Sunday, July 31, 2016

Concert reviews: Daughter and Lucius

I had quite a busy couple of days early last week, going to two shows in two days in two cities - neither of those cities Cleveland. On Monday I left work early, drove two hours to Pittsburgh to see Daughter play at Mr. Small's, then drove three hours to Columbus and spent the night at my parents' house. On Tuesday I had a very nice visit with my mother-in-law (who I hadn't seen since Christmas!) and in the evening went to see, with my parents, Lucius perform at the Newport Music Hall before driving two and a half hours back home to Cleveland. It was a whirlwind couple of days, and well worth all the driving!

While on the road, it occurred to me that Daughter are, by a wide margin, my favorite music artist that I've discovered since Cara's death. Maybe that's a strange thing to think about, but obviously, that event was a major landmark in my life. It was in January of this year that I first became aware of the UK-based band led by Elena Tonra. One morning as I was driving into my parking garage at work, a song on the radio really caught my attention. Both the music, a haunting guitar melody, and the lyrics - specifically the lines "And if you're still breathing you're the lucky ones, 'cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs." Ever since Cara was diagnosed with lung cancer, songs that mention lungs or breathing have always grabbed me. In this case, the actual subject matter of the song "Youth" (the lyrics continue from there "Setting fire to our insides for fun, collecting names of the lovers that went wrong, the lovers that went wrong") wasn't really relatable for me. Nonetheless, I was so taken by the song that I had to listen all the way to the end despite already having found a parking spot, and I bought the album on which it appears, If You Leave, soon after.

The album is full of some of the most beautifully melancholy music I've ever heard, and I fell in love with it. The mood it creates went very well with some emotions I was feeling, and although I couldn't relate personally to lyrics about bitterness over failed relationships, there are lines in some of the songs that I strongly connected with - for instance, from "Human," "Underneath the skin there's a human, buried deep within there's a human, and despite everything I'm still human, but I think I'm dying here."

A few months later I bought Daughter's second album, Not To Disappear, and found it just as great as the first. One day it occurred to me to look up whether the band had any US tour dates, and I happily discovered that they were playing in Pittsburgh - and it was the day before I was already planning to see Lucius (for the second time this year) in Columbus! Instantly I decided I had to go.

Sometimes before going to shows I take some time to check out the opening artist first; sometimes I don't bother. In this case I did not listen to any of Julien Baker's music before I saw her open for Daughter. It's a magical thing when you go to a live musical performance by an artist you have never before listened to, and are instantly captivated from the first notes. That happened to me on Monday. The young (just twenty years old!) singer-songwriter, up there on the stage by herself with just her voice and her guitar, mesmerized me and the the rest of the audience with her powerfully haunting songs. She was a very fitting opener for Daughter; in some ways I might characterize her music as like a very stripped down Daughter, without the wall of sound contained in some of Daughter's songs but with similar emotional impact (Baker played most of the songs solo, and was joined by a minimal percussion accompaniment on a few songs). It's interesting. Both artists at this show played music that seems to come from places of great pain. At the same time, both Baker and Tonra were full of smiles on stage. Both were incredibly appreciative of the great audience. The audience and venue really were great, by the way. I had never before been to Mr. Small's, and the building, formerly a church, provided a beautiful setting. Meanwhile, the crowd wonderfully provided rapt attention with no annoying chatter even for the opening artist.

Baker's debut album is called Sprained Ankle. Another health-related issue that I relate to personally! The lyrics of the title track include the line, "A marathon runner, my ankles are sprained." Her music is so beautiful and I feel very lucky that I got the chance to see her. I bought her album without hesitation and highly recommend it. Check out the song "Rejoice" for an example of her stunning vocals.

Up next, Daughter's performance was something I was highly anticipating, yet it managed to surpass my high expectations and was the highlight of my whole trip. There are those rare artists where just about every song they have is (at a minimum) really good, and for me Daughter have quickly become one such artist. It was such a thrill to see them live. Tonra's vocals, the highly atmospheric guitar, percussion, and synth parts, and a great accompanying light show combined for an unforgettable experience. Most of the set could honestly count as highlights, but a few songs particularly stood out. One was an achingly gorgeous performance of "Shallows," the final track on If You Leave. The aforementioned "Youth" came near the end of the set and was obviously a song everyone was waiting to hear, and did not disappoint. Tonra adorably said something about not being sure she could do it while playing the opening guitar part to the song, with the crowd of course enthusiastically spurring her on. The main set concluded with my very favorite Daughter song, "Fossa," the second-to-last song on Not To Disappear and a song that provides a stunning climax both to the album and to a live performance with an amazing buildup over its six-plus minute length. It's a perfect release of the emotions that build over the course of the album (or show), and I felt totally overcome by the music, my body moving to the beat in a state of ecstasy.

