Antichrist

Prologue:

Okay so it’s in black and white. Notable notes: three figures labeled pain, grief and despair on table. Baby boy knocks them over when climbing atop the table to the window. Snow outside. Couple copulating in the same room; distracted. Antichrist with a female symbol for “t”. Man knocks bottle of liquid (probably alcohol) over during bed sex. Sex starts in shower. Baby carrying a bear, first seen floating in the nursery, tied to a black balloon. Baby speaker, can probably hear parents having sex in other room. Background music: operatic singing, women’s voice. Boy falls through window, orgasm upon his impact and subsequent death. From shower, moves to laundry room, then to the bed. The dryer is on, and stops at the end of the prologue. 

Analysis:

Dryer and sheets inside–couple making a new baby, impregnation. Round window of dryer, reminiscent of pregnant womb. Alcohol knocked over—sexual intoxication leading to negligence. Black balloon tied to bear—balloon as dark, evil parents (or just the mother), “raising” the child (the bear) up, but all balloons soon deflate. The cold air outside would certainly deflate the balloon (chemistry…). Snow-innocence, the baby, falling towards the ground. Sex in shower, shower=cleanliness contrasted with dirty act. Dryer dries clothes, but also the couple, as they move to the bed….?

Chapter One: Grief

Okay so unlike the prologue, this section is much longer, so I will probably miss some things. Um Well the mother experiences profound “atypical” grief. Her therapist husband insists on taking her home, despite the disapproval of Dr. Wayne, the offscreen doctor. where her condition only seems to worsen. She bangs her head on the toilet some times….puts the pills in the toilet too. She is guilty. The husband tries to help. Oh yes in the beginning there walking behind the coffin of the child, the father sobbing with the mom silently staring at the black box behind him. They’re walking, and suddenly she collapses. She was in the hospital for a while, a month. The camera zooms into the bedside flowers, particularly the stems and the murky water. At home there are some strange and eerie foreshadowing visions of twisted grey branches/underbrush. “Anxiety” signs are shown in shadowy b&w scenes with close ups of symptoms like a pulsing neck vein for “fast pulse”. The mom is highly sexual, trying to use sex as a way of dousing her grief. The husband tries to stop her, but he gives in. They copulate once. She says he wasn’t a part of her and the son’s life before he died. He tries to make her confess her greatest fears, or places of fear. She says the woods “Eden”, though before she had always wanted to go there. They make it into the woods, and the scene of the forest is subtly distorted. She wants to rest, and while she sleeps, he wanders off and sees a deer. Turning, he realizes the deer is giving birth and his expression changes. It trots off. A significantly symbolic scene takes place when they’re on the train and she, in psychotherapy, narrates her travel through the woods with guidance from her husband. The scenes are slow-motion. The first shows her crossing a small bridge, everything is “silent”, even the stream underneath. The next she is crossing through some ferns a “lizard is hiding behind the fern, as usual”. It is not difficult to walk here. Next she is seen through a “field fox hole” among the trees and slopes. It is not easy to pass here, the ground feels like “mud”. She next passes by a decaying tree whose “trunk is thick”. It is decaying ever-so-slowly, and it has a “strange kind of personality”. Finally she is seen approaching the cabin, but before she enters, her husband tells her to lie down. A bit hesitant, she does so and her husband tells her to fade into the green, which she does, and it’s over.  

Analysis:

There’s not much for me to say, the focus on the murky water of the flower vase might indicate the evil present in the mother, with the flowers being her son. Garden of Eden motif. Fertilization theme, with the deer and the offspring hanging out of its butt. Everything else for later expansion.

Chapter Two: Pain (Chaos reigns)

