Here are a few of my favorite things…

Published April 3, 2012 by jcrosland


#1 “Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, Little Ball of Fur…”

I love cats.

Cats are a mainstay of my life. Furry, adorable, and sometimes ferocious, cats bring joy to my heart. Growing up, my first pet was a grey domestic short-hair called Gray (post-mortem). We were like sisters. Wherever I went, she followed. I fondly recall memories of tossing around paper balls while Gray scrambled after them.

Never get in the way of a running cat, least you lose your feet.

After my feline companion passed in 2000, I never thought I could love again (cat-wise). My second foray into the land of whiskers and catnip was a disaster; thy name was Starburst.

Starburst was nothing like Gray. Whereas Gray was affectionate, Starburst was distant. While Gray loved to be rubbed and petted, Starburst preferred to be alone and aloof. After a few months of dealing her, my family decided that Starburst was NOT the cat for us.

Everything changed one cloudy September afternoon in 2011. I had received a text from my mother. In it was enclosed a picture. Upon viewing it, I was instantly torn. My eyes were fixated on the darling calico kitty. What struck me as most strange was her face.

Half-black, half-brown, split straight down the middle.

I hemmed and I hawed. I considered my then-current circumstance. It was my last year at Niagara University. I lived in a dorm hall. Would I have time to properly socialize with and care for a cat?

It turned out that I had all the time in the world. And so I said “yes.”

Life hasn’t been the same since Sybil came into my life.  My mother has dubbed her my “sister.” In many ways is Sybil similar to me. It’s almost frightening how much we–a cat and a human–have in common. Both of us love affection; we live for peace and quiet; we are curious and nosy when it suits us; and we both love to block the furnace vent.

The weekends are brighter, the days are not as long. I can go home with a smile on my face because of one very special kitty. =O.O=

"Cloudbusting," anyone?

#2 Blue Skies Are Coming

There’s something about a blue sky that puts a smile on my face. Maybe it’s the sharp hue that delights the eye. Or perhaps it’s the whispy clouds that dot the oh-so celestial dome like strands of cotton.

*stops gazing long enough to type some more*

And although I learned waaaaaay back in the day that this awe-inspiring sight is the product of chemical reactions (don’t ask me which ones), that knowledge does not deter me from looking up every once in a while and gawk.  When I was a child, I used to think that, if you stared hard enough, you could see angels standing on the clouds. That belief has long-since died (and so has my faith in Christianity), but it made me realize just how awesome the natural world can be. After all, just because I couldn’t see an angel doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

Then again, I feel the same way about aliens. But…that’s another story for another day.


"What's a floppy disk?"

#3 The Best-Selling PC to Date (Until the iPad 2 Came Along and Ruined Everything)

Okay. So I have a thing for the 80s. The music, the fashion, the television programming–everything about the decade excites me in a way that’s border-line obsessive. Back then, American culture thrived in terms of originality and progress. There was an overwhelming sense of hope and prosperity. The future looked so bright and shiny. Anything seemed possible.

What really strikes me as interesting is 80s electronics. All of the fancy, new-fangled gadgets that we depend on so much today (i.e. cell phone, laptop, and iPod) are derived from technological advances used in the 80s.

Consider the Commodore 64. Known affectionately as “the breadbox” among certain PC communities, the C64 is best-known for its SID chip. The SID chip, or “Sound Interface Device” chip, is responsible for the extensive use of music and sounds in both PC and console video games today. The SID chip gave games like The Last Ninja and Nemesis the Warlock polyphonic flavor and atmosphere that the breadbox’s monochrome-hued and crude sound chip companions could not.

So without further ado, check out these awesome SID chip tunes:

Nemesis The Warlock

The Last Ninja

Skate or Die



"Whip it good!"

#4 No, no, no, no…! ARGHHH! Stoopid Medusa Head

Ahh, Castlevania. A true NES-era diamond. And by diamond, I don’t necessarily mean it’s bright and shiny.

Don’t get me wrong. Back in 1987, Castlevania was something special. It was a brilliantly-designed platformer with a saturated 30s horror flick theme, awesome music, pretty graphics, and level after level chock-full of undead baddies.

However, Castlevania is also known (and criticized) for its difficulty. I’m talking about quantum-level hard (kudos to you, Mom). So hard that you’ll scream, rant, foam at the mouth, and call God a slew of ungodly names. I tried playing the game once. After five minutes of getting my butt slaughtered by relentless waves of zombies, ill-timed steps, and sluggish controls, I surrendered. I couldn’t do it.

*scurries back to the realm of Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star*

Here’s a hilarious, highly-informative video explaining the differences between Castlevania I and Castlevania II.


Sequelitis–Castlevania 1 vs. Castlevanina 2


bOInG ZoOm dAkoTA!

#5 Mr. sATuRn SaYS hElLo!

This lovable, pink…thing…is the mascot of the SNES cult classic, EarthBound. Found of psychedelic coffee and Dakota (don’t ask), Mr. Saturns reside in the appropriately-named Saturn Valley. They speak in a strange, child-like pattern, complete with a special font used only by them in the game.

Here’s a sample:

Translator needed.

Their hot springs possess rejuvenation powers. And their coffee…well, I’m pretty convinced what Ness and co. drink is laced with LSD. This video suggests likewise:

Soothing, isn’t it? Later on, the Mr. Saturns help the Chosen Four build a Mr. Saturn-shaped time machine to go back into the past, and stop the evil alien Giygas from taking over Earth.



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