Tag: Grandparents

See you Space Cowboy…

See you Space Cowboy…

Yeah, I know I made this joke when I was leaving Los Angeles last week.

But in my defense… That was on my social media feeds independently. Not on the blog.

Thus I get to reuse the same joke. So there, imaginary detractors.

After a week of keeping the world up to date about my Florida vacation, it only seems right to finish things off by writing my last piece from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International.

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I’ll be landing in LAX at about 12:30 a.m. tomorrow, so by then it would be too late.

As far as the final Floridian afternoon went… I don’t have a lot to say.

I slept in a bit this morning after staying up way too late playing more Fire Emblem (though at my grandparents house, “sleeping in” is still only about 10:00 a.m.).

To make up for a lot of what they did for me over the last week, I wanted to cook breakfast for the old folks once Grandma got home from the gym.

Unfortunately Grandma is a nut about other people being in the kitchen, so my best intentions turned into her cooking with my minor assistance.

I made eggs for Grandpa and myself though, so at least that was something.

Once we finished breakfast, Grandma and I tried to go to the Morikami Museum. It’s honestly a really beautiful place from the outside:

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That said, the outside is all we saw because it started pouring the second we turned onto the road.

I swear it was raining much harder than that gif makes it look. So much so that it didn’t seem worth trying to go through a multiple-mile long outdoor experience.

So instead we got frozen yogurt at Menchies.

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Even though that too wound up being an adventure because it was raining so god damn hard.

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As the afternoon wound down, so did the rain. Our respite from the inclement weather gave me the chance to pack my bags, straighten up the space I was leaving behind and (sort of) help Grandma make burgers for early dinner.

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After that, it was time to say goodbye.

It’s crazy to me that I’ve been here for a whole week already. It seems like just yesterday I was landing and lamenting the impending heat wave.

Now that I’m leaving, I feel like I’ve grown. No longer am I the immature kid who believed I would melt in Floridian heat.

I’m an absolutely mature, well-grounded adult who doesn’t hate the heat. Instead I hate the fact that it managed to somehow be hot enough to leave me sweating and uncomfortable while ALSO raining hard enough to make umbrellas near-useless at keeping the horizontal water at bay.

Good riddance, Florida.

I may have loved spending some personal time with my grandparents, but the idiom that there’s nothing like coming home will undoubtedly hold true.

ART (and pita bread)

ART (and pita bread)

Today started with an early morning trip to the Boca Raton Museum of Art, because Grandma and I had a craving.

A craving for

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Image courtesy of Sarah Thomas on Pinterest

Editor’s Note:

This joke is extra funny with context that The Iron Giant is one of my grandparents’ favorite movies of all time, and that we often refer to my grandpa as “Grandpa Giant.”


The museum is located in an outdoor shopping center with some very nice architectural set pieces called Mizner Park.

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It honestly reminded me a lot of The Grove back home, right down to nearby art museums.

But if you thought it would be easy to overlook an art museum, think again.

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All hail the cube

Those of you that pay attention to my Instagram feed have seen a lot of the photos I took. I decided to put out my favorites on the social platform since it’s all about photography.

I’ll link the posts here so I don’t have to bog down extra media space.

However, there were a lot more pieces that didn’t make the cut. For instance, this animated version of the giant hand on the first floor:

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And then like… A billion more things.

I’ve gathered them together in this slideshow for your viewing pleasure.

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And of course, we can’t forget the best piece in the museum…

But wait, that’s not all!

During our trip to the outdoor sculpture garden, Grandma and I found a curly-tailed lizard running around in the grass. Only to later find an iguana hiding out by the entryway to their gated community!

The invasion of the lizards has begun.

That’s only half a joke, because I was told iguanas are actually overrunning the ecosystem in this gated community and it’s kind of a big problem.

This is the first time I’ve seen one, though. It was very cute.

After absorbing some fine ART, Grandma and I partook in another Iron Giant tradition: Going for ice cream.

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Kilwins is apparently pretty well known for having a fancy blend of chocolates and ice cream made in-house.

Personally, I’m more of a Handel’s guy. But I had some s’mores flavored ice cream that was very delicious.

Once we got home the afternoon was a little more chill. I managed to get in the pool again for a while before the rain kicked up again.

And oh boy, the rain kicked up again this afternoon.

At one point I was genuinely afraid for my life. Until Sonic the Hedgehog came along.

