I'm beyond excited to share the podcast I've been working on with my cousin Jude. Introducing, MCU Need to Know, a podcast dedicated to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and everything you need to know! Those that know me know how much the MCU means to me and that goes equally the same for Jude. Leading up to Avengers: Endgame we were incredibly hyped and constantly swapping thoughts and theories about what the future of our favorite superheroes would be and what it would mean for the larger cinematic universe. As the MCU moves forward with its next saga we figured it was only a natural fit to create a platform where we could continue geeking out about Marvel as well as making that conversation something others could join in on too! Even though we're living in a time where release dates are in flux, we wanted to go ahead and get started now so that whenever the Disney+ shows or Black Widow begin to release, we'll be ready and waiting to dive into those on our podcast. So what does that mean in the meantime?
Starting now, you can subscribe to our podcast on any of your favorite podcasting platforms and you will find our pilot episode where we introduce ourselves and talk about our connection with the Marvel fandom. This coming Monday, May 4th, will be the first official episode where we begin our rewatch of the Marvel Netflix series, Daredevil. It will be a weekly release where we give an in-depth scene by scene break down discussing the show as a whole as well as how it fits into the larger MCU proper. We're both excited and proud of what we've done so far and we can't wait to dive in with you all as well! So if you don't have any plans this evening, now would be a great time to start rewatching Daredevil with us!
Our podcast is still rolling out to all the major podcasting platforms, so if you don't see it, don't hesitate to let us know so we can ensure that it will be there for you moving forward! You can find us on Twitter or Instagram with the username @MCUNeedtoKnow, or if long-form writing is your thing, you can also send us an email at MCUNeedtoKnow@gmail.com! We look forward to any comments, thoughts, or feedback sent our way.
Thank you in advance for your interest in our show. We're both excited about the potential of this platform, and we know we're not the only ones looking for a place to geek out about Marvel. We'd be delighted to do it together.
Literally the day after the last post fucking Bunny Day happened and killed all my momentum for Animal Crossing. So in that regard, I'm pretty much a liar now. I'm being hyperbolic, but I did feel it was pertinent to address that right up here at the top. I've been laughing about it all month and it's the odd mixture of frustration and perfect chaos that I love. In truth, I still do play it here and there but I'm nowhere near as amped about it. I log in for maybe 10 minutes a day just to check turnip prices and fart around, but nothing substantial. I've thought about it, and I've realized that this is the best-case scenario for me if this is gonna be a game I stick around with long term. The weight of daily check-in streaks was beginning to add up and with it, my interest was buckling. So in short, the lesson learned is maybe I shouldn't place solace in singular experiences. With that being said, I bought a guitar.
Figured we could rip that band-aid right off here at the top too. I feel the guitar, much like writing, is one of those things you don't talk about unless you're doing it because the act of talking about it satisfies whatever chemical reaction in your brain that feels like you accomplished something when instead you've just blown hot air. However, I figured my self declared loophole is that the Internet is so noisy that whoever is here reading this in our little corner of the Internet can help keep me accountable. (Sorry for the burden.) I've wanted to do this for a while but I've always written it off as something outside the bounds of what I considered possible. I've talked about it in our discord before, but it's taken me entirely too long in life to realize that the only difference between knowing a skill and not knowing is the discipline to stick with it and practice it. (I guess the theme of this blog post is gonna be obvious lessons.) I've found a guide that I'm really enjoying on Youtube and I'm dedicating at least 10 minutes a day to practice. Pretty low stakes and it leaves room for more time if I'm feeling it. Last Saturday I spent about 2 hours just slowly practicing transitioning chords, and if you'll allow me to toot my own horn, I'm pretty pumped about the progress I've made in a week. So, we'll see where this goes. (After writing that I realize that this whole website is the biggest horn I'll ever toot so I guess that goes without saying.) Regardless of what happens, it's been so therapeutic to have an outlet to pause whatever I'm doing and focus all my mental and physical energy on something, because trust me, it takes all my focus. If I run into whatever the guitar equivalent of Bunny Day is though, I'm burning this blog down.
