Author Topic: EP695/EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored (Flashback Friday)  (Read 11876 times)

matweller

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2014, 02:24:22 AM »
For the record, no need to apologize to me, the sounds you hear were recorded by the narrator who read with a glass in hand as the character in the story was doing. As it happens, when I listened, it conjured the image for me perfectly, so I opted to keep it as it was. I wish I could think of a movie to compare it to. There's a vision in my mind of a hero sneaking into the house of the antagonist with murder on his mind, only to discover the antagonist is waiting for him, drink in hand. Confession follows, then murder, or not. It's so vivid in my mind I feel like I should be able to name the movie but I can't. Best I can do is this



or this



and neither really fits. Regardless, point is it set the scene for me.

Also, the unfortunate truth of audio is that is sounds so radically different depending on the player/speaker/location/listener combination that it's not even vaguely possible to control for all factors. I've had people on the forum complain that the underlying white noise made a track unlistenable, when, if I isolate that track, I can only even hear it at all on my studio headphones with the volume halfway up. So, I take all such criticisms with at least that much salt.

But I do listen to your thoughts and I do take them into account even if I can't always adjust for them. And in this case, I got the same feedback from Norm, so you can be sure I'm taking this seriously.

All that said, please feel free to hit me directly with any more thoughts. We shouldn't hijack this thread for meta talk anymore. Back to the story...

 ;) ;)

Cutter McKay

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2014, 03:02:40 AM »
Best I can do is this


Oh I get the image you're talking about, and once I realized what the ice clinking sounds were supposed to be, I could see it. But for this particular scene in this particular story, the way the MC describes his life and how he drinks until he passes out every night, made me immediately picture the scene closer to this:



With this image in mind, the SFX were just completely lost on me.  :-\ (BTW, I consider this a discussion of the story as we're talking about the scene, rather than further discussion of the SFX even though I did mention them again. ;))
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laurasbadideas

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2014, 07:50:30 AM »
I'm not making excuses, just honestly asking because it seems to have been an issue with a lot of people: this didn't sound to you exactly like a man sitting in a lounge chair, telling a story with a tumbler of whiskey in his hand, gesturing with that hand some (which is pretty much precisely the scene described in the story)?

That's exactly what it sounded like to me -- but I still found the sipping/slurping sounds really annoying. I'm not sure why. It's possible that the drinking sounds were louder, relative to the narrator's voice, than they would be under normal circumstances in real life. But that's just a guess.

BTW, except for the sound effects, I thought the narration was excellent.

skeletondragon

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2014, 04:04:00 PM »
Everyone keeps talking about lounge chairs. I didn't mind the clinking so much, but I pictured a really sketchy, haggard-looking dude hunched over a kitchen table in a small dark house full of stacks of paper and trash and that poor frozen woman. Which is sort of how, like I started getting at earlier, I enjoyed this story, but more as a horror/crime story than an exploration of mortality and personality, and I'm not sure that was what the author intended.

matweller

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2014, 04:58:34 PM »
I dated that dude's daughter once. Worked third shift, came home, drew himself a pitcher of beer, sat at the kitchen table in the dark drinking until the house awoke. Made for some creepy morning trips to the bathroom when I visited and spent the night on the living room couch.

Devoted135

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2014, 04:56:37 PM »
For me, the audio FX didn't really work, which is weird since you know that I'm usually one of the most vocal supporters of them! But in this case, most of the sounds seemed like slurping and swallowing, not ice clinking. Basically, ice clinking is cool, but mouth sounds are gross? :-\


I'm down with the creepy stalker Sleeping Beauty interpretation of this story. Honestly, with a few tweaks here and there it probably could have run on PP just as easily. I would have liked to hear more about the outside world; what sort of society is produced when you have the ability to freeze and revive people? For that matter, why is this guy such a drunk that he passes out every night?

Bionicgeek

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2014, 03:47:27 AM »
This story just worked for me.  As someone going through some rather nasty mental and familial issues at the moment it resonates deeply with me.  In a way this could be seen as a parent/child story because that last line, "I hope she forgives me" is what I think goes through the mind of every parent at one point or another...

"Her future was a place, and I am a native of it. I know the terrain; I know the weather. And I know that this isn’t the future she wanted. This isn’t what she meant."

For me, this, here, now, isn't the future I wanted. This isn't what I meant. And I don't know what to do with it.

That is the question this story evoked in me, and, as someone who has been at that drinking every night state just to stay sane, it was emotionally resonant on many levels.  I find myself disagreeing with many of the posters about the audio effects.  While they probably could have been better executed, the story would not have been the same without the reminder that this is a very damaged man trying his damnedest to get through the night...

