Why isn’t anyone talking about these god damned aliens?

Well, I’ll tell you why

Over the weekend, this huge burst of light was seen over Los Angeles and only a small amount of people were talking about it.

First stage separation can be seen at right during the Space X Falcon 9 rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base

Images like these were taken and posted on Sunday night to Twitter. I feel like nobody’s talking about it at all.

The real reason nobody’s talking about it was probably because it was debunked by the LA Times to be Elon Musk and that god damned SpaceX program once again. This picture was in fact, a SpaceX flight and isn’t aliens.

But humble me for just a second. If this was aliens, they totally came to watch sports this weekend and tonight. Here’s why:

The Cleveland Browns won again on Sunday. This is just absolutely bananas. What could’ve happened was that these god damned aliens had money on the Ravens and then skedaddled because they couldn’t pay their bookie.

The Browns winning is throwing off order on Earth and in space.

The Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov fight was on Saturday night. The aliens may have come down to watch an awesome UFC 229 card and then scooted the eff-outta-here when Khabib jumped into the crowd after the fight.

I was rooting for McGregor, but you’ve got to give Khabib credit for submitting McGregor. The guy was 26-0 going into Saturday and he walked out 27-0, but with consequences. It somewhat tarnished a great fight night and could’ve scared people away from the UFC.

It’s a great sport and 229 was a huge fight for bringing in a massive audience to further the popularity of the sport. However, the post-fight garbage could affect the outreach of the sport to not only humans but to aliens. Maybe that’s why the aliens left on Sunday. Damnit Khabib.

These aliens might have also come down to watch a solid baseball playoff game and received an absolutely pitiful display of pitching on Saturday night by David Price. The Boston Red Sox lost 6-2 to the Yankees on Saturday night. Mostly because Price got absolutely shelled by Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez which led to Price getting yanked after 1.2 innings.

It sucks because the ALDS is even at 1 game apiece with the series headed to the frickin’ Bronx. It also sucks because instead of starting Rick Porcello in Game 3, the Sox are going with Nathan Eovaldi.

It may not suck because of this. Eovaldi has 0 earned runs against the Yankees this season and only 1 unearned run. But, it’s still the playoffs and it’s still scary.

I hope the aliens come back to watch Eovaldi. If not, Price may have pissed them off so much, they may come back to destroy us all. If that’s the case, I’ve got two things to worry about tonight: the Sox going down 2-1 and the vaporization of the human race.

On a real note, I’m just so nervous. Playoff baseball just fucking sucks sometimes. There are times, even on a World Series run, where you just feel like you’re going to vomit and die.

There’ve only been two games in this ALDS. TWO. I’ve lost some hair, sleep and years to my total life already. I’ve seen three Red Sox World Series wins in my time on earth though.

It’s kinda crazy that so much stress goes into this for me. As a Red Sox fan, I didn’t grow up with an 86-year-old curse. I’ve only known winning.

It’s not my fault for only being 21. I’ve just gotten lucky. But I shouldn’t be accosted for caring so much and wanting to watch this team continue to win.

Wish Eovaldi and the Sox luck tonight and wish me luck so that I don’t have a heart attack watching it.

If the aliens come back, I hope they can enjoy a Sox win tonight. And if not, start Earth’s destruction with the god damned Bronx.

Also, if you read this thoroughly, I was kidding about the god damned aliens. That’s the point. I don’t actually think aliens came down to earth this weekend.

I just needed a supernatural excuse for the crazy things that happened in sports over the weekend. Thanks.



How sportswriting hasn’t really adapted within the last 70 years

The only difference between how a sports story is written now as compared to 1951, is the medium on which a piece is written

When considering the evolution of sports journalism within the last 70 years, one can’t help to also consider the culture that has changed around sports journalism itself. The way people consume news and information on a daily basis has certainly changed. With the advent of social media and 24-hour news networks, the average human is bombarded with more news and information that they barely even know what to with. Yes, technology and the countless amounts of mediums to receive news has affected the modern news consumption patterns of many.

However, what has remained consistent in sportswriting is the understanding of the beauty in words and sentences to tell a story. At the thicket of all the technological innovations that has morphed and adapted the way that mass audiences receive sports journalism, the one thing that remains the same is the ability to tell a story. Within the last 70 or so years, athletic competitions and the stories that make them memorable are two of life’s guarantees accompanying oxygen. Every single year (barring strikes and lockouts), athletes, fans and sportswriters fill arenas around the world to participate in unscripted drama. It’s the job of athletes to compete at a high level in athletic events. It’s the job of the fans to exaggerate the line between life and death as they filter their passion for their team and players during an athletic event. And it’s the job of the sportswriter to author a story involving the event, create a memorable account of a certain place in time and make that account available to mass audiences for a long time to come.

In order to peer closer at how sportswriting may have or haven’t changed within the last 70 or so years, two stories nearly 70 years apart can be analyzed for their similarities and differences. At the core, the writing in Red Smith’s 1951 story on Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World” home run and the writing in Zach Berman’s 2018 story on the improbable Super Bowl LII victory by the Philadelphia Eagles both capture the emotion and impact of an athletic event. Despite the gap in time, the effectiveness of storytelling by both authors shows how the beauty of storytelling can transcend both time and the adaptation of technology.

Before taking a look at Smith’s memorable account of the dramatic finish between the Giants and Dodgers in 1951, insight into why Smith’s account is so memorable can be given some context. In a 2014 lecture on sports journalism, sportswriter Frank Deford emphasizes the difference between reporting and storytelling within sports journalism. He basically considers Red Smith to be the pacesetter for storytelling in sportswriting being more significant than simply reporting and covering an athletic event.

