The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Posts Tagged ‘anton

Stage of the Day #2567

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Stage of the Day #2567

Here’s Anton and Pearce, sitting on our injured couch and trying to get through one of my Super Mario Maker stages.

Level design is a surprisingly difficult art, and the process of building something fun and interesting takes a lot of thought and iteration, building ideas and scrapping them for new ones. It’s not a skill I”m ever going to master, but it’s fun to dabble in with this game. Creating a good level requires placing yourself in another’s mental state; players will know nothing about what thought went into your design, so you have to build it in a way such that it teaches them as they go.

That is to say: it’s very interesting to watch people play levels I make, since they will miss things I thought were obvious, make mistakes I didn’t expect, take shortcuts that I thought were impossible; my mind creates a shape and theirs digests it by an entirely different process, and the discrepancy is so fascinating.

This particular level, though, was maybe a little cruel. Anton fell off the angry caterpillar onto the spikes below many times before giving up, and that’s entirely my fault. There’s plenty to learn here, as in all things.

the great wiggler robbery

Written by Umbrella Man

October 3, 2015 at 1:06 am

Posted in friends, games, people

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Bite of the Day #2562

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Bite of the Day #2562

Anton starts his new job in a few days, and part of the transition to this new chapter for him is a new apartment – the first home that he has to himself. Mitch and I helped him pack some things into his parents’ minivan (his mother provided fresh apple cake), his whole family came out to send him off, and we drove across the city to see what would become his new home.

As we took turns carrying furniture up the four flights of stairs, we could hear the sound of some unfamiliar stringed instrument – a guzheng, perhaps? – drifting over a neighbor’s fence. That on its own made it seem like a lovely place to live, a neighborhood full of color.

We finished, finally, and some rather fantastical pizza arrived to congratulate us. I can’t quite appreciate the flavor of mushrooms but they did fit a remarkable variety on one pie, and the other was so intensely flavorful – gorgonzola, roasted pear, unnamable greens and spices. Each slice almost collapsed under the weight of the toppings, so we had to take big bites to start each one off.

I think Anton will like it here.

spring river flower moon night

Written by Umbrella Man

September 27, 2015 at 11:21 pm

Posted in food, friends, people

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Soldiers of the Day #2553

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Soldiers of the Day #2553

Emily arranged another Nerf war today – the first in a very long time, and a sort of triumphant return to shenanigans at the Molecule. Mitch and Clara, both of whom I haven’t seen enough lately, were there; and Mack and Ralph, neither of whom I’ve seen in a long time, made it out as well. Emily herself was off gathering snacks for us when I took this photo, and when she returned we had a long overdue feast there under the molecule: cheese and gouda, dried apples, peanut butter cups, olive oil popcorn, hard cider.

We started with a vague notion to just shoot each other and try not to be shot, and eventually organized a sort of tower-siege game. It turns out that the Molecule is rather difficult to defend, but all the attackers still suffered a number of dramatic deaths before stealing away the defenders’ doomsday device.

Afterwards Laurel and I had nearly everyone over for dinner and games – our first party at this apartment. We had to shuffle around the furniture to seat everyone together, but the makeshift arrangement worked well enough.

It’s so nice to see all these friends again – I feel like I’ve replenished some essential vitamin I’ve been missing for a long time.

I just wanted to be near you

Written by Umbrella Man

September 19, 2015 at 12:55 am

Colony of the Day #2542

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Colony of the Day #2542

This was taken moments before the pivotal dice roll that spelled doom for our colony in the wintry zombie apocalypse. With morale low, our refugees near starving and the zombies closing in, we needed one survivor to journey out from the colony and secure the hospital. There was a 1 in 12 chance that he wouldn’t survive, but the die came up with a foreboding human tooth, and that last refugee’s death lead to the collapse of our colony.

I wonder how we’d do in real life.

Anyway, Anton is back for good now, and made it out to see us even after a flight across the country. It’s good to have him back with us again.

So ends our little vacation – tomorrow works begins again, and I won’t catch quite enough sleep before then. So many things to do, always, always.

mega man 2

Written by Umbrella Man

September 8, 2015 at 12:55 am

Posted in friends, games, people

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Bronco of the Day #2380

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Bronco of the Day #2380

The new exercise ball lives in my room, but when friends are over it comes out to play. It functions something like a domestic mechanical bull; people like to test themselves on it, lifting their feet from the ground and keeping upright as long as they can. Fairly often they will roll onto their back, and though there is no recovery from that position, they still attempt to stay atop the ball, arms and legs flailing. Occasionally someone will outright crash, but so far we have zero casualties.

Jackie Chan gets more spectacular the older I get, and it was good to get people together to marvel at him tonight.

I was following the eye

Written by Umbrella Man

March 29, 2015 at 11:46 pm

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Smush of the Day #2371

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Smush of the Day #2371

Over the years Cake has become familiar with the haus folk, visiting them on their doorstep day after day. He’s finally passed the threshold and visited their home itself, where he acted as if he’d lived there all his life.

Mitch made him levitate a bit just moments before this; Cake’s response was fair and just.

A good night tonight, and the weekend is a very welcome thing.

I am a conversation

Written by Umbrella Man

March 21, 2015 at 12:49 am

Posted in cats, friends, people

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Squeeze of the Day #2365

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Squeeze of the Day #2365

Dad stopped by today with a loaf of warm cheese-and-olive bread and an exercise ball – a little bit of housewarming, perhaps. Anton came over in the evening, boysenberry pie in hand, and eventually took it upon himself to inflate the new ball. You have to grit your teeth for this first workout, bringing the ball to life by offering a little of your own.

I feel like a bit of a fool trying to balance on the thing, wiggling a bit and then rolling over in desperate attempts to stay on top of the ball, but even falling off of it is rather fun.


In the null hours between this post being written and when the next day began, Pearce and I had a long meandering conversation, starting with his asking if the purpose of this blog has changed over time, and, after Brittany arrived, asking if each of us had happy childhoods, and how we came to be the people we are. It’s worth remembering, so tonight will have a bonus photo.

goodnight talk

Written by Umbrella Man

March 15, 2015 at 12:14 am

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