The wife comes to tell the husband that they should get going. He seems off-put by the encounter with the deer. They head towards the cabin and see all the places described by the wife earlier. First the bridge, which she crosses with great difficulty. The volume of the stream increases while she walks slowly across, before bursting away about half way through. The husband sighs in exasperation, and heads toward the cabin alone where along the way he crosses the field of ferns, the fox hole, and the strange tree. When he arrives, he spots the pile of branches to the right of the cabin a bit off. The wife is sleeping inside and he sees the polaroids of her and the child on the bedside table. During the night, we can hear the clanging of acorns falling down on the tin roof of the cabin. He opens the window to look, and falls asleep with his hand outside the window. When waking, he sees tiny grey pebbles stuck to his hand and peels them off confusedly. Later he is seen outside by his wife setting up stones for an “exercise”. From one stone to the other, she crosses the grass, though with great turmoil. For a second a vision of a bare foot (possibly hers) is seen stepping onto dirty grass. She reaches the stone and sits down, weeping while her husband consoles her on her good job. Suddenly a dead baby bird drops out of a tree, and a close up reveals its infancy and the ants covering its pale body. A grown bird swoops in and takes it into the tree where it promptly rips off the dead baby bird’s wing and eats it. The wife cries harder. Okay many things happened. She, while sobbing in bed, recollects the summer before where she hear a sound. She is working at her desk with a book titled “Gynocide”. The sound was Nick, the child, crying, and this sound permeated throughout the entire forest, but he was found in the barn, positively shining. The crying had no apparent source. She lies in bed, saying something about how nature is Satan’s realm, I can’t recall the exact quote. Oh yes “Satan’s church”. And the window is open, “that was his breath” as the wind blows through. She also deconstructs her prior view of the world, long ago when she found out oak trees live for 100 trees and they only need one acorn to propagate. Then she says now she realizes that Eden’s beauty might actually be hideous because all the lost acorns, and their cries of death, touch her..He has a dream of slowly falling acorns, like the opening scene in Melancholia. The next morning she is seemingly cured, frolicking through the grass and nature, stomping the bridge, waddling through the stream. But the husband, unconvinced, dons a skeptical look which the wife takes as his inability to be “happy for her”. She rushes back to the cabin, and in the field of ferns, while following her, he hears a rustle in the ferns a ways off. Before bending down to see what it is, a wind rushes through, stirring the ferns. It is a fox, who seems to be eating itself. Then, with a ominous voice, it says “Chaos Reigns”.

Analysis:

Long long long, expand later. 

Chapter Three: Despair (Gynocide)

It starts raining without warning, and the man goes inside to find his wife sleeping. He notices an attic door, and curious, climbs up with a ladder to reveal its contents. Inside he sees pictures of gynocide tacked up upon the wooden walls, and the book shown earlier in the flashback “Gynocide”, on a table, extensively highlights and annotated. Besides the volume is something resembling a constellation map. A notable emphasis is placed upon three particular constellations named “The Three Beggars”, and they’re a fox, an unknown bird, and a deer. They’re each labeled pain, despair, and grief respectively, mirroring the three chapters of the book in which each one appears. He finds a journal where his wife must have cataloged her thoughts last summer, but as he flips through it, the handwriting is seen to debilitate, until the writing is nearly unreadable. Trees fall outside. The next day in bed, she talks about the evil nature of woman, but her husband refutes the idea, reminding her of the vary topic of her thesis, which was to debase the idea that she’s now embracing. They have sex and the wife implores him to “hit her hard so it hurts” whilst sobbing. He refuses, and she runs off into the woods. The wife is seen masturbating fervently in the forest to the sound of an eerie music, her husband joins her and they copulate. She asks again, and this time he obliges, hitting her twice before they embrace. The camera pans outwards, and we can see the arms of people, seemingly trapped underneath the roots of the tree. A reference is made to the Sisters of Ratisman who could conjure up a hailstorm. The next day she is seen throwing papers into the stone fireplace. She finds the autopsy report the husband had been keeping from her in the pile of papers. The report shows a slight deformity of the child’s foot, which we later see might have come from the misplacement of his shoes. The husband shows her this and she dismisses it as a weird “slip of the day”. He exits the cabin, through the thick fog, and into the shed where he reviews the photos, all of them with the same misplacement of shoes, left on right and right on left. A flashback reveals the wife’s deliberate intent to put the shoes on wrong, to the protest of the crying child. Suddenly, the wife bursts in with a wooden plank, hitting the husband and questioning if he’s leaving her. The crazy attack devolves (or evolves?) into a feral sex session, where the husband says he loves her, but she says he doesn’t believe him. The sex halts, and the husband falls unconscious, when the wife throws a cinderblock onto his penis. She strokes the shaft, and blood squirts out, staining her white floral blouse. Silently, she detaches a round cement block from its place and uses a drill to push a hole through his left shin. Using the circular block as a weight, she inserts a metal rod through his shin and screws the cement block in, as to incapacitate him. After doing so, she takes a wrench to the cabin where she throws it underneath. Meanwhile, the husband regains consciousness and with great agony, crawls away into the fox hole. Finding him gone, the wife hysterically shouts “Where are you!” and “You bastard!” repetitively. Inside the hole, he lights a match and finds something buried underneath the dirt; a raven, one of the three beggars, despair. It is inexplicably alive, and squawks loudly at the man. Realizing it is giving away his position, he begins pummeling it with a rock, but the bird remains alive. Finding his position, the woman tries to drag him out, but failing that, she grabs a shovel and begins digging from the top downward.

