This blog’s going to be a departure from my ongoing gaming retribution. In fact it’s going to be quite a departure for me really. Recently, Imtiaz Ahmed, who writes the excellent Power Bomb Attack blog, wrote a blog about the ten things that make him happy. At the end, he passed the ‘Happy Torch’ to some other bloggers, to share what made them happy.
Naturally, being the disorganised mess I am, I only noticed two weeks later. So, with apologies to Imtiaz, here’s my list…
#10 – Junk food
As much as I try and deny it to myself, I love junk food. My favourites are pizza and ice cream, though I’m partial to all junk food. It’s not just the taste or the comfort ‘stodge’ feeling…I love the variety on display. All the different chains and brands, then all the different flavours…I think I’m actually addicted to the selection process, not the eating!
For the record, my favourite pizza is Pizza Hut, frozen Chicago Town pizzas (with the sauce in the crust) or fresh supermarket pizza. My favourite ice cream is Ben and Jerry’s or Kelly’s Cornish ice cream, covered in sauce and whatever chocolate I can add to it. Chocolate buttons, MnM’s, Malteasers…it’s all good.
My eating has improved these days, but I still do enjoy treating myself. I’ve got a trip to Las Vegas in October and I’m worried there’s going to be a full on regression…
#9 – Podcasts
I love podcasts. I’m quite analytical and enjoy deep discussions and reviews of events and products I’m interested in. Naturally, that’s pro wrestling and video games (spoiler!) It’s great to hear dissection of these things – I feel I learn a great deal from other people’s opinions and knowledge. Whether it’s games I’d never given a chance before, an old wrestling event I’d wondered about or just general ‘chit-chat’, podcasts are a great way to listen to experts and fans alike trade views on matters. I changed job a few months ago, so I don’t get to listen to podcasts as much, but the below list are my favourites that I always try to fit in whenever I can.
Retronauts – I love listening to Jeremy Parish’s views on video games – very through and sophisticated – and he and Bob Mackey really do put a lot of work in to help educate ignorant SEGA kids like me who have never played a Final Fantasy game. Thank to Jeremy, Bob and a revolving cast of guests, I’ve listened to great discussions about mainstream and obscure games, been influenced to try games I’ve never considered before and heard some great video game music.
Caine and Rinse – The video game equivalent of going to a Ph.D lecture. No stone left unturned, nothing omitted – Caine and Rinse is a epic discussion of every facet of a game. I don’t listen to Caine and Rinse every week – when I have the time, I go through their list of podcasts, pick a podcast on a game I’m very familiar with and then sit back and take it in. A luxury, but one worth indulging in.
Live Audio Wrestling – The LAW provide several great wrestling podcasts….whether it’s Review-A-Wai (looking at old wrestling events), Keep It 2000 (a hilarious look at WCW Nitro in 2000), the reviews of the weekly WWE shows or even one off’s (such as the near daily NJPW G1 Climax reviews), the content is always informative and endearing.
#8 – Exercise
Thanks to #10, I need to do this! No, I enjoy exercise anyway. I like running, especially long distances…I’m pretty slow, but will never stop. Imagine a very slow version of the special zones from Sonic 2 and you’ve got it.
I also do DDP Yoga too. DDP Yoga was set up by ex pro wrestler Diamond Dallas Page after he broke his neck in the ring and it was instrumental in helping him get back in the ring. It’s been a great benefit to me in terms of flexibility and posture. Plus the DDPY app is pretty handy too – I can do DDP Yoga anywhere, providing I’ve got my phone.
Let’s just ignore the fact that I’ve missed tomorrow’s DDP Yoga workout by staying up late to type this post, ok?
#7 – Music
I’m obsessed with music. It started with Nirvana at the age of 11 and went on from there. I got into punk rock next, mainly US bands like The Offspring, Green Day, Dead Kennedys and Bad Religion to name a few. Then my love of alternative rock grew and I began listening to more and more bands that no one had never heard of. It’s weird growing up in the late 90’s when every one loves the Spice Girls while you love Therapy? and Alice In Chains.
