Friday, 24 August 2012

Two Weeks From Twenty

Why don't I update this as much as I should?

Because I usually don't have a lot to say, or I forget.
Mainly the latter.


I've been doing a lot of thinking recently.  I turn 20 in 2 weeks, so yeah, that constitutes a reason to start reflecting on what has happened in my life so far.

The answer is a fair bit:
Gaining friends, losing friends, moving, discovery of what interests me, a broken heart, and death to name a few.

A lot of my life has revolved around moving to different places every few years.  When I was younger, I hated doing it.  I didn't want to leave my friends; would I make new friends I kept asking myself?  Now the only thing I don't like about it is picking up and setting down furniture.
 Sure, it does suck leaving friends, especially those whose company I enjoyed.  But over the years, for some friendships, moving has solidified the connection I share with them.

Take my friends in Southampton for example.  When I first left them 6 years ago, I thought I might never see them again.  Such is the life of a then 13 year old.  But over the years, mainly through the rise of social networking, I got back in touch with them.  This helped me decide that I would rather go to college with them, than commute to a Cambridge college where I didn't know anyone at all.  I re-connected with them for 2 years at college, and then proceeded to leave them again to live where I currently am now.  I'm hoping to have a few of them over in a few weeks, which I'm really looking forward to.  The friends of mine I have, and who have kept in contact with me, are ones I will treasure for a long time.

Moving is also one of the reasons I am currently not in a relationship.  That broken heart I mentioned? That, together with the deaths of my Grandma, and Nan, meant I wasn't happy for a while.  Oddly enough, it took the death of my Granddad, and an extraordinary coincidence of my Grandma's ashes being in the place where we lay my Granddad's ashes, a year on, to get me back on my feet.

By the way, holding my Granddad's ashes, which were still warm, scattering them, and having a glass of bubbly, is one of most surrealist moments of my life.  Hasn't been topped in the 3 years since, and I'm not sure if it ever will.  But you never know

Which leads me onto another point: My family, which has always been a constant in my life, particularly my mum, dad and brother, and also my (very large!) extended family.  I feel incredibly lucky that I have such a strong, cohesive family structure, in that we all get along.  I know so many people who don't have the kind of family ties I have, and I find it sad.  I've enjoyed so many great moments with many members of my family, on holidays (New York, Florida, France), to family gatherings and events.

So as I enter my third decade, I look back on these moments, and sometimes feel old, and then I think of Yellowcard (one of my favourite bands), and think about some lyrics in one of their most recent songs:

"They say you don't grow up, you just grow old,"
"It's safe to say I haven't done both,"
"I made mistakes, I know, I know,"
"But here I am alive."

This makes me look forward to what is coming in my life.  The moments of joy, and anguish, that I'll experience.  I say: Bring it.

P.S. Looking back on memories is a key part of a story I'm writing, so I'll update on that at some point.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Final Fantasy

I recently completed Final Fantasy 7 and 8.  Here are my views on them:

This game initially launched me into the Final Fantasy franchise.  It still holds up well 15 years after it was first released.  The storyline is consistently good, as are the characters.  It is also interesting to see Cloud's internal struggles, and how everything fits into place, once the truth is revealed.  Aerith's death still has the same hold as it it did the first time, and Sephiroth is still a douche.  The soundtrack is superb too.  

Overall, it is near the top of my all time favourite games of the franchise.

When I first played it over 10 years ago, I wasn't initially taken by it.  I seem to remember it took me 3 years or so to complete it.  In the years since, I've decided that it is a good game, but not nearly as good as 7, or my favourite in the franchise, 9.  The first half is excellent.  Being a mercenary, but being a student, felt different.  I would have been happy if it had ended at the end of disc 2, with a few alterations of course.

Everything begins falling apart at the beginning of disc 3 though.  The storyline became stupid, and aside from going to Esthar for the first time, it was underwhelming.  In my view, it became too big for its boots.  The soundtrack was good though.

The characters weren't as strong as in 7, but they still had a likeability factor: Squall in part reminds me of myself at times, but I was never that bitter and closed.  Being a (hopeless) romantic, I did like how the love story between Squall and Rinoa developed.  She sometimes reminds me of someone I know.  Zell is quite cool, Irvine is alright, but Selphie and Quistis to me are forgettable.  I never used them unless I had to.

Time to play 9 now, my favourite.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Mobile World Congress

On Sunday, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona starts.

Well technically it starts on Monday, but several manufacturers have their press conferences on the Sunday, including HTC.

It would be cool to go, but alas, I am in University.  What I will do instead, is use this blog to give opinions on the announcements made, particularly focusing on HTC, because they make my phone, the Sensation, and they have some rebuilding to do in 2012.

I'm pretty sure, in fact, 100% sure, that some quad core phones will be announced, probably by HTC and LG.  What is the point of quad core in a phone?  To run things more smoothly?  They are hardly utilised in computers, so they will be even more useless in a mobile phone.

Oh well.  See you on Sunday.