What a difference a year can make. About a year ago, I decided to write a blog post daily. While it has not always been easy to think up topics, I have definitely learned and expanded my interests during this exercise. I am not sure if I will continue this blog next year or start a new one, but I will definitely continue writing. Often times people wonder about tomorrow, but they never actually think about how long it takes to actually get to tomorrow. Our days can be broken down into hours, minutes, and seconds, and with each second we have a chance to make a change that we want to see for tomorrow. In order to make the future we want to see tomorrow, we must take a minute to begin working on the hour that will become the day of tomorrow. Each day of this year, as short as they seemed, added up to make the year that we are currently ending. As I look back on this year, I can see plans that blossomed well and others that fizzled out, and I have realized that the only difference between the two is the time that was put into preparation and execution. The plans that turned out well were well prepared and the others were thrown together foolishly. In the year 2016, I am going to make sure that I use the time that I have much more wisely, every second counts and I will treat every second like a fraction of my day rather than time to be wasted. This year went by quickly, as does every year, but that is no reason to let another second pass on working towards your goals and dreams. I am excited for this new year, not because it is new, but because I get another year to grow and improve the world that I live in. Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for reading along throughout the year.
Over this past week, I found myself playing games from my childhood and wondering why I’d ever stopped. I guess having my family together for Christmas brought on an extreme case of nostalgia, but it was much more than basic nostalgia. The old games are actually much more fun than anything available today. It’s funny that as a child all I wanted was the newest and brightest toys and games around, but as an adult I am fine with dusting off the old Nintendo or playing monopoly. Part of growing up is basically forming a state of contentment with the things you can’t change while changing the things you can, and along with that contentment comes a realization of what makes things enjoyable. When I was a child I always wanted the newer item because I thought it was better than the one I had, but these days I have realized that a shiny new paint job does not make an item better. It’s no great wonder that advertisers target children so often, it is easier to get a child to want a new item every year than it is for an adult, since most adults are accustomed to wearing the same jeans for years. I think the longing people have for the good old toys and shows of their youth is more than just nostalgia, it is the fact that the products of the past had more heart and were actually more fun than the products of today. These days everything is about glamour and pomp, but when it comes down to it, games were just more fun when nobody cared about how pretty they looked.
If you have been reading my blog for the past few months, you may have noticed that I am quite the superhero fan. I am not much of a comic book fan, so I don’t have an allegiance to any specific brand, but I do enjoy watching movies and occasionally reading about comic book heroes of all kinds. In this blog I will discuss my top three favorite superheroes of all time. It is somewhat difficult to narrow down my favorites from a list of hundreds of heroes, but I think the three I have chosen best encompass my affinity for comic book movies.
1. Spider-Man: Aside from the awesome ability to climb on walls, and a spider sense that warns him of danger, Spider-Man is just a kid from New York City. I always loved the way Spider-Man swung through familiar New York streets on a web, and as a kid, I found him to be one of the most emulable heroes around.
2. Ironman: Tony Stark was always a cool hero, he is a billionaire with a super suit that allows him to lift heavy objects and fly. I like Ironman because his character represents total arrogance, and it is quite funny to see an arrogant individual doing something as selfless as saving the lives of others. I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed the way Robert Downey Jr. portrayed the character in the films, as he did a great job in bringing to life the massive head of this great superhero.
3. Batman: My all time favorite superhero is Batman, and he is possibly the least super of all heroes. Batman is touted as “the world’s greatest detective,” and that is basically what he is. Batman is a super rich, regular guy in a bat suit, who goes around solving crimes and beating up villains. The great thing about Batman is the fact that he has no super powers, yet he still manages to outsmart and even defeat other characters who greatly overpower him. In a sense, Batman isn’t even a superhero, but in my eyes and the eyes of millions of people, he is the best ever.