I find music helps lift me when I feel down and gets my adrenaline going again, which I need for #8, especially early in the morning! Music got me into guitars too…a hobby I love but need to do more of. Nothing makes me happier than grabbing my Strat and murdering ‘Under The Bridge’. My neighbours are very understanding people….or deaf. Probably deaf.
#6 – Sports
I adore sports. I don’t consider myself particularly macho, but my ‘male’ side comes out during sports. I adore things like league tables, stats and am happy to watch most team sports…bar rugby! No individual sports either – I can’t get into running/swimming/hopping etc. I need a team game – kits, emblems, hype, trying to work out which channels are showing the game…
I’m an Everton fan and love ice hockey, both NHL (Go Leafs Go!) and British. I try and watch as much sports as I can, which is getting difficult as I get older (see #1), but I’ll always take pleasure from a match, whether it’s two obscure lower league teams clashing or some random American teams playing game 41 of their 1,453 game season.
#5 – Blogs
Blogging is a new thing for me, but it’s something I’m really enjoying. It’s been great talking about video games with people on WordPress and Twitter. I was worried at first because the internet can be a scary place, but every one has been very pleasant so far.
Blogging is an outlet for me. As I said earlier, I’m analytical and need to get all these thoughts down somewhere. Plus Retro Redress is a way for me to finally play all the games that have haunted me these years. Anything that gives me a structure and motivation to play video games is ok in my book.
And yes, I’ll be getting on with Breath Of The Wild at some point…why did I think I could beat it in a month?
#4 – Pro Wrestling
Yes, I know it’s ‘fake’. Yes, I know it can be silly. Yes I know of it’s controversies and tragedies.
No, I wouldn’t stop watching. I fell in love with pro wrestling at the age of 8 (Money Inc. FTW). and despite the lulls and the lack of access (England in 90’s/00’s – no SKY TV= no wrestling) it’s always made me happy. I love wrestling and have spent years following my favourites (Katsuyori Shibata, Kenny Omega, The Four Horsewomen, AJ Styles, to name a few) and watching as much as I can. I love the sports aspect, the drama, the comedy, the awesome entrance themes, the promos…all of it really. If you’re not a fan, you’re probably shaking your head at my words, but that’s ok…I can’t see you anyway.
#3 – Video Games
A given really, if you’ve read this blog before…but definitely one of the things that makes me most happy. I’ve always enjoyed having adventures and what better way than a game? No danger, little expense, little time used…you can be anything you want in a game.
Video games are a way for me to interact and get to know people – I’ve developed some great friendships from discussing and playing video games. Hopefully, there is more to come too!
#2 – Friends
Everyone needs friends…even a man obsessed with old games that he’s terrible at. Whether it’s a random e-mail, a Whatsapp message, a trip to the steakhouse or psychological abuse, it’s the silliness that makes me laugh, no matter what kind of day I’m having.
Unless my friends ever read this, then in that case, all of the above was a typo. Yes, even the picture…
#1 – Family
Another given, but absolutely the most important thing in my life. I’m happily married with two kids and it’s been the best thing I’ve done with my life. The interactions, the company, the battles to watch what I want on the TV, my attempts to protect my guitars from little people….I wouldn’t change it for anything….
So, there’s my ten ‘happies’. I’m still new to this blogging malarky and getting to know people but there are two people I’d like to pass the torch to (if they want to/haven’t taken it already)
Dylan Cornelius @ Sega Does – Dylan’s attempts to take on massive gaming quests have always impressed me; I can’t help but admire that determination. He’s also supported me too, letting me write on Sega Does despite having little writing experience…or ability. I’d be interested to see what makes a man determined to review every Sega, GBA, DS, PS1, PS2 and PSP game happy…
Well-Red Mage @ The Well-Red Mage – I’ve enjoyed my new association with the Mages and it’s been a pleasure discussing games with Well-Red Mage. I’d be interested to see what makes such an eloquent, intelligent individual happy…probably not pro wrestling and junk food…
And, of course if any one wants to write about the ten things that make them happy, then I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below…feel free to link any blogs pages!