Underneath my yellow skin

Picky media consumer

I am not a picky eater. At least, I wouldn’t be if it weren’t for my sensitivities. There are only a few things I don’t like, and the list includes kiwi, water chestnuts (I LOVE regular chestnuts, though), and coconut. I like coconut curries, but coconut itself? Not so much. Other than that, I’m pretty much a fan more or less of food. When it comes to the media I consume, however, it’s a much different story.

I once flummoxed a professor in my grad program ((Writing & Consciousness) by saying I didn’t like movies. She said that was like saying I don’t like sandwiches or soups–both of which I like, thank you very much. Part of the problem is that at the time, there weren’t many movies that reflected me. Taiwanese American bisexual fat woman? Yeah, good luck finding something with that, mate! In addition, I’m always conscious that I’m watching a movie. When I read a book, I disappear into the pages and am absorbed in the world. With a good book, I completely forget that I exist. With movies, I’m always removed from the action except on very rare occasions. My three favorite movies, Once, The Station Agent, and Japanese Story, are all movies I actually lost myself in, even if it weren’t for the whole time. Another difference is that I can read my favorite books a million times, but I don’t often feel compelled to watch a movie more than once.

I find movies limiting. When I read books, my mind provides the details that the book doesn’t give. With movies, it’s all on the screen, and I find it a much more passive way of ingesting media. I think there’s less room for error, too, because continuity can be a problem. I remember watching a movie (don’t remember the movie now) that was so bad, I noticed that the color of a shirt wasn’t consistent in what was supposed to be the same scene. I’m not that detail-oriented, so the fact that I noticed meant I was not into the movie at all.

Another problem with movies for me is that my brain can’t always differentiate between reality and fabrication, so horrific images in movies stay with me a long time in the way horrific scenes in books don’t. I know that seems counter to what I said earlier, but I never said my brain was consistent. There’s a suicide scene in Girl, Interrupted, that stayed with me for years afterwards. Any time I thought of it, I would feel as if someone had actually died. With books, the whole experience may stay with me, but I’m less likely to remember horrible scenes with such a vivid reaction.

As for TV, there are less than five series I really enjoyed. Miracles, Xena, and Murder One (first season) are a few.¬† The first season of BoJack Horseman. There are also what I call comfort food. Series I watched, but didn’t think were really great, mostly procedurals. Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, the endless slog of Law & Orders, etc. Most of the popular series I either actively hate or just didn’t get. Seinfeld¬†(which I loathed), The Sopranos (had no interest in it), Breaking Bad (hated it, but to be fair, the first episode I saw was the penultimate episode), and Game of Thrones (hated it. Again, to be fair, the first episode I saw was The Red Wedding, but I don’t like tons of violence).

Moving to video games, it’s similar. I’ve tried a ton of games, but only a few have really stuck with me. We all know about my love for the Dark Souls series. By the way, I’ve started another playthrough on DS III, and I’d forgotten how hard it is when I’m not maxed out on all my stats. I commented before that NG is much harder than NG+ and beyond, and it’s true, especially as I’m doing a true pyro build. Well, mostly true pyro. I did up my strength enough to wield the Executioner’s Greatsword (19) which is my favorite base game weapon as a caster because it gives back FP with each enemy killed. I used it on my tank playthrough, and I forgot how much I loved it. I also just got my Hidden Body/Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring combo, so I’m set.

Anyway, after finishing Night in the Woods–I’ve started a fourth playthrough to tie up loose ends, but I’m not pushing to get it done–I’m at loose ends again. My general M.O. with games: obsessing over a game and mainlining it until I’m done. Then, trying a dozen other games until I find another I like. Sometimes, more than a dozen. I’ll give them a few minutes or a few hours, but they don’t catch my interest. I can say with confidence that there are a few genres I don’t like–RTS, anime, JRPG, and platformers. However, I’ve found some games within those categories enjoyable, but games that barely fit into the categories.

The problem is, I still have no idea what I’m going to like when I play it. I mean, there are games I’m pretty sure I won’t like, but like? Not as easy to discern. I wrote about Battle Chef Brigade and how much I was enjoying it, but right after that post, it took a turn for the weird in terms of the story, and the pace got way too frenetic for me, and I haven’t touched it in several days. That’s the frustrating thing–when I like a game, but then go off it for whatever reason. I love Hollow Knight, but I reached a point where I was just too bad to play the game. Same with Nuclear Throne and Enter the Gungeon. I *might* have been able to git gud at Hollow Knight if I put in a great amount of time, but not the other two. I should know with Nuclear Throne. I put countless hours into it, and I couldn’t get past the wall (looping more than once).

It’s actually a miracle that I stuck with Dark Souls long enough to finish each game because I’m terrible at them. I watch streamers go through them much more easily than I did, and while I can see what they’re doing, I can’t duplicate it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m just too old. My reactions aren’t swift enough, and while I’m good enough to play the games, I’m not good enough to, say, no-hit the game. Hell, I can’t even make it through a boss once without getting hit. No deaths? Ha! No, that wouldn’t happen, either. I think no summoning is about as hardcore as I’ll get with the games, and I didn’t even stick to that all the time (most of the time, especially in the vanilla games, but not all the DLC. The first one, though, Artorias of the Abyss, I soloed all the bosses, and, yes, I’m proud of that).

Hm. Writing about this makes me realize that my reluctance to date is based on the same thing. I know more about what I don’t want than what I do; I’m picky, and there are walls I just can’t overcome. I also don’t like people in general. I hate small talk and performing for other people. That’s why I tend to date people I’m already friends with. Also, I have terrible taste in partners. It’s not that all the people I’ve dated are bad people (some were, but most weren’t)–they just were bad for me. I used to joke that I was always attracted to the people who were terrible for me for one reason or another or who weren’t attracted to my gender. There’s a video with Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin (see below), and I was joking on Twitter that I wouldn’t mind being in a JLo/Ricky Martin sandwich, even though neither is attracted to women (I’m assuming in JLo’s case).

They are both insanely hot in the video, and I couldn’t help but imagine a threeway. That led me to speculating about a sitcom in which the three of us were roommates, and I was lusting over the two of them, and the hijinks that would ensue. I jest, but it’s the story of my life.

Come to think of it, it’s the same with Dark Souls. I love the series, but it does not love me back. The games are meant to be played melee even though casting is in the game and supposedly Miyazaki has claimed to love magic. I always play as a caster the first time through because that’s my preferred way of playing. Though, it’s always hybrid casting/melee because there simply aren’t enough spells to cast all the way through. Although, in DS III, you can be a true glass cannon and have way more Ashen Estus Flasks than Estus Flasks if you want.

Anyhoo, the DLCs hate me. A lot. If you’re a caster with slow reflexes, good luck with the DLCs of the games (including Bloodborne. For real. Do NOT try an arcane build on your first playthrough. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be me. I’m nothing if not stubborn, though). Yet, I can’t quit the games–which, again, is a disturbing metaphor to how I stay in relationships much longer than is good for me.

This took a turn for the weird, but I’ve pinpointed something about my personality that I previously hadn’t realized, so, winning?

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