Binge Watching: Marvel – The Defenders

**No spoilers**

So considerate of you.

Binge watching. Ahhh, such a fun thing to do.

Definitely better than binge reading some blog I know of.

Now now…

Sunday night I had a board game night with a few friends and my little brother. After the games were over—Tokaido and Betrayal at House on the Hill—, everyone left, minus my brother.

It was 10:00 PM, and he was staying over for the night. I was tired, yet he still had a good amount of gas in the tank. So we decided a good compromise would be to watch something on Netflix—me being too tired to game, and him being too energized to hit the sack.

We turned on the Xbox, opened the Netflix application, and started browsing the plethora of selections. We browsed for at least 10 minutes, and we realized we could get lost in browsing the countless shows and movies available.

Defenders.jpg

We decided to watch the first episode of Marvel – The Defenders. He is a fan of superhero shows and movies, and I enjoy most of them as well.

We found the first episode rather meek and slow, but we decided to watch the second episode nonetheless.

Ahh, we get it: stubborn. Sticking with the initial plan no matter what.

We enjoyed the second episode more than the first, but still, we found it was taking too much time to kick things off, especially seeing as there are only eight episodes in the series.

The next morning, we watched the third episode while having an omelette: that is when I got hooked. I am an easy crowd to please, and with four different superheroes clashing in one show, I was bound to become addicted sooner or later.

I drove Christian to work after the third episode, and told him: “I wouldn’t be surprised if I watch some more when I get home”.

Fast-forward 11 hours: I had done my laundry, recorded my podcast, gone to my swing class, and watched all five remaining episodes of The Defenders.

Overall, I enjoyed the show—obviously seeing how I acted—, except the slow beginning. I don’t want to get into the details of the story line as to not cause any spoilers.

Considerate, once again.

When was the last time you binge-watched a show? How do you feel when you binge-watch?

Binge-note: binge-ing is just so, utterly, binge.

What Do You Do While You Wait For Your Laundry?

This post is geared towards those who do not have a washer and dryer at home; to all those lucky ones who must go to a laundromat to do their laundry.

And what if I do have a washer and dryer?

You can read anyways, if you’d like to make me smile.

**Smile**

I moved out from my six and a half apartment on July 1st, where I was living with one roommate. Now I am in a three and a half, living alone. In my old apartment, we had a washer and dryer. Back then—sounds like a long time ago, but this was up until June—, I would not wait around for my laundry: I would simply put the clothes in the wash, and come back to them later on in the day to say hello—and put them in the dryer.

Now, I do not own a washer and dryer. Luckily, I do not need to go to a laundromat either.

Are you saying you just don’t clean your clothes anymore..?

No, not at all: my mother lives five minutes away—on foot—, which is practical with laundry in mind.

That’s good. I am glad that you have kept proper hygiene while living alone.

Sometimes I will go put a load of laundry in, and ask my mother to put the clothes in the dryer when the wash cycle is finished when she has a chance. Then, a few days later, I’ll go pick up my clean clothes from her house.

Whenever I have too many loads to do—mainly due to laziness, which tends to brood a heaping pile of clothes in my closet—, I will go, and wait for the first load to finish, and then start up a second one. That is a similar situation to those who go to a laundromat, and have to wait for their washer and dryer cycle to finish.

Today I decided to take my mom’s dog to the park while waiting for the first load to finish. There were about 7 other dogs in the park, and Bailey was the second smallest one there, looking like a white little fur ball on four legs.

I stayed for about 20 minutes, and went to pick up the leash and harness which I had left on the ground by a tree—smart me; a dog had peed on it.

Well, if it was by a tree…

Lesson learnt.

This was Bailey during the car ride home—obviously still a little white fur ball, but sprawled out and all huffy-puffy:

20770258_10155127484056634_7347979960175667260_n.jpg

I carried Bailey back to the car, went to my mom’s, and low and behold, my laundry was done! I started up a second cycle, hung up some clothes, put some in the dryer, and asked my mother to do the second dryer cycle tonight after her work.

