What’s Up? (10/11/15)

Animal Crossing Returns
One of my favorite games in 2013 was Animal Crossing: New Leaf. From the moment I picked it up in the summer I fell in love with the low stakes, cute, charming game. Turn the game on once a day,  talk to your villagers, decorate your home, and make it rain bells. I played nearly every day for over a year, before I decided to wipe my town “New Deli” off the map. Mayor Sandwich had a good run, but it was time to start a new village. After all, my favorite villager Cyrano moved out during one of my lapses. The town could not go on without Cyrano. Yet every town I created afterwards flopped. I could not get interested in New Leaf ever again, I thought.

And then a week ago one of my best friends got herself a copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, as did her friends at school… New Leaf was back, and I had a reason to play again. Mayor Sandwich moved into the town of Ole Deli, and I was right back into my old rhythm. One big difference between 2013 Ken and 2015 Ken: back then I was a night owl, and now I’m more an early bird. Instead of keeping my town’s shops open until 11PM or Midnight, I prefer to have them open around 6 AM-7AM. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is my morning commute game. I run around doing errands in town, and before I know it, I’m at my bus stop. It’s perfect.

Russian Grand Prix
Speaking of perfect, The Russian Grand Prix was on today. I woke up around 6:50 AM and started the NBCSports stream in time to catch a little pre-race news and predictions. Had amaretto flavored coffee, waffles, and potato pancakes for breakfast. Formula One honestly makes for a wonderful morning, when the timing is right. The next race will be in America, so, it’s probably going to be more like a lunchtime race. In any case, with four more races left (America, Mexico, Brazil, and Abu Dhabi I believe), I’m excited for the end of the F1 Season. 2015 is a fine year, better than 2014 in some respects, worse in others, but I want to see 2016 roll around in March and hopefully, with dramatic differences.  If you want to hear my full thoughts on the Russian GP, check out my video review here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3ymtneI-BKr3VM39HzxDgA

Cocktail Party
Finally, I actually finally had a cocktail shindig on (10/3)! I made four Thin Mints, which is a recipe with Creme de Menthe, Cacao, Vodka, and a chocolate cream of your choice. I went with Chocolate Almond Milk since I had vegan guests, but Bailey’s Chocolatini Creamer is also great. Felt so great to make drinks for people, and to serve them in ornamental glasses too, it was just perfect! Looking forward to doing it again.

What’s Up (12/14/13)

I’m home in New York, wrapped up in a blanket, listening to music from Animal Crossing, and ready to start writing. There was not a whole lot of time to write for my own sake these last few days. I know I wrote a Nuzlog post on Wednesday, but that felt more like an obligation to close the book on Pokemon Y, a book-closing twenty days late.

As soon as I was done with any one paper, I had to move onto the next. There was always something to do this finals week, and it marked the height of my productivity this whole semester. Even when I finished my last final on Friday, I basically got home and packed for an hour and a half straight, before rushing out the door to catch a bus to the airport.

I made a few stray observations yesterday. For starters, I was sitting down on a public bench waiting for a bus, and an old man smoking a cigarette sat down next to me. The last time I let somebody smoke next to me on a bench before a flight, I reeked of cigarettes so bad I had to take off my jacket and throw it in my luggage. It was gross and awful. So I got up from the bench and stood far away from the gross cigarette dude, and I don’t think he was happy about it, but whatever. I think it’d be courteous of all smokers to, I don’t know…. not smoke at a bus stop.

On the bus to the airport I realized, in the frenzy to pack, that I forgot to bring a friend-favorite video game, Fortune Street. Is that a little bit of a bummer? Yeah, but honestly, I think it might be nice to just chill sometimes with your friends, make fun conversation instead of relying on video games all of the time. Now that I write this, I also realize I didn’t bring Cards Against Humanity, which is another bummer. Particularly so because, that’s a fun non-video-game thing to do. By spring break though, I’ll have two all-new expansions for that game to play, and the Bigger, Blacker Box to store all of the cards in.

I’m becoming less and less careful about making sure that I pack everything I need, and while that’s having repercussions in the “what will I do with my friends” department, I think the lower levels of packing stress are better for my health. Travel doesn’t need to be stressful. I love airports, and as long as you get there early, you can sit, get food, and relax from Point A to Point B.

One last note: I had a dream last night, a nightmare, a reminder not to wait on things, to let people know how you feel, when you feel it.

What’s Up? (10/28/13)

So here’s something that literally just happened: I was browsing Reddit when I saw a post about Animal Crossing from /r/AnimalCrossing, and thought to myself “Oh no! I forgot to check the campsite in my town!” I stopped what I was doing, which was already procrastination from work, to go turn on Animal Crossing. I very specifically chose not to say, “turn on” instead of “play” because, how could I really call what I’m doing “playing?” I’m turning on a game, so that I can go talk to a dude – a horse named Elmer (which is morbid of you, Nintendo) – and convince him to move into town. I treat it more like a responsibility than something I’m doing because I enjoy it, but of course I do enjoy it, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this.

…That being said this Elmer guy is pretty interesting, and we’re playing some games of wager and chance, which are pretty addicting.

This week has been low-key, which was nice for a change. Busy, but not overwhelming. Fun, but not crazy. This week will be the exact opposite, guaranteed. Two exams, guests staying at the apartment, another 21st birthday, Halloween parties, the usual writing workload, shopping in order to be well stocked for guests! Oh my goodness! A challenge of a week! I’m excited, and nervous… so let’s do this!

