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  1. flashing light warning probably
  2. godspeed you! black emperor is really good in concert, it turns out

  3. Z. was about to say something actually rather nice to Es the Rotom as she made observations about the virtues of practice (or rather, they would have if they didn’t have that mental note still lingering to yell at her for not shutting up when asked), but they were interrupted by more antics from the other side of the stream before they could. The most pressing was the Cubone, whose insults were rather tame except for the part where they thought Z. was male for some reason. Z. flinched at that thought, and the only reason they didn’t leap back into the water to give Cross the lecture/beating they deserved was Hector managing to get there first (It did mean they got to store up some good licks for the next time, though). “Yeah -” Z. said. This time, they were cut short by a powerful voice in their head, Since when does this community listen to mods? It didn’t feel like their thought, but they sure did agree with it, and they very nearly freaked out again, but stopped just short remembering how cold the water was the first time around. Like, they would, obviously, if they had to, but at least they could wait until the Cubone or anyone else dared try again. Speaking of trying again, “Yeah,” Z. said as they turned back around to head onwards into the rest of the dungeon. “Practice is hard, though. You can’t just do the thing, ‘cause if you do it wrong, even if your results are good, you’re just going to keep doing it wrong. Not ‘practice makes perfect,’ but ‘perfect needs perfect practice,’ right? “I mean, I hope they do well. It sucks to see ruined potential.” Z. paused, almost like they were done speaking, but then added, “So let’s get the hell out of here,” and walked into the misty darkness concealing whatever else the dungeon had in store for them. “It sucks to see ruined potential.” That was one of the first headers for their fic review series. It had cycled through a few throughout the years, generally in keeping with whatever their most recent entry had contained (other highlights included “Sturgeon’s Law is bunk -- it’s all garbage” and “Putting the ‘fix’ in ‘fix fic’”). That particular header was in response to “La Rose De L’Academie // The Rose of The Academy,” a crossover between two-decades-old anime that, while technically proficient (aside from a clear overuse of em-dashes), demonstrated pretty clearly that the author had no understanding of the themes of either work they were ficcing from. Z. remembered that it sprung out into a whole argument, about death of the author and the subversion of expectations, none of which was very interesting. Z.’s final message before moving on was, “Listen, you can go buy a style guide, you can memorize all the rules, do all the homework like a good little yuppie fuck, but that’s all skin. And you know what else has really good skin? Fucking red delicious apples. You know what else the red delicious is known for? Not living up to its fucking appearance.” Why did they remember that, aside from the word association? Maybe it was the lack of other memories? That because there were just vacant holes where their real life should have gone, all they had were forum experience? The last time this had happened, there was all that hubbub, but now, away from most everyone else, the reality of what they were and what they were doing started to set in. “If I stop moving, I might die like a Sharpedo,” Es had said. Maybe that was the same for Z. Further introspection was ruined by the corridor they and Es were walking/floating respectively widening out to another room, this one about as big as the one they had just escaped from. It also had water, though it encircled an area walled off on all sides save for one opening, which was simply blocked off by a door with a large keyhole. The rest of it wasn’t featureless, but none of it helped with the both literal and figurative central mystery of the room (or the ruins as a whole, for that matter). “Well, piss,” Z. said, walking up to the door and giving it a good shake. Either it was way too heavy or simply locked like the keyhole implied. Worse, though, was having to go back and tell everyone else, as even though they’d hoped their “if we’re not supposed to go this way first” speech had prepared everyone for this, they still expected an earful for just facing everyone again, and while they could deal with that, obviously, it wasn’t about to be a fun experience. “Well, unless you can ghost through that or something, I guess,” Z. said, but they started heading back all the same. They came back to the most scene of all time. Apparently, someone had had the bright idea that, instead of swimming, they should roll one of the pillars over to make a makeshift bridge, not considering that at some point enough of the pillar would be hanging over the edge that it would just tip right over. The Noibat on top certainly wasn’t doing them any favors either. Even worse, it appeared to have taken the Clobbopus with them, and he was now dangling off the front while Hector the Falinks and the rest could only watch on. “Jesus Christ, I leave you alone for like five minutes and now look what you’ve done.” There were small things they didn’t want to admit, like how the trip back was made much easier by just jumping onto the fallen pillar and avoiding the water entirely, but they still couldn’t help but chuckle at everyone’s misfortune. Z. only just managed to calm down enough to talk to the Noibat again, “Hey, scootch your butt, we’re gonna see if we can’t push this thing back down,” but getting up close to the helpless Clobbopus just opened the floodgates back up again. “How’s it hanging?” Z. cackled. “Bet you feel like a sucker, don’t you? You pull a mussel or something?”
