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12/27/15 02:25 am - Top Five

Just finished watching Chris Rock's "Top Five".

It was pretty good, heartfelt and sincere about showbiz compromises without wallowing too hard. A lot of good silliness.

Watched a few Jessica Joneses today with theyellowline after we got back from our short, functional Boxing Day jaunt to Queen West. It was a relatively mellow afternoon, though I've been cranky this weekend as I reestablish something resembling a diurnal sleep schedule.

Planning to join the Y in the new year. Lots of reasons for this.

Put together a few models, particularly a Metal Earth Cessna 172 of which I'm quite proud -- it's not too well-thought-out a set of assembly instructions, as the bottom of the fuselage won't gracefully attach once you've put together the rest of it (and the propeller), but it looks great in the end. Assembled the Reaper Bones Clockwork Dragon and Cthulhu, finally, which don't even really need glue but benefitted from a little bit. On further inspection the Reaper Bones models are really nicely detailed, particularly the Chronoscape sci-fi troopers. Compare favourably to some of my metal Space Marine types.

Had picked up both Alien and Fury Road on the Google Play store during their sale last week. Jen grabbed Last Five Years. Trying to be a bit more particular with my Comixology purchases, though I just scooped up a few Image titles on discount. I don't read them as quickly as I want to, and I don't always enjoy them when I do. I could do with a cull of attention-sinks because attention seems to be the most precious commodity I've got these days, besides time with Jen.

One more classic Starblazers/Yamato model to build then I can put together the ships from the 2199 series. That'll be a big psychological hurdle to surmount. If I can tackle that, I might even consider trying to organize all of my X-Wing ships. And then... the sky's the limit, right? Organizing my MW:DA stuff, even trying to play some 10mm games with one of the various rulesets floating around (Future War Commander's the leading candidate).

I like when the words flow. Working where I work has really forced me to overconsider everything I write to the extent that there's very little spontaneous (self-indulgent) expression -- and Twitter, of course, has forced thoughts into these grotesque, truncated veal pens.

It's a weird time for the written word, isn't it?

8/6/15 02:53 pm - To change

Twitter isn't worth the sand it's written on.

7/20/15 04:08 am - Funny

Funny how I have trouble sleeping the night before a big day.

Funny in the "City of Angels Song" sense, where it's used as an epithet.

Well, away we go.

3/30/15 04:11 pm - Keepalive

Just so I'm not only posting when things are glum and bad.

I'm mostly just very excited to meet a new kiddo, on the part of one of my oldest friends and his partner in crime. Went to a very, very nice preliminary welcome for the little one -- who's going to be facing a health challenge right out of the box, but will be surrounded with love.

There's not a lot to report, here. Not much in the way of professional updates -- that's not what I really use this venue for. And personally, well, there's theyellowline and that's the granddaddy of status quo of good times.

Home office has been rearranged nicely -- we're sort of wrestling the old house into a nice shape for habitation, hospitality, what-have-you. Spent a chunk of time yesterday going over finances, which once again--I'm not the best at, but TYL is the best at, so I've figured out some ways to keep even keel. Still, a stressful night, but exposure therapy innit.

This is my last "compressed work week" day for a while, on the other hand. It was nice to use for its various domestic purposes, and on the one hand I'll miss it. On the other hand, it never turned out to be worth the tradeoffs.

Heading back into school, really enjoying the course (in general) but know I've got to turn up the juice in terms of getting the homework done early lest I run the risk of more sleepless nights. Work is bad enough in that regard.

TL;DR: things are okay in a way that if I have any bad days, I can look back on today as one of the good days. And things are okay in a way that if any of you are having bad days, come by. We can feed you, entertain you, and provide hang-out-with-cats time.

3/1/15 10:07 pm - Ends of a sheet

Remembered my ICQ password.

Weird, though, now that ICQ and LJ are owned by Russian corporations, and Russia is... different, now.

10/5/14 11:53 pm - Inano Veritas

Just trying to get this all out of my system. The same grinding noise my thoughts make against each other as I encounter another birthday every year.

Appreciation for the people who, sincerely or out of obligation, will say or do nice things tomorrow.

Frustration at the ways my mind and body fall apart as they age gracelessly, as I neglect them.

Guilt, at the wonderful things that life has brought me -- doubly, trebly, infinitely so in the last two years, even with all it's taken away -- while I go through what everyone goes through, and get off much lighter than the billions who don't get this.

The billions who can't count on the security of a home that they own and a roof through which they can't see the terrifying night, the security that they won't be killed in their sleep, that water won't sicken them, that food will be there tomorrow, that they're connected to the other privileged few with electricity and information technology and what still passes for culture.

Appreciation, frustration, guilt. I think that's it.

6/17/14 01:10 am - In the AM

Tooth re-chipped; stopping off at the dentist's in the morning for a hasty repair.

Game of Thrones Season 4 just finished but I only watched part of the finale. I like that they've sort of reached Book 5 for some characters, book 3 for some others, and are being judicious in what and how they include. I couldn't have tolerated two more seasons of "plodding in the snow".

Poured myself a very small bit of single-malt and flipped through denizsarikaya's journal again, to remind myself of the things and people we lose but I guess never really lose, and it reminded me that for all that I carry a little glass window into the Internet around with me everywhere, I don't really have a Thing For Writing with me much anymore, and I should do what Deniz did and try not to lose track of the days. Particularly since the days are so full of love right now, because theyellowline is a part of every one of them. (Except the next few, when she'll be jetsetting in California, because she's awesome and skilled.)

