A person who will break the heart of another human at some point in their lifetime.

May be verbally confused with the word ewe, which happens to be pronounced exactly like you.

Someone you probably don't know quite as well as you think. A person who will surprise you on many occasions.

You possess infinite amounts of potential. Expect more from yourself.
You and I.

When I was looking through old files for old resumes, I found my letters to you, a constant loop of my life a year ago, broken up into one page sections so the letters would stretch longer against time.

Though I see you every day (almost), I'm still wishing you were here tonight, though we both need to be in different places in the morning, for Easter Sunday. I never seem to get tired of you, but I've never wanted to ask if you get tired of me. I fear any answer that isn't "of course not."

There are things I seek to know but cannot ask. It's a small and awkward silence that steps in with conversation. We are constantly bringing new things to the hearth, holding them up in the firelight and exclaiming, "Check this out." I have half-hearted thoughts that our adventures are more so because we have someone to share them with, that we are more interesting because someone is there to listen.


Tonight, it is The Red Violin soundtrack and Morphine albums, Tricky and red wine, trying to recount the drugged feeling of dimly lit rooms. We reach for each other's hands without thinking, clutching for some tangible excuse to be alive. Inside tonight is a hunger for a food I cannot name yet, food I will likely not find until morning.

Four months have passed this way.

I am trying to not think too much, to not ask too many questions, so instead I am thankful. I am happy and amazingly sated.

The minute I heard my first love story I started look for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.

And I didn't look for you. I looked for someone to listen, someone to excuse my paltry skin gamblings and still not give up on me. Our connection wasn't purely random but was something pleasantly unexpected, which made it all the more special. I can't ask you your side of comparison; I only know I haven't been this happy in years.

Is it all because of you? Or have I allowed it to happen too? We overlook each other's flaws, and its within a golden moment that we are living breathing truth about life, even though we have no idea where we are going, where this will go.

I'm supposed to seek permanence, to find the concrete real of other humans. I'm expected to want more than just you, right now. I can't help but want to want only this and care nothing for the future, to let this build on its own.

It is for you I sacrifice the need to know. It is you who helps me forget all the idle voices in my brain, whispering fate and failure.

It is you I wait for time to pass, tonight.

A challenging and fun group warm-up activity.
Number of players: 6 to 24.
Time: Allow 15 to 30 minutes.
Purpose: to focus attention, to improve listening skills, to have a group successfully complete a task together under self-generating chaotic circumstances.

Everyone stands in a circle.
Leader: "I'm going to point to someone in the circle and say "you." When you are pointed at, it's your turn to point at someone else across the circle and say "you." After you have had your turn, put your hand on your head to indicate you've already gone. You can point to anyone who has not had a turn yet. The last person chosen will have to point back at me."
Leader points to someone and says "You." Designated pointee then points to another person across the circle and says "you." This pointee points to another person in the circle who has not been chosen yet and says "you." Continue until everyone in the circle has been included. The leader will be the last person pointed at.

Leader: "Let's repeat that pattern, in the same order we just did it, but this time we don't have to put our hands on our head."
Repeat (sans hands on head) the EXACT SAME PATTERN so that everyone has a chance to remember who points to them, and who they point to. Everyone following so far? Pattern #1 ("You"), might be something like Leader-Adam-Shaun-Paul-Trish-Deb-Nate-Leader. Everytime the leader starts the "you" pattern it should follow this order EXACTLY, e.g. Adam only says "you" to Shaun once the Leader has said "you" to him. Shaun is waiting for Adam so that she can point to Paul.

Leader can review by saying: "Point to the person who says YOU to you. Now, point to the person you say YOU to."

Start the pattern again, and as soon as the pattern completes, i.e., the last person says "you" to the leader, the leader will start it up again by saying "you" to your target person. Repeat the pattern until everyone knows it.

    FOR YOU VISUAL LEARNERS: Imagine the leader throwing out a red ball of yarn as she says "you." The group is creating a web with the "you" pattern, and each person in the circle anchors just one point on the web, and every person will be included. When everyone has joined the web, the leader gets the ball of yarn back, as the group has formed a red web of yarn.

That was the first part of the set up. Here's part two:

Leader: tell the group to remember the "you" pattern, you'll come back to it later, but now it's time for the next step.

