfully, I have a few mostly made up. They just need elastic in them, and to be finished off. I say thankfully because more and more people are asking for them! I don’t mind, of course. It gives me something to do. It’s just that it freaking takes forever to make a batch of them.

I found a pattern online that I use.

To this, I added nose wire to provide a better fit and seal. I use a thick cotton, usually quilter’s fabric. I guess the masks aren’t the best, but they are far better than nothing at this point. Plus, I get to use cute and cool patterns. For example, my soon-to-be step-dad wanted camouflage! I had some fabric that fit the bill, so he’s good.

After dinner, I’ll jump into the craft room and just…sew. Sew and make and make and sew. Maybe I’ll cut out a few more pieces for other masks, just to have a ton on hand…

I also need to wind a bunch of bobbins, which is easily my least favorite part of sewing. I just don’t like the sound my machine makes. Plus, it just feels like it takes a very long time for something that should only take a few moments.

Aside from sewing, I will be working on dolls tonight I believe! I have a bunch of doll bases coming in the mail soon enough (I ordered a lot of the BTS dolls by Mattel; they are super cheap right now on Amazon.com as well as on Fingerhut.com. They are just taking forever to ship). For other bases, I’m looking into getting more Disney’s Descendants dolls, as well as some WWE Superstars dolls. Both have their pros and cons. The Disney dolls are adorable, with slightly larger heads than what would be realistic, but they are much less stylized than Monster High dolls. The WWE dolls are more realistic but more muscular than your ‘average’ female doll. I kind of like that! I also really like working with the older version of the DC Superhero Girls dolls; the newer versions are far too stylized for my purposes.

As you can probably tell, I am trying to stay away from using classic dolls; no Monster High, no Ever After High, etc. Though I really enjoyed working with them at one point in time, I feel like I have outgrown that style. There is only so much I can do with, say, a Draculaura without completely resculpting her. At that point, it would make more sense to just make my own doll from scratch (which I will do, some day!).

Doll Plans to Keep Me Sane

Despite my best efforts, lately, I have found myself becoming very irritated. Everything is pissing me off–people, videos, myself… I just want things to go back to normal. I am trying so hard to not yell at everyone and take it out on them. I’m trying so hard to find my peace, to calm my mind and the agitation I feel in my body. I just have to stop being a bitch.

I took it out today on my poor Gram. I feel like such an ass. She said she had an appointment at two thirty PM, and my mind instantly thought the worst. I freaked out, asking her what was going on, where she was going, who she was going to see… She wasn’t outright with me, which made me think she was hiding something from me (she does that sometimes). Instead of being calm about it, or just dropping it, I kept pressing and pressing and pressing, getting angrier and angrier with every word. In the end, I pretty much exploded at her before going into the store.

Once inside, Covey looked at me and laid me out. I was being snappy and bitchy; everything was bothering me. I needed to chill, to find my center again. So, with her help, I did. I felt like such an ass after (I still do), so I apologized to them both. We ended up getting pizza and chatting in the car for a bit.

What the fuck is wrong with me.

We are home now. It’s windy and rainy out, just gross. I think we’re going to just relax for the rest of the day–watch some YouTube videos, hang out on the couch, maybe role-play a bit. There are things I would like to get done, but it might be for the best to just…chill.

The other day/night/morning, Covey and I worked on a bunch of face masks. My mom had asked me to make a ton for this lady that she knows who needs some for her elderly father. I agreed. Between the two of us, we ended up making around thirty. Mom took eight for the lady and her dad, then four for herself and for for my soon-to-be step-father. The rest we gave to my grandma and to my aunt Wendy. I think we’re going to be putting some more together as needed. Thank goodness I have a stash of wire, elastic, and quilter’s cotton fabric. Plus…it gives me something to do.

Other than masks, I really want to work on a few quilts, maybe some clothing (shorts for Covey, since she doesn’t really have any and summer is coming up pretty soon…), as well as a few other sewn things. Mainly, though, I will be working on new dolls.

I have a few planned out.

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Rumarus Zhou–one of my original characters. He’s half magpie, but is convinced he is the reincarnation of the Phoenix King (one of the Gods of Creation in his world). He is also the Prince of his Kingdom, though due to a curse he has never left his castle. Many of his powers are transformation and fire based; he can take small creatures and make them human-ish. He has a servant named Thomas who was once a pill bug.


Etoile and Muffy (from Animal Crossing)–two lovely sheep ladies. In my mind/head-canon, they started out as neighbors, then friends, then evolved into lovers and finally got married under a lovely tree in the center of town. The doll versions of them are going to be lolita-fashion styles–gothic for Muffy and for Etoile, she’ll be like, dolly-pastel? I’m still figuring it out. I also want to edit the dolls to make their feet into hooves.

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Vexen (Kingdom Hearts)–because I love this fucker. I’m not sure if I’ll make his shield, too. Maybe at one point? I really would like to make him and do him justice. He basically was the hidden hero of KH3 anyway. He needs more love.


Grell Sutcliff–again, because I fucking love her. I might make two versions– ‘Butler’ Grell and how she regularly appears. This is kind of funny, as when I first started to make dolls, she was the entire reason I wanted to start. I wanted to make a doll of her. Honestly, I started one once but I didn’t like it, so this year, I’ve decided to start again.


Nox and Balt Honeytongue–Playable/Original Characters for our Dungeons and Dragons campaign. I play Nox, and Covey plays Balt. They are twins, Nox being a Sorcerer and an entertainer who is slightly obsessed with sex; Balt is a Bard with Sorcerer origins and is really sweet, naive, and a lover of animals (even though he really annoys most of those that he speaks with). At the moment, they’ve helped to take over a giant fortress that is on the back of a huge tortoise! Nox has gone ahead to the next town to let them know not to attack…all the while, they are on the look out for lycanthropes.

So…yeah. There are probably a few other dolls I would like to make, but for now? those are the ones I’m working on/planning out. Whee.