NERD SPOT, PAULIE SAYS

Review de Toreba pt.2, ¡Debut de YouTube!

Es hora de un pequeño update. Les traigo la segunda parte del review a manera de “haul”/unboxing. Algunos saben que grabé este video hace un tiempito, desde antes del video de los arcades…pero life happens y pasaron cosas que no me dejaron publicarlo hasta ahora, incluyendo mis episodios de ansiedad (de la que les comentaré en otro post).

Hoy es el día en que me arriesgo y finalmente les dejo por aquí mi primer video en donde no tengo donde esconderme. Creo que siempre he tenido el complejo de patito feo y por otro lado mi asiática interior que piensa que la cámara me va a robar el alma. Durante la mayor parte de mi vida fuí víctima del rechazo y hasta un poco de bullying por parte de otros que siempre han juzgado mi apariencia, pero esta es una de esas cosas de “ahora o nunca” y lo más lindo y divertido fué el apoyo infinito de Ed.

Honestamente dudé mucho en hacerlo, si no es por su apoyo, ni loca. Intenté tener algo de ~proyección y luego de muchos contratiempos lo editamos con mucho amor. Ya estamos planeando el próximo video porque tengo por lo menos unas 3 cajas más de chécheres y sus respectivos clips para mostrarles.

Ojalá lo disfruten tanto como yo disfruté reirme de mi misma y descubrir de que cuando estoy nerviosa, parpadeo demasiado. Solo les voy a pedir que me traten suave, que apoyen mi pequeño proyecto personal de #CosasNerdas y me dejen sus comentarios (¡likes son bienvenidos!).

Sigan mi canal de Youtube para próximos videos y suscríbanse a mi blog para más contenido.

EDGAR SAYS, POPCORN TIME

Dunkerque: La iglesia en las dunas 

Se conoce como “veterano” a una persona con una extensa historia de conocimiento en algo. A alguien ampliamente experimentado y con una maestría suficiente para dar cátedra compleja en su especialidad. Pero el término, sobre todo en inglés (el idioma central en la película Dunkirk), es usado primariamente para describir a quien haya servido en combate militar. La guerra, ejemplificada como el epítome del infierno en la tierra, es un suplicio humano de tal magnitud que sobrevivir tan siquiera una guerra convierta a cualquiera en un veterano.

La película Dunkirk empieza con una toma en una ciudad fantasma, recientemente evacuada y con los escombros del conflicto flotando en el aire, describiendo un mundo forzosamente sumergido en una guerra que no sabe cómo terminar pero sigue intentándolo. El sonido nunca abandona al espectador, ya que la banda sonora estilizada como en la era clásica de Hans Zimmer nos deja un sentimiento de tensión descrito como Escala de Shepard, recordándonos que en la guerra cualquiera puede morir, y el fuego enemigo llega en cualquier momento.

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NERD SPOT, PAULIE SAYS

ARCADES PT.1

Porque la vida es como es y el universo conspira, ya hace un tiempo Ed y yo trabajamos juntos. Y esto tiene sus ventajas, como no tener que rompernos la cabeza ni esperar a que se alineen los planetas para planear las salidas.

Somos unos nerdos y por lo general vamos directo a casa a jugar Nintendo o ver alguna serie. Pero conseguí una oferta de tokens en línea  de un arcade nuevo en un mall de la localidad llamado Johnny & Reds, así que decidimos ir a desestresarnos post faena. Quería grabar EL video, pero me quedé sin espacio en mi cámara, así que dejo por aquí unas fotos y un video cortito.

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FOOD ADVENTURES, PAULIE SAYS

Un post vegano

De niña me daban “fuchi” los vegetales. Siempre me he considerado una persona melindrosa, no empiezo a comer hasta no sacarle cada trozo de cebolla a mi comida y no imagino mi vida sin nuggets de pollo.

