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.
A birthday is that wonderful day that comes once a year, a day that we have been conditioned to feel prideful for our successful completion of another year of life. I love birthdays, they are a day in the year in which you can make a complete stranger feel important by simply wishing them a happy birthday. Today is my birthday, and while this year has not quite lived up to my expectations, I am extremely grateful for the life that I have, and that I get to enjoy another year. Birthdays are a great time to celebrate with family and friends, but sometimes birthdays make us start thinking of the many tasks we have set for ourselves to compete by a certain age. I have to admit, I am nowhere near where I thought I would be 10 years ago, but I have experienced and grown far more than I would have ever imagined. It is useless to sit and think if the “should have beens” in life because there are too many variables to our existence, and we can not change the past. Each new year gives new chances to set new goals and complete old ones, this year I am going to make sure that I leave no stone unturned as I march on to my goals and approach my next birthday. It feels good to be a year older, I am going to relax today and prepare for the inevitable celebrations of tonight.
Goat simulator is a game that is available on almost all major platforms, but for the sake of this review, I will be sticking with the iOS app. With a name like Goat Simulator it may seem a forgone conclusion that this app is a joke, but after playing it, it is hard to deny its charm and addictive qualities. Goat simulator is a parody app, even on the purchase page there is a disclaimer warning the buyer to spend their money on something more worth while, but with a sale price of three dollars as this is being written, I decided to give it a shot. The object of this game is to run around, as a goat, causing damage to a small town, with absolutely no limits or consequences. Goat simulator is basically poking fun at the absurdity of “open world” games by making the character a mindless goat with an unexplained vendetta against humanity. Aside from the obvious jokes pointed at the gaming world and the blatant glitches thrown into the game, Goat Simulator is actually pretty fun. I wouldn’t go as far as to nominate this as the greatest app ever or to say it is a must buy, but for the money, it does exactly as it promises. It provides the user with minutes of useless time wasting fun that could have been used for more productive means. If you have a little time to waste, try this app out, it is pretty fun. I have only had it for a couple of days and while I enjoy playing it, I am starting to think I should have taken heed to the disclaimer and found a better use of my three dollars.
One of the greatest things I have attained from growing up in the Bronx is a great understanding of multiple different cultures. Since the United States is called a melting pot, New York City should be characterized as the area with the most flavor. Many people who have only seen the Bronx on television may not know what this borough is like, but I as a life long resident, can attest that the Bronx is much more diverse than what is shown on television. What I loved about growing up in the Bronx, was being able to meet and mingle with people of many different cultures and share our inherent similarities in peace. This weekend I was privileged enough to attended, and be a part of two weddings of a couple of friends that I have known for quite some time. The weddings I attended this weekend reminded of the diversity of the Bronx. One of the weddings was an Italian wedding, and the other wedding was a Dominican wedding. Both weddings had traditional American wedding elements, and both even shared some of the same rituals, but where they differed the most was the receptions. While I had a blast at each wedding, I was intrigued by how small differences in culture, can make a seemingly generic wedding much more unique. This weekend was emotional, fun, and very tiring, weddings are stressful events but overall they are probably one of the most awarding of life’s many achievements. I love a good wedding, and I am grateful that I was able to be part of two of them in one weekend, hopefully my wedding can be just as fun for the guests, and memorable for myself and my future bride.
I have posted about fantasy football once before, and about how it has nearly surpassed the popularity of actual football. With the NFL season less than a week away, I am in full football mode, and extremely excited for the fantasy season. Many people play fantasy football for money, I just find it to be a fun way to interact with the game, and to compete with friends. Fantasy football is on my mind today, because this happened to be the day my yearly live draft. In my league’s draft, we get together, eat some food, talk football, and of course pick our optimum team of players. Fantasy football isn’t merely about choosing the best player available, it takes time and strategy to pick the best team, it is also about picking any player available that can sabotage the hopes of your friends and rivals. I like to believe that I have the best team, but as with every game, it doesn’t matter how the team looks, performance is everything. I am in a full football “geek mode” today, so it is kind of hard for me to write about much else, but I really find it important to relax and play a game from time to time. I know fantasy football can seem frivolous to some, and foolish to others, but when it comes down to it, it is a fun hobby that many enjoy. I am glad that at this point in my life, I have the time to enjoy this hobby. I know that life can get crazy at times, but it is important to find something you enjoy and take a second to relax and do it. Football is less than a week away, hopefully my real and fantasy teams can both bring home championships this year.
You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.
Family is definitely a gift, it is not a simple task to find a group of individuals who have the ability to understand you without much explanation, but family is that group that was made to just get you. The bond of a family can not be mistaken, as these people share more than just genetic material with you, many of our mannerisms and beliefs are forged and fostered by our family traditions. In a sense, you are literally an extension of your family, and all of your descendants will carry something that was part of those who have gone before you. There are times when I wonder about the traits that I have gotten from my great grandparents, and how my ancestors would have handled certain situations, but I know that they probably would have done similarly to me. I am a product of my past and my future descendants will be an aggregation of the gifts I have gained from my parents, and those I’ve learned on my own. I know that family members can sometimes be annoying or upsetting, but when you think about it, they are forever all you have. Family is truly a gift, and while gifts can sometimes be surprising and unexpected, they are always something to be cherished. Be thankful for the family you have, biological or otherwise, and cherish those who care for you, these people are the greatest gifts you may ever receive.
