Tag: Sickness

Pushing through those Mental Roadblocks

Pushing through those Mental Roadblocks

Have you ever had those mornings where something seems like a mental roadblock, almost totally preventing you from getting started on work?

I’m asking as a rhetorical question, of course. I’d be surprised to hear that hasn’t happened to everyone at least once.

Be it from a serious problem, anything ranging from a bout of depression to the echoed memories of an argument the night before, or from something less serious, like the anticipation of an upcoming event or simply laziness, everyone has had those moments where they put off work they need to do.

In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with the idea of possibly putting off plans to sit down and concentrate on something so long as that break isn’t an immediate problem.

After all it’s different to say “well maybe I’ll lay here a bit more and work later” when whatever needs to be done has no immediate deadline than when it’s due in the next hour. In the latter case it’s imperative that one finds a way to push through that apathy.

Now obviously I’m not just bringing this up as a casual conversation topic. Anyone who has been following my daily chats on various topics this summer should know they almost always tie back to an immediate consideration for me.

My sick has been a somewhat convenient excuse for me the last few days. It’s hard to bunker down and work when you sleep half the day away and cough away the other half into some phlegm-covered mess.

But even with that said, I managed to get through my transcript for the Magic interview I did while sick. So that can’t be the topic at hand here, right?

Yes, that’s right. You’re quite observant when I write your thoughts for you, aren’t you reader?

While I would consider sickness a more serious, justified reason to push off work at least a little, what I faced this morning was… Much less so. To say the least.

No, today I have to blame Fire Emblem. Because of course I do.

The game clearly was not an all-day kind of debilitating mental roadblock, as I’ve gotten the energy to at least write this post (though that in itself could be considered more procrastination, I just won’t get into that here). However, the fact that it stopped me from concentrating on anything else for even a few hours is something I wanted to unpack as one of the ridiculous ways my brain works.

Hector was the source of my ultimate dismay this morning. Specifically, his Legendary Hero special battle map.

You remember this sucker from a few days ago, right? The map that I said didn’t seem as hard as the Ryoma banner map from about a month ago?

Well… I was wrong.

For me, this map on Infernal difficulty was far harder than the Ryoma one. I was able to come up with my own way to defeat Ryoma rather easily, giving me the satisfaction of having conquered a hard challenge on my own.

I wasn’t able to come up with a solution to the Hector map. Each time you defeat one of the units surrounding him, a new one spawned that added a whole other dimension of pain that I wasn’t prepared for.

Luckily I was able to eventually find a solution (thanks to Pheonixmaster1, a YouTuber who does some pretty solid FEH content), though that required a good amount of set-up and resource allocation to match. I also didn’t think to look something up until at least a half hour+ sitting in bed frustratedly tapping at my phone screen.

Now I’m sure you must be asking yourself why I cared so much about beating this one stupid map that I wasn’t able to concentrate on anything else until I got through it.

Well, from a surface level I’m just willing to blame my brain for being weird and obsessive in all the wrong ways sometimes. But I also managed to rationalize it in a very specific way.

See, the special map for this banner goes away in two days alongside the banner itself. Because the banner is full of limited time units, it’s arguable that once they’re gone it’s the last time we’re ever going to see them.

That kind of nagging feeling was what drove me to spend far too many orbs on summoning after my lucky triple pull. However, doing so got me caught in a ‘worst case scenario’ loop.

The more I summoned, the higher my change at getting a rare unit got. But I wasn’t getting a rare unit, so the chance kept building. The higher it built, the less willing I was to let all the previous investment go to waste. Which meant I wound up needing more orbs to pour into the banner, and felt constrained by the two-day time frame.

It’s probably the worst part of free-to-start games like this, but it’s a reality I’ve gotten used to over the last year-and-a-half.

The Infernal Hector banner offered four orbs, so in my head those four orbs were a necessary object to help me break out of the feedback loop. So I threw myself against it over and over until I won.

Luckily, those four orbs were just what I needed to finally summon a rare unit, which brought my summoning chance back to its base and removed all stress from wasting that chance.

I’ll admit, getting another Myrrh instead of Hector is a double edged sword. I love the girl so I’m happy to have another one to merge.

But now I have four. And I probably would have preferred the special legendary unit in the long-run.

But hey, beggars can’t be choosers. After all, Myrrh here has helped me escape my summoning hell so I can go back to focusing on my work.

