Keeping In Touch

This week’s GameOverGreggy show featured one of Colin’s best friends, Ramon, as the special guest. Colin and Ramon met in college, which for them was over 10 years ago, and though they live in different cities and have different careers, they have managed to keep in touch. For Ramon’s topic, he decided to ask the guys their opinions on keeping in touch—have they found it harder as they’ve gotten older, or has technology made it easier to keep in touch.

This topic resonates with me, and I’ve actually thought about it quite a bit these last few years. Personally, I’ve found that getting older has made it difficult to keep in touch with people. It seems that every year, my life is changing, my priorities are changing, and I just don’t have the time to keep up with everyone, even though I would like to. And that sucks, because there have been people in my life that I wanted to keep in touch with, but life pulls us in different directions and it gets tough.

It’s also hard receiving a message from someone you used to be close with and they want to reconnect, but life and time seem to make that impossible.

I was very interested in something Nick said about the role social media has played in our ability to keep in touch with people. He said that social media has kind of become a veil to keep people at bay rather than be in touch, because we aren’t actually keeping in touch with people anymore, but we still know what’s going on with them. We no longer have to phone someone up and chat for an hour, or make plans to get dinner. Instead, we’re able to drop a quick message on Facebook, or simply check out their profiles for updates and pictures of their current lives.

Nick also talked about life before social media, where you would graduate high school or college, and would leave behind most of those people for good, save for (perhaps) your close friends. But now, you can pull up all those people at the push of a button and see what they are up to because of social media.

I actually think that’s a great thing about social media. Sure, it may just be the illusion that you’re keeping in touch with someone simply by having them on your friends list. But social media does make it easier to reach out to people if you so desire. And messaging back and forth can be just as valuable as a telephone call. I have some friends that I only keep in touch with thanks to social media, but we are able to get together a couple times every year, and we message back and forth online. I’m very happy with those relationships, and I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them if it weren’t for social media.

I am coming to terms with how difficult it is to keep in touch—it actually feels like the natural order of things. Life gets in the way, and we just don’t have the time to keep in touch with everyone. I am grateful that I’ve been able to keep up relationships with my closest friends, but I know that the fact we all still live in Winnipeg helps. I’ve wondered what would happen to our friendships if some of us moved away. Though, like Colin and Ramon, I think these friendships would last, despite distance and life’s obstacles.

I’ll leave you with a thought from Colin. He talked about relationships running their course, and though it pains me to know that some people aren’t a part of my life anymore, or won’t be in my life in years to come, I understand this notion. Some relationships are only meant to last for a certain period of time in your life, and that isn’t a bad thing.

Enjoy the company you keep while you have it, and work hard to keep in touch with the people who matter most. For most of my life, I’ve been surrounded by a group of best friends whom I consider to be brothers, and I’m grateful we still make the effort to keep in touch.

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Anxiety

I’m dipping back into a GameOverGreggy show topic from two weeks ago that I didn’t get a chance to cover when the guys discussed it. Colin opened topic 1 of episode 115 talking about anxiety and what it’s like for him to live with anxiety. I think it’s an important topic that millions of people can relate to, and I want to give my two cents.

It was really enlightening to hear Colin talk about his anxiety and he gave me a better sense about what it is and how it affects people. Personally, I know that I don’t suffer  from anxiety on a daily basis, though I have had days where I’ve felt anxious and off, and I couldn’t explain why. There’s been times where all of a sudden I’ve felt strangely anxious and when I get those feelings all I want to do is go home and not be around anyone. And I’ve found that those feelings are triggered randomly and they’re awful. I’ve had some days where I’ve woken up feeling this way, other times it’s happened in the middle of the day, and every time it happens I can’t explain what is bothering me or why I suddenly feel anxious.

Whenever I’ve tried to verbalize these feelings to someone else, all I’ve been able to say is “I feel off today”, but after hearing Colin talk I think it’s more than that—I think that every now and then I get minor bouts of anxiety. On those days, I feel overcome by a strange sense of dread, and my thoughts begin to race, and I can’t get out of my head. I find that the only thing that make me feel better on these days is being alone and away from everyone.

It’s really difficult to explain how it feels, but I can say that those days feel awful, and one of the biggest feelings I have when I’m dealing with these bouts is wanting to be closed off from the world.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to lessen anxiety by likening it to “feeling off”. I don’t know what it’s like to deal with anxiety every day, and I don’t envy anyone that does. It’s my understanding that people’s anxiety is triggered differently and it affects people differently so I wouldn’t begin to say I understand how people with anxiety feel.