Analysis:

WOOOH!

Chapter 4: The Three Beggars 

It is nighttime, and the wife is standing over a patch of dirt with her shovel. She starts sobbing and saying “I’m sorry”, digging out the man from the dirt below. He says they need to get the weight off of him, but she says she can’t find it, after honestly searching for it in the tool box. She helps him back to the cabin where he asks her if she was going to kill him. She says “not yet” and begins crying before stopping abruptly and says “a woman crying is a woman scheming”. Other portents include “when the three beggars gather, someone must die”. She kisses him and gets up to grab a pair of scissors. She lays next to him and takes his hand, guiding it towards her nether regions. A flashback of the prologue shows that she saw the child climbing onto the desk, and subsequently falling out the window. Crying, she tells him to “hold [her]” and proceeds to cut her clitoris with the scissors. She cries out and a deer in the forest lifts its head. Later, the husband, still on the floor, stares out the window and sees the constellation of The Three Beggars noting that there is no constellation named that. A cut from the prologue shows a deer in the window as the child falls through. A deer appears, and then a fox with a bell necklace. The raven is heard beneath the floorboard. The man breaks it and finds the hidden wrench, but before he can free himself, the woman awakes and they quarrel. She stabs him with the scissors, twice, but he manages to break free (with great pain). Now free, he pushes the woman to the wall and strangles her to death. Before the huge fight, some hail pores down, just a note. Anyways, the deed is done, and he cremates his wife outside on the pile of branches seen earlier. As he limps away with a stick for support, the transparency of the woods are elucidated and hundreds of naked bodies lie underneath.

Analysis:

blam!

Epilogue:

The initial slow operatic song from the prologue is resumed as well as the black and white color. The man is seen walking up a hill, and stops to consume some berries. He sees a feather in the bush, and sees the Three Beggars staring off to the side. Standing up, he peers down the hill and sees a procession of hundreds of women climbing up the hill. He is smiling. Just as many approach from the back, and the movie ends with a shot of the multitude of women climbing up the hill. 

Analysis:

wow!

Movie Marathon 2

Movie Marathon 2!!!

I’m not sure if I should be calling these marathons, I mean each movie is distinct and different from the last, but here are the movies I’ve watched tonight alone:

Donnie Darko (again)

Devil’s Path

Slacker

and last and arguably best: Dead Man…

All of them were amazing though in their own unique respects. Devil’s Path had a nice plot with really cool elements of mystery and a connection at the end that tied the whole movie together, I did skip portions of the movie though. Slacker was just utterly fulfilling, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a film with so many characters, and what’s weird is that even though it jumps around, the characters aren’t shallow, their viable and strong, each person adding to the overall halcyon mood of the movie. If Richard Linklater was trying to convey the amicable environment of 1990s Austin, I think he did it. It provides hope for humanity! Haha, the fact that it’s so casual makes a society like that seem actually possible, I just can’t see that here where I live. That’s why I want to visit Austin…I wonder if it’s still like that? Keeping an eye out for Boyhood, which is getting REALLY good reviews. Anyways, yes DEAD MAN. Film by Jim Jarmusch 1995 with Johnny Depp. The whole story is set in black and white, and the filming fades in and out of blackness with a lot of transitions. This was a hero’s journey, when watching this I couldn’t help but draw on archetypes; Nobody as the Sage, Bill as the Outcast variant of the Hero, Colin Wilson as the Villain and embodiment of evil. I tried to pinpoint the exact moment Bill turns into a killer, and I don’t really know, maybe if I watched it again. I thought at first it was after he went to take a piss, but that doesn’t sound like a very transformative experience, so I’m thinking maybe the night before when Nobody leaves him. All this literary analysis is stemming from Dante’s Inferno, something we’re reading in English right now. Three beasts, three hunters. Rivers, contrasts between Christianity and Shamanistic religions. Bill sharing the same name as the famous English poet William Blake was a detail whose significance I haven’t picked up yet. The wound he has from the bullet that went through Thela is also important. Theme’s of death, the afterlife, corruptive love, greed, morality, and the battle between good and evil. Also character development of Bill is extraordinary. The markings on his face, isolation from both societies (West and Indian), fawn scene with the vertical blood marking….There are also characters I’m not too sure about, like the three people at the campfire, one dressed as a women, the fireman from the beginning, and, well everyone on a certain level, some more than others. 