If you’ve found yourself stuck in a similar kind of mentally debilitating feedback loop that you’ve had to solve before you could move on in your life, especially one you would consider bizarre in hindsight, let me know in the comments below! I’d love some validation that I’m not the only freak on this blue marble of ours.

However, don’t expect me to see if you do anytime soon. Because now I’m going to go bunker myself down and get into this profile since I feel kind of bad about pushing it off for even a few hours to worry about video games.

A gaming taste test: My wallet’s worst nightmare

With my sickness beginning to fade away, I spent part of the day hanging out with the core four friends. Minus Tiana because she had work, apparently.

Nice going being responsible, nerd.

… He says while sitting on a 6,000 word interview to translate into a story.

Gosh the tangent game is still strong right now. I really shouldn’t let myself succumb to stream of consciousness writing when I’m not feeling good. Especially when I actually sort of have a point to what I’m writing for once.

See the chief part of our hangout today, rather than being an outdoor adventure like last time, was an indoor video game party.

Two of the games we played have been on my interest list for some time, and playing them led me to some different, interesting conclusions about what to put my money down on.

So I figured I’d talk about them. Because it’s getting late and I don’t have anything else to write about today.


Hollow Knight

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Image courtesy of ign.com

Hollow Knight is a game I’ve been eyeing for a long, long time. It has been highly recommended to me umpteenth times by my boy Kyle, and I’ve seen it on a number of ‘best of’ lists since it came out.

Essentially, the game is a metroidvania-style sidescroller that has very striking similarities to Bloodborne/the Dark Souls series (as Jonathan couldn’t help but pointing out over and over again). It has a super great art style and supposedly goes into some really cool things with its story and lore.

When Nintendo announced Hollow Knight would be dropping on the Switch during its E3 presentation this year, I was very excited to know I might have the opportunity to try it out soon. However, when Aly finished her sophomore year a few months ago, we decided to spend $15 on Wizard of Legend instead. It’s great couch co-op for the two of us, and I don’t regret the decision at all, it just happened to push-off possibly buying this title.

So I didn’t have the chance to try the game until Jonathan brought his Switch over today.

Honestly? I found myself more intrigued than ever.

While the movement controls felt a little more floaty than I had anticipated, I’m willing to chalk that up to not having a lot of time to mess around with the game overall. I imagine it’s something I’d get used to with a lot of personal time to focus on it without being trolled by all my friends as they watch my constant deaths.

It has a really, really interesting self-heal mechanic based on how many enemies you kill, and every moment felt reminiscent of my childhood playing games like Metroid: Zero Mission while offering a unique aura of dread to its presentation that perfectly complimented the mystery underlying everything.

We got through two bosses and I felt like I wanted to play so much more after we switched it off. That’s the sign of a good game, in my opinion.

So yes, Hollow Knight definitely lived up to my expectations in the short-term, and I’m considering buying it more than ever. But it wasn’t the only thing we played, as soon after we jumped into:


Splatoon 2: The Octo Expansion

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Image courtesy of Nintendo

I listed Splatoon 2 on my personal top games of 2017 list, but I put it rather low. Mostly because as much as I enjoy the IP, not enough felt different from the original game to seemingly warrant a sequel for any reason other than to transition from the dying Wii U to the shining new Switch console.

When the Octo Expansion was first announced I was intrigued. A whole new additional story mode certainly seemed like exactly what I felt Splatoon 2 needed the first time around. However, I wasn’t sure if it would be worth spending the extra money.

Especially considering I abandoned the game some time ago and would need some time to jump back into it and get used to the controls once again.

Now that I’ve played the game on Jonathan’s account (thanks again my guy, you the best), I have to say… My suspicions were confirmed.

Now I’m pretty confident that the original Splatoon 2 package should have just been Splatoon 1 DLC. The Octo Expansion should have been the story mode of Splatoon 2 from the get go, not extra content a few years down the line.

The world that the Octo Expansion creates is fascinating in that not only does it mess with themes of racism (better than Detroit: Become Human as we all joked while playing it), but it also builds on the lore established in Splatoon 1 in an honestly brilliant way.

Essentially, the idea is that you play an Octoling — one of the higher-ups in the army opposing the Inklings in both games — who has been converted from their ‘evil’ side by the power of the music played by Callie and Marie during the endgame fight in Splatoon 1. The Octoling encounters the protagonist of the first game and winds up having to go through a journey to get to the surface world so they can join the Inklings that live there.