When considering Deford’s praise of Smith and his mastery of both capturing a memorable moment in sports history and authoring a memorable story recounting that moment, there’s more of a significant lore around Smith’s piece.

To begin his account of Game 3 of the 1951 National League Pennant playoff series, Smith leads with one of the most memorable ledes in the history of sportswriting.

Now it is done. Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again.

When reading this, it’s hard to tell that it’s even a lede about a playoff baseball game. However, Smith acts as a composer with his written work being a symphony of historic delight over a specific moment in time. Because it’s not a typical lede for a baseball story, Smith catches the eye by drawing people in with blatant curiosity. This lede provides an air of mystery that forces readers to read on.

What follows Smith’s lede is an anecdote about a drunkard storming the field during this cross-river playoff matchup. By continuing to write not too much about RBI, hits and other baseball stats, Smith entertains the reader with detail that one couldn’t possibly have known unless they attended the now-late Polo Grounds in New York City. Despite this game being the first nationally televised baseball game, Smith gives a detail that adds substance to his account. There’s beauty in substance. Smith’s commitment to the beauty of words guides the reader to the impactful moment of Bobby Thomson’s home run.

By the time Smith mentions the moment readers came for, a broader context and a prelude to the moment can be understood by mass audiences. By writing in the largest moment later on, Smith knows that readers want to get there. So he incites readers to continue reading so that by the time they get to the home run, they’ve gotten to follow along a journey of why that moment is so important.

From an anecdote about the pre-mature storming of the field, to a minor tale about players interacting during the game and all the way to the impact of “The Shot Heard Round the World,” Red Smith gives readers an impactful and memorable account of this Giants victory for generations to come.

Similarly to Smith, Zach Berman draws in the wandering eye of modern readers with a hard-hitting lede in his account of Super Bowl LII.

This night will be remembered for decades in Philadelphia, when old friends reminisce about where they were on Feb. 4, 2018, and parents tell their children about the moment the Eagles won their first Super Bowl. They’ll remember when Doug Pederson called the trick play at the goal line, when Zach Ertz dove into the end zone in the fourth quarter, when Brandon Graham stripped Tom Brady of the ball, and when the greatest dynasty in NFL history fell to an improbable champion from Philadelphia.

With this lede, Berman creates an impactful allure of impossibility. Berman addresses that the impossible became possible on Feb. 4, 2018 and by grazing the surface of the key moments that made the impossible happen, Berman forces readers to continue reading his account.

As a note on the changes in sportswriting, Berman does give more of the “who, what, where, when, why and how” more early on. Knowing that audiences may not read as long as they used to, Berman put the thicket of the moment earlier on in his article in contrast to Smith saving Thomson’s home run to the end of his article. Berman writes in an era where anybody with a blog or Twitter account can write a story about this game. So, he has to draw readers in a slightly different way than Smith.

However, what would follow in Berman’s article doesn’t differ too much from Smith’s story. Berman authors in the impact that the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory has amongst the city of Philadelphia and the fans of the franchise. He gives readers context into how the improbability of the moment created a spectacle that night in Minnesota.

Even if you aren’t an Eagles fan, you understand the impact of the moment. I’m a Patriots fan. Reading this brought back painful memories from that night. Berman’s writing still instilled memories within me and made me understand the impact from Philly’s side of things. After explaining how the improbable and nearly impossible was accomplished by the Eagles, Berman guides readers through the game and brings up key moments in the game and even from the halftime performance. Berman, exactly like Smith, is married to authoring a memorable story that makes the memorable moment an impactful account that can span generations. Most importantly though, Berman’s storytelling in this article helps him fall into Deford’s class of sportswriters. He makes himself a master storyteller and not just a reporter.

Overall, these two sportswriters tell impactful stories that emphasize the beauty of specific moments through the use of beautiful words. Although Zach Berman’s story was written in a time where a plethora of people have access to writing and reading about the same exact moment in his story, he draws readers in by committing to the ideals of great sportswriting. Red Smith helped create those ideals by committing to the beauty of words to define a specific moment by writing stories within his story. Despite writing nearly 70 years apart, both Smith and Berman effectively write stories that emphasize the beauty of both sports and sportswriting.



Kingdom Hearts 3- Big Hero 6 Full Trailer Breakdown!

After a tiring day full of Kingdom Hearts 3 news, I’ve finished my breakdown of the brand new, “Big Hero 6” trailer from Tokyo Game Show 2018!

There’s so much information to talk about. Including: the trailer, Norted theories and the beautiful Box Art for KH3! I hope you guys enjoy!

Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL


Kingdom Hearts 3- TGS 2018 Big Hero 6 Full Trailer Reaction!

I told you I’ll be back to do this! I’ll have a breakdown of the trailer later, but please enjoy my reaction from very early this morning to this brand new Kingdom Hearts III trailer!


I’M IN TEARS. THANK YOU SQUARE FOR THIS AMAZING TRAILER! There’s so much to work with here and my breakdown will be out soon!

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL


Just a quick update on sourcing and whatever else I’m about to write beneath this headline

There’s a decent anecdote about sourcing hidden in this

The Bears are on Monday Night Football right now. If you’re reading this blog and you’re wondering where my mind is at right now, it’s basically at Soldier Field in Chicago.

After the devastation of a loss last week, the Bears could use this win. Chicago could use this win. I could use this win.

I’ve already got a win from earlier today when the Patriots traded a fifth round pick to the Browns for a very talented receiver in Josh Gordon.

I’m also winning because there’s going to be a new Kingdom Hearts III between now and like, 10 AM tomorrow.

Why the uncertain times? Because Square Enix and Disney just like to mess with everyone.

