surrealcouchuniverse

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." – Dean Martin


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G.R.L.: From Ugly Heart to Lighthouse

I liked Ugly Heart. I feel that G.R.L. did a good, upbeat song about telling someone to get lost. It was a pleasant change (at the time) from the songs that felt like they were just pining (I believe Sam Smith and John Legend were in their prime at the time). Fun, upbeat songs were in their primacy.

The follow-up, Lighthouse, does away with most of that to join the ranks of the countless other slow ballads on the radio. The first song or two that were slow were good. When 90% of the new pop songs are slow ballads, it becomes quite tedious. Maybe their producer decided to jump G.R.L. on the bandwagon, but Lighthouse is a song I switched from without even listening to the end of it.

It is made even worse my being dedicated to someone. So now I have a song I don’t like, made worse because I really liked the bands first song, and I now feel bad about not liking it. Fantastic.


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Current Board Games

The following is a list of board games I am currently playing. I am now playing more 2-3 player games so trying out new games is fun:

– Pandemic: A few friends want to co-operatively save the world from annihilation. Very fun game and relatively simple to pick up so a new player or two is always involved. And as a co-operative game it caters for competitive and non-competitive players alike. It does help that there is no bossy-type player in the group.

– Star Realms: A simple one-on-one deck builder that is nice to transport around. I always like the balance of all-out attack vs building up an economy and weathering the storm. Glory to the Blogs.

– Seven Wonders: Each choice feels a bit more meaningful especially when you know other people will see the cards 2-3 times. Also being allot less inclined to play solitaire-style as someone has to foil opposing players strategies. The last couple of games were dominated by science so it will be interesting to see how this affects the meta-game.


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Favorite Late Snacks of 2015

2015 has been the year where I rediscovered my love for late-night snacks. My current favourite late night snacks are as follows:

– Hot Chips: There is a fish and chip store about 10 minutes from my place that stays open late. For $2, you get a decent serve of hot chips. I am not sure what corners they cut to give them to me at that price and I don’t care. All I know is that hot chips late at night are awesome.

– 2 Minute Noodles and Eggs: Get some 2-minute noodles and mix in some cooked egg (scrambled or fried). Throw in some peas and corn to make this a true late-night feast that doesn’t take too long to prepare.

– Chai-Latte and Doughnuts: Not proper Chai Latte’s, understand, but some pre-packaged Chai and cinnamon doughnuts from the store are great. It feels like a supper-type food as you get ready to put you feet up after a long days work.


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MY FAVORITE X-BOX 360 GAMES

So at the end of this generation, I am left pondering the X-Box 360 and the collection of games I have played on it. I do not intend to purchase a PS4 or X-box One at this stage, so I thought I would list my favourite 360 games. I have excluded games I played on computer even it also came out on 360 (such as Blood Dragon). I also didn’t include games I haven’t fully played through yet or are on the “to-do” pile (otherwise Deus Ex would probably be on here).

BASTION- This game has everything and it meshes together perfectly. It has a deep world, mechanics and narrative that reinforce each other, and a super-sexy narrator. This is my favourite game on 360. A bittersweet story about human nature, despair, hope and heroism that I am never tired of playing.

THE DARKNESS- The Darkness is a game that oozes style. The Darkness 2 also falls in this category, except that it ends on such a cliffhanger. It may not have the best shooting mechanics or the most wide variety of enemies; but the comic-style, strong narrative and inventive style makes this awesome shooter stand out.

X-COM: ENEMY UNKNOWN- As a fan of turn-based strategy, I was eagerly awaiting this game. And I loved this game when it came out. I eagerly rushed back after work to put in a solid 4-6 hours a night. A perfect reimagining that offered me a next-gen turn-based game that was awesome.

DARK SOULS- This game ticked all the boxes for me. A bleak, dark atmosphere with a narrative that hinted at things instead of providing allot of exposition, this game caught me by surprise. There is nothing quite like finally beating that boss that dwarfs your pathetic human character.

JUST CAUSE 2- For all the open world games out there, this is the one genre I felt really improved this generation with the processing power. But out of all the games, only 2 really stood out. Just Cause 2 allowed me to assassinate a General by flying a plane into him. What more needs to be said?

