Geeking by in January & February: Monthly Update
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It’s a bumper addition of Geeking By monthly updates today as RL forced me to take multiple breaks from blogging over the past few months. I’m skipping over the end of last year because other than Christmas not a whole lot happened as it was filled with helping Chris’ mum sell her house and move into ours. It was all consuming and I don’t want to relive it by regurgitating it for you guys, so you’re just going to have to imagine that one!

Let’s start with where Just Geeking By is at:

Geeking By in January & February

Blogging & Health

I can’t talk about one without the other as they’ve both been so entwined. My health impacts everything I do including this blog and January and February has just been one illness after another. The problem with a healthy person moving in with two chronically ill people is that they bring in a lot of germs. It’s not something they do on purpose or are even aware of; it’s just a fact of biology. The problem is that my immune system can barely handle one illness, one set of germs, let alone multiple sets attacking it all at once.

What I didn’t realise was that the physical illness was taking a toll on me mentally and one nasty virus, in particular, pushed me to a very dark place. Truth be told my personal life has been a massive struggle too, and it’s been difficult for me to talk about that publicly.  I had big plans for my blog this year – still do – and had intended to launch them at the start of the year, and absolutely nothing went to plan. That just added more fuel to the fire and until some things got sorted recently I just felt like I kept tumbling back down a slippery slope of depression and illness.

I’m still sick, currently on antibiotics for an infection again (sinuses this time), however, some problems have been resolved recently allowing me to find some footholds again. The to-do list that has been ongoing since last year is being whittled down and I’m getting it out of the way before I take up anything else. That means over the next few weeks you can expect to see some reviews as I finish them off, and a bunch of interviews as I finally get them up.

Coming Soon at Just Geeking By

Time for a sneak peek

First off, I’ve not forgotten about the international Geek on the High Street group. That’s coming along with some other new interactive content. I’ve been sitting on these for quite a while now and I think it’s time to give you all a sneak peek:

  • A weekly geeky prompt.
  • Screenshot challenge is returning as a monthly challenge.

Some other smaller changes will be happening but these are the two big ones. Yep, the first one doesn’t tell you much and that’s on purpose as I want to announce that properly. Both of these require me to be organised and plan in advance which is why I’ve held back from rushing them out. While I don’t like it when my health mucks up my plans this was the right call. Time frame wise I’m hoping you’ll not have to wait long to know more, so stay tuned 😉

Geeking By in January & February

Gaming Update: WoW is Out, SWTOR is back baby!

While I’ve been sick I’ve been enjoying indulging in my geeky hobbies and now that Chris has a pc again we’ve been able to play together. Top of our list was Star Wars: The Old Republic aka SWTOR which we’ve been wanting to go back to for a long time. You can play for free, however, the restrictions are annoying and we can’t stand playing that way so we had to wait until our finances could manage a subscription.

We’ve been playing it for a few months now and we’ve been whizzing through every class there is to enjoy the class stories. When we first returned we hopped on our highest level characters intent on trying out the main story and the expansions we had missed, only to find that they have introduced a new ‘chapter’ style play through method. This method means that playing and progressing together is impossible; only one player can progress through each chapter per playthrough.  For each of us to complete each chapter we either have to play it solo (which is no fun) or play them twice (which is fun but time consuming). So we’ve gone back to the other classes and have been completing them instead because SWTOR has a character system called Legacy which ties all your characters together. By completing certain achievements per class you unlock things in your Legacy which you can use on all characters which is really neat. For us, personally, we also love to play through the individual stories anyway so the Legacy stuff is just a bonus.

This means I’ve been creating a whole bunch of new characters, including some duplicate classes because we wanted to start new characters from scratch to play together. As we played through I found that this was actually a good thing for me. Unlike other MMORPGs, everything you do in SWTOR is based on your decisions and one of the game mechanics directly related to this is the dark side/light side choices. While playing through the Sith Warrior for the second time for Chris, first time for me, we realised that choosing light side choices seriously changed the storyline. While many players would consider replaying and levelling a character again a waste of time, personally, I find that a lot of fun. I also already have multiple characters created that I don’t want to delete because I love their design and names so may as well do it at some point! Plus we’ve found that levelling by just doing class quests and then doing the planet heroic missions or flashpoints makes levelling up really fast.

You can meet all my new characters by checking out the members of the Allyn Legacy on my SWTOR character page!

New character spreads in my World of Warcraft gaming bullet journal

Bullet Journals

After well over a year of doing absolutely nothing with my gaming bullet journal, I managed to work out what I wanted to do for my character spreads. In actuality, it was raiding my mum’s card making supplies that jump started my inspiration. I’ve not done much else since designing the spread above because the next step was recreating the same idea 13 times so I’ve been drawing and cutting out the shapes. I now have them all done so I’ll be working on replicating the character spreads next.

I also bought a second journal for other games (the one pictured above is dedicated to World of Warcraft) and will be using that for things like SWTOR and any other games that I feel the need to track stuff.

What I've been reading so far in 2020

Reading Updates

If you missed it I started 2020 off with a recap of my reading habits of 2019 and I’ve been continuing my newfound energy for reading over the last few months. I’ve set myself a few goals for 2020; finish book series I’m currently reading, read more new authors, and read books on my bookshelf.

