love

To Mom

Audio;

To mom;

How’s it going? It’s not often that I talk to you like this. Honestly that’s my fault, and if one were to be precise, a laudable and likable thing to be, then I would like to add it’s my mistake.

I had a brainwave the other day where I thought about all the things I wanted. Young men want a lot of things; a beautiful partner, a glorious career, an impact on the world, and excitement; but only to the point where excitement no longer breeds boredom through inundation, an overload of one’s being. This is who I am, still and currently, for at least a while. This attitude is what led me to leave home; the necessity for a life experience that could at least be said to rival the idea of a good life. Through whose terms is another question, maybe answered by someone a lot smarter than I am.

As I sat in my room one hot July day, sweltering not only under the heat of a mid-Toronto afternoon’s haze but under the scrutiny of an uncaring depressed mind, I saw a branch to help me out of my darkness, a stick that struck towards England as a place of opportunity and a way to find the glorious life I mentioned above.

Self doubt tried to cripple my confidence, laziness sabotaged my ambitions, and complacency quashed any sense of adventure that sparked in July. Despite these things, or perhaps to spite them actively, you helped me. You bolstered my courage, spurred my spirits, and moved me to move myself towards a future I myself could make.

It wasn’t until today, when I realized that I hadn’t made the chance to thank you.

Up until the day I left, denial reassured me I wasn’t going anywhere; While going through security, grief informed me I’d never be back, and while living here? Loneliness reminded me just where I was, with whom, and to what end: me, myself, and I. From there, I pushed myself not because of any sensibility but from a misled ideology of only I can help myself.

I had a brainwave the other day about how all the things I wanted would not be possible without someone very special; you. And I hadn’t the courage to see past my own failings to notice how, through my denial, my deceit and my disgust, you continued to push me, to help me, and to care, even if it meant I moved further away.

Today, on Mother’s Day of all days, I wanted to, at long last, thank you for your care, your help, and your love; your untiring belief in what I want to do, even if I don’t know what to do. Without you, I wouldn’t be half the man I am today.

Thank you

Love,
Phil

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TOP 5 Reasons to love Rocco

Rocco-TERMINATORFor those who have been living under the #Awesomenauts rock, the newest patch is bringing a new Naut with it. His name is Rocco the Eagle, an ex-cop with a grudge. He’s out looking for revenge, and that’s just the engine of the “I’m a wicked badass ex-cop out on the loose” trope train that left the station.

Word is on the street he’s also going to have some sweet skins, so I’m looking forward to that: for instance, the newest teaser shows some pretty iconic ninja stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Ronin Rocco!

Every new Naut brings some trepidation though: will be be balanced? Will he be cheap? Easy to play? A list of other items that can be attributed to anybody you don’t like and have probably dated in the past? Who knows for sure until the patch hits live: until then, let’s appreciate the TOP 5 reasons why Rocco is going to be a great addition to the Awesomenauts roster.

5. His playstyle is unique
Rocco is going to be the only Awesomenaut of his kind. Unlike every other Naut who has an ability that can damage creeps and help farm them, Rocco must get solar in one of three ways:

1. Use left click to get droid kills.

2. Play Mario and collect every coin he sees because hot damn he needs the coins.

3. Kill people.

That’s it. I mean, he does have one upgrade that allows his Precision Shot to explode on hit (the explosion will hit droids), but he needs to kill. Other Nauts have a preference towards ganking and making kills, but Rocco has no other option. This ties into the next entry…

4. Rocco is really thematic
Eagles are carnivores. Rocco, obviously then, is a carnivore. You want to know why Rocco can’t farm droids? Because that stuff tastes AWFUL. It’s not like Clunk tastes much better, but you can bet that Voltar’s egg head is full of enough nutritious amniotic fluids that it’s a wonder workout geeks haven’t been sucking back brains in jars to help build muscle instead of whatever pansy-not-eagle-way of doing it.

Did you know that eagles have eyesight that allows them to see 4-8 times better than a human? Rocco can shoot 4-8 times farther than Raelynn on max snipe as far as I care. He shoots across the map with arrows capable of picking off fleeing Nauts who aren’t watching their backs. That’s a killer’s eyesight!