Hace un par de años en un parque de la localidad durante una proyección cinematográfica conocí a Roy, amigo de la adolescencia de Ed. Es un sol, un excelente amigo y es vegano. No siento que sea cierto eso de “eres lo que comes”, es un pensamiento arcaico de mal gusto que nació con el fin de crear un sentimiento de vergüenza, pero si creo que conociendo la comida vegana, puedo llegar a conocer mejor a mi amigo y lo importante que es para él seguir ese estilo de vida.

Mi experiencia con platos veganos es muy, muy limitada. Antes solía visitar un restaurante vegetariano y era mega fan del gluten agridulce, hasta que mi cuerpo dijo “uno más y te mato”. ¿Intolerancia? No lo sé con seguridad pero tengo mis sospechas. Roy poco a poco ha derribado mis barreras culinarias de niña picky y le he dado la oportunidad al veganismo.
Con mucha emoción nos invitó a almorzar a su casa en compañía de sus gatos y puso en práctica sus dotes culinarios. Y me sorprendió tremendamente con su menú:

  • Moussaka
  • Tortas de garbanzo
  • Chutney de tamarindo
  • Limonada con jengibre, mastranto y raspadura
  • “Parmesano”


¿Mi elemento favorito? Las tortas de garbanzo. Las comería siempre, frijolera soy. La Moussaka de berenjenas estuvo deliciosa, me recordó mucho a las berenjenas gratinadas italianas y el chutney tenía un sabor muy hindú. Definitivamente un plato con sabores complejos y bien logrados.


Si son carnívoros y melindrosos como yo, denle una oportunidad a la comida vegana y vegetariana. Pueden llevarse una sorpresa contra todo prejuicio.

Si desean la receta de este menú para preparalo en casa, se las dejo luego del link. (créditos: Roy A.)

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FOOD ADVENTURES

Unagi

Tuve la oportunidad de ir a un Foodie Meetup cortesía de Degusta Panamá y para mi suerte era comida fusión japonesa.

Unagi lleva 4 meses en operación, y para el poco tiempo que llevan, me han causado una buenísima primera impresión con su menú de degustación preparado para los comensales. En Panamá hay lugares de sushi en abundancia, por lo cual un menú impecable y las buenas referencias son clave.

Nos recibieron con un Mojito(sin alcohol) a base de moras, yerbabuena, albahaca y limón. En lo personal no soy fan de los mojitos ni bebidas con sabores verdes, pero estuvo delicioso.

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NERD SPOT, PAULIE SAYS

Toreba: Review!

Ser una chica gamer no tiene por qué limitarse a videojuegos y juegos de mesa o cartas, como en mi caso que juego hasta jacks. Hace poco descubrí la plataforma Toreba, un app para Android y iOS (cuenta con versión desktop) que te permite jugar las conocidas Claw Machines, Claw Cranes, Grúas o máquinas atrapa premios en tiempo real ¡EN JAPÓN! Ah, tecnología, tanto bien y tanto mal nos haces.

Mal porque no es un pasatiempos barato y quizás no lo debería considerar un pasatiempos porque es como apostar en un casino… pero más kawaii y de manera anónima sin el peligro que te busque la mafia.

En Toreba, el dinero se traduce en TP Points. 5,000 TP points equivalen a $5, 10,000 TP son $10 y así nos vamos. Cada jugada te puede costar de 1,200 TP a 1,800 TP. Más vale tener algo de experiencia con estos juegos, ya que muy rara vez conseguirás los premios en una jugada. Al abrir tu cuenta y verificarla, se te acreditan 5 jugadas gratis, que puedes dividirlas en 2 de prueba y 3 intentos, o intentar de atrapar algo en 5 turnos. En ocasiones cuentan con campañas de Login, en las que te acreditan TPs solo por entrar en tu cuenta diariamente. También debo mencionar que hay veces en los que tienes que esperar tu turno y cruzar los dedos que alguien se aburra o se le acabe el crédito antes que a ti.

Yo tengo algo de experiencia con los claw machines: me ENCANTAN (por cierto, todos los vídeos en este post son míos).  Así de que sale mi ludópata interna, me brillan los ojos y me pican las manos. En Panamá casi no se ven, y al viajar mis compañeros de viaje no quieren perder tiempo esperándome a que le gane a la maquinita. O la clásica de que no tengo cambio para jugar.