The leader starts a new pattern, with a category, like "fruit." Leader points to a person ACROSS the circle, says a fruit, like "orange." POINT TO A DIFFERENT PERSON THAN THE ONE YOU SAID "YOU" TO. Pointee points to another person, says a different fruit, maybe "apple." Play continues until everyone has been included (hands on head indicates they've been included) and the leader is last. Repeat (sans hands on head) the EXACT SAME PATTERN so that everyone has a chance to remember WHO points to them and WHO they point to.

Leader can review by saying: "Point to the person who says the fruit to you. Now, point to the person you say a fruit to."

Example with our hypothetical cast: Leader says "orange" to Trish, who says "apple" to Nate, who says "kumquat" to Deb, who says "lemon" to Paul, who says "strawberry" to Shaun, who says "grapes" to Adam, who says "kiwi" to Leader.

    FOR YOU VISUAL LEARNERS: imagine this pattern as a web constructed with blue yarn.
Leader: "Does everyone remember this fruit pattern? Good. (If not, review again.) Now that we've got the fruit down, let's see if we remember the "you" pattern." Review aloud pattern #1 ("you"), going through the pattern twice.

Leader: "Do we remember the fruit pattern?"

Review aloud pattern #2 ("fruit"). There may be some confusion. If you need to start over, do so. Work on it until you can go through the pattern twice.

Leader: "Now I'm going to start the "you" pattern, and while that's in motion, I'm going to start the "fruit" pattern. You'll have to listen for both cues. Ready?" Clarify if you need to, but don't stop for discussion. Leader starts both patterns at once. Simultaneously, both sets of words are travelling across the circle. Go through the patterns at least twice. If you notice one set of words drop out, the leader will start that pattern again as necessary.

    HINT: Data in = data out. That is, if someone says "you" to you, that is your cue to say "you." If they say a fruit, you say your fruit to your designated fruitee (who should be a different recipient than your "you" target).
Leader: "Imagine the "you" as a football and the fruit as a baseball. When you catch the football, you pass on the football. When you catch a baseball, you throw a baseball. You can't throw a ball you haven't caught yet."
    FOR YOU VISUAL LEARNERS: the group is re-constructing the red web and the blue web at the same time.
Continue until you can go through both patterns twice. If the group is having difficulty, suggest that analagous to throwing a real ball, it is the responsiblity of the thrower to make sure the catcher is ready. If you notice that your recipient has not noticed that you have passed your word onto them, give it to them again.

Create a new pattern with a new category, like "breakfast cereals," or "brands of automobiles." Suggest to the group that they choose a different person than in the previous patterns to receive their word.

    FOR YOU VISUAL LEARNERS: the group is creating a new web with a green ball of yarn, and is about to build the red, blue, and green ones simultaneously.
Review all three patterns separately. Then the leader can start all 3 at the same time. If one set of words gets dropped, the leader will start that pattern again.

THE NEXT NEXT STEP: Create a fourth pattern, and run all four at the same time. This pattern could be an actual ball or beanbag tossed around. (Leaders should inform the group that for the safety of all involved, you must make eye contact before tossing an object at someone.)

THE NEXT NEXT NEXT STEP: This step is called "Move on 'you'." On the "you" pattern, and ONLY ON THE "YOU" PATTERN, advance across the circle to stand in the place where your pointee was.

Leader: Only move when you say the word "you." If you are saying a fruit, or other word, you don't move. Only move when you say the word you.

The categories must be variations on actual names. For example,

  • Pattern 1: say the name of the person you are pointing to.
  • Pattern 2: say the name of the person immediately to the right of the person you are pointing to.
  • Pattern 3: say your own name.
  • Pattern 4: say the name of the person who just pointed at you.

Source: I learned this at Bay Area TheatreSports, from a visiting German improviser.

♪ bum ba da bum bum ♫

You knocked softly on my door--just loud enough for me to hear it. I could tell it was you. Shave and a Haircut. You always knock like that. I had gotten used to the sound over the last few weeks. No matter what I was doing, I could always hear when you knocked on my door.

I honestly never thought I'd be living so close close to you. I spent my whole life avoiding you, worrying that if I spent too much time near you I would become like you. And now here you are, living across the hall from me, knocking on my door every other day.

♫ Bum ba da bum bum ♪ . In elementary school, the administrators would clap that tune to get our attention. Our part was the 'two bits.' I associated the routine with authority; I associated it with conformity. I associated it with you. That happy little diddy stands for rigid oppressiveness, it's a light hearted front for structured obedience. I hate it.

