How to reflect on a decade

This year ending isn’t just an ordinary ending of a year, because it’s also the end of a decade.  Naturally, a sentimental person like me tends to want to reflect on an entire decade, because much like individual years, a decade is a nice round chunk of time that one might think it would be easy to reflect upon, but in the greater spectrum, it’s ten full years we’d be trying to look back onto.  Now I like to think I have a good memory, but even without the aid of my trusty brog, it’s difficult to really look back at an entire decade.

Regardless, that’s not going to stop all the self-important jobbers of the internet who will try their darnedest to speak with authority and copy and paste all the same milestones the major news outlets will when it comes to trying to summarize and reflect upon the entire decade.  The funny thing is that most of the internet savvy generations probably aren’t that much older or younger than I am, which means that in the grand spectrums of our respective lives, we’ve only really lived through 3-4 decades, whereas I’d probably estimate that 1.5-2 of them are pretty invalid, because we’re simply not articulate and/or educated enough to have the capacity to reflect on entire decades.

So combined with the advent and growth of the internet, and the notion that everyone has a voice, I’d wager this is probably, at the very most, the second real decade of the modern high-speed internet that people really care to really reminisce about; and I’m being generous by calling it the second, because DSLs and cable internet didn’t really flourish until nearly the mid-2000’s; I couldn’t imagine people trying to use streaming, auto-refreshing social media on a 56K modem, so frankly I see this more as the first real decade that everyone and their literal mothers on the internet are going to be writing about.

Anyway, I’m going to attempt to try to recollect from mostly just my own memories, and stick to things that are more relevant to my own little world, and not the big gigantic depressing one we live in.  If I had any readers, they can google any decade in review, and probably find more worldly and probably more high-profile shit than the things I have to say about the things going on in my own little life, like the start and finish of Game of Thrones, Pokemon Go, the sad state of American politics, all the endless mass shootings, and Bill Cosby being outed as a rapist.

And the reason that I disclaim the whole “if I had any readers” because one of the most devastating things that occurred for me is the fact that despite my WordPress going online in 2010, at nearly the very start of the decade, midway through the decade my brog went down indefinitely, when my brother relocated from one part of the country to another.  A lot of hardware changes meant no more place to host my brog, and despite having the supposed backups, I simply haven’t taken the time or allocated the funds necessary to get my site up and running again.

If I were the type to do New Years resolutions anymore, I think I’d resolve to get my site back up and running again in 2020.  TBD on if that will actually occur, and frankly with the things I have on my plate going into the next decade, I don’t want to commit and then fail to deliver.

In spite of the brog blackout, that hasn’t stopped me from writing.  Even to the day my site went down, I have been writing on a fairly regular basis, taking no more than two weeks off before the internal guilt gets my fingers flying across the keys again, and I’ve got at this point, hundreds of folders of dated and timestamped Word docs, all awaiting their day in which they can be posted retroactively to a brog.

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Man, the League scene has certainly changed

It might sound like something that might’ve never happened, but I haven’t played League of Legends in nearly a month.  While mythical gf was out of the country, I spent most of that time doing little projects around the house to try and surprise her with some cosmetic changes here and there, and because I was on permanent dog duty that whole time, I didn’t feel good about hiding out in my office playing League for hours for the sake of the dogs.

I don’t really miss it, or have any anxiety at not having earned any IP blue essence in that time; considering that among my friends I’m the only one who’s been the closest to having been the most regular player, it’s easier to have walked away, considering I haven’t been leaving anyone behind in the process.

But I don’t intend on staying away, since ultimately I still did enjoy the game, it’s just that I found other things to do with my spare time than play League, but until that time comes, it’s almost been a full month since the last time I queued up on the Abyss, and there are sure to have been a hundred little tweaks and changes that will blindside me the next time I log in.

However, as long as it’s been since I last played, it’s been nearly triple that, that I’ve paid any attention to the League esports scene.  It’s funny to think that like 2-3 years ago, I was really into the weekly standings and looking up videos and recaps afterwards, to get the condensed action minus all the mundane boring farming and laning phases of the games, and I’d care about who was on top in NA, all the way to trying to figure out what darkhorse secondary region was doing what.

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When in doubt, make it yourself

While mythical gf is vacationing out of the country without me because I’m not a teacher and I don’t get entire months off at a time, I decided that I would spend a chunk of my solitude working on my office. 

I mean, after a year of living here, it would only make sense that I would have the room where I do the bulk of my artwork and gaming to a point where I’d be able to sit back in my chair and look around and be somewhat satisfied with my immediate surroundings.  Nah, as is often times the case in my life, when it comes to the intricate things for myself, I have a tendency to slack on them, putting just about everything else first, like responsibilities.