Notes on Office Life

cropping out my manager’s name. The office has two stories. I sit on the fourth floor!

Here are some quick notes and updates on my first week as the Consumer Marketing Assistant in Executive Marketing Strategy at Hachette Book Group:

Dress code:

  • Fridays people wear jeans and more casual wear. Plain white sneakers and other monotone closed-toe shoes are acceptable. Polos have been spotted!
  • notes from my manager: sneakers are ok – untucked shirts are ok – personal style is ok – jeans are ok !!!
  • Not ok: no ripped jeans or shorts.
  • Plaid is …also ok apparently! 


Some office life thoughts:

  • Tough question: what about the office doesn’t sit right with me….what does work? Basically, as a new hire, what do i think about the office environment? It’s a priority that I feel comfortable. I can’t think of anything, because I like the office so much that I even have a hard time leaving at the end of each day (which I’m low-key trying to play cool). My manager caught me staying past my required hours on Friday and I tried to play it off like I was charging my phone – which I was !
  • Professional relationships between supervisors and assistants, assistants and the supervisors of their supervisors, and more: my manager is very friendly. She has brought up the fact that I am young and connected to the youth and more in the know. I don’t know if I know anything about all that. But I definitely have friends who are/do know.
  • Office environment: as I sit right next to probably the most beautiful Take Shelf in the entire office, I do get lots of people near my desk all day. I’m also located in front of the printer room and a conference room which are also infrequent sources of noise. Usually people aren’t loudly talking in the office, but it does happen and this can be kind of distracting. 
  • As I noted earlier in the week: sometimes people aggregate near the spiral take shelf next to my desk, but that’s okay. I can always move to a common area or just put in headphones.

Final points of note: I can’t believe every time I see the CEO just walking around like a regular ol’ Joe! I wonder if he feels like his position has warded him off from new hires. Would love to say hi to him one day and introduce myself. The amount of times I’ve spotted him my first week (3-4 times?) has been alarming in an office of 450 employees.

Despite my attempts to keep my pile of to-be-reads low, I have already stock-piled several free books digitally and through the online lending library and am inevitably going to collect more. I am also unsure what to do with my two drawers, shelves, and file cabinet. Currently I have a belt, my expired passport from orientation day, and the packets from training awkwardly settled among the empty spaces.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle-NOT FINISHED