Otro tema es que a muchas maquinitas locales las surten de premios bastante genéricos (tengo el ojo puesto en una que tiene uno interesante). No hace mucho fui a un arcade con Ed, y la ÚNICA maquina tenía el claw roto y emparchado con tape eléctrico. Obviamente no iba a agarrar ni polvo.

La mayoría de las personas piensan que el juego está rigged, que es imposible ganar. Cada vez que gano algo, hay una conmoción porque la gente se sorprender de que la máquina no solo traga dinero. El primer peluche que gané fué un Snoopy de una maquina en Taiwan en 2003, y desde entonces se que SÍ SE PUEDE. Hay trucos y técnicas, al igual que con otros arcades en los que aparento ser bastante buena.

Creo que mi especialidad es ganar gatos, y necesité fuerza de voluntad para no jugar por el gato negro.

Volviendo al tema de Toreba, diariamente y más de una vez al día incluyen nuevos premios. Siento que las cajas, por más pequeñas y livianas que sean, son mil veces más difíciles de ganar que los premios más grandes como muñecos de peluche. Ojo, la “garra” es distinta dependiendo del fabricante. En lo personal prefiero la tradicional de 4 brazos, pero en Japón tienen las de 1 o 2 brazos, el gancho, el perforador, el Takoyaki, etc… Específicamente, en Toreba me va mejor con la de 2 brazos, pero es definitivamente más difícil que jugarlo en persona aunque tengas acceso a dos perspectivas.

Una vez que ganas tu premio, te aparecerá un mensaje y debes reclamarlo antes de un periódo de expiración de 14 días. Los envíos son gratis cada 7 dias, así que lo recomendable es reclamar tu premio y hacer un solo cargamento antes que expiren. Ojo, el envío gratis tiene sus restricciones. Lean bien, no sean perezosos, ya que no me hago responsable si quedan en bancarrota.

Sé que además de Toreba, existe el Akiba Catcher . No tengo experiencia con este último. La interfaz me parece algo clunky. Sin embargo, es una alternativa que creo también ofrece envíos gratis.

En fin, si este es un tema de interés, déjenme sus comentarios de qué tipo de juegos les gustan, si quieren que pruebe el Akiba Catcher, o si quisieran ver más de Toreba, quizás un live stream una vez descifre cómo hacerlo, y me sacrifico. Mientras tanto, pueden ver más vídeos de mis jugadas ganadoras en mi canal de Youtube. Intentaré ganar un par de cosas más para felizmente esperar mis premios en la comodidad de mi hogar, al otro lado del mundo.

FOOD ADVENTURES

Caliope

Yesterday I flew in from my Disney trip, and to my surprise I was being emailed about being chosen for a fancy course tasting dinner courtesy of a local phone company I am NOT affiliated to yet still managed to win over a story on how I lost a tooth to a Jolly Rancher at a restaurant when I was a kid. Thanks though! and it was TODAY. Ed is also currently traveling so I took my mom as my date.

According to Wikipedia, Calliope is the muse who presides over eloquence and epic poetry; so called from the ecstatic harmony of her voice. She is spoken of by Ovid as the “Chief of all Muses.”

img_4987-1Caliope, a Farm-to-Table fine dining restaurant is located at Casco Antiguo (the old quarter) right next to this popular venue called Teatro Amador. They offer valet parking for $5, which I find a bit steep considering my car was parked right at the curb and not a private parking lot like previously told as I handed in my keys. Could’ve done it myself, you know?

On to the restaurant… It was fancy and breathtakingly beautiful.

Before heading there I did a bit of research and found it was rated as Panama’s #1 restaurant on Trip Advisor. And it generally had excellent reviews on other platforms. Their cuisine style is said to be Mediterranean Fusion and they offer appetizers, entrees and a wide selection of deserts, and individual prices on their menu range from $3 to $35. I was greeted by a very attentive staff and seated in a table for two next, and offered drinks. I had a Cosmopolitan (spur of the moment) and my mom had an Amapola. Then, the deliciousness took place when our first course showed up.