What I am trying to say is that dealing with anxiety sucks, and if anything I’ve felt is close to that, I do empathize with anyone who has chronic or crippling anxiety.

I appreciated hearing Colin talk about his anxiety and I’m definitely more understanding of it now. In the past I’d heard stories of friends dealing with panic attacks or anxiety attacks and I didn’t really get it—I thought that it must just be in their heads and that it probably wasn’t as bad as they described. I know now that that isn’t the case, and I truly empathize with people who struggle with anxiety.

If you’ve experienced any anxiety attacks or panic attacks and you feel like talking about it, leave me a comment. For me, hearing someone explain what it’s like to have anxiety has given me a better understanding of it, and I think that’s important.

 

Ranking Forms of Entertainment

For Topic 3 of this week’s GameOverGreggy show Colin wanted to know how the guys would rank various forms of entertainment. He asked the guys to list them from most important to least important, and with the idea that if they could only keep one or two of them, which ones would they want.

The categories he laid out were reading, watching TV, watching movies, listening or playing music, and playing video games. Though the reading category was intended to be about books and magazines, the other guys lumped Internet in there as well, explaining that reading articles or other things online should count.

With Internet thrown in there it was no surprise that reading ended up on top, with only Greg picking video games as his number one, though Colin and Nick cited books as being their reason for picking reading as their top entertainment choice.

I’m going to leave the Internet out of my rankings. I mentioned in a previous post that I, along with millions of other people, use the Internet every day, so there really is no contest. I sincerely doubt that most of us could live without the Internet these days. With that said, I enjoy all five of these activities so this is an extremely difficult task.

1. Reading

I thought that by leaving the Internet out of these rankings I would have a different top choice. But as I stared at the options, I realized how much I love books and I wouldn’t want to give them up.

2. Music

Music has always been a part of my life. I used to spend some time every day listening to music, and often I would listen to music before bed. I’ve been so busy these days that I don’t spend as much time listening to music, but it’s still one of my favourite things to do when I want to relax. I also always have my iPod on me, so I get my fix while I’m driving. I definitely couldn’t live without music.

3. Movies

It was a tough choice between movies and video games. I love good stories, and though I believe video games are capable of telling stories in ways that movies and books can’t, I still appreciate the traditional storytelling found in movies. A great movie can be like a great book, in that it offers the viewer an escape into another universe. I think that is what I love most about both these mediums—getting lost in a different world for the duration of the story.

4. Video games

I was surprised at first that I put video games this low on my list, but because of how busy I am these days, I’ve essentially given up games already. As much as I love video games, I know that I could live without them. And really, I have only been super invested in games over the last couple years. I played casually as a kid, mostly sports games, but the last two or three years I’ve played a lot of games. Still, I would sacrifice video games before giving up reading, music and movies.

5. TV

TV is a tough one for me. On one hand, I don’t watch live television anymore, though I do follow some shows and stream them on my own time. I also occasionally watch TV on Netflix.

The big thing for me is that I’m a huge sports fan, and TV is still the primary medium to watch sports. Still, It seems to me that people are gradually moving away from TV, and eventually I should be able to watch sports in HD online, so I’m listing TV as my lowest ranking. I can live without TV, I just can’t live without sports.

Those are my rankings, but I certainly wouldn’t want to give up any of these things, as they are all important forms of entertainment in my life. How would you rank ’em? Let me know in the comments.

Brothers

This week on the GameOverGreggy show the guys were joined by Nick’s brother Matt Scarpino. Everyone at the table has a brother except Greg, so for topic 3 he wanted to talk about what it’s like having a brother. I particularly liked Nick’s comment about knowing that a brother will always be a part of your life. He talked about the friends he has lost touch with over the years, which is natural, but unlike some friendships, he knows he will always have a relationship with his brother.

I am a brother to two sisters, but I unfortunately don’t know what it’s like to have a brother. When I was younger, I thought having a brother would be so cool. I wondered if he would be like me, if he would like sports and video games, or if he would be a completely different person—either scenario would be fine by me. I wonder too how different the relationship is if you’re the older brother or the younger brother?

I do have a twin sister and we have a close relationship. Having siblings at all is a great thing, but I think there is a different dynamic between having a sister versus having a brother. When I was a kid, I used to look up to my older sister, but being a boy, I think I would have looked up to an older brother differently. I imagine I would have wanted to be just like him— unless he was a jerk or something. And if I had a younger brother, I would want to be a role model to him. I would share with him my interests, maybe teach him things, and most of all I’d look out for him.