They just said “tomorrow.” “Tomorrow” is today in Japan. Japan is where the big gaming conference, the Tokyo Game Show, is happening. So, I think they’re going off of Japan time. If they are, I will get very little sleep.

I’ll be damned if I miss the premiere of a new trailer, even it’s at 4AM CST (8PM Japan time).

Regardless, this is how everyone who follows the Kingdom Hearts series feels:

It’s also the 16th Anniversary of the Kingdom Hearts series today! On this day in 2002, my life and the lives of many other nerds were changed.

So, that’s pretty cool.

If you’re still reading, I still really haven’t found a subject to focus this blog on.

Maybe sourcing?

Sure, let’s go with that.

Because I want to make this blog as journalistically significant as I can, I’ll talk to you briefly about sourcing now.

Sourcing is very important for a quality, journalistic piece. Considering what’s going on at the New York Times right now and all that’s going on with Bob Woodward and Washington right now, you’re probably thinking, “How can these works be quality if they use anonymous sourcing?”

They can be with trust. Bob Woodward is a very trustworthy writer due to his past works involving Watergate. The op-ed piece is different because it supposedly came from the White House.

I’m not a politics guy. I do know that the anonymity of that piece is important because there’s more information to come.

If a source fears that their jobs, positions or their life may be harmed in the result of their information being released, anonymous sourcing is completely ok. This anonymous piece gives the author room to continue their work and reveal more about what’s going on in there.

Sources are the cornerstone of journalism regardless. The journalist exists to be the medium between the masses and the source. Journalists are the story tellers and the sources are the stories waiting to happen.

Get what I’m saying? Like,  the Kingdom Hearts Twitter account didn’t tweet that tweet up there just so I could write a half-assed blog about it. I operate around the tweet as a story-teller and include it in my content so that the tweet itself reaches my audiences.

Sources can be easy or hard to find. Just make sure to be nice to people so that you always are on a good enough ground to call someone when you know that they can be a help to you.

It’s all about who you know; in all aspects of life.

Keep your sources close.


Go Bears.

I’ll see you at 4AM or whenever the new Kingdom Hearts trailer drops.



Why Social Media is cool

A brief write-up on the significances and the insignificances of social media

As I said in my last blog, I have been doing little besides swinging through virtual New York City in Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4.

Legit, it’s the greatest game I’ve played this year. Above Fortnite. Granted, Fortnite is a massive game and is still the most popular game in the world. Therefore, it takes one helluva game to overtake its popularity.

Marvel’s Spider-Man has done that folks. It’s Amazing. Some would even say that it’s Spectacular. Others might even say that it’s Ultimate. (These are all different comic book iterations of Spider-Man and now I feel like it’s a wasted reference because I had to explain it.)

Anyway, this blog isn’t about gaming. Ok, there’s going to be some gaming mentioned. It’s hard to not to. Because today, ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking to you about social media.

Social media has made the world a smaller place due to the simplicity of connecting people from all over the world onto one social hub. Within the last week, my social media accounts were peer reviewed for their professionalism and content.

I was graded well because I limit my social media posts. As a journalist, I need to stay in the middle on most things. Except, I can’t be in the middle about my video game habits nor about baseball and football. Knowing this, though, gives me an advantage.

If you followed me on Twitter, you’re going to see daily motivational posts, retweets and actual tweets related to gaming (mostly Kingdom Hearts) and then of course, ALL BOSTON RED SOX. Pretty soon, it’ll be all New England Patriots but baseball season is still in full swing.

Now, as an objective journalist, is it bad that I tweet and retweet so much about the Red Sox? Unless I had to work for the New York Yankees or interview a Yankees fan, no. I’m not currently tied to any organization that prevents me from doing so. As a matter of fact, I worked for the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Triple-A affiliate of the Red Sox, this past summer. Some would say I’m just supporting my co-workers!

But really. Being in Columbia, Mo., there’s really not a big deal in tweeting so much about the Red Sox.

This is part of the reason why social media is so cool though.

I find myself being a fan of the Boston Red Sox but along with many others. You don’t have to be at the ballpark or near Boston to follow the team or the league. Other people can do that for you.

The best example is Barstool Sports reporter Jared Carrabis who consistently posts Red Sox game updates and also the best way to post Yankees losses.

Every single time the Yankees have lost this season, the Saugus Rocket has posted this video of Red Sox legend David Ortiz exclaiming “DAAAAA JANKEES LOSEEE!”

People are now even getting really creative with it:

Twitter is just so great. Reporting and connecting has never been easier for sports reporters.

You’ve got threads like these where hundreds of sportswriters who’ve made their mark in the BIZ giving out advice to up-and-comers like myself.

Sportswriting has thrived in the age of social media. Athletes use it as a medium to get the word out and whether you’re a team’s beat reporter or just a fan, you know exactly what the athlete says and what the athlete is doing.

You have highs of athletes and you have the lows:

For Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky, his lows came as like an eighth grader. But that’s why Twitter is so cool. You can just get anything from an athlete if they’re willing to share.

(I’m never going to talk about the Bears/Packers game from last night because it just hurt so much.)

Twitter’s made sportswriting a lot more accessible. Hell, it’s made all writing and reporting more accessible. That’s how most young people really find their news nowadays.

Anything from sports updates to journalists literally reporting the active shooting in their own newsroom. Journalists, just like everyone else, have means to connect and report to everyone on Twitter.

It’s just so good to have. It’s good to be aware. It’s good to know that big news can come at literally any time:

Like Kingdom Hearts III randomly having a random teaser trailer drop and a VR extension announcement at 4 AM. The connection and the reporting will never cease on Twitter and that’s why it’s great.