Then, as on the album, after the climax of "Fossa," the encore performance of "Made of Stone" provided a fitting denouement.

Sometimes a musical performance takes me to places that nothing else can. It happened earlier this year when I saw Florence + the Machine. And it happened again Monday night at Mr. Small's. Driving to Columbus, I listened to Julien Baker and Daugher albums to try to relive the wonderful experience I had just had. Despite arriving at 2 am, I was still totally amped up and enjoyed a walk in the balmy night air before settling in at my parents' house.

The following night, Lucius had the unenviable task of trying to live up to that Daughter show, and although to me they did not quite reach the same heights, it was another fantastic performance. Whereas I had never seen Daughter before, this was my fourth time seeing Lucius and second this year alone; I saw them here in Cleveland back in March. That March weekend my parents visited me the day after the Lucius show and my mom, having checked out some of Lucius's music, suggested that perhaps I should have invited them to the show; I reminded her that I had in fact mentioned it to them a few weeks before, and explained that it had subsequently sold out. When I saw that there was going to be a show in Columbus, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get my parents to experience Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig's enchanting musical stylings.

This show, in more ways than one, took me back to the wonderful summer of 2011, the best time in my whole life. You see, the last time before this past Tuesday that I was at the Newport Music Hall, it was on June 11, 2011, the night before my wedding, when Cara and I joined our very good friends Jordan and Ruth to see a show by my favorite band Okkervil River. And it just so happened that my parents and I were standing in nearly the exact same spot in the music hall that Jordan, Ruth, Cara, and I occupied over five years ago. Furthermore, the opening act for Lucius was Haley Bonar, and back in 2011, just six days after our wedding, Cara and I joined our very good friends Adam and Jackie to see Cara's favorite artist Andrew Bird perform up in Ann Arbor. And at that Andrew Bird show, Haley Bonar was the opening artist.

After seeing that show, I wrote, "Haley's strong, twangy vocals and the complex, atmospheric guitar parts in her songs are a surprising combination, and one that worked very well for me." The same held true this time. My mom, on the other hand, said she liked Haley's voice but thought it was too lost in the music and would have liked to hear the vocals better. (I was not surprised that my mom reacted this way.)

With Lucius, the dual lead vocals of Jess and Holly come much more to the forefront, and those vocals are such a delight to experience live. The band has come a long way since I first saw them at the Beachland Tavern in March 2013. Back then Jess and Holly were already doing the matching hair and outfits thing, but their budget has clearly expanded in the intervening years. Their show has gotten bigger in every way, and they've really come into their own as performers (and they were already quite good!).

(Above: March 2013. Below: July 2016.)

Lucius's newest album, Good Grief, is one whose title and artwork feel very fitting to me personally.

(A friend once said to me something about it being funny how the cover portrayed someone hugging an invisible person; I replied that I thought of it more as "hugging someone who isn't there anymore.")

This concept of "good grief" isn't really a theme that ties together most of the songs on the album, but the album closer, "Dusty Trails," definitely goes with it. And that song is just amazing live, a real showcase for Holly and Jess's vocal talents, with the two of them standing on opposite sides of a single, old-style microphone, facing each other, their beautiful harmonies filling up the room. Another showcase of their great singing and stage presences came on "Gone Insane," where they again faced each other but this time each clutching her own microphone and dramatically acting out the growing sense of insanity that pervades the music and lyrics.

My one criticism of Lucius's shows - and it's not a huge one, but it's surprising considering they only have two albums - is this. My favorite song from their new album is "My Heart Got Caught On Your Sleeve." They seem to never play it live. My favorite song from their first album is "Hey, Doreen." They seem to never play it live either. I don't really think it's a case of me having unusual favorite songs, so when a concert contains the majority of a band's catalog, it's disappointing for some of the very best songs to be left out (Daughter, as a counterexample, consistently closes out their main sets with the awesome one-two punch of "Youth" and then "Fossa," which I'd consider their two best songs).