I may not have any brothers in my family, but I’ve always considered my best friends to be my brothers. I’ve known all of them since we were teenagers, and some go back even further. These are the kind of friendships where you know you’d do anything for any one of those guys, and vice-versa. I wonder how different these close friendships are from actually having a brother? But back to what Nick said, I think he’s right about knowing that a brother will always be in your life versus friendships that might deteriorate. As our lives change, some of these friendships might grow apart, but I like to think that these best friends will be in my life in some shape or form. Maybe that’s just a phone call every now and again, a Skype chat, or a Facebook message, but we’ll still be interested in each others lives and we’ll still be friends.

Do you have a brother? Let me know in the comments what that’s like. And if you don’t have any siblings, let me know what it’s like being an only child. I’d love to hear about it.

New Year’s Resolutions

A little late in the month for this topic, but since the guys talked about it this week, I might as well give my opinion. Topic 1 of the GameOverGreggy Show had the crew discuss the New Year’s resolutions they set last year to see if they had any successes, and then they set some new ones for this year.

We’ve all been here before—a new year rolls around and, in the spirit of having a fresh start, you think up some things you would like to accomplish. But most of the time these resolutions are toast by the time February arrives. Really, it’s just human nature.

I don’t typically set New Year’s resolutions. I’ve always thought that they are too black and white—either you accomplish what you set out to do, or you fail. More often then not, failure happens because the resolutions set are too vague or ambitious. Or maybe they’re just doomed from the start, because nothing has actually changed with the arrival of a new year.

I do, however, appreciate the optimism in trying to make positive changes, and I won’t ever fault someone who says they have New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I commend those who are trying to achieve something. But rather than quit when a setback occurs, I suggest to push on and keep trying throughout the year. With this in mind, I prefer to think of New Year’s resolutions as goals, because goals are something to keep striving for, and are important to have. Perhaps I’m just switching one word for another… but I digress.

Over the years I’ve had a few of the same goals: eat healthier, exercise as much as I can, and learn new things. These are just good things to keep in mind that really everyone should think about. I’m in college right now, so the learning new things part is easy, though the other two are quite a bit harder to maintain.

My life revolves around school right now, so any goals I have are sort of dictated by that. Sure, I’d like to do things like learn a new language, play more video games, and read more books, but because of the school commitment, I know I don’t have the time. So for now my big goal is to work as hard as I can in school and achieve success—perhaps land a communications-related job in summer.

A couple small goals I should be able to find time for:

-I need to learn how to tie a tie (30 minutes and a quick YouTube video should do the trick)

-learn to cook something from scratch (again, YouTube is my best friend)

And that’s really it for me this year. Wish me luck. And let me know in the comments how you feel about New Year’s resolutions.

To all those still keeping up with their resolutions:

You can do it!

I believe in you!

To those who have already failed:

There’s always next year!

Kinda Funny: Year One

On January 5, 2016 Kinda Funny celebrated their one-year anniversary. Greg’s YouTube channel, along with the GameOverGreggy show (GOG), had already been around for awhile, but it was one year ago that they rebranded as Kinda Funny and launched their second channel: Kinda Funny Games. Kudos on an excellent first year Best Friends!

To celebrate, the guys streamed on twitch.tv/kindafunnygames all day long and they also debuted Kinda Funny: The Animated Series, which I have linked above. Kinda Funny’s twitch stream that day was a celebration, but also an opportunity for them to promote The Animated Series and hopefully receive enough funding to continue the series for 12 episodes. To increase funding, the guys set up milestones that, if achieved, would see them do various things on stream, such as a push-up contest, the famous Nick Scarpino pec dance, Kevin on the GOG show, and a live (drunk) GameOverGreggy show. Now with all that said I’ve arrived at my point.

Typically, I choose a topic that the guys discussed on either the GOG show or the Gamescast and weigh-in with my opinion. The Gamescast (which was also done on Twitch) was about each of their favourite games from 2015. I only played a few new games this year (Life Is Strange, Emily Is Away, Telltale’s Game of Thrones), but none of the major titles, so I can’t really comment. The drunken GOG show on the other hand was almost 4 hours long! And yes, I watched it live with the rest of my Kinda Funny Best Friends (and it was awesome), but the topic structure definitely didn’t hold up throughout.

So this week I’ve decided to help promote the Kinda Funny Animated Series, talk about my history as a fan of the guys, and share some of my favourite Kinda Funny moments from this inaugural year.

I think I’ve said this before, but I started following Greg Miller and Colin Moriarty back when they worked for IGN as THE PlayStation guys. I bought a PS3 in 2013 and I fell back in love with video games. I started visiting IGN daily, and Greg and Colin were my favourite people on the site.