  4. 7.5/10 especially enjoyed when the cymbals came inOP Suggestion: I'm only submitting the first song in this album; it's the only place I could find it on Youtube. That being said, the whole album is good too if you're looking. It's in that "always staying interesting" zone like Tarot Sport or a Boards of Canada song 8.5/10
  5. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7 (NIV)How many familiar and yet uncomfortable feelings was Melissa greeted with as she entered Mauvache’s chambers? The first was the overpowering scent of frankincense, something she’d experienced enough times during nativity for it to be permanently scarred into her brain. She remembered one time she wore it to school on the last day before winter break and, by the end of it, had given herself and everyone else around her a terrible headache. Thankfully, it had only been a half-day or she would have been even more mortified than normal then. The second was how casually Mauvache had ignored her apology. That one had even more recent memories to look back on. Was she supposed to repeat herself, like she had the other times? Or was this a tacit acceptance, that she was so forgiven that to even mention it again would be yet another slight? “What do you think?” she wondered to herself, hoping that Zadkiel and Sandalphon might provide some sort of recourse for dealing with this, but that led to a third sensation with those same “familiar and uncomfortable” descriptors: She was alone. Not literally, of course. Mauvache was still right there, after all. But amidst the heavy cloud of frankincense was something else -- there had to be -- and whatever that something else was, it meant she was facing one of the most important conversations of her life so far without the guidance of beings she had, in such a short time, come to rely on. Even besides the idea of constant companionship, her angels were with whom she had discussed and cataloged all her questions. She remembered most of them still since most of them had been weighing on her mind since she even found out she could make such an opportunity, but it was the principle of the thing. Even if she didn’t need to call on them, the fact that she couldn’t was still suffocating. And in the midst of all this was Mauvache’s invitation. Melissa was told to sit, and so she did. She sat in the way she did when feeling especially overwhelmed -- with her hands clutching her knees, which themselves were clamped together, trying to give herself as small a silhouette as possible. “Thank you for seeing me,” she managed. “I don’t know about the others, but something like this doesn’t really happen often, and since our last meeting got interrupted by those sharks, I’d like to know as much as I can. Last time I asked what you did to me, and I think I’ve mostly got a handle on that now, but you didn’t actually answer the question, so did you know what was going to happen, or did you choose me for some other reason?” Already, Mauvache was smiling. Well, she had been smiling before, but now she definitely was, if that made sense. “My my. Well, as bothersome as it may be I must answer with another question. What reasons do you think there may be?” “Um,” Melissa said. Her momentum had been thrown almost immediately, and she shrunk down even further. “I guess back home there’s a weird category of statistics called ‘intangibles,’ like, sometimes a duelist just always seems to draw the right card at the right time, and while it’s definitely just luck, because it’s data you can analyze and start to plan for it. So my guess would be you think I have intangibles. It’s either that or you thought you could tear off a piece of ADMIN with you, and there are a lot of reasons I don’t want to think about that.” She chuckled, eyes not leaving Melissa for a moment, expression, from what she could see, not changing. “Well, I suppose intangible is a good word for it. But you certainly have something about you that I believed would be of great help.” “Is ADMIN okay, then, without whatever functions Zadkiel and Sandalphon were providing? Are everyone else’s worlds okay in their absence?” “Now that is certainly an interesting question,” Mauvache said. “One with some rather… complicated answers. I suppose to make it simple, it would be right to say the world likely will barely miss their absence.” “Okay,” Melissa said. It didn’t actually make anything simpler, but also Melissa got the sense that she wasn’t going to get anywhere trying to push the