Unblinking

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2014, 02:41:34 PM »
I didn't really get into this story.  I was waiting for it to start, but it seemed to never get past navelgazing and complaining about whether his choice is the right one or not.  I'm with those who thought he was being a creeper, very much "put the woman on the pedestal" but the ultimate case of it because he can keep her as a bridesicle to keep her on that pedestal.  All his talk about her not being able to handle the future was self-serving BS that didn't even fit in the image that he painted of her.  But all that was well again, but nothing really happened in the body of the story apart from the navelgazing. 


Regarding the sound effects, I thought they detracted from the story.  "Basically, ice clinking is cool, but mouth sounds are gross?"  I think there's some truth to that.  In real life I don't hear mouth noises, but I also don't routinely listen with my ear two inches away from people's mouths.  Microphones pick up all kinds of crap that we filter out in our everyday lives but something about the recording or listening process makes some of them suddenly much harder to ignore. 

Also, at least for me while listening with one headphone while driving, maybe the sound effects were constant throughout but I just heard the occasional one, maybe the louder ones that could rise above the road noise.  Those were quiet, too quiet, to the point that every time I thought "wait, was that slurping or just smacking his laps or what exactly was that?" and then I missed a couple sentences of the words after that.  And with not being particularly engaged in the story it only made me wait and try to predict where the next sound would be because that was more interesting than the story itself.  I think that if the glass noises and stuff were important to establish the ambience (which I don't think they were) then I don't think that the reader actually manipulating a glass was the way to go because the volume balance made it all the more distracting.  If it were important I think that a pre-recorded kind of sound effect that could be volume balanced separately would be better so that if they need to be there they're at a volume that isn't just on the lower edge of my volume listening range.

Insinnuendo

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2014, 05:52:22 PM »
I found it hard to focus on the story due to the reader's constant slurping, munching & what I presume was meant to be glass tumbling but sounded more like shaking a rattle can in preparation for some graffiti action.

These activities also seemed to distract the reader who would mispronounce words ("cryo" is not "cairo") and pause at very strange moments. The inflections were also awkward.

Please, don't get fancy with the readings.

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2014, 11:13:11 AM »
Woohoo! Finally caught up to the pinned threads! (I cheated and skipped Eater Of Bone, I'll get back to it, I promise).
Sound effects: didn't bother me and I appreciate the effort. I generally listen while jogging through the park, and a few simple effects help a lot to drag me from the hot, sunny park to a darkly lit basement. So that helped.

Story: Not too bad. I'm actually surprised at the hate dislike that the story is getting here. I found it quite interesting, especially with Kumara fresh in my mind. Most cryo stories deal with the person trying to fit in to the future society. Very few of them (that I encountered) deal with the question of: is it even worth trying? Today you freeze yourself hoping that in the future your terminal illness can and will be cured. But, what do you wake up to? At best, some distant descendants who didn't even know that you existed, and didn't care enough to stop the cryo company from letting you die. At worst, a society completely turned upon its head. Maybe monkeys rule the world. Maybe the savior of a religion showed up and all infidels were killed and you are the last agnostic/atheist/other religious person left on the planet. Maybe human bodies have gone out of fashion. Who knows? But do you really want to wake up to that?
And the answer is: you don't get a choice. You chose a hundred, a thousand years ago, and now you have to live with the consequences of that choice. And I hope that you can forgive the people who thawed you out.
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Unblinking

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2014, 03:08:58 PM »
But do you really want to wake up to that?
And the answer is: you don't get a choice. You chose a hundred, a thousand years ago, and now you have to live with the consequences of that choice. And I hope that you can forgive the people who thawed you out.

Yes, I do want to wake up to that. 

I honestly don't see the dilemma.  If she were revived, she could choose to not live anymore.  But if she's not woken she has no choice.

hilmera

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2014, 08:05:05 PM »
I have some resistance to this reading as others did. There wasn't enough density to the story to warrant the sound effects. A minimal (and maybe more energetic) reading would have gotten the voice of the technician across just fine. A more layered story with multiple viewpoints and frames is where more effort in the reading can really spice things up. This story was too straightforward to need that.

The story itself worked well enough. The technological ideas were basic so it works best as a present-day critique of cryo-preservation. It's a critique that goes into the character possibilities beyond the typical jokes about shattered bodies and other failures in cryo-banks that have already occurred. Futurist speculations have to limit themselves to a bubble of limited imaginings, and This is as I wish... is one such limited bubble that does not try to do too much.

primerofin

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2014, 12:33:56 AM »
I guess I'm in the minority here.

