Cheating at Inktober ‘18: Donna Sheridan

The girlfriend finally persuaded me to watch Mamma Mia with her, and… gotta admit, I was pretty charmed. I especially found Meryl Streep’s performance engaging and enthusiastic. The hype is real.

As for Mamma Mia 2… who wanted “Sad ABBA: The Musical”?

Cheating at Inktober ‘18: Celeste

Retro-style indie platformer Celeste is perhaps one of the best games I’ve ever played. On the surface, it’s a game about an aimless millennial trying to climb a mountain. As you play, though, the game slowly reveals a (slightly supernatural) story about a young woman coping with what appears to be an anxiety disorder. Her struggles, exacerbated by the strain of the climb, also manifest in a dark shadow that hounds her every step. I’ve loved everything about the game.

Well, everything except for those $#%@in’ strawberries.

Cheating at Inktober ‘18: Persona 3

I picked up the video game Persona 3 a few years back during a craving for something excruciatingly Japanese. Would I have picked the game up if it didn’t have a slightly embarrassing veneer of edgy teenage angst? Probably not. Would the game have been nearly as good without that nü metal sheen? Also probably not. The game tackles some really hefty topics – life is brief, death is inevitable, but the love and connections we share with the people we meet on this journey make the whole experience worthwhile even so.

Plus there’s a hot springs episode!

Cheating at Inktober ‘18: Charlie Chaplin

I’ve loved silent comedies ever since I was first introduced to Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times during an American literary history survey course in college. Modern Times still ranks as one of my favorite movies of all time. I’ve branched out from then, developing an appreciation for Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton (who I may actually like better than Chaplin), but I’ll always hold a candle for the Little Tramp.

The Edison Street Organ Loft is probably the best-kept entertainment secret in Salt Lake City. The girlfriend and I went there on Friday night to catch a Chaplin double-feature: The Idle Class and A Dog’s Life. The last time we went to the Organ Loft, we had trouble finding a good seat, so we made sure to arrive plenty early this time. To keep ourselves entertained while waiting for the movies to start, we worked on a crossword puzzle on the girlfriend’s phone.

“I dunno that one.”

“Wait, what was five down again?”

“I think the answer there is ‘Nasir,’ but I’m not sure.”

Then, from in front of us, we heard a little voice ask, “What are they doing?”

A little blonde girl, maybe six years old, peeked at us over the back of her chair. Her mother sat next to her. The door now opened, we made conversation.

Her name was Sariah, and we quickly became her best friends. We showed her our crossword puzzle, and she quickly said she knew how to do those.

“No,” her mom said, “you do word searches. Those are different.”

Undaunted, Sariah continued to chat with us. Somehow, the conversation shifted to flossing (I think it might have been one of the crossword answers?) and Sariah immediately chimed in, “I don’t know how to floss.”

“Stephen does,” my girlfriend volunteered.

Of course, she wasn’t actually talking about dental hygiene. And thus an impromptu dance lesson broke out in the aisle at the Organ Loft.

The conversation eventually fragmented. Sariah’s father, a literature professor, showed up, and he and I began to talk about the narrative hidden in every research paper while Sariah continued to chat with the girlfriend. They grew so attached that Sariah moved back to sit with us during the movie, which she spent cuddled up under the girlfriend’s arm.

It was a cute experience, but it’s hard for me not to feel a little resentful. I mean, dates go to movies to have an excuse to cuddle. I wanted to cuddle with the girlfriend.


Anyway, Chaplin’s great. The end.

Cheating at Inktober ‘18: Majin Buu

I’ve always been fascinated by the Dragon Ball franchise. I caught several episodes of the show while I was in college, mostly from the Frieza and Majin Buu arcs. In particular, I love the character designs – the spiky hairstyles of Amira Toriyama’s designs have always appealed to me somehow.

The trouble is I’ve always found the show to be… just really really boring.

So far the best way I’ve discovered to indulge in my interest in the series is the video game Dragonball Fighterz. I get to kill an hour or two while enjoying the stellar character designs I like so much. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at fighting games, and each gaming session usually leaves me crying amid a pile of shattered Joy Cons.

Maybe I can try the manga?

Cheating at Inktober ‘18: Celes Chere

Final Fantasy VI is the best game in the series. You disagree? You’re probably wrong.

I’ll allow arguments for IX being better. Everyone else take the exit to the left.

As much as the sixth installment has to offer, nothing appeals to me more than the wide, wonderful variety of characters. The stoic Cyan and his driving tragedy. The complicated love between twin brothers Edgar and Sabin. The tormented Terra. And then there’s Celes.

Battle-hardened general. Lab experiment with innate magic powers. Lonely survivor. And, of course, surprise opera singer. Didn’t see that last one coming, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.