And by Sonic the Hedgehog, I mean a very nice Greek restaurant:

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A very nice Greek restaurant that happened to have a fresco on the wall based on seaside towns like Santorini, Greece that I strongly connect to Sonic Unleashed for whatever reason.

I’ve never even owned that game. What’s the deal, Sonic?

I’ll be waiting for a response.

That’s about all I have. We settled in to watch some America’s Got Talent (which I guess is an interest that runs in the family) and I started to write this up.

As my time in Florida begins to come to an end, it sounds like Grandpa wants to use me for some extra luck at a horse racing track tomorrow.

So come back for my next daily summary to see how that goes!

Rain, rain, go away

Rain, rain, go away

Today has been the most low-key day of my Florida vacation yet.

So far I’ve been relatively lucky in the weather department (humidity not included), but I was inevitably going to run into a bit of… Torrential rainfall.

Someone really let Kyogre out of its ball this afternoon.

Now to be fair, the rain did make for perfect “dunking on California” Tweet material:

And I was able to get this nice picture with Grandpa as we watched the rain come down:

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So long as you ignore my crab claw.

But those are the only “positives” to list about this crazy brief storm.

We had to cancel most of our plans, as the museum we hoped to visit is primarily outdoors, and the rain didn’t exactly cut down on the obscene heat.

Everything was wet AND uncomfortably hot.

Hurray.

At least the rain itself didn’t last long enough to become a dangerous hurricane. And staying local has its benefits.

Grandma and I went to the gym again this morning. Then we visited the supermarket to pick up some ingredients for our improvised make-your-own-sandwich dinner.

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On the way to the supermarket, we stopped by the local library so Grandma could pick up a book she put on hold.

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The West Boynton Branch

In classic voyeuristic fashion, I took the opportunity to get a good look around. Because libraries are always cool places to visit.

This one certainly was:

And they know that weebs are a key demographic.

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Beyond that we spent a lot of time figuring out what to do around the house, and there were a good amount of options.

For one we watched a lot of T.V. now that the Democratic Debates aren’t an active concern. Family Feud was, as always, a big hit. As was the two-hit combo Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

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I also had the personally interesting experience of finding out that there’s a version of old-school RuneScape you can play on mobile.

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Can do, game. Can do.

Thanks to Brutalmoose’s video for alerting me to its existence, I decided to give the old game a whirl again. It’s been interesting to jump back into an old favorite I played with my cousin Josh with more insight and experience.

Like… I’ve spoken with someone who works at Jagex, the company that made Runescape, fairly recently.

Wild stuff.

Good thing I wrote a bit of my book this afternoon before finding out the mobile game exists. Otherwise I would have gotten absolutely nothing done.

After all that, the night ended on an interesting note. Grandpa left to go play cards with some of his friends, so Grandma and I were left to our own devices. She whipped up some chocolate pudding that we ate while playing a family favorite board game: Rummikub.

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Usually we play with more than two players, as it’s one of my Mom’s preferred pastimes with her parents. But the game worked out all the same.

And that’s that. Like I said, it was a low-key day all things considered.

From what I’m aware, our plans before I go home Sunday night include trying to hit up the museum and that fancy restaurant we’ve had to postpone because of the weather. We might even go to the horse racing track.

Whether or not the weather allows us to keep up, we’ll have to see.

Three bug bites in

Ooh boy, time to write about my day as Democrats yell at each other in the background again.

Last night I mentioned going to swim in the pool today.

I made good on that promise, because how could I not?

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It’s a beaut.

The water was also perfect today. Just cool enough to counteract the heat without freezing my toes off.

Fun fact, while I was getting that picture of the pool I noticed all of these cute old pictures of my grandparents that made me smile:

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Also there’s a terrifying cat statue.

It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.

A return to the pool also meant a return to one of my favorite pastimes: Watching geckos climb all over the mesh fencing.

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Look at this little guy, he’s so sweet.

Yet in a jarring turn of events, I found it was easier to watch the geckos than ever because I’m officially too damn big for the pool.

The deep end is 6 feet. I’m 6’2 or so.

Last time I came to Florida I was definitely not tall enough to stand in the deep end with my head above the water, which means it has been longer since I’ve been here than I thought. That blew my mind.

But before going for a swim, wading in the existential dread of time and noticing my growing collection of bug bites, I helped Grandma throw together french toast.

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More vacation food photos. Sorry.

A nice, hearty breakfast. The kind of breakfast that I needed because part of my day was spent working out computer issues for both grandparents.

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Here’s Grandma being cute at the computer, though. Before I make you cringe.