Somehow I stumbled upon Greg’s YouTube channel and I started watching the “A Conversation With Colin” series and his Oreo cookie review series called Oreo Oration. I don’t know why I was so entertained by a grown man eating Oreos, but regardless, I watched every single one of those videos. And I think there are like 50 of ’em.

I eventually clicked on my first ever episode of the GameOverGreggy show. I have no idea which topic I started with, but I remember spending that night watching one after another. A few months later, January 5, 2015 arrived and the guys announced they had left IGN and launched Kinda Funny.

Between the two YouTube channels, three podcasts, the live Twitch show, the events Kinda Funny covers, and all the other content they put up, there are tons of awesome moments. There is definitely a lot that I can’t even remember because of the sheer amount of content I’ve watched (first world KFBF problems). But I’ll list a few stand-outish moments now, and later regret the ones I forget to share.

First thing that comes to mind is the GameSpot X Kinda Funny E3 coverage. I was glued to my computer screen for three days because I didn’t want to miss anything that Kinda Funny did at E3. I’ve never really cared about E3 before—other than reading about the big announcements at the end of the event—but because of Kinda Funny I was addicted. They had Nick, Tim, Sisqo (of Thong Song fame), Chloe Dysktra (@skydart) and Alfredo Diaz (@TheAlfredoPlays) doing things from the floor, while Greg and Colin interviewed some awesome guests from their main stage. My absolute favourite moment is Nick Scarpino dancing with some mascots:

Nick Scarpino

Other fun memories from this past year: the Extra Life 24-hour charity stream, Greg winning the Trending Gamer award, Greg’s Walking Dead stream, Colin’s Mega Man stream, Xavier Woods/Austin Creed (@XavierWoodsPhD, @upupdwndwn) coming down to Kinda Funny HQ and eating a mayonnaise sandwich (so gross), Once Upon a Tim, The Shadowboxer, every episode of Love & Sex stuff, the Hot Pepper gaming episodes each of the guys did, and there are countless little jokes in every GOG episode and every Gamescast episode—too many to list.

Last thing I’ll give a shout out to are the Let’s Plays on the KindaFunnyGames channel. A couple recent ones: the Emily Is Away Let’s Play and just yesterday, the “That Dragon, Cancer” Let’s Play, really resonated with me. There are tons of games I probably wouldn’t have heard of had the guys not done these videos, so I thank Kinda Funny for that.

So congratulations again to Kinda Funny on a fantastic first year. I’m excited to see what is in store for year 2 and I’m proud to be a fan and supporter of this company. If you would like to support Kinda Funny and The Animated Series go to patreon.com/kindafunny and throw ’em a few bucks!

Who Would You Wanna Get Dinner With?

Topic 2 of this episode of the GameOverGreggy Show was brought to the table by special guest Matty Kerr, who asked the guys who they would want to meet/hang out/have dinner with. Matty really wanted to meet the Kinda Funny guys so he made it happen by supporting them on Patreon and flying out to San Francisco.

Like Matty, I would love to meet Greg, Colin, Nick, Tim (and I guess Kevin). I have watched/listened to hundreds of hours of content that these guys produce, and I feel like I’ve gotten to know them—in a weird way they have become a part of my life. It would be awesome to get to meet them in person, and I think it’s pretty cool that one day it could actually happen.

Aside from the Kinda Funny crew, here are some other people I would love to have dinner with:

The Rock

As Greg said on the show, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is awesome—he is the living definition of that word. He’s such an inspiration to me, and I would love to talk to him for a bit and find out exactly how he does all that he does.

Drew Brees

I met Drew Brees briefly at an event a couple years ago—he was the keynote speaker of an annual dinner held here in Winnipeg. I got to shake his hand and take a picture with him, but there wasn’t any time to chat. He’s a future hall of fame quarterback and a hero of mine, so it would be great to spend an evening talking football with him.

Gord Downie

The Tragically Hip are one of my favourite bands and I would love to pick the brain of lead singer Gord Downie. It would be so cool to talk to him about his process and certain songs. I would also like to find out what the early years were like for him and the rest of the band.

Zach Braff

I’m a big fan of Zach Braff’s work, particularly Garden State and Scrubs, and I would love to talk to Zach about projects he has for the future. I would also talk to Zach about music as it seems we have some similar tastes.

So that’s my short list of people I would want to have dinner with. Let me know in the comments who you would choose to have dinner with if you had the opportunity.