Portobello, Cremini and Champignon cream with rosemary, salt and ginger infused cream. Great texture and I was told it would open my appetite. Gurl, you clearly don’t know me!

Pickled eggplant, fine herbs butter and artisanal bread

img_4984Crudo del Mar: Jack fish slivers (corvina) with citronette, caramelized onion jam, melon sherbet and bread tiles. I almost shed a tear on how beautiful it looked and how amazing it tasted.

img_4983Wonton ravioli stuffed with duck ragu, fontina cheese foam, bechamel and bacon crumble

Beurre blanc trout with diced bread croutons on a bed of sauté potatoes

Mango sherbet for palate cleansing

Cinnamon infused Catalan cream with caramelized raspadura (unrefined brown sugar)

img_4993

Mago Montii being a good sport and letting me take a picture for my ~humble~ blog post

To end our dining experience, because all good things must come to an end…we had a magician wait for us on the ground floor right before we exit the building.

I was too amused to snap any photos during his tricks, but I was impressed! He did a few simple tricks with red foam balls that I am still trying to find some logic to. I should’ve asked if he could make a Pug appear from thin air but I guess a different kind of sorcery would be required.

Life has been full of magical moments lately and tonight was nothing less than that, literally. Tonight’s dinner was sublime, every course was absolutely delightful and it was a refreshing Friday night for sure.

If you’ve got a restaurant you’d like me to review, I’ll do it in exchange for some tasty food. Opinions on this blog are of my own and I was not paid to advertise anyone, their services and/or products.

 

ART, DESIGN + NICE THINGS, PAULIE SAYS

Dreaming big

I left my job months ago because I was basically being set up for failure by a psychopath boss and it’s one of the reasons I decided to halt the blog. I had simply taken time for myself and felt no inspiration for content, or didn’t want to post something that would come and haunt me later on. It’s been a rollercoaster and haven’t precisely been supported by many on my new endeavours. Not many people have contacted me and offered a helping hand… or just a casual hello, which is sad and made me feel betrayed in some way – but it’s also been eye-opening on how HORRIBLE and CORRUPT job politics are, how friends/work aquaintances can dispose you once you got nothing to offer them and how being friends with an insider is apparently the only way to score a job because experience and a pretty robust resume are overlooked. (I’m still available for hire, what you see is what you get so hit me up!)

Now, on to the unicorns, sparkles, magic and brighter things!

Amongst those who did and continue believing in me are the Make a Wish Foundation. Months ago I made a blog post about their annual Wish Day and how magical that experience was.

Back in May I was contacted by them to go as an Interpreter for a family on a trip. Never been an interpreter, though I’ve done certified translating work for clients. Anyway, back on the subject – I had to decline the offer, one of my close friends was getting married and I wanted to be there for her. I knew it was the right decision. Everyone I told this to said I was the biggest fool of all.

Well, I kept this under wraps for a few months now, but today another dream is coming true. I was contacted for a second time, and since I have been freelancing I accepted the offer. Today I’m hopping on a plane to Florida, on my way to Walt Disney World as an Interpreter for a really sweet boy named Joseph and his family.

I feel very excited and fortunate to be able to experience something like this. It’s not any trip, I’m becoming part of someone else’s dream – who is also fulfilling my very own dream. Joseph went through some dark times with his family after his diagnosis. He is a fighter and while I’ve only spent brief moments with him, I admire his strenght and how joyful he is. Also, we’re taking the MAAgic Flight, to make things even more exciting.


When I left my job one of the first things I wanted to do was buy a ticket to Disney, but it would’ve been a financially irresponsible thing for me to do. I suppose the power of wishing is real. It’s ironic how a few weeks ago Disney shattered my dreams after an interview gone wrong (yup, read that correctly!) and somehow I’m still going to what I agree holds the title as the happiest place on earth.

