#257: The Trailer

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Have you ever gotten excited about a trailer that’s about to come out? I have, plenty of times. I remember when I first started watching Game of Thrones and the season 4 announcement trailer released; it was an experience for me and my friends. At the time, none of us had any idea what would happen to the show eventually and we were all caught up in the glorious hype of the moment. There’s something truly special about sharing in collective excitement with other people, watching others get hyped up with you. I remember when the first trailer dropped for The Avengers, and I remember geeking out over it too. How small the world seemed back then, before the fourth movie became the highest grossing film of all time. Is it actually at that point yet? I’m not so sure if it’s topped Avatar.

The reason I mention this is because a trailer just dropped earlier today for Persona 5: Royal, the new remastered edition of one of my favorite games, featuring one of my favorite characters from that game. She’s an absolute badass, and the trailer showcased that to the fullest potential. It’s supposed to be releasing some time next year, but knowing Atlus, it could be pushed later, depending on what they want to change on it. I shared it with Alex earlier today and we both geeked out over it. Again, I just love being able to talk about these things with other people reliably and consistently. It makes the whole experience so much sweeter when you have someone else to share in all this with. So, thanks Alex! You’re the best, but you already know that.

I guess this blog post also could’ve been titled “the friend” or something along those lines, considering how important it is to have friends who are interested in the same things as you.

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#85: The Millennial

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I am a millennial. A word often heard in the media, used as a scapegoat for the country’s problems: “Millennials aren’t investing in the stock market as much as previous generations,” “Millennials don’t care about the housing market or lottery tickets or old mall favorites like Macy’s,” “Millennials don’t want kids any more!”

I read an article in the New York Times the other day about millennials, and it said that they have adapted to a “rise and grind” lifestyle. That millennials, who grew up expecting extracurricular achievement and good grades to amount to a lifetime of happiness and fulfilling their creative passions, feel left out by the world that gave them that idea in the first place. Crippling student loan debt and rising gentrification in big cities, significantly higher than previous generations, has set a standard for what we have come to expect from the outside world. When a person went to college before the 90s, were they expected to pay seven figures over 20 years to ever make up for the cost of their education? Since when has an education been so expensive?

Either way, the article in the Times talks about how the “rise and grind” lifestyle adopted by so many millennials stifles creativity and ensures a lifetime of boredom and depression. I’m not the least bit surprised. Waking up at 5am to go to Milford every day, for example, was not the ideal lifestyle for me. And yet it represents a kind of necessity, a need demanded by outside forces. Is there any wonder why millennials have some of the highest rates of mental illness of all generations? Is there any surprise that people suffering under false promises given to them as children feel betrayed as adults?

Just some food for thought today. Not sure what to think about it, but the article got me going a bit.

#24: The Con

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There’s nothing like visiting a convention. Even when you’re totally unfamiliar with lots of the depictions on the walls and all the media people are clamoring about, you can absorb so much of the community’s energy from the atmosphere they create. Just from being around people, you can tell what they’re like, and why they love this hobby so much. It felt magical, like traveling to a foreign country and taking in the sights and sounds and touristy attractions; being in an environment centered around a hobby you don’t particularly have can be like visiting an alien planet, inhabited by people speaking an entirely different language and vocabulary from you. The amount of words and phrases I didn’t quite understand all the way while walking around the convention was exponentially high.

I went to Anime NYC this year, my first time going to an exclusively anime-themed convention (though some non-anime stuff was featured, too). I was intimidated at first, as like I said, I’m not much of an anime fan myself, and on top of that, I get intimidated easily when surrounded by lots of people at once. And there were so many people here! Crowds and lines, shouting and laughing, limited wall space to sit against: an anxious mind’s worst nightmare. And yet it wasn’t as stressful as it initially seemed to be. The most stressful part of the entire arrangement was the traveling, believe it or not. Traveling to and from the convention center took a lot of energy, and when I reached the center, I felt less inclined to do things because of my exhaustion from traveling. Though I love traveling, there’s nothing like being home, enjoying the relaxation an introverted person can only revel in. While I’m glad to have spent time at the convention this year, another part of me is thankful I managed to get home in time to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Isn’t that so old of me? I guess maturation has its own ups and downs.

Despite this, Alex had a wonderful experience at the Fairy Tale panel, and we managed to bump into two of the voice actresses afterwards. Alex was able to express her undying love for the series and its effect on her undergraduate years, and I was able to watch and absorb some of the happiness that came from the interaction.

#23: The Traveler

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The Traveler is both a character and setting in Destiny 2, serving as the spiritual deity for the guardians. The name “Traveler” comes from its exploratory nature, and the fact that it moves throughout the universe. It also provides the Light through which guardians find and harness their power. As guardians are the playable characters in this game, players have a close connection to the Traveler when they embark on their missions. When the Traveler disappears at the start of the Destiny 2 campaign, the guardian loses their hope, spirit, and magic. The idea that magic originates from a planet-sized celestial that bestows it upon players is fascinating to me, and provides for a thought-provoking story about dependency and spiritual growth. The characters are made to reckon with the idea that they cannot survive without this being.

In reality, traveling is distinctly non-celestial. Yet it bears some of the same magical effects upon us. The act of traveling can cause us to gain hope and strengthen our spirit. There is nothing inherently otherworldly about traveling, and yet it is like discovering and embarking on a journey into another world. When traveling to a foreign country, for example, the differences in cultural norms, proclivities, even geography can be jarring at first if you are not sufficiently educated on the new place you are exploring. Traveling allows you to take on whatever new magic is in the atmosphere of this new place. When I traveled to Paris, I felt a magic in the air that was unlike any other city I’ve been to. Historical, cultural, national pride exuded through every part of the center of the city. And new places have new magic to explore.

This past weekend, I traveled quite a lot, taking four different methods of public transportation to make it to New Jersey to hang out with a few old friends. It was late at night, approaching midnight when we arrived at my friend’s place, and I could still barely contain my exhaustion from all the walking, waiting, and sitting around. The darkness outside added to the somber mood of things. It often does, even without thinking about it much.