Category Archives: Other

Underwater Feels

If you don’t like being in or imagining enclosed spaces, proceed with caution.


The trailers for Underwater (William Eubank, 2020) suggest that a small team of scientifically, mechanically, and even geologically inclined subterranean personnel have a job to complete and there’s something in the water that they must investigate and defeat in order to accomplish their task.  And based on the atmosphere and genre(s) of the film, one might be anticipating science-fiction horror tropes (a la Pandorum or the Alien franchise) and ensemble cast psychological breakdown cliches (think any horror, action, or suspense film where each person in a group functions in a specific way to create tension and induce frustration from the viewer; there’s nearly always the one who mutinies and then things go really bad for everyone).

Yes, there is a (very) small team in Underwater that has to get from point A to point B, but the aforementioned motifs do not present themselves as expected.  There is little to no introduction to the individual members of the group.  The film opens with Norah (Kristen Stewart) brushing her teeth and within a couple of minutes, all hell breaks loose and she along with her mission mates are vaulted into full survival mode.


Pic cred: IMDB/Twentieth Century Fox

Something has destroyed the integrity of their workstation and water is powerfully and quickly seeping into the corridors.  From that moment on until the final five minutes of the ninety-five minute film, there is a lot of running, crawling, mumbling, screaming, anxiety-laced walking, and mouth-breathing.  So much mouth-breathing — narratively or tonally justified or not, if you cannot tolerate that sound but still want to watch Underwater, wait until you’re able to do so while muting the relevant moments.

I like Kristen Stewart‘s persona and work, so I had to watch this film.  It was not what I assumed it would be in terms of story or thematic formula.  As an example of the science-fiction horror genre, it adheres to the continual manifestation of suspense because the characters are often unable to see more than a few feet in front of them (and they as well as the audience have seen the marine monsters in full, thus, it’s just a matter of who dies and when).  The camera also adopts the characters’ perspective from inside and just outside their helmets, which heightens the sense of claustrophobia.

Underwater is worth a theatre screening if you’re slightly curious about what happens.  It doesn’t require too much emotional or intellectual investment, there’s a stuffed bunny that serves as a quasi-running gag, and the only time you’re compelled to shout at the movie is when Kristen Stewart doesn’t put on her shoes and socks (but only if you’re the kind of person who would put on your shoes and socks first and not think about how those thirty seconds could mean the difference between life or death).

Progress Report

Just a little maintenance note.  Many of the visual aids here will vanish because they’ve left their previous accommodations.  Until I can move them over the WordPress, many posts will be without them.

Mais ce n’est pas grave.


Pour le noel dernier

Patrice sat with his head bowed almost touching the space between his knees.  His hands lightly cupped the sides of his dark brown hair.  He was sitting in the hallway outside his fourteen year-old sister’s bathroom.  He had stopped asking if she was ready yet fifteen minutes ago.  He remembered how futile it was to ask a female how long it would take to finish getting ready for a day out — his older sister trained him pretty well in that department.

Patrice continued to sit in the hallway and his mind drifted to scenes of last night’s game.  He suited up and even with a doctor’s all clear, the coach only put him on the field for three plays in the third quarter.  He knew he wasn’t the best cornerback on the team but given last week’s interceptions that led to his team winning, he thought that he’d at least have a couple plays per quarter.

The bathroom door swung open.  Patrice’s sister towered over him with her hands on her hips.

“Are you done?” he asked.


Patrice stood up and motioned for his sister to step out of the bathroom.

“Drop me off at the movie theatre at 1.”

“I thought the movie didn’t start til 2.”

“It doesn’t but I want to go to the coffee shop next door first.”

“Cause you’re suddenly a big coffee drinker?”

“No, cause Monica’s shift ends at 1 and she’s going to the movies with us.”

“With you and Holly, Maggie, and Danica?”

“Yeah, so.”

“Good luck with that.”

Patrice loved that her sister made friends easily with different kinds of people but she had no idea that not everyone wanted to be friends with everyone else.

“If we get there before her shift ends, she’ll make you an iced latte on the house.”

Patrice wasn’t a big coffee drinker either but an iced latte sounded great.  They made it to the coffee shop with ten minutes before Monica’s shift ended.  She made him a drink on the house and assured him that she didn’t want to be friends with his sister’s other friends.  She just wanted to be a bad influence on them.  Whatever “bad” meant to a borne again humanist.

My Blue Summer

Chinese pop has been on the brain once again.  I find Chinese music to be the best way to dissipate relentless inner monologues that won’t shut up.

The singer’s name is Valen Hsu and the song is called My Blue Summer.



Translated by yours truly.

As long as you want to go home, no matter how late, I will wait for you.
The sorrow of your heart’s pain, no matter how far, I can sense it.

Don’t you cry, I will lament for you.
Don’t you think about it, wait for the heavens’ arrangement.

Happiness ceases a fiery night.
Love is said to be beautiful and simple, and can ask for anyone to like it.
Forever, I’ll always struggle and wait for you.
Your love always stays in that blue summer sky.

As long as you want to go home, no matter how late, I will wait for you.
The sorrow of your heart’s pain, no matter how far, I can sense it.