Today is Christmas Eve, and as I think about this day I often remember the old poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas. The poem is about Santa’s arrival at the home of a child on the night before Christmas. A Visit from St. Nicholas is an extremely charming poem, however I often wonder how it is possible for children to still believe in Santa Claus. With all of the technology available today, I find it odd that kids are not as jaded as their teen counterparts, but many of them still believe in good old Santa. When I was a kid I never had a chance to believe in Santa Claus, because I had older siblings who didn’t allow for much childishness, and also I may have been too clever to think an old man would climb into my window to give me gifts on Christmas. These days, more and more people seem to be against telling their kids about Santa Claus, and while I am not generally in favor of kids believing in Santa, I feel like part of childhood should be exploring and figuring things out. I don’t plan to tell my future children that Santa exists, but if they want to believe he does, I would rather not tarnish their beliefs unless it is completely necessary. When I think about Christmas, I don’t think about presents, or about a jolly old man spreading joy, Christmas is a time to spread the joy of the life we have been given to those who feel they have no reason to be joyful. Try to be nice this Christmas, it isn’t about getting the last toy or pie on the shelf, tell everyone you see Merry Christmas, you would be surprised by how much those simple words mean to a person who is down. Merry Christmas everyone.
I love the Christmas season, and that surprisingly hasn’t changed since my post elementary school adulthood has kicked in. As a child I believed that the best thing about Christmas was a combination of gifts and time off from school, but as an adult I have seen that there is much more to this holiday season. There are millions of reasons to enjoy the holidays but I will keep this post to my top 5 favorite things about Christmas and the holiday season in general.
Christmas Carols – I love those tunes, some of them can be a bit sketchy and all of them are quite dated, but I love having them blasting from my computer or radio. I especially enjoy modern versions of old classics that are done in a sensible fashion.
Christmas Cartoons – I know that I am an adult, but I will never stop watching my favorite Christmas cartoons. I particularly enjoy The Little Drummer Boy and Frosty the Snowman, since they remind me of my childhood and of all things Christmas. I know that some may categorize television Christmas specials with the cartoons, but I can’t stand cheesy and often disconnected holiday episodes of tv shows.
Holiday Light Displays – I love a great lighting display, one of my favorite things about this season is just driving around on a cool winter evening and checking out some of the lighting displays of my neighbors and of the city.
Christmas food – I love holiday foods but I especially love Christmas themed cakes, cookies, snacks, and meals. The holidays are a time when many people put on extra weight, and with all of these amazing treats available, I’m sure there will be several new members to each gym once the new year rolls around.
Family Time – As we grow older and move away from our families and homes, the holidays become much more important for catching up with family and old friends. Family is extremely important, I love that at least once in a year, I have a chance to reconnect in person with loved ones that I no longer see on a daily basis.
As I said before, there are millions of reasons to enjoy the holidays, and even if these reasons don’t appeal to you, I’m sure everyone can find something to brighten these winter nights. If it is possible, try volunteering during the holidays, it is an extremely rewarding to give to those who are in need of some help and to brighten the holidays for all.
What do you get when you package everything you loved about the original Star Wars trilogy with a new mysterious adventure? You get Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first of the new trilogy and Disney’s first production of the movie. The Force Awakens is the perfect early Christmas gift to any Star Wars fan as it stays true to what we love about the original films, while adding just enough intrigue to keep us wanting more. I don’t want to spoil the movie so I will keep this post to impressions, which is fine since this movie made quite an impression. The film begins on an action packed note that continues throughout, and any possible lulls in the film are there for story telling purposes. As a big time Star Wars fan, I welcomed the slow downs as I watched very closely for the deeper story, but the action was never too far around the next corner. The Force Awakens is a perfect example of how other franchises should model their sequels, it takes all of the spectacular elements of the prior movies and builds on them without losing touch with its roots. The Force Awakens has the ability to stand on its own as a great film without relying on the past of the franchise. The Star Wars movies are well know for throwing in surprises, and while this newest film had its share of surprises, I left the theatre with just as many questions as I had answered in the film. I definitely recommend this movie to any Star Wars fans who still haven’t seen it, and to all movie goers. It has been hours since I saw this film and I already can’t wait to see it again, hopefully the writers will be able to continue the strong storytelling in the impending sequels.