Oh well! It was still a really great show. Another standout moment came when, after a mid-set break (with the rest of the band staying on stage to provide instrumentals) for a costume change, Jess and Holly appeared at the side of the pit and proceeded to make their way through it as they sang the next song, thrilling all they came near.

The crowd loved the whole performance, and that included my parents. They were really raving about Lucius afterwards. I think it's wonderful that my parents are still trying and enjoying new music, because not everyone continues to do that - in fact, I was talking to someone at another show very recently who mentioned how one of his friends seems to think music stopped after the 1970s! Nope, great new music has never stopped being produced; you just have to look in the right places, and the great thing is that today it's easier than ever to seek out and find it!

Kudos also to Lucius for donating their merch profits from the show to Stonewall Columbus. Jess and Holly had some very nice things to say about the importance of love and how everyone should be able to love who they want. That's a message we should all heed in these unusual times.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Garden fight? Garden fight!!! (You know the story)

I recently posted on Facebook a storybook that Cara made for me for our first Valentine's Day as a couple, in 2007. It's really a remarkable piece of work. She was so amazing!

In addition to reminding me of how wonderful Cara was and of how wonderful it was to meet and fall in love with her, the book also reminded me of how we had our own special way of communicating with each other. The first lines of the book are:

This is a story;
You know the one

About a girl and boy
She plays music, and he runs

For anyone else reading Cara's story, I don't think there would be any reason to suspect that the very opening line, "This is a story; you know the one" was an inside joke. There's nothing unusual about the phrasing; it seems a perfectly ordinary way to begin a storybook. But reading it now, just as when I first read it so many years ago, it was immediately obvious to me that Cara was making a reference to the song "You Know the Story" by the band Ozma. Ozma was our favorite band back then (Cara got into them because of me) and we would often make reference to them in our conversations, both online and in person. "You know the story" was a phrase we often said to each other. And just as it was obvious to me that Cara was making an Ozma reference, it was obvious to her when she wrote the story that I would instantly recognize the Ozma reference.

I recall some other specific instances when we made Ozma references to amuse each other. The first trip we took together, in August 2006, was to Washington, D.C. to see Ozma perform. I recall being on the National Mall with Cara, and her saying, "I guess we should get down to business... the business of getting down... to the Ozma show." There is an Ozma song called "The Business of Getting Down" that includes the lyrics "Get down to business, the business of getting down."

There was also the walk we took together on November 4, 2006, the day we became a couple. While walking around Wade Lagoon we came across some apples that were for some reason sitting on a wall. I picked up one of the apples, and, giving Cara a knowing look, used my other hand to pull up my sleeve. She immediately recognized that I was referencing the Ozma song "Apple Trees," specifically the lines, "And so I'm taking a stand, with apple in hand, I pull up my sleeve. It's time that I make like an apple tree and leave."

I'm sure that it is not at all unusual for couples to have all sorts of inside jokes, and things they say to each other that no one else would understand. However, I think that Cara and I (before, incidentally, we even were a couple) took this to a level far beyond most, and actually developed our own unique method of communicating with each other. It wasn't something we intentionally did. It's just something that developed organically over time. It was an early sign of the amazing chemistry we had with each other. It happened in the online word game Psychobabble.

Playing this game, as many already know, is how Cara and I met. In this post I'll explain more about how the game worked, and give numerous examples of how Cara and I used it to communicate with - and flirt with - each other.

This is a picture of the Psychobabble game screen. The picture is actually not a screenshot, but rather, a picture of a computer screen taken with a digital camera. More specifically, a picture that Cara took to illustrate the fact that her screen had water on it, because something in the game made her laugh so hard that, while drinking water, she sprayed some on the screen!

You can see the various word tiles, styled after magnetic fridge poetry, taking up most of the game screen. In the middle of all the words is a light blue box into which players drag the words to form sentences. At the bottom of the game screen, on the left there is a scoreboard and in the middle there is a chat area for the room.

In each round, players had one minute to create a sentence out of the available words. Following this, all the players' sentences were displayed on the screen (with the names of who made each sentence hidden) and players voted for their favorite sentence (voting for your own sentence was not possible). After the voting, the players' names corresponding to each sentence were revealed, and points were tallied. One point was awarded for each vote received. The winning sentence in each round received three bonus points (in the case of a tie, the longer sentence won). Players who voted for the winning sentence received one bonus point. If you failed to vote, you could not receive any points for the round. Each game went until one player reached 30 points; that player was the winner of the game and then scores reset to zero for the next round.