For Grandpa I simply helped update their computer software and readjust his settings back to normal.

But for Grandma… Poor girl… I had to show her that she could scroll further down the website she was on to get to a link.

I finally understand what it’s like for my Dad to be technical support.

Luckily, after that technical supporting and writing the next portion of my Pokémon fanfiction (because that’s still a thing and you can read the first six chapters here), I reaped the reward of some BBQ from Lucille’s.

But if you’re like me and thinking about this Lucille’s, you’d be wrong.

We went to THIS Lucille’s, which also happens to be a BBQ restaurant chain.

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Except this Lucille’s is better because the staff wore shirts that said, “The Biggest Rack in the Business.”

It was a hilarious joke on the female employees, but even more hilarious on the male employees. Equal opportunity racks.

During the time in-between these events, today was a good day for video games.

Fire Emblem Heroes dropped a banner for the newest game’s loli dragon prophet:

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My only real issue is that her dragon form is just… Herself?

It’s very bizarre.

Also I spent some orbs and just got my fourth Legendary Lyn, so I’m salty and moving on.

Moving on to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which dropped its newest DLC fighter just last night!

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Hero is one of four protagonists from different games in the Dragon Quest series.

My personal favorite of the four choices is Eight from… Dragon Quest VIII, appropriately enough. He’s got a sweet bandana and a little mouse friend.

Plus he’s very photogenic. Check this out:

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I actually like the Dragon Quest additions a lot. The stage based on the tree of life Yggdrasil is cool, the music additions are solid and the character is fun to play as.

He’s got a mix of Link’s swordplay and Robin’s charging magic attacks. But then he also has a Metronome-style RNG wheel of magical spells that are insane.

Just look at this thread:

How Sakurai allowed this character to exist is beyond me.

Then again he also has the option to literally kamikaze himself, so 10/10 amazing character.

Now we wait for Banjo to show up. In the meantime, I’ll be in Florida for a bit longer.

Supposedly we’re hitting up a museum tomorrow. So stay tuned for that!

The Bachelor in Florida

The Bachelor in Florida

Hey.

Been a while, huh?

I’ve been enjoying my “book writing sabbatical” perhaps a little too much. A lot of my novel has gotten done, but there have been plenty of things over the last month I easily could have blogged about.

I was almost completely by myself for three weeks as Mom and Aly went to New York for a summer music program.

During that time I went to the L.A. County Museum of Art for a graduation party.

I bought Mario Maker 2 and made a bajillion levels.

I hosted a full-on sleepover with my friends.

We saw Disney usher the end times by announcing some great looking Marvel movies at San Diego Comic Con, despite my hatred for their entertainment monopoly.

I completely skipped the Three Houses banner in Fire Emblem Heroes.

Dad and I caught up on the latest season of The Flash, I finally saw (and was blown away by) Shazam and I watched Spider-Man: Far From Home for the second time.

Lots of potential content. But as you can tell, I’ve mostly been keeping my day-to-day exploits on social media.

More time to focus on the book and all that.

However, I might return to daily posts for limited time.

This week I’m on vacation in Florida, invited by my grandparents when they came to California for Graduation. I figure that’s worth recording for posterity.

Today wasn’t the most exciting part, however. Hence the long recap.

I flew out of LAX at 9:30 a.m., where I got to sit through that classic California traffic one last time.

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This was actually my first solo experience in the airport. Every other time I’ve gone places there were family members or school-related functions to keep me company.

But it was easygoing, despite oddities like having to walk through a dog pen for the TSA or having my departure gate flip between two locations multiple times.

I decided to be that guy and get a GIF of the takeoff once we boarded. Which turned out nice in my opinion:

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Then about four hours later, after isolating myself from the outside world to write and catch up on podcasts, I landed in Fort Lauderdale.

Though it was technically seven hours because I traveled into the future.

Isn’t technology amazing? I flew nearly 3,000 miles in a fraction of a day.

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That was such a cool realization after we landed.

Though it was immediately followed by the realization that I decided to go somewhere with 90 degree heat and 64 percent humidity at the end of July.

I guess it was worth it considering I got picked up by these two:

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Even if they took me to The Habit for dinner and gave me flashbacks of late deadline nights at The Daily Titan.

After that we came home so I could unpack and watch American Ninja Warrior with them over a cup of tea.

It took a minute to get over the existential panic of finding out I’d be staying in the “adult” bedroom usually reserved for Mom. But then the relaxation kicked in!