This past weekend, I got a chance to hang out with an old friend who just happened to have his first child. I had a series of interesting questions to ask him about parenthood. Most of my questions were serious, but the one that stood out was a random joke question I asked that somehow managed to be relatively sensible. I asked, “If you and your wife had to go away for a year, and leave your child with a clown, a dragon, or a bear, who would you choose?” I fully understand that this is a foolish question, but it seems like most people I ask this question have the same answer. While I’m sure that everyone understands the most logical answer to this query is the clown, it is astounding just how many people don’t trust a clown with their baby. The most common answer I received was a bear, and funny enough, that was the answer I had in mind. Now, this was just meant to be a random comical question, but the answer of bear does make sense when it comes from someone in my generation. When you consider the three choices, a dragon should be immediately omitted, not just because it is a reptile, but also due to the fire breathing aspect. As for the clown, I said it before, but there is just seems to be a negative stigma on clowns, I know they are humans, but parents don’t want their children raised in a wacky and unstructured environment. The bear is my choice because of The Jungle Book. Baloo raised Mowgli and he did a perfectly fine job at it, I would love fore my children to grow up understanding the “bear necessities of life.” Try asking this question to friends and family, I know it sounds foolish, but I guarantee most people will answer bear.
This morning I just randomly started thinking about a cartoon I really enjoyed as a child, and thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to type in the most memorable line from this cartoon and find the full video. The name of this cartoon is “Chow Hound,” it is a story about a dog who bullies a cat and mouse into getting him steaks. Every time the cat and mouse got the dog a steak, he angrily tells them, “you forgot the gravy.” The cartoon ends with the dog stuffed with food in at a doctor’s office, and the cat and mouse finally getting their revenge for his bullying by remembering to bring him his gravy. I love this cartoon because it harkens back to a time when cartoons were more creative than wacky. This cartoon had a message and it told it in a funny and slightly dark way, while still being funny and memorable. This cartoon was part of a segment on the original Looney Tunes show, and to be honest I don’t think I’d be able to remember it if it was like the shows of today. The cartons of today focus on weird characters and obscure topics, nothing in most of today’s cartoons has substance at all. I understand that television is not generally seen as the prime method to use for intellectual or personal betterment, but there is just something about seeing a relatable topic on a cartoon that keeps it fresh in the minds of viewers 20 years down the line. I don’t think much will change for the better when it comes to cartoons, I am just happy that I will always be able to watch the old stuff online. If you are curious about this cartoon, head over to YouTube and search “Chow Hound,” Im sure you will enjoy it.
The Knicks have done it again, they have managed to take what should be an exciting day for fans and make it stressful. As a Knick fan, I have resigned to the fact that they are bad, and that they are not necessarily known for making good decisions but they had a legitimate chance to make a big splash in last nights draft. This year’s draft class was not particularly strong, but there were a few players that seemed to be “game changers,” and the Knicks may have failed to grab one of them. The Knicks did the unthinkable and drafted European born player, Kristaps Porzingis, with the fourth overall pick much to the dismay of the entire city. Porzingis is very talented and might possibly be the best player in this draft, but New York fans want big flashy talent, and immediate results. The problem with drafting a foreign player is their lack of familiarity with the American style of basketball, and when they are picked this high in the draft, they almost always fail to live up to the hype. I am an upset fan, but at the same time, part of me fully expected the Knicks to somehow draft this guy. I really hope the Knicks management knows what they are doing, and that they make plans for this kid’s success. There is now a city worth of pressure on the shoulders of this 19 year old, and if he fails to deliver, the Knicks may not see relevance for another 10 years.
Today, as I was tossing around a baseball with my younger brother, we decided to take a break to enjoy the park. After a while of sitting and enjoying the serenity my brother told me he doesn’t exactly understand how people have one place of relaxation. I am one of these people who has a hard time relaxing so, I fully agreed with his query, but sitting on that grass and just resting made me realize that that park is my “place of relaxation.” I actually had nothing to think about or worry about other that catching the ball when it was thrown my way, it was quite peaceful. I understand what he meant by one place of relaxation, because for me, a place of relaxation is conditional. The same park we sat in this afternoon, could be filled with barbecues and loud birthday parties in a week’s time, so for places of relaxation it must fit what is needed at a specific moment. Some people love to fly fish in a quiet stream, and others may enjoy a loud concert, but both individuals have their place of rest, and that is the key to relaxation. I know that I won’t be able to always have a peaceful park to sit in and listen to birds chirping, but I now know that any time I can find this place, I have found relaxation.