Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 36 ~Rainy Day~ (Animal Crossing)

Origin: Animal Crossing
Plays in: All day during a rainstorm
Status: Original Composition
Composer(s): Kazumi Totaka, Shinobu Tanaka, Kenta Nagata, Toru Minegishi

When it rains, it pours. Over the past month, the circumstances regarding my job have only gotten from bad to worse, and it's been affecting me deeply. I won't get into the gritty details, but it's been a maelstrom of miscommunication, finger-pointing and radio silence that's wearing me down. Not good, not good. 

I try my hardest to be a resilient human being. I've had a countless amount of challenges and hardships to overcome in my lifetime, yet every struggle ends the same: I slowly rise back up to face whatever comes next. At the end of the day, I have my dreams to live for, and there's people who love me that count on my existence. So far, it seems this case will be no different, as there's plenty of opportunities to look forward to. For instance, I'll be starting my JTP with GameSkinny next week, so I probably won't be completely jobless in the near feature. And I've excelled in my self-studying of Japanese (I was able to translate some of the 1st One Piece volume today!), so there's that.

And yet, this situation is still immensely disappointing to me. That I was able to make a difference in a district I spent over decade loving and hating as a foolish adolescent was both cathartic and monumental to me, and now that may not be the case soon. Not that neither side is completely faultless in the ordeal, mind, but I'd rather be honest over the ordeal rather than hearing, well, nothing.

At the heart of the matter is something I've slowly grown to fear over the past couple years: social skills, cues and conveniences I cannot glean due to having Asperger's. I still cannot comb my hair properly. My rate of speech is still too fast, and I cannot properly gauge the volume and tone of my voice. I unconsciously pace around. I hate using it as an excuse--at the end of the day, we're all human beings no matter what we do--and yet it's who I am. What's an Aspie to do?

It's not that I hate myself for having the syndrome; in fact, I'm proud I came this far as a member of the spectrum. But it's that fear that no matter where or what I'm doing, it always ends up being socially unacceptable or wrong. This is despite the fact I'm on the high-functioning end of the spectrum: I still know the difference between right and wrong, and what's sensitive and insensitive. But there's always going to be a blind spot in areas I continue to fail in, and neurotypicals will, without fail, pick up on that.

This isn't the struggle I imagined myself back in 5th Grade, where math problems were the bane of my existence and I was struggling with the reality that I was falling for my best friend. I've always known I was different and people were going to have difficulty accepting who I am, most of all myself. Funny how I always paint my childhood with rosy innocence, and yet I wonder if my hardships back then were just as poignant.

Does my choice of an Animal Crossing theme--one that happens to be one of my favorite rain themes in gaming history--strike as fitting? It's not particularly gloomy, given that it's from Animal Crossing and all, yet it's something I always turn to whenever I'm pondering myself. I usually walk away content, yet today is different. Am I searching for a piece of childhood that's calling out to me, refusing to be buried in the mists of time? Am I just looking for catharsis? I don't know, and yet I'm just staring at the storm.

Just what am I missing? What am I missing?  

Final Thoughts: By the way, this is the first time I've done a second music column on a single game, hasn't it?


  1. Oh, Anthony... this was such a touching piece. I won't say that it mirrors my own experience, because it would probably be quite a stretch to say I had things like that happen. But it is nonetheless the case that, though I have certainly emerged unscathed from Autism in my younger years, it's still with me.

    Now, it's effects are mostly little things. I sometimes interpret things literally even when I know the (oftentimes obvious) subtext or meaning. Despite now being an excellent reader and writer, and having a great dialect (though I wonder if there is a slight lisp there sometimes), I often mispronounce words or use similar words or not fully succinct grammar even though I know better. My volume and tone control isn't the best either. And it leads to me getting easily excited at times and stating my opinion on a matter without thinking it through. Finally, it results in me having a peculiar work ethic where I can easily commit to a large extent to anything but rarely more then about 80% effort except for a few things.

    For the most part, people accept me. These thoughts don't often surface, and when they do, it's often due to being criticised of something I can't help, like my brother being a Grammar Nazi about the mispronunciation/grammar thing. And, perhaps related, perhaps not, I don't always feel like things will work out in life - I'm two years into college and still not sure where my Computing course will take me. I still desire to go back and try to get into Animation even though I know, both deep down and on a conscious level, that it's for the best that I didn't end up there. And I fear that my Youtube endeavors will go the way of past similar ones.

    Basically, I just try to balance those things and the fun pastimes. They are more important then many people realise to my mental health. I play Pokémon competitively now, both in the video game and the card game, and it's amazing how great it makes me feel. Everyone will have their own outlet. And I continue playing Nintendo, as always.

    How much of my experiences will apply to you, I cannot say. I do remember that I am two years younger then you as well. But I hope my experiences, if on a milder level, may guide you just a bit. It's true I'm not in frantic job hunt mode. But otherwise, I can relate heavily.

    Anyway, it'll be fine. Though things may not seem to work out, I've come to learn that it's always for the best in the end. At least for the general picture. And keep trying. And I'm looking forward to your results from GameSkinny too.

    So what games have you been playing recently, Anthony? I let Super Paper Mario go for a while, mostly due to getting through the end of college term, but I plan to get back on track with it. Otherwise, I recently finished Time Trials on Mario Kart 7 (which means I've broadly finished it except for mucking about on online play). I still play Pokémon, both competitively and not. And... that's it right now. Though I am looking quite forward to Kirby Planet Robobot. Much of the skepticism over the recycling of the engine and look from Triple Deluxe has faded in favour of all the positively fun points it seems to carry like an emblem. What's been absorbing your time recently, my friend?


    1. So sorry for the late reply, Mike! Lately I've been attempting to wrap my brain around the convoluted nonsense that is Wii U homebrew (mainly so I can add music to Smash), and that's basically been my life for the past two days. Seeing as how not even the creators of the Smash-related stuff have it figured out, I think I'll leave that alone until they do.

      Anyway, your encouragement/stories mean a lot to me even if we don't share the same diagnosis. As mentioned before, I'm a resilient human being and fully believe things will work out regardless of any previous disappointments. This and the E3 thing were just a nasty one-two punch, is all.

      Oh man, I'm so hyped for Planet Robotbot you wouldn't believe it! Well, actually, since I've been running the Kirby column for three years now, maybe you can, haha. Regardless, at the moment I just wrapped up another playthrough of Rainbow Curse and am now 100%ing it for the first time (like many other Wii U games in the same timeframe, it fell through the cracks thanks to Smash). Brief preview of my opinion: it's no Canvas Curse, but it's perfectly swell on its own and I actually liked it better the second time! Not the best of Kirby's adventures, but hardly the worst.