issue, and she had bigger things to move on to. “I mean, I’m not sure I can say the same the other way around. There are a few things I don’t think can be replaced even in a place such as this…” Almost instinctively, she brought her hand up past her heart -- pausing there for just a moment -- and up to her crucifix necklace. “My faith, for example, is important to me. Not many people here seem to recognize it, and I get the sense the ones that do were summoned just like me. I met someone who tried to compare it to a great dragon. Is that the dominant religion here then?” For a moment, so brief that Melissa very nearly didn’t notice it, Mauvache’s eyes flashed something fierce, but when she blinked and leaned back, the change was gone. “Why, yes, the Great Dragon, who saved a war-torn world from… tearing itself apart. Though He may be gone, He still is honored, and He looks after the people here.” “I see. So I assume you’re sympathetic to my need for specific sacraments to be performed regularly then? I mean, I’ve accepted that I probably won’t get to mass anytime soon, but additional, smaller ceremonies besides that, I mean.” Mauvache raised an eyebrow. “And what would that entail?” she said. “What would you need, from me, for such a thing?” Melissa perked up. This, at least, she could respond to easily. “Well, there are seven sacraments in Catholocism -- that’s the sect that I follow. Most of them I don’t need to worry about because they only happen once and I’ve either done them already or not anticipating needing them any time soon. I’ve already been baptized and confirmed, I’m not nearly ready to receive holy orders or get married just yet so that just leaves three: the Eucharist, Penance, and, should I start dying while I’m here, Anointing the Sick. All of them need someone else to perform them, and all of them have a whole ceremony that they’d need to know.” “Ah, and we've come to the crux of the matter,” Mauvache said. “I’m not sure we have anyone who could be considered a priest in your world here.” “You’re right, and I don’t think there’s anyone to ordain them here even if someone was willing,” Melissa said. “But they can still be done with some validity with just laypeople. I’ll just have to remember to run to Father Gregory as soon as I can should I get the chance to go back home.” “Ah, Gregory, what a coincidental name,” Mauvache muttered. Then, to Melissa, she said, “I’m sure that you could find some willing of those who come from worlds… similar to your own. Though I’m unsure I should be the one to ask.” “I met Salvo,” Melissa said, affirming the first part of Mauvache’s statement. The second half, though, she dodged with “I can at least type up the steps to the ceremonies if you want to at least look at them.” That smile was back. “You don't have to worry, I can… find the information just fine. After all, I had to look into many worlds in the first place.” “Okay,” Melissa said. “Speaking of Salvo, she seems like the type to get a lot of attention and…” She immediately wilted. “I’ve started to notice a lot of attention my way from other people as well. I got a lot of stares as I made my way into the arena. Is that something that’s just going to happen? Does that happen to everyone you’ve called here?” That smile was even wider. “Well, it may not be the same as one of my Arena fighters but you all are in some way famous.” The answer struck Melissa right in the gut. Which was weird given her current, odd ambition of participation in Blue Yonder’s entertainment club, not to mention her current fame for, you know, being instrumental in saving the school that one time. In fairness, this time was a little bit different. This time it was at the whim of someone else. Of course she would help. She had the ability to, after all, and no reason not to. But it was still something to think about, what exactly the reward was. “How long do you expect us to be here, anyway? When exactly is the job done?” “Well, that's not entirely up to me. After all, I'm still finding where this began.” Melissa nodded, sighed, and stood up from her chair. “Alright,” she said. “Thank you for being so accommodating in the meantime. I had other questions- well, the angels had other questions, but we’ll have to find some other way to get those to you. I might just come back a different day so we can try again,” she said. “Right now, I guess I should probably get home before someone does something stupid with that Slakoth that just showed up today.”