On other occasions I have simply just relaxed on the couch with Bailey, or played the piano while waiting for the wash cycle.

When you go to a laundromat, what do you do?

Thanks for reading:

**Smile—again**

Paw-note: don’t leave anything outside by the tree when you go do laundry; you might attract some dogs.

Today Is My Nana’s Birthday

Short post incoming, picture-less.

Make it snappy.

Yes yes. You’re always so quick to the gun…

First and foremost, words cannot properly express my Nana’s grandiosity; however I will give it a —succinct and nectarous—shot.

My Nana advanced one spot on her timeline today, to another double digit spot on her calendar. The first digit is 8; the second will remain shrouded in mystery.

Ahh, 8: that is her favorite number. That was also my favorite number growing up, because it was her favorite number; I loved—and still do—her that much.

Did you realize that today is the 8th of the 8th? That makes a lot of 8’s for someone whose favorite number is 8. Although this favoritism might have stemmed from the fact that her birthday is on the 8th of the 8th, that does change the reality that her favorite number is 8.

Briefly put, all that matters is that today is a rocking woman’s birthday, as I know it is the case for many others out there—although I will stick to Nana in this post, seeing as I don’t know anyone else.

You don’t know anyone besides your Nana? You would win a popularity contest.

Well, I do… But not whose birthday is today.

We are going out to grab a coffee and see a movie tonight to celebrate her birthday. We are going to see the last showing at the cinema, which is customary for us—the showings we go to are always post-10:00PM. Talk about a NON—Night Owl Grandma.

And you’re a SAC.

So Awesomely Cool?

More like Snappy Acronym Creator.

Ahh… Why thank you.

Knowing her, she won’t be asleep until at least 3:00AM or 4:00AM tonight, hours after the movie has finished. I’ll definitely hit the sack before her, as I do almost every night of the year. Remember, NON.

And finally, I must admit that I don’t even celebrate my own birthday that much, but for Nana, going out to see a late movie to celebrate is something I want to do, for her.

Which birthday do you like to celebrate the most? Is it your own, or someone else’s?

Foot-note: eight eight eight eight eight eight eight. 8.

How Does Camping Make You Feel?

Hello again.

Hello, Mr. Naylor. Writing on time I see. Congratulations.

Now, let’s talk about camping!

Or rather write and read about it?

Yes yes…

Camping is one of my favorite summer activities. I try to get away from the city life at least 1-2 weekends each summer, and take in the fresh air, cellphone-less days, and the beauty of nature.

Camping-CampingNaturePleinAir.jpg

I just came back from a two day fishing trip where I got to do just that—minus the camping with a tent. We spent the whole time on the boat fishing—and caught zero fish, great—, playing horseshoes, throwing frisbees, playing board games in the chalet, and relaxing in the sun. I always find days such as those very enjoyable, and I feel like I return home with a new outlook.

I have the luxury of going—camping this time—again this upcoming weekend, for three nights, and over 72 hours of non stop music—I will obviously sleep at some times, or else a collapse will occur inevitably. It is less relaxing on the body having to dance for all that time, but my mind will still manage to relax; nature has its ways of soothing me.

The festival this weekend is Eclipse, where there are four stages with music for 4-5 days. It is my first time going to this festival, and I look forward to hearing a lot of psychedelic-trance—fast paced electronic trippy music!

I know I will also take some time to just sit back, read, and stare in awe at the wonders of the trees, those emerald pillars staring down at us.

How does camping make you feel? It is a routine to go every summer, or even winter?

Side-note: it would rock if an Eclipse was set to occur during the Eclipse festival; sometimes, I tend to ask for too much.

Not Enough Time Or Not Taking The Time?

Once again, I’ve been through a busy period and I have not managed to sit down and write once a week like I used to. I miss writing on here, but at the same time I have other stuff taking my attention to a greater degree. Time to change that—or so I will try.

clock2.gif

Actually, that is somewhat of a lie.

What? You lied to us? How dare you.

It was only for about 5 seconds; I am sure you will forgive me.

