First and foremost, I'm not working. I'm not obligated to do anything, and I don't really care if it makes me a bad person. That aside, you can do both.
If there's anything about a survival choice, I'm doing both. I'm telling them what I'm noticing and what it means as it's happening. But I'm not giving up either. As a healthcare provider, I take care of people in every way I can. In this moment, the child is a lost patient, but the distress and crisis the parents are in are something I can do something about. Telling them to calm down obviously won't do much, but if they see me do everything I can possibly do, the outcome will be easier to cope with later.
Besides the 'could've kept trying' that might come after the fact, sometimes miracles happen, and until I've exhausted all my options I wouldn't be able to say I've done my best. No one in healthcare should be there if they don't want to try their best; even though I started with that bit about being off duty, you don't half ass it. Do or don't.
I don't spare them the truth. It makes me look like a bad, incompetent nurse, which I am not. It does nothing to spare them the hour. They have lost their child, and that's permanent. One hour won't make a difference. And I'm an excellent nurse.
I don't stop trying. I'd do everything physically possible to try. You never know. If it were me or my child, I'd want to see someone do the absolute most to get them breathing again, whether that's all for nought or not. It's the thought that counts?
If you do all you can, there isn't anything to regret. There's nothing to regret, there was nothing else to do.
My question now is, what the hell is my spouse doing?
Who is this bitch? "How's your mom?" Oh, I remembered. "Is she still as useless as she was when it came to making you?" He laughed at himself because, well, no one else was gonna.
"I own this place. I refuse service. Get out." His fake smile melted into a pout.
"You don't have to be so cold and lifeless like your dad." He's as lame as ever, hanging onto his peak at high school prom. It's more like a cliff with a very immediate drop and he's still hanging onto it by a finger, tch.
"Has it fallen off yet or are you still sticking it into everything that moves hoping it'll get eaten one of these lucky days?"Don't get me wrong. I never had the intention to deescalate.
"Quite chipper aren't you? Considering how bad business has gotten since you decided you're too good to work for your family. How's my city treating traitorous shit like you and your bitches?" He kicked a chair into its matching table, as if it wasn't already pushed in properly.
"My girlfriends? Don't be afraid to use the word just because you can't have any yourself. We're doing fine. They make lots of money entertaining, drugging, and stealing from your boys. Thanks to the pinch you put us in, we're been able to focus solely on robbing your shit blind all the time." I threw a glass of water at him. Cup and all.
"You say that but you haven't killed any of them. As if you could do all that and not nab a few." He pulled out his sticky little revolver from the front of his pants.
"Not even a proper holder or even a pocket. You just tuck it between your legs and grip it so it stays. What, do you spread your legs to-" He let off two rounds.
"I'm not into that, but your mom is."
"You talk a lot about her for someone who used her and threw her away like she didn't give you everything meaningful youve ever had in life." Luckily, he aimed his bullets in my precious flooring. Downstairs neighbors are fine if they're quiet.
"And without me, what does she have that's worth anything. A sellout gay son who can't run a coffehouse and a dumbass daughter who'll be a mom before she's twenty?" Not there.
"Not Vero." I warned and pulled my iron out. Ready.
"And what are you gonna do about it?" he asked me. "Fucking nothing."
And I nodded and said, "Yeah, nothing." And that's what happened. I did nothing, and a whole lot of it.
I did a lot of nothing to his kneecaps, nothing to his shoulders. I reloaded and did nothing to his foot that he used to stomp my mother's head into the ground and break my sister's ribs. I did nothing to his wrist that he hit me with every wednesday while I was in school. I did nothing to his greasy, fat fingers that pilfered bills and pills every time he grazed them. I did nothing, a whole lot of nothing, so what happened? Nothing :)
Pentagon, Hexagon, Pentagon, Pentagon
Four minutes in and I knew I had made a colossal mistake. Formation C, formation C, we rehearsed it over and over and over again, and I still second-guessed her and now we're screwed! It's all my fault and she'll never play again with the way that bone is almost piercing her skin there, fuck! The one rule was no using our voices while the time's running, so coordinating our plays and remembering to stick to the mf plan was critical, and I know her role is to freestyle it and use us, but I didn't think she'd fake me out and break her spine. Dammit, if only she didn't scream when she fell, then at least the rest of the team would have survived to the next round.
