dar: (Default)
Okay, I said I'd keep doing this. Still hard to overcome the reluctance. Almost like I'd rather be doing anything else than typing words. I'm told it will pass. ...Firefox's annoying lag when typing in this box isn't welcome, either. You know what, fuck it. Notepad? Ahhhh, better. Look, I can get a whole three words typed without having to stop and wait for you to catch up like you're taking notes.

There are things I'd like to write about but then it becomes later in the day and I stop caring because I figure someone more erudite and likable has already said it better anyway. And there's things I feel like I can't talk about, which sucks. The part of me that says I shouldn't react when something bothers me because not reacting would achieve the best result also says don't write when something bothers me because not writing about it would be best for everyone.
I'm perfectly content to be an online wallflower, most of the time. The only problem is how easily you're forgotten and feel left out because of course, nobody's going to turn to you and say "Well, what do you think?" So that seems to be how it is. You can either stand in the spotlight and draw fire or hide in the corner and feel invisible. This is safer, but lonelier. And also I'm really not part of anything, and I have tried. Plus, as a great man once said, I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member.
That being said, I do better things and am more content when I'm off in the corner, doing my own thing. I go away by myself, write or edit something, I come back, show it and people go "Wow, that was great!". I join a group, I talk and joke with them, I invariably get in fights and gain a reputation for being a horrible, horrible person who should just go die, and I remember the merits of being off in the corner. ...Where I get lonely and wish I could join a group ¬_¬

A "reluctant introvert" is how someone quite accurately described me. Hey, it fits.

Okay, that actually probably counts as an entry. Another reason why I've been keeping my writing mostly to fiction; prose has a point. You know where you're going, because there's a plot. Well, unless it's Literature™. Which, as I understand it, mostly consists of constipated people who have too much sex going in and out of rooms, usually in Paris, talking a lot but saying very little and having a lot to talk about on account of very little ever actually happening to them. Hey, don't knock it, that shit wins awards and gets read by people who eat dinner with three forks and know which one to use! Hell, I could probably write a well-recieved novella about two people facing the quiet desperation of bucolic anomie if I could resist the urge to have a time-traveling werewolf show up.

Okay, I said I'd do this. Via [personal profile] phoenix: Comment and I'll give you five prompts and you post the songs that fit those prompts. And where she chose to be literal, I'll be liberal. Not really having a choice, given these prompts :p I also find myself having to use Opera to conduct this research (Yes, it still exists. I'm as shocked as you are.) Firefox has become frighteningly allergic to flash these last couple of months. It used to be laggy with it before, now it goes into shock and crashes if you take your chances with it. It's almost like Mozilla don't want people using their product, huh?

A musical meme. Without any musicals. )
dar: (Default)
Yes, I'm doing this again. Though it's hard. Hard to see the point. Even just typing these words, every single letter screams "Nobody cares. Nobody wants to read your pointless yammering. Stop pretending you're not completely forgettable or that you don't just lift right out. This is crap and useless because you are every bit as pathetic as you worry you are."

So yeah, that. I haven't been dead. I just haven't seen a point in writing anything. I just very outside it all. Like I'm the only one who'd read so why bother writing what I already know? I think it all started after Japan, when I came back and felt horribly obligated to write about the trip. Like it was a custom or meme. Take a holiday, write about it on the internet. It just seemed so awfully prosaic. I mean, everyone who knows me knows I want, and anything they want to know about it, they can ask. So what was the point? And after a while I began to wonder what was the point to posting anything about my life at all, since it's such a forgettable and unmissable life.

I'm not as depressed as this post sounds. This has just been on my mind, and I've been inexplicably afraid of putting words on the screen. I can't figure out why, though maybe I'm just scared if I shout "NOBODY CARES!", the following silence will confirm it. I've been writing, sure, just not about me and not where anyone will see it. I just don't find myself an interesting subject to write about, and I wish I could shake that feeling.
Cheery, I know. Hey, that's Christmas.

But I am trying. Hoping that if I post more, I'll get back into the habit and the blinking cursor won't seem so formidable. Hence, a meme. Oh, there go those "NOBODY'S INTERESTED!" alarms again.