What’s Up? (10/1/13)

A lot has happened since I last wrote. The longer I go without writing about those things, the more likely it is that I forget them. Unfortunately, that’s the case with this edition of What’s Up. I know since I last wrote, I once fell asleep in my day clothes for eleven hours, on top of my bed sheets with all of the lights on in my room: but I forget how, why, and when. I know I’ve played a few hours of Grand Theft Auto V, and I knew it was incredibly hilarious, awesome, and addicting. I know I went to a University of Pittsburgh football game, and had a great time. I know I watched the finale of Breaking Bad, and it was incredibly, unbelievably satisfying. Without writing these What’s Up pieces every once in a while, no matter how inane some might seem, it’d be hard to remember how things happened, and when they happened. My life is like a series of scattered dots without these blogs to connect them.

That being said, I want to talk a little bit of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Since buying Animal Crossing, I’ve played it almost every day consistently, missing all of five days maybe, definitely less than ten days. I’ve never time traveled, I don’t understand why you would. Mayor Sandwich of New Deli, and all of it’s residents: I love them all. The game is so charming, the music, the art, the writing: I know I’ve said this over and over again, but there’s nothing about New Leaf that doesn’t put a smile on my face every time I play it. I never want to miss a sale from the Nooklings,  I never want to miss out on what the Able Sisters are offering, I don’t want the flowers of my town to die out. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is unlike anything I’ve ever played before, and I feel like expressing this love for the game from time to time, like today.

What’s Up? (7/21/2013)

Hey! It’s been a bit since I wrote, so what’s up? Well, I’m playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf just about every day for two hours. I play an hour in the day, checking the shops to see what I can buy – and doing some miscellaneous quests and whatnot – and then an hour at night for bug-catching and pawn-shopping. New Leaf is incredibly satisfying, so glad I picked up Target’s last copy of it a few weeks ago.

I’ve also been playing some Borderlands 2, and I don’t know how I feel about the game. Like the first game, Borderlands 2 is freaking amazing to look at. The art style of the Borderlands Universe, the music, the ability trees, the sheer number of numbers to compute when trying to choose loot. There’s so much to like about Borderlands 2: and then there’s so much to dislike about it. The characters are… well, I don’t know. And the writing is… well, I don’t know. Flat. They try really, really hard – and that’s the problem. The enemies aren’t funny, just annoying, most characters aren’t likable, just annoying. The bland characters, the try-hard stabs at humor, and the incredibly annoying enemy banter/threats get in the way of my enjoyment of the gameplay and aesthetics of Borderlands 2. I can’t understand why I’ve put 8 hours into it sometimes, and I don’t know why I’m going to go back for more in the future.

Heading to the Silent Barn in Brooklyn in a few… twelve… hours or so. Going to see if I can be integrated into their internet team and be of assistance to them. I’m very excited at the possibility of being able to volunteer for some pretty cool people and raise some awareness about some pretty cool art and science.

90’s Music Reviews will return this week. 

What’s Up? (7/8/2013)

I’m incredibly bummed right now. Yesterday I was going through this really distressing feeling of not knowing how much time I had spent, or how much time I had left in the summer. For whatever reason I had felt like I had already wasted all of my summer, even though I have most of it ahead of me waiting to happen. I was frozen with this feeling like I had wasted so much time, and that I was not seeing my friends enough and, I was losing my mind over nothing – essentially.

So 7/7/2013 wasn’t spectacular internally, though I had fun with friends. Then today started off pretty freaking okay. I woke up, played Animal Crossing, chilled with my best buddy Cyrano the Anteater, and then proceeded to warm up some steak tidbits from Paddy’s Loft. Breakfast was great, lunch was great, I was listening to the Dissecting Dexter Podcast and was in a relatively good mood and…

I found out Ryan Davis of GiantBomb.com had died.



I spend easily over ten hours a week listening to and watching Ryan Davis through podcasts and videos on GiantBomb. This guy who I’ve come to know and care about over hundreds of hours of media, is now just fucking gone.

I feel like going to bed. I feel sick.

What’s Up? (7/3/2013)

Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Oh my, if that game isn’t the most pleasant, care-free thing ever. No wonder the local Gamestop and Best Buy were sold out: this game could probably be enjoyed by just about anybody with a soul. It’s been less than 24 hours since Mayor Sandwich arrived in the town of New Deli, but it’s been a really good time so far. I caught lots of cicadas, one fruit beetle, and one butterfly. I dug up some fossils, and shook trees to collect cherries. Really the things I’m doing should be boring, should feel like a waste of time, should feel trivial – but I love every minute of the game so far, and every little step in Animal Crossing feels rewarding.

In other news: I was technically a day late with the Michael Bolton review I suppose. I published it at 9 PM EST but WordPress follows Greenwich Mean Time so,  my music review was published on a Wednesday instead of a Tuesday – totally screwing up the Tuesday/Thursday music review schedule and…. who really cares? Nobodies itching to read more about Michael Bolton, and I’m really not looking forward to hearing more Michael Bolton – but I must press on.

That’s it for today really. Animal Crossing is good, life is good in general, going to a party in about an hour – and I have to subject myself to the aural exercise that is listening to a Michael Bolton album.