What's an engineered sound? Something that's been processed through a machine or edited heavily or is produced as the result of careful orchestration (source: me). Every sound I thought of (that was sfw) was a sound effect from an on-screen something that I watched with either really good headphones or Bose speakers on either side of me. Just to spit it out, these were them:
-Benimaru Shinmon's Crimson Moon
-The lion roars in Disney movies (look up the process, it's so cool)
-Shinra Kusakabe's little electro glitch sound whenever he blasts off and weaves
-"Ban~KAI" (see the theme)
-The close up and magnified crackling sounds of a fire burning in movies n stuff
In particular, Crimson Moon is elite. The electronic, bassy, spacious, resonant sound that feels much larger than it is is not only perfect for its corresponding visual and rightfully touted as one of the best FX in anime, but it also takes silence as the perfect accent to an absolutely peak fight climax in such a hurried and chaotic fight sequence. It hits all the marks for purpose, execution, style, compliment, and creativity. Okay, that aside
The thing I love about sounds like that is how effortful it really is to get it sound like that, to get it to sound just right and just natural enough in whatever it appears in. I never think of all the effort that goes into finding, tuning, and reproducing the sounds I hear, but foley art is so fascinating and frankly, very fun. It's comical when you see it happening, and completely undetected otherwise. It flies so low under the radar that you know it, but you don't really know it, know it. yk?
I watch a lot of cartoons. Voice acting is one thing, but the orchestration for such simple FX like a door opening or a leaf crunching is disproportionately misleading. It's so much fun to watch a grown man growl into a metal trash bin to make the sound of a lion roar, or watch entire heads of lettuce get obliterated to make the sound of walking through grass.
Obviously I'm not actively thinking about these ridiculous things when I'm immersed in my escapist hobby of watching stuff on a TV, but it's so fun to think about and giggle at. So much work goes into the silliest sounds sometimes that I'd rather hear the machined art than organic, more natural sounds like animal sounds, aesthetic asmr, and things that evoke peace. I want problems, I want chaos, I want to hear what the future feels like. Engineered sounds are the best
Despite its name, it's actually really crispy.
Not just on the outside, but it's crisp all the way through,
with little crystals and star bubbles dotted in the middle.
It's not gritty like cinderblocks, asphalt, and popcorn ceilings,
but it's gritty like old car oil, expired gummy vitamins,
and that delicious crap they plaster on sandwich crackers.
Whatever vellum paper is to washi tape,
and how glass is the dopest liquid after liquid nitrogen,
barg is like going from book-to-sceen.
The first time you wrote with a gel pen after only ever knowing ballpoint,
that bargy feeling of 'woah. this is a good pen'
but then after some time, writing with a gel pen that wasn't a Pilot G2, that feeling of
'hmm.. the G2 is better' is barg vibes, all the way.
Whatever the hell VSCO is to pastel brights,
or what emo was (...is?) to eyeliner,
barg and barg tones are to cooking excellent carrots and undiagnosed genius.
Science to grapes, English to blueberries, Math to strawberries, if you will.
Barg goes really well with wine and fabric softener (although I do HATE wines)
and I'm pretty sure the only place I've seen it was on someone's shoulder.
Somewhere between the fuzzy fibers of a new wool scarf, barely melted frost,
and that little tinge of sunrise coming through polluted city air,
it's only happened twice, but I know barg when I see it.
Just don't wear it to weddings.
*ADVISORY* explicit content *ADVISORY*
Everybody up in this bitch needs to watch Cube (1997).
Fucking everybody needs to see Cube.
HUMANS LIKE SQUARES. Cube
Ugh, fine. logistics. The room is a cube. There’s six doors that could connect this cube to
another cube! ...
