Destress   Leave a comment

My body was fighting an acute sinusitis just a few days ago. It started to get worse some time last weekend. I’ve probably had it for a while now and it recently just got worse. Went to urgent care after work and the doctor prescribed me antibiotics. It was slightly stronger than regular amoxicillin and fights all kinds of bacteria to make sure it also gets the more resistant ones. Side effects include being drowsy even when you’re well-rested. I was also fighting a fever and trying to get better overall, so it was like hell.

I’m feeling better now. Had lunch with my sister on Saturday and watched Ad Astra. It was my second time watching the movie and it’s just as good as the first time. It’s definitely not what you’d expect in a movie with it’s subject matter and all, but the visuals were really nice. Went around the mall and did some shopping. Bought a Cardigan. Drove back closer to home and went to the other mall. Bought a book. Left the mall and bought a case of bottled water for my car. Went grocery shopping. Bought food. Went home and watched Saturday Night Live. Watched some anime. Then fell asleep.

Woke up on Sunday. I wasn’t sick or anything, but I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I had plans to leave the house and do something, but I just didn’t feel like it. I did too many things on Saturday and I guess I just felt drained from it. So I just stayed inside the house doing nothing, mostly. I browse the Internet. Watch some videos. Got several naps.

I used to think that days like these are days wasted. Not anymore. Sometimes you just need some personal time to be left alone. To do nothing. To no talk to anyone. To destress. And it’s fine. You don’t want to be in a situation where you keep pushing yourself when you just need a ‘timeout’ or reset and wind up exploding when you can’t take it anymore. Learn to enjoy the quiet times. Embrace the silence. You actually do your best after it.

I’m done.

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Posted October 13, 2019 by StupidSystemus in Musings

The Impact of Movies on Society   Leave a comment

The Joker debate rages on as critics point out the sympathetic portrayal of Joker’s origin story: a guy shunned by society, grows to hate it more and more, eventually causes chaos with violence and becomes the Joker. Many point out that it’s just a movie and people are responsible for their own actions. Clearly, this is a complicated issue and not as black and white. We can’t blame violence or other subject matters in movies for what morally apprehensive and dangerous actions that some people do to others in real life. At the same time, we can’t just dismiss a movie’s influence on society, our culture, and the global consciousness.

A lot of Hollywood movies portray American life in an exaggerated manner. Sex, violence, materialism, and that headstrong, tough-as-nails, can-do attitude is dialed up to a ten. In real life, it varies. Some Americans are reserved to a puritan level when it comes to sex, publicly, while very open in their private lives. Some are open about their sexual lifestyles. Many Americans are scared and have guns to protect themselves. They are not violent. Some thrive on violence and looks for trouble. Capitalism goes hand-in-hand with materialism. That brave, I-can-do-anything attitude is also true for many Americans.

Of course, people who know better understand that exaggerated portrayals of Americans in Hollywood are just that: exaggerations. They are meant to be portrayals of a lifestyle that can aspire and inspire, saying that we, too, can have this lifestyle (except for that brave front. That’s all true of most Americans. We really do stand out when we venture out of the US. The clothes we wear. Our attitude. How we talk. The way we walk as if we can do and conquer it all). I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s how I interpret it. It’s supposed to make us feel good about ourselves.

Hollywood movies, among many others, is one of America’s biggest exports to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, for many people, these are their only window into American life and values. For many people, they believe that Americans really act the same way as their portrayal in Hollywood movies.

So many people abroad are more likely to believe that Americans are sexually promiscuous, prone to violence, materialistic, and carry with them this “America, FUCK YEAH!” attitude. And sadly, that’s unfortunate. The world already has a huge problem with viewing women as objects. Men abroad (and in the US, as well) view American women, especially, to be similar as the women portrayed in Hollywood and porn. I can only assume what American women (all women, in general) have to deal with every day (cat calls, unwanted attention, unruly comments, dick pics, lewd comments, threats of violence against them, etc.). On a lighter note, it’s not all bad.

Movies have had positive impacts on society and culture. Even though cigar smoking rose and became glamorous by a considerable amount due to shows like Mad Men, or that Fight Club inspired actual fight clubs in real life, V for Vendetta inspired hacktivist group Anonymous (the group has existed in some shape or form before the movie, but the Guy Fawkes mask became the unifying symbol that identifies the group). Bambi actually caused a drop in hunting of deer in the US. Bowling for Columbine prompted K-Mart to stop selling guns. The movie JFK (1991) prompted more transparency in government. Super Size Me probably made McDonald’s take away the “super-size” option from their menu and changed people’s attitude on fast food years after the documentary was released, with more healthier food options available now.

So yeah. I believe movies make lasting impacts on society, both good and bad.

Films of any genre, from documentary to drama, can have a dramatic impact on real life. Chances are excellent that you’ve seen at least one film that has changed the landscape of our popular culture, even if you’re not aware of it. These films that have changed our lives outside the theater in tangible ways are excellent examples of the important role film plays in the world at large. – Natasha Englehardt

I’m done.

Posted September 22, 2019 by StupidSystemus in Movies, Musings

Death Anniversaries   Leave a comment

I don’t know if American culture practices death anniversaries. I’m from the Philippines so it usually involves gatherings and mass held at the cemetery where your love one is interred. It’s my father’s fifth death anniversary today. Each year I get less sad about it. I’m not in the Philippines to make the same celebration so I just keep him in my thoughts and pray for him.