One of the things I had in mind was that I wanted to have some floating shelves for the vast array of figurines that I’ve amassed throughout the years.  Primarily the League of Legends figures that I’d been collecting since they started producing them.  They’re pretty good quality, and I can appreciate the consistency and cohesiveness of them as a collection, and I wanted to display them.

The thing is, I was having a great deal of difficulty in finding floating shelves that I was satisfied with.  Primarily, I did not want floating shelves with a massive depth, that would fuck with my peripheral vision when I would be sitting at my machine, at the height that I had envisioned setting them up at.  Furthermore, floating shelves seem to be a really in thing when it comes to home decorating these days, so the cost of them are most certainly not as cheap as when the first time I came across them years ago at like either a Target or a Container Store.

To make matters worse, the shelves that I once had on the walls of the old house were nowhere to be found anymore; a simple floating shelf with a minimal depth, that would’ve been perfect for Rito figures.  In their place were an array of shelves with pretentious bevels and faux-trim accents, with shoddy hardware that were most certainly not very cost effective, nor were they remotely long enough to accommodate all the figures that I have.

Over the last year or so, my brother has gotten really into woodworking.  He’s gotten really good at it in that span of time, and he’s made an array of shelves, tables and other practical furniture with his own hands and tools.  Needless to say, as all good big brothers do, it inspired me to want to make some practical shit on my own.  I figure I’m a pretty meticulous person who has zero fear of working with my hands, I know I have the capabilities to do similar stuff to him, except that I don’t have near the hardware he does at his disposal to do the depth of work that he can.

But making floating shelves?  Simple, shallow-depth and of course, simple floating shelves?  Oh yeah, I know I could do this at least.

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The unnecessary aggravation of League of Legends

It’s no secret that I tend to play a lot of old shit.  I played Left 4 Dead long after the heydays passed by, and the public servers were reduced to long queue times and dwindling players whom began to all look familiar as players gradually disappeared.  On my phone, I still play Pokémon Go and Fire Emblem Heroes despite the fact that the OCD generation of gamers have already flocked onto at least 2-3 other more recent and time/money sucking mobile games.  And, with some regularity, I am still playing League of Legends.

Oh, League of Legends.

I can’t honestly say that I believe that they’re still the world’s most played video game anymore, what with the Overwatch League really gaining momentum, and Fortnite seeming like today what my nightly L4D sessions were 8-9 years ago (really, that long ago?).  Despite my general interest in both games, I have an issue with first and third-person perspectives where they make me a little motion sick and it takes me some time and reps to break through until it doesn’t bother me, and despite the fact that I overcame them in the past with L4D, Resident Evil and Mass Effect titles, I just don’t really feel like investing the time yet to do it again.  So, I still continue to play League, which hasn’t totally alienated me like it pretty much has with all of my other friends and mythical gf, all of whom I used to play with on a very regular, nightly basis.

That is until my most recent losing streak, which hit eight games last night.  And put me in a really dejected, and salty mood, that lingered up until this morning, even after a night’s sleep.  The thing is, this isn’t even my worst losing streak ever (14 consecutive losses), but at the current combination of game interest and the stage of my life in general, this particular losing streak really left me feeling with a completely disillusioned feeling that I’ve completely wasted my time and debating on whether or not I should just stop cold turkey, and go find something more constructive to do with my time.

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Turds in the pool

Ever since Rito rolled out the League of Legends update signifying the end of season 7 and into the preseason of season 8, things have been a little bit interesting in my gaming observations.  Among the very numerous things that have been changed up, I would have to say that one of the more notable actions was the removal of the level cap, which for the previous eight years had been level 30.

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure why Riot decided to do such, but I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that once 30, many players go off and create alternate (smurf) accounts, so they can either have multiple accounts to play from with ulterior motives, or if they’re actually really good players, climb the ranking ladder with multiple accounts and/or then try to sell them for actual currency.  Either way, they end up diluting the player pool with multiple accounts, and I feel like by removing the level cap, it incentivizes continuous play on one main account, since there’s no more limit to how much the account can level up to.

However, one of the (I feel is like an) unintended result of removing of the level cap is that there’s a mad rush of players suddenly looking for the quickest way to level their accounts beyond 30, so they can have some bragging rights or try and look better than they actually are, by getting their accounts higher than everyone else.  Effectively, when Riot removed the level cap, level 30 became the new level 1 all over again.

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Writing when it feels like there’s not a lot to write about

Like the subject says, I haven’t really felt like there’s been a lot to write about.  It’s times like these when I sit down and try to clear out all the noise in the world and in my head and just see what happens when I open up a Word doc and just start typing.