I set down my mac and cheese and opened the door. You stood there in your white blouse and black coat. Your pleated skirt hung just above your knees, still modest, but high enough to show off your legs, high enough to show how strong and independent you are. Once again I wondered why you lived here in my cheap apartment complex. Surely you could afford better than this? Your hair was up in a tight bun, pale lipstick still on your thin face. You looked like you had just gotten back from work. I flipped out my cell phone, It was 5:35.

"Hi." you said. The informalness seemed forced.

"Hey." I replied. The sound of your knock repeated in my head. ♪ bum ba da bum bum ♫

What kind of person knocks like that? I was still having trouble recognizing you as a real person, as any more than an embodiment of all the things I spent my life running away from. My personal Hell would be filled with people like you.

Maybe I have a habit of casting judgment on people. Maybe it's wrong, but it's worked well for me. Your knock was as telling to me as a person wearing a lamp shade on their head, or riding a bike and wearing a bright yellow safety vest. It happens when we're growing up, the example of our parents sets us in a groove, our slot in society. Whether through imitation or rebellion, we chose our path, our way of living, and if it works for us we stick to it.

I struggled to think of an explanation for why you were here. I hadn't been playing my music too loud, had I? Was this about all the graffiti by the laundry room? I told you it wasn't me doing that.

"So, um..." To say the words didn't leap from your mouth with their usual sharpness would be an understatement. You seemed uncertain, vacillating. It was easy to see how uncomfortable you were, standing there without even the slightest infraction for which to berate me.

"My friend invited me to dinner tomorrow night, but it's supposed to be like a double date..." This sentence doesn't seem to be processing correctly in my brain. "...I was wondering if you wanted to go. With me."

What. The fuck. No absolutely not. I can't. But what can I tell you? 'I'm sorry, but I'm morally opposed to everything you stand for.' God, that would sound terrible. I have a problem with chicks asking me out, too. Never has a good relationship started that way. I need to say something though...

"Uhh, where?" I said somewhat weakly.

"Alejandro's at 8 o'clock. does that mean you'll come?"

This whole conversation was forcing me to re-evaluate you. I knew what I thought you were, and I still hated it. But maybe, just maybe, you were something more. Part of me wanted to believe it, but in reality it didn't matter. By now I had completely lost control of the situation. "Yeah, sure." I said. "Can I get a ride?"

             o           you you you        u  y     o                 
      y            you you         you you                   u
                 you you               you you       yo
 y        u   you you        you          you you                  y
       ou   you you       you   you         you you     
           you you      you       you        you you      o                   u
          you you      you   you   you        you you
           you you      you       you        you you    y
            you you       you   you         you you
              you you        you          you you
                 you you               you you
                   you you         you you                    o      u
                         you you you                                   o

"You" is the title of a science fiction novel written by Austin Grossman and published in 2013. 

This is a novel about the video games industry -- which doesn't necessarily make it sci-fi, right? It doesn't stand up and wave rocketships and lasers and cybertech at you. But I consider this science fiction anyway, partly because it runs in an alternate universe where Ultima III and Tomb Raider and Wolfenstein existed right alongside and in competition with the fictional Black Arts Studios and Realms of Gold games, partly because the book covers fantasy, espionage, and science fiction gaming, and partly because Black Arts' signature game engine, WAFFLE, does things that normal game engines probably can't do. 

Our plot focuses on four people who became friends in high school -- brash, charismatic Darren, nerdy hyper-genius Simon, quiet, furious Lisa, and Russell, the guy who can't match up to any of them, and knows it. When they were in high school in the '80s, they all helped create -- in handwritten and physically-typed-in code -- the first versions of the "Realms of Gold" fantasy computer game, which would eventually go on to become a popular game franchise. 

Years later, Darren, Simon, and Lisa go on to found Black Arts Studios, and Russell goes off to law school. And when he burns out on law, he goes crawling back to his old friends, or what's left of them. Darren is the public face of Black Arts and a gaming industry legend. Lisa buries herself in the code. Simon is dead. And soon after Russell joins the team, Darren leaves, takes off with the senior developers to found a new game studio all his own, and Russell finds himself promoted to design lead for Realms of Gold VII. He's not ready. He has to be brought up to speed on how to design a modern game. He has to learn how to lead a team on creating a playable game.