I’m done.

Posted September 15, 2019 by StupidSystemus in Personal

Perspective   Leave a comment

Life overwhelms you sometimes. Work, relationships, family, finances… things can get stressful and make you worry. But it’s all about perception.

You could feel like you’re worried with what’s next in your life. But you probably don’t realize you’re already in the middle of what you used to look forward to.

Count your blessings. Look at what you’ve accomplished. Realize where you’re at right now. You can do this.

I’m done.

Posted September 14, 2019 by StupidSystemus in Musings

Final Fantasy XV – A Playthrough   Leave a comment

I know I basically lambasted this game in my review and I didn’t really expect much. However, I’m still going to finish this game for reasons. I’ve been playing most RPGs with a guide in hand to help me along the way. When it comes to JRPGs or just huge open world games like Fallout 3 or the Assassin’s Creed games, I’ve got a strategy guide on the ready to get all the collectibles and game objectives for perfect playthrough. Back in the late 90s and 2000s, I used to buy strategy guides. Now with a really fast Internet and more developed online presence, there’s really no reason to buy strategy guides when you have a gaming community contributing strategies for the game for free.

That said, I’ve been pretty relaxed with Final Fantasy XV. I’m treating this unlike any of the Final Fantasy games i’ve played before. I’m going about it my way like a sandbox game. Maybe that’s how Squeenix designed it: to be a Final Fantasy game that is not as rigid and linear as past games.

Anywho, I’ve been doing side quests for the most part of my current 35+ hour playthrough. Actual game time is probably closer to 30+ actual hours of gaming. I’m still on Chapter 3 of the main story and already pretty high level. I logged in close to 12 hours of progress between Saturday and Sunday night this past weekend when tragedy happened: I accidentally overwrote my current save data with an older one.

Balouve Mines

The following day, I checked what quests I had to redo. They’re not much, but they’re still a pain to do with driving, running, riding a chocobo to the destination and fulfilling the quest. Prior to tackling these quests again, I remembered the various treasure spawn points in the game that I’ve come a cross. Some of them hold key items for fetch quests to upgrading weapons.

The in-game map is filled with icons from information supplied by chefs and cooks in the game (they not only cook you food, but they hand out hunting quests and provide info about the immediate area about active quests, treasure, parking and pitstops, or item spawn points).

So while I’m redoing these quests, I’m also scouring the area for these spawn points to activate scripted events that I may not know of (like photo op quests to take photos of scenic views with the gang). One of the treasure locations is near an abandoned train track which I encountered earlier in the game in Chapter 1. I thought it was just a backdrop with nothing of value. I decided to follow the train track and it lead me to an abandoned mine. These function as dungeons in the game and hold the royal weapons that your main character must collect to help in his battle in reclaiming the thrown of Insomnia and bring back the crystal (because it’s not a Final Fantasy game if the crystal is not in danger).

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It turned out to be a high level dungeon with very low level minions (goblins that push mine carts your way for damage) and a high level samurai like boss. I beat it and recovered a royal weapon (a cross bow). This was not marked on the map so finding it by accident was a really nice experience.

Castlemark Tower

There’s a photo quest that I had to redo about taking a photo of an ancient royal burial site/tomb. When I finished this quest in my lost save data, the site was ransacked with a note from the Hunting HQ people in the game saying the weapon was stolen by daemons and brought to Castlemark. I didn’t know what it means so I just ignored it for now. I figured I’d run into it again later in the game when I’ve unlocked more features like summoning gods.

(Note: Daemons are creatures of the night which are mostly high level and more dangerous than creatures during the day. The lore of the game is that there’s an unknown malady causing longer nights for the world of Eos and daemons rule the dark)

In my quest of redoing these quests, I was trying to catch some fish with the main character and realized a map location which I went through last week to hunt a monster that only appears at night. There’s a circular structure in the area, so I decided to go over there with my chocobo in daylight. It turns out be an abandoned castle and was, in fact, Castlemark Tower. The game map updates it as a dungeon location, but there is no entrance to go inside. I remembered the message from that ransacked tomb about daemons. Since daemons only appear at night, I waited at a local camping ground (save points and camping in the game where it tallies all the experience points you accumulated and levels you up, including your skills). At night time, I went back to Castlemark Tower and some of the walls and floors are illuminated. The entrance is also now open and I was right that it only opens at night.

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This dungeon has some seriously high level enemies, confusing layout, and moving wall blocks. The final boss is a dragon (Jabberwock). Beating it netted me a greatsword from the past king whose tomb was ransacked.

Conclusion

So what do all of these have in common? Despite not progressing the main story, I’m actually enjoying the side quests and random/surprise encounter in the game. Final Fantasy XV is very different from past Final Fantasy games. I was really used to the rigid linear storytelling. I was also used to knowing what would happen next with a strategy guide, but playing this game blindfolded, in a way, has been refreshing.

I’m going to continue exploring every inch of the map that I can get to, hoping for more surprise encounters like the Balouve Mines and Castlemark Tower again.

I’m done.

Posted September 11, 2019 by StupidSystemus in Diary of a Gamer, Games

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