There’s also going to be a full-length, new Kingdom Hearts III trailer a week from today according to this tweet:

So, I’ll have to do a video breakdown for my YouTube channel for that trailer then. I can’t do today’s. There’s just so little time and it’s a teaser trailer. There will be more and I’ll cover it when there’s more to go off of, rather than just speculate.

YouTube is a good place for video game and movie trailers, music videos, TV shows, etc. to all show news. An underrated social media site for reporting if I’m being honest. But that can improve!

Facebook has turned into a pit for political speech and pictures of peoples’ babies. It’s not quite Twitter at all. It’s not as entertaining. The only reason I have it is to stay connected with my extended family and friends that I haven’t seen in a hot minute.

Plus, Facebook is dominated by mostly people around my parents’ age, reconnecting after years. For that reason, it’s very good. I like to keep my reporting off of there. It’s really just there to be like a “bubblegum Baseball card” for me. That’s it.

Facebook is a great place to share your works though. Considering a lot of your family members and friends are on there, you can get some traction on a web story.

Instagram is kinda the same way for me. It’s on private. I only post photos when I see something awesome or my friends and siblings have birthdays. That’s it. No need for my reporting there. However, it’s a great place for photojournalists to thrive.

That’s really about it for me.

Social media is really cool. It’s just such a great thing for journalism. As long as you’ve got a clean profile, it’s your medium to do as you please. Post Away!

I leave you with a post from Star Wars Prequel Memes, the funniest account on Social Media:




Nostalgia Sells

How supportive and manipulative nostalgia can be in all walks of life

In my previous blog, I mentioned how excited I am for the releases for several video games and movies. One of those titles is getting released at the end of this week.

That title being Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4.

Image result for marvel's spider man

This game is heavily anticipated by gamers and comic book readers of all ages. Me being part of that category, I have to take a step back and realize why I’m so excited.

I am a huge Marvel and Spider-Man fan. I’m also a huge gamer. But deep down, there’s another reason why I’m excited for this game.

On the original PlayStation 2, there were a few Spider-Man video games that had a punishing grip of my attention. Those games being the adaptations of Sam Raimi’s films Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. There was also Spider-Man on the PS1 that I played using my PS2 console. (Oh, backwards compatibility, you are sorely missed.)

Basically, I never finished those three Spider-Man games. I was between the ages of 5 or 6 at the time and I was still quite new to gaming. But also because these games were really hard anyway.

I remember specifically in the PS2 Spider-Man, there was this warehouse segment very early in the game. You, playing as a Peter Parker that just received his powers and not yet a cool superhero suit, have to navigate through hordes of armed thugs to escape the warehouse.

Watching this very slow, mechanized gameplay makes me feel nostalgic. I remember every single inch of that warehouse area. I remember the narrator’s voice and Tobey Maguire’s actual voicing of Spider-Man in the game.

What I don’t remember, however, is how easy this area was. Like I said, this part of the game was very early into it. By now, I’ve grown very experienced in video game playing.

I’d probably beat this entire game in a couple of hours if I played it today. Why does that make Spider-Man PS4 more appealing?

Because it’s finally a Spider-Man game I can fluidly play and have fun with. The way this new game is being hyped up, it’s supposed to rival the Batman: Arkham games as the greatest superhero video game ever.

With the incredibly high expectations set and my excitement through the roof, it’s time to analyze the deceiving role nostalgia can play in life.

Nostalgia can be your friend but it can also be your enemy. Nostalgia makes us feel young again and it can instill memories in us that we’d either forgotten or haven’t remembered in a long time.

Nostalgia is sometimes a sad feeling though. It’s a want for the present to be exactly like the past.

In life, the past tends to repeat itself a lot. However, in the repetition of the past, you become more and more numb to the root feeling of the memory. Thus creating an irreplicable standard for fun or happy memories.

Whether that be in video game playing, movie watching, article writing or picture taking, nostalgia can harm our greatest memories.

But it is nostalgia that sells. Nostalgia is an exploitable feeling.

If one can make people feel like they’ve been there before or generate a nostalgic feeling in people, they will go to lengths to feel that.

People will pay ridiculous amounts of money or do ridiculous things just to get that feeling they’ve had before.

It’s nearly toxic because, sometimes, that same-old feeling simply can’t be recreated. People just don’t realize that before it’s too late.

How do I make this journalism related? Well, here we go:

As a sportswriter, I’ve found quite a few issues I have with sportswriting itself that has kind of hindered my love for sportswriting itself.

Despite loving to write and sports separately, the world of sportswriting falls to one’s nostalgia frequently.

Opinion bleeds into fact and all of a sudden, we’re constantly bombarded with vicious “LeBron vs Michael” debates or “Brady vs Manning” arguments every day. Everybody in sports is eager to crown the next GOAT or so bitter in granting the GOAT title to anyone else because they’re holding onto the past.

But, people still tune into these shows every day. People still read these conflict-driven articles each day. As long as nostalgia or lack-thereof is involved, people will still buy into the conflict.

This is where nostalgia can be harsh. Some people are so conflict oriented that they forget the past completely and try to argue for the next great but some people are so tied to the past, they refuse to hear or see anything new.

The past sets the groundwork for lessons. It teaches us what’s right and what’s wrong. When we learn about nostalgia, we can learn what’s lasting and what’s lacking.

If there’s something that consistently makes you feel like a kid again, you should continue to do it. However, if somebody disagrees with your nostalgia or doesn’t understand, don’t rip them for their misunderstanding.

Nostalgia varies from person-to-person. If a person wants to forget the past or if they’re disappointed by the lack of enjoyment from nostalgia, that’s fine. Everybody grows away from something eventually.