In this connected system of cubes, there are a group of people who find each other and have to figure out a way to escape the god damn cube, or e l s e.
Or else death, by a number of voluntary and involuntary methods, namely the traps rigged in the rooms, starvation, dehydration, infection, suffocation, sewer slide, etc. etc.
Awakening in a mysterious cube room with no personal belongings, no memory of how they got there, and rare bits and pieces of their past and identity, a group of strangers find themselves in a maze, or a puzzle, or some shit, and discover that they need each other’s help to figure out the maze’s exit. As people meet their true selves and are faced with wonderful obstacles and clues, they meet their untimely demise one by one in their attempts to escape the place that has no business existing at all.
If you don’t like blood, you won’t like it :/ If you don’t like violence, aggressiveness, big brain moments, mystery plots, numbers (heavy on the numbers), idiots in groups, jumper suits, or if you’re so empathetic you can feel claustrophobic from seeing a closed space on a flat screen, then watch this with an adult :/ As they make their way around the puzzle cube, they learn from their mistakes and learn some distasteful things about each other. Whether the cube or a friend kills them first, I’ll never tell >:[ (I can be convinced)
Cube is a psychological thriller, it’s definitely at least half a mystery, and the whole thing is suspenseful from start to finish. The other movies in the franchise are also worth the time, especially the prequel to this one. The visual storytelling is pretty impressive, considering the setting for the room has to remain largely unchanged, and the characters are designed in a way that makes sense for something of a oneshot. Every installment in the series follows a different set of characters, new batches to the Cube, and the updates given to the cube are pretty sharp. For the worst movie being the latest one, the mystery of the cube, how it works, and how it was created is a fun idea. I rewatch this movie every now and then because there’s something repeatable about the way this mystery unfolds. Usually when the magician reveals the secret, the trick is null from that point, but watching this story develop from a simple cube doesn’t get old for me.
It’s hard to talk about a mystery without spoiling it really, so this is the warning.
The first death in the movie happens a short time after we discover that one of these old hoots is an infamous escape criminal, well known enough that a random other stranger-who-may-or-may-not-have-a-thing-with-the-law recognizes them by name. For a veteran of this type of gameplay to be the first to fall victim to it really sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Picking up his tricks up to that point with the boot scouts, the button trick, and the general idea to keep moving, the rest of the group forms a pretty good algorithm for picking safe rooms.
Until it doesn’t work anymore, someone gets unalived or injured, they revise the plan, reflect on the errors, and repeat until the terror of being trapped and doomed forever leads to some conflict in the group. Having the main macho guy be the typical aggressive and selfish type is pretty lukewarm for the genre, a classic trope that could use a good update, but his the scene where he let’s go of the makeshift rope just on a whim, and his comeback right at the finishing scene really redeems his role there (functionally, I mean. He’s still a bitch). I just don’t appreciate that he had to be a convict (he could’ve been a politician or a suit or something nastier)
The plot twist for me when I first watched it was the reveal of the prime numbers and the human calculator. I hate the trope because it relies on a stereotype around disabled people, but the moment he came in clutch with the speedy numbers really seemed to turn the tides (I watched it when I was 11, hear me). I realize that there’s probably some metaphor about being nice, taking care of others, and it’ll benefit you or something, but his whole role really was just being babysat until you asked him for prime factorizations. In this movie, it falls short, but after finishing the series, I appreciate this character more.
The main girl shoulders a big chunk of the forward progression because ~numbers~ but her sense of reading the room and keeping tabs on people and their state is notable too. I would argue that she was really leading the group rather than the big guy who was quick to give people orders.
The doctor lady was an interesting character addition, and I didn't really sense her purpose in the film until the drop towards the end. Functionally, she did her job, but I wasn't really expecting fully fleshed out characters for this genre and set up anyway. Still, her and the Wren played complimentary roles and were some pretty good bookends for where the journey part of the mystery starts and ends. After her drop, there's very little mystery left to uncover, but it becomes a race at that point. After some more escalating, the climax of the whole story comes pretty quickly, and the end leaves a good checkpoint for the story line.
