Playing, reading, watching

Torchlight Box ArtI’ve been losing my nights this week to Torchlight, a hack-n-slash RPG from a bunch of ex-Blizzard employees that worked on Diablo. And you can tell the resemblance at any step: the games are pretty much the same. Torchlight is basically a combination of Diablo 1 (three classes, vertical structure, just one town) and Diablo 2 (socketed items, sets, skill trees) with World of Warcraft-like cartoony graphics. That being said, it has all the addictiveness of Diablo, which accounts for many nights spent looting chests hoping for better drops. You know what I’m talking about.

On the literary front, I’m currently reading Makers, Cory Doctorow’s latest book. It’s about… real-life hackers – in the most literal sense, as people changing the world around them by creating gizmos and tools out of anything is available. It’s a very fun book, it really rubs the nerdy insides. On Monday he was in NYC so I went to the signing. The guy is really smart and funny, a great geek. No wonder there are so many XKCD comics about him Smile

On the professional level (at work, that is), I finished my first ever iPhone app. Which means that now I have the basic know-how to create applications for both Android and iPhone. I want get into this in my own time as well, so I’m planning buying a Mac in the near future (you can only do iPhone development on a Mac, grrrr). It will be my next gadgety purchase so I’m already giddy about it. It’s gonna be great Wink

This weekend I started to catch up with some of the shows I recorded on my DVR the past days, most notably History Channel’s World War II in HD. Which is absolutely great, I highly recommend it to anyone interested in WW2 history out there. Think Band of Brothers, minus Holywood, plus realism. An extraordinary documentary. Speaking of Band of Brothers, looks like HBO is preparing another WW2 miniseries, The Pacific. Can’t wait.


After a great weekend – attended a birthday party on Saturday night (clubbing till 4 AM) and a dinner party on Sunday (with delicious home-made food)  – this week started with me getting sick. Really badly. On Monday night I went to see a Comedy Central Presents show (stand-up comedy, basically) and by the time it was over I was feeling like someone just hit me with a sledgehammer. Repeatedly. The next couple of days brought some relief, but I’m still away from recovery.  I can’t take any days off (my company doesn’t have sick days and I already used all my PTOs) so I have to come to work and try not to infect my friends. Hopefully by next week I’ll be done with it.

Been spending my nights – as long as the sickness allowed me to – playing Modern Warfare 2. For anybody who played the first one, this one is a must. Same fast-paced, gun-blazing, insane-action shooter, with missions all over the world. From running atop shanties in Rio de Janeiro to infiltrating Russian oil rigs (and even a prison), the game delivers on every aspect. Multiplayer is fun as well, you gain levels and equipment the more you play. I’ll explore that more after I’m done with the singleplayer campaign.

The last piece of news is that I managed to finish my first iPhone app. Don’t get excited, it’s just something simple for work – a browser for our wallpaper catalog. Usefulness: 0. Probability that anyone outside my company (scratch that, anyone *at all*) will use it: 0. Having all the time in the world to learn Objective-C and CocoaTouch: priceless.

Rainy Days

The past two weeks have been packed. Almost every night I had somewhere to be, someone to see or something to do.

On Friday night I went to see an independent movie, the “artsy” kind. Or so it was supposed to be, because it didn’t move me much. The director tries to combine sexual psychology with horror elements, but it comes out a bit of a mess. Good thing I knew about the really gory scenes from before, otherwise I would’ve had a bit of a shock. Chaos reigns, indeed.

On Saturday I decided to pay Ethan a visit in Flushing, for more Debasaki and bubble-tea. Which would’ve been great, except for the pouring rain that started when we got there – it did rain all day, but not as bad as that evening. In conclusion, we got to the place – a 15 min walk from the subway – completely drenched. Later we dried (a bit) at E’s place, while watching Rock’n’Rolla.

On Sunday I took advantage of the sun and got out in the afternoon to take a walk and some pictures of Queensboro Bridge. In the evening I joined my friends and went to see Video Games Live.

Monday, Borderlands was released. Been playing it almost every night since.

Tuesday night I met with a classmate from primary/junior high school that was in NY as well. We’ve reunited by accident, as she was supposed to meet with one of my friends that visited me last month. That didn’t happen but at least I saw her last week and got to catch up on our former classmates. Surprising how many of them ended up here, in the US. Andreea, if you’re reading this, holla!

Wednesday night I went with Yacine and Ethan to an iPhone developers meetup, a tech talk about concurrency and threading in application development. It was pretty interesting, but the best part was that they gave us free swag for attending it: books, download coupons, notebooks.

On Thursday night I joined E and his friends for ramen (japanese noodle soup). After, more Borderlands.

Friday, Roxana celebrated her birthday at a small restaurant in Brooklyn. Afterwards we went to her and Slava’s place for drinks & cake.

Saturday I got up early to help Francis get his son to the doctor – he’s been having some problems with his eyes and he can’t drive. Since we were in the neighborhood, we met up with Ethan afterwards for dim sum. In the afternoon I joined Bogdi, Renee, Linh and others and went to Jersey, to Roman and Jenny’s place for a belated birthday party. It was a fun afternoon – and since it was Halloween, we got plenty of trick-or-treaters. Also, I got to put my camera to some use.

After we got back, late at night, I got to experience some Halloween of my own: I went to a costume party at Studio Square, the nearby beer garden. The place was crowded with zombies, superheroes, video game characters (a Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Jade from MK) and even some japanese school-girls. I tried to take some pictures there as well, but they came out too blurry.

I’ve spent Sunday resting after the previous nights. Watched Up and some episodes of FlashForward (which is very good btw) and uploaded pics from the party.

Finally, Monday night, while checking out Facebook, I decided to take out some information from my profile: namely the relationship status (I figured it was a bit TMI). Next morning I woke up to find “who’s the lucky girl?” written on my wall… Could be worse I guess, considering I took out also the “Interested in: women” part, I could’ve found “who’s the lucky guy?” Smile