Hey everyone! Decided I’d take a departure from gaming posts once in a while. The WordPress community is great, and I’m so glad to have found it and partake in all the great discussions going on here. I always see great events going on like 30 day challenges and such by many of the great members, which I unfortunately don’t partake in, due to time constraints of life.
Ultimately, I tend to focus on gaming, but Athena Veta’s great post on 10 Happy Thoughts immediately sparked a list in my head, of what truly makes me happy. This list has greatly changed over the years. With the honour of being tagged in this great post, I decided it’s time I step out of my little shell and talk about some of the smaller, finer things in life. Not sure if this will be a regular thing, but from time to time, I wouldn’t mind sharing such aspects of my life outside of gaming.
Here it goes!
10) Video Games
Well, let’s get the obvious one out of the way. I love video games, they have been with me for as long as I can remember. Since I was born, I remember the NES just already being there with a slew of games for it. As if it was my older brother and my parents true love. I naturally partook in gaming since a young age, and had many great times playing with games like Donkey Kong Country and Mortal Kombat 2 with my dad. Although I took a brief hiatus a few years back, gaming has always been a relevant part of my life. Now with my new found love of blogging about this great hobby, I’ve been able to share it with everyone here, it’s never been better. Isn’t that right Samus?
9) Wildlife and Nature
Being a heavy gamer naturally keeps me indoors a lot, but it’s never taken away from my fascination of nature and most notably wildlife. Our planets full of breath taking places, and inspiring creatures. From massive behemoths like the Blue Whales, to blazing fast speedsters like the Cheetah, they never fail to impress. I have a huge admiration and respect for them all. I may never get up close to them as much as I’d like, but I love learning about them and their ways in amazing documentaries like Planet Earth. I have a dream of one day travelling and being part of a dangerous, wild safari, where I can witness animals go about their day to day life, and maybe even see a hunt in progress. Oh wouldn’t that be something to photograph…
8) The Stars
Anyone who’s gone away with me camping or to a cottage knows at night, my heads stuck in a permanent state of 90 degree tilt. Why? I love looking at the stars. They fascinate me. When I look at them, my mind goes crazy at the thought of how many kajillion galaxies are out there, and just how big our universe really is. Knowing there are Suns out there that make our own Sun look like a spec of sand, or simple things like knowing it takes light 8 minutes to travel from the Sun to Earth… just blows my mind. I mean, come on! Light travels a 3 million meters a second… and it still takes 8 minutes? And that’s just within our own solar system. Really puts things in perspective how small we really are. My biggest reward at my constant state of looking up though are seeing shootings stars. A brief flash of beauty streaking across the sky always gets me in such a state of excitement, where I’m looking at everyone else around me who missed the spectacle… and now think I’m a crazy person since they have no clue why I’m getting so excited. But that’s ok, I pride myself at being crazy and strange at times.
7) Music and My Band
Since the end of high school, after popping on a pair of head phones and discovering the greatness of Metallica, I thought to myself, “I wanna play this shit!”. A few months later, I went to my local music shop, bought a shitty guitar and a shitty amp, and accompanied it with some shitty playing. Little did I know I was building the ground works for what would be a glorious 12 year relationship with music. I became an absolute metal head, and now appreciate all sorts of different music. Metal is always my main jam though. Picking up guitar which eventually lead me to turn to bass guitar a couple years after was a journey I never regret. At times it seemed like certain things were impossible, but with enough dedication and practice, it’s true what they say, the sky really is the limit. After reaching out locally to see if I could score a spot in some local bands, I met some great guys who will forever be an integral part of my life, from a musicianship level to aspects of my personal life. I’ve learned a lot from my band mates over the years and wouldn’t be what I am today without them. Cheers to them!
There’s no denying it, and at times I’m ashamed to say it, but man… I really do live for food! Whether it’s roasting up some spicy hash browns in the morning, or letting my wife take the lead and whip up some of the best Pakistani food known to mankind, I love it. One of my dreams would be to travel the world to try all the great food. From exotic to obscure food, nothings ever off the limits. One of my favourites, Sarson Saag. An amazing blend of mustard greens and spices. Although it’s tough to find mustard greens, we often make it with spinach and rapini, which still turns out amazing. It’s traditionally served with Makki Ke Roti (Corn flour roti), and lots and lots and lots and lots of butter. A big dab of butter in the Saag, and another for each Roti. This transforms it into a wonderful, heavenly experience. I have a saying, if there’s no butter in the Saag and on each Roti, it ain’t Saag!
