Welcome! My name is Melissa,
a happy and healthy gamer geek living here in California.

Here you'll find a great source of geekery and video game knowledge combined with the skills for
happy and healthy everyday living.

SW:145 | GW:130 | CW:145

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Meet the Brownies

I want you to meet the twin chocolate brown cats I’ve raised.

Baki and Loki were only a week old when someone carried them into the pet store, I worked for in Burbank, California. I was elected to bottle feed them until they were old enough to be adopted, but by that time I couldn’t give them up, I loved them too much.

Loki (named for being a tricky little troublemaker) is my 16 lb. mamma’s boy. He follows me around and finds ways to get my attention; i.e. catching his toys and meowing with pride before dropping them at my feet among other disgustingly cute habits. He demands to sleep by my side close to my heart or face. Unfortunately he has developed asthma and I have to medicate him or he has worrisome, wheezing asthma attacks.

Baki is my 20 lb. teddy bear. He’s a little chubster, but he carries his weight like a panther. He has a small voice, but a thunderous purr and loves to cuddle; which has been the best remedy for hard days. He’s won my husband’s heart and they both take “evening naps” together on the couch (which is actually just code for passing out while watching TV).

I love them both and they are very spoiled little beasts, within reason of course. I highly recommend bottle-feeding a kitten or kittens if you are looking for an unshakeable bond with your pet.


Introduction to my Photography

Quercus douglasii - ColorThese days students go off to college, they graduate, and then 9 times out of 10 they get a job doing something completely different than what they majored in.

I attended Brooks Institute of Photography and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Journalism. However, after graduating, I toiled away a year in a pet shop doing absolutely nothing I had gone to college to learn. I just felt….uninspired. There’s only so much you can teach an artist about technique and form, then you need to let their unique sense of creativity bring something new to the table. Brooks was very good at teaching technique and form, however when a student tried to bring something new to the table, often times the own personal taste of a professor would give them a less than admirable grade. I saw many students, frustrated in their own loss of unique style, quit Brooks without that sought after degree. I adapted and graduated but I didn’t feel passionate about art anymore for years.

Now I work for a Author/Professor/Nursery Owner who is a self taught photographer himself and I feel extremely lucky to have a job relating to my degree. I photograph plants for the nursery and clients’ purposes. My work consists mostly of close ups of the flora I work around and landscapes, but I branch out into other fields as they present themselves. I’m beginning to build my stock library and my work has appeared in three books and the Sunset magazine within the last year.


I’ll share some of my photography on this blog, but be sure to check out My Flickr to see some of my photography. As stated above, most all of it is related to plants and nature, but I do dabbling in other areas. I love the peace and tranquility of being outside with subjects who don’t need a model release to feature in your photograph.


F.E.A.R. August Giveaway



Alright my dear hearts. As I am inundated with extra games from my penchant for Humble Bundles, I have decided to give one (or more) away each month for the rest of the year, and perhaps beyond.

For the month of August, I am giving away a Steam code for the F.E.A.R.

What to do, between August 1st and August 31st. ♥

  • Reblog this!
  • Must be following me (geekatheartily).
  • Must have a Steam account.

On September 1st, 2014 I will announce and message the winner of F.E.A.R.

To redeem your prize, you must be willing to supply your name and email to the Humble Bundle website (They will only send you emails if you want them).

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Only two weeks left to try your luck for F.E.A.R.


Jogging Journal: 4th Day

I completed my fourth day of jogging, which is actually eight days into “Couch to 5K”. Not that I necessarily plan on running a 5K, but I do want to start jogging and this seems like one method of getting started.

I’ve struggled with jogging as long as I can remember. My heart beats up into my throat, my head pounds and I generally feel like I’m going to die any second, but it’s time to step out of my comfort zone. It’s time to take steps, even if they’re baby steps, towards a healthier heart and lungs.

