Future of 20 years ago

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I grew up watching Start Treck A LOT

I was always in aw of all the great futuristic devices that looked so impossible to realize EVER

  • Little hand-held screens that contained whole books that you could read on them.
  • The communicator
  • Injections that don’t hurt
  • A computer that you can speak to and it will do what you said / answer

What do we have nowadays?

  • Phones that work without a cord
  • TV that you don’t need cable for
  • Tablet TV with Internet connection
  • Cellphones that carry 16 GB of data (yes guys, that’s actually a lot)
  • Cars that run on vegetable oil or electricity

I am now 30 years old. I just got my first smart phone about 6 weeks ago. I am still amazed at all the things it can do that I did not even think about.

I have a fucking kitchen timer on my phone. I have an app that tells me when the bus comes, I have a flash light. My phone can make photos and videos better than the first digital camera I had. There are games, diet apps, books, everything you can imagine. My phone is connected to the internet no matter where I am (unless in a lift or so).

It’s interesting how far science got within only 20 years. Looking forward to the next 20 years.

Interview @ Riot

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A while ago I mentioned that I applied for a job at Riot Games so I thought I’d give you guys an update.

For starters I already had two interviews on Skype.
Both interviews were very nice. I didn’t receive a lot of standard interview questions.

During the first interview we realized that a position in player support might be better for me than the one I initially applied for.
A second interview with one of the managers in player support was set up.
This interview was very interesting and I felt like we were just … well geeking around about the game. There were a few questions about my past experience, my current job, and how I would like work. Toward the end, he said that I seem to have a “rioty” workstyle already. He said he would pass on some feedback and until I hear back, I could ask him anything at any time if I liked.

A week went by and I didn’t hear back. I thought that it might be because Gamescom was coming up. I went to Gamescom myself and enjoyed it :)
A week after the gamescom (makes 2 weeks after the second interview) I hadn’t heard back. And since I am the type of person that likes a straight answer no matter if it’s a positive or negative, I wrote a quick email back. I simply asked if any feedback was received and if there were any news.

Two days later I received an email with an invitation to an onsite interview.
That’s how it is right now. I am trying to prepare but the more I read, the less I think that I can actually prepare. It seems like the on-site interviews with Riot Games are very pleasant but something I find in all the reviews I read > There is no pattern.

My friend referred me through her boyfriend who works there. The boyfriend told me to just enjoy that day because for him it was the nicest interview he ever had.

I guess that is what I should do for now. The interview is in a couple of weeks and I received some instructions and a lose schedule. I have to send back a form so they can do some background work as well.

So I am supposed to be there at about lunch time. And after signing a non-disclosure I will be taken out for lunch as first point of business. I was even asked for me preferences when it comes to food.
After that I am supposed to have 4 interviews.
The plan is that we are done at about 6m. Will see I guess.

I am super excited already and feel very honoured. Considering the amount of applications they get every day and I get an onsite interview… Too cool.

So far no surprises either. I read and heard before that the interview process at Riot Games takes very long and that it often takes a while to get a response to your emails. This is exactly what I am experiencing and the only reason why that doesn’t worry me is the fact that I knew about that beforehand.

Will keep you guys posted!

Just smile!

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Recently I saw a video of a guy I am subscribed to on youtube. He usually makes something gaming related but he also vlogs from time to time. Over all great guy and very funny. I was very surprised when he made a very serious vlog about depression. I was surprised because it is very difficult to make other people understand how it feels and that it is nothing against them.

I don’t want to rephrase what he said, I would rather add some stuff.

When people try to help, they really mean well. The problem is the approach. A lot of times they will say things like:

  • Just smile!
  • Just do something fun!
  • Just go out with me!
  • Just do something you like!

Yes, for you it might sound like a “just this”. In reality you can’t feel happiness. When you are depressed, the feeling of happiness is nowhere to be found. You stare at your favourite book, at the instrument that you usually enjoy playing, at the whatever your hobby is, and you feel nothing but sadness. You can’t do something fun because nothing is fun. You can’t go out because you feel too weak. You can’t do something you like because you like nothing.