ASSASSIN’S CREED: BROTHERHOOD- The Assassins Creed series always looked good but I never tried them too much (unfortunately). Brotherhood was the first game I picked up, and I really liked how it made me feel. Sure, allot of the fights felt really easy (“press X to win” was in full effect). But playing as a free-running assassin felt right.

So they are the favourite games on the 360. I am looking forward to buying some games that I haven’t played yet (such as Katamari, Assassin’s Creed Liberation, Dark Souls 2) at bargain prices. That is, of course, unless Steam puts them on sale first.


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HOW BIG ARE WE IN LIFE: QUICK THOUGHTS

Here are some random existential thoughts on how big we truly are in this universe.

Whenever I think of the universe and the vast size of it, it makes me feel very small. Even when just thinking of the number of people on the planet or in this city, it occurs to me that I will be lucky to meet even 1% of them. Even taking my family and all my ancestors throughout time, it is once again 1% (if that) that I will be alive at the same time as. Throughout the vastness of space and time, there is far more happening than I will ever be involved in or see. Far more has happened before I lived and will happen after I die than when I am alive.

Whenever I think of the people I loved and supported, it makes me feel very big. The love and admiration I have for people in my life and how much I effect their lives makes me feel very big. Sharing in their triumphs and sorrows and watching them grow into who they want to. There is great happiness and sadness as well, as sometimes life seems to crush them under its pressures, which are sometimes more than anyone should handle.

Which comes back to me feeling small. Sometimes the changes and support I offer against all that life imposes unfairly is like trying to hold back the tide. Sometimes even the things we feel we can affect are not really things we can influence to any great degree


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Mortal Kombat Conquest: First Thoughts

Mortal Kombat Conquest is a live-action television series based on the fighting games. I have watched the first 5 episodes and have the following thoughts on this:

– For games that are noted for their brutality, it is clear that these shows are overly clean and bloodless. The games were noted for there brutal fatalities and also there out-there characters. Most of this has been toned down for the show. Although sub-zero and scorpion still showed up, they used their powers in a very limited way (probably to keep within the special effects budget).

– The acting is horrible. But the dialogue is even worse. There are times when it is cringe-worthy as characters deliver silly, stilted dialogue. Emoting was obviously beyond allot of the actors who were chosen because they simply looked the part.

– Raiden as the thunder-god is still useless and reactionary. There are many times when the rules of Mortal Kombat are broken, and calling him would solve the problems immediately. However, they never do because that would solve the issues very simply.

– It is interesting what they are doing with Shao Kahn. They are turning him into a paranoid ruler of a realm that is arid and dying. It could be interesting to see where this goes, but I imagine by the end that all this will be dropped.

– The fight scenes are also bad, but weirdly fun. It is interesting to see all the flips and the like that are impractical and don’t even look that cool. It is like watching a train wreck. They are also somehow getting worse as the show goes on.

I will probably finish watching this, but I will have it on more as background noise. Definitely not one I would recommend at all.


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Things I Like Doing When I Get Up In The Morning.

The morning. A time when all your troubles from yesterday still haven’t gone away and all the effort and energy you thought you would have has not suddenly materialised. Here are my favourite things I like to do in the morning:

Light Exercise- I don’t like doing anything to heavy in the mornings. However, some light stretches and bodyweight exercises feel good. Going for a light run also feel good. The good things I like about doing this is that it doesn’t take much preparation and so doesn’t use too much of my willpower to convince myself to start moving. I normally alternate between running and light exercises in front of my computer so I can watch something interesting.

Reading- Before the day starts to take its toll, sitting down for 15-20 minutes and reading a good book is fun. It helps to prepare myself mentally for a day of stress that is sure to follow with something that engages my mind, my imagination and I can do at my own pace.

Guitar Practice- As reading and exercise, this helps gets the blood flowing and shakes the cobwebs out mentally and physically. I would normally do this for 15-20minutes on the days I don’t begin my day with any reading

Breakfast, maybe- Normally skipped but some days I have a nice breakfast. My definition of nice is now scrambled eggs and bacon. It beats nothing but is only done if I get up early enough. Otherwise, Green Tea and some Nuts can go a long way.

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