Usually, I surf a large variety of news sites, local and worldly to see if anything piques my interest.  Then it devolves into sports sites and op-ed outlets, just to see if there’s anything that triggers any sort of writable tangent.  Failing any of that, it’s the happenings in my own fairly ordinary and nondescript life, wondering if there’s anything worth talking about, or anything I actually want to put something down into writing.

My life, hasn’t been particularly interesting for a while.  My days and weeks consist of the same things often, and I’m occasionally fretting over the fact that I feel like I don’t make enough money which kind of puts a damper on some of my ambitions when it comes to things I want to do, or travels I want to indulge in.  I think about spending habits, spending plans and how to shave down the credit card debt that I’ve built back up throughout the moving process, and it frequently feels like an endless cycle that just chews up time and often doesn’t actually pan out like it should.

Like in my current state, I feel like I’d need like 6-8 months to really wipe out a lot of my debt while not having to starve in the process.  I’m sure that some additional sacrifices could be made to reduce my costs a little further, but it just doesn’t feel like it would be enough to warrant the inconveniences.  But really though, 6-8 months?  That’s literally from half to two-thirds of an entire year.  I’m not getting any younger, and the whole concept of getting older is another can of worms that has been on my mind increasingly these days, and I just feel like if I made more money outright, things might improve for the better, overall.

But then I feel like I’m kind of in a rut where my skillset doesn’t command as much money as I hope it would, and I give a lot of contemplation to my own career.  I really like where I work and the team I’m on and the people I work with, but again, money.  I make enough to pay my mortgage and pay my bills, but with the new house, I’m also paying more for a mortgage than I have before, and it’s still an adjustment knowing how much of a larger percentage of my incoming funds are going right back out the door paying for my property.

And we can’t talk about money and not talk about the correlation with time, and then the endless debate of money versus time.  I certainly value my time, and often times more than money, but at the same time, there are certain things that cannot be accomplished without the need for money.  And then it rotates in this perpetual cycle of feeling like I have enough of either, and then I begin to wonder if I may be bordering on the lines of a slight depression.  Which is a maybe.

It would be nice to just win a substantial lottery.  That just might actually make things improve for the better, contrary to the notions that huge influxes of money have accomplished in ruining several people out there.

But really, I can’t really complain that much about my life in some regards.  My life itself isn’t at all terrible, aside from the fairly minor gripes I have that I’m not unaware that there are worse people out there that would love to have my gripes versus their own more substantial issues.

I think I feel like what drags me down is my empathy for others, to where I always feel like the problems of others become problems for me.  I don’t think it’s untrue either, because there are people out there that are close to me going through some rough patches, and I feel helpless that there’s nothing that either I or anyone else can seemingly do about them, and I empathize for their sadness and grief with my own.  Obviously, I won’t get into the business of others, but they are substantial problems, and I’ve come to the realization of the increasing difficulties of life that come with getting older, and that things just might not get better any time soon for the people all around me.

And that’s not even taking into consideration the shitty cesspool of a world we live in, full of rotten corrupt people, politicians, terrorists and mentally deranged people who somehow all seem to have way too large caches of firearms.

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Everything happened I said would happen at Worlds

At this point, I really don’t care who wins Worlds, because regardless who wins the final best-of-five, the winner is still Korea.  I mean, I’m aware that the scenario I was hoping for was like wishing the 90’s Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan would do good each year, but it’s still never a smooth journey for the most competent of competitors year after year.  And this was supposedly the year that the rest of the world was thought to have caught up in League of Legends talent, and frankly that wasn’t wrong, it’s just that it just wasn’t enough.

But a week from now, will the finals of the 2017 League of Legends World Championship – pitting Souh Korea’s SK Telecom T1 against, South Korea’s Samsung Galaxy.  This is also a rematch of the previous year’s Worlds, and since all spectator events love to raise the importance of scenarios by stating first times for things, this is the first time that the same two teams have made it to the finals of Worlds, ever and in consecutive years much less, even in a league just seven years old.

LCK Fall Split memes, right here.

However, it’s not just the fact that it’s two Korean teams that has me all smug and arrogant, it’s also the narrative in which such a matchup came to fruition.  Worlds this year has been taking place in China, the region that has yet to hoist a championship in the seven years of competitive League, despite often being perceived as the #2 region in the world.  But don’t tell the Chinese that, because in their own opinion, they’re gods amongst mortals who can’t be touched in competitive League of Legends, except for the fact that, they’ve never won Worlds, and have almost never beaten Korean squads with very few exceptions.

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