End of year meme. )
dar: (Default)
It's funny. Most of September, I was going stir crazy with boredom. Had to keep myself under self-imposed house arrest so I wouldn't spend any money or worse, cost the family more money to keep me here than it should. So, much like Queen, I was going slightly mad.
Then almost all this week, joy of joys, stuff to do. Plans underfoot. Things to get, things to prepare for, things to look forward to, watchable shows back on TV, classic movies with my brother, and with all that life has begun to feel like it has a point. ...Which is usually an illusion, probably the most common illusion, but also the most necessary.

And even though I'm already thinking of the things to do when I get back (ALL of the things!), tomorrow I get on a plane with Sabrina and spend two weeks in Japan. A plan that began in a wonderfully cold and prosperous January when the year was new and had yet to become such a disappointment. A plan that, were it a baby, would have been born by now. I go to spend my admittedly meagre life savings, but then nobody said being mentally ill in Ireland was cheap. When I get back, I'll be almost completely bankrupt, but that just adds more fuel to the grand plan of starting over again with my life.
Before that, however, it's off to Japan, the geek mecca. It's technically my first "real" holiday as an adult. My first time abroad where I'm not going to couchsurf and meet up with someone I know who lives there. Lookit me being a worldly adult at 29.

I've got some places I want to see and things I want to do, but really I'll just be stepping into another world and soaking up as much of it as I can. Right now I'm just stocking up on music to get me through the flight(s). I'm all packed. In fact, I packed twice. I also had to move all my stuff out of my room (which felt oddly like I was leaving home), as Ma has plans to remodel my room in my absence. So I'll be coming back to this all changed, which is good. I'm planning on a new start.

These last few months have been crazy. So much disappointment. A lot of change, little of it welcome and little of it touching on me. A lot of fear and worry, mostly about money and the future. And now this big scary trip that seemed like it would never happen is in a few hours. It's funny, it was seeing David Norris getting back into the running for President that put things in perspective. No, I'm not buying into the political glamour and spin. It's just the fact that this damn country was so cruel to him. Gay-bashed and bullied him out of a candidacy, but enough support was still there to convince him to run again. And if he gets it, it'll be inspiring to anyone who's ever felt bullied out of their goals by this cynical little island.
I guess what I'm saying is, at the end of the day, the dependable unpredictability of life is something I rely on when times seem dark. There's no predicting the future, which means things really can work out for the best. The man who didn't have a chance, does. The holiday that couldn't happen is happening. Things don't seem as bad in as house like they did. At the risk of jinxing it, there exists the possibility that much-needed change begins here and now.

I have the tools. I have my bags packed. I have plans and goals and things to see. And no fear (apart from flying), because it's a big world out there and I'm finally going to go get a decent chunk of it under my toes. And I know I can, because I know when I step outside my door and start walking, I become who I need to be.
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I edited! Which I had not actually done for a while, but it's amazing what too much free time will allow you to do. I bounce between this and writing, because you need two hobbies that are very different. So when you get tired of one, you embrace the other until you remember why you got tired of it.
It's also the first time I've edited since Ronan got home. He was impressed by the software I use, since he's mostly only familiar with Windows Movie Maker. As for the actual content, he delivered the highly praising "I'm sure other geeks will get it." Hopefully.

Right. Vids.


I had the idea for this first. Everyone and their dog has done a mash-up to the Buffy theme, but I just wanted to have fun with it. It's fun, and there's a lot of cuts in a very short time. But the best thing about Buffy's credit sequence is there's always two loud whooshing sound effects that can be matched to almost anything and were very fun to edit around. I also learned a bit more about titles and transparencies on this one, but not as much as I wanted to. There's at least two effects that continue to elude me.


This one took longer and is in most ways the complete opposite of the Buffy one. Slow, not as many cuts, with much more sound effects that were harder to find footage to match. If I wanted to do two Lightning videos, it probably would have been easier as there's more footage of Lightning than Fang. But I got the idea when I posted this (and later this) on tumblr and wanted to back it up with video.

On a related note, I was thinking recently it was rather strange that I watched Xena when I was younger, but it took me til this year to watch Buffy. You don't often see people admit when they're wrong about things, especially in fandom. I wonder if there's a subconscious belief that even if you'd want to change your mind, it's somehow better to stick to your guns and don't compromise, because to admit you've been wrong would invite people to point and laugh and call you a hypocrite. In my experience, it's not the case. People aren't waiting for you to fuck up so they can laugh at you (That's school.) People are ordinarily quite pleased to see someone come around to their way of thinking, most of the time.
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Trying to get back into using this thing at least semi-regularly, since DW seems to be picking up a good head of steam and all.