I was hesitant to write anything about this book because there seems to be an overwhelming amount of adequate and often incisive reviews already posted about this book. Obviously there are varying opinions, but it seems like the majority of reviewers here are ready to jump out of their socks for Murakami’s prose/sympobolism/intricacy. 95% liked it at least, and I’m guessing all the 5 stars are the raving fans previously mentioned? I don’t know where I fall, but I definitely liked it. Only having a day to simmer in the aftermath of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, I’ve not completely consolidated my wildly dispersed ideas on this considerably large book. Still, I need to write down my thoughts before they drift away, like fragmentary dreams, which compared to Murakami’s books, aren’t all that different. So, what does it all mean? That’s a stupid, but honest question. Uncertainty is what makes Murakami’s books both wonderful and frustrating. Yea, it really dictates everything about his writing. He draws in his reader into the often icy and always dark pool of his story with strange characters/situations set in even stranger settings as his hooks and line. Sometimes it’s not so bad, and you feel like you’re drifting, but other times the author’s approach is more akin to violent drowning, holding off easy answers like the depravation of oxygen. These put the reader into a hyper-aware crisis mode where any and all details matter tenfold, because in all his genius, Murakami frequently incorporates incredibly mundane happenings into surreal and significant events. Personally I relished in the mystery, stumbling across each new connection was fun, albeit rare…  
  I guess I should note here that it took me about 2 months to finish this book, and I know that meant my brain gradually lost bits and pieces of information as the days passed by before I would pick up my Kindle again for another attempt. Granted, I was reading Dune at the same time, it still took long, even with my snail-paced reading -_-. So in answering the question ^^ what does it all mean? I’m sorry, future Daniel (the only reader of this shitty “review”), if I recall things mistakenly.
  What was it with the Cutty Sark?
Before Creta Kano’s extensive backstory, I was sure I had at least a bit of the whiskey explanation sorted out. My initial story went along the lines of the whiskey being a immorality-intoxication and you know, it was a bad thing. Mr. Honda’s package of an empty Cutty Sark box closed off the first book of the novel right? Well this would go along with his warning to “beware of water!” or something. Cutty Sark’s empty container was a repeated warning and premonition for all things ruinous. Whenever Toru visited the dark room with the mysterious lady, a bottle of Cutty Sark always seemed to be there. Maybe I’m oversimplifying things (or overconvoluting?), but it seems like Cutty Sark is a representation of Toru’s passive attitude in life (something mentioned by everyone’s review) and his failure to take initiative/inability to take initiave- like an incredibly drunken, almost disabled man. Near the end of the book, the whiskey is said to be nearly out, like someone had been drinking it, and we know Toru isn’t drinking enough to finish the whole glass bottle. Instead, I thought that the gradual disappearence of Cutty Sark indicated a realization on Toru’s part regarding his passivity and not-solidness. What’s the opposite of solid? Liquidness? That would work out. Toru initially is very liquid-y, a formless man who possesses no personal convictions about the on-goings of his day to day life. As we first meet him, we’re informed of his existence before the page 1, Toru was an office-man (what was his job again?) who came home on time and owned a home with a cat and a wife who (normally) also came home on time, and they would have dinner together. Normal, ordinary, and organized, these seem to be the defining characteristics of Toru Okada’s life before the disappearence of his cat, Noboru Wataya*. <Side note: Noboru Wataya’s (the cat) disappearence out into the world and out of Toru’s insular world, brought into Toru’s world an until then, out in the world Noboru Wataya (the human).> As the book progresses, we witness Toru encounter increasingly bizarre circumstances that throw a seemingly ordinary man into the indeterminate flows of the world. Crazy right? Well through the turmoil, as far as I know, Toru emerges a stronger, more solid person. The toxic liquid has escaped, possibly being expelled/consumed by the Man with a Knife, an entity that’s probably the human Noboru Wataya. His identity doesn’t really matter, just the idea of Toru’s siphoning of (his)darkness into the void matters. I guess without the liquid, all that remains is the glass, clear and transparent, free of surreptitious deceptions, and while fragile, it remains strong in its representation of virtue. But that might be stretching it. 
  What was it with the blue mark?
Okay so this is one of the harder questions for me. What was it with the blue mark? What did it matter? And why? I didn’t want to think about the mark because along with the bat, it bothers me (as the most impenetrable symbols)! I hope to myself that they don’t mean anything and they’re just meaningless details, put there to add a little pizzazz to the story, but I mean it’s Murakami, almost everything has a purpose, let alone recurring pairs of images. Ugh. So what does the blue mark mean? First, I can trace back the beginning of the mark with Toru’s first stay in the well and his first visit to the dark room (I think). I remember a kiss with tongue, a tongue that warmed his right cheek as he passed through the gelatin-y wall. Looking back, maybe the mark was Kumiko’s way of protecting, or warning Toru of something. The mark did set off a chain of events that eventually led to Toru (kinda) owning the Miyakawa’s property with the well, ensuring future visits with the mystery lady in the dark room*. <Often interpreted as the inside of Toru’s mind.> So if this theory if even remotely on it, Kumiko would have to have powers of precognition. I mean that wouldn’t be uncommon in a book that has sisters with psychic abilities. The mark also gave Toru powers, the power that Nutmeg also possessed, a curative ability that seemed to pull at an inner something that resided in all human beings, as Nutmeg explains. The blue color might explain this specific connection, blue indicating spirituality and emotive themes. Beyond these two measly conclusions, I can’t speculate much more without completely bullshitting. If someone could answer, what do you think the mark showcases? 
  What was it with the bat?
Jumping right in with issue number 2 of relative hardness. The bat encompasses the jarring amount of destructiveness humanity has in its capability. Not just plain old violence, but voilence as conveyed through acts of cruelty and demonstrations in mercilessness (right spelling?). Murakami even gives us an instance where the bat might have been a part of an unconscious attack, although psychologically, on a person, hinting at an inherent voilent nature that leans towards death and murder even without us knowing. Now that’s a scary notion. Maybe the bat represented an unrestrained savagery present in all makind as when Toru ruthlessly attacks the Man with the Guitarcase. Tangent: sorry but now doing the whole capitalizing thing twice now, I realize  how stupid it looks….still fun.

