Posted in Gaming, Life + Living

Scarlet has Destroyed Lion’s Arch (GW2)


Scarlet Briar, born Ceara, is the sylvari responsible for much of the mayhem that has wracked Tyria for the last year. She has facilitated a number of unlikely alliances, such as the Molten Alliance of the Flame Legion and dredge, the Aetherblade pirates and the Inquest, and the Toxic Alliance of the Nightmare Court and krait. With the help of these seemingly disparate groups she has threatened the northern continent time and again, culminating with the building of a massive Tower of Nightmares in the middle of Viathan Lake. All her schemes so far have been seemingly foiled, but she is not deterred by setback and occasionally seems to revel in her defeat.

Her other actions throughout the year include the plotting of Theo Ashford’s assassination and Mai Trin’s subsequent attempt to ascend to the Captain’s Council; hijacking the humans’ Watchknights; and an attempt on the life of Queen Jennah. Scarlet was intentionally failed to prevent the accidental destruction of the Thaumanova Reactor, and took a strong interest in the discovery of magical ley lines criss-crossing the globe. She has also been seen using steam creatures and their technology, though the nature of her ties to them is currently unclear.

Recently, Scarlet seems to have begun preparation for her biggest attack yet. After the destruction of the Tower of Nightmares and the death of the Toxic Hybrid, Energy Probes have been placed throughout Tyria and the Mists themselves in search for something – the constant thudding of which have unintentionally attracted a great three-headed jungle wurm to the surface in Bloodtide Coast. In early 1327 AE, her Twisted Watchwork minions were recalled to Lornar’s Pass, where she proclaims to be testing her her most powerful weapon seen so far, though she detonates the weapon instead of utilizing it if powered up. Adventurers who have found their way into her secret lair have reported schematics for her Marionette, some huge drill (that appears to be the complete form of the device floating above Marionette’s Landing, and maps marking Vigil Keep, the Chantry of Secrets, the Durmand Priory, and Lion’s Arch. And on the ceiling of her lair, there is said to be a painting of a dragon.

A new patch advanced the live story in Guild Wars 2 today and man oh man… it’s rather upsetting!  Good ‘ol Lion’s arch is in tatters, her people scattered.  Heroes have been summoned from all over the realm to help rescue refugees and evacuate the city.  So, if you need me… that’s where I’ll be.

Aminarra Westin rushes in to fight Scarlet’s minions and rescue the citizens of Lion’s Arch
The city is burning…
everyone died of toxic fumes while trying to evacuate the city. Good thing it’s a game and you get res experience…
Posted in College, Gaming, Life + Living, Self-Reflection

Life is a game of Risk: Legacy

I think that the subject line is about as deep as this entry is going to go.  I wanted to write about a new board game that we’ve been playing called Risk: Legacy.  The idea of the game is that far into the future there came to be a way of creating clones of Earth–and you have one of them.  The factions that are colonizing and settling the new Earth pledged to live in peace, but war invariably comes.


I’ve been going through some things IRL that make it seem like I ripped up the wrong cards.  Questioning career decisions, loathing school one day and loving it the next, looking at dogs instead of cats, friends, relationships, everything changing.  In Risk: Legacy, the decisions you make in one game perpetuate ad infinitum.  If you play a scar card, for example, it may help you in one battle by increasing your roll by one pip.  That scar stays on the land forever and, if, in another game you are attacking that land–whoever claims it benefits from that scar.


The good news is that there is great reward for perseverance.  I know that this post, where it concerns real life, is rather vague. That’s okay–just remind yourself that I’m telling you about my new favorite board game.  Perseverance–is key to this game.  You want to expand your horizons, forge your friendships, smite your enemies, and choose your next steps wisely for you can only go forward, never back.. Unless you win.  If you win, you have the opportunity to remove a scar.  To take a mark off of the land that would have been there forever.  To erase it and it’s effects–both positive and negative–never to be returned.  (Unless of course someone makes a new scar–new scars are almost endless.  The ability to remove them is a rare gift).


The good news is that no matter what happens, what scars appear, what factions come and go–You can always play another game, kick back with friends and have a ton of fun.  Cheers!


Posted in Life + Living

Volunteers Wanted!


Assembling healthy snack packs for a kids at a local shelter

I starting working on this blog back on August 2nd at 7:00am.  It is now 10:01pm on Wednesday August 8th.  Where does the time go?!  It goes crazy, I tell you.  It goes crazy.

I am lucky enough to have a steady job in a company that I like with the flexibility to have nights and weekends off.  They encourage personal development, community involvement and philanthropy–and not just on the surface!  All year long I have automatic deductions from my pay check that go directly to support the local United Way.  Sporadically throughout the year I get to participate in varying volunteer opportunities, but every summer we have Global Community Days.  We stuff healthy snack packs to deliver to kids in the community, cooking kits for the elderly in assisted living, clean up the neighborhood, etc.

This year, I was privileged enough to be able to volunteer at Crisis Nursery in Minneapolis:

“The mission of the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery is to end child abuse and neglect and create strong, healthy families.”

Two shifts of volunteers completed 9 hours of work to transform the front garden from an almost blank patch of dirt to a riot of colorful plants and paths.  The work was hard, but the result was so rewarding.

One of my favorite memories from this experience is from the group tour of the facility at the beginning of the volunteer event.  The coordinator was leading us through the halls and I became separated from the group.  As I was following to catch up, I came upon a group of children who were obediently lining up against the wall in preparation to go outside to play.  They were between 3 and 5 years old, probably.  One girl came away from the wall and hugged my legs, giggled and looked up at me.  I patted her back (probably awkwardly) and then the whole gaggle of girls came and hugged me and it was a fit of affection and laughter.  I was patting backs and looking at the teacher like “what do I do now?” LOL  I kindly asked the girls “Aren’t you supposed to be lining up against the wall?” and like magic they dispersed and went against the wall again but kept their giggles.  For just a moment it was easy to forget that they were there because their family was in turmoil.

Another event that I participated in recently was Operation Stand Down at Fort Snelling.  My mom and I heard about it on Facebook 15 hours before the event and shifted our schedules all around to accommodation it. For a few hours in the evening, we shucked corn, served potatoes, smiled, conversed, and interacted with homeless veterans in the area.  It was humbling, to say the least.  One gentleman that I met is already stocking up for winter and came hoping to secure a tent, a cot, a blanket, and a can opener.  He got a change of clothes and a blanket.  Another that I talked to was going to school in the evenings while living in a homeless camp under an overpass.  How can I complain about working and going to school?  Wouldn’t one think that being homeless and going to school would be the bigger and more stressful challenge?  And then there was the charmer.  An 85 year old gentleman who wanted to be an architect but recognized that he wouldn’t be able to finish school in time to accomplish anything with his degree–but still appreciated the beauty in the structures around him.

I left that night hot and sweaty from the blazing summer sun, but I returned to a home with a shower and a fan if not air conditioning.  And I counted all of my blessings.

Volunteering, for me, is becoming a bigger part of my activities.  It just feels so good to lend a helping hand to those who need it most.  If you would like to get involved in volunteer activities in your town, just google “volunteering in [the name of your city]” or visit to find volunteer opportunities in your town where you can do as little or as much as you’d like–and then come back and share your stories 🙂

Posted in Life + Living

In Memory

What is Death?
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without affect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well.
~ Henry Scott Holland