Not much has changed since last update. Well, Da's back out of hospital, at least. And sort of back in work. He's not doing any actual manual labour, just keeping the gears turning. He's not a man who can sit still for very long. Still, a parent in hospital is a terribly sobering experience.
Money's still tight. I cut down on everything I could. No new books, games, etc. Haven't had a day or night out in weeks, which has had the effect of driving me somewhat slightly stir crazy. I've been living on sandwiches, coffee, noodles, toast, eggs and whatever's for dinner. No snacking, nothing on the shopping list but the very basics. Basically, I've tried to reduce the cost of my own living here to the barest minimum. Anytime I need to spend money, I have to do this horrible miserly ritual of justifying it. And in doing so, I can't believe how relatively flush I was before. I look around my room and I'm all "Wow, when did I have the money to spend on clothes? (And why did I do that?)"

The job hunting has not gone particularly well, for me or Ronan. No surprises, this is Ireland. Most of the job sites don't seem to be offering jobs so much as careers. And many of them demand someone with an obscene level of qualifications and experience. I'm not even joking, they seem to describe preferred applicants with the same level of unrealistic detail most people usually reserve for their ideal fantasy woman or man.
And many of them are also deceptive. There was a woman on the radio about a week or two ago talking about how a job she applied for was advertised as accountancy, and it was only after getting through the interview she discovered the job actually involved packing boxes. And I can't get my head around that. Why would you do that? Why would you want someone overqualified to pack boxes? Why don't you just advertise that it's a job packing boxes? I can do that! I'd be happy with that.
I don't understand it. I don't know why these places all want overqualified people for menial jobs. At a guess, I'd say it was some sort of desperate attempt to cling to Ireland's elite before they emigrate, at any cost. Sort of "No! Don't go to Australia and practice law! Stay here and pack boxes! Yes, I know it's a menial task, but at least you'll be HERE, right? We don't want to send our best and brightest abroad where they'll be appreciated and stay!"

All this has had the inevitable effect of sending me into a spell of depression. I'm a little better at the moment, but these are not good times. And just because I have the tools to get me through a bout of depression doesn't make it hurt any less. They don't diminish the lousy feelings or send them away. They just help you catch your own bad thoughts, and stop you acting on them so you don't do anything stupid. It's like a cop in your head issuing tickets.
"There's no point to anything." - "That's all-or-nothing thinking. A bad time doesn't make everything pointless."
"My friends don't want anything to do with me. They think I'm pathetic." - "That's mind reading."
"I've wasted my whole life." - "Jumping to conclusions. You haven't lived your whole life yet, you're 29."
"If I had made the right choices, I'd have a degree and a proper job. It's my own fault I can't help anyone." - "Wishful thinking, should statements and self-blame, soon to be followed by self-punishment."
"I'm screwed, we're all screwed, there's no hope and no way out." - "That's catastrophizing."

That's what it looks like. Emotion and logic having an argument in my head. Like Kirk and Spock.
Anyway. I've been thinking in all this how easy hope comes into me, and I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing. When you feel hopeless, any light at the end of the tunnel will do, any light at all. But a fragile hope like that is also easily dashed, leading to bitter disappointment. Which leaves me pondering the dilemma: is it better to have fleeting hope and keep getting hurt, or no hope at all and never getting disappointed?

But like I said, I'm feeling a little better at the moment. Like, things aren't any better, but I can still keep moving forward and keep trying. Like I made it through the storm's waves, and now the sea is oddly calm, and all I can do is wait for a breeze for my sails or a passing ship to pick me up. I need to spend the time as productively as possible, not raging at myself.
Morale is very important right now, and there's been some boosts. I'm finished with the dentist, so no more having to go pay to go sit in a chair and get things jabbed in my mouth. I only have €40 left on my debts, and once that's paid I'm clear. I have things that, if it comes to it, I can sell. (Though some things I just can't, like books. I CAN'T, they're part of me. They're places I've been, memories I've made. They're worlds I went to because this one was never welcoming. They taught me different ways of thinking. I can't just sell things that made me. I wouldn't get much for them anyway, and telling me parts of my life were only worth pennies is a shame I could do without.)