I just hope for my own sake that Marvel’s Spider-Man instills good and happy memories alongside the destruction of nostalgia. I want to have fun swinging around New York and not have to remember virtual Tobey Maguire getting gunned down over and over in a warehouse.

What I can’t be too certain about other titles coming.

Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy isn’t even a brand new adventure at all. It’s a remastered version of the original three Spyro the Dragon video games that were originally released on PS1.

Image result for spyro reignited vs original

Will my experience suffer from nostalgia? Who knows. I’ll find out on November 16 when that gets released. Does Toys for Bob, the company who created the remaster, care if my experience is the same or different? Probably not. They’ve already got my money because I was sold on pure nostalgia.

I want to enjoy every minute of Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy. One thing it can’t do is make me 5-years-old again. I’ll just have to roll with the punches and go in with an open mind.

I didn’t want to write another video game-centric blog, but it just made sense to me. Video games do make me feel nostalgic. It’s easier to talk about in that sense.

It can be music, food, smells, etc.

Just keep an open mind about everything until you experience it. My views on Spider-Man, Spyro, journalism and photography aren’t ruined by nostalgia. There’s just an avenue for negativity with everything.

I just want my nostalgic feelings to be present when they can be but absent when I have a new experience to try. It’s easier that way.

You can find me locked away in my room come Friday. I’ll be swinging through virtual New York.Image result for marvel's spider-man




Writing for the sake of writing just to get back into a blogging habit

Hey there. I haven’t blogged in a while, which clearly means I haven’t vlogged on YouTube in a while because I post here every single time I make a video.

Which sort of stinks because I like doing YouTube videos, however, this semester and this year overall is about to be my hardest year of college yet. Being that it’s my last, it adds a sort of pressure to give up a lot of my free time to succeed.

I’m not a shut-in kind of guy. But I am the type of guy who’s not concerned with getting shitfaced every night of the week just because I’m 21 now. I’ve noticed this since I’ve been back to school.

My friends and I are all seniors and we’re all 21 now. Which means, everybody all of a sudden wants to do stuff and most of the time “stuff” involves alcohol. I like doing stuff, but I feel like I’ve never been this jammed in social traffic.

It’s nice to not be jammed in social traffic. It’s nice to steal away minutes and hours to just sit at my computer and either read or write. Regardless of wanting to go out or wanting to stay inside at my computer working, it seems I’ll need to spend more of my time at my computer reading or writing for school anyway.

I know the task at hand for me at the moment is to graduate on time. To graduate on time, I need to do anything and everything that’s required of me to succeed in all of my classes. Therefore, the keyboard is my friend more than my camera.

Unfortunately now, I have to be much more active on this blog writing and not vlogging or even podcasting. I just need to have my personal priorities straight.

It really is a bummer for me though because, this year is also one of the biggest years in gaming and film. There’re so many titles coming out that I’m beyond excited for.

For films, there’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, The Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Captain Marvel and Avengers 4.

This point stinks because podcasting for The Creatively Challenged Podcast has hit a standstill as it is. But the work that this year requires of me disallows a weekly film review podcast.

For gaming, it’s Marvel’s Spider-ManRed Dead Redemption II, Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy, Fortnite Seasons 6 & 7 all on PS4, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate along with Mario Party Switch all on Nintendo Switch.

No, I didn’t forget to mention Kingdom Hearts III.

Kingdom Hearts III is my most anticipated video game ever. I’ve been waiting for this game to come out for such a long time. It’s been 5 years in development time since Square Enix and Disney first announced the game. But it’s also been 12 years since the last numbered Kingdom Hearts title, the glorious Kingdom Hearts II.

So, naturally:

MRW I did my waiting. Twelve years of it, in Azkaban.

I’ve literally never anticipated or waited for something for so long. Almost 2/3 of my life so far has come waiting for this game and it comes out on 1/29/19.

How will I keep my focus when that comes out? I have no idea. That’s a then problem. My now problem is that I’ll be swamped with work and the whole reason I started my YouTube page was to talk about gaming.

When my most anticipated game ever alongside other great titles are releasing and I’m not sure if I’ll have time to vlog about them, that bums me out.

I don’t want to make it seem like this blog post is all about me being bummed out, because it’s not.

I’m really excited to get this challenge started. I want to push myself to the limit because I know that the workload for the classroom this year will require that of me.

I apologize for the lack of content on my other channels and mediums. I hope everyone understands the reason behind my sporadic availability on those channels and mediums.

Now, I’ll end this blog with a small anecdote within this anecdote. I’ll call it Anecdoteception.

Anyway, there was this guy walking by me on the street the other night wearing Chunk’s shirt from The Goonies. It was literally Chunk’s shirt, same design and everything. I would not be unsure about something like this.

Image result for chunk the goonies

Naturally, I yell at this guy “DO THE TRUFFLE SHUFFLE!” I did not find this inappropriate at all. You can’t just go out in that shirt and not expect anyone to say that.

The Goonies Truffle Shuffle GIF

The guy just looked at me funny and kept walking. I forgot to mention also that I was standing in the line to get into a bar, at night. Columbia, Mo.’s finest typically posts-up outside the bars on Saturday nights like these.

An officer glared at me, after I yelled this and I felt a little scared. That officer and her partner began kind of walking around the entrance of the bar I was going into.

This completely threw off my night. Any want to go have fun and drink with my friends at the bar was gone because of the cops looking at me funny for referencing an ’80s film.

Could you imagine if life was like this though? I’m pissed that it threw off my night because there was literally nothing they could’ve done. You can’t get arrested or ticketed for quoting ’80s films.

“We’ve got this guy on quoting St. Elmo’s Fire, that’s 6-8 years in prison.”

