Hello everyone! It’s the last week of 2020, and boy am I ready to say goodbye to this crazy, stressful, anxiety filled year. The pandemic is far from over here in the states, but we’re closer to the end of it than we think! At least, I hope we are. Either way, 2021 will be better than 2020. I’m speaking it into the Universe so that we can all have a good year next year!
Before we escape this year, however, let me tell you what I’ve been up to this last month (spoiler alert: not a whole lot).
In the Name of Hades
I’ve been playing Hades, and when I’m not playing it, I’m watching Matt play. When I’m not watching Matt play, I’m watching strangers on the internet play. I think I might have a problem.
In all honesty, though, I’m having a lot of fun with this rouge-like. I’ve mentioned Hades before in previous blog posts, but for those who are unaware, Hades is a game available on PC and Nintendo Switch. In a nutshell, you play as Zagreus, son of Hades, who is trying to escape the Underworld to visit his mother, Persephone.
The story? Amazing. The music? Brilliant. Everything about this game gets me all fired up. The builds you can create with different boons and weapons are seemingly endless. I’ve done roughly 40ish runs of the game and every single one feels brand new.
I’ve only gotten to the final boss a few times, and I’ve only defeated them twice. It’s a challenge for me because this is not the kind of game I’m used to playing. I’m more of a fan of games like Animal Crossing, or the Sims. Of course, I love Legend of Zelda and Super Mario as well, but even though they give me a little bit of a challenge, it’s nothing compared to Hades. I’m very happy Matt and I stumbled upon this game because it’s given me a new distraction in all the chaos of the year!
A Very Skyline Christmas (and Christmas in General)
My job comes with certain perks. Christmas is one of them. I tend to receive bigger tips, especially from my regulars, and sometimes they even give me gifts! I’m very grateful to my regulars (as well as the customers who are just passing through). It’s always heartwarming to know that I make a difference in someone’s day every time I go to a table.
This year has been a little different, and a lot of my regulars haven’t come nearly as much (if at all) to dine in. It’s taken a hit on my finances to only serve about half the people I usually do, but that just makes me that much more grateful that I’ve been able to stay afloat through this pandemic.
Christmas week I worked and made the most money I’ve made all year. I also got a few gifts from regulars that have been coming in both way before and during this pandemic. The store owner’s wife came and gave us too many cookies (most of which I still have in my house, amazingly) and we all had a pretty relaxing work day.
It didn’t really feel all too Christmassy this year outside of work. We didn’t have any decorations, no tree, and I couldn’t really afford any presents for anyone. However, it was still a good Christmas! After working on Christmas Eve, we went and picked up my sister and went to my dad’s house to pick up food he had made for us. He also gave us gifts (my favorite of which is the scarf he knitted himself). My sister and I watched the Santa Clause and hung out until it was time to go to bed.
On Christmas Day, we went to my friend’s house and played video games. It was a very chill time! Then we went and got Chinese food. All in all, it was an unconventional but very good Christmas. I wish we could’ve gotten together with the family, but I’ll never complain about having a relaxing day with people I love!
Mary Jane, the Cat
The Golubich-Best house got a new member this month! Mary Jane, aka MJ, came to us via Matt’s sister, Ashley. She loves animals and has plenty of pets, so when she realized that MJ wasn’t too happy at her house with all of her dog/cat/etc. brothers and sisters, Ashley offered her to us. We’ve been thinking about getting a new pet member of the family for a while, so the answer was a very confident “YES”!
We were going to change MJ’s name, but after seeing that she was born on 4/20, we couldn’t. It’s too on the nose to avoid, plus I honestly don’t mind her name because it reminds me of Spider-Man (after the obvious connection to marijuana is pushed out of the mind, at least).
Integrating MJ into the house has been as much of a struggle as I thought it would be. I’m used to taking care of old cats; Maxi and Oyaya were my old men for years, but when we got them as kittens my dad was the one who really took care of them. When he moved into the house he lives in now and left the apartment we grew up in to me, I kept the cats.
I have no idea how old Freya is, but I know she’s no spring chicken (spring cat?). MJ is barely two, so it’s been a new experience taking care of a cat that has so much energy!
The other challenge we’re facing is that Freya does not play well with other cats. She is very territorial, and doesn’t love the idea of having another cat in the house. Because of this, we’ve been rotating the cats as often as we can so that one stays in the office while the other gets to roam around the house. I hate having to separate them, but we’ve been slowly getting them used to each other’s scent. Eventually, I’m hoping Freya and MJ will be able to get along and coexist without having to keep one prisoner in the office. Of course, we’ve had our slip ups; Freya and MJ have attacked each other a few times already after one of us forgets to close the door, or one cat runs out into the open while the other one is close by.
I’m super protective of MJ because she came to us declawed (I’m strongly against declawing pets, but I can’t change what has already been done to MJ, you know?). Freya has 100% claw usage, so that puts her at an advantage. Pair that with her territorial personality and you’ve got a dangerous old lady cat ready to fight. Right now, the focus is on getting the cats used to each other’s scent while they’re comfortable in their own spaces. I’m sure it’ll take forever, but one day I hope to at least see them sleeping in the same room!