And I've been editing and writing again. Though I am a little frustrated at how much time I spend looking at a blinking cursor trying to think of the right words, and scrolling back up to see I've barely done a few pages. I suspect I'm not the only one who suffers from this, though. Still, always find myself wishing I could be part of something with other people who do this.
Oh yeah, I noticed how funny it is when you write something down because you only think it's a good idea and nothing more, with no attention on where it came from. Some of it's obvious, like I write about familial betrayal because I'm trying to understand the crap that goes on in my family and extended family. But sometimes I read stuff back and I realize my subconsciousness is on the page. I mean, I've got a guy who sells out the human race and destroys the frickin' world to save his own ass and make a good life for himself. Hello, working class frustration with bankers, bailouts and politicians. I've got a group of normal, healthy, able-bodied people discriminated against and brutalized for not having unrealistic exceptional abilities. That's anger with the would-be employers. Things like that.
Personally, I don't believe art can be separated from the artist, no more than a child can be separated from their parent. Oh, you can take them away legally, but you can't sever the link of blood and genes. You can't do anything about the fact they're half of another human being. It's the same with any creative work, it's part of someone else. You can try to take the art away from the artist, but you can never say it's something that could spontaneously will itself into existence on its own. It was made from the thoughts, memories, experience and will of a particular individual, and no "Death of the author" theory can change that.

So, that's how it is.
These are not the good times, but I'm still afloat, and holding on to hope. Something I heard Sean Connery say in a movie once about how his character got through prison. "Nurtured the hope that there was hope."
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I would like to go back in time a short bit to when my biggest lament was envy at not being able to go to Comic-Con, or indeed, any con (and probably never will get to). Actually, no I wouldn't because then I'd have to live through the last 24 hours again. Even the idea of living the next 24 hours has little appeal.

Yes, I'm using this again. I tried going other places but couldn't think of anything to say. And haven't had a bundle of thoughts to compress together for several months (that I couldn't express on Twitter, anyway).
2011 has, so far, been a year of disappointment. In people, things, technology, trends and worst of all, expectations. There's only about two or three people who haven't disappointed me so far, and even still I find myself a bit wary. Ronan moved back home (I'm not disappointed in him, just in the circumstances that forced his return). Paul finally crossed a line I didn't think even HE could. And my parents were willing to look the other way, because their idea of peace and quiet is Neville Chamberlain's idea of peace and quiet. So yeah, Lotta disappointment. Lotta hurt for a year I had a lot of hope for. All I wanted to do was work and go on a holiday, come back, save up again and emigrate. Maybe write a book or two along the way and have some good company, that's ALL I wanted out of life.
But work has been terribly thin, and I need to stop talking about that, I know, so just this once more and none again after. The sad thing, you know I was actually starting to like the garage? Compared to the bullshitters, the hacks, the bankers, the vultures, it was starting to feel so wonderfully honest to me. Yeah, it's dirty and hot and tiring, but it's REAL. There's no lie in sweat. I thought it was just an isolated dry spell and sooner or later we'd get another good month like January. But I noticed this morning, no hyperbole, there are literally fewer cars on the roads of Dublin. The traffic IS thinner. The number of cars noticeably smaller. I don't know what it is. People emigrating (lucky bastards) people switching to bicycles or public transport, people just plain not being able to afford to own a car. Whatever the explanation, the consequence is the same: hardly any work for mechanics.

And it could not have come at a worse time. Da has to go back into the hospital, again, for surgery. The good news is his health insurance will cover the operation. The bad news is, he'll be out of work for at least three weeks and being a self-employed working man, all he's entitled to from the government is their middle finger and a kick up the arse. We can't close the garage, because that would mean starving. And at the same time, the bare amount of work we're getting is hardly worth keeping the garage open. That leaves me and Ronan under pressure to find work to support the family (Paul won't help. He could easily afford to, but he won't). Ronan will probably fare better, since he's actually qualified, but I can safely tell you that job-searching has left me the most depressed I've felt in years.

Ad: "Wanted: someone with several degrees and a decade's worth of experience, right out of college, for menial tedium a nutless monkey could do."
Dar's brain: "...Why aren't I qualified for any of that? Oh right, because I spent a lot of years being crazy and getting my head sorted out. But surely getting your opening adult years wrong shouldn't count against the rest of your life, right? I hear of people in worse circumstances turning their lives around, how did they do it? Being mentally ill isn't going to work against me for the rest of my life, is it? Why do I have to be punished for being crazy years ago? Haven't I punished myself enough? This isn't fair, I just need to help out my family and you're not letting me because you don't believe in second chances or even first chances. You don't want a person, you want an ideal. You want perfection, meaning anyone who's ever been broken can go take a walk."