Well, I think that’s a good place to wrap up. If you take anything away from this blog it’s this: if you go out wearing Chunk’s shirt from The Goonies, it’s socially acceptable to have a certain phrase yelled at you.

Welcome back to Average Yet Amazing Adventures, the blog.



Kingdom Hearts III: “Classic Kingdom Trailer” Analysis and More!

Check out my breakdown and analysis of all the biggest news from the Kingdom Hearts Union X Dandelion Meeting, including this brand new Kingdom Hearts III Trailer!

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL

Check out my podcast channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrVN…


SaberForge Darth Vader MPP Mk. II Unboxing and First Impressions!

The newest addition to my lightsaber collection is: The Saberforge MPP Mk. II: Darth Vader from “Empire Strikes Back!” Check out my unboxing and first impressions of the Sith Lord’s lightsaber!

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL

Check out my podcast channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrVN…



It’s 2:30 AM but, there are 2, COUNT ‘EM, 2 brand new Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailers! Here’s my live reactions and my breakdown will be coming later!
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL
Check out my podcast channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrVN…

Gaming Updates: Labo, Mobile Harry Potter, and Kingdom Hearts 3 “Leaks”

We’ve seen a lot of gaming updates in the last week! Check out my thoughts on the new Nintendo Switch Labo as well as the brand new Harry Potter mobile game, Hogwarts Mystery.

Then, I dive into a leaker’s viewpoints on The World Ends With You on Switch and how they affect Kingdom Hearts III.

Additional Footage from TheGamersJoint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOKcF…

Follow Me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theOG_DANIMAL

Check out my podcast channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrVN…


Keeping My Sanity

The End of Semester Check-Up

I’ve made it. Here we are, the second week of December. It’s Finals Week, stress is flying up and down, and many people are clinging to their sanity.

Let me say this folks: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi comes out tomorrow night. I’ve quit all social media (except this blog) to avoid spoilers. I’m that serious about this film.

You think I’ve let the whole semester build up to get worried about Finals? Hell. No. I’m way more worried about Rey and Luke Skywalker than I am about my English Final tomorrow.

Here’s the reality of the situation: I found out on Day 1 of this semester (the same day the Solar Eclipse beautifully saw totality over my campus) that The Last Jedi was on the same day as my final. I decided then that my grade better be as high as it can be so I can walk into that test knowing my lack of focus would be “ok.”

Many people will probably look at my attitude and think, “Wow, you’re a fool. How can you put aside a college course for a movie?”

And to them I say: I’m not. I’ve put my best efforts into this semester and the work I’ve done!

( I also say:)

Considering I have one exam, I can look back at the work I’ve done this semester.

In my other English class, I was able to work with a team of editors and put together a Class Book. The book entails the necessity for adaptations of classic literature to survive in the modern era. It was a lot of fun to edit and work with Adobe’s InDesign to put together a piece of art that has essays from classmates.

I also got to learn a lot about British Classic literature and their adaptations which is definitely knowledge I’ll take forward. The active learning environment mixed with great content allowed for me to keep my sanity.

Another class I took was a Film and Culture class. In the class, I learned about how food can represent so much more than hunger satisfaction in film.

The class reiterated a lesson from Remus Lupin that I’ll take to my grave:

Not only will eating make you feel better, but it can reignite memories from the past. Eating is a social construct that brings people together. The best silence in the world is when hungry people can sit with each other and just eat.

This class allowed for me to create my own film. It’s a 40 minute film. The amount of time it would take to upload it to WordPress would be crazy.

I’m sorry I can’t share it with you. But, I documented Sunday Family Dinners that my roommates and I would create and then serve to friends. It’s an unusual event for college students, but I think it’s a necessity for togetherness over a great meal.

Documenting these dinners and learning why they’re important not only allowed for fun but it too allowed me to keep my sanity this semester.

I’d be crazy to not mention my journalism accolades.

This semester saw the beginning of my real-world journalism career. I got to work for the Columbia Missourian and become a beat writer for the University of Missouri volleyball team.

I wrote my first feature and wrote several game recaps. I even got to participate in a published round-table discussing the team’s hopes in the NCAA Tournament.

Attached to the newspaper work, I was in a lecture that normalized the world of journalism to us newbies. Participating in discussions about journalistic ethics, sharing my experiences, and hearing the stories of others have all added to my journalism knowledge.

Being able to manage my time in the newsroom as well as talk about journalism, all added in to my ability to (barely) keep my sanity this semester.

The only class I’ve left is the English class I have to take an exam for on Star Wars Day. I learned plenty about American Literature from the Civil War until the Cold War.

Participating in this class allowed for me to extend my knowledge on American literature and the history of our country. It also assisted in my time management improvement this semester.

Now, all I have to do is briefly recall some Walt Whitman poems from the American Civil War and not confuse them with stolen battle station plans from the Galactic Civil War.

I trust myself to do between “alright” and “great” on the exam I have. If not, I won’t suffer.

Want to know why? Because all semester, I’ve worked really hard to keep my sanity in all of my classes. I’ve done well in them and have produced great works.

Each class contained knowledge that I know I’ll bring forward into the rest of my life.

But for now, I listen to Master Yoda:

Briefly, I will unlearn what I’ve learned behind the desk this semester and focus on Star Wars. The knowledge I’ve gained will come back to me but now, it’s time to focus on what really allowed me to keep my sanity all semester.



My Breakdown of the new “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” trailer

Because sometimes, the fate of the Far, Far Away Galaxy is more important

Well folks, as journalism is something that is very important to me, I must admit that the story of the Star Wars saga is almost as important.