Someone who is clinically depressed (meaning that a doctor diagnosed you) can’t just simply snap out of it. It feels like there is no colour in the world. Everything is just grey and black. Everybody else seems to be happy. No matter what effort you make, you can’t be happy like them. This depresses you more. You question yourself and every bad choice you ever made. You, unconsciously, block out everything that you have ever done right and if you don’t block it out you know that it was not your own effort (even if that’s not true). Things that usually make you smile are now not interesting. Food doesn’t taste good and you don’t have an appetite anyways. You forget to eat or you use the feeling of hunger to prove to yourself that you are still alive and that you can still feel *something*. You try to force your body to feel things because your have no emotions. You don’t care about hygiene and order anymore. You stink and your place looks like a trash depot. Nothing is interesting and all your problems seem impossible to solve. You are forgetful and tired and people get annoyed at you for it. In return you hate yourself even more.

It is not a choice to feel depressed and it is not simply being sad.

Simply said, if you are depressed, there is nothing that can lift your spirits.

I was depressed for the majority of my life (20 years) and just recently (about two years ago) found ways to detect when I am slipping and to do something against it. Why not earlier? Therapy doesn’t work on me so I needed to work everything out on my own. I had to find my own techniques and I had to study myself a lot.
The first step of this was realizing that depressed is not a state that I want to keep. I didn’t know that I was depressed. I knew I didn’t like how I felt and that not everybody felt that way but I did not know that this can be changed.

If you care deeply about someone who is sincerely depressed:
Try not to force anything on them. Just be available and make clear that you are available. Be there physically. Bring a cake or a book. Offer to listen, to talk, or just to be company. Don’t say “I know what you feel” because it is likely you don’t. Don’t feel sorry for them, just be there. Being there is usually the only thing that you can do. If it is not possible to be there in person, send them a text, call them. Anything, just make yourself available.

If you are depressed:
I know how difficult it is to open up even to your best friend. Just let them be with you, it’s for your own good. Make sure you have someone to talk. And if you don’t feel like talking about the cause of your depression, talk about something else. Or just sit there in silence and know that someone is there for you. Don’t be alone in this difficult time, you need someone by your side, even if you are telling yourself that you are strong and you can do it alone. It’s not about being strong or weak. You feel this way and it can go away but you need to be the one working on it to go away.

If you need to talk and you have no one to talk to, you can do one of the following:

  1. Call a help line, for example:
    * AwarenessHelpline in Ireland 1890 303 302
    * Breathing Space in Scotland 0800 83 85 87
    * Childline in the UK 0800 1111
    * Get connected in the UK (young people / free) 0808 808 4994
  2. Get in touch with me:
    If you don’t like to call somewhere, you may send me a message and I will offer you an open and non-judgmental ear.
    * Comment here and mention your mail address (I will not publish that comment but simply write back to the mail address you provided)
    * Send me a message to clos3rlook <at> gmail <dot> com
    If you don’t know what to write, in case you decide to send a message my way, don’t sweat it. A simple “hi” is a great conversation starter ;) I won’t force you to say anything.

Here is the video I was talking about in the beginning:

 

Gamescom madness – Day 2

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I have a very light sleep so naturally, with all the new noises in the hostel and people constantly arriving or going out, I woke up like 5 times. The room is very small so it is also very hot in there. That got me super thirsty and my asthma kicked in. Problem, I was so tired, that I just could not move. I wanted to reach the water but I am in the upper bed and I was so stiff from being tired and sleepy that I was simply unable to get there. Same reason why I couldn’t open the window.

Well the good thing is that I woke up 5 minutes before the alarm :D

Breakfast in the hostel was unusual rich. I know that usually in a hostel (at least in ireland) they offer tea, coffe, and sometimes juice. And for food they offer toast with  jam, butter, or nutella. But here there was Musli, different types of bread, salami, saussage, cheese, honey, cocoa,….. like seriously if they would put fruit as well, that could be a low budget hotel breakfast :D

The train in the morning was as stuffed as it should be at that time on a workday. So I didn’t notice, but I can’t compare with a “normal” day so whatever lol. The ride was like 20 minutes.
We could see the entrance area of the gamescom from the train and if that wasn’t enough even a blind man would have found his way there because there was a huge amount of people going just there.

