My favorite part of Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe might just be a tiny beat that happens part way through the movie. It’s hardly a big moment, just a bit of table setting that, for someone like me, holds all the more import.
There’s a party, and a couple kids are chasing each other. They run up the steps to the house and, without pausing to think, slip off their shoes before entering. The camera follows them as they run through the house and to the back door where they put their shoes back on and continue their chase outside. It’s a really small beat, and the whole shoes thing isn’t highlighted — there’s no cutaway to the kids’ feet or anything; the long shot just serves to establish the party in the suburbs.
Maybe you don’t quite get what I’m getting at.
I moved to the US when I was fourteen. There was a lot of little culture shocks, from tax not being included in the sticker price to the fact that I had to drive to get anywhere in the suburbs. A big one was that Americans wore their shoes inside the house. As someone who grew up in Singapore, I was very used to removing my shoes before going into a house. Why would I want to track the outside world into someone’s home? That’d be barbaric.
I got over it, and these days usually ask when I visit someone if it’s shoes on or off (my apartment is firmly shoes off, if you were wondering). Wikipedia has an interesting rundown on the practice of removing shoes inside, surveying the custom in several countries. It’s not common in the US but, as the article notes, “...removing of shoes is common among certain immigrant communities.” Which, I suppose, explains me and mine. But I’ve digressed.
There’s a beat in Always Be My Maybe where a pair of kids, unprompted and without a word, pause their playing to take their shoes off when entering a house, and put them back on when they exit. It’s such a small detail, but one that is absolutely rife with verisimilitude and meaning. It’s something you’d expect to see in an Easy Asian household like the one depicted in the film. Given that the film’s three writers are all of Easy Asian descent and the director herself a child of Iranian immigrants, it’s not surprising that the detail made it in.
And it’s treated as normal to boot. I know this seems like such a small beat to obsess over, but it’s a really big deal for. In all the American media of consumed over the years, nowhere have I seen this tiny but important facet of my life portrayed on screen. And certainly not as casually and matter-of-factly as here. In that moment I felt seen, I felt like this part of me and my life was important and valid. That the habit of taking my shoes off inside wasn’t unusual.
I yearn for stories by different people, I yearn to hear about other experiences and takes on life. I also want to see my own experiences presented in media; I want to see myself represented. Always Be My Maybe may not be the best movie in Netflix’s stable of romcom revivals (that title belongs entirely to Set It Up and if you disagree you are wrong) but it gets a special little place in my heart for how it portrays its Asian American protagonists without making the whole movie about the ‘Asian American experience.’ Sasha and Marcus are presented as fairly normal people, they aren’t ‘foreign’ or ‘exotic,’ they’re just them.
In a few ways, Always Be My Maybe seems not unlike To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before in that both films feature leads who are people of color without the plot being about how they’re minorities. At the end of the day, I want to see little parts of my life portrayed as being, well, normal and not some bizarre thing done by the Other. Movies like Always Be My Maybe and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before do that. And now I want more.
4. gold/yellow on dark blue
You have till Sunday to vote.
Now there's Elmo yelling fire, a new BZP t-shirt emblazoned with Black Six's words, and an uncomfortable zoom into a horrifying LEGO walking figure.
Please. For your sake, do not watch this video. And certainly don't stay long enough to see the two times Elmo appears.
Anyway, my premier membership is almost up so I thought I should do at least one of these in my time on BZPower before it finally runs out.
So go ahead and ask me any questions you might have in the comments and I'll answer them when I can.
So the time I spent catching 800 of the little buggers really was just a complete waste, even in the eyes of the company that made the darn game. Swell.
Currently accepting recommendations of other monster series.
A simple 1 year course in welding covering the most used process and a couple other subjects and I'm done, now to work on a resume and get my foot in the door.
Planning to start small and build up my skillset and then move on up to better positions/jobs, a far off goal could be pipeline work with my own small side shop doing request work for repairs or art people would want.
Dunno where this field will take me but I'll make sure to try to enjoy it and learn more things along the way.
More ideas down the line but gotta buy my own Tig machine first.
Highfly Vinesman, Deepwood Wayfinder was for the BZPower Fanfic Exchange 2018 and written for Darth Jaller. It features Tamaru, Taipu, and Kapura and it's been fun writing back about the MNOLG-era. The other is a sequel to my Kulagi's Kanoka story, A Shadow's Contrivance which features the Kanoka wielding Matoran against the Dark Hunters during the Toa and Dark Hunter war. I am actually extremely proud of this story; it expands and better uses the characters from the original, has lots of character development on multiple fronts, and features a ton of Dark Hunters, both official and custom. And I'm happy with the plot too, which has enough twists and fight sequences and chase scenes and Kanoka usages to really make it worthwhile. The whole thing started off as a minor short story idea but the expanded into this major operation. (It's also one of those stories that I'm really happy with but barely has any reviews. Oh well.)
Also found some of the round-robin stories I participated in for a contest years ago; the topics still exist but the formatting got lost so it was a whole block of text, but once I got past that they were some fun stories, and I'm kind of disappointed that we didn't finish any of them.
