2012-12-28 - final post of the year

as this was probably my least productive year in maintaining this wonderful and informative online presence you are currently laying your eyes on i decided to put at least a final post up for this year (raising the total number posts within the last six months to a whooping four!).

i took a long time off work this year, starting on december 20th. however, the early start was partly due to a sad occasion as my parents neighbour and a friend of family had died shortly before and i was to attend my second funeral this year. he always was a really nice and helpful man and he will be missed greatly.

from then on out things got a lot better although my christmas break is very unorganised this year. there is no epic game (such as max payne, the gothic series or last years skyrim), there is no dvd-marathon although i originally planned a lost re-watch. i am just doing this and that, whatever comes up next and try to really spend some time with my mom.

so, gaming highlights so far have been "atom zombie smasher", a realtime strategy/tower defense mix-up that is really great fun. it is already two years old and i got it as part of the third humble bundle. i just never got around to play it. but when i realised it was made by blendo games, makers of the infamous "gravity bone" (it's free!!) and "thirty flights of loving", i knew it had to be special.

the second game was an even bigger surprise: "mark of the ninja", which i got through a steam sale just three days ago. it's a 2d stealth game and it's so much fun that i have been doing little else in those three days. it always gives you a number of options to get to your goal, has suprisingly intuitive controls for the many things you can do and it is the first game ever to give me such an authentic ninja-feeling. it is fun even if you fail because even then it looks so damn slick and cool and usually had a checkpoint just a few seconds ago.

(i also had a brief episode of playing "alan wake". here's a good summary why it is a very frustrating game and even though it looks amazing i don't think i will finish it.)

but of course there where also quite a number of non-computer-related things worth mentioning:

besides spending christmas with my parents and getting some small thingies (we don't give any big presents — it makes everything so much more relaxed) i spent some time with theresa and andreas. i played "scotland yard" for the first time in more than ten years and it was a lot of fun.

and because i am not home where we go swimming with matti every week, i simply went to the local place for a very relaxing swim in a nearly empty pool. everything is shiny and new here and i was really pleasantly surprised what became of the old pool where i learned swimming 25 years ago (ohmygodiamsodamnold!!).

and as a final music tip for 2012: i got the newly released "escapement" by pianist/violinist poppy ackroyd. it's a stunningly beautiful work of what is probably best described as "neo-classical" music (think nils frahm or max richter) and the only fault i can find is that i constantly wish there would just be more of it.

i guess i'll finish this post with wishing everyone a happy new year 2013. it's a bit early but you never know when the next post comes and it would be kind of awkward to do in april...

2012-12-17 - come as you are

last week i was at a reading for the upcoming book by marc-uwe kling. i am a huge fan of his kangaroo chronicles and the reading was as funny as expected. support (yes, there was support on a reading!) was by native leipzig poetry slam comedian julius fischer and both of them did some readings, some songs and just were immensely funny.

and on friday i was finally able to see bodo wartke live for the first time (after a number of misguided attempts to do so). we went to see his theatre performace on king oedipus. despite the classical tragic story it was immensely funny, not least because bodo was playing all parts himself which lead to some hilarious situations in scenes with multiple personas on stage.

also christmas is getting close and i got a personalised christmas calender from theresa. she had some very beautiful ideas there and i am very happy she did this for me. as a side effect i refreshed my knowledge on greek mythology in the process.

there was quite some snow here over the past two weeks so my bike had some time off to rest in the cellar. Now almost everything is gone again and it is pretty warm outside. During that time my parents have been visiting and we went to see the christmas market here in leipzig. the whole thing is incredibly big and we just saw a small part but it was a very nice day anyway.

and finally, the new "game" by tale-of-tales, "bientôt l'été", is out. i was a huge fan of their last game, "the path" and they generally have a very unconventional approach to the whole concept of what a "game" actually is and how/if it should guide the player in any way.

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