Hey everyone! How are you all been? I've been doing all right. Just wanted to do a quick update on my goals for the remainder of 2012. It's been about just a bit under a month. It's been going surprisingly well so far. Here's the progress I've made so far. Goal #1. Running consistently running three to four times a week. I'm almost there. I'm currently running 2 times a week and glad to say that my ankle hasn't been a bother. Only have been doing 4-5 miles on those runs so hoping that sometime soon that I can get get a third run in and keep it going at it consistently from here on out. Goal #2. Lose 20 lbs. Kinda wish that I have lost more than 3 lbs so far but it is what it is. I have been eating a lot better now than before but still room for improvement. Been drinking tea a lot more often now. I usually have one first thing in the morning or in the evenings. Hoping to lose maybe 6 lbs in October. Goal #3. Find a job. Eh, job market sucks but got two interviews this upcoming week so we will see how they go. Just received a phone call from a recruiter earlier today and they said they were interested in me so that sounds good. Oh last time I said I had a fourth goal which I forgot what it was but now I remembered. It was to try and go to sleep consistently at a better time. Two weeks ago I was sleeping about at midnight but last week it was very inconsistent with sleep times from 3 am to 8 am. Need to find a way to stay consistent with that. Really not much else going on. Hope you are all doing well.
Sup everyone! We all do a New Year's resolution so instead of waiting until January 1st to get things back in order, gonna make one starting today. As some of you may know, I've been home since I graduated from the University back in June. Things here have been really stressful and my healthy diet and running have gone to hell. Just so damn hard to control what I eat when everything is just crap in the house. Ankle has been problematic for a good while now so that has pretty made me stop running for the most part. Used to do 10-13 miles a few times a week but now I'm lucky to do one 3-5 miles every two weeks. It doesn't help that my metabolism is really god damn slow so going to take action and make some changes starting today. Here are some of my goals that I hope to achieve before the end of the year. Goal #1. Get back to running consistently three to four times a week. This may be tough because of the ankle problems but hopefully it won't really cause a problem. I might try buying some better cushioning for the shoes so I'll see if that helps or not. If I don't have a problem with the ankle, it also will be tough to keep it up through November and December because of the harsh winters up here by the lake. Will do my best though and see if I can get back to the 10-13 mile runs but honestly, I'll be happy with three 6 or 7 mile runs a week. I'll probably be using some form of a tracking device as Runkeeper to keep track of my runs. It will really help me keep focused and see how I can improve from the previous runs. Goal #2. Lose 20 lbs. It's not like I'm fat at all which I'm not, just trying to be more toned. Only really need to lose like 10 lbs but might as well go for extra. Going to try and be really more selective of what I eat. It's kinda hard to do that with the crap that is here so I'll try and eat less at meals that mom cooks and more creating my own snacks. So that means more fruits/veggie smoothies and less mac-n-cheese/home made fries/mashed potatoes/and other fattening foods. Will have to actually fork the money over to buy the fruits/veggies since neither parent really buys any and won't even though I ask for it. It doesn't help that my mom buys pizza almost every week and dad does that too on weekends along with buying fast food nearly every weekend. So instead of eating a footlong sub from Subway for lunch, could save half of it and eat it for midnight snack instead of scurrying through fridge knowing that there isn't anything healthy in there. Losing 5 lbs a month doesn't seem so bad especially with burning lots of calories on those long runs. Goal #3. Hoping to get a job but I'll take whatever I can find as of right now. I know this goal wont be completed by the end of this year but I'm hoping to actually move out by March or April of next year. As I mentioned earlier, living back at home is too stressful for me because of the relationship I have with my family but really wanting to move out of states. Been thinking about it more often so been more focused on out of state job searches than in state. We'll see how that goes though. There was something else that I wanted to set as a goal but my mind is drawing a blank right now. Oh well, if I do, I'll mention it in a future blog about the goal updates and such. In other news, GameSpot has been utterly boring. Haven't been on here much and don't really see myself posting as much as I have in the past. On a scale from 1 to 10 on how boring GameSpot is, it would have to be a 1.5 or a 2. It's just the same things over and over again. With that being said, I haven't played games in god knows how long. Just boring as hell and pretty damn sure that I won't be buying a next gen console. Last game I beat was Dark Souls and think that was somewhat in early July if I'm not mistaken. Only two games really interest me which are Borderlands 2 and The Last of Us. Both seem really great but other than that, don't care for anything else. So yea, those are my goals that I want to achieve by the end of the year. Just requires more effort on my part. Just noticed that this is my 25th blog so only 1/4th the way completed to the 100 mark if I ever get there. lol Oh yea, football is back!!! Hope you are all well. :) ~ExoticAnimal~