And I promise he’s an eagle. Although he’s modeled on this adorable raptor…

CAW CAW

He’s been passed off as an eagle many times by Ronimo themselves. Still, all the things I said about eagles apply to hawks: hawks are just cuter and far smaller.

Finally, the super awesome tie in to Hawkeye is very appreciated. I loves me some Hawkeye, and Rocco here is as close as one gets to having Clint Barton in-game (well, this game at least).

3. His amazing character theme
Just listen to the thing  would ya? I’ll wait.

That 80’s cop show feel is perfect. Cannot wait to listen to this while queuing.

2. He rewards good play with powerful affects
How do you balance an Awesomenaut so he has a mediocre though balanced early game, but has a strong late game? SYNERGY through SKILL!

It has been since Swiggins that we really saw this level of mechanical manipulation. If you turn on Vengeance, it lasts longer the more Rapid Arrows you land. Precision shot and Rapid Arrows both grants slow as well, meaning he can chase better: it also helps that his awful slowdown while shooting is nulled while in Vengeance mode.

With the correct upgrades, Precision shot can come out and hit someone for 430 damage. Your Rapid arrows now attack super-quickly thanks to another upgrade you picked up, causing a stream of painful, damaging darts to fly across the screen at a ridiculous rate. With the help of another upgrade, the arrows are reducing the cooldown of your precision shot, which allows you to speed up your arrows again.

Keep in mind, all of these arrows are slowing people down and doing an obscene amount of damage, while also extending the duration of Vengeance.

This takes time to get all the upgrades necessary. This also takes skill to pull off, since he needs to be close enough to land the arrows without getting murdered in the process; it also means that one missed arrow could kill you.

Rewarding skill with power is contentious past a certain point, but with Rocco is a symphony of skill in its own right, and I love it.

Must type like this to play

1. People will hopefully stop complaining about Froggy G for a bit

Forggy-G-threadNothing against the people here, but when I read the Beta patch notes thread, and somehow the conversation turns to Frog when he’s not even in the patch notes, and we have a brand new character on the way, we may have a problem.

Later,

-W.

How to celebrate Valentines

This… looks nothing like a heart. That won’t do.

I’ve talked about Valentines day before. It’s a turbulent time of high emotion, fraught with a decent amount of controversy. I’ve thought about it a lot; I’ve come from the side where I was madly in love, and held meeting with those who were dejected and alone. It’s not hard to find oneself in between either, or to have other kinds of love satisfy the need for closeness and appreciation in one’s life. Usually, I find the latter to be vital for me, and I hope that kind of love is abundant in everyone’s lives, despite that i know that is actually impossible.

Still, another question comes to me this year. How do you celebrate Valentines day?

Everyone has an opinion on this, as in most things; however, this question is heated among people. Lavish dinners, expensive gifts, perfect nights and, as I crudely and entertainingly put it in the past, a potential mattress moving marathon might account for the only way for some to spend a Valentine’s day. Others require only the companionship of those they are celebrating with, be they friends or family. Some don’t even bother, and February the 14th is just another day. Not to mention all the grey area enveloping these extremes, it seems there are various ways people spend their day.

What is great about all these things is that they are all fine, normal ways to go about your waking moments. As per usual, the fuss is about one correct way. Which, I’m sad/happy to report, there is none.

How you celebrate/don’t give a ^@#$ about Valentine’s day is up to you, but on the odd chance you are around loved ones then it becomes a challenge. How do you show your love and appreciation?

And, to toot a particularly worn horn, it’s up to you. Love is a very personal emotion. No other person really experiences it or shows how they feel the same way. On Valentine’s day, of all days to lay bare your care, the choice truly is yours. How do you want to express your love? Only you know how.

With that, I will continue to wig the &$@# our over how to do that myself.

Cheers,
-P.

Oh. Now I see why they dumb it down. That’s gross looking.

Relationships: Things Happen vs For the Best

Like this post hitting your stupid face, for instance.

I am not of the opinion that “things happen for a reason” such that there is a master plan for everything, another way of saying “____ works in mysterious ways”. Whether it’s a bird shitting on you or a car accident, it still implies that cancer “happens” for a reason other than “because if cancer was a person, it’d be a %$^&ing asshole, and a serial killer”. It’s a frustrating thing to hear people say, and every time someone says it I punt a puppy.

Why? “Things happen!”