Over the years, I’ve known and become close to many people. As time went on, you lose touch with some people, for all sorts of reasons, nothing negative, it just happens. But there are those who have been a big part of my life and will continue to be. Those are the friends that I can see tomorrow, or see a year from now and pick up from exactly where we left off. We don’t need to have the same interests or goals, but just get together and celebrate life and where we all have come from and accomplished over the years.
4) My home
Since October 28th last year (ironically my birthday), my wife and I took a big step in settle into our new home. We made the decision to find a house and start building foundations for the future of our family there. For anyone who lives around Toronto, or other parts of Canada for that matter, real estate here is messed up! Tiny houses go for absurd amounts of money, and are in such busy areas, things like getting a few groceries can turn into long winded chores.
We decided to get a house far away from the main city. For some friends and family, it was considered too far, and kudos to them for continually making the trek down to see us from time to time. We were able to get a house not only that we can afford, but love. Being far and in a small town certainly has it’s benefits. There’s little to no traffic at all times. The country side landscape is absolutely beautiful, and it’s so quiet. People are so kind here, and just about every store I go to, everyones always so happy to chat. Last Christmas, my wife ordered coffee through drive through, and pulled up to be informed the person ahead of them paid for her and wished us Merry Christmas. Random acts of kindness… I love it!
Family has always been the one constant in my life. No matter what I’ve done or faced in my life, I’ve always had their undying support. The love my parents show me, especially my mom always puts a smile on my face. Whether it’s my mom insisting she whip of a fresh meal of something, just for me even though she’s really exhausted, or her along with my dad rockin’ out to my first ever gig with my band, I can always count on them to be there by my side. Naturally, as close as we are as a family, we don’t always see eye to eye on some thing, yet we cope and compromise with each other to make everyone as happy as they can be.
2) Leia (Not the princess)
When I was younger, I always wanted a dog. However, I was constantly reminded of all the responsibilities that came with being a dog person. You have to walk them several times a day, pick up their poo, play with them, give them lots of attention. I eventually grew out of wanting one. Fast forward, I’m 28 years old, my wife just moved in, and she starts dog talks. Me being a grown up now, I logically thought of all the responsibilities, the work needed, picking up poo. I sound like my parents! My wife eventually had her way, and next thing you know, she says we are getting a dog in 2 days. I was like… Oh… Well, the person calls us and says they can actually come drop the dog off today. I’m suddenly trying to think of excuses, we don’t have food, no leash, no nothing! He said, aaah don’t worry, I got you covered, you can take my stuff. Now I’m getting nervous, I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a good dog parent. I’m naturally stressed out until the big moment arrives. We step off the elevator, and I remember seeing her waiting at the door, she immediately turns to us and must be thinking “OMG! humans!”. Honest to God, I fell in love with her right away. She was beautiful.
We named her Leia. You think me being the Star Wars nut, that the name was my idea. Well no, my wife picked it oddly enough, and it stuck. She’s our little Leia. She’s got to be the happiest little dog out there. She goes nuts when she sees people, and she loves playing with big dogs. Her best friend at one point was a Rotweiller. It was quite a sight, seeing this frantic little 20 pound dog excitedly licking drool out of the massive mouth of the Rottie.
Not many people know this, but we got her on April 1st 2014. At first we didn’t pay any attention to the significance of this. As it turns our, she was a pretty big jerk at first, so the joke was on us! My wife and I always say, Leia was the worst April Fools joke ever. The first thing she did when she came into our apartment, well you guessed it, peed and then pood. WTF! My mom was right! No biggie though. She would go after our feet, bark at us, take our shoes, pee more, run around like crazy. But that’s what puppies do. We did some great obedience training for her, and now she’s the best. She sits, goes down, comes when you call her, and stays put when you tell her. You only ever have to tell her once. She’s so chills at home. It almost seems like she does nothing but sleep, and when she’s not sleeping, she sleeps some more. She loves to eat and gives you extreme puppy eyes whenever you’re having dinner. But nothing beats when you come home from a long day of work with the crazy commute and she’s the first one at the door going nuts and showing so much love for you. I especially love when she brings her toys to me. She’s the best and our little girl, and my little rodent (my wife thinks it’s mean I call her this).
1) My Wife
My wife is my everything. She’s the reason why I’m so happy now in life, and the reason why I keep striving to be the best I can be for her. Without rambling on too much, I wanted to share our wedding vows here, I think this poetically sums up why she’s by #1
With these vows i have written, I promise
To build a strong foundation for our family with you
To always strive to make you smile, since that is a smile I fell in love with since the day we met
To face and overcome any challenges we may face, no matter how daunting they may be
To always be your support and through each others guidance make us the best we can be for each other
To motivate you to achieve whatever you set your mind to, because you deserve the world
To have many adventures together, as there is no other team I want to do this with
Together we will make our dreams come true
We will do all these things together forever
I love you
Well I hope you enjoyed this small window into my life outside of gaming. I may revisit such posts here and there when I can. It’s fun to talk about things other than gaming for a change.