If you’re concerned all that is a spoiler, it’s all in the opening cutscene for the expansion, so it’s really not. They start to build up the lore quick!

The way it incorporates elements from the first title into its DNA in a clever way earns massive points for the Octo Expansion in my mind. Especially since it builds on the gameplay as well by offering a large number of more difficult challenges to test a player’s platforming and gunplay.

We had fun with the expansion by having my play through the Wily’s Castle-style multi-stage endgame section, which was hilarious just because I had to get used to the game again by doing the hardest stuff it offers.

On the one hand I’d say it was worth it because the endgame stuff helped make me way more interested in the lore of the world beyond what I already mentioned. They do some AWESOME stuff with the final boss. Stuff that, like I said, should have been around the first time around.

But on the other hand, now that I’ve seen the endgame content I’m not sure I’m more encouraged to buy the extra expansion or not.

I’m intrigued by the challenge and think it would be worth redoing that endgame just to have the bragging rights on my personal account. Yet I’ve seen it now and have had time to absorb what happened, so I think I could spend my money better by buying other big games coming out in the near future.


Seriously though. Mario Party. Smash Bros. Pokémon. Monster Hunter. Mega Man Dragonball So on and so forth.

There are a ton of games coming out soon-ish that I’d love to buy that are more expensive than both Hollow Knight and the Octo Expansion.

My wallet cries out in indecision. Do I buy games now? Or do I wait for the gratification of games I want later?

I suppose I’ll have time to decide, but the pain of having to decide in the first place is almost worse than my sick right now.

Oh well, at least I’ve now had the pleasure of trying out both these games. That way I have a much more well-defined opinion of my interests to jump on whenever I do decide.

That said, what do you think? Should I spring for one of these two games now? Or should I hold on and see what I can get later?

Let me know! I’d love to hear what some of you think about some current games.

Sleeping, working and dying.

If I had to characterize my day today in just a few words, it would be easy. Sleeping, dying and working.

Basically a perfect microcosm of life I suppose.

Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’ve been sick lately. Today happened to feature a nasty flare-up, which led to sleeping in until at least 1:00 p.m. followed by an afternoon of sequestering myself away in my room to avoid disrupting the world with my somewhat intense cough and Advil-riddled outlook.

On the one hand that seclusion was a positive because, as I mentioned, it gave me the chance to focus on work. I managed to work through my entire transcript for the interview I conducted with Magic the other day, giving me an easy head start for the profile and Spotlight I’m writing.

On the other hand I basically spent the whole day sitting around in my own sick misery. That’s never exactly a positive, all things considered.

Because of that rather uneventful course of events, I don’t have a bunch to talk about in this blog post.

So I just wanted to give a shout out to the one thing today that gave me a series relief outside of drugs: Chinese food.

Yeah that sounds silly I know. But really, what’s better on a day when you’re sick than some hot, tasty soup.

Now I don’t have a lot to say about Chinese food specifically, don’t get me wrong. I’m not promising a particularly meaty discussion here. I just figured it was worth reflecting on something or another to avoid a day where I haven’t written anything.

Even if, to be fair, I did write about 6,000 words or so just transcribing my interview. But that’s a different story.

Though writing it out seems silly from how ubiquitous the act is in American life, My family has ordered in a lot of food over the years. Chinese and Pizza are the chief culprits, naturally, though with more recent advents like Grubhub that spectrum of potential has expanded widely.

One thing I’ve given almost no thought to over all those years is the middle man in the equation, that person who delivers the food. Don’t ask me why, it seems like they would be the first thing that comes to mind from how ever-present the idea of being a food delivery person is in popular culture, but I guess I’ve always been more focused on the destination than the journey in that regard.

Today I’m feeling a bit more fond toward the delivery people of the world. Perhaps it’s some outlandish association between the comfort that came from hot soup against my sore throat and the fact that it wouldn’t have been possible without the guy from Emerald Garden at the door.

Even if it is a very specific association, it’s something to extrapolate much further. It’s easy to say that those delivery people, like many others who hold jobs we may take for granted, are what help keep modern day society rolling along as smoothly as it does. For the most part.

So take this as a plea from a sad, strange little man dying from a cold. Treat your delivery people well and tip them well. Because they deserve it.

Thanks for the soup you wonderful man. I hope your July brings many great things!