#426: The Futon

photo of living room

Photo by Milly Eaton on Pexels.com

I’m back living on my mom’s futon. This is life now, and I have to just get used to it, whatever this life brings to me. I know the path ahead is very uncertain and I’m not exactly used to it, but a part of me anticipates new changes and a new me in the future. I know it’s weird to be hopeful in situations like these, but a part of me is actually hopeful that this will work out for the best. Crazy, right?

More than anything, what I want is to be able to return to a bit of normalcy and comfort. What I experienced living in Stamford was comfortable living; I didn’t have to worry about much, and things were mostly taken care of for me. I appreciated that, of course, because it’s not easy to take care of my life. I know I’m not exactly the easiest person to get along with, but a part of me hoped that that would be surmounted, that I wouldn’t have to worry about it much. I was wrong in that assumption. Sometimes we underestimate just how obnoxious we really are, even in our day to day habits and routines.

The last time I remember sleeping on this futon, I didn’t experience back or neck pain, but this morning I woke up with an aching sensation in my lower neck. I can’t quite place what caused it, maybe because I slept weird, or maybe because I slept for what seemed to be 12 hours. Regardless, my neck hurts and this is just one of many problems I’ll have to deal with over the next few days and weeks.

Uncertainty sucks. I just wish I knew what to expect from the future. Living on a futon isn’t that bad; it’s really the uncertainty that’s slowly killing me.

#425: The Bits

android android phone box breakfast

Photo by Thorn Yang on Pexels.com

As I wait for Final Fantasy XIV to finish redownloading, it’s time to discuss an issue that’s very pertinent to me right now, and that involves pretzels. Wetzel Bits are the best snack known to mankind.

I kid a little bit, but they’re seriously so good. I could eat so many of those little bites and just stuff my face with them until my belly is full with buttered, salted pretzel bites. It’s obviously not good for me at all, and I shouldn’t eat a lot of it, but whenever we go to the mall, I hanker back to the times in which Alex got me pretzel bites. It’s impossible to resist going there when the time is right. Or even when the time isn’t right, it’s still such a good spot to go to. Whenever we go to the mall with Bella, my little sister, she picks up the cinnamon flavored pretzel bites, which I have still yet to try, but I’m interested regardless. I prefer just the regularly flavored, normal ones, and so does Alex. We’re not interested in the crazy flavors, although I might want to try one eventually.

I would be remiss not to talk a little bit about Final Fantasy XIV while I have the chance, and while this blog post isn’t entirely devoted to this topic, it’s currently at the forefront of my mind. I haven’t exactly been playing it recently, instead devoting time to Monster Hunter World and other games like that, but it’s still been a blast to think about, mostly because I know how exciting some of the raids and dungeons end up being over time. I hope the game is as good as it was back when I first started, even though I haven’t finished the expansion storylines yet. I’ve heard the most recent expansion is very good, named Shadowbringers.

#424: The Typing Speed

night sky over city road

Photo by Lucas Fran├ža on Pexels.com

This is going to be a bit of a meta blog post, considering I’ll be discussing how fast I type while also typing very quickly. I’m trying to write without concentrating as much on what I’m saying, so that I can really immerse myself in the speed at which I’m typing.

One thing that’s always stood out about me is how much I know computers. I’m a tech savvy person, so whenever people at work are having issues with their Smartboards or personal computers or whatever, I’m usually the first person they call to ask for help. It’s just the nature of being someone who knows a thing or two about technology. I grew up around computers, have always been one with my laptop or gaming console, and as a result type pretty quickly. I don’t look down at the keyboard when I type, which I guess is a luxury of being so used to writing on the computer. In some ways it’s a luxury, but in other ways it’s a curse. People point it out as soon as they see me type; whenever I have to help someone write something, it always comes down to, wait you can type that fast? Are you made of magic? What’s going on with your fingers? Yeah, some of the questions end up being a bit on the weird side.

It’s also, however, totally ruined my hands. That’s one thing that sucks about all this; I don’t have the same function in my hands that I used to have. I feel like I have some form of carpal tunnel as a result of either my typing speed or the fact that I never seem to not be playing video games when I have free time. Hopefully that changes in 2020. I’m looking forward to a new year at this point.

#423: The Comment

architect composition data demonstration

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Getting comments is the best. Whether it’s on AO3, my blog, or elsewhere on the Internet, I love the experience of waking up in the morning only to see that I have some messages in my inbox that I haven’t read yet. When it comes to Reddit, comments can usually suck and I don’t look forward to them. But when it comes to those other websites, they’re always positive and supportive and nice.

