surrealcouchuniverse

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


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BRING ME THE HEAD OF RYAN GIGGS (BOOK)

So my first book back was a relatively light read. It was called Bring Me The Head Of Ryan Giggs. The book was about a bitter ex-player for Manchester United and who he blamed when his rise to stardom was tragically cut short.

As far as first books back go, it was quite entertaining. It was a light book which touched on some heavy themes (mainly the public’s pre-occupation with putting kids on pedestals and the mercenary nature of professional sport). It is done entirely from the ex-players point of view as we follow his struggles and hardships through his life.

So now that I have the book bug again, I am now reading a Victorian-error mystery about a girl who has died on the eve of her marriage (Luxe). Definitely a little bit of a heavier book than Bring me the Head of Ryan Giggs but none-the-less quite intriguing at the moment as they build up the world and the relations around it.


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Next Books I Want To Read

After a too long hiatus from reading, I was thinking about what would be the best type of book would be to get back into it. Originally I was thinking of a long book to really sink my teeth into. However, I think a shorter book or two would be better. This would be as much to train my mind to focus and read more rather than the instant, bite-sized gratification I have been having lately.

Next was the genre. I would like a fantasy book, but most of these seem to be world-building, potential-movie trilogies these days. I think a small biography or maybe management self-improvement type book would be better and more interesting. They also tend to be allot more manageable for a now more casual reader. Fantasy, however, does spark up my imagination allot more.

So in the end, I think the first choice is a short-ish, single book fantasy. If I can’t find that, maybe a relatively short biography on someone I am interested in or a management-type book would be better. It has been too long since I let my mind wander reading a book.


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My Thoughts Smash Run on Super Smash Brothers (3ds)

I really like the smash run for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (A game where Nintendo characters fight eachother). Sure, it has it’s problems, but for, it is overall a positive experience. I like how you can run through a level, slowly powering your character up. I love fighting a wide variety of enemies from videogames long past. I love the customisation options to take items to help clear out some of these enemies.

However, it is far from perfect. A couple of different maps would have been good. Also, the pay-off sometimes doesn’t feel worth it. I would like the option to choose not to have races but rather just battles after the game ends. Also, after 5 minutes of building my character, I would like at least a 3-4 minute brawl as opposed to the default 2 minute match. However, it says allot about how much I like it that I am willing to play it through for the 1 in every 3 times (average) that it comes together well (a compelling match at the end of a hard-fought dungeon crawl).


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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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