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MIT blogger Cami M. '23

things i have been consuming this summer by Cami M. '23

random bits of media i have eaten

It’s been really hard to stay resilient through quarantine. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss MIT. I miss having a normal life. After wrapping up my internship just last week, I’ve found myself left with nothing to distract me, so I’ve been left to aimlessly wander the house, laying on couches, bothering my roommates, and contemplating life in this pandemic.

In an effort to, well, not do this, I’ve been revisiting some old things that make me really happy.

Gravity Falls

I really don’t want to spoil anything about the show, so I’ll just put this here, along with my short pitch for the show:

Gravity Falls is a story about two twins, Dipper and Mabel, who move to Gravity Falls, Oregon for the summer and live with the Gruncle Stan Pines. At first, it seems a little boring and janky, but the twins quickly realize that there is something very, very off about this little unsuspecting town. Not only are the residents of the town incredibly quirky and chock full of personality, there’s also certain secrets and hidden gems within the town that they discover throughout the summer.

Over the past week, I finished Season 2 of Gravity Falls. Right before my senior year of high school, I had rewatched Season 1, but never bothered continuing with the series because of the hell that was college application season.

Anyways, it’s very hard for me to put into words how much this show means to me. When I was growing up, I never watched cartoons out of fear that I’d be seen as childish or immature. I really envied kids who could just be open and happy about the “little kid shows” they watched and it wasn’t until high school that I pulled my head out of my ass and realized I could like what I liked without judgment.

Gravity Falls is just that kind of show that brings me immense joy, from the intricacy and detail put into every scene to every character’s arc and growth throughout the series to just the lighthearted nature of the show mixed in with a darker, deeper mysterious aspect. I really loved how this show could be funny for both children and adults without making off-pace or rude jokes. Alex Hirsch really, really nailed it with this show. I see myself and my friends in a lot of the characters, and it was really nice to be able to take my mind off of the stress of summer internships and the fall semester by just sitting back and watching a really good show.

Alex Hirsch is supposedly working on another animated series with Netflix so I’m really excited about that.

Dan and Phil

So it really should be no surprise to people that I used to be pretty deeply entrenched in the YouTube hole for the majority of my middle school life. I can’t really name the majority of the YouTubers I watched, but a big part of it was Dan and Phil! They’re two fun loving, very sweet British YouTubers who live with each other and have made content with each other since pretty much early era YouTube. While Dan has quit (or taken hiatus?) from YouTube, Phil continues to make content! I’ve been watching a lot of Phil’s new videos, but what I’ve really been focusing on is their old gaming content.

I had watched their Undertale playthrough when it first came out, but I’m rewatching it now because honestly I think Undertale is the perfect game for them because the humor is right up their alley and the message of the game resonates pretty heavily with Dan and Phil. If you’ve never heard of or played Undertale, I highly recommend you watch a playthrough (maybe theirs?) or play it yourself because I think it’s a really, really unique take on the RPG genre and it’s pretty cute and funny.

When I would do homework in school, I would always put on YouTube videos or Twitch streams in the background because it made me feel a bit less lonely. I’ve been doing the same with this playthrough. Whenever I’m working or writing blogs or anything of the sort, I’ll usually just play this in the background and it makes me feel really safe and warm and just. Cozy.

I think I get a lot of nostalgia for these videos because it reminds me of simpler times where the first thing I’d do when I got home was check YouTube for a new Dan and Phil video. I really also enjoy a lot of their domestic “Day in the Life” videos because they really show this kind of fairytale lifestyle I really want to live one day. One of my favorite ones to watch is this one:

In this video, Dan and Phil take us through a day in their life as they prepare for the holiday season. It’s really, really wholesome and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. And it makes me look forward to when I can travel around the city picking up holiday baubles and knickknacks for my own apartment one day. Also, London is one of my favorite cities and I’ve been to a lot of the places shown in the video, so it just makes me really happy to kind of “be in London” again by watching this video.