It hasn’t gotten any easier the fourth jogging day in. I can control my breathing while jogging, but it starts to go ragged halfway through my jog time which is only up to three minutes, THREE MINUTES. I’m mildly ashamed it only takes half that long to wind me, but progress is progress.

Speaking of progress, my body aches all over and I am hobbling around like a ninety five year old woman (no offense to any ninety five year old women who do walk with grace). I am proud of myself for sticking with this routine and I feel self confidence beginning to grow, but it is somewhat dampened by my current state of soreness.

Tomorrow is a designated rest day and then I move up to walking 5 minutes, jogging 4 minutes and then walking 5 minutes.



What is metabolism?

Our bodies get the energy they need to function from food through metabolism, the chemical reactions in the body’s cells that convert the fuel from food into the energy needed to do everything from moving to thinking to growing. Specific proteins in the body control the chemical reactions of metabolism, and each chemical reaction is coordinated with other body functions. Thousands of metabolic reactions happen at the same time — all regulated by the body — to keep our cells healthy and working.

What is metabolic rate?

The metabolic rate (per minute or per hour) is the rate at which your body can breakdown food to energy which can be used to perform day to day activities like breathing, digestion, cell repair, etc.

There are several ways to give your metabolism a little boost…

  • Eat breakfast – There is a reason breakfast is “the most important meal of the day”. Eating lean protein for breakfast will help jumpstart your metabolism for the day ahead. Protein from egg whites, for instance, will help stabilize your blood sugar, make you feel fuller, and keep you from overeating later in the day.
  • Green tea - A research has demonstrated that green tea extracts spike up metabolic rate by about four percent or around 78 calories. Researchers suspect compounds called Catechins are responsible for this calorie-burning lift.
  • Healthy diet – During mealtimes try to mix lean proteins with the complex carbohydrates of fruits and veggies. Food is transferred into usable nutrients, speeding up your metabolism.
  • Move! – Any activity above and beyond your basal metabolic rate raises your metabolism. This includes any “non-exercise” activities such as standing (instead of sitting), combing your hair, brushing your teeth and so on. Although one of the best ways to significantly increase your metabolism are planned aerobic or cardio work outs of at least an hour.
  • Muscle – As we age, metabolism slows down and this is largely due to the reduction of muscle mass. Muscles burn more energy than fat, even at rest. Take the time to build your muscle and increase your metabolic rate.
  • Sleep – Get your beauty sleep. Human growth hormones work directly on cells to increase your metabolic rate by 15 to 20% and can only be produced during the few hours of deep sleep.
  • Spice up your life - Studies show that spicy foods can give your metabolism a sudden surge by stimulating the release of your stress hormone.

I will miss you Robin Williams.

"Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.” - Obama

Robin Williams’ films defined much of my childhood. It is hard to imagine that someone who could bring so much joy and laughter to the hearts of so many could be struggling with depression and it breaks my heart that he felt the need to leave us so soon. Feeling this sad over the loss of someone who touched my life, but who remains a relative stranger, I can’t even imagine the devastation this has wrought in his family. My heart goes out to them.

My husband and I have decided to watch Hook or Mrs. Doubtfire tonight and, as I am tearing up just writing this, I may cry.

I omitted his Television work (except for Mork & Mindy) and some of the movies where he was given a smaller role he wasn’t credited for, but you can find it all here on his IMDB page.

Day 3 of my 15 Day Video Game Themed Drawing Challenge

Favorite Video Game: Okami. Many games are near and dear to my heart, but Okami holds a special place.

Day 3 of my 15 Day Video Game Themed Drawing Challenge

Favorite Video Game: Okami. Many games are near and dear to my heart, but Okami holds a special place.


What is a Fitness Blogger?

To me being a fitness blogger is someone who exudes a fit and healthy lifestyle; focusing not only on the physical well-being, but the mental as well. Whether they are just starting out or well on their way shouldn’t matter, what matters is they care ,and they share their tips, their stories, and their lives in order to inspire others to do the same and spread well-being.