He has to learn how to make sure You have fun in the game. You know -- You. The player who experiences the game. The player who sees themself as the hero. The player who keeps the studio profitable

And the high pressure and focus gets Russell thinking hard about the Four Heroes of Endoria, the characters who've headlined all the Realms of Gold games, sometimes imagining conversations with them, sometimes dreaming about them. Brennan, the warrior. Lorac, the wizard. Prendar, the half-elf thief. Princess Leira, the beautiful archer

And he has to deal with a truly game-breaking bug -- Mournblade, a sword that drives its owner to endless bloodlust, allows him to kill any character, including unkillable NPCs, and curses him to inevitable death. No one knows where it comes from, no one knows how to fix it, and its effects can potentially reach beyond the game world to cause real-world catastrophes. 

Can Russell track down the Mournblade bug? Can he save the Realms of Gold franchise and Black Arts Studios? Can he come to terms with his past and with the people he used to be friends with? 

So how was it? Well, I liked it a lot, but so far, I've enjoyed everything Austin Grossman has written, so maybe I'm just weird. If you're going into this hoping for proton cannons and alien invasions and mutated penguins, you're going to be sorely disappointed. It's a story about people, with plenty of diversions to examine gaming, the concept of play, and how we perceive fictional heroic archetypes. 

One of my favorite things about this book is that it's almost unremarked upon that Black Arts runs on a game engine that's just a shade away from a fully sentient artificial intelligence. No one really knows how WAFFLE works -- because Simon, the company's secretive genius, built it and didn't leave a user's manual around for anyone else to review. It's so good, they've actually loaned the code out to the financial sector to help regulate and stabilize the markets. What looks to everyone else like a complicated but well-designed spreadsheet program, looks more like a bunch of goblins and dwarves selling stocks in a village market if you look at it through the Realms world engine. And Lisa speculates that the Mournblade bug actually got loose in the financial markets through WAFFLE and caused Black Monday...

There's a lot of drama here -- not just the drama of the real-world characters, how their less-than-happy childhoods gradually turned into less-than-happy adulthoods -- but also the drama of the fictional game characters. Grossman gives the 2-D game characters, Brennan, Lorac, Prendar, and Leira, their own fully-realized backgrounds and histories, sometimes contradictory, sometimes impossible, sometimes nonsensical, but he lets them have their own inner lives. He lets them be people, beyond the thin origin stories written up for game manuals, and it makes for beautiful reading. 

But there's lots and lots of humor, too. Russell's observations of the game business are funny, many of his "dialogues" with the game characters are grimly humorous, and his E3 demo for Realms VII just gets funnier the longer it goes on and the more disastrous it gets. And Black Arts' sports-themed spinoffs of Realms of Gold, always financial flops, are also great: Black Karts Racing, Realms of Golf, and Pro Skate 'Em Endoria: Grind the Arch-Lich

And then there's the mystery of Mournblade -- how does it work, why does it manifest, where is the cursed sword hiding, and how can it be found and destroyed? 

Looking for a low-key science fiction read that emphasizes character and plot while offering a look into the computer gaming industry? This is one you'll want to find and read. 


You (?), pron. [Possess. Your (?) or Yours (); dat. & obj. You.] [OE. you, eou, eow, dat. & acc., AS. eow, used as dat. & acc. of ge, g, ye; akin to OFries. iu, io, D. u, G. euch, OHG. iu, dat., iuwih, acc., Icel. yr, dat. & acc., Goth. izwis; of uncertain origin. &root;189. Cf. Your.]

The pronoun of the second person, in the nominative, dative, and objective case, indicating the person or persons addressed. See the Note under Ye.

Ye go to Canterbury; God you speed. Chaucer.

Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you To leave this place. Shak.

In vain you tell your parting lover You wish fair winds may waft him over. Prior.

Though you is properly a plural, it is in all ordinary discourse used also in addressing a single person, yet properly always with a plural verb. "Are you he that hangs the verses on the trees, wherein Rosalind is so admired ?" Shak. You and your are sometimes used indefinitely, like we, they, one, to express persons not specified. "The looks at a distance like a new-plowed land; but as you come near it, you see nothing but a long heap of heavy, disjointed clods." Addison. "Your medalist and critic are much nearer related than the world imagine." Addison. "It is always pleasant to be forced to do what you wish to do, but what, until pressed, you dare not attempt." Hook. You is often used reflexively for yourself of yourselves. "Your highness shall repose you at the tower." Shak.


© Webster 1913.

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