And on and on. Like that. Well into insomnia. Feelings of uselessness and self-recrimination. And paralysis. Things can't be as they are, but they're not able to move forward, either. My only real hopes are that we have enough to keep ourselves afloat, we get a storm of work out of nowhere, or I can get hired by someone, anyone, to do something, anything.
I can't even pay my own way. I've had two days of work in the garage in the last three weeks and all I've been able to earn on that has to go to the dentist. I need to get a filling on Wednesday, which I can't put off and will cost me €100. Health insurance won't cover dental stuff. Because that would be helpful, that's why. Unless something happens, there is so much I can't afford now, it's not funny. I've got €40 and change to get by on for the foreseeable future. Any emergencies, bills, food, luxuries or evenings out after that have to come out of my rather unimpressive savings.

So, I don't know what to do. There are no famine ships anymore, unfortunately. I feel frustrated, really. I have potential. I could do so much. I'm able-bodied, I'm healthy, I'm intelligent, I'm willing to work, I have no drug problems or animosity. And I can't reconcile that with knowing it isn't enough: I have to have been lucky and mentally sound years ago in order to help my family now. They looked after me growing up, and it's my turn to do the same for them and I CAN'T. Think how good that makes me feel. And on top of it all, there's me selfishly wondering if I'll even get to go to Japan after all.

I've punished myself enough. I just want to work. Anywhere.
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It's funny, you know. I watched Evangelion the first time around, when I was seriously depressed. I've said before and I'll say again, the characters (and show) are hard to like when you haven't been where they are psychologically. Or if you've been close to where they're at and didn't like the proximity. But like I said, I watched it in the early 2000s, when I was a seriously messed up, angry and depressed boy. And it resonated with me. There was never anything about the character of Shinji I couldn't understand or identify with completely, which is not a positive statement to make, I know.
But we fast forward to now, ten years later. Ten years later, I'm watching another Evangelion series and it's still resonating with me. The themes have changed. It no longer expresses an ultimately nihilist view that life is cruel, lonely, depressing and not worth living. Rebuild of Evangelion is not a tale told by someone suffering depression, it's a tale told by someone who has survived depression. Someone who knows that life is hard, oh God is it so fucking hard. And painful. But it need not be lonely. And there is always hope.
That's why I like the Rebuild of Evangelion. I know other fans are aghast and believe Anno has essentially gone George Lucas on his own Star Wars, but I like that he's taken this opportunity to come back to his magnum opus and say: "No, actually, what I said back then isn't true. It's what I thought at the time because I was mentally ill. I'm better now and this is what I believe."

And in a weird way, it gives me a strange hope. If I can get better, if he can get better, if of all things frickin' Neon Genesis Eva-goddamn-gelion can get better then maybe, just maybe the WORLD can get better? We could use it.

Speaking of getting better, I seem to have somehow picked up something like a social life. A combination of factors led to this. Now [personal profile] chebe's passed her driving test (congratulations again!), it's been whole lot simpler for her, me and [personal profile] phoenix to meet up and not worry about time constraints. Just go out and have fun without an eye on the clock.
And it's gotten easier for me to go out, too. I no longer feel that horrible, biting "maybe it would be better if I just stayed home" feeling. I've taken to welcoming every new opportunity and experience I can. Not diving in at the deep end, but bit by bit as I go along. Looking for things I would have been too insecure or shy to do before. Looking to get lost in new places and new experiences.
Friday, a complete absence of food in the house led us to Wagamama's and then a road to nowhere, looking for a beach I'm sure we'll find one of these days. Last night it was a rock bar and club after. Playing pool with friends and realizing it was the first time I was actually playing with friends, instead of just with family at Christmases, New Years, christenings and funerals. Usually my relatives just mop the floor with me, but last night we were all equally (and amusingly) unskilled, with no way of knowing which way any game was going to go.
Oh yeah, got eyelinered for the first time last night (an occupational hazard when most of your friends are women). Wasn't really sure what to expect, but in the end I kind of liked the result. Vaguely sinister, I thought it made me look.

Rest of the night was spent in music. Most of it not my kind of music, but the girls couldn't stay off the dancefloor. And eventually my buzz got me restless and the music got familiar so off I went and danced as un-Morrisseylike as a straight white guy can.
After that, a quick Burger King and observing Dublin's pickled Saturday night wildlife on our ways home.