Or maybe it was the jet lag…

Either way, that’s all I’ve got from today. Stay tuned for the next leg of my journey tomorrow, whatever it may include.

A family tradition

A family tradition

Many years ago, my Mom helped Alyson and I create a special gift for Dad.

We went to Color Me Mine, a chain of shops for the commercial buying and painting of porcelain goods ranging from dinnerware to sculptures of robots and dragons that are put through a kiln on-site.

In my experience it’s a popular suburban activity for kids with vague creative aspirations and too much energy to burn. The Rochlin family has made its fair share of goods there, which is another subject I may have to circle back to one day.

All those years ago, Aly and I made Dad a mug with our little baby handprints on it.

The gift was very well received and used for years. But… That mug in the Featured Image isn’t the original piece.

That first mug actually broke through a heartbreaking turn of events.

So in 2005, we made him a replacement mug:

The 2005 mug continues to be used and has held together relatively well over nearly 15 years.

But now it’s starting to crack.

That mortality was the subject of a recent joke from Dad which got our gears turning. We figured it would be as good a time as any to continue this family tradition by making him a new handprint mug for Father’s Day.

Here we are last Wednesday getting our hands all dirty.

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Unfortunately the idea was a bit spur of the moment, so the mug wasn’t finished in time for us to hand it off before all the Grandpa Joe and pasta-making stuff happened.

I was able to pivot our time out into a fun little Tweet about Jamba Juice. It was meant to simply cover our tracks, but a few days later grew into something more.

Yeah.

Shout out to that social media person for having a bit of fun with us. I’m usually cynical about that kind of brand interaction, but it’s kind of cool to actually see it happen.

Today we were finally able to pick up the mug — and a little more Jamba Juice, but I didn’t want to push my luck by grasping desperately for further social media clout.

Here are the fruits of our labor:

The end product is perhaps messier overall, but that’s what happens when you decide to color everything instead of leaving a large portion of the body white.

Personally I think the brushstrokes are indicative of the energy we put in.

Even if I’m less enamored with my handprint, because at this point it’s big enough that I struggled to fit the whole thing.

But that said I hope Dad will be happy with the gift.

Because you know. He’s not home from work at the time that I’m writing this. So I don’t actually know how he’s going to react. And I’ll be telling him not to read this until he gets home later.

It’s like you all get to be in on a little secret. Hopefully you enjoyed the brief glimpse at part of my family history!

Father’s Day 2019

Father’s Day 2019

Another year, another celebration.

Today we brought the current peak of the Rochlin’s patriarchal totem pole up to my Aunt’s house in West Hills to ring in Father’s Day with some barbecue and time out by the pool.

Let me tell you, there are few things more magical than having some ribs, taking a dip in the pool and swimming alongside a big, beautiful doggo as Grandpa Joe looks on with a smile.

He really seemed to have a good time. Which is great given how hard it can be to tell how the man is feeling sometime.

It’s hard to feel bad when you’re surrounded by family and dogs out by the pool.

Once we brought Grandpa back home I was able to snag this lovely picture of the three generations of Rochlin men together:

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It took a bit of work to get Grandpa looking at the camera, but I’d say it was worth it. With this being our first Father’s Day after Grandma Rhea’s passing I’ve been thinking about how important it is to chronicle our time with the old man while we still can.

Hence my writing about silly things like our trips to the movies.

But of course Father’s Day isn’t only about my father’s father. Grandpa is only thus because I have a father of my own, and Father’s Day is just as much his — even though a lot of our activities were out and about.

This morning my sister and I went out to get Dad coffee and gave him the one gift that isn’t finished until Wednesday.

He vaguely hints on the off-chance something is written about it later.

Then when we came back home, we spent a few hours making him some pasta and pink sauce:

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Featuring hand-made meatballs and store-bought chicken sausages.

It was delicious, and I’m not just saying that because I made it.

We got his seal of approval. Promise.

So that’s my Father’s Day in a nutshell. Hopefully you had a great one too, or at least made it a good day if you have a more complicated history in that department.

Once more, with feeling: Happy Father’s Day Dad and Grandpa!

No love for these bridal heroes

No love for these bridal heroes

Good afternoon, world! Been a while.

I took the last few days off because I was spending extra time with my grandparents and…

That.

After one whole day doing absolutely nothing post-Graduation, it’s about time I jump back into the saddle for my daily writing exercises!

What better catalyst for that writing resurgence than a new banner in Fire Emblem Heroes?