The mystery of the cube continues after Cube, but it's pretty solid by itself. Did it leave me wanting more? yes because... because cubes
But was it like leaving off on a cliff hanger and rushing to the internet to sate it? no.
You get closure, but it's pretty clear there was room for expansion. It's one of those movies that burns steadily, so pay attention, but you don't really miss anything by going on your phone until the halfway mark, really.
So again, watch Cube.
Humans like squares.
my first art was photography
There's only four years of my life I didn't play music, but before I pressed my first key on the ornamental organ decorating, cluttering my childhood home, I was a photographer.
My dad was one, his parents were professionals, so many of his 'back in my day' blurbs were about working events and developing prints between chores. He showed me pictures and how to pose before I could hold my head up myself (My mom was the stylist ofc). I remember watching him transition into digital, into Canon, and then into Nikon and editing as I grew up. (Early 2000s: filter overload)
Even when he taught me from books and from scratch, even when I stole his cameras on school trips (only twice- both in senior year), even against his and his parents' lifetime of experience, the generations of us and photographs are taunted by the fucking sun.
Decades. Literally decades. Decades and all the years of accumulated opportunities and equipment, not a single one of us had sunset pictures to be proud of. We have a slew of ones that are close, but a good sunset shot just slips away in the hundreth of a second, through that tiny little hole in the lens. Settings after settings, dusk after dusk, we just don't compete with her anymore. There'll always be something unattainable in your passion, and for us, it's sunset pictures (at least on my dad's side).
But when I have kids, if I dare have kids, I won't tell them this until they're adults; or until they're fucking got it. They won't know how elusive the sun is, they'll just one day scroll through their dslr roll and show me magnificent rainbow pictures of the star herself, and me and grandpa will just casually share that look n smile with a twitch in our eye.
Sunsets are difficult to capture because their beauty
surpasses the perceivable spectrum of a camera.
Their beauty is far too organic and original to be
captured by a machine-made copy pasted onto a conveyor belt.
A dynamic color precession begins with yellow and ends with dusk
while the black box starts black and ends black.
Sunsets play with color and allow the clouds
to paintbrush rays of light into free-flowing necklaces of pure energy.
The rectangle cage baits colors it wants with White Light, and in a flash, colors are
trapped, locked into position,
Frozen in the cold, hard, metal, dark, black box.
According to color theory, orange and blue are complementary colors. By definition, the combination of orange and blue blend into a dark, muddy brown.
Only a sunset could blend fiery orange and
sky blue into a beautiful scene
worth a shot.
And that's what I'll tell them, eventually. After all, I'm a writer too.
The Depths of
If I went through that ritual with the boy who saved my life when we were seven years old, before we even knew each others' names or the concept of retirement, if I refused to let him go when we were 14 and 15, I would be somewhere in a tall library on the edge of a Russian college town with my laptop plugged into the outlet nearest to the back wall watching anime episodes of some gay, one-season romance and skimming lines in the corresponding manga chapter. I would be wearing glasses from years of proofreading his school reports and presentation scripts on a screen or in moving vehicles (the last minute bitch). I would have moved out of my parent's house by the time I was eighteen and established a dual citizenship so I could travel freely between my hometown and the place he and I wanted to live out our childhood spy dreams (we romanticized spies and snowy Russia beyond reason by the time we were ten).
I was always going to go to college, thankfully. If I'd married my first love, I would have done it in another country, learning one or two new languages, freezing my ass off instead of chilling at my local university. (His school scouted and bribed him to commit) I wouldn't have written all the angsty, pining, longing crap that became the basis of my craft (my first love really was love). I wouldn't have made pretentious prose such a big part of my professional brand. My personality might not be so dependent on snark and wit and tact. I wouldn't have the people around me right now, and I wouldn't have believed exes can absolutely still be friends.