Twitch + LCS (League of Legends Championship Series)

I used to be pretty active on the Twitch scene, heavily following smaller indie streamers like McLaffyTaffy and Bananasaurus Rex and then some not-so-small streamers like NorthernLion, Shroud, and mL7. Back in middle school, I was really heavily into the indie gaming and sandbox crowd. While I played Minecraft nearly 24/7 since I moderated a medium sized server for one of my favorite YouTubers, I also carved out time for other games and watching streams. Some of my favorite games to watch/play in that time were Binding of Isaac, Nuclear Throne, The Stanley Parable, Don’t Starve, Darkest Dungeon, Rogue Legacy, and Spelunky. I highly recommend checking out all of these games if you haven’t already.

In high school, that focus shifted more towards FPS games since my boyfriend at the time played a lot of CSGO and Overwatch, so I quickly became fascinated by esports and the pro gaming scene. I got pretty invested in Overwatch League (OWL) and started watching the professional games regularly, began following pros outside of season and watching their individual streams, and so on so forth. I also watched a lot of CSGO highlight reels and games, despite never playing.

Now, in college, I’ve been watching a lot more League of Legends and Valorant. While I don’t play League myself, Aiden does and we’ve been watching a lot of LCS lately. Aiden’s a big TSM fan (lol rip) and I honestly have no particular leaning, I’m just here to vibe and watch some good matches. Though I don’t quite understand League as deeply as I did Overwatch, I’m still trying to learn and understand, so I’ve been watching some League streamers in my own time. In terms of Valorant, I’ve been just watching Shroud play a lot. Why? No clue, he just has a nice voice and he’s not a dick like some streamers are and he has good content and plays very well. So, works fine by me.

It’s been really nice to crowd around a laptop and watch LCS with friends, getting really into and involved with the games, and so on.

Jelle’s Marble Runs

For those of you who don’t know, there’s a YouTube account called Jelle’s Marble Runs that simulates real life sports events, but with marbles. As of now, Marble League 2020 has just concluded. I haven’t watched the final event yet, as I’m waiting for Kylee to come home since she really wants to watch it and doesn’t want the O’Rangers to win (I kind of want them to win so she’ll be upset). This has been a really nice way to curl back and enjoy some good ol’ sports without coronavirus getting in the way.

We have this really stupid trend in our house where we’ll talk about the marbles like they’re, uh, well, actual people. I’ve grabbed a couple of quotes from the last few weeks.

“God, look at the Pinkies go. They really fucked it up in qualifiers but they’re really working hard right now. Do you think they got a new coach?”

“Their teamwork is just OFF. Their heads aren’t in the game, what the fuck?? I know they can do so much better than this. Why aren’t they COMMUNICATING???”

“GO! GO! FASTER! WHAT THE FUCK?? ARE YOU THROWING? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND WHAT KIND OF PLAY IS THAT WH-“

It’s a really good pastime and I encourage you all to watch a couple races of your own. I’ll even admit that I’m added on the subreddit, too. People come up with some crazy insane artwork. I would post some, but I know there’s probably going to be spoilers from the final game, so I really don’t want to spoil that.

Baking Videos / Preppy Kitchen

I’ve been watching a lot of PreppyKitchen! I really like baking. I prefer it over cooking. Why? Unsure. I’ve been trying to figure this out for myself. To me, I think, baking is much easier. Anywho, I’ve been watching a lot of this guy’s videos and I really adore all his stuff and his attitude. He’s such a fun personality and his recipes look SO delicious, even though I probably shouldn’t make them because they’re so high in sugar. I really want to start baking more once I move into the new apartment, so I’ve been keeping a couple of his videos bookmarked for future reference (Raymond requested a butter pound cake, I really want to try my hand at cream puffs and edible cookie dough, and I love eclaires).

Minecraft YouTube / Dream

SO….LET’S TALK ABOUT MINECRAFT MANHUNT. Like I mentioned earlier, I used to be really into Minecraft. Like, really into it. Like, I considered myself very good at the game PvP- and mechanics-wise. I used to be super into the OLD Minecraft YouTuber groups (BajanCanadian, SkyDoesMinecraft, SetoSorcerer, AntVenom, CaptainSparklez, JeromeASF, etc.) and then they inevitably sparked out.