For example, just the other day I woke up and saw an unread message in my AO3 inbox. It was fantastic to see, mostly as a result of me not really having updated any of my stories in a long time, so it took me by surprise to see it. When it comes to writing, whether it’s just regular creative writing or anything else, feedback is crucial and awesome. I love just being able to solicit feedback no matter what I’m writing about. Specifically, in this case, for the Persona 5 community, everyone is supportive and helpful and seems to have my back in a sense. I know that it’s not always so nice, and there are people who suck and try to bring down the general mood, but for the most part, things are nice over here, and comments restore my mood regardless of what’s going on with them. Leaving a comment really changes my mood for the day, so thanks to everyone who does that.

I hope this blog post doesn’t come across as me begging for comments, because that’s not my intention at all. What I mean is just that getting comments always brightens my day, regardless of whether they’re good or bad. It feels so wonderful to think that someone was inspired enough by whatever I wrote to actually want to leave a comment for me to see or respond to.

#422: The Bank

abundance bank banking banknotes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There’s a dungeon in Persona 5 that’s infamous for having one of the most frustrating, difficult and complex sections imaginable. It features lots of respawning enemies, and lots of movable parts. You have to memorize combinations of letters and numbers in order to solve these ridiculous riddles that spell out words. Honestly, I had to look up this part of the game and figure it out with the help of the Internet when I first did it.

Here’s how it works. You collect six pages worth of notes from Kaneshiro, the palace owner, who’s scattered them in piggy banks around the dungeon. The piggy banks are, of course, guarded consistently by obnoxious shadows who assault you as soon as you get near them. It’s obnoxious to deal with, as the name suggests, but I had the opportunity recently to watch my friend Alex (not my girlfriend, the other friend) complete the dungeon in one run. He had to take it in two days, unfortunately, but the dungeon really got him thinking and made exploring it pretty interesting together. I like being able to watch people play one of my favorite games; it feels like returning home, in a way, and it feels like watching your favorite movie with someone who’s never seen it before. You get to find joy in watching them react to all the big moments all over again.

The bank is one such dungeon that really tests your abilities. Although I didn’t talk too much about the bank in this particular blog post, I hope I got the message across that watching other people play Persona 5 is just as fun as playing it for the first time. The only thing I would change about it is that Alex tends to skip through the dialogue too quickly, and doesn’t let the voice acting tell the story for them.

#421: The Midnight Coffee

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

It’s winter break, which means sometimes I’m prepared to stay up very late, later than I probably should be up, which causes me to ultimately sleep late. Regardless of what happens, coffee feeds into my drive to become a late-night type of person. I become a night owl as soon as I drink coffee past the usual hour. Sometimes, even, I make coffee past midnight, hence the title of this blog post. When I’m talking with friends very late, and we’re on Discord, or we’re playing Jackbox or Overwatch or Monster Hunter World or Path of Exile, it’s the perfect time to make coffee.

I wanted to discuss what it’s like to be up exceptionally late, when the coffee tastes hot and perfect, and you leave the coffee on your Mr. Coffee desk heater, and there’s nothing else in the world you need. Alex is asleep, the dog is asleep with her, and you have to keep a bit quiet just in case anyone wakes up thanks to your loud yelling at the computer screen. Midnight coffee feels extra special when compared to just your regular, run of the mill morning or afternoon coffee. It has an air of rebellious spirit to it, like doing things when you’re normally not supposed to. It’s all for fun anyway.

I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but I don’t have too much difficulty going to bed at night after drinking coffee. It’s a fairly normal transition from being totally awake thanks to all that caffeine and falling asleep in bed. On the one hand, I appreciate it because I get the chance to fall asleep without having to stay up for hours and hours after drinking coffee late at night. But on the other hand, it’s great. Wait, did I just contradict myself?

#420: The Spider, Part 2

close up photography of spider web

Photo by chivozol on Pexels.com

This blog post is a continuation from the previous one, about the most recent Spiderman game that came out on Playstation 4.

Slinging around the city as spiderman is probably worth the price of the game on its own. Insomniac Games, the developer of this game, were able to make the transition between slinging around and running over walls completely seamless, so that your character, Spiderman, never feels completely powerless or like he’s being taken out of his smooth travel. The travel always feels smooth and there are no spontaneous stops. The city is also almost crafted in such a way where you’re inclined to jump around everywhere you can, as there are, like I said in the previous blog post, collectibles scattered around.

On top of the collectibles, there are also miniature missions you can complete once you unlock the radar signal for each area. It documents the police radio, which tells you when arrests or robberies or other such events are taking place around you. When you follow those hints, they clue you into what you can do to fix the situation.