Then again, would I have been able to get into a school like his? Would I have been able to keep up with the standards of another country completely foreign to me? Would I have made better art, stretched my reach further, met even better people? Would I have made my parents any prouder? Would I have such priceless friendships or my ego that I prize so much? I guess we'll never know.
I know I wouldn't have the partnership I have now, whether that be for better or worse. If I'd married my first love, romance would be so much easier than it is right now. I wouldn't worry about money or safety or life ever getting boring. I wouldn't be stressing the small stuff and I'd be focused on making the big moves I used to fantasize about when I was twelve. I'd be at my peak athleticism, still climbing, and I'd never look back farther than arms reach. I'd be an artist in different forms instead of trying to force my way into science where I don't naturally belong. I'd be cooking my meals every day and trying out new recipes all the time. I'd still be playing piano. I'd still be playing piano.
And I would have missed so many hard lessons I'd eventually learn later when the consequences are harsher. I'd never be utterly lost and disoriented. I'd never feel lonely or alone, and I would be weaker, in every sense of the word.
That's where I would be. A genius living their best life with another genius living their best life in a place where the best lives are allowed to stay the best for as long as they're pushed forward. I would be cruising, truly, never worrying about the common things.
And that's no way to live a life. I think.
Regardless, even if that's where I would be, I have no idea where he would have gone if I'd went with him. Who knows how high he would jump if he wasn't alone? I want the best for my best friend, and growing, learning, trying- those are the weaknesses he overcame by taking the left where I went right. And after all, we are still best friends. We still love each other very much, undoubtedly. I like to think I'd be high in the clouds if we'd married each other, but we can always meet there. We'll arrive when we arrive. We earn that place, not just reach it.
Know it’s not the Game
First thing's first: Clarify your goal. Decide what you ideally want to happen. For me, understanding is usually my goal, and that makes it easier to figure out what's wrong together. Other times, my goal is clarify why something is the way it is- whether it's feelings or actions or rules. Some things aren't up for discussion, and making those hard lines clear can be really important. Whatever it is, decide what you want to accomplish and what progress would mean.
Second, if you think you're friend is annoyed over a game, you're thinking in the wrong place. If it's truly over 'small things' it wouldn't be so hard to confront or talk about.
Ask yourself questions. Are they right? Are they being mean, unreasonable, rude? Are they doing it on purpose? Are they starting something or reacting to something? What about it is hurting or bothering me? And most importantly: where is it coming from? A big part of solving problems with other people is understanding what you're doing and feeling, so it's easier to tell people and talk about. The more prepared you come to the confrontation, the easier communicating and understanding each other will be.
Sometimes when it's about 'small things' it's a bunch of small stuff they dismissed and let slide. When you ask, make it clear you're listening. You're asking because you want to know something you don't know. You're not asking rhetorical questions (at least you shouldn't be ._.) and you're not trying to make them say something they don't mean. Be clear that your intentions are to resolve whatever conflict is there.
Appreciate what they tell you, whether you wanted to hear it or not. Always thank them for what they're willing to share. What you do with that information is all up to you. Communicate as gently as you can, and ask yourself how you can reach that goal you set at the beginning with the information you have now.
Take your time. Fixing and changing things always takes time. You're learning. Your friendships should always be worth the trouble
In one Word
I used to use "undefined" to answer this question all the time because it just meant adaptable, versatile, free, unbounded, with endless potential in every direction. So edgy and profound, I guess, but it's cheap novelty to answer the question with the opposite of itself.
I think today the word is "hungry."
I don't feel like anyone or anything in particular, but even if I was floating in the middle of an electron cloud with nothing else to do but float, If I was still me, I'd be hungry for something. I'd stay hungry and yearning for something I can't identify, like an itch you can't find. Sometimes it's hungry for attention, hungry for affection, hungry for power, success, meaningful interactions. The hungry can't be sated, only bypassed by replacing it with hunger for something else. But right now I'm hungry for salmon rice balls and the thrill of cracking glowsticks. We'll see what tomorrow's like