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This review was never finished. I had cut a limb from the beast, promising to come back soon to finish the job, but instead, several months have passed and I’ve simply let it bleed out. By now it seems pointless to even attempt a revival. Instead I’m here to end this weeping creature of a review’s life in order to ensure any excess suffering is stifled without wait. Incredible book! Read the WUBC! 

Content blues

Deciding what to post now for the next few days. As of this draft, 08/01- a Thursday night, I haven’t told the current start-up company I’m working with that I’ve accepted a job offer with Hachette Book Group. It begins Monday! I don’t know how and when and even if I should announce this on socials. I updated my closest friend, told a close one vaguely and basically told another close one through my previous blog post delivered to their email but refrained from sharing that post on socials by disconnecting my socials, that I set to automatically share on all blog posts here, from that post. Right now I’m thinking of blog posts surrounding it that I could write. This one was supposed to be about the interview.

Tonight I want to work on the social media for the startup including: building out their August editorial calendar. Creating more assets, completing the rest of the week’s duties like writing social copy for next week. I want to be more proactive with the Instagram as well, with the look and with creating a link in bio.

As for the blog, I guess I’ll start to draft some current content for today and tomorrow. I’m under the impression that Autostraddle is going to read my blog like my supervisor at Hachette did and be the opposite of impressed because the recent backlog is realllly bad.

I want to tell my coworkers at the startup that I’ve accepted the job offer by Friday and provide options for work going forward. I also want to create a blog post about applying to jobs as a full-time job and another on the process of this job with the help of my email inbox timestamps. I also want to make one about what the job entails and about my future anxieties. Eventually I want to write one about budgeting too – all of these have been on my mind since I got the job.

I got a job! Multifarious updates on blogging and life

reading the past few backlogs has me some sort of way toward stress. The mediocre movie reviews stricken by emotional tumult and dictionary spew seems likely for a time in my life since pass but not lost. Its future tendrils spin around the opening sentences here, delaying the point.

Anyways, I got a job in publishing – my first right out of college. A result of an incredible interviewer and an unusual eloquence (on my part) born of enthusiasm and prep. I brought printed slide decks. The job will be under the Associate Director of Consumer Marketing at Hachette Book Group – a Big 5 publisher whose New York office is right next to Radio City Music Hall. I’ve never been to either, and I was no less than thrilled to step foot into the former.

My position culminates disparate strands of personal-cum-professional interests surrounding the written word. The official offer letter came in Monday morning, but the complete process has been stretched over the past two weeks or so.

Waiting to announce it on any platform has had the desired effect of dulling my feelings around the subject. For an understanding of my feelings around employment, hard-work and good news, read this post from my backup blog.


Full disclosure, this blog was referenced as evidence of my acumen regarding various writing styles. The comment has no doubt been a boon and a deterrent to my feelings surrounding the content I’ve uploaded and have prepared to upload. From now to the end of August I’ll be uploading daily content reflective of the varying nature of my past daily content this July. They are flawed. Some are dull – those of which bend light leaves nothing for me as a reader in the present. Many have brought remembrance to static folds, and these (however cliche it is to say) shine with an unknown brilliance. I’m hopeful my connection to the expansive unknown is yet unbroken.

If I find the need to, I’ll be writing updates as this new period of my life takes shape. Change occurs on a dime, and this portends a great deal of it. Still, many things stay the same, and its even in this sameness that an unchanging change plays out – within the silent drives, grinding asphalt, the duty of steam, in heat waves- in rice. Noted textures observed internally and in solitude, I’ll make sure to send senses out to these as well.