There’s also a grand, bombastic score to the game that’s uplifting and makes you feel like a genuine superhero. There’s also the voice acting, which is phenomenal; Spiderman feels and acts just like you would expect Peter Parker to. He’s sappy, nerdy, and a genuine person. I have to give props to the game developers for nailing his attitudes so well. They really knocked this part of the game, all the characterization, out of the park.

Overall, this game truly feels like a spiritual successor to the Batman Arkham series, which is wonderful because I loved those games so much. They really inspired me to like Batman more than I did previously, more than even the movies did.

#419: The Spider, Part 1

spider web

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

First of all, I absolutely hate spiders. Cannot stand them, would absolutely stomp and crush one with my foot right now if there were one crawling around me. I would feel fine knowing no more spiders existed in the world, even despite all the residual damage that would probably cause to other things that I don’t quite know about. Like for example, a few months ago Alex and I realized that there were webs on the ceiling high above us that we hadn’t noticed before. Those spooked the ever-living hell out of me, and I couldn’t imagine how long those have been there for. Screw spiders and everything to do with them, honestly.

However, this blog post is not going to be about spiders. It’s going to instead be about a game I’ve been playing recently, titled Marvel’s Spiderman, and it’s really, really cool. It reminds me of Arkham City, which I played a lot of and loved immensely back in the day. I think I even still have it on Steam somewhere. It’s the same basic theme, though; you sling around the city and get to play a vigilante, you work during the day and do other things when you can, and you stop crime as much as possible. You collect collectibles throughout a vast open world, and your job is essentially to either follow the main storyline or complete a whole bunch of available side quests and missions that naturally pop up around you. It’s fun to mix both, as I usually end up doing that when push comes to shove.

Spiderman sports an extremely intuitive gameplay though; you get to sling around the entire city and no one bats an eye at you, unlike in the Batman games where you’re supposed to be cloaked and hidden a bit more.

#418: The Travel Plans

scenic photo of coral reef

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

Having travel plans can be great, as it gives you something to look forward to for the future. Alex and I discussed this same idea recently, how it’s been awhile since we’ve traveled to one place and we ought to focus more on future events, saving up our money, and spending on big trips together. Weekend outings, whether to big cities or just into New York or Stamford, would be totally more common than they currently are. Even though I live in Stamford now, I feel acquainted with the city but not necessarily super familiar with its intricacies. It’s not the same as I felt living in Northford, where I knew every street and could tell you who lived in certain houses just based on the last name on their mailboxes. It’s a different feeling entirely, but not necessarily a bad one, just a different one.

Travel plans, though, spice things up. They add to the excitement of daily life. For example, Alex and I are planning on visiting my friend Greg in DC in February perhaps. We’re thinking about taking Presidents’ Day weekend to explore the city, explore another big convention, and meet up with an old friend. It would be really wonderful to experience all that together, and to have that to look forward to for the future. Instead of waiting for travel plans to kind of fall into our lap, like we may have done in the past, this time we’re being more proactive, taking full initiative over the situation and making the plans ourselves. It feels much better than it did before, and I think it will do wonders for our general happiness.

As you might know, I love traveling and could picture myself never staying in one place for long. All of this is right up my alley.

#417: The Celebrant

white black and red person carrying heart illustration in brown envelope

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

In my last blog post, I touched on the idea of not celebrating Christmas. I’d like to discuss that a bit more here, as I think it’d be interesting to analyze. Alex and I talked about how, if she moved here by herself and didn’t have family around, she might not celebrate Christmas as much. It wouldn’t be as much a part of her life as it is now, because she has our family to celebrate with. This conversation came up because I brought up how I feel bad for people who have to work on Christmas day, to which she responded that it isn’t all that bad if you’re the kind of person who isn’t religious or doesn’t have family around. She would’ve considered going into work if they let her, considering she would get overtime pay! That’s a lot of extra money, when you think about it; eight whole hours of overtime is nice.

Acknowledging is not the same as celebrating, though; it is perfectly normal for lots of people to acknowledge the times are changing, that we are now within the month of December so that means it’s the spirit of Christmas time. However, these people might not necessarily celebrate it. They might not put up a tree, they might not put up any decorations around their house or apartment. They just treat the season as if it were any normal month. To me, that’s difficult to imagine ever doing, because for so much of my life I’ve associated December with being the overall month of Christmas and holidays and breaks from work and school. Considering I’ve always been on a school schedule, even after I graduated from school, it’s no wonder that school has become kind of a part of my day-to-day existence. You can’t avoid it.