This past weekend I attended my fourth wedding of the year. Weddings are joyous events for family and guests, and everyone wants to be able to capture the joy of the moment, but camera phones and iPads are not the way to capture the enjoyment of weddings. One thing that was prevalent in all of the weddings I attended was the excessive use of mobile phones for photo and video taking. I know it is convenient to be able to snap a photo with your phone to save a memory, but I felt as though these devices get in the way of guests actually enjoying the wedding. Plenty of time and planning is put into making sure a wedding is perfect and enjoyable, especially for the guests, and one of the many provisions made to ensure that enjoyment is the use of professional photographers. Personal devices take away from the moment and they can even have an effect on the photographers doing their jobs. Perhaps it is just a sign of the times, but people don’t seem to understand the importance of a memory anymore. I know I have been a culprit of this “snap a photo” behavior, but once I realized how much I was missing, I decided to personally take advantage of all that is in front of me. Whenever I attend an event or visit a location, I understand that I may only get one chance to appreciate this sight, so I like to gather as much of the view as I can. Photos are nice, and it is always great to have a lasting documentation of an occasion, but for moments that only come around once in a lifetime, it is important to make sure you take the time to absorb the experience. Enjoying life is about more than just taking pictures of locations and events, whenever you find yourself in a unique experience, it is important to actually be present to fully enjoy the moment.
Thanksgiving day is upon us, and along with all of the food, sales, and football, one thing is generally always forgotten on this day, and that is to give thanks for what we have. On this day, I believe it is a time to be thankful for everything you have, and to ignore everything you don’t have. This day is not supposed to be a day to fantasize about what you will buy tomorrow or what you eat tonight, but it is a day to honestly be thankful for anything and everything. I am thankful for my family, even when they annoy me they are my home. I am thankful for my friends who I can speak to about things I can’t with my family. I am thankful for my health, I am thankful for my brain and mind that sometimes have an odd way of piecing together all of life’s puzzles. Even in the bad times if you look not so hard enough you can find more than 10,000 reasons to be thankful, so take the time today to be thankful and be happy, because that is what this day should be about. Happy Thanksgiving all!
Many people consider gaming to be a dead hobby these days, but with millions of dollars coming into companies such as EA and Ubisoft, the gaming market is ripe for the plucking. We are decades past the days of Frogger and Pong yet Microsoft, a relatively young player in the gaming world, has managed to make this old hobby seem new again. While companies like Nintendo and Sony have kept true to their decade long sales model, Microsoft is in the midst of doing what former CEO Bill Gates never wanted done. The company has now begun blurring the lines between the PC and the video game console. With game streaming additions to Window 10, and web browsing available on gaming consoles, it looks as though Microsoft is tuning their gaming console into a home PC. Bill Gates feared the possibility that the gaming console would replace the home PC, but with the decline of new adoption for both gaming consoles and Windows PCs, this blurring of the lines seems to be the most viable option for the financial future of the company. The Xbox One is actually making me, a heavy Apple user, consider going back to a Windows PC, at least for my home desktop in order to partake in the integration. If Microsoft wants to compete with Apple, they must continue to embrace the change that is cross platform functionality, and dive fully into it. I don’t think PCs will ever lose popularity in the corporate sector, but when it comes to personal use, the Xbox One may be the PC world’s final stand against the impending threat of Android and iOS devices.
DC Comics has long been an afterthought when it comes to comic books in pop culture. With the exception of staple characters like Batman and Superman, DC superheroes have been known to take a backseat to the more popular characters of Marvel Comics. While Marvel has seemingly cornered the market on superhero movies, DC has found a way to sneak their lesser known characters into homes with a series of compelling television dramas. Shows like Arrow and the Flash, have garnered massive critical acclaim and huge fan bases due to their solid writing and overall accessibility. Both of these television shows have turned characters that few people actually cared about into weekly water cooler conversation, and they may have even surpassed the popularity of some of DC’s most recent cinematic releases. It is pretty clear that DC has struck gold with these television shows, but it seems like they don’t exactly want to go “all in” on their television productions. The company has already planned to make an expanded movie realm that will include some of the same characters as the tv shows, however the realms will be completely separate. While the DC movies are already well into production, I think it is a terrible idea to cast new characters to play a role that is already being shown on the tv screen. I understand that the company made these tv shows to spark an interest in their future cinematic plans, but I feel the separation of the two entities will just cause confusion and alienate fans of the television shows from the cinematic universe DC is trying to create.