When this new trailer aired during the Bears-Vikings game last night, I found myself more concerned with the wellbeing of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and the Resistance much more than the wellbeing of Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears offense. Which, being from Chicago, is a dangerous thing to say considering the Bears future lies on the shoulders of Trubisky.

Regardless, this trailer has a lot to unpack and I’m sure it concerns many other journalists in this galaxy or in a galaxy far, far away.

So, let us begin:

Firstly, this brand new poster was released yesterday afternoon and it began discussion of what could happen in the trailer. A lot is going on here and the thing that stuck out the most to me was Luke Skywalker’s face being half blue and half red.

Clearly, there are some implications there about where Luke stands on the Dark side and the Light side of the Force. It also adds context to Luke’s line from the last trailer where he says, “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” Luke stands in the middle of whether he should or shouldn’t train Rey in the ways of the Jedi and the latest trailer shows us that. I’ll bring this back up later.

There’s also a heavy focus on Leia; something I’ll also bring back up later. Then, we also see a lot of Red and White in a vehicular battle on the new planet, Crait. Crait, according to director Rian Johnson, is “very remote. It’s uncharted. It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it. [There are some] beautiful design elements and I hope some really unique ones that we’re able to bring into it.”

And of course, we have an unmasked Kylo and other supporting characters (Poe, Finn, Captain Phasma) which again, I’ll bring up later.

Now, let me really begin:

Here, we see Kylo Ren observing the construction of First Order AT-STs and AT-ATs. For the uninitiated, AT-ATs are the robot camels from Empire Strikes Back and AT-STs are the two-legged ones (apparently non-Ewok resistant) from Return of the Jedi.

To many, this is unimportant, but in the next shot:

BOOM. Big-time front line of the First Order’s AT-ATs ready to fuck shit up on Crait. While this is going on, we receive narration from Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) about presumably, Kylo Ren. He says, “When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power; and beyond that, something truly special.”

We see quick flashes of Kylo and his troopers invading something that looks like a mine, so I’m going to assume it’s Crait. Then, we see a helmeted Kylo, which I’ll also assume is early on in the film, because later in the trailer, we see Kylo smash this helmet:

But, Snoke sounded like he was giving Kylo the lecture of a lifetime. He’s got to be chewing Kylo out for getting slashed in the face by an inexperienced Lightsaber dualist like Rey. Which, speaking of Rey:

PALE-BLUE GRAFLEX LIGHTSABER IGNITION FROM REY. Something I noticed during The Force Awakens was that Luke/Anakin/Rey’s Lightsaber looked a little too dark. So, to see it look like this again was a very lame nerd thing that I got excited about.

Then, we see the sweet reunion of Luke’s hand and the Graflex Lightsaber:

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 2.30.29 PM.png

This is nice, because the last time, it didn’t end too well:

Next, these flashes of scenes are being narrated by Rey:

Rey hiking to see some Jedi relics, which I assume is what she is reading or having visions from in the first trailer [link above].

Jedi training looks fuckin’ sweet by the way. But, Rey says, “Something inside me has always been there. But now it’s awake and I need help,” clearly indicating her use of the Force in Episode VII.

But then, shit gets real:

Rey’s powers are literally groundbreaking. We see Luke Skywalker nervous for the first time in a Star Wars movie since he was training with Yoda on Dagobah and saw this:

But, we see Luke’s flashbacks of a Jedi temple burning after an attack on it, by presumably Kylo and the Knights of Ren, whom we still know nothing about. Luke then says, “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me then, but it does now.” Summed up in one picture:

Boom. Luke is nervous. He’s seen this strength once before: if it was a pupil of his, he’s clearly talking about his nephew, Kylo Ren. But, if we wanted to get deep into Star Wars
lore, maybe he saw this strength in his father or the Emperor back in the day. But, it’s probably and most definitely about Kylo.

But the craziness doesn’t stop there folks. The next thing we see is a mask-less Kylo, flying around in a TIE Fighter and narrating. He says, “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.”

He says this as we see this:

Will he go the ultimate evil route and kill his only remaining parent, Leia? Maybe. But, I think this is our first instance of misdirection by this beautifully edited trailer. I think Leia might be in a different location at this point in time, but, what do I know? Kylo might be very ready to take out his mom in this very cool-looking space battle.

Let me say this though: I really don’t think Leia Organa, one of the strongest and most iconic Star Wars characters ever, is going to die in a space explosion. I truly believe that she won’t. It’d be really lame if that happened and it certainly wouldn’t be an honorable death for her character. But, if Kylo has to “become what [he is] meant to be” then he really could be killing Leia here or anywhere throughout the movie. We really don’t know folks, this is one where we’ll have to wait until December 15 to see.


Porgs are about to be the hottest toys of Christmas 2017 and maybe for the rest of time. They are absolutely adorable. This little guy only proves that. Regardless, this seems to be in a mine on Crait.

Could these crystals in here though, bear with me for a second, could they be Kyber crystals (the crystals that power lightsabers and the Death Star)? Probably not, but there aren’t many crystals in the Star Wars saga. But, a bit later in this trailer, we also see crystal foxes of some sort with Leia:

So maybe that’s just how everything on Crait is.

But, in these next few shots, we hear Poe Dameron saying, “We are the spark that’ll light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down.” While he, in his badass X-Wing, is trashing First Order ships like it’s his fucking job:

As a Resistance Pilot though, it is his fucking job.

Then, we see some more flashes of Finn fighting Captain Phasma:

This is what I’m really excited about. Phasma was the lamest character in Episode VII. She did nothing. She is now getting a huge chance at redeeming herself in this film by fighting one of the best characters from Episode VII, Finn.

Finn is also holding that electrocuted, bullshit thing that TR-8R (TRAITOR!) guy fought him with in Episode VII:

So, if you didn’t think this trailer was dope yet, then here. we. go.

