I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful island of Kauai for a team meetup this past week. It was my second time in Hawaii, and it’s a place I could easily visit once a year.
Even after over four months, it’s still difficult to wrap my head around. The fact that I’ve created a tiny human being and now have to guide her through this life, make sure she has everything she ever needs, and place her in the best position to flourish – mentally, spiritually, physically, in every possible way. At times, it seems unconquerable.
I often think back on all of those articles we read, all of those classes we attended, and all of those questions we asked while Mackenzie was still brewing. All silliness. Not a single thing in this world can prepare you for becoming a parent for the first time. Nothing.
When you have a child, you lose a part of yourself. Video games now mean absolutely nothing to me. A weekend is just a two-day period when I don’t have to be equally engrossed in my career. Any romantic endeavors need to take place before we pass out at 9 or before the kid wakes up at 5 (and forget foreplay if she’s teething). The concept of ‘myself’ is no longer relevant, and while I welcome such a reality with open arms, I now see why there are so many terrible parents in the world. Having a child needs to be an act of pure selflessness.
And that form of selflessness is far different than the kind implied within a marriage. In a marriage, you compromise (in a good marriage, anyway). In parenthood, you sacrifice – pure and simple.
The obvious punchline here is that you could lose different parts of yourself fifteen times over, and one smile from your child makes you feel like a complete moron for even feeling like you ever lost anything at all. I’m cut into ribbons with every laugh and milestone. She keeps me speechless.
So, I carry on with my newest gig. Attempting (failing) to curse less. Appreciating the smallest and simplest of things. Learning to ignore sleep. Preparing to intimidate her first boyfriend. Embracing the little moments that I never want to end. Loving the whole damn thing.
My Orient Mako and Nixon 51-30 are now sporting new leather. The 51-30 was originally attached to a 25mm SS bracelet, which was too obnoxious and bulky. I replaced it with a 26mm Stone Mustang with dark blue stitching from Panatime. It took me much longer to get the bracelet off that I’m comfortable to admit.
My Orient Mako (quickly becoming my favorite watch) got a new leather strap with white and blue stitching (perfectly matching the face and bezel) from Crown & Buckle, replacing the original black rubber band.
My first Seiko 5. The canvas strap is already as good as gone.
Quiet and waiting on a new leather strap from Crown & Buckle.
Happy Holidays, y’all.
I’m a few weeks into absorbing Call of Duty Ghosts and think I’ve nailed down a final opinion on the shooter (I don’t care for rushing judgment). In case you’re not interested in reading past a few sentences, it’s absolutely playable but an incredibly far cry from what I would have expected at this point in one of my most beloved franchises.
I challenge to a duel anybody who doesn’t agree that Modern Warfare 2 was the absolute peak of the franchise. It took a classic formula and added really interesting elements that ended up making regular appearances in FPS titles everywhere. The maps were fantastic and, above all things, strategic. The weapons roster was unmatched, and the progression system was lovely in its simplicity. With it, I formally (at least in mind) declared the CoD franchise in sole possession of Infinity Ward.
When the death grip of Activision dismantled IW, I feared we would eventually end up with a franchise guided by the moronic minds of Treyarch. The studio that brought us the laughable Call of Duty 3 (remember the driving missions?!?), the comical Black Ops, and the absolutely mind-numbing Black Ops 2, is now in sole control of CoD’s fate. And it’s sad. Ghosts, while officially under the IW namesake, is just an extension of Treyarch’s post-BO efforts.
And that’s the problem. The path set forth by the Modern Warfare arc has been completely discarded and replaced with the (in my opinion) broken Treyarch formula. Maps completely devoid of any strategic perspective. Instead of “hey team, let’s find a chokehold to fortify and jazz this team up”, it’s “let’s just run around with a SMG until I turn a corner and can shoot someone in the back. What’s more, the upgrade/loadout/progression system is unnecessarily (and laughably) complex that makes zero sense unless you spend more time studying its logic than actually playing the game.
Beyond the Treyarch-inspired problems, the weapons list is uninspired (with little variation between options) and the spawning logic is probably the worst I’ve seen in 10 years. The maps are overly large, and I suppose that IW intended to keep players engrossed in the action instead of running around trying to find someone to shoot. But spawning – literally – surrounded by 2 or 3 enemies currently firing their weapons in your direction is, well, bad.
But again, it is a playable game. In fact, I have lots of good times with my friends blasting away online. It’s just not what I wanted for the franchise. If you asked me, back when playing MW2, if this is was what I would expect out of an IW-made CoD four years later, I would have laughed. And cried. So, while I’ll continue playing Ghosts until spring, I’m not sure if CoD can find its way out of this mess (at least for me). And all of those great developers who brought me the joy of MW2? They’s currently working on a little game known as Titanfall. And that – I guarantee – will be the spiritual successor to Modern Warfare. Maybe even better.
A wedding in Stevensville, MD (just across the Bay Bridge from Annapolis) at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club.
Baby’s first Halloween.