Now, here's the thing. I don't get hangovers. I think I've had one in my entire life, and that was after a night of things I would never do again. As a trade-off, however, alcohol has the effect of leaving me unable to sleep. Most people, they drink and pass out easily. I can't sleep after I've been drinking, and the lying there waiting to sleep sobers me up if the trip home hasn't already.
Thing is, I wasn't drunk (though I had been drinking. Takes a bit to get a guy my size drunk, unless I go straight for the hard stuff), but I was buzzed and excitable. And for once, the post-drinking insomnia when I got home didn't bother me at all. Just let me lie there and think about what a good night it had been, and that buzz had been from a great time with great company. And thinking that yeah, we should totally do that again.

And drive around solving mysteries.
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Writing with a new keyboard is kinda like test driving a new car. Taking it for a quick spin around the internet. Check out those hotkeys. Listen to how quiet those new, slim buttons are - no clack, clack, clackety like on your grandma's typewriter, no sir. And no more thumbs hitting the wrong one, either. Naw, naw, keyboard like this? Be with ya 'til the day you die you get something with a touchscreen.

I had noticed that my old keyboard was clunky and noisy, especially when writing at night. But what caused this episode of out with the old, in with the new was downloading OmmWriter and thinking "Wow, they weren't kidding, this really is distraction-free writing." What helps is that the program runs full-screen, so checking Twitter and stuff isn't such a passive interruption. You'd have to actually interrupt yourself to do it. Handy. And so, while I was trying it out, I realized that the biggest distraction was how DAMN noisy my keyboard was. You know, a good workman never blames his tools, but anything that makes you more conscious of the writing process is detrimental to it.
So yeah, new one.

My life actually IS more exciting than that, by the way, I just wanted to get that out of the way first because I liked the whole new car analogy. Life's full of new lately. It started with little things, things I didn't even notice at first. Like my poise, for example. I noticed I found myself standing with my hands in my pockets or on my hips. When I was younger, I'd be self-conscious of my hands, never knowing what to do with them. I'd wave them around and hit things, or people. So I took to standing or sitting with my arms crossed (which I'm told sends out fuck-off vibes) or keeping them behind my back. And then that worrying about what to do with my hands just faded away.
I think sub-consciously, I've gotten a lot more relaxed. My self-consciousness seems to be finally eroding, thank God. I've loosened up colossally. It was when I decided I was going to allow myself to feel, and I was going to enjoy everything I could get out of life, and God what a burden that lifted. Just realizing how much there is to life and what I'm allowing myself to do now that I always self-consciously held back on.
Like realizing I'm very tactile. I don't mean touchy-feely (I never trusted guys who said they're touchy-feely because they tend to be only touch-feely with women. I can be a bit that way a bit when I'm drunk, sure, but at least I have no problem hugging a dude when I am.), more sort of just touching the world. Every post, railing and lamp I walk past, I'll reach out and touch. I go into a bookstore, there's a stack of books in front of me and I drum on them.

And the part of my brain that goes "Don't do that." has been gloriously, mercifully, finally and thankfully turned the fuck OFF..

I like touch, taste, hearing and seeing. I don't want to just use these senses, I want to indulge them. Yes, I left one out back there, clever of you to spot it and yes, I do wonder if that has something to do with it. I like the bounce in these keys under my fingers. I like the way whiskey burns at the back of your throat. I love when a song I'm listening to pounds in my ears, goes down somewhere past my heart, under my lungs and then back up to my head. I like when I'm in a park on a beautiful day and I can't see anyone else, my music blocks out all other sounds and it's so easy to imagine the end of the world came and went and I'm the last man alive. That is a feeling nowhere near as morbid as it sounds, by the way, because then you're thinking "If it's only me, then there's only me to appreciate it."

So yeah, stuff like that. I think you'd call it being a sensualist, though that word's been hijacked by advertising and given sexual connotations that eclipse its true meaning. ...Not that I don't like sex, mind. I'm a big fan of sex. I'd like to meet its inventor and buy 'em a drink (then who knows, maybe back to their place and they can show me how they got the idea).