Getting in took forever because of the mass of people. I think it was at least half an hour but likely more. I just felt very entertained by all the cool people I saw. Cosplaying, looking around who else had a Teemo hat. Stuff like that. Just soaking in the whole athmosphere. Having this amount of people around and everybody is nice and calm, pretty cool.

Anyway, here are a few images of the gamescom. I love cosplay and league of legends, so no surprise where the focus is here haha.

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Cosplay:
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IMGA0005IMGA0964IMGA0994IMGA0982IMGA0985IMGA0987IMGA0976IMGA0016

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Misc.
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IMGA0997IMGA0962IMGA0017IMGA0009IMGA0001IMGA0039

Gamescom madness – Day 1

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I decided to make this a little bit of a diary or so. I am in Germany for 4 days. Well the first one is almost over. I will basically write this post and then go to bed because I gotta get up early tomorrow.

So we (the husband and I) just kipped sleep for a night because our flight was going at 7am. Getting up at 4 am after like one hour of sleep (I am a night owl, sorry) is just plain idiotic because I will be more tired after one hour of sleep than if I don’t sleep at all.

So check in and flight etc went all fine. I did not forget my Teemo Hat so I am all set. Everything is great haha.

I had some trouble with the ticket machine for the train. It took me forever to find the ticket that I knew existed because I had checked with the hotline to make sure. Once I found it, turned out it was more expensive than I initially thought. Not much though.
Well we found the hostel alright. Staying at the Backpackers is Dusseldorf (as they spell Düsseldorf everywhere else. It’s fun because this way it means “moron village” but hey, who am I to judge lol)

We went for an early lunch, got some food for dinner, and then waited a little in front of the hostel.
IMGA0939 This picture is in the backyard of the backpackers. Looks cool, eh :D

After resting a little bit we went to Cologne.
Once we got there, it started raining like crazy. I have a problem. My hair was just died and the colour still comes out when it gets wet so I got a bit very scared of having my clothes all in red.
My man was so sweet to swap jackets with me because his jacket is semi water proof and my hair made it somewhat damp but at least not soaking wet until I got myself an umbrella.

We went to see Hohenzollernbrücke (Hohenzollern Bridge) because of all the locks that couples keep putting there.
IMGA0946

After that we went to see the dome. I didn’t make an outside picture of it yet because I would like the picture in dry weather. But what I found inside:
IMGA0949 IMGA0954 IMGA0959
Pretty amazing stuff if you ask me.

On the way back I noticed how close the stop Messe Deutz is. It’s one train stop from the Central station. If I were to miss my stop I could just walk that distance within like 15 minutes or so.

I even saw people walking around with stuff from gamescom already. Goodie bags with Sims stuff, key chains, those wristband things (with the colour code for your age and all). Even saw some people on the way to the gamescom camp site. That rain though.

I just checked out what Riot Games has to offer over the days. I found that there will be a QA with SivHD which is pretty neat if you ask me. I just don’t know if that will be on one of the days where I attend.
The second, and way more amazing thing is the fact that fnatik is playing on Friday and I have a ticket for
gamescom on Friday. Guess who will be there. *nerdgasm*

Nothing more to add right now.
Get more tomorrow.

Gamescom, I’m coming!

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gamescomprep

On Wednesday I am flying to Germany to go to gamescom so right now I am just cleaning my place, emptying SD cards, charging batteries, packing, buying stuff, and so on.

I am happy to have a nice ending to my 2 week holiday. Today I noticed that my dark rings under my eyes are less dark and I feel generally more relaxed. Gamescom will be great, especially because I am going there with a completely free and chilled mind.

I travel light so everything that my husband and I are traveling with actually fits on a small armchair and we just bring that one travel-size backpack. Traveling light is good because we don’t have to carry a lot of stuff and moving around is much easier.

