Let’s talk about work. I don’t mean “work” the verb, but “work” the general noun, work the job, work the thing you do day in and day out, love it or hate it—that work. Because work, your career, the job you’re doing, is all too often the central part of who you are, who we are, a badge we wear to tell the world, “Here is my worth to not only myself, but to you and society as well.” We introduce ourselves as “Hank the chef,” or “Susan the optometrist,” never “Hank the occasional garden grower,” or “Susan the comic book collector,” because our work is so important to how we live, where we live, what we drive, the time we have, the places we go and the things we own, that it seems all the more important to us—even if it isn’t. (more…)
It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized I wanted to write. I’d thought about it, and written before, but I don’t think I gave it the fair shake it probably deserved until then. While I was in college, I saw what writing could be for me in the future. I saw an opportunity to tell stories—fantastical stories, imaginative stories, stories that were affecting, that mattered—but the more that I studied and the more that I wrote, I realized I wasn’t good at it. (more…)
Surprise is a funny thing. Be it a monster or a party, surprise is a moment in which something that doesn’t normally happen, happens, and everything we’ve come to expect from an established set of normal dissipates for a moment to reveal something…different. Surprise isn’t inherently good or bad. It’s a reaction to what we know, what we’ve been taught to know, and anything that surprises us typically falls outside the set points we’ve been given.
A couple of days ago, a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida killed 17 people, and as horrible a sentence as that is type, it isn’t in the least surprising, the reason being, school shootings, church shootings, concert, nightclub, movie theater shootings are not outside of the set points we’ve been given any longer. They aren’t outliers. They aren’t uncommon. (more…)
I realized when I posted the “old man rails against fast food chains” post the other day, I neglected to ever explain or even mention the fact that Abbie and I had become vegetarian or, and perhaps more importantly, the reason why. Usually I slip random tidbits like that into whatever it is I’m talking about, but, for some reason, I guess I assumed I’d gone and done that already–oh well. (more…)
I guess it was sometime during college, maybe senior year of high school at the latest, that we got our first Cook Out. If you aren’t entirely aware of what the majority of the words in that sentence even mean:
Cook Out is a fast food chain that seems to try and aim to fill the gap we apparently have in our diets for good, old-school 60s style burgers, hotdogs, and shakes. To the best of my knowledge, the chain exists entirely in the Southeast portion of the United States, similar to how In-N-Out Burger is a West Coast thing. It’s one of these burger chains, like In-N-Out, like Steak n Shake, like Sonic, and so many others that, successful or not, were built and exist to serve a post-war nostalgia we developed as we got further from the mid 20th century for simple, wholesome, no-frills food. (more…)
When I was growing up, my birthday always landed in this unfortunate time after Christmas where it almost seemed like it was supposed to be a part of the holiday season—but wasn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad my birthday was and has always been far enough away from Christmas to not be lumped in with it, but the main thing that bothered me with where it landed was that I was always in school. And barely.
My entire life, I’ve begun semesters the week before my birthday, the day before, and in some cruel, twisted turns of fate, I’ve begun them day of. It’s horrible and a horribleness a kid born in July will never know, but there’s a silver lining now that I’m older, that being this: I can take the day off for my birthday now, which I did and am doing today. Glory be the freedom of adulthood!
Oh, and what will I be doing today, you ask? Probably, and quite literally, nothing—and it will be absolutely marvelous.
I began this list originally with an introduction that was probably a bit too long and, perhaps, for the most part, unnecessary, so in one sentence, I’m going to express the sentiment I was going for:
2017 was a rough year for a number of people, but a great year for video games, and as hard as it may have been, the games this year seemed to make it a little bit better.
There. Phew. Done.
My top ten video games of 2017 list commences. (more…)