personal

[Twelve] Personality, Memory, and Phosphophyllite — Land of the Lustrous

Whenever I visit my parents’ house, I tend to travel along the same paths that I did when I lived there as a teenager and twenty-something. I grab a bagel at Bagel World, a breakfast staple that I cannot find in Los Angeles. I sit on the old heating grate as the air rises up to keep warm until pins and needles shoot up from my ankles, forcing me to shift my weight into a different position. I watch softly falling snow from the same vantage point — the window of my old room that faces the streetlamp. The curtains are now an odd purple color and the bed is a full-size, meant for guests instead of one young woman.

I don’t think I’m trying to relive the past, but in traveling these same paths, how much has changed in my life is brought into sharper focus. At the same time, I can’t help but wonder when I won’t feel like my parents’ child in their house.

When will I feel like an adult?

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Stepping back into the Steins;Gate time machine

In 2009, I began watching anime as it currently aired. It wasn’t long before I was writing about it. My first year of blogging was full of horrid, weekly recaps that described what happened, maybe gave grades for music, visuals, story, etc., and moved on to the next show after perhaps doing a separate series review that was much of the same.

Steins;Gate came at the time when I was finally shedding my self-imposed, unimaginative shackles of graded episodic recaps (this is in no way meant to be a reflection of episodic blogging as a whole, only my own inadequacies) and moving towards an editorial style, even when writing weekly. I wrote about Albert Camus’ The Plague while watching vampires slowly take over an entire town in Shiki, and later framed the entirety of Star Driver through the lens of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. For Steins;Gate specifically, I contemplated Mayuri “Mayushii” Shiina’s role in the story as a catalyst for Rintarou “Hououin Kyouma” Okabe.

It wasn’t the best or most original output, but I began to play around with the craft of writing via anime blogging and rediscovered my love for it. This remains the primary reason why I still blog to this day.

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Indulging our lowbrow influences — Little Witch Academia

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When I was younger, I consumed books. Every Saturday morning was spent pouring through another story after breakfast until I was kicked outside by my parents to do yardwork. When I fell ill — this happened fairly regularly — books would pile up underneath my pillow. I slept flat, without a pillow or on my arm, because the pillow concealed books from my parents. After they checked in on me before going to bed themselves, I would turn my nightlight on, curl up, and continue reading.

To this day, I don’t sleep on a pillow. To this day, my parents still believe that I was afraid of the dark until I was well into high school.

In fifth grade, I was inspired to play the piano after seeing the Boston Symphony Orchestra play Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” A renowned, and generally well-liked work, there’s no shame in saying that “Pictures at an Exhibition” was an inspiration. It makes for a cute anecdote— one where an elusive sense of so-called good taste is implied.

There’s far more shame in saying that you were inspired to become a writer from Ann M Martin’s Baby-Sitter’s Club series, RL Stine’s Goosebumps series, or Michael Stackpole’s Rogue Squadron — the latter of which skirts fanfiction territory, inviting even more derision. Inspiration is something that’s deeply personal, regardless if your impetus for picking up writing comes from Stephenie Meyer’s twilight or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

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[Eight] Time Flies So Fast — Yuri!!! On Ice

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One of my close friends was a professional athlete. He hasn’t competed in five years and is, by all accounts, retired. I rarely see him anymore, but the few times I have visited in the past five years, there are still trappings of his career — tucked away in corners of the apartment, shoved behind his brother’s discarded motorcycle in the garage, photographs in his father’s living room.

He began when he was three, coaxed and coached by his father. He retired at 25, already older than his more successful counterparts.

Perhaps this is why, for me personally, Yuri!!! On Ice is a story about time, and has been since I first saw the series’ ending sequence — a series of instagram posts that only linger for a few seconds before scrolling down to the next.

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