However, things happening for the best? That’s different. The implication being that the social outcome of a problem sticky in nature can work out for the overall good of people involved. This is something that happens frequently, but especially in relationships.

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard of or seen a relationship explode and it has been for the better afterwards. Every single broken relationship I can think of has benefitted from this thought, and overall makes for happier people at the end of an unhappy chapter. That mode of thought allows for catharsis, rather than a need for retribution or revenge.

For instance, two of my friends just got out of a relationship with one another. Although the specifics are hugely juicy and super interesting, I won’t go into them in detail; suffice to say, it had been almost a year before they broke up that the relationship started suffering from lethal lack of communication.

Sometimes, there's nothing you can do. And then sometimes, there's a pair of scissors...

In the end, neither party was fully happy in the relationship: one person scared the other one anytime an issue showed itself, which cause both parties to hide things from one another and essentially not communicate (arguably the blood of a relationship).

Right now, things are ugly. Some friends are taking sides, others are condemning and complaining (and we all know that any fool can condemn and complain… and most do), and everyone’s acting like the break up was a bad thing. HORRIBLE. NOTHING COULD BE WORSE, X TREATED Y LIKE CRAP, Y WAS A MONGER ‘, BLAH BLAH ASS-TAINTING CHAFE FUCKS WE’RE GONNA DIE IF WE DON’T RAISE HELL.

Very, very stupid.

Why? Why on Earth are we getting worked up about a good thing?

The end of a relationship like this is much like a forest fire to a dying grove. The trees are gnarled, old, and rotting. Immediately after being burned, the area smells like ash and ass. Give it time, and the place grows back better than ever before!

My point is this: you have to look at a bigger picture, and look at all the consequences. Right now it’s ugly, true. Living situations are messed, feelings are bruised, and friendships are kind being torn; but that’s all people look at these days! Short term shit. Long term? Both people will be in happier relationships, and people will have completely forgotten about this situation. Life goes on.

Also, this avoids a lot of the drama, which is something that makes this puppy punter politely pat a puppy instead.

And this makes for happier puppies. Healthier ones too!

Now to bed. I’m so tired. Of everything. Shit included.

Scary Lessons

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the topic of theology. Specifically on Naturalism, the idea that the core fundamentals of the universe and the world are discovered and that there are natural laws that govern us, as dictated by a God of some kind; and the antithesis, with positivism, where we are free beings, not governed by a God but by ourselves, as humans. A lot of this enquiry has only strengthened my resolve in my atheism.

However, I also believe that, if you take the time to look around you life, and smell the roses from time to time, a lesson shows itself to you, hidden but still there to the eagle eye of someone who takes simple things waaaaay too seriously.

There's no WAY that EVERY WORD meant that much! - Most grade 9 students

Arguably, the biggest question that people have is “Why are we here, and how did we get here?” You know, the question to life, the universe, and everything. My friend believes he found the answer in Christianity. He believes in God now, and has his idea on how everything works. In complete contrast, I ended up as an atheist. Whereas he felt a connection to the world and called it God, I saw a lack of connection on any such level, and called it life. We’ve been debating over the specifics of his ideals now for a week, going to all sorts of different paths of reason, belief, and crazy ideas for me to come to the conclusion that I still feel absolutely no connection to an all encompassing being. As for him, I don’t have the right to say, as Ted is his own guy and is kind of impossible to read on these matters.

But ever since I discovered this lack of connection, there’s been a lurking feeling in the back of my mind. Indiscernible, hard to correlate… but it was there. Since I am an atheist, and since there is (for me) no God, then there is no set road for me, no fate, no destiny. I am truly and completely free to do anything I please.

Interestingly enough though, that was not the idea in its entirety: it was satisfactory, but there was still another lesson to be learned. Was it that I now had more responsibility? That’s a given. Redemption and forgiveness were now dictated by other people and myself, and not an omniscient thing? Well, duh. The fact that without a God, I now had more personal power? That’s cool. I like that.

And then tonight happened.

I went to go visit Kitteh for awhile tonight. It’s a ridiculously hot March evening, and I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I’ve just eaten dinner with my Mom, and I was really content. Kitteh and I talked about Mad Men (she loves it), skirts, mail, work, involuntary voluntary work (or “training” as it’s called) and all kinds of things. But eventually, it was time for me to go. I helped her with her laundry, kissed her goodnight, and started to head home when all of a sudden, I stopped.

