May 9, 2013

What I Like

There are a few things that I like for no other reason than the fact that I actually like them. Sure, maybe someone introduced it to me, but I didn't start liking it because they liked it too. I'm not sure yet if this distinction is important because who isn't influenced by their friends and lovers? Sometimes though, I feel like I lose sight of who I am and that I'm just a shell of a person that's been stuffed with things that other people like and have soaked up their excitement to the point where I'm bloated and only sort of enjoy the food that I'm constantly sampling.

So here's an attempt at trying to distill only the things that I'm sure I like, solely because they're meaningful to me, or they make me happy.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Ever since I saw a graduate production of this play my freshman year at UW, I have been in love with it. Initially because of the hilarious first bit, but now also for the way it presents existentialism and nihilism, both of which are things that I've struggled to comprehend and understand in relation to how I feel about my own life and its place in the world.

Fight Club
I saw this movie for the first time in the theaters knowing next to nothing about it. I've re-watched it several times throughout the years and every time it's inspiring and reckless and freeing. I used to be much more violent and volatile growing up and sometimes I miss that physicality. I'm still reckless and stubborn. Sometimes I have the overwhelming feeling of purposefully not giving a shit and wanting to see it all burn to the ground.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
I've read this book several times and always makes me laugh. Similarly in this vein, Good Omens.

Hip Hop
I like feeling like a badass while I do it and related to this, dancing in general.

Ping Pong
My dad and I used to go across the street to our neighbor's garage and play ping pong at night. It's been a really long time since I've played it competitively against someone. Zach and I played while we were in Antigua and it made me miss the intense bouts and being actually good at it.

Making this list makes me wonder if I have a broad category of thing that is my forte. I guess I generally like point-and-click games and puzzle games. I like knitting. I will read just about anything. Does "Going to new and weird things" count as a thing in itself?

Still, a large portion of the things I do are only partially because I like them/are interested in them, but mainly so that I can connect with people and have something to discuss with them. I'm trying to keep tabs on the ratio, but hanging out and doing stuff with people is a big part of my life (when I'm not being all "I hate people"). The only problem is that with the large number of people I know, they all have a wide variety of interests and hobbies and I can't hope to keep up to date on all of them, much less get good at them. And anything that I'm not pretty good at generally loses a magnitude of fun and interest for me.

So, I'm toying with the idea of picking one thing a month or so and spending time boning up on it and having it be a focus. Topics would include story games, sci-fi/fantasy novels, game design/development, cigars, whiskey, blues dancing, beer, cooking, anime, specific video games (TF2, SC2), coffee, steampunk, punk, goth, the pin-up/suicide girls style, tattoos, leather, bootblacking, noir films, Mad Max apocalypse style, specific nerdy subcultures (Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Dr. Who), Magic: The Gathering, Pathfinder, and D&D, specifically DMing.

That's at least two years worth of research topics, most of which I know something about, but would by no means consider myself an expert. Is there really anything that I would consider myself an expert on? I suppose maybe knowing events that are going on around the city, coming up with an outfit, places to eat, and making a presentation or document better. I wanted to put in there something about people, like knowing who is good people or flirting my way into people's pants...but neither of those things are especially teachable. Not reliably anyway.

And Tonight the Night Rules Us
"Catch it! Catch it!"
The crush of bodies made breathing almost impossible but she held out her hand and willed the spiked ball to fall into it. She got her wish. It impacted and shattered into blue wisps which floated up in front of her eyes and faded into her coinage. Immediately the pressure was gone and she took a deep, victorious breath.

Ignoring the jealous stares, she squeezed into the minicar that materialized, allowing herself a small smile. She would eat well tonight. The minicar sank back into the ground and entered the vast underground tunnels that honeycombed the Earth, the magnitude of which constantly took her breath away.

She closed her eyes and resisted the constant urge to check her social networks, knowing that her rank was blowing up and that the requests for bumps would soon follow. Instead, she called up a quick meditation app and selected the japanese garden 5 minute exercise. As she followed the instructions, picking up fragments of the lyrical Japanese that could be barely heard under the voiceover English, she felt her mind sharpen. Nothing like a nice quick defrag to calm her nerves.

All too soon the minicar glided to a stop. She popped out and entered the maze, her clothing changed to bright yellow as soon as she crossed the threshold. Giant balls of delicious flavored rice hovered in front of her face and she ran through the hallways, eating as much as she could and savoring the fresh fruit. But nothing could match the thrill of hunting down those who pursued her and consuming their flesh. Her eyes glittered in the darkness, jaws constantly chomping and swallowing each morsel before wiping her face with her arm, leaving a bright red smear.