Armageddon

Oh my. I’m wrecked. Love this film. Ever since I saw it on its summer of release (1998) working in a cinema. Multiple times. Back-to-front.

Just watched it again. Didn’t mean to but had the blu-ray and it seemed sensible. Wrecked.

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Mountains and valleys? Hell yeah.

It always gets to me – a bizarre film to do that many would say but it does. And this time, well, I was looking at Dad, Harry Stamper, and seeing myself. Oh heck.

I don’t wanna spoil it but, my word. Wrecked. Still, amazing.

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Harry Stamper/Bruce Willis = HERO

Bedtime now.

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Uncharted & Reflective Gaming

Spoilers reside below for Uncharted 4 – continue reading only if you’ve completed the game, or really don’t care πŸ™‚

I recently had the good fortune to play the latest, and final, installments in two of my most loved gaming series: Dark Souls III and Uncharted 4. Aside from the awesome fun of playing them (and you should too if you have even a passing interest in gaming) they both mark an end, and a new beginning.

Each game is an ending. In Uncharted particularly there’s a very definite finality about it. Looking back at each series as a whole the journey has been a wonderful one, starting with shock, awe, love and finishing with reverence, seriousness and again, love. I don’t want to get into the games and the stories themselves but I do want to illustrate a couple of things.

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Praise the sun!

These series have ended now. Just as a series of episodes in my life ends, and a wonderful new one readies itself to begin. I grew up, went to Uni, met a wonderful lady, got engaged and then married. Now all of that’s ended (although let me be clear, many of those things continue in perpetuity, like marriage!) and we look to the next series, or act. Parenthood. It’s kinda cool that these games I so dearly love would end now too, freeing me from their grasp to enable complete focus on the real life.*

What’s more important for this post is the end of Uncharted. After the main events of the game we jump forward in time. We see a new character, a girl aged around 12, who is clearly the daughter of Nathan and Elena Drake, the couple who we’ve adventured with for the past 9 years. I have always been one for a good story, and will always feel the emotional hooks if done well, regardless of the subject matter. But here, seeing a young couple older, with child in tow? It kinda hit me hard. In a good way. This will hopefully be us someday. The way I viewed this scene with my current view of the world, versus how I would perhaps have seen it a year ago? Night and day difference.

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Nathan & Elena Drake

I haven’t told my wife about the ending of the game. I wanted her to read it here first. That might seem odd but I’m a guy and saying this kinda stuff is a little bit out of my comfort zone. Writing this blog was a way to say stuff that needed to be said without necessarily having to say it. So there you go wifey, the ending of Uncharted 4 was awesome but probably not for the reason you might have expected I’d give. Thank-you Naughty Dog.

* – Note I will absolutely continue playing games BUT I recognise a certain new something has to creep above games in the priority list πŸ˜€

The Reality of Pregnancy

So my wife is now 17 weeks pregnant. And you can tell. She’s really started to show in the past couple of weeks. To me it’s pretty cool, and shows things are progressing the way they should. I think she is the same, but she’s also surprised at how big she is right now.

It’s possible she’s also started to feel some kicks from the little one. It’s a little early for someone normally to feel this in their first pregnancy. But it does happen. This is also very cool. What’s a little off-putting for me is when my wife called it the Quickening. And yes, that is it’s widely-used term. It just made me think of the Highlander film series.

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The Quickening. The Highlander version.

We’re hoping to take a break somewhere in the UK for late May bank holiday weekend. This will be our holiday for the year, and also our last one before we become parents. It’s crazy to think about that. Later this year our lives will change massively, in a good way. After 17 years together and 6 of them married we’ll not be the only ones in this family and any holiday thereafter will have a very different focus.

I’m also seriously starting to think about the items we need to buy. Specifically travel systems and car seats. I have no idea what I’m doing. I do know if you ask for opinions everyone has a good one but I must remember that their choice was based on what they needed. They did the research and took the plunge. They then have a reference point from which to speak, but in the majority of cases no second reference point. In summary, take onboard the info but remember to use it to make a choice, not be the choice.

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This is me. So very true.

Die Hard

This is probably quite sad. As I mentioned before we have our 12 week scan on Monday. If all goes well we might be telling people our news. Is it weird that I’ve been thinking about this, and have a way I’d like to say it (for when it’s my communication alone, not ours, obviously)?

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Al Powell. A hero. Twinkie-less.

Unsurprisingly for me my inspiration is from film, and specifically Die Hard. It’s the greatest action movie ever made and one I long to be able to introduce a future child to. In it John asks Al how many kids he has. The answer?

“As a matter of fact, my wife is working on our first.

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“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…”

I can see it now. It’s kinda sad to think about this, but telling people you’re gonna be parents is not in anyway sad. And doing it right is important. Right is subjective. This is where I sit. Let’s hope we get to argue this and go ahead in the days to come πŸ™‚

A Quarter Mile at a Time

Blimey. I’m broken. I’ve just finished watching Fast & Furious 7. Spoilers for that will follow, as well as for Armageddon. You’ll learn why. And yes, this is appropriate for a blog about becoming a Dad.

I love all the Fast & Furious films. I’ve just watched the 5th, 6th and now 7th around the Easter weekend. The 7th it turns out is one of the two films which make me – without fail – teary eyed since I became an adult. Just two films. I watch a lot of films. I love film. But just two make me shed tears.

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Paul Walker as Brian O’ Connor.

Fast & Furious 7 does it for two reasons, but really both are the same. Dom nearly dies and Letty explains she remembers everything. Marriage. Family. Then, of course, we say goodbye to Paul Walker. Family again. And fatherhood in the case of his character. Fatherhood is now truly what his character will be able to focus on.

In Armageddon Bruce Willis sacrifices himself for the world, but he does so for his daughter. He switches with his daughter’s one true love and fiancΓ©. He dies to save the world and her world – she gets to live her life with her love.

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Harry Stamper on the front left. Hero. Godspeed.

I cannot cope with the end to either of these wonderful films (please note most people wouldn’t rate these as highly as I do but to me they’re 10/10, 5 stars and all the rest – stunningly good cinema, if not critical darlings of the film world). But now, each of these touches me differently. I’m gonna be a Dad. Family is different. The choice made by Bruce; the choice which will be made for Paul’s character, Brian. Wow.

I am wowed by what is to come. Wow = good πŸ™‚