I am relatively new to this community, I am not the epitome of health I would love to be. Although I am happy and moderately healthy, I do not always eat healthy or exercise as much as I should (Animal Fries why do you haunt me so?). When I was a teenager, I was fortunate enough to have a good metabolism, I weighed 110 lbs. at the most and at 5’2’’ tall I felt extremely comfortable in my own body. Since then I have put on more weight as my metabolism slacked off and my bad eating habits grew. I currently weigh at little under 145 lbs… My ultimate goal is to weigh in at about 125 lbs. and be in good shape with good eating habits.

I started jogging today. I’ve always hated jogging, but I decided it’s time to step out of my comfort zone and do something unexpected to my body. I found a “Couch to 5K” regimen to ease me into the kind of stamina i’d need to create to run for longer periods of time. My other main activity is yoga, which I enjoy very much. I’ve also begun increasing my water intake, switching processed snacks for fruits and veggies and cooking regularly from home, rather than grabbing fast easy meals.


Transistor Review

Dear Supergiant Games, you are fantastic!

Bastion, is beautiful, and I still listen to the soundtrack all the time. It set the stage and introduced us to the Supergiant Games brand; gorgeous design and music and entertaining plots related by an alluring narrator.

Transistor is a science fiction action role playing video game, the second game developed and published by Supergiant Games, and it leaves no room for disappointment.

The player assumes the role of Red, latterly a famous and influential singer in the fictional city of Cloudbank, and the survivor of an assassination attempt that has claimed her voice and the life of a man who leapt to her defense. Kneeling by the fallen man, Red claims the mysterious greatsword-like weapon, Transistor, from his body only to discover it has absorbed the consciousness of her fallen rescuer, now our narrator.

As Red travels she discovers several Cloudbank citizens who have been “processed” and absorbs them into the Transistor, concurrently gaining new abilities called “functions”. Even as the Transistor and Red hunt for those responsible, they are tracked and attacked continuously by the Process, a robotic force commanded by the Camerata, a sinister group of high ranking officials who want the weapon to build what they believe to be a perfect world.

Similar to Bastion, Transistor utilizes an isometric point of view. The player controls the character Red as she travels through the city of Cloudbank, battling the Process by utilizing a paused planning mode, referred to as a “Turn” and real-time combat. Using a “Turn” drains Red’s action bar, limiting her powers until it is full once more. Functions gained from fallen victims of the Process may be equipped as one of four unique battle techniques or as an enhancement of another as Red levels up.

By the end of the game my function load out was as follows:

Get - enhanced by Bounce
Void - enhanced by Purge and Spark
Mask - enhanced by Load and Ping
Tap - enhanced by Jaunt and Crash

Pull enemies in with Get, Void, Void, Mask and then Tap out of there. Most enemies cannot withstand this barrage, but if some do, just rinse and repeat. I also found it extremely helpful (when I had enough points) to put the Help function into my passive abilities, which gives you a 25% chance to turn into a SuperUser for a Turn which deals 500 damage in an area of effect towards all targets regardless of defense ratings.

My only source of sadness was that it felt like the game was over too soon. I won’t lie, I wanted to be spoiled with oodles of hours of gameplay. I wanted to delve deeper into this digital world and discover even more about characters like Red and the mysterious man who saved her. You can replay in New Game + once you’ve beat the game for the first time, but the plot remains the same, so it is more of chance to improve your combat skills.

Without giving too much away before you have the chance to play it yourself, the story really made me consider whether Cloudbank itself was real or a virtual reality. It’s enough to make your head spin, looking at all the clues and figuring out what lies underneath the general context. I am eagerly awaiting the next game developed and published by SuperGiant. Nothing has been announced yet, I just genuinely enjoy their material and can’t wait for more!

Started playing Borderlands (single player) this weekend. I’m really enjoying the dystopian setting and humor. I’m not 100% sold on the combat, but it works.

Started playing Borderlands (single player) this weekend. I’m really enjoying the dystopian setting and humor. I’m not 100% sold on the combat, but it works.