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Sumo Wrestlers and Giant Squid Monday, June 16, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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I know this is probably really old news for some people, but I have fallen in love with something I thought I never would.

That’s right: a video game.

Beautiful Katamari for the 36o.

Basically, you are the Prince, this tiny little guy who rolls up balls of stuff to recreate celestial bodies that have been destroyed by a black hole. The black hole was created by a particularly strong tennis serve by the King of All Cosmos that ripped space a new one.

As you go along, picking up small items, such as candy and matchsticks, your katamari gets larger, it’s gravitational force increasing, allowing you to roll up larger items. Eventually you’re rolling up thermoses, gorillas, sumo wrestlers, buses, high rises, giant squid, islands, continents and the world!

Why I like it: It’s easy. Most video games I have tried out require a lot more button mashing, whereas this one is like driving a tank. You have two toggle bars and you direct them where you want to go. Also, it’s colorful. Like 60’s-acid-trip colorful. But it’s that dash of whimsy randomness that I’ve fallen in love with. You’re a little tiny prince rolling up whatever you come across: pieces of sushi, fires, cows. The King of All Cosmos says funny things.

I’ve heard say that it’s Sony predecessors may be of a slightly higher quality in the areas of attention to detail and quality of environment. Anybody have any thoughts?

I just thought I should say, if you haven’t tried it, it’s a lot of fun. I’m not much of one for video games, but I’ve become a little addicted.

How big of a katamari can you roll?

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Morning Sunday, June 15, 2008

Posted by Grace in marble & holly.
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My father was a man in the old classical sense. Tall, broad shouldered, a man of few words, but words well said. He loved to be outdoors, to work with his hands, to be able to fix things and understand how they worked. His father died young, and leaving his mom (my grandmother) and two sisters, so he had a strong sense of needing to be there and provide for his family.

My mom tells stories about how when my brother and I were babies he was always scared that he would break us, so small and fragile in his large, calloused hands. That when we were still pretty brand new he would carry us like little footballs.

The last time I saw him, he came into my bedroom and woke me up. I was confused because it was still dark out. He hugged me and told me he loved me, tucked me back in and got up to leave.

My five-year-old mind was confused, I asked where he was going.

He told me that he was going away. Away to work? I asked. He didn’t answer.

I asked if I could come with him. He came back, sat down on the edge of the bed, and said, No, you can’t come with me Grace.

He stayed for a moment, kissed my forehead, and adjusted the covers. He would always adjust the covers after tucking me in because his strong hands would tuck me in too tight.

I remember hearing the click of my bedroom door closing after he left, the footsteps down the hallway, and after that it goes blank. I must have fallen back asleep. The next thing I remember is sitting in the basement watching The Land Before Time, and my mom coming downstairs and asking if I knew where he was.

Dad, I sometimes still wonder what would have happened if I had been more insistent, if I had tried harder to come with you. A part of me feels you would still be here if I hadn’t confusedly just let you leave. That you couldn’t have done what you did if you had me there, or if you had lingered a little longer with me.

The majority of the time I had with you, I was too young to remember. Still I miss you a lot on days like today.

Sing Sunday, June 15, 2008

Posted by Grace in eating crackers in bed.
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Fearless sings.

Growing up, he did years with choirs and formal training. He doesn’t do anything too formal with it anymore, but he still sings. He sings in the car. He sings in the kitchen when we wash dishes together. Little snatches of lyrics from songs passing through his head. Things he heard on the radio, songs he loves, words that go with the moment.

He’s got this voice. One of those that seems bigger than the person who produces it. Low and just a little gravelly, with a certain dark strength that crashes over you. Sometimes it gives me chills.

I’ve been known to sing a lot. But something about his being trained, his talent, makes me nervous singing with or around him.

He’s commented on it, that it’s not fair that he knows I belt when I’m driving, that I sing in the shower; but that I get nervous and clam up when he’s there to hear it. There’s just something about knowing that he’s got perfect pitch on his side, and that he knows when you’re making the mistakes that gets me. And it’s strange, because with most things, a little bit of nerves will not stop me.

Yesterday, the moment was right. I had just arrived at his house, he had stepped out of the shower perhaps a minute or two before. His hair was still wet, he hadn’t made it into a shirt yet, and you could still smell traces of his soap. He hugged me, and it just kind of started.

He held me and I sang. It wasn’t for long, it wasn’t very good (but then a person is always their worst critic). But I could see in his eyes he appreciated the gesture, and now that I’ve started, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.