Cara and I were both very good at this game. Our brains, it seemed, worked well for it. Success in Psychobabble definitely required quick thinking, wit, and verbal skills. We had a regular group we played with from the forums of the Something Awful comedy website (hence the SA at the front of many players' names). Especially in the early days of our playing, most of the sentences were attempts to be as crude and offensive as possible. I will note, though, that although there was an "adult room" in Psychobabble in which some of the words were curse words or sexual in nature, we eschewed playing in that room, finding it funnier to construct shocking sentences out of seemingly innocuous pools of words. We also strove to construct sentences with as correct English phrasing as possible, and strongly looked down on other players whose sentences contained such mangled garbage as "ares" (the "are" tile plus the "-s" tile) to represent the word "arse."

As time went on, my and Cara's playing styles evolved tremendously. Although we still went for shockingly offensive sentences at times, we started to favor more cleverness and wit in sentence construction. But the really big change is that she and I, more and more as we became better and better friends, started to actually play two games at the same time - the normal Psychobabble game that everyone else was playing, and a second game in which we looked for every opportunity to make inside jokes and references directly targeted at each other, not caring whether anyone else in the room would have any idea what our sentences were about. Many of the sentences were references to music the two of us liked (especially Ozma), many were metahumor sentences about the game itself, and many were references to things we had done together.

Keep in mind, in each round there was only one minute to look through the set of words, pick some out, and arrange them into a sentence. It's really quite remarkable that we were able to do all of this. And despite devoting more and more energy to looking for opportunities to "pander" each other (as we called it), we continued to be quite competitive in the games.

Looking back, it's pretty apparent that the two of us using this game to send these sort of secret message to each other was a significant factor in us falling for each other. I have a huge collection of screenshots from Psychobabble games. I had an idea kicking around in my head for a while of printing a book full of screenshots that were relevant to our friendship to give to Cara as a gift, but I never got around to doing it. That's something I regret. I guess with this blog post, I'm doing something like that. I'm not sure, really, whether anyone else will find this nearly as entertaining as I do, but I'm sure at least a few people will find it interesting.

Now, on to the screenshots.

Cara's storybook contained a page about Psychobabble. It contained these lines:

With simple phrases
Like 'Garden Fight'
They traded victories
Into the night.

So here's the origin of "Garden Fight."

(click for bigger)

In this round, I noticed that both the words "garden" and "fight" appeared twice, which was very unusual. I wanted to take advantage of this somehow. Also unusual was that there were a whopping three exclamation marks available. I ended up with the nonsensical construction "Garden fight? Garden fight!!!" (My screen name was VogonPoet. Cara's was SACommunista. No, she was not actually a communist, in case you're wondering.) Sometimes just making something really absurd was a winning strategy, and it worked in this case as I got five votes. This occurred on August 14, 2005, long before Cara and I met in person and even before we were online friends. We were just two people who were sometimes in games together. However, for some reason Cara absolutely loved my Garden Fight sentence and never forgot about it. As you will see, this resulted in us making many, many inside joke sentences referencing Garden Fight.

For all the remaining screenshots, I have cropped them to only contain the relevant sentences and chat excerpts, and have also moved the name of the sentence maker from to the right of the sentence to below the sentence, so that the screenshots will be easier to read and fit better in this blog format. This was a fairly tedious process, but I like the presentation better than just presenting the sentences as text.

Now jumping forward from August 2005 to early 2006. For each screenshot I'll show the date (all are from the year 2006) and provide a brief explanation.

January 30
A type of sentence that I would often try to make when the opportunity presented itself was what we called "Yakov Smirnoff sentences" named after the comedian. Most people have probably heard jokes of this sort - "In America, you do x. In Soviet Russia, x does you!" In case you feel like reading a more thorough explanation, here's a Wikipedia page about "Russian reversal" jokes. I had great success with these sentences. Cara eventually became very tired of me doing them and she let me know it. In this early example, Cara's sentence amazingly set up mine. To be clear, we never collaborated on sentence construction. There were many times that we came up with eerily similar sentences. I remember occasionally someone would express suspicion that we were actually the same person.