Hello everyone, Its been nearly 4 months since I made my last blog. Time sure has gone by quickly. I just wanted to do an update on my life. Last time I mentioned that I was doing physical therapy for recovery of my limbs from the previous surgeries. It was tough this whole time but was told to stop with it sometime around June as I had made a full recovery with my movement. Actually wouldn't say it was 100% as I can reach up further my back with my left arm than my right arm but that's only because I had a football injury back in high school where I popped my shoulder so the flexibility of it is just slightly less than that of the right arm. No big deal. Glad to say that my back is just fine with no pain what so ever but one thing is that I tend to have it become stiff to the point where I have to lean my back over the edge of the couch or tub to crack it. Doesn't hurt one bit but just helps relieve the kinks. Should probably mention Ashley, the girl who I met in hospitals and had a fiancé, that things didn't go so well when I confronted her with her flirting with me and just glad that I got that over with. I really did have strong feelings for her but was dumb though because of the fiancé so that was a sticky situation altogether. Took a while to get over her but had some great friends who helped me during that time not to mention that bottle of vodka. >.> So I guess June came around and was working hard because Graduation was coming up and just wanted to make sure that I passed my last remaining courses. Was busy with papers, reading research papers and answering questions along with working on my take home exam which ended up being 20 some pages long. Can't remember the exact number and don't have that file on my laptop anymore but almost positive it exceeded that since there were 15 questions and usually took more than a page to answer each question as it was for Developmental Biology. Very hard stuff but was interesting also. I finally graduated from the University and just received my degree in the mail about a month ago or so. I didn't attend commencement as it seemed like a waste of time and hardly knew anyone in my graduating class. Now I'm just job searching hoping to find a job in a hospital. Had a few interviews so far but nothing resulted from them. Umm... what else can I say? Oh, I finally got a new phone after 5 some years. Couldn't tell you the name of the old phone but all I know it was a slide phone from Nokia. I spent some time looking around trying to find a Smartphone which was my first one ever. Found the perfect one called the Galaxy Nexus. I received it exactly one week ago and had a few problems with setting up the plan but went in and got it solved after a few hours. I love it so much. I pretty much have it on me now all the time whereas my old phone, I would check it every few days. One problem with it is that the battery life is kind of poor but guesses that is true with all smart phones. Going to post a picture below to show what my phone looks like. Hope you are all doing well. Just want to thank the users who keep me coming back to GameSpot because if it weren't for some of you guys, I would have left a long time ago. Also want to thank PiscesChick93 again for creating my banner at the top of my profile along with choosing the Snow Leopard in the profile picture space. Got to love Adriana Lima's eyes! Rawr!!! About time I had something those empty spaces. :P Oh yea, damn ankle injuries have slowed me down and halted some progress. Used to run like 11-13 miles a day three times a week but now I'm lucky to even run once a week without my ankle being a bother and its usually like 4 miles. Just want my ankle to get better so I can keep on running like Forrest Gump. XD
Hope to blog more often ~Exotic~
Hello everyone, I've been meaning to write a blog upon my return like a month ago or so but just have been so unmotivated. Just going to sit down right now and force myself to type something out. I'm not really sure where to begin and how much detail I want to go into but it was a long process. First I'll begin by saying that the problems with my back are gone. My back feels great and is pain free. Only problem I have is that it gets the occasional stiffness but its leagues away from being painful at all. Well for those of you who don't have a clue as to what happened to me, here is a quick summary of what transpired. A little more than 7 years ago, I was inolved in a football injury to my spine that has caused varying amounts of pain for a long time. It wasn't until last fall that my back starting to be very intense pains and was hard to do anything. Even walking was painful so I spent most of the time laying down on the floor. Had some tests done that told me I needed multiple surgeries on my spinal cord. Also took varying