A Hard Rin's a-Gonna Fall

I'm Ryan. I write things.

Those links may or may not link to places I have things written.

“For weeks after that I acted out in my mind the scene as I should have played it. I saw myself issuing crisp orders for cold towels, hot towels, ice, boiling water, smelling salts, etc., while holding back the crowd and feeling the young woman’s pulse. I did none of these things. While I stood helplessly by, a smooth, brilliantined youth, whom I hated, slid in and took command. The young woman was quickly revived and almost instantly persuaded to accompany the smooth, brilliantined youth onto the balcony for a breath of fresh air. The breath took three quarters of an hour, by my watch. I thought it was excessive.”

—   Pierre Berton, from Memories of an Adolescent Tribal Rite, from My War with the 20th Century

The first point on my apartment’s Community Guidelines reads:

"Please, no fucking in the laundry room. We shouldn’t have to say this, but the laundry room is for laundry. Other people need to use it too."

They didn’t name any names, but the fact that I was the only tenant to get the updated sheet probably says something.

I introduced my girlfriend to Childish Gambino right after Freaks and Geeks came out, but she was the one who recommended I listen to Camp, and specifically, Heartbeat.

I’ve been wearing this song out lately for some reason, and can’t seem to stop. I almost never put on song on repeat, but this is one of those songs that I do do it for. It’s just too perfect. There’s such a raw passion to it, and lyrically, it’s very well crafted. Donald doesn’t let a traditional rhyme scheme hold him back here - he just waltzes all over the fucking place with it, and takes it somewhere really special.

I first watched Tatami Galaxy around the time I left college, and I’m surprised I hadn’t rewatched it since then. In a nutshell, it’s about a luckless film student in a transition phase in his life.

Last time I posted about this, I called it eleven episodes of ennui, self-loathing, and self-pity, but also self-motivation, self-discipline and self-determination. It’s about the decisions you made and the opportunity cost of each one, and it’s about powering through those funks that life throws at you. It’s about finding yourself and trying again and again no matter how many times you fail.

I haven’t watched it again since, but I should. It helped me reevaluate how my plans were working for me then, and it certainly would be a good boost right now.

Also, the art style and animation are just gorgeous and the writing is among the best I’ve had the good fortune to experience.

Scramsfield had never before set eyes on the Kuttle’s blonde daughter, and standing with her in front of The Rape of Europa he felt so panicked by her beauty that after she made an enthusiastic comment about the painting he just stared at her, silently, like some sort of sweating inbred elevator attendant. Only later did he find out that she’d assumed he felt such scorn for her unsophisticated commentary on the Titian that he hadn’t even bothered to reply.


And that was how their courtship glided on for several months afterwards. Phoebe would say something about art or poetry or music or philosophy, and either Scramsfield wouldn’t listen because he was lost in the orchards of her face, or he would listen without understanding what she meant, but either way he would put on his stern thoughtful expression, and Phoebe would conclude that she still wasn’t quite clever or knowledgeable enough to impress him.

—   Ned Beauman, The Teleportation Accident

She was like a New Yorker cartoon without the class.

Dry, unfunny, and useful for impressing people who were easily impressed. We met outside a bar named after an Ivy League at five past two, when no one’s in any particular hurry to grab their car before the pay lot closes.

We had a grand total of nothing in common. She wore her hair short and smoked reds, I wore my hair long and smoked Spirits. She read Dostoevsky, I read Palahniuk. She liked her martinis shaken, I, stirred. She struck a match as I grabbed my lighter from my cigarette case.

"Show was pretty eh tonight, huh?" I said, realizing both of us were waiting on DDs who probably weren’t sober enough to find their cars.

"You kidding? I haven’t heard anyone butcher a Wren Harper cover that bad since Eli Reed meets Bloodstalker." She exhaled through her nose. "I’d say it was the worst three hours I’ve ever spent, but competition’s real close."

"No way, not even top ten," I said. "You haven’t had a bad three hours til - you know Perry Lynch?"

"I absolutely fucking loathe Perry Lynch," she said.

I’d say we at least hated the same things, but the things I thought were lacking, she hated with a passion normally reserved for Thanksgiving dinners. The things I could rant about for hours, she gave a solid D+/C-. There was nothing we could agree on.

I’d later find out she had a Sanskrit proverb tattooed down her spine. I always preferred the Mughal dynasties myself.

36 Chambers remains one of my favorite albums, and is definitely among my top 5 debut albums. The Wu was onto something, and RZA was able to bring a real rawness in production that really defined East Coast hip hop during the 90s.

But, most of all, Wu Tang was fun. While they produced a few real conscientious rap tracks, for the most part, the rap-battle style light-heartedness that permeated their tracks was as much a breath of fresh air as their simple, raw beats.

I usually choose an excerpt of a verse for these posts, but you really can’t focus on any singular set of lyrics to feel the Wu. And also, ODB’s verse is just way too long to quote.

(Source: Spotify)

Metal Slug was my childhood. For some definitions of “childhood”.

Let me rephrase that. Metal Slug was a considerable part of the arcade experience I had in my childhood.

We went to Nickel Nickel whenever I’d saved up enough loose change to spend a day at the arcade, and Metal Slug was what I looked forward to the most. Sure, Time Crisis was great, but my cousin had that on PS2. Silent Scope was awesome, but I was too short to play it right. House of the Dead was fun, but I was too scared to play it on my own.

So the Metal Slug 2 cabinet would end up eating most of my nickels and half of my Sunday. It was fast-paced, charmingly animated, and had a sharp sense of humor. Even if I didn’t fully appreciate it then, it was still the perfect game to empty your pockets on.

Anyway, Metal Slug 3 just had a Steam release a few days back, and I decided to take a day off and relive my youth for a moment. All its old charm is still there. It’s a game you feel good playing - no heavy themes, no depressing story. It’s just quick and straight-forward: go kill some bad guys, and know that in the end, you’re not so different after all. Besides, aliens are the real monsters.

“The fire, fed first by oil-soaked rags planted in the basement and then helped up by lighter fluid judiciously sprayed here and there on stairs and walls, swept up rapidly through the hotel - although “fortunately,” as the local paper was to put it the next morning, “only a few people perished because only a few rooms happened to be occupied.””

—   Vladimir Nabokov, Transparent Things

But she had education, and she had experience.

Ava ran away from her home in a sleepy suburban town at the tender age of eighteen and made her way to the big city, where she was going to be free.  She arrived with just the clothes on her back, two pennies in her pocket, and eyes gleaming with hope. Four years of studying <UNDECLARED> later, she went on to land a position she loved in the aforementioned field.

She made her rounds through the shops, the restaurants, the shops again. Racks and racks of clothes, each one different enough from the last to justify having to buy them both. Somewhere, three thousand miles from her and her bag of resumes, in the middle of this jungle of clothes, an Indonesian child was sewing the next season’s fashions.  She gets one cent for every dress she packs. The bus from her shack to the factory is thirty-three cents one way. When she’s finished for the day, she may have finished one hundred dresses. She will pay sixty-six cents for the privilege to make gaudy salmon-pink dresses and neon blue tights that an American teenager will wear four times this season, then throw in the back of her closet and laugh about twenty years later. The other thirty-four cents goes to feeding her sick baby brother. In two years, he will die anyway, and she would have wasted one hundred sixty-four dollars and twenty-five cents American feeding him for three years.

-

Back when I left college, I wrote a little ditty about being unemployed. If I had waited a few months, I could’ve written a little ditty about how much retail work sucks. If I waited a year, I could’ve written about how much office work sucks. If I waited a year and a half, I could’ve written about being unemployed again.

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