One story that just made my blog look like it got updated was my BZPower Blog Story set in the style of a Choose Your Own Adventure story but starring BZPower members from the time. Of course, it was posted during the server downtime, back when the BZPower urls included "forum" instead of "board". Well, all the blog entries were still there (blog stuff got preserved but topics did not) but the links were all dead. I just went through and updated them, but that pushed a couple up to the front of the blog, soooo kinda made it look like I just posted a bunch of stuff here when all I was doing was updating some links. Story is still good, although most of the members have changed their names or become inactive since. (Gosh, and this was originally written when Bionicle G1 was coming to an end... and now it's been a couple of years since G2 abruptly ended. Crazy.)
Speaking of that, I also had that BZ-Koro epic that was supposed to herald in G2, and it was one where I'd have people vote on where each new chapter would go. It made some decent progress before work got the best of me and I dropped it. (I mean, that was before I finally got diagnosed with sleep apnea, so I mean I was running of fumes for years there.) Problem is there's not much of an audience left and some of the main characters... well, things happened and it didn't feel right to continue. I'm tempted to change some things around and write the conclusion I was working towards, but dunno if it would be worth it. Still, I don't know if I'm ever going to top Tekulo and Dotcom singing "A Whole New World" in the middle of a fight... I still get reminded of my parody's lyrics when I listen to the original.
I was also looking back at my story about the Slizers on Mata Nui. The original story was long; partially it was drawn out because I didn't know where I wanted to take it, so I just kept having fight scene after fight scene. Somebody originally contacted my about it and I started to revisit the plot and make plans for making it shorter but keeping to the same general story, just with less redundancy. Some things would undoubtably be lost in a rewrite, but I am very tempted because I plotted out an ending for the original but never got around to finishing it. Granted, I don't know if there'd be an audience left to be interested in it anyway.
A big thing for looking back on my older stories was this thing where I'm trying to list out all the characters I've ever used in stories before. Mostly because I've reused some character names through different stories. (Like I've had variations of Triki in four different stories, playing variations of his crazy character.) Of course, putting together the list made me look up some older stories, where I've found my older writing both impressive at times and cringe worthy at other times. Also makes me sad that there are some stories that I wrote that I no longer have records before, because I lost a bunch of stuff when my laptop was stolen and the BZP servers crashed and took a lot of other stories down. There was a fun Bionicle Christmas story I wrote staring Kapura, another small epic featuring the Voya-Nui Matoran against the Piraka, and a comedy about the Toa in an election, plus a bunch of other short stories and such.
Meanwhile, I have a handful of current stories I want to complete (two of which I've worked on for NaNoWriMo... twice each) plus a lot of other ideas I want to move forward with. But unfortunately, working full time has really cut down on my mental ability to just sit down and write write write... a professional author I will never be. Too many story ideas stuck in my head, and that says nothing of the older stories I want to redo / reboot.
Seriously, all of these thin laptops look incredibly fragile. I can get how people might want a phone to be a fashion statement, but I think that people these days look at a thicc laptop and say to themselves, "That's for some heavy duty stuff right there." Like those Alienware computers, which I'll never buy because I'm not into gaming, but I appreciate how they don't treat their hardware.
Whereas Macbooks, they think that everybody wants something thin. At least offer the option to get a thicc laptop. And see how that goes. They might be surprised at how quickly they sell. Because it's the thin ones that actually look cheap. And as I said, fragile. Like they're meant to be temporary, when you're in-between laptops. Not that definitive laptop that keeps its value over time.
Get your act together, Apple. You're the freaking trend setter, so even though I don't buy your products, your decisions affect me.
Until then, I'm saving up my money for a Silverado High Country. Which I probably won't be able to comfortably buy until around 2028. And I definitely won't invest in the Apple ecosystem until sometime after that, and that's assuming that they get their act together and make products that are works of engineering first, design second.
And Chevy knows that when to make an economy car and when to make a big, thicc truck.
Might try to get it published. We'll see if I have the motivation.
Queen Watevera WaNabi's build Whatever box and it looks fun despite the fact I can't MOC to save my life.
Also I will never have time to play with it, it will end up rotting in my collection and why did I do this to myself?
Way back in 2016, I first started work on what would become BZP's Game of Thrones. I had no idea if the game would work. I had no idea if people would want to play. I had no idea.
This series has basically defined my time on this site (or my time associated with it) for the past several years, which is a little crazy to think about. There have been spinoffs from other members; I've hosted smaller side games; I wrote a freaking fake history book.
There will be further stories and games in this world, but I intend for them to slowly but surely expand away from Okoto, and to stand on their own. The first of these (The Argonauts) will be starting quite soon, and I might post a little bit on this blog when it releases, to showcase some stuff.
But the main story, the mainline of games, is finished. BZP's Games of Thrones has reached the end of its final season. Okoto's story is finally done.
Thank you to everyone for playing.
If you'd like to join the Discord server for these games (whether to perhaps play in one of the upcoming standalone adventures, or just to hang out), shoot me a pm.
in all seriousness thought i'd come back here for a hot second and say hey. was never super active in the community but had a lot of good memories from here, and this site actually taught me some about interacting with people. i'm super grateful for both of those things, and i'd like to say that things in my life are good, not great but good, and i've got a lot to be thankful for.
bionicle was an important part in my life, still got a guy sitting on my desk in my apartment (my apartment, back in the day those two words together wouldn't even make sense), and i owe bzp a decent bit. maybe i'll haunt this blog a little more often, we'll see
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