I will be meeting up with some people on Wednesday and Saturday and I will be attending gamescom on Thursday and Friday. So much time to stroll around, see all the new games that are coming out, maybe try some games.

Things that are on my list to check out at the gamescom:

  • Riot Games / League of Legends
  • Cosplay area
  • Minecraft
  • Nintendo

I am not sure what my husband wants to check out or try. We will probably stand in line a lot if we want to try a few new games. I know there is a great outdoor area where you can sit down and relax a bit.

Also the two free days will be great. Meeting people and doing some sightseeing.

We learnt from our last weekend-holiday and prepared more spending money this time. We prepared 100 Euro spending money per day and I hope that we will be fine this time. Last time we made it home with the last few euro in my pocket being spent on the bus from the airport to our house.

GAMESCOM, I’M COMING!

Leaving religion

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I’ve been an atheist for about 5 years now.

My religion was not one of the “main stream” religions. In fact I know of nobody who ever left this religion. Why? Because it is just too tempting to stay in. My religion worked with a lot of positive reinforcement and the things you were afraid of were everything BUT leaving the religion. This stuff was not taught like a usual religion, it did not behave like one. It had all the components of a religion though.

I used to be a witch.

It is not the same as being a christian, moslem, hindu, or anything like that. It is very different. Since there are almost no people who ever leave witchcraft I was on my own.
When I started asking the critical questions and researching everything, I found no atheists who had been through the same. I only knew ex-christians and while some parts of our stories were somehow a bit alike, most of it was very different.

I already had my own student who was eager and I taught him all those witchy things. My student was 13 when I accepted him. And he was the beginning for me to lose my faith. He asked me very honest questions about everything and this is something that I encouraged. I had to, somehow, explain everything to my student.
His questions went deeper than I had ever had anybody ask me about witchcraft.
My generic answers weren’t enough for him and so, as his mentor/teacher, I had to research deeper as well.
Over time, more and more, I got the feeling things in witchcraft only worked because of psychology.

The more I tried to prove things, the further away did I drift.

Now just like Christianity has this fear of hell that keeps people from leaving and it also keeps people fearing hell after leaving the religion, witchcraft has something like this as well.
While there is no fear of hell because witchcraft has no hell, there are other things that you fear. Bad spirits, ghosts, negative energies, bad thoughts, magic mind attacks, negative rituals that target you, reincarnation (which can also be scary in some scenarios, and mine was), and many more.
Leaving witchcraft meant that everything that makes your life save and secure from all these things would be gone. And somehow your brain doesn’t make that leap to understand that if you leave witchcraft, that also those bad things are gone.

Anyway, moving on:

I moved in with my boyfriend who was in a similar place – spiritually – as I was. He was in the process of losing the last bits of Christianity. He had found a few really good podcasts on YouTube. The Atheist Experience and The Thinking Atheist were the first two atheist programs that I ever listened too. While they made a lot of sense to me and I learnt a lot about Christianity, there was never anything about witches and that was a problem. Why? Because they were great at debunking everything a Christian said but all the questions that were still in my head stayed there.

I asked myself everything and I did not want to debunk my own brainwashed self. But I just found too much real information and science behind things. It was so frustrating and scary to leave all of it behind.
And even more frustrating that there was no ex-witch ever to talk to. I now had a lot of atheists to talk to, but they usually came from some godly religions and I didn’t feel like anybody understood me. I had to draw parallels to Christianity to make points. But the problem is that witchcraft is completely different.

The last two things I lost, from my belief system, were fate and reincarnation.

It took me very long because these were the very core of my life. I had so many defense mechanisms to keep them, that it just took longer. I am not even going to debunk those right now because that would take too long.

Sometimes I still feel like I should go back. Sometimes I still feel like some of the believes I used to have might be true.
In these cases I have to pretty much explain to myself why exactly I had to drop those believes. I am so tired of it.
The idea of reincarnation is still so deep in me. I understand all the science and the reason that I heard and that was told to me. I even agree. But something in me still says “but what if….”

When will this stop?