To be honest, the fact that I hadn’t been able to find a short amount of time made me ponder, and I realized something: it is not that I didn’t have the time, but rather that I did not make the time. (As I write this, this TED talk comes to mind. Laura talks about how we create excuses making ourselves believe we don’t have the free time we desire, when really we simply don’t take and make the time.)

But we love hearing from you…

This thinking made me realize that I was prioritizing other stuff over writing—I have always had trouble sticking to 2-3 things, so I am not surprised. I am trying to have a perspective shift and make the time to be able to sit down at my computer, write to myself, to you, once a week—I have too often set a goal that is too high, and not achieved it. Hence, I prefer targeting a goal of once a week instead of multiple times a week. My goal is to write every Monday. If I write another day over and above Monday, so be it. It makes sense for me to target once a week, seeing as I already had trouble keeping up with writing once a week in the past few months.

If I think about my typical week, I see how much free time I truly have and how I can easily throw some of it away, whether it be through my cellphone or other mediums. It all comes down to organization and the realization that we have much more time than we think.

Since I got back from a camping trip last Monday, I have been using my cellphone significantly less, and that has already made a big difference. When I think about it, I was looking at my phone so many times a day when there was nothing to check on it; it was mostly by habit.

And so, above I mentioned some of the things that crossed my mind during the last few weeks, and they seem to have been slightly insightful.

How humble of you to insert the world slightly.

How about you? Do you feel similar sometimes? Do you feel like you lack free time?

Have You Ever Been To A Video Game Music Concert?

Yesterday, after having recorded my weekly podcast, my friend Francis and I were sitting down, chatting, and browsing the interweb—yes, that word exists!

04.jpg

On my Facebook feed, Francis noticed an upcoming Ghibli show in Montreal. He screamed in excitement. I stared in confusion. I, for one, had no idea what Ghibli was. So I asked him. And he explained. Simple, right?

Now explain it to us.

My pleasure.

Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio. The performers in Montreal will be playing scores from Studio Ghibli, heard in movies such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke—movies which I have yet to see but have heard of on numerous occasions.

While scrolling through the OVMF website, I saw a concert titled “NES Concert”. This drew my attention right away. I clicked on the link, read the description, and my heart-race increased: there is an NES Concert this October, in Montreal. Scores will be performed from games such as Kirby, Final Fantasy, Super Mario, Metroid, and more.

I asked Francis if he wanted to go, and he said yes. We will be buying our tickets in the coming days hopefully.

I have heard of many people who went to video game concerts in the past, but I have never gone to one. I am very excited for this NES Concert. Being able to hear an orchestra perform hits from classic video games is sure to send shivers down my spine—all the way to my coccyx.

Have you ever been to a video game music concert?

Chant-note: DO not REply; it is MIne, this FAcetious SOng that LAnguishes the TIp of the human DOgma.

Dark Souls 3: The Reason Of My Absence

Why hello there.

I haven’t posted in a while.

We know. We have just been so eager to hear from you.

That swells my heart!

Now now; onto the topic at hand, please.

The culprit behind my inactivity is a video game from one of my all time favorite video game franchises: the Dark Souls franchise. I have been playing Dark Souls since the release of the first one back in 2011.

DARKSOUL_facebook_mini.jpg

In 2016, Dark Souls 3—I just watched the video that I linked you to, and I have goosebumps all over; I adore this game, so much—was released. I bought it the moment it came out—well, I mean, not the moment it came out, but you get the idea—, and purchased the deluxe edition. The deluxe edition included all expansions that were to be released for the game in the future. The previous Dark Souls games had two to three expansions each, and for me this extra purchase was a must.

I played through about half of the game throughout the course of the first few weeks after having purchased it, but then school, work, and personal endeavors took over and Dark Souls 3 was put on the back burner.

However, after having completed my second cycle in osteopathy a few weeks ago and having received my diploma—yay!—, this game that had been calling my name for months and months finally had its prayers fulfilled: it got air time on my TV. And not just a little bit—hence my disappearance of late—but a good 20-30 hours in the past two weeks. I just finished the last boss of the game, and now all that is left are the two expansions—well, I’m almost done one of them already.

