Screens as Visitation: Send Me SFMOMA

In June, the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art went live with a new project called “Send Me SFMOMA.” By texting the phrase “Send me….” and then a word or an emoji to the number 572-51, you’ll receive an image of a piece from their collections keyed into that phrase. From their website:

When you say “Send me a landscape” you won’t get 791 landscapes, you’ll get a landscape chosen just for you. You may one day be able to visit your landscape in SFMOMA’s galleries, or you may be the only person to see it for years to come.

You can, if you want more information, then check SFMOMA’s website, for things like if the piece is on display or not, and when it was acquired, which I think is fun. It’s a minor thrill, to see something is not on display, but it’s right here on your phone, like this simple text has let you in on a little secret.


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A Look Back at The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and the Wait Mechanic

I doubt I will get this out in any parameter that could remotely be considered timely, but with the announcement of Skyrim’s 10 billionth re-release at this year’s E3, I’ve been thinking about the Elder Scrolls series a lot, and realizing how much I genuinely loved Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I’d like to reminisce, briefly, about how impactful the game was for me, and then I’m going to talk about an important mechanic that Oblivion had, which deepened the game’s immersion, and which Skyrim mostly lacks.


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Road Trips and “Alice Isn’t Dead”

Alice Isn’t Dead is one of my favorite podcasts, and it’s starting back up again with Part 2 after a hiatus, so I thought I’d write about why it’s one of my favorites. As you can tell by this intro, I started writing this months ago, when Part 2 Episode 1 was just being hinted at, but then I went on some road trips and now we’re at Part 2, Episode 7. Go figure.

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Alice Isn’t Dead is produced by Nightvale Presents and follows Keisha (voiced by Jasika Nicole), a woman who took a job as a truck driver in order to search for her lost wife (who definitely isn’t dead) across America, and is pursued by monstrous Thistle Men and falls into haunted and surreal parts of the landscape of the United States. Each episode is her broadcasting part of her travels over the truck radio, in the hopes that her wife is listening.

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The Wonder Woman Movie

So, Wonder Woman is the most important character in my personal canon. I think sometimes fiction can guide us, can ennoble our lives, and at her best that’s what Wonder Woman is to me. Some people have King Arthur, some people have Aslan, some people have Batman. I have Princess Diana of Themyscira. If, somehow, all fictional characters were going to be erased from human history, but I could save one, I would save Wonder Woman. In a Fahrenheit 451 situation, I would memorize and preserve Greg Ruka’s The Hiketeia.

So, I must be enthralled by the new movie, beloved by audiences and critics alike, right?

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Wasted Writing

I used to get really bummed if I felt I had wasted writing. If I started something and then abandoned it, or couldn’t execute an idea quite right, or finished something and then discarded it after so many rejections. It felt like I had failed in some massive way, and I would completely overlook any improvement I made in the process.

I don’t like making broad statements about what makes a “good writer,” or whatever, but I think for me right now, learning to not think of writing that isn’t publishable as wasted is part of me growing into a “good writer.”

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Kitsch and Tone in XCOM:Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2

It takes me a billion years to finish games anymore. I finally just beat XCOM 2, which came out in February of 2016, so that really changes my average time to completion of a game. Only like a year this time. I was excited to start and finish this game, as its prequel XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of my favorite time sinks.

I love XCOM: Enemy Unknown because it’s super kitschy. The enemies unknown are all classic aliens – grey aliens, skinny men in black, decked out with laser guns and set against a background of bright colors. Its fairly goofy, even when played straight, an homage to jokey alien sightings.

I love this aesthetic. I love bug eyed greyliens, men in black sightings, and saucer UFOS. Earth is under threat, and while missions do feature civilians in need of rescue before a Chryssalid kills them and turns them into a zombie, or green goo covered corpses scattering the ground, its mostly window dressing. Its hokey. Its a delight. I used to replay XCOM: Enemy Unknown every few months, and part of the appeal was the simple threat of bug-eyed aliens. Classic, goofy, and charming.

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Nightmare Log 2/6/17

The zombies have chased us into a flooded power building. Corralled us like cattle. there are dozens of use, standing in tepid, ankle-length water near the walls of the building. We try to board up the windows, to pile up debris and abandoned machinery in front of the doorways. I can hear the hordes outside – the way their feet shuffle and stumble across debris in the parking lot, the groans and idle sounds slipping from decaying lips, their hands pounding against the doors, so much dead meat.

I peer between cracks in the boards across one window. I can see him. The leader.

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