BUT THIS NEW MINECRAFT RENAISSANCE IS INCREDIBLE. Dream, GeorgeNotFound, Technoblade, SapNap…all of these people literally put Gen1 Minecraft players to shame.

Just. If you play Minecraft, please watch this video. Please. The mechanics in this game are insane. Dream is insane. These guys are just…so good at what they do and it makes me want to pick up Minecraft again. There’ve been actually a lot of MCYT references on MIT Confessions lately and it makes me really happy that a large part of the MIT community is also hobbled up inside their homes, curled up in a ball as we watch Dream beat the shit out of his three friends in Minecraft.

Ratatoing

So, there’s this common trend where when there’s a super successful animated movie, some skeezy animator usually creates some…strange…mock up copy of it? You’ve heard of Ratatouille, but have you heard of the masterpiece that is Ratatoing?

Marcelle Toing, owner of the best restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, must go on missions to steal ingredients from human restaurants to keep his meals the best.

Raymond and I watched this one night because we were bored and honestly it just consisted of us whispering “ratatoing” in our Discord call back and forth. The movie’s plot is SEVERELY DIFFERENT from the actual Ratatouille, which I did not expect. I thought it would just be a straight carbon copy of Ratatouille, but no! It’s not! The animation is stupid bad and the voice acting is cringey and weird and I. Loved. It. Please watch Ratatoing if you have the chance. If you’re bored one night with your ragtag group of friends, this is the movie for you.

The Exigency

So Raymond stumbled across this video on his recommended page:

TLDR: A guy emailed this YouTuber this movie that he’s been making by himself for the past 13 years. He uses a 3d program called Poser, which is incredibly old and outdated. So the graphics are pretty off and maybe the voice acting is a bit shit, but The Exigency is one of the coolest fucking movies I’ve watched. So, keep in mind, this is no Hollywood blockbuster. But just…give the movie a try. It’s got weird bits of humor, really impressive fight scenes, and a really unique story and world that’s built. And when you remember that it was made by one fucking person you kinda just sit back and go “Holy shit.” At least, that’s what Raymond and I were doing the entire time. I really enjoyed this movie.

If you want to watch it for yourself, you can watch it on Amazon Prime!

What Would You Do?

The Crab Cave has been watching a lot of WWYD with John Quiñones (and a lot of To Catch A Predator). Here’s the gist of it:

Using hidden cameras, host John Quiñones observes and comments on how ordinary people behave when they are confronted with dilemmas that require them either to take action or to walk by and mind their own business. Various scenarios are created that force people to make split-second — and often surprising — decisions, and variations of the situation (such as changing the genders, races or clothing of the people involved) are often featured to see if different reactions are elicited. Examples of situations on the show include a waitress being harassed by her boss, and a drunken valet trying to park cars.

Examples of this are like “What would you do if you saw a group of teens crushing up peanuts to put in their friend’s drink as a prank?” or “…if you saw a waitress lying to a blind man and taking the money he has?” Stuff like that. Honestly we’ve broken down the formula of WWYD and we really want to recreate it:

  1. Re-enact bizarre scenario in intro scene.
  2. Have John Quiñones walk out and have the scenario freeze frame.
  3. Awkwardly zoom in and out on the building that the real scene is going to take place in.
  4. Enact the scene and see if people react.
  5. Insert commentary from John Quiñones going “I love [this guy/these ladies/these people/this man] excitedly from a van outside the show.
  6. Wait until the situation escalates.
  7. “Hi, I’m John Quiñones and you’re on a TV show called What Would You Do?”
  8. Have everyone make their “OH MY GOD IT’S JOHN QUINONES” face.

MITter (MIT Twitter)

I’ve been tweeting out my feelings a lot on my Twitter and I really appreciate having the MIT community listen to me yell about nothingness. You can read more about MITter and our antics through Shayna’s blog here.