… In hindsight basically anything else. Because it figures this is a banner I could give no fewer shits about.

Personal obligations to consistency ahoy!


Bridal Belongings


When I say this is a post written almost purely out of obligation, I’m not kidding. Maybe it’s in contrast to my excited reactions for Berkut and Alm, but I can’t remember the last time a banner was this much of a dud for me.

When I first watched the video, I had no idea who I was looking at. Usually I’ll have heard of a character if they’re popular, but not this time around.

Sigrun and Tanith are from the Radiant games, interestingly paired with Sanaki’s appearance last year.

Meanwhile Pent and (Tempest Trial reward) Louise are from The Blazing Blade.

Both convenient gaps in my Fire Emblem knowledge.

Unfortunately, none of them have anything to their unit skills that stand out enough to make me care.

Thus, Fjorm is the only character I’m interested in because I know her and she has some interesting skills. She’s a flying healer who negates dancing and gives allies a grounded version of flier formation. That’s kind of cool!

It’s just too bad she’s the only one I care about, because that means I’m probably going to save my orbs for whatever Mythic Hero is rumored to be coming.

At least she’s the main focus of the Paralogue story. So we’ve got that going for us?


Paralogue 34 — Bridal Belonging

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It’s just too bad Fjorm’s starring role is undercut by vague generalities meant to push an unrequited love subplot that Intelligent Systems doesn’t even fully commit to.

Our story begins with the Order of Heroes taking Fjorm to the Bridal festival. She’s admiring all the dresses when one bride-to-be turns out to be:

A way cuter version of herself.

Damnit Heroes, stop making me want to summon for this one character on a dud banner. I need to save my orbs.

Alfonse suggests this Fjorm may from the future rather than just an alternate Fjorm. An idea that sets an entirely new precedent? I don’t think having future versions of your timeline’s self has ever been established before.

And I’d rather not think about the Back to the Future shenanigans that might ensure if the character is summoned under those circumstances.

We follow Bride Fjorm as she gets advice about love from the new units, suggesting she’s worthy if she unconditionally loves a person or would give everything to protect them.

She says there is a person she would do that for, and based on prior experiences I can surmise she’s talking about the player character.

But this Paralogue does everything it can to cut her off.

I guess it does that because once the final battle is over, Sharena offers to be Fjorm’s wingman after she refuses to tell Alfonse who she would “theoretically” love.

As prior experience suggests, Sharena also has a thing for the player character. Which means we’ve got a real drama-bomb building under the surface.

Because this wouldn’t be an anime gatcha game without all of the waifus being in love with you for no other reason than to incentivize spending money on your preferred smooch.


So that’s that. My cynical, bored take on 2019 brides in Fire Emblem Heroes.

I’m coming from the bias of ignorance, so if these characters are worth caring about let me know! I’d like to play through their games eventually, after all.

But for now, this is all I’ve got.

If nothing else it’s good to be back in the writing mood!

I’ll have more time to come up with things to write now that we’re in Summer Initiative take 2, but other than an official write-up on Graduation once I have my Grad photos I have no idea what I’ll be writing about.

It’s going to be a real grab bag. Look forward to that!

My new Let’s Play channel

My new Let’s Play channel

What’s up, gamers. T1meslayer here with a channel update for all y’all.

A few months ago I launched a series of toy unboxing videos with my sister that has gone on to achieve great acclaim. That first video has almost 100 views, and that not-LEGO Mimikyu was a star in my class’ Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Our YouTube community has reached amazing heights, and I couldn’t be more proud of you all for helping me get to the coveted 1 subscriber milestone.

That’s why I’ve decided to launch a new project.

I’ll be going toe-to-toe with industry greats like the Game Grumps and Markiplier through my brand new gameplay channel: T1meslayer plays.

As you know I’m a huge Nintendo fanatic, so that’s going to be my primary focus. In fact, we’re starting off with one of my favorite titles on the GameBoy Advance. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (2004).

To help stand out from my competitors, I’m taking a new approach to YouTube gaming that I like to call “non-chronological let’s plays.”

We’ve all seen the first levels of certain games played a dozen times as new channels start to play, only to collapse under the weight of mediocrity before they get to the end.

I’m going to solve that problem by starting with Episode 5 and then jumping around.

So if you’re up to going on this journey with me, you can see the first episode of my series here:

Thanks so much for sticking by me during this turbulent time as I get ready to graduate. Like, comment and subscribe to see what’s coming next!