I guess I starred in a play and my friends' group (including alienne4, yuriko and chanteuse11 just closed the SOCAN awards and sang for Canada's music elite. Had a few hours of band rehearsal; drove around the midwest to visit cousins; biked around my paradise neighbourhood and saw a film adaptation of Days of Future Past.

I mean, I like the future that's happened since 2005, don't get me wrong. But I wish that the world hadn't stopped for Deniz back then.

2/18/14 01:59 am - Growing up and what you can't unknow

When you're young you usually don't have access to the authors of the creative work you enjoy. You're confronted with the work itself, and very limited set of critical tools to assess its merit. Mostly, do you enjoy it? Does it entertain you, and give you its duration's worth of escape? Does it leave you with a little something that you can take away from it, elevating those few hours that follow its consumption?

When you get a little older and you see enough similar stuff -- and maybe learn a little about the creative process, and a little bit about psychology and the science of human communication -- you start to see the patterns, the bits that are repeated, the things that stand for other things in a social context. You see each bit of stuff you take in as a part of a larger continuum of work with bits of it transmitted from work-to-author-to-work.

Then there's a stage when you start to learn about author's voice; that you learn that no matter the piece of art, *somebody* had to create it. You learn that these things don't stand alone, but that they're the output of some kind of creator, and you start to look for these creative people. Maybe you want to learn more about the meaning of a piece of work; maybe you want to create something yourself. Either way, you find the human that made the thing.

Often, these humans are pretty terrible. Not always, but there are no guarantees.

I don't want to say that this is disproportionately the case in Science-Fiction versus other genres, but SF authors aren't doing a lot to defend themselves. Part of the situation is that if you write SF, you have a tendency to see *ideas* as more valuable, in and of themselves, than the human experience, particularly the emotional experience. One insane idea that's caught vogue recently is that liberty and decency are mutually exclusive, and a swathe of jerks within the Science Fiction Writers of America (though not the current SFWA administration; rather, what seems to style itself as a sort of "disloyal opposition") has leapt to the idea that an association-wide sort of anti-harrassment policy is some sort of affront to what they see as a constitutional right to antagonize, dehumanize and belittle targeted groups within a private organization.

This isn't new, by any stretch of the imagination (even that of an SF fan). One can go back to Card, whose books lit my imagination on fire, and then began what looked like a rapid slide into incoherent, hysterical reactionary clownishness. One can go back further, to Hubbard, who has ruined life after life after life with a pseudoscience cult once he'd had a chance to inspire a generation of readers with his stories. It's not an inevitable correlation, but books that make your heart sing and your brain throb can be written by people with some terrible, terrible ideas.

When you're not young anymore, when you know enough about the world and the art that helps you give it meaning, you eventually learn that art comes from artists, and artists are human, and some humans are terrible. What you do with that knowledge is up to you. It certainly makes it a lot harder for me to enjoy their art. Maybe the trick is, to enjoy what you can, while you can, until you learn how it's made. Then walk away.

2/17/14 02:11 am - It gets late, this late at night

You'd think that writing new LJ entries would help me grind through my home-office tasks more quickly.

Shake loose some of those words that need to get out of the queue before I'm clear to put the pen back onto the cardboard.

Well, here's hoping.

In the meantime, will talk a bit about rehearsal tonight. Surprisingly tricky to get all the lines into my head, until I look at my book and realize there are about 300 pages of lines and score, and I'm in essentially every scene, with occasional disappearances behind pianos or (I can only hope) in puffs of smoke so that I can drink some water (or stronger) and maybe stretch my legs and check makeup.

Working these scenes is surprisingly intense. The copious dialogue (monologue, in many cases) have little mnemonic tricks built in, thankfully, but the clown-focused approach our director employs is simultaneously so kinematically stylized and so emotionally naturalistic that it almost requires a meditative approach, a constant emotional vigilance while still moving in a broad, clean way around the stage. Warner Brothers cartoons strongly inform the approach, and in this case, it's for the better; there's definitely an element of Duck Amuck in the concept, of the audience directing the performers to "An Ending In Accordance With [Their] Specifications". But this also means that while staging and lines need to be locked in, timing and rapport have to be incredibly fluid and reactive.

It's going to be my most challenging artistic undertaking yet, I guess. A two-week run, full of improvisation, belty singing, belty dialogue, intense dancing, raw emotion, physicality, and probably some jell-O wrestling. (I haven't told the rest of the cast about that; how would it be a surprise if I did?)

If you're interested, check it out here: The Alexander Showcase Theatre (Presenting the Mystery of Edwin Drood)

If you're not interested, you've probably spent three or four paragraphs being pretty bored. I'm not sorry. You didn't have to read this. It's not like some unskippable YouTube ad or something.

Okay, it's getting late and it's definitely getting chilly at my desk. We will for sure need to re-insulate this room.

11/9/13 11:15 am - Shaky ground

No secret that the ads in LJ have gotten more intrusive since the latest sale. Playing audio, expanding on hover, etc.

But now they're just naked malware. Immediately redirecting you to a fake Java update page? Giving you no-choice dialog boxes to "upgrade your virus software"?

What a sad state of affairs. But I suppose you get what you pay for.
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