I wanted to give a shoutout to something as a special bonus pick. My #11 so to speak. The other thing that makes me happy is all of you. When starting to blog, I had always though about writing about gaming. I had no in depth writing experience prior to this, but just wanted an avenue to share one of my great hobbies with many people. It’s amazing how much fun I’ve had. Not only writing about games, but interacting with everyone here and on twitter. This community is amazing. Everyone is so accepting and understanding of everyone’s opinions. Even if people don’t see eye to eye, I’m amazed that I’ve found a place on the internet that people can respectfully disagree on things in a civilized manner and understand the other persons viewpoint. It’s something I don’t run into often in gaming discussions. But everyone’s support is what really keeps me coming back for more and strive to make this an even better blog. All your comments, likes, follows, retweets mean more than you think and make me feel like this is all worth something great.
I salute you all! Here are some blogs that I always look forward to seeing new posts from and want to pass the Happy Torch to. If you end up posting about your Happy Thoughts, share in the comments below so others can share in all the Happies. There were more people I wanted to tag, but without repeating some that Athena already did, I limited my list a bit.
Kim @ Later Levels – Kim runs a very community driven blog. Every time I tune in, there always seems to be some event going on, whether it be question of the month, or gamers blog party, which has every participate in the comments of the post as if you were showing up to a real party. Aside from that, she partakes and covers all sorts of charities. Her work and efforts are definitely worth checking out.
Geddy @ Nostlagia Trigger – One of the first blogs I started following here, and for good reason. Geddy covers and talks about his experiences with his new and old games, and goes into much detail on the games he’s playing, what’s he’s accomplished and liked and didn’t like. He also goes back in time and shares with us his great collections of things like video game manuals, and what seems like hundreds of Nintendo DS’s. What I love is when he talks about how gaming and his personal life intertwine, such as posting about the gaming room he’s building in his new house. His enthusiasm about gaming is something I look forward to on a regular basis.
Robert Ian Shepard @ Adventure Rules – A great blog who talks all sorts of gaming things, from news to reviews, to personal stories, there’s always something interesting to check out here. Whether it’s his thoughts on the latest games or breaking down why Wind Waker has amazing sound design, it’s always great seeing people step out of the norm and talk about otherwise neglected aspects of video games.
Mr. Panda @ Mr. Panda’s Video Games Reviews – Mr. Panda is one of the most enjoyable personalities on here. I always look forward to his in depth and super professional reviews. He more recently started posting video reviews along with his wordpress posts on his channel here. His enthusiasm and quirky ideas that him and his wife share with things like the crazy Nintendo E3 announcements, to fun video segments where they play games like Snake Pass, each using one of the joy-cons in forms of a co-op mode is always great to see.
The Well Red Mage @ The Well Red Mage – The Well Red Mage is such a talented writer. He and his army of other mages are all currently running the Elemental Challenge, which I’ve yet to catch up on. But it’s taking wordpress by storm. Aside from that, he covers all sorts of different games and many different platforms. When not talking about games, he goes into great length about how he repaired and Atari to play the greatness we know as E.T., and celebrates him and his teams success with hilarious posts, like the swimsuit calendar they did a while back. I love his passion and creative ways he conveys his emotions and thoughts through his writing.
Shelby Steiner @ Falcon Game Reviews – Shelby not only reviews games, but runs series for games like The Long Dark, where he narrates his journeys through the cold, wild dangerous winters of Canada. It’s always great seeing posts he does on games like Ghost Recon Wildlands, where he breaks apart the game. With Shelby being an avid gun enthusiast, it’s very cool learning about all the things a realistic tactical gun shooter gets wrong about guns. I especially enjoy him and his wife’s back and forth co-op type posts they do, where they randomly inserts their thoughts into each others posts. It’s a nice touch!
Retro Redress @ Retro Redress – Retro Redress is relatively new, but I really enjoyed his post on Mario Kart talking about a personal failure of the game, and their motivation to go through the hardship and overcome the challenges of completing the 200cc mode. As their about page states, ‘Retro Redress is a blog aimed at setting right the wrongs that have occurred during my time playing video games‘. This isn’t solely limited to a failure in not achieving something in a particular game, but also giving a game another chance that didn’t initially prove to be enjoyable. I look forward to see more from Retro Redress.
What are some of the things that make you happy? Are there interests we share? Let’s get chatting in the comments!