amounts of meds to reduce the pain but ended up not being able to do well with any of them as all I would be doing was getting sick and lost a lot of weight during that time. I waited til after Christmas to have the surgery which meant I would miss out on school during the Winter quarter. So fast forward to January 5th which was the day of my surgery, I went in for the first of 3 surgeries. It went great and no complications at all. Had a few weeks of recovery before the second surgery and that was the riskiest one of them all. I had a real bad feeling about it and even begged my aunt to not let me do it. Ended up doing it for the better good of my back and the surgery didn't go well as planned. They messed up by cutting into one of my spinal nerves. When I woke up, I could barely move my arms and legs. I didn't know waht to think at the time except be upset and angry. Doctors said that I nearly lost 40% of my motion of the limbs. Well it was off to do physical therapy and progress was very slow at first. I made very little gains the first few weeks after the surgery. At that time, I got really sick was throwing up and just being dizzy for half a week. I had numbness in my fingers and toes and had to squeeze my fists every few minutes to try and get rid of that sensation. As time went on, it went away for the most part but I still have to do it a few times a day. The section of my spinal cord didn't produce any pain at all so that was good. Still needed one more surgery to replace one of my discs in lower back. I had an artificial disc replacement which my aunt and I flew out to India to get. Reason being that my insurance didn't cover the costs and was cheaper to go there and get the surgery than it was to have it here. I saved nearly 70% of the costs but it still was expensive for me as I am a student with no job. Made the arrangements many months in advance and stayed there for like 5-6 days. The surgery went well without any complications. Had to have it as my vertebrae collapsed onto the spinal cord and was causing extreme pains. The artifical disc is just a hunk of metal that acts like a disc but is strong enough to support the vertebrae. Just kinda weird to know its there but had no problems with it so far. I still have to go every morning for physical therapy and have gotten back into working out at the gym but not with heavy weights as of yet. This whole process was draining on me but luckily I had some great support. My aunt/uncle and their kids were great. If it weren't for them, I don't know if I could have done it all. My aunt was especially important because she was with me every single day for a few months. She took time off of work and changed her schedule around just to be able to help me out as she is a nurse and knows the ins and outs of hospitals and flew out with me to India. I stayed at their house the whole time when I wasn't in the hospitals. Speaking of being in the hospitals, I met this girl named Ashley. She had same problems as me for the most part and was going through multiple surgeries too. We chatted a lot and got to know each other quite well over the few months. She was also doing physical training at the same place as me so even got to see her more often. Well funny thing is that she is in one of my bio classes and is in my lab so we're partners now. Sad thing though is that she has a fiance and I was devestated to find that out. I've grown to love her but at this point, I'm just trying to be her friend but finding it hard to do so. It's getting a bit easier now as some time has gone by but still hard. But other than that, I'm doing great now. I have no more back pains except for the occasional stiffness. I still haven't fully regained all my motion. I'm at around 90% or so but progress still is going slowly. I expect to be doing physical training for at least a few more months. I know I have an appointment to go back in and get my back examined but not sure when that is. Sorry for the long blog but it was long over due and needed to get it done. I just wanted to thank those who thought of me during the time and kept in contact with me.
Going to try and keep this a short one. I'm going to have my back surgery today even though the pain lessened during the month of December and I was able to run and stuff without it affecting me. The surgery is scheduled for later today so gotta leave in an hour or two. At least I'll have my aunt with me before the operations. Couldn't have asked for a better aunt in the world. I'm truly lucky to have her. I've been having trouble sleeping all week because I've been really scared about the surgery and keep thinking to myself that something will go wrong. Wish I could know for certain that everything will be ok. Don't know when I'll back as I'm considered a high risk and will probably need physical therapy but not sure if I still want to bother with GS anymore as I've been losing interest in this place. Might just come back to update for those who care. Anyways, goodbye everyone and enjoy this new year. ~Exotic
While the violent nature of the game will surely turn some people off and kids simply shouldn't be allowed anywhere near it, GTA III is, quite simply, an incredible experience that shouldn't be missed by anyone mature enough to handle it.