EDGAR SAYS, NERD SPOT, POPCORN TIME

In review: X-Men: Apocalypse

The first act of 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse is so palpably dissimilar to the rest of the movie, that it should be considered a different film.

The first 30 minutes of Apocalypse are not a good movie. It’s passable at best, and clearly aimed at millennials almost exclusively. From the clearly tacked-on-by-a-script-doctor narration at the very beginning (about human flaws in superhuman beings), to the relentless barrage of blurry 60 fps frames, the third installment in the First Class trilogy starts with disappointment. Initiating with a confusing sub-plot full of already-developed characters that are consequentially inconsequential to the viewer, the film shoves En Sabah Nur’s transference ceremony to the audience amid a grand Egyptian setting that tells us in medias res that Apocalypse spent most of his story buried underground while “wreaking havoc throughout human history”, only to be awoken by the magnanimous power of daily sunlight.

Meanwhile, Magneto has adjusted to society, leaving his tragic past behind, using no mutant powers and no mutant name, while operating low key as a construction worker in Poland. Because this is an X-Men film, there has to be nostalgia, so naturally, it’s set 10 years apart from its prequel, as that prequel before it did. And because Magneto is Michael Fassbender ,and it’d be a sin not to overuse him as an actor, we need to see Magneto cry indignant tears of rage against an unjust universe. From a combo death that’s pathetic in every way, the Villain of the movie reloads in full form, portrayed by Oscar Isaac, whose only acting fault is that he can’t act what the script and direction don’t give to him.

Overall, though, X-Men: Apocalypse is a good movie, and the line can be sort of crossed around the first genuine line of dialogue between Moira and Charles regarding how the CIA would kill for Cerebro.

Following this quality of film-making, Singer raises his Apocalypse from the ashes until it soars as fan-favorite Jubilee remains yet un-showcased, but most other characters develop as quickly as teenagers. Some essence of First Class and a considerable essence from Days of Future Past permeates through this work, which combines Fassbender’s and McAvoy’s classic style of elegant theater school with a touch of the hip, the fast and the Quicksilver-paced. The movie isn’t tone-deaf as much as clearly stitched together by many different teams, minds, and cooks. This results in a work that’s polarized within itself yet ultimately redeemed by veteran filmmaking.

Also following Days of Future Past’s thematic relic, the fate of the Mutants can be determined by what the news media say about them. Guided by news media, Raven Mystique asks Prof. Xavier for help in rescuing her only other true ally: Erik Magneto (meaning both had left mutant life behind but were forced back into it). Thankfully, this touching character interaction is mirrored adeptly through Cyclops and Jean Grey, two characters who are much younger but who could also destroy the whole world by themselves. Starting from the death of Xavier’s favorite tree by his newest rising star, coursing through a sibling legacy to avenge, and ending as sloppily as Angel appeared, became Archangel and then ???, the film sort of just ends. It’s a tribute to entropy’s rapid decline. But the movie finishes with a strong portrayal of both Charles Xavier and Magneto, probably the most important constant in the trilogy. To be fair, this relationship never faltered in the movie, and its pace was appropriate and suspenseful enough for its source material.

Something to condemn was how relentlessly aggressive its marketing campaign ended up being, slapping YouTube ads with lines barely present in the movie (Apocalypse could control literally none of the Mutants). But its punches were so deservedly epic that Weapon X’s appearance wasn’t even gratuitous. Phoenix’s tease wasn’t even cryptic, and Charles Xavier was made of admirable star dust, challenging the Mutant epitome of Natural Selection itself.

From a first act of mismatched editing, poor writing and bland cinematography, to a second act of superb improvement, the film touts that only the strong will survive. Surely so, the film stands up from its crippled position in order to place the man who “wanted students, not soldiers” in its altar to transfer all power to him. Being defiant by nature, he challenges this notion, urging all citizens of Earth to use their power for helping those who have none.