Music Obsessions…Kind Of.
I’m not going to lie to you all: I haven’t listened to music very much all month. After taking a break on writing my novel, not walking home from work as much thanks to rides from coworkers and newly on first shift Matt, and avoiding Christmas music, I’ve not had a lot of exposure to anything new in the music world. If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me talking about what to do about the lack of music in my life this month. It’s been a struggle putting together a playlist for you all…but I did it!
The only songs I know that are new that came out this month is FrankJavCee’s recent singles. “Bleeds For You” is the first one he released at the beginning of the month, so that was the only song on the playlist for a while. While I’ve been writing and editing this post, I’ve been adding songs to the playlist! Talk about being late…
This month, I’ve been playing a lot of Hades (as we all know). One of the characters happens to be Orpheus, one of my favorite characters from the Greek Mythos. If you’re unfamiliar with his story, here it is in a (very large) nutshell:
Orpheus was a musician and poet, the best of them all. He was taught the lyre by Apollo, and perfected it easily. He played his songs all throughout Greece, charming everyone who heard him play. Orpheus’s wife and muse, the forest nymph Eurydice, unfortunately dies thanks to a snakebite. Heartbroken, Orpheus appealed to the God of the Dead, Hades, playing a song that stirred something in his cold, dead heart. Hades granted him permission to gather Eurydice’s soul and take her back to the land of the living. His only stipulation was that Orpheus not look back at his wife until they are out of the Underworld.
Upon stepping out of the Underworld, Orpheus excitedly turns to Eurydice, looking at her…although she has not yet crossed the threshold. As soon as their eyes lock, Hermes swoops in and takes Eurydice back to the Underworld before Orpheus can react to the mistake he has made.
Orpheus and Eurydice’s story is one of my favorites in all of world mythology, and for it to be included in Hades is pretty cool. One of the songs from the soundtrack illustrates how the whole situation went down from Orpheus’s point of view, and so I added it to this month’s playlist because I love the story as well as the interpretation by Darren Korb (the composer of the music in Hades).
I threw some Charo in there to acknowledge Christmas as well. I used to watch Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special every year for Christmas when I was a kid, and Charo’s “Feliz Navidad” always takes me back. Finally, I put some old-to-me but maybe new-to-you songs I’ve been listening to on and off all year. Some I found on TikTok, some I’ve already been listening to for years, and some are just songs I like because they make me laugh. If you’re interested to see what I threw together for you all this December, go ahead and click here!
December has come and went, and with that, we see the end of a very interesting year. Some lives were changed forever, and even more were lost. I have never been more grateful for what I have until this year. Seeing how many things have happened and how much has changed this year has really put into perspective just how privileged I have been all my life, and how lucky I am to have what I have.
I’ve been able to donate towards causes I stand by because I’ve been lucky enough to keep my job this year. I’ve been able to help people’s moods and outlooks simply by being myself. I’ve been able to accomplish things that I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish on my own, thanks to the people who have helped me and supported me from the beginning. I’ve been able to dig myself out of yet another depression cycle, grasping the hands of people that love me and want me to shine like the sun.
I’m forever grateful for these last 12 months. 2020 has been a bitch of a year, but you and I have made it through. I figure if I can live through a pandemic, live through the intense civil unrest, live through an economic depression, live through all the shit that 2020 has thrown at me, and still have my head on my shoulders…I can greet 2021 with a fighting spirit.
Let’s remember what we’ve gone through and never forget all that happened for us to get to this point. It’s the only way we can take 2021 and make it better than what we’ve lived through in this year. I have a feeling that 2021 will be patient with us…but I’m still going to knock on wood just in case!
Thank you all so much for reading this year. If you’ve been here since the beginning, thank you for sticking around! And if you’re new to this blog, well, thank you for joining us! I appreciate each and every one of you so, so much. I love to hear from you all when it comes to my posts for the week. I started this blog to get back into writing, so it’s very encouraging to hear the pros and cons you all find within these words.
I plan on continuing my Monday posts through 2021. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some of my novel with you all at some point. I also plan on doing more music analysis posts over various albums and songs I enjoy. And of course, there will be more short stories and prompts as I find inspiration in my everyday life (or on the Internet, most likely). If you have anything you’d like me to tackle writing about (or just have any ideas that you’d like to see come to life via writing), don’t hesitate to tell me all about them!
If you’d like, feel free to follow me on Twitter! You can always send me prompts and ideas there. If anything, follow for the daily goofs and gaffs! If you feel like it, you can always leave me a tip on Ko-fi as well! It’s completely optional, but every tip I get on there goes straight to the cost of self-publishing my novel (once I’m done writing it, that is…now that my break is over, I plan on diving into the story once more!).
Once again, thank you all for reading this year. I hope that my words have given you a welcome distraction from the garbage fire that was 2020, and I hope that next year I’ll be able to continue bringing you more content to enjoy!