So. Much. Fun.

So. Much. Information. But would you mind telling us what Dark Souls is at least? All I can tell is that it does sound dark. And maybe fun?

Dark Souls is considered to be among the hardest and most frustrating video games ever made. It is a game where you can easily be killed by the weakest monsters in the game. It is a game in which you will die—without exaggerating—hundreds, if not thousands, of times before completing the game. Frustration is bound to ensue many times over.

Now that doesn’t sound very appealing. Frustration. More Frustration. And even some more. Where are the words “fun” and “enjoyment”?

You are right. This game is not made for everyone, although that can be said for any game. Dark Souls targets a particular audience. As a matter of fact, a few of my friends have tried it, and all but one quit out of frustration no more than 45 minutes after having started; however, the one who did enjoy it bought an Xbox 360 two days later simply to be able to play Dark Souls, because he enjoyed the experience so much. So to answer your question: the difficulty level of this game is what appeals to me, and to many others out there too. For me, too few games offer an extremely difficult and in-depth challenge to beat, something that I strive for in video games. Dark Souls offers just this.

When you beat a boss in this game—normally after many trials and having learnt through experience from the multiple deaths he has caused you—the satisfaction is immense. You managed to beat the horrible odds, and came out on top due to skill as well as trial and error tactics. And when you beat a boss, you receive his “soul essence”, and you can transfuse it into a special weapon, shield, or item, depending on the soul you acquired.

Two main causes of frustration in the game are the following:

  • All enemies always respawn once you die. All of them except bosses and mini-bosses. That means that if you just spent 42 minutes killing enemies and venturing towards the bosses’ area, and that you die, you must kill all those monsters anew to make it back to the bosses’ area. Also, if you run out of estus flasks—basically potions—you must rest at a bonfire to replenish your health and your estus flask count. However, once again, every time that you rest at a bonfire, all monsters respawn.
  • The experience points mechanism, called “souls”. Any monster you defeat yields souls. Any boss you defeat also yields souls, often many more than a typical foe. Souls are used as currency in the game, as well as for leveling up your character—the Ashen One. The catch is that if you die at any point during the game, all of your unused souls that you are carrying on you are dropped at the location of your death. If you manage to retrieve them, congratulations to you. But if you die again before picking them up, they are lost forever, and are replaced by a new soul drop where you just died. Also, you cannot simply level up at any time in the game, or else it would be too easy to always use up all your souls. You must go to see one specific character in the game to level up, and there is no other way than that. Therefore you must be extremely careful when carrying many souls on you, or else you will get very angry. Grrrr.

Now, imagine the following scenario—true story that occurred during my last two weeks of play—:

You have been killing monsters for about an hour. You stumble across a hoard of monsters—in this game a hoard is anything as little as two monsters, because they can brutally punish you by chipping away at your stamina—and you die. You drop all the souls that you have been collecting for the past hour, enough to level up about four times. You then set out to go retrieve them, but all the monsters have respawned. Easy as 3.14 pie; you decide to play more carefully and defend more frequently just to assure you make it back to your heaping souls crying out in despair on the ground, threatening to leave you if you die again on your journey back to them. And then as you are just nearby the area with your souls that were dropped, you get excited. And so you decide to run across that bridge a little less cautiously than normally. And you accidentally fall off.

Your previous soul drop is now gone.

Those souls are gone.

Forever.

Well, this long briefly summarizes Dark Souls. I am sad to hear that they will not be making a fourth game in this series because the director felt strangled by having to only create the world of Dark Souls. He wants to expand to new horizons and make new games. However, I am very happy that there are three games in this series, with around six to seven expansions throughout the series. I am already planning on playing the first one again sometime soon—probably once I finish doing everything there is to do in Dark Souls 3.

I will write some more posts with regards to Dark Souls in the future, such as explaining the lore, which I also love tremendously.

Dark-note: never leave your soul lying on the ground. You might lose it. Forever.