The third act in filmed in an IMAX-size format, and the tension is managed accordingly well. Only one horseman out of four goes full circle from hero, to villain, to redemption. Another one becomes one of the good guys out of admiration for Mystique, but the other two become brand fodder as they disappear into the sunset. I do think this is just one of many X-Men films to come, but certainly the last with the First Class cast. Film perfection is rare, and it should be preserved in memories, like when Charles asked Erik to find power between anger and serenity. He reminds him that through all the loss and tragedy, there is still good in the world. And if anyone dares take it away, there is only pity for the poor soul who tries.

Ultimately, the X-Men series is all about hope for a better future. Walking out of the movie, it’s easier to yearn for a world that returns to its natural roots, free from weapons and war, from discrimination and inequality, and from Fox vs. Marvel.

NERD SPOT

Elo A Triforce Heroes Review

Hey readers! We’ve been on a brief break but we’re back with more content for your delight and entertainment.  

Given the impending announcement for The Legend of Zelda at E3 in a few days from now, let’s review one of their latest additions to the Zelda franchise. 

As a character in the photo booth mentions in the game, kids today want things fast. Triforce Heroes represents a solid effort to deliver a multi-player experience to a franchise that’s known to embody a knight’s lonesome journey.

Made up of four moderately-sized stages, each level in the game relies heavily on co-operation to get every puzzle solved and every treasure chest opened. Featuring creative design and inventive gameplay, Triforce Heroes utilizes 3D to make the world dynamic and the platforms alive. The textures show an effort to reuse A Link Between Worlds‘s settings to expand the narrative into a different story.

Taking a brave departure from the usual world, Triforce Heroes takes place in Hytopia, a kingdom ruled by King Tuft, whose daughter, Princess Styla, has been deprived of her lush appearance. Condemned to wear only a black leotard, Link must enter the Drablands along with two heroic buddies. At its heart, the story takes the approach that’s probably the best one for a children’s game whose very premise is shallow: a person’s chosen appearance reflects their soul. Losing an outfit is on par with losing part of one’s identity, and the mark of the hero in Hytopia is an aesthetic one: sideburns, parted hair, pointed ears. Thematically, the story divides its elements into threes elegantly, and the characters show a burning desire to understand why things happen. A particularly helpful character wants mostly to find out the reason why a theft of style was the path taken, and with little more than a prompt to action, Link embarks on an adventure of frustration like the franchise hasn’t seen in years.

emotes

This game can’t be faulted for being easy. Because it’s not. Its levels may be short and simple, but the execution of every move requires some patience, well-thought timing, and, of course, style. Along the way, you’ll collect different materials that Madame Couture can use to stitch up a new suit for Link to wear. Each costume has a function beyond its aesthetics, such as enhancing items or performance. And this helps the game stay fresh. Its biggest source of staleness would be playing the same levels again just to complete every challenge, but the game is smart enough to change things around so that it doesn’t feel like Groundhog Day.

The game itself is quite fun, as Hytopia has moving characters with their own motivations, dreams, and fears. The place feels alive in many ways. The shop items change every day, children play game and share secrets, townsfolk tell stories and bards leave diary pages in the open so the plot thickens further. Even Styla leaves her room when her admiration for Link overrides her shame for feeling undignified.

Overall, Triforce Heroes possesses a quality that defines a Zelda game beyond all: it keeps you coming back. The challenge level guarantees that you’ll try most levels at least twice. And each enemy can be overcome in more than one way, forcing you to get creative with your play style. Some items are pretty tough to beat in single player mode, so Nintendo keeps its servers busy, allowing you to join strangers in the cutest communication mode I’ve seen in an online multiplayer mode: a set of emoticons Link can use to express ideas. You can either call the other players to join you at your location. You can tell them to use their item (only one item per player, you can’t finish a stage until all three players have their item). You can ask them to pick other players to form a totem. You can request for them to throw you so you can move on your own. You can warn them that what they’re doing is wrong or it’s taking them nowhere. You can cheer the team when morale is low or simply because you feel like it. You can celebrate when something’s done right. You can complain that something is frustrating you. And you can use your Zelda skills to traverse the varied landscapes that lead you to the Princess’s freedom.

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