What I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for November 2016.

October was pretty rough for me and I’m just gonna say some non related stuff here. My dad died last week of pancreatic cancer, he was diagnosed 6 weeks ago and the doctors told us he had a few weeks to live. The day before he died, the doctors estimated he only had hours left, he fought on for a day longer. It’s a tough thing to deal with, he was my Dad and now he’s gone. I was told once that there things in life that happen and there isn’t anything you can do about it all you can do it carry it. It’s not a burden and the emotions while sad, are not negative or hurtful, it’s just processing grief.

My dad, like most dads do, use to tell me how tough he was when I was a kid and after watching him battle and fight these last 6 weeks, I believed it then and I believe it now.

RIP Dad. I’ll see you again when I reach the clearing at the end of the path.

It feels weird and wrong just to carry on, but that’s life. A quote from Jim Butcher from the Dresden Files: White Night puts what I’m feeling right now into words better than I could.

We still hadn’t learned, though, that growing up is all about getting hurt. And then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you’re just going to get hurt again. But each time, you learn something.

Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind – graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There’s the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There’s the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn’t give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life they grow and learn. There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens.

And if you’re very, very lucky, there are a very few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realized that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last – and yet will remain with you for life.

Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don’t feel it.

Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it’s a big part, and sometimes it isn’t, but either way, it’s a part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you’re alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.

-Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files: White Night.

 

So with that said, this is me trying to carry on.

Gonna start with Audiobooks first. I’m still re-listening to the Dark Tower series, I’m at the end of the Wastelands and will immediately jump into Wizard and Glass right after. I’d like to do a re-listen of The Stand (I still might, it’s almost 48 hours long) before Wizard and Glass but it’s very long and will make this re-listen go up until December.

I still have the rest of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories/The Last Kingdom series to listen to as well, books 4-9. The books are short and I’ll likely go through them quickly as they are only about 10-12 hours long. I also have The Hobbit, which I’ll get around to eventually. This backlog of 6+ books means that I will to choose some more books to pick up with my audible credits for November and December. This will likely be one of the following series: Sandman Slim, The Black Company, The Felix Castor series. I will definitely Pre-order Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology with 1 of my audible credits this month. I’ve been thinking about picking up Jim Butcher’s Aeronaut’s Windlass as well. I will most likely go with the Gaiman book and Aeronaut’s Windlass this month and then into one of the previously mentioned series in December.

For gaming this month, I have stopped my subscription for World of Warcraft and started to use some of my gold to pick up tokens for 30 days of game time. WoW is a good game that I’m slowly starting to stop playing for no real reason other than it takes up so much of my gaming time. It’s the type of game you either go all in on or you want to just quit. Not that I necessarily want to quit, just not have it as the main focus for my gaming time. I am slowly wanting to stop playing though, with no real reason as the game is fun. Mythics, Mythic Plus, Karazhan, and the odd Battleground is fun to do. The progression of the Artifact weapons is nice and feels rewarding to complete each trait. It’s just that I’m losing the will to keep up the time investment.

I played some, around 10 hours, of Civilization 6 and liking it so far. Most of the changes have been good but this does not mean the game is flawless or perfect or great. The A.I. cheats, the difficulty only makes it so the A.I. gets tech and other things quicker and cheaper than the player. I hate to say the A.I is the major problem but it is, pointing to the A.I as a fault is pretty hollow for a criticism and it’s picking low hanging bitter fruit because every game has this problem, it is only more pronounced in turn based or real-time strategy games. However, it is still very fun to play and easy to lose a few hours playing it. Definitely worth the money and I have no regrets pre ordering it.

I have also wanted to get into my backlog of games, the Assassin’s Creed series (Rogue, Unity, Syndicate) and Dishonored being the games in particular. The trailer for the Assassin’s Creed movie got me thinking about the series and planted the desire to play the series. As for Dishonored, I watched some cool let’s play highlight videos and the desire to pick up the sequel. Skyrim Special Edition was released recently and the nostalgia is really sucking me in. I also picked up DOOM on a sale and also want to check it out.

I’ve also wanted to pick up Farcry: Primal, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided but I may just wait to pick those up on sale.

For movies this month, I wanted to quickly talk about X-men Apocalypse. I really liked the movie, it captured and re-imagined the characters pretty good. Oscar Isaac and Michael Fassbender portrayed their respective characters with some great acting and nuance. The special features were very good as well, I enjoyed the audio commentary and the short featurettes. Overall, I thought it was a good movie and had some good special features, it was a worthwhile purchase.

This week, I plan to pick up Star Trek Beyond on blu ray.

On the streaming video front, I added some movies I’ve wanted to watch or rewatch. The Prestige, The Princess Bride, Mystery Men, Master and Commander, The Forest, Pale Rider, American Psycho, and the Magnificent Seven (1960). I may also check out Westworld (the old movie.)

I’ve found out that The Expanse will be available on CraveTV on November 4th and I may just renew my subscription just for that.

I’ve also been obsessively been watching HBO’s Westworld, definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already as good sci-fi is hard to come by.

I’m also watching Luke Cage on netflix, it’s missing the compelling and memorable villain that Daredevil has with Wilson Fisk and Jessica Jones had with Kilgrave but it’s enjoyable. I’m on episode 8 at the moment.

I’m also re-watching The Wire (I’m on season 2) and will do one for Deadwood as well. Call it all getting back into the Dark Tower.

I may be travelling next year and during that time I will check out Logan, The Dark Tower, and Assassin’s Creed as those are the movies I’m most looking forward to watching.

For gaming, I’d really like to see Rockstar do a PC port for Red Dead Redemption 2, it’s unlikely but there is at least a year before it comes out and it is a remote possibility that it will. Dishonored 2, Final Fantasy XV, Hitman, and Battlefield 1 are games that come out in the next few months or are already out now that I would like to check out. In 2017, I’m looking forward to Mass Effect: Andromeda, Prey, and Horizon Zero Dawn. For some of those games I may need to pick up Playstation 4 to play them, and I may just end up doing that in the next few months.

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