Hey. We're really into the thick of this now, huh? Normally I like to have two structures to this blog where the first half is something inspiring, or something I've spent the month ruminating on and revising so it's not something I read in the future with regret, but I gotta be honest. I don't have shit. Time is warped. I've been lethargic. We're just shooting from the hip here and I hope that's okay. Plus last month, I overly romanticized Animal Crossing so I think it's only fair to balance it out with just catching up on what I've been up to lately. I mean, the biggest thing I didn't cover in the last entry was the slow introduction of streaming again. My original intention was to hold off until June to start toying with the idea of streaming casually, but with everything going on regarding Covid19 and people practicing social distancing or even isolation, it felt right to bump that up a few months. I don't know if that VOD is still up, but it's hard to capture what it felt like going live after so long. Seeing all the familiar names emerge and all the in-jokes provided exactly the warmth I was looking for in this life in limbo. Even in the days of regularity, there was an element of nervousness that accompanied every stream, but there was a sense of nerves I haven't felt since the early days with this return. Had it been enough time? Did I make all that fuss about ending just to be back sooner than expected? Would I still know how to do it? (Given all the audio issues we had on the first one, I'd say yes I did forget.) Am I ready to immerse myself back into stream, albeit with a new sense of restraint?
If you're reading this, you know me well enough to know how deep of a rabbit hole I can go with the second-guessing, but I listened to my gut and went live. Regardless of what my relationship to streaming is, I knew the end result would be good, and it was. I've discussed my feelings about this with Nej and she helped me set a guideline for what feels right. Last year I had a long conversation with a friend about streaming and I told them that streaming sometimes feels like holding your hand as close as you can to the fire and seeing how long you can go before getting burnt. They responded that I've had my hand up for a long time. I'm sure this isn't exclusive to streaming. When you're passionate about anything it's easy to forgo all sense of preservation in pursuit of a goal just outside your reach. To give in to the assuring whispers that you're on the verge of a breaking point if you just hold on a little longer. I think we've romanticized this notion of pushing through, or at least I did. I shouldn't be willing to burn myself to get there though, and that toxic notion was at the root of my relationship to streaming. That's why I've determined my new guideline for streaming is no more than once a week, but not necessarily every week. Casual. I swear, one day I'll move past writing about my conflicted relationship with streaming. It hasn't happened yet, but we'll get there. Back in the end of year post, I said that I was still learning how to make peace with this, and that's very much still the case. I don't want to live in the shadow of the longest-running project I've ever held, but I'm trying to learn from the experience as I move forward with new things. Speaking of which...
I may not be in a place to commit to a schedule with streaming, but next week I'm launching something that is very much scheduled. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while and I'm excited. My cousin and I have been working on a podcast and we're getting ready to launch on May 4th. Not quite ready to give all the details just yet, but by the end of the week, I should be able to share more. So, yeah! Until next time, thank you, Internet!
I didn't want to write this blog. That's why it's late. Instead, and strangely what I didn't expect, was that I'd rather be playing Animal Crossing right now. I'm only three entries into this consistent blogging thing and even though I have a lot left to learn, I can safely assume that stating you don't want to write it is probably somewhere in the top five list of Don'ts in blogging. Luckily, this blog isn't guided by such lists and notions so I will reiterate, I'd rather be playing Animal Crossing right now.
I never expected to fall so hard for this game, and yet it's consumed so much of my waking thoughts. Over exaggerating? Only a little, but I've dreamt about this game. I rarely dream. I've woken up with my immediate thoughts being filled with excitement to see which new things have appeared on my island. My day is spent anticipating the moment I get to check and see if I've received any in-game mail and items sent from friends. I get so giddy visiting other friend's islands or having them come over to mine, despite there being almost nothing to do once you're together in a session. I have played this game at least an hour a day since I bought it which is coming up on two weeks now. It's no exaggeration to say I've spent more time playing this game, then the total hours spent playing anything else this year.