Alright. Obviously I don’t have a gaming channel.

Sorry to disappoint those of you who might be interested in watching that cringe-fest.

This let’s play video is actually one of the final assignments for my Gaming in American Culture class. We had to essentially parody the YouTube video game scene to try and convey some ideas we’re focusing on in our papers.

My paper is all about Sacred Stones, so my let’s play is an episode of what would be my Sacred Stones playthrough.

It was a nightmare actually putting this together (as one might expect when trying to pull an 18-minute video off of their iPhones to edit on a 10-year-old laptop), but I actually really like how it came out?

Like sure, I’m terrible on camera. And technology was so difficult that I skipped blog writing yesterday. But I cut out dead air and added an editorial commentary track to inject some humor, I think it’s a nice piece.

Nice enough to share publicly, at least.

Yet sharing the video is bittersweet. This is literally my penultimate college assignment. All I have left is the final paper for this same class.

Today was my last day of college ever — and it also happened to be my Gaming in American Culture.

Learned about some interesting things from these presentations. In sports especially, like the existence of pickleball and the beer mile.

The latter of which makes me happy that I don’t drink.

“Bittersweet” is really the best way I can describe my feelings. I’m happy to move onto the next stage in my life, especially since I can share the celebration with my family — particularly my grandparents from Florida, who both flew in together for the first time since my Bar Mitzvah.

Almost 10 years ago. Yikes.

But at the same time I have genuinely enjoyed my time in Academia, and the idea of finding a real job still terrifies me.

You don’t have to worry yourself with that part of my psyche, however. For the next couple days I’ll probably be posting all sorts of positive things on social media to try and convince you all that my life is nothing but wonderful.

Because that’s really what social media is all about, isn’t it?

In the meantime, enjoy my cringe-y let’s play.

Please.

I’m proud of it.

Celebrating life

Celebrating life

Earlier today, my Cousin Erica said it was fitting that we held my Grandma’s celebration of life on the same day as the Oscars, because she loved that award show quite a bit.

To be fair the Oscars are only coincidentally happening on the same day. We held our gathering today because her birthday would be tomorrow if she was still with us.

I just couldn’t think of a better way to briefly express my appreciation for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse winning Best Animated at the awards. Since that’s really all I cared about from the Academy tonight.

Plus we saw the movie with my Grandpa not too long ago. That works as a transition, right?

Family, including my great-cousins out from New Jersey, as well as friends on both my Dad and Aunt Mindy’s Rolodex came out of the woodwork to help us celebrate.

My Aunt’s house was absolutely packed with people:

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Especially messy considering there were four dogs running around the house as well.

But all things being equal, it was a lot less of a mess than many of us had been expecting. Spending upwards of five hours this afternoon with such a packed house could have been an issue, but it wound up being a really chill, sweet time.

It probably helped that we had a ton of food lying around.

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If we Jews know how to do anything, it’s how to lay out a hell of a spread for a celebration. Plus a lot of our extended guests were happy to bring extra food in consolation.

While the food, the schmoozing among friends and my cousin’s heartfelt tribute were all wonderful parts of the event, probably my favorite part was getting to go through a lot of really old family photos and documents with my family around.

I threw a couple of them up on my social media in tribute:

But our collection went all over the place. From mid-1900s pictures with my close family to much more ancient stuff from the 1800s, before parts of that side moved to America during the turmoil of WWII in Eastern Europe.

Another one of my favorites was this piece, my Grandparent’s marriage certificate.

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Yet, it would be remiss of me not to spend at least a little bit of time talking about the doggos. I’m fairly convinced she liked those cuties a bit more than the rest of us by the end, anyway.

Which frankly is only half a joke. She loved these pups.

So here I am, becoming the king of the mutts:

That cute guy on the left is Rocky, who was my Grandma and Grandpa’s dog before they couldn’t really take care of him anymore. Though I do much prefer my photo with Rambo on the right.

Such a fluffy boi.

… Oh, and yes they are both named after Sylvester Stallone characters. Can’t tell you if that was intentional or not.

Though I can tell you that my doggo magnetism must run in the family, as I also got to see the original king of the dogs at work:

Look how happy he is. Gotta love it.

I’ve been a little silent about my Grandma lately, as we’re all just kind of chugging along trying to get used to that feeling in the back of our hearts. But realistically, that feeling might never go away.

It just so happens that days like today are really helpful to move forward with a smile and remember the good.

If you haven’t, hug your family everyone. You never know how many more chances you’ll have.