January 31
Here my sentence, again completely by accident, made a hilariously fitting response to Cara's. My message in the chat box cracks me up. It's so funny now to see us referring to each other by our screen names.

February 24
I kindly respond in the chat to Cara's request in her sentence.

February 26
 Already you can see Cara getting tired of my Yakov sentences, as she reluctantly says that she has to vote for it. You can see how successful such sentences could be; receiving seven votes in a single round was quite rare.

April 5
Here is the oldest sentence I found referencing an event that happened to us "in real life." It was on March 16 that we met for the first time in person (recounted in this post). While bowling, a man in the next lane called Chuck admonished our group for not following the "etiquette of bowling." Here Cara made a sentence about Chuck. In the chat I'm calling out the third member of our Psychobabble bowling meetup, who was also present in this game room, for not voting for Cara's sentence.

Cara again expressing her annoyance at my Yakov sentences.

April 7
"Jeff" was a word that sometimes showed up in the game, conveniently for Cara and me. Cara and I definitely had a friendly rivalry and would often tease each other, as seen in this sentence. As I point out in the chat, "she" doesn't necessarily have to refer to Cara; it could, perhaps, mean "emma" (another player in that particular game).

At bowling, Chuck had addressed our group as "Skinny" (me), "The Nerd" (Jon), "and... you" (Cara). In this round we both referenced Chuck's referring to me as Skinny, cracking me up (this might be the first time we both referenced the same real-life event in the same round). The funny part about Cara's sentence including "Get food!" is that, years in the future, she actually found it offensive when people would suggest that I must not eat enough because I'm so skinny.

April 10
At the bowling meetup Cara had mentioned how much she loved that old Garden Fight sentence. This led to us making numerous sentences referencing it. Here's one by me.

Here's one by Cara. We both express our confusion that it got so many votes, because no one else would have actually gotten the reference.

April 12
And here's a round where we made nearly identical sentences.

April 13
At the bowling alley we also played the old arcade game Galaga; Cara did not do very well. My comment in the chat was made before the names corresponding to each sentence were revealed; I was therefore pointing out that I recognized it as her sentence.

April 15
There is an Ozma song called "The Flight of Yuri Gagarin." We both made sentences about it and about how the other would "get it."

April 16
Cara made a sentence about beating me and I made a sentence about not being able to beat her. "Cutting" is cutting one's wrists, which was apparently a fad among angsty teenagers; yes, we joked about some dark subject matter. My reaction in the chat stems from the fact that by voting for her, I gave her the third vote necessary for her sentence to (fittingly) beat mine.

Cara pretending to be me.

April 21
I love this Garden Fight reference and in retrospect I should have voted for it, but my "good one commie but sorry doesn't gmv" (gmv = "get my vote") comment also greatly amuses me.

April 22
More Garden Fight.

April 23
Have I mentioned we were easily amused?

Cara making a sentence to call out my over-use of Yakov sentences.

April 26
In this screenshot I made a sentence to respond to Cara's line in the chat about "AGE IS A NUMBER." She was almost five years older than me and early in our friendship one thing I teased her about was being old. By the time we starting dating I had definitely stopped doing that. Actually, in later years I would sometimes say that I was old and when Cara would ask what that made her, I would say she was young. When she asked how that worked I would say it just did. This was the first in a series of sentences about Cara's age that game.

The next sentence. Pretty harsh, huh? In the chat I ask if it cheers her up and say "I guess not" because she didn't vote for it. I do have to say, it's eerie to look back at this sentence, "She dreads her next decade," and realize that almost exactly nine years later Cara would die of cancer. But! Most of that time she would definitely have said was among the best in her life!

And the age sentences continue, with us both chipping in. I'm pretty sure there was actually another one in between that I didn't take a screenshot of; see Cara's reference to "453 years old" in the chat, and I remember that "453" was a tile that appeared occasionally.

Cara getting back at me for teasing her.

April 28
I correctly predicted Cara's sentence and made my own sentence about it, cracking us both up. "Please cap that" means please take a screen capture.

April 30
In this screenshot we both made sentences about "Paper Boats," a song we loved by the band Nada Surf. I remember once, some time before this, Cara quoted the lyrics to the song in the game chat because she was listening to it, causing me to say "I LOVE THAT SONG" (this was, in fact, before we had ever talked about Nada Surf with each other). In this round extrafox (who was also a good online friend of Cara's) managed to inadvertently make a sentence that went perfectly with our two sentences.

