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.

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.

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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.

What Is Your Favorite Word?

Yes, yes, I’m one of those people who loves words!

Each day I take a few minutes to read the Word of the Day on the Dictionary website. It is my equivalent to a regular non-word-worm’s—I even allow myself to invent words now—morning coffee; my day seems incomplete without it.

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My caffeine is… words!

Not funny. Please, go on.

I started this daily reading about 2-3 years ago. I remember I was working as a cashier at the liquor store, and I would spend the downtime in between customers reading the previous—weeks and weeks worth—Words of the Day. A few months after having started doing this, the liquor store computer system got revamped and employees were now only allowed to browse the website that was used to search for the products of the store.

I feel like I may have been one of the causes of this provincial-wide software change—I guess I am proud of some sorts if I was, I mean, provoking a provincial-wide change: check off the bucket list!

Moving on to my words.

Here a few of my favorites—that I can recall, because honestly, remembering complex words that I have never heard of before isn’t too easy—from the past years of reading:

1. My favorite is without a doubt apotheosis. It sounds like a godlike term, hence my love for it. I love every thing about it. Every. Single. Thing. Apotheosis is a noun that depicts the “ideal example”. Used in a sentence it looks like this: Apotheosis is the apotheosis of a great word.

Well aren’t you a clever Bee.

2. Another word I love is draconian. Draconian is an adjective that refers to something “unusually severe or cruel”. Here is an example: Deirdre’s draconian methods of ruling leave the citizens in a constant state of panic. I love this word because I find it sounds just as cruel as it’s meaning. Say it a few times out loud with a deep voice and see—first take a quick look around to make sure no one is watching you, for your societal sanity’s sake: Draconian, Draconian, Draconian. Does it not sound mean and dark?

3. The last one I will share with you today is scythe, which I assume will be more known than the latter. I love the flow of letters in the word scythe because I find they flow seamlessly—alright, I will admit, even I find myself a little bit of a word-weirdo here. I also love the pronunciation. I always thought it was pronounced “sahy-the” but it is pronounced “sahyth”. To properly understand the pronunciation go to this link and click on the microphone icon. Scythe is a noun and is the tool that death wields. This tool is more commonly used by mere mortal farmers when cutting grass or grain. In a sentence, it looks like this: Death was confused when he arrived to claim the farmer’s daughter’s life, because she too was wielding a scythe.

Witty example #2. I’m on fire today—and I’m as ninja-esque as cats so I am not getting burned (refer to this post to understand the inside joke).

Congrats Jonathan. Congrats.

What are some words that you love? I’m sure there must be at least a few words that you love because of their meaning, pronunciation, sentimental value, or for some other awesome reason.

Foot-note: wielding a scythe in front of a child is the apotheosis of draconian parenting.

What’s Your Favorite Convention?

For the past few years, I have been attending the Expo manger santé et vivre vert (henceforth called Expo Convention in this post for simplicity) convention held in Montreal. I must say is my favourite convention I have attended to date. I have been to some others—such as Montreal Commicon—and enjoyed them tremendously, but nothing compares to the Expo Convention for me.

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I am presently sitting on my couch writing this post because there is still some time left before meeting up with my friends for the convention. I am eager to slip on my boots shortly, walk over to the convention, and start tasting!

Here is a brief summary of what it is:

Frequency: it happens once a year, and normally lasts three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s a heap of fun, for quite cheap too.

The space: It is held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, a center where many conventions are held (such as the famous Montreal Commicon). It takes place in a very large warehouse-style size room. The exact dimensions escape me; however, let me tell you one thing: it is huge. Each year I spend at least 5 hours there and it doesn’t even allow me to visit all the kiosques—let alone taste all the ones I do get a change to visit.

Fee: the entrance fee is definitely fair: 14$ for a regular entrance, which includes the day pass and food/product samples from every company offering them (almost all do offer a least a few). 14$ is the price of quick lunch, and every year I fill up on food here, tasting all kinds of stuff. I normally don’t even eat supper when I get home, because I’ve been munching on tasters for 4-5 straight hours. There are discounts for students and senior citizens, and it is free for everyone under the age of 16! I love how they trying to promote healthy lifestyles to adolescents by making this a cost-free experience.

The layout: there are hundreds of kiosques of all varieties, ranging from nuts and oils, new state-of-the-art home water filtration, natural body creams, and everything in between. In general, if you’d like to stop at each kiosque, get to learn about their products and taste some samples—normally they have many—you’d best plan more than one day at the Expo Convention.

The main concept of the convention: showcase products that are deemed healthy. Most of the food products are organic (I’m always skeptical to know what actually is a well certified organic product and what has less high standards, making it inevitably similar to the non-organic counterpart). All non-dietary products are in line with healthy methods of living, such as natural body creams and natural supplements.

And there we have it! If you’d like to read more about it, the link in the first paragraph brings you directly to the official website.

I have skipped out on breakfast this morning to be able to taste everything that appeals to me without becoming bloated too quickly (this happened in a previous year).

For you:

Which convention is your favorite? I am curious to know what other kinds of conventions are out there—I am sure there are plenty I have never even imagined existed!