The environments of Liberty City are stunning in scope and detail, dwarfing anything I've ever seen, and your choices are endless.
Grand Theft Auto III is a massive scale operation that just gets better and better as players dig into it, even though its gets ridiculously difficult at points. But that's the thing, it does get difficult, but the multitude of reasons to keep playing, to feel utterly engaged, perhaps should I say...even addicted...is so powerful that only sleep and my lovely wife could possibly get in the way of an overnighter (or four) with Grand Theft Auto III.
Causing destruction with the Rhino was one of my favorite things to do in the game. The Rhino can be found through different means such as beating the storyline and it would be available at Phil Cassidy's army base or getting it by achieving a 6 star wanted level. It was always fun driving the tank and just crashing into cars, seeing them blow up and trying to destroy the whole police force.
Flying the Dodo was really fun although it served no purpose at all. The Dodo was found only in one spot which was the Francis International Airport. It had clipped wings so flying it took some time to get used to. I remember trying multiple times trying to fly it but kept crashing it because of not being to lift it off the ground or losing control of it in the air pretty quickly. But once I got used to the controls, I was flying around, causing havoc by flying into pedestrians. I also loved doing loops and stunts in the air and around the bridges.
One cool thing about the game is that there are unique and rare vehicles to find and keep if stored in the garages. There are 8 different vehicles that have some type of proofing to them whether it be bulletproof, damageproof, explosion proof, or fireproof. There are a few vehicles that contain more than one proofing and one vehicle that was the ultimate vehicle to have. It was the Stretch (limo) which had all of these proofings and was pretty much indestructible unless you somehow managed to flip the stretch over. I always enjoyed using the unique and rare vehicles that had no proofing around Liberty City.
I absolutely loved the music/voice work in this game. Everything was done well and still entertaining to listen to. My favorite station to listen to was Double Clef FM. I would drive around in the Sentinel doing drive bys and almost felt like I was part of the Mafia while listening to Double Clef FM. I also enjoyed listening to MSX FM and Chatterbox FM with Lazlow which is a unique character that is featured in the other GTA games. Voice acting by famous actors from films and television was rare in video games and GTA III was considered a pioneer for hiring voice actors. I enjoyed the supporting cast members which included such famous actors such as Frank Vincent (Salvatore Leone), Michael Madsen (Toni Cipriani) and Kyle MacLachlan (Donald Love) and many others.
My favorite thing to do in the game was to turn on the cheats and wreak havoc among Liberty City. I don't think I've played any other game besides the GTA series with cheats turned on and it sure is a blast. Some of my favorite cheats were flying cars, changing outfits, unlocking all weapons, and all pedestrians hating you. I had most of the cheats memorized back in the day so it was just quick and easy to put in the code and mess around with the game and have fun.