And here both extrafox and I made sentences responding to Cara's message in the chat. Remember again, we only had one minute in each round, so doing this sort of thing really required some quick thinking. That's why it was so fun to pull off sentences like this.

May 1
 Even more Garden Fight.

"Last Dance" is an Ozma song. I like my chat message here.

Yakov, again.

May 2
Another Galaga sentence from Cara.

This sentence works without knowing the Ozma line I mentioned near the beginning of this post, but Cara recognized that I was thinking of that song.

May 3
For the first time, we got both the words "garden" and "fight" in the same round, and naturally we both made Garden Fight sentences, which apparently confused Katherine.

May 6
This is an early example of an ambiguous sentence that could have been about Cara or could have been "just a sentence." As time went on we did more and more of these. It was fun to flirt, even if at this point in time I wasn't actually sure whether I wanted to date Cara. I think, really, the fact that such sentences could be excused as "just sentences" made it easier for us to express our true feelings in the sentences as time went on, while still being able to maintain plausible deniability just in case the feelings weren't reciprocated. Eventually I became much more sure that Cara had feelings for me than she was that I had feelings for her, and I guess it would have made me something of a jerk for doing so much flirting and toying with her emotions if nothing ever came of it. But it all worked out in the end!

May 8
A nice pair of Garden Fight sentences.

May 9
Here Cara's sentence is about how the two of us often made remarkably similar sentences.

This is one of my all-time favorites. Shortly before this, Cara actually called me on the phone during the game in order to distract me from sentence making (she hung up without saying anything after I answered). Then she made a sentence about it! My response to her sentence in the chat refers to the fact that I had 29 points and the one point I gained from voting for her winning sentence put me at 30 and gave me the win for that game.

May 11
Despite Cara not being in the room, I seized the opportunity when both "garden" and "fight" showed up again.

I then told her about this on AOL Instant Messenger (which we were always chatting on back then) and after she joined the game we both made sentences about it.

May 14
In our AIM chat Cara had just told me that she was thinking of going to a baseball game in June. I saw a way to respond to her with a sentence and jumped on it. We would, in fact, go to a baseball game together the next month.

May 15
Fluffalina confused by our Jeff sentences.

May 16
Cara was in a community band (she played clarinet) and had told me she was playing a piece of classical music that she found boring. Here we both made sentences about this.

Here Cara made a sentence about baseball (the Columbus Clippers being the team name).

Sorry for the downer out of nowhere, but yes, Cara, you were very right. Everyone does miss you.

This is just adorable, isn't it?

May 17
Cara's line in the chat "oOoOoOoOo" is something we said to each other after incidents when we were on the same wavelength mentally (which happened quite often).

May 18
 And this was a pretty amazing oOoOoOoOo moment as I made a sentence praising Cara upon her arrival to the game and she made a sentence disagreeing with mine.

May 20
And this is a sentence about those ambiguous sentences that I mentioned. This began a series of sentences by the two of us following this theme; the next two screenshots continue this.

May 21
When I went to see Pearl Jam here in Cleveland, I called Cara (who was in Columbus) during the show so she could listen to the song "Black." Immediately we jumped on the opportunity to make numerous sentences about this event. We clearly found this very fun and exciting. The next four screenshots are also about it.

This sentence also references how I had previously told Cara that I didn't really like talking on the phone (although in this particular phone call, I didn't do any talking.)

"Black" being the song name.

And before the next sentences, I have to include another image. On the message board where we organized our games, she and I collaborated to start a thread called "MSPaint your favorite Psychobabble sentence," which received numerous hilarious contributions. One image that I made for the thread was of Cara's "Thanks to me, he just lost" sentence about her calling me during a game. Here is that image:

And here (from May 22) are Cara's sentence about my drawing, my response to her sentence in the game chat, and then her response to my chat message in her next sentence!

So I haven't nearly gotten through all of the screenshots. It turned out that there were a whole lot more than I anticipated. I hope people find this enjoyable. Unless no one cares about it, I intend to continue this in another post. We really did have such amazing chemistry with each other from the start, and I'm so glad I still have all my old screenshots and chat logs to remind me.