In front of me was a back-alley dirt-way. The path stretched out in front of me, long and dark in areas while light in others. The pebbles and gravel of the path lent a rough, callous quality to the path, its bumpy texture evident in the strips of light from the parallel residence building. Overhanging branches from nearby trees cast long, spindly shadows over the path while the poles and pillars and supported wires cast their suitably thicker, dark umbrae over the path. Tire tracks from muddier days drew gouges in the pathway, crisscrossing and intersecting with footprints to show a road travelled by many, remembered by few.

And I thought to myself, my, what a simple way to represent my life; simple at its outset, yet a closer look reveals a bumpy road that winds a little. Light represented the good times, only bright because the shadows could provide the contrast needed to make the good times great. Gouges and sticks showed that things can change my life irrevocably, and will leave me scarred. As easy as it was to imagine that this path was my life, I realized something a little terrifying.

At the end of the path, there were no more lights. The adjacent building blocked the lights from any nearby rooms. Meanwhile, trees clawed across the gap, blocking my vision of the end of the path.

It’s at this point I figured out what a terrifying choice I’ve made, for I knew that, unlike what Ted thought, there was nothing at the end of this path.

At the end of the path, I was going to be alone in the dark.

I have to remember my earlier lessons though: it might be dark, but that’s if I leave it like that. I have the responsibility and power to change that. I have Kitteh. I have goals, and I have dreams.

I’ll light my own way, and people will be there to help me.

I refuse to be alone in the dark.

The Gritty Truth About Valentines: Or What It’s About

So we’ve come to this time of the year again.

I can see it all now: the posts and tweets about being alone and needing a loved one, the cries of forever alone and the dreaded friendzone echoing loudly in the halls of the interwebs, clattering with calls of over corporatization and money grubbing, only to be mashed together in one messy, confused, and altogether pointless noise that makes up the loudest section of Valentine’s day.

Why is that? I mean, are there really that many people who are that upset with Valentines day?

How can so many people be so together in their alone-ness, and why don’t they seek to end it?

I’ve thought a lot about Valentine’s in the past: both from the perspective that it sucks in years past (cause, you know, “fuck being the only single frenchman on the face of the damn planet” is an attractive mentality) and from the opposite viewpoint that says it rocks (“I’m sexy and I know it” style). What’s interesting in both these perspectives is the assumption that Valentine’s day should be about couples only: if you’re not in a thing with someone, you dun goofed, and you should be ashamed of yourself for not being in looooove with someone else.

Assuming, of course, that love means being in love with someone you eventually want to do feather bed jig with.

There’s the problem: why is love always assumed to only matter if it’s with someone you want to potentially shake their sheets?

Here’s the way I see Valentines: Valentine’s day is about love. Of that there is no doubt; but why is it always about docking your submarine/equine mounting? There’s more than just that to love, isn’t there? For instance, most people have parents. Do most of those parents love their kids, no matter what? Ideally, one would hope so. For those lucky/unlucky enough to have siblings, cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, wouldn’t most of those people also love? What about friends? The ones that usually end up in the same stupid situations you do?

It seems obvious to me there’s a lot of love in the world when you look for it.

“But Phil!,” you might say, “what the hell do all those people have to do with Valentines day and me being so alone/angry/upset/eatacat/sad about the whole deal?”

I’m here to advocate an attitude change. I think that the people who think they are “forever alone” and friendzoned need to realize that Valentines is not all about the thrill of the bone, nor the opportunity to simply kiss another person. Or date. It’s a lot simpler than that complicated ^$#^@&#* we put up with ever other day of our damn lives.

Valentines needs to be a lot less about performing a mattress hoedown and a lot more about celebrating love as a whole. Celebrate ALL the love!

For all the people who don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend to spend Valentine’s with, I have a challenge for you. I want you to look at who in your life loves you, and celebrate that. If you can recognize that you are indeed loved, guess what?

You won’t go alone a day in your life.

If no one loves you, then I’m sorry to say the best I can do is link a picture of a dinosaur.

So at least there’s that.

Happy Valentines everyone! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go fill in the circles on a scantron sheet.

Seriously, I have a midterm. It stops now.