My local library doesn’t tend to get many new authors unless they’re YA and that’s because school libraries are part of the system. I can request books and have done so in the past; one request was filled eventually. By the time it was filled I’d been gifted the book as a present for my birthday/Christmas. so it ended up being a waste of time. There’s one book in the library catalogue that I’ve wanted to borrow for years and it’s been listed as ‘missing’ for years. The sad fact is that there is absolutely no member of staff in my local library who has any interest in populating the fantasy/sci-fi section of the catalogue. I do have access to the Glasgow city library too, and thankfully they have an e-books selection which is decent. I wish I was able to access their physical library (because their selection of fantasy/sci-fi is brilliant) but sadly it’s too far for me to travel and I’m outside their local area.

There is at least an alternative, and I’m really grateful for it; Netgalley. I was hesitant to try it because I didn’t think I’d be good enough (stupid, right?) and just get turned down for reviews. While I’ve had some turn me down I’ve also gotten some approved and it means I’m actually getting my hands on new, debut authors and also some of the new releases of my favourite authors. I got the brand new Mercy Thompson book, Smoke Bitten, by Patricia Briggs and all I had to do was write a review! Which honestly, I am really happy to do about books I enjoy.

Naturally, the first one I got I didn’t actually enjoy, and while I felt bad giving it a negative review I felt that it was also a good example of me giving a bad review. Better for publishers to see that I’m capable of saying why I didn’t like a book and be constructive about it from the start. I’m not going to post every review on my blog because that is really time-consuming but I’ll definitely be posting more so I hope you enjoy them 🙂

To meet my reading goals I’m currently alternating between four sources for reading material: the library, Netgalley, my bookshelf and Scribd. I also have a bunch of e-books I’ve collected over the years that I need to start looking at and I have a plan for managing that mountain which I’ll fill you all in another time.

TV and Movies I've Watched so far in 2020

TV & Movies

After watching the latest Star Wars movie in December I went on a Star Wars binge and finally caught up with some of Rebels and then went back to The Clone Wars. Initially, I couldn’t face Clone Wars; I knew that I’d fall in love with the clones and I knew that it ended in bloodshed. However, watching Rebels first and learning about Rex and his team helped me move past that. I still have some more to go through for both shows but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve watched so far.

Otherwise, my TV has mainly been my usual shows with a big chunk missing; DC TV shows. Here in the UK we have no Batwoman! For those who watch the DC TV shows you know where this is going; Infinite Crisis. The even is currently absolutely buggered for us in the UK. For over a year we had no idea which company had bought the license for Batwoman and even when we did find out it was not through an official announcement; someone at a press event saw it in the company’s brochure and shared it on social media. Channel 4 has basically ruined the event for people in the UK through their own greed. They’re also going to see a massive drop in viewing numbers because of their own stupidity as a lot of people are going to use other means to catch up with Batwoman (if they haven’t already) before the Infinite Crisis event airs at the end of March. Sky, the company who airs the other shows, has held off showing the event in an attempt to give Channel 4 a chance to get their act together but after 3 months and no air date insight (the one rumoured now has a movie listed in that slot), they can’t hold it indefinitely.

We’ve been watching movies a bit more thanks to getting NowTV and having access to the Sky Cinema package for a really affordable price. We got a voucher for a month free when we got our box and then we were given a great offer for our packages for six months! So we’re only paying about £6 a month for both entertainment and cinema packages altogether. I honestly don’t know why people are still paying Sky’s ridiculous fees when you can get a NowTV box and pay a much lower price with the option to cancel when you need to.

So far this year we’ve watched; Venom, Hellboy, Bumblebee, Aladdin, Lego Movie 2, and Shazam. I was pleasantly surprised by Venom and Shazam; Venom was so much more dimensional and hilarious than I expected it to be and Shazam was better than I expected. I’m not a big Shazam fan and never will be, he’s one of my least favourite DC Heroes but the film was enjoyable enough. Hellboy; what can you say really? It was a poor imitation of the original movies and a terrible attempt to translate a comic book into life action. I feel sorry for some of the actors, Daniel Dae Kim, especially who has some serious acting chops and was given such a terribly written character. I really enjoyed David Harbour as Hellboy and Sasha Lane as Alice, and there’s potential with them and that’s about where it ended for me.

Bumblebee and Aladdin were everything I wanted and more. I’ve always loved Bumblebee since the first Transformers movie and I cried my heart out during this movie. I didn’t think it was possible to love that little guy any more; I was wrong. And Aladdin… like many I was concerned and I’m so glad that they did it right. It was different and that was good; it had to be different. But there was also enough things that were similar that made me smile and remember the exact same moment in the animation. I adored the new song with Jasmine and it was exactly what was needed to bring the movie into the 21st Century.

Over To You

How has 2020 been for you? I hope it’s been kind on you especially with everything going on in the world right now. What are you playing, reading, watching right now? Let me know in the comments!

Time to see how I've been geeking by in January & February with this life update that includes health, bullet journal,  fandom & gaming updates, plus an exclusive blog sneak peek!

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