  6. No Glory In The West Joy met the two watchdogs as they came back out of the Swallow Tail the following morning. She still wore her trademark smile, though it was different in a few key ways. The first was that the smile had a raggedness to it. She hadn’t slept well at all the previous night; as soon as her commune with Laeta ended she had snapped right awake and never was able to resume her slumber. She’d spent half the night interpreting her vision and, once she finally had, spent the other half trying to decide what to do about it. There was a glint of righteousness in her eye that wasn’t there before too, or, at least, had only been there during the ceremony. That was what making the decision she had had done to her. She was determined, now. Each and every step felt meaningful. Lastly, and perhaps this particular feature of Joy’s appearance superseded all that other minutiae: she was glowing, not just as a particularly superlative adjective for her appearance -- that was part of the “staying up all night trying to decide” was for, even if it was just a small bit -- but literally. All onlookers saw her form backlit by a powerful light, strong enough to always keep her shadow facing them, though never strong enough to blind anyone. Some dared ask her about it as she’d made her way down Andalou’s cobblestone streets to the docks, and while they did find her as agreeable as ever, she did still dodge the question. Many others decided it was best to simply avoid the watchdog, or smile, nod, and move on at most. This is what Joy said to the watchdogs: She said, “Well, let’s stop beating around the bush, then, shall we? Are you here to kill me? If you are, I would at least like to request the arena. There’s a garden on the opposite edge of the island, on the outskirts of the castle grounds. If we hurry, we can still get a glimpse of the nighttime sky as gives way to the day. “And if you’re not, you need to either tell me why it is that you are here or turn around and get off of my island.” OOC
  7. 82e.png

    I'm going to be away from my computer all day tomorrow so you get the blag early this week

    merry maymas eve watch a christmas movie why don't you

    or just read about it

     

  8. ←Previous Post -- Next Post→ Movie Three -- Tokyo Godfathers Or: Everything Is A Coincidence, There Are No Coincidences Content Warning: One of the three main characters, Hana, is a trans woman, and while it’s super cool and she’s super cool, there’s also a lot of misgendering. This is particularly prevalent in the subtitles of languages where pronouns are more gendered, like, for example, English. This is very much a “depending on the translator, and most translators are wrong” sort of thing. I understand when this movie was on Netflix many insults became outright f-slurs. Make no mistake, there are actual moments of characters expressing transphobia, but yeah, also keep an eye out for that. The movie also features a suicidal woman overcome with grief after a miscarriage, a dialog description of domestic abuse, and, in the scene where Miyuki and Gin are fighting in the trash heap, a brief instance of sexual assault. I’d say this is a “love it or hate it” sort of movie, but that’s not really true. There’s basically one sort of person who hates this movie (that is, one sort of person I’m going to talk about here, dismissing the rest off-hand like the flippant amateur movie critic that I am), and that’s the person that sees this movie as nothing but a string of coincidences. In defense of this strawman argument, it is right. Very few actions in this movie are brought upon by a principal character making a decision -- the biggest one I can think of off the top of my head is Hana insisting that they keep the baby Kiyoko in the first place -- and if your reaction to the events of the ending is anywhere near “Come on!” then it’s entirely likely the other eighty minutes of movie were equally interminable. It is, however, not the point of the movie. Instead, by loosely stringing together a series of vignettes, Tokyo Godfathers starts to ask questions about family and the redemption (and, because the events hardly matter and the character motivations do, light spoilers ahead!). The first is rather obvious. Hana, Gin, and Miyuki are basically a family of homeless people, with the former two being like an old married couple and the latter the child they’ve been raising for the past six months. At the same time, of course, each of them has a family they’ve left behind for their own reasons. The question is asked: Which of their families is the real one? I’ll answer this, but first, let’s talk about the other theme. The reason these three are left wandering the streets of Tokyo is because of their past, which they find irredeemable. Gin left his wife and child in financial ruin, having racked up drinking and gambling debts. Hana and Miyuki both assaulted someone. But the feeling of irredemption is entirely one-sided. This is something introduced incredibly early on -- Miyuki and her father cross paths and never once is he enraged at the sight of her, instead desperately trying to get her attention -- and continues even after all three of the protagonists have started to get their acts together when Sachiko is introduced as well. Part of this plays into the setting; I called this a Christmas movie last week, and I meant it. The story starts with a Christmas Eve mass. “1225” is an arc number, for crying out loud, appearing basically any time there’s a number important to the plot. This redemption does not come without work, of course. In one of the many times this movie states its thesis out loud with a character looking into the lens is in the hospital, where a doctor tells Gin, “All anyone can do is their best.” Now, there are a couple of different interpretations of this line. Perhaps the most obvious is a discussion of karma, the classic “What goes around comes around,” but that feels a bit lacking. Instead, I lean towards a more personal affirmation; by “doing one's best” no matter the consequences, one can continue onwards with their head held high. It doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the movie, but only at a first glance. The trick is to view the character actions and the events of the movie as wholly separate, only occasionally overlapping (and really only near the end). Remember, that’s what we were doing anyway since the whole movie is one coincidental encounter after another. Even then, each character slowly learns to do the best they can. It takes some doing. Gin struggles with his alcoholism, Hana’s desire to be a mother kickstarts the whole plot, and Miyuki frequently stops herself short, but it’s there all the same. And now we circle back to that first theme, that of a family of blood compared to the family you choose, and which one is more valid than the other. It’s tempting to say that it’s the former. After all, the whole movie was about returning Kiyoko to her rightful parents, and each of the protagonists has made up with their family. But there are three pretty big cracks in that armor, and all of them are rather obvious once they become apparent. The first is that Hana, Gin, and Miyuki still end the movie together, despite making up with their respective other families. The second is that Hana’s “traditional” family doesn’t exist; she was abandoned by her mother and her husband is dead. The last one, though, is that by the end of the movie, all three are indeed related through Kiyoko. By the end of the movie, they’re asked to become Kiyoko’s godparents. In this way, it’s an odd subversion of both “A person always belongs with who birthed them,” and “your family is yours to create.” Neither are invalidated by the movie’s conclusion, which is simply a heartfelt, “Whatever a family is to you, you need one. Your family is whoever is always there for you.” And that’s a nice Christmastime message, I think. Even if I’m posting this in April. -r Next time: Imagine Inception but, like, good ←Previous Post -- Next Post→
  9. sometimes king gizzard's new album sounds like their standard prog rock stuff and sometimes they dabble into other genres like this
  10. you can't tell me what to do 8/10 memes 6/10 song 7/10 not a bad earwormOP Suggestion: Part nine-minute electronic exploration of sound, part ramble about the nature of the beginning of the universe that changes things up just enough to stay interesting 7.5/10
  11. I'm a sucker for big band aesthetic 8.5/10OP Suggestion: did you know gotye has more than one song? Wild. This one kind of slaps and doesn't sound like what they're known for at all. 8/10
  12. It took longer than Z. expected to cross the stream, but, in fairness, the dog paddle (Zorua paddle?) wasn’t the most efficient stroke in the first place, better for minimizing noise and keeping one’s head above the water than speed. It turned out fortuitously, though, as both of those factors allowed Z. to at least listen to what was going on behind them, attaching names to voices even if they couldn’t see who said what, hearing everyone’s updates on the scant little information they knew, and actually getting a little amused at hearing Appletun -- or Chester or whatever he called himself -- waddling after Z. enraged that they might try and actually do something. “Wonderful,” Z. grunted as they paddled onwards, giving little heed to Chester’s actual orders. “Our hard-working mods are here to save the day.” When they reached the other side, they took a breather and added, “Well, ’mod’ singular, I guess. One of you is just an ex-mod. Really, you’re both ex-mods now that we’re here, now that I think about it. So that’s even more of a reason not to listen to you.” Z. pulled themselves back up out of the water, shook themselves dry (it really did feel like an uncannily natural thing to do), and turned back around. There were more of them gathered over by the now-opposite shore than they expected if they were being honest with themselves. It made sense, of course -- nobody had suggested anything better -- but still. And yet, suddenly, as more and more started to gather up again, hesitation started to ripple through the crowd. “Definitely shouldn’t go in the cave by yourself,” the Noibat had said. Cross the Cubone was unsure following the stream was even the right way to go. The worst, though, was Hector, who, even after saying Z. was in the right, still argued that they were wrong. “I suggest taking the path of least resistance,” he said. “I don’t want to risk swimming. “Any objections?” “Yeah,” Z. said. “A couple, actually. First of all, I’m already over here, so your ‘path of least resistance’ shit can go do exactly what shit does as far as I’m concerned. I already said I wasn’t turning around, too, so that’s double the reason. Second, I mean, I count at least two of you over there who it doesn’t matter which way you end up going -- not like a Rotom or a Noibat’s gonna have to swim. Honestly, it really just sounds like a you problem. “But that’s just set dressing. Accoutrements, if you will. My biggest complaint is that this water’s the only clue we’ve got, and it’s pointing this way. This ruin we’re trapped in… If the spring was made this way, I figure it was with a purpose, and it’ll flow out of here. If not, if it’s just a spring that welled up afterwards, I mean, the water’s gotta go somewhere. Even an idiot could figure that out. “So yeah, if this sends me and whoever decides to come with the wrong way, sucks, but then at least we’ll know. Knowledge is what we’re short on right now, and it’s not like we can get any more lost than we already are.” Z. turned back around and faced the unknown passage out of the cavernous ruin, but one final thought struck them and they looked back over their shoulder. “And the ‘don’t go alone’ thing, that’s for you to solve. You don’t want me by myself? Better learn how to swim.”
  13. as a movie, The Northman is fine, like, if you liked Robert Eggers' other stuff (The VVitch and The Lighthouse) and wanted to see that but as a historical epic, you'll like this

    but also coming out of the theater all i could think was "i kinda just want to watch The Green Knight again"

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