Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Your presence keeps me safe.  Keeps me from feeling scared, though there is everything to be afraid of.


"What is your goal?"

I'll be honest -- life hasn't been the greatest recently, as you may or may not have noticed already.  It's not anything poignant -- just a general down cycle, punctuated by some times when things are better; not too bad; even happy and exciting.  The thing that worries me most is that looking at it from an objective standpoint I do think that it has had a pretty high correlation with when I started having to commute so far.  But then again, there were other things that also changed in my life at that time as well.

I finished the Madoka series again -- what a great show.  Surprisingly, I actually had forgotten quite some powerful moments...I guess it has been quite a while, after all (or perhaps I didn't find them as powerful the first time around?).  I debated watching all 3 movies next, but I think for the moment I'm going to skip ahead to Rebellion as there aren't =too= many significant changes in the first two films to warrant it for now.  Perhaps after that, I'll go back to the movies, and then write some general reflections in terms of my thoughts and feelings.  I realized again that I'm actually pretty bad at discussing these sorts of things with other people and I'm not sure if it's because I'm just bad at explaining myself or because I'm just afraid of putting forth my own opinions...

Hyper Light Drifter is done done!  I didn't 100% it, but I actually got more than I thought I would -- I got all 8 modules in each of the four areas, and also found all the monuments.  I didn't do all the challenges and I'm still missing some upgrade bits and one last key, but I didn't really want to bother with those as I had gotten most of the "main" stuff and explored all the areas at the very least.  Good game!

Next could be OneShot, but I'm actually more looking forward to Rakuen, so I think I might go ahead and go through that next.

Of course, I can't forget mentioning Monument Valley 2, which -- surprise! -- just got released (wow!).  I'm waiting to sit down with that one and enjoy it fully when I have the chance.  Honestly, just seeing the trailer and knowing that that game exists restored some of my hopefulness in life in general.  Perhaps I just need more art in my life?

More food experiments!  A few weeks ago I experimented with some different cuts of meat, including a top blade/flat iron steak (was ok.  I also tried out the jaccard on it, which I can't tell whether was a good or bad idea), and a lamb flank steak (!), which actually turned out quite decently -- basically a lamb version of a steak.  I might have to try cooking flank steak a little more often -- I think it's good practice to experiment with these less pricey cuts, both for variety's sake and for my wallet's sake as well.  I've heard skirt steak can be pretty great too.

Just yesterday I fired up the Anova sous vide machine and used it to sous-vide some bratwurst sausages with beer, which I then seared over the stovetop (no grill for me!  That's foreign territory still).  Served it on toasted hot dog buns, along with whole grain mustard and beer-braised sauerkraut (plus a bit of bacon).  A very wholesome meal indeed, and the sausages were definitely very juicy.  Not bad!

Something else I realized is that some of my happiest times are in the grocery store, lol!  Somehow just being by myself and skipping along while thinking of what foods to get really makes me happy.  Maybe I'm destined to be a housewife...


I was talking with my best friend the other night and I realized that one of the reasons that the blogging "audience" and social media audience in general that I find myself writing among has changed so much is not just that facebook and everything has exploded and has everyone and their mothers on it, but also that I no longer have a smaller exclusive group or community of peers that I can point to as my social media "community".  In high school it was actually a big thing to me, that me and my high school friends (and some not-yet-friends that I was able to connect with) had this online "space" where we could interact with each other.  Of course, many (but not all) of our xanga sites were public in the first place, so it's not like it was artificially restricted to just those people (and indeed that was part of the charm of it, that I could connect with people whom I only vaguely knew about), but the notion was still there.

Yet, I, along with many other people, have more or less lost that aspect of life and online presence now -- the idea of a tangible "cluster" of people.  It's not just a matter of social media changing and FB becoming...well, whatever you want to call it.  But now I have dance friends, college friends, friends from my past, friends of friends, ...

And of course I try to hedge myself in the other direction -- try to consciously retain =some= semblance of an "inner circle", but the reality is that that doesn't really exist anymore for me, not just online but in real life too.  Yes, I =do= have a collection of close friends that =I= feel comfortable sharing more details with, but those friends themselves often aren't connected to each other in the same way, let alone at all.  There's no one thing tying us all together, so of course it feels like less of a community.

Perhaps that itself is what I missed most about those days, is the feeling that it was a community of sorts.  The good news is that despite all this I'm sure those sorts of communities still exist, they're just harder to find and form.  But the herd of progress seems to be moving further and further away from it -- in the direction of scrolling tickers, feeds, reddit, tumblr, and twitch.

Meanwhile, I'll just be over here in the corner writing my snail mail...

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