I enjoyed the story and the audio very much.

Story was suitably creepy.

Working in a major tech company (no I won't be more specific than that), I am well aware that the illusion/expectations regarding tech are from the reality of tech: there is a lot more reliance on a few in-the-know (but dubious) people to solve problems than there is reliance on a well-oiled rock stable 'system' to take care of things.  It takes a lot of young punks and old geezers to keep things moving.

I think this story's version of cryobusiness may be closer to what we end up with than any sterile, reliable, glossy Kelvinator fantasy.

As for the audio, as one previous poster said, perfectly natural to me to  hear drunk telling a story with sound of clinking/sloshing drink.

Well done.
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slic

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2014, 08:09:21 PM »
...but since the drinking itself is not the important thing about the story, every other use after the first one pulled my brain away from the text and directed my attention toward something irrelevant instead of accenting the experience of the story. I'd probably feel differently if the story itself was using the drinking as a major symbol instead of just a bit of scene-setting.

Maybe it's a condemning commentary on how badly I pay attention to somethings, but I just hear it as ambient: loud enough to hear and set a tone, but not loud enough to distract. I mean, if I was listening to someone tell a story beside a fire or while standing in a river, I would expect to hear the fire crackling or the river roiling throughout, and it may or may not have any direct relevance to the story itself. Maybe I just envisioned it all differently. It wouldn't be the first time.
I see it being two factors to consider - the first is the difference between an audio play and an audio book.  When someone is reading me a story (which is how I see escapepod), I don't mind the occasional embellishment, but not a whole production.
The second is the listening venue(s).  Many of us listen to the stories as a secondary activity, so any and all extraneous noise needs to be parsed - this makes listening to "noisy" stories more difficult.

slic

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2014, 08:40:03 PM »
But do you really want to wake up to that?
And the answer is: you don't get a choice. You chose a hundred, a thousand years ago, and now you have to live with the consequences of that choice. And I hope that you can forgive the people who thawed you out.

Yes, I do want to wake up to that. 

I honestly don't see the dilemma.  If she were revived, she could choose to not live anymore.  But if she's not woken she has no choice.
After reading the posts, I think these two points echo what I saw as the crux of the protagonist' problem.  Maybe the woman has the constitution, like Unblinking, to handle change, but I know plenty that don't.  So this fellow, who was just trying to do a good thing by saving this woman from murder, is on the horns of a monstrous bull of a dilemma.  Does he wake her or not? 
We are not sure how stable he is, but he's alone and drinks heavily.  Either way, after all the time, imagine the anxiety of disappointing this woman. 
The first thing that came to mind for me was my thoughts when my wife was 8 months pregnant with our first child.  It was pretty real that I was going to be a Dad - I would be responsible for another human, I would have a life completely in my hands, and I could mess it up in a huge way by saying or doing something wrong.  I couldn't sleep for days I was so nervous (turns out to be both easier and harder than that, but I only learned that after ;)).

Fenrix

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2014, 01:56:56 PM »

I find myself hoping, for the narrator's sake, that the excessive background noise was purposeful and intended to allude to the MC's heavy drinking. However, I don't think such was the case. It didn't come across that way, anyway. Shuffling papers, sipping water, smacking lips, sound fading in and out; the whole thing came across as just a poor production. :-\


I think another challenge is that many of these ambient muddy noises were overlapping with the narration rather than during pauses. I turned it radio off at one point to make sure that the car wasn't making odd noises.
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matweller

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2014, 02:58:58 PM »
Not that it has anything to do with anything, but I thought of this episode today when listening to a post human-themed episode of the Stanford Storytelling Project. http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season-4/441-episode-419-beyond-human.html

hardware

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #37 on: August 07, 2014, 04:41:17 PM »
I found this story worked well as a straight-forward meditation on the futility of planning into the future when everything is in such flux. It begs questions about life priorities, about our wish to be in control of our own destiny, but also about loss and failure, and how to cope with it. Not mindblowing in any way, but one that has stayed in my mind longer than the average EP story. The audio was fine, but I guess listening while doing the dishes pretty much camouflaged any recorded ice clinks.

CryptoMe

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2014, 04:34:47 AM »
I am decidedly NOT a PsuedoPod listener, but I did enjoy the creepy factor here.

matweller

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2019, 06:32:10 PM »
All these years later, (I don't have time to re-listen presently, but) I don't recall either the story or the commentary mentioning that the title of this story is a quote. And I recently found (or re-found, if it is mentioned and I'm just not remembering) where it came from. Listen for it here: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/354/mistakes-were-made
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 06:38:42 PM by matweller »