Some battle-scene flashes lead to this:

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 3.03.14 PM.png

MY BOY LUKE HAS FALLEN IN THE RAIN. He narrates, “This is not going to go how you think.” This is without a doubt the entire theme of the trailer.

Judging by this line, The Last Jedi is about to be one of the craziest movies we’ve ever seen. My sister wants to believe that it could be better than Empire Strikes Back. If this movie is even close to Episode V, then I will be amazed. I’m just ready for a crazy-awesome Star Wars film. If it’s better than V, good. If it’s not, just don’t be as bad as The Phantom Menace.

Back to the conclusion of this trailer:

BOOM. We see Snoke(not as a hologram for the first-time) with the Force-chokehold of a lifetime. We thought Vader’s chokehold was impressive; Snoke literally has Rey screaming for mercy in mid-air.

Then, as Rey narrates the end of the trailer with the line “I need someone to show me my place in all this.”

She’s speaking to someone off-screen but then, these two scenes are spliced together:

IS REY REALLY ABOUT TO JOIN KYLO ON THE DARK-SIDE? In my opinion, fuck no. She’s the hero of this story. The giant prediction of her being a Skywalker is still left unanswered. Another Skywalker going evil is something the franchise can’t afford. Whether she’s part of the family or not, I really don’t think she’s going evil.

If you want more proof, look closely at the lighting and backgrounds of the two gifs above. Watch it again in the trailer if you want. They’re in two different places I think. Kylo is somewhere in a hellish environment with fire and hell falling behind him. Meanwhile, Rey just has a softer glow on her face with a plain background.

Also, remember this:

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 3.15.17 PM.png

Luke’s Jedi School burns to the ground and he consoles with Artoo. Kylo’s face also isn’t bandaged in this scene:

like we saw earlier in the trailer:

Therefore, it is my belief that the Kylo-Rey conversation is one of a figmented, Force-vision. Or, Kylo reaching out is during a time where he is destroying and overthrowing Luke’s Jedi school. I think it’s another case of clever editing and scene-splicing. The editors of this trailer are excited about trying to fool us. This movie is about to be insane. Whether these two shots are connected or not, this movie is going to be insane.

We still have so much to see. Don’t forget: Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, Domhnall Gleeson, and Kelly Marie Tran are all in this movie and they haven’t appeared in any of the trailers yet.

Rian Johnson and other Episode VIII execs apparently branded this trailer with *Spoilers*. I think it’s all part of the misdirection ploy. I don’t think the Rey-Kylo scene or the Leia-Kylo scene are connected. I think they were cleverly spliced together to get our nerd juices flowing.

Am I right? Maybe. Maybe not. What I do know is this: Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes to theaters on December 15 and that day can’t come soon enough. We will all find out then. Thank you for sticking with me for this crazy-long blog.

May The Force Be With You.



The power of interviewing

It’s stronger than you’d think

Considering within the last week that I’ve been more active on my YouTube page than I have in months, i’m going to keep this blog pretty short.

Last week in my journalism class we talked to novelist and columnist for New York Times Magazine, Nathaniel Rich. We were trying to talk to him about interviewing and what his processes are for going about it.

He admitted to being a pretty shy guy and that interviewing is still not really his strong suit. I’m all for this because some people are so uncomfortable with talking to others, they lose information and social interaction.

Believe me, I love putting in headphones and walking through life without a care about anything except what you’re doing in that moment. It’s peaceful. But social interaction is unmatched, especially if you get a solid story out of it.

It takes strong abilities and some work to get good at interviewing. But, interviewing shouldn’t be as daunting of a word that people make it out to be. It should be just a very informative conversation.

There were still certain techniques that Rich uses to get the quotes and stories he needs to craft his works, despite being this shy guy.

He said that there should be a script of questions that you must prepare before the interview. Without questions, there is no interview. In conducting the interview, one must focus on the things you want to get, but have an open mind. Sometimes, you get things you didn’t even know you wanted by just peeling the onion and not sticking to that script you prepared.

At the end of the day, you and the person you’re interviewing are just human. Everybody’s got layers to peel and the questions you initially write down might not be the most suitable questions to ask by the time you sit down. So, you have to feel out the situation and relax. Know when and where to ask the cutthroat questions and when to ask the basics.

Regardless of what questions you ask, surprise is the key element to any story. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, the surprise is what’s going to make a piece hard-hitting. It’s what makes the reader stop and say “I didn’t know that.” Plus, by the end of their reading of your story, they get to hold onto a memorable piece of writing.

Rich also covered pressing questions specifically. He talked about the information that’s necessary.

As a writer or journalist, there are circumstances where certain information is vital to keep a story alive. Annoyance with a source can bring out different answers out of people. That’s why it’s important to know that every interview is really at least two interviews and maybe even more.

When accuracy checking your quotes, you should always call your source back if you’re unsure about something they said or you need further explanation for context. If you ask the source specifically the same question or you press them about the matter, they may give you an even better answer than before.

Despite having pressing tactics, the goal for a source/writer relationship is just like any other relationship in life. It’s important to have a good and healthy relationship that can thrive, not to be remembered as that annoying journalist. So, proceed with caution with how you represent yourself during interviews.

To conclude, I must say that despite all the intricacies and non-intricacies of interviewing, the most important thing is to never falter from being the author. It’s your story and you’re getting the supportive benefit from others to make your story legitimate.

You mustn’t get to flustered with the workload and the distractions that constantly try to rip your story and sanity to shreds. Attention to the beauty of words and sentences mustn’t get swallowed by work.

You’re a writer. Write the story the way you know how. Now go get ’em.