MRI This past Tuesday was a very long day for me. But before going into details, I got a voice message during Monday afternoon saying that I needed to fast starting at 5 pm and onwards to the next day. Problem was I last ate around noon that day so I was madly starving that evening and most of the morning. I thought I wouldn't make it to the start of the exams. Well I did manage and my exams were at 9 am so I got there 15 minutes ahead of schedule and ended up waiting almost 2 hours before I had my MRI. It wasn't too bad as I've had it once before and think it ended up taking about 45 minutes to an hour. It was just boring laying there doing nothing. Physical Exam After that, they sent me to another hospital nearby which I had to perform my other tests for my spine. I just walked there since we have a lot of hospitals nearby campus and it was just a few minutes away. I had to wait a while in there before they called my name and went in to perform a physical exam. Pretty boring and basic stuff that happens during a physical. Lumbar Discography Also had a lumbar discography in the same place. Basically I had to lie down on the table and they gave me some anesthetics. They then inserted needles into the discs of my back after numbing the areas where the it was a major concern. They injected a dye into each disc and use a X-ray determine if there there is a problem and asked me if I felt any discomfort at all. I did for 3 of the 5 injections which isn't a good sign. I just felt soreness in my muscles a few days afterwards but that was expected from this procedure. SEP Had one more final exam which was kinda weird. I couldn't remember the name at first but after looking it up online, it was a Somatosensory Evoked Potential Test. Basically it's used to evaluate the nervous system and how it functions. I just basically sat in a chair for about an hour or so with a metal disc taped to my arm and had current running through my body. Wasn't painful but my fingers were twitchy though. lol Meds But the worst of all was afterwards all these easy tests were performed. It was getting prescribed with Norco which I think is a painkiller but I've been completely sick once I've started taking it. I absolutely couldn't keep anything down until just a bit ago. I was puking everything that went down my body. Wasn't feeling good for from Tuesday until earlier today. Was able to manage to eat something light so that's good news right now. Also been getting some ringing in my ears but not too bothersome. Not sure if I want to go ahead and get something else or continue using Norco. Guess I'll see after tomorrow as I'm still feeling the same intense pain as I was 3 weeks ago. I won't be getting my results back for a week or two so hopefully these meds help me somewhat. Well there you have it, what a fun day that was and week for me. Hope you all had a good week.
Hey there guys and gals, just wanted to let you know that I've made an appointment with the Doctors to get x-rays on my spine this Tuesday. My back has been in extreme pain for the last 2 weeks to the point where I can't do simple things at all. I've pretty much stopped going to the gym, running, swimming, and doing anything extraneous around the apartment. It's hard for me to get out of bed at all and walking to and from class is really painful and tedious. I actually had the pain a few weeks before this extreme pain but it was manageable. I've actually started to feel some parts of my body go numb for a bit and am getting really scared now that paralysis can set in. I guess most people don't know of my spine problems so I'll start from the beginning. Back when I was a Sophmore in high school, I was playing on the Varsity Football team and I believe it was the 8th or 9th game of the season that I severely injured my spine. I honestly don't remember too much from that game except being told that I got hurt while going after a fumble. Somehow my spine didn't bend like it was suppose to and ended up being in the hospital for a few weeks with them running tests everyday to make sure nothing was severely wrong with me. Well the matter of fact is that there always have been something wrong with my spine. The doctors told me that I needed surgery and was imperative that I get it as soon as I could or risk paralysis. Well I was fine with getting the surgery but my parents said otherwise. I had no say in the matter because the surgery was way too expensive and they refused to pay for it at all. At that point, I already had been doing drugs before that but I turned to it heavily as a way to deal with the pain. I've pretty much been living in pain for 7 or so years. Most of the time the pain is intense but it usually goes to mild pain and the cycle repeats itself for the most part. There have been some days where I have had little to no pain at all but those days are rare. So fast forward 7 some years and it's come to the point where the pain has never been this intense before in my life and it's been constant pain 24/7 for two weeks. I know what the Doctors are going to say when I go in to get my x-rays. Surgery is a MUST but I just have no means of paying for it. I've paid my own way through college without the help of my parents and I've done my best to go through it without getting into debt. If I really do need that surgery badly, I guess I'll have to take out some massive loans if I can. Not really sure what to do yet but that will depend on the x-rays and what the doctors tell me. I seriously hope and pray that they don't recommend surgery but something alternative that can help my spine. So I guess that's about it. I'm getting really anxious about this upcoming Tuesday and really haven't been able to sleep for nearly two weeks. I probably get at least one hour if not two of sleep a night. It's just so hard to fall asleep with all this pain shooting down my whole body. I guess this is the part where I want to say that I haven't gone back to the drugs but sadly I have in order to deal with the pain. I know... I know... I hate myself for doing that but I really had no other option. I'm hoping whatever results come from this will help my spine and help me completely give it up for good as that's one of the main reasons I use it in the first place. I really don't know what to do right now but I'll post another blog about my updates and hopefully something other than surgery can be recommended. That's all for now and I'll bid you a farewell with a random pic of a spine. :|