I still find myself questioning what it is about this game that resonates with me when I've been so vehemently out of sync with any other games in a similar genre. I've never been one for character creation or any sort of custom creations for that matter. I've never been one to be guided by the dopamine effect of checking off simple daily tasks for virtual rewards and fake currency. I've never been compelled to spend my game time collecting useless collectibles, a subset of which requires fishing. It's pretty well documented how much I hate fishing in games, but as is the reoccurring theme in this piece, Animal Crossing unexpectedly broke through that threshold. (For those wondering, the moment this blog post is done I'll be spending the rest of my evening hours attempting to catch a Stringfish before it goes out of season.)
Animal Crossing is an amalgamation of all the things I never expected. It's coming at a time where so many unexpected curve balls have been thrown around the world. It's coming at a time when the world's playbook has been thrown out the window and every one of us is having to adapt on the fly to a global pandemic. I never expected the plans I made earlier this year to be so quickly and dramatically upended and in some cases leave me wondering when I'd see loved ones again or what the state of the world would be when we got there. I didn't expect to stress over the simplest tasks for fear of endangering myself or those around me. I didn't expect that despite the weight of my anxieties, that it would be a drop in the bucket compared to what friends and family going above and beyond in their respective fields to help keep the world moving are dealing with. Friends and family whose work is deemed essential and therefore carry on in a world where six feet of distance and no contact with each other is now the standard. I'm just a child masquerading as an adult, whose only superpower is remaining optimistic, but in a world that feels so damn heavy right now, it's hard not to be taken aback by the existential gasp of uncertainty. I've wrestled with whether or not putting these fears out there was even worth posting, but we're living through a world-changing moment right now, and whether or not I'll look back on this entry with regret, it felt important to document what I'm feeling right now.
The mountain always feels insurmountable until we're on the other side. Despite all my fears and my worries, I've been able to reason out that I'm only in control of doing at least three things. Staying informed. Practicing good hygiene and safe habits. Remaining kind. The world feels devoid of hope right now, and it's easy to get swept up in the various degrees at which this pandemic has been such a crushing blow to so many, and in ways that have yet to play out, and in ways that I, probably in my naivety, don't understand. But, I do know that hope never dies as long as we remain kind.
In the meantime, I'll be playing Animal Crossing. I hope you find your Animal Crossing too.
Writing is hard. Earlier this month I sent out a political tweet thread encouraging people to get registered to vote, but what ended up a tweet originally started as a longer blog post. It was gonna be inspirational, it was going to be angry, and it was ultimately going nowhere. So I cut it short and relied on the safety net that is Twitter’s 280 character limit. The structure is nice and it’s less opportunity for doubt to creep in. Give me 280 characters and I’ll go to town. Give me this blank space and no limits and suddenly possibility is daunting, and every sentence is another ledge I’m flirting with. A free-fall into trashing what I originally set out to do. Self-sabotage before it’s even had a chance to breathe. I know I’m not alone in this habit. It’s kinda fucked up, isn’t it? How many things have you attempted to try this week only to talk yourself back from actually doing it? There are already a million hurdles to clear, our inner voice shouldn’t be one of them.
I’m preaching to the choir though. You know this, I know this yet here we are. Doubt is a muscle we’ve nurtured and grown. A defense mechanism from shame. I’ve talked about it before but there’s a valley of difference between what we know and what we feel. That valley grows every time we dare to edge out closer to that ledge and think maybe I can. Yet no matter how intimidating that valley may be, we can bridge that gap. The valley is only lies we tell ourselves so instead take the time to write a letter to your doubt. Grab a piece of paper and in the biggest, boldest font you can muster write this down.
I am more than the results of my efforts.
Streamer, writer, creator. One day I woke up painfully aware of my existence and I've been apologizing for it ever since.
(WE START BY DIPPING THEM IN WARM MILK CHOCOLATE, AND ALLOWING TO REST FOR 15 MINUTES. THE COOKIES ARE THEN SERVED WITH A GLASS OF COLD MILK)