But really I just feel quite free to enjoy myself. It's not really any one thing that did it. A combination of different factors, I guess. There's realizing that tsunamis don't make exceptions for people with goals, for starters. There's getting angry at fear and wanting to face it down at every opportunity. There's knowing I shouldn't be afraid that something fucking terrible might happen to me because something fucking terrible IS going to happen to me because something fucking terrible happens to EVERYONE. It's compulsory. It's part of life and life is... kinda stupid. I mean, really, when you think about it. Nobody would play a game designed this way. But I have played other games that were terribly flawed and I loved them too. Probably because they had such great characters or elements. Hey, just like life. So yeah, life sucks but I still love it. And between love and fear, love is undoubtedly the better motivation.

It's also knowing that life isn't a movie and I'm not the leading man. And even if it were, I wouldn't want to be. Have you ever noticed characters who AREN'T the lead have so much freedom? The lead can only act a certain way, live a certain kind of life. The lead has to be either winning or losing, they can't be just getting by. They can't have bad habits or flaws. They have to be with their love interest, have to get that happily ever after and the story has to be all about them. We've become conditioned to see life as a movie we're the main character in.
And I don't WANT to be that lead character. I don't want to pressure myself that way. I don't want to feel I have to punish myself for not having movie star looks or being a prodigy. I don't want to feel like I have to be in competition with everyone else for the Best Life award. (When and where DO they hand those out, by the way?) If you want those things, I want to be the supporting actor who backs you up and seems wise but really is just there to have fun.
We cast ourselves in these stupid roles, then we get mad at ourselves for not being able to live up to them and mad at the world for not following the script. And what roles have we chosen? Well, for guys, it seems we all have to be James Bond. And I don't know if you noticed, but James Bond is kind of a dick. Not that women have it any better (their choice is only one Hepburn or the other), in fact they have it worse. Why? Because us guys decided we all had to be James Bond. And James Bond can't be seen with a fat girl, so you're gonna have to lose weight. And James Bond can't be upstaged by his own love interest, so you're gonna have to be worse at and paid less for everything we do. You're gay? Lesbians only exist for James Bond to fix with his cock, so if you're not gay for our benefit, you don't exist. And don't you go opening your legs for anyone or enjoy it if you, because the only one who gets to enjoy sex is James Bond, and that's us.
If you search, you can find someone who has actually fulfilled that James Bond role us guys set for ourselves. His name is Charlie Sheen. And I don't know about you, but I really don't want to be Charlie Sheen. Seriously, THAT is who modern life encourages us to be. We're supposed to be Charlie Sheen and women are supposed to be his 'goddesses'. So isn't it good to know there are so much better things in life to be?

...I think watching Angel might have been a part of it too. (Shut up. They killed Spike in the last ep of Buffy, it was the only way to make him not dead.) Watching Angel and going "Oh God, is that what I've been like?! That's boring and depressing and teenage and UGH!" Again, I think I'd rather have been more like any of the characters who actually looked like they were having fun. Mind you, I didn't brood like him. I've had depression issues, which is something I'll always take seriously, but I'm not a victim of mental illness. I'm a survivor of it and I'd rather live like one. And I'm free from it, that constant self-consciousness. Like it would be the worst thing ever if someone caught me dancing to Talking Heads at work (Someone did. World didn't end). Or if I sing along to something, people are going to discover I'm tone deaf. Which, I suppose, if it's the worst thing people think about me then I'm getting off easy.

It's funny, you know.
Every so often I think "Okay, I'm done learning, ready for the world now." And then I'll learn something else and realize "Ooh, good thing I learned that, because if I'd gone out not knowing that, things would have been MUCH harder. But now that I know that, I really am ready now." Ah, but there's so many things to learn. Life to this point has been one big long education in how to undo being a screwed-up, bullied kid. Lesson worth learning, I guess.

In less introspective news of me, I beat Dragon Age 2 but can't talk about it because some friends haven't played it yet. And the one other person I know who IS playing it is behind me. So, since getting my evenings back (Oh! Evenings! I'm planning on taking an evening course in Japanese. I know Chinese will be more useful after the inevitable takeover, but knowledge of Japanese is more urgent. I need to learn how to say things like "No, she's not my girlfriend, we're not a couple, just friends!" in Japanese by autumn.) I've been watching Community, upon [livejournal.com profile] fragmentedsky's urging. I guess it's finally time to give a American comedy show a chance again after Scrubs going all babies and stupid and pointless, in that order.
And you know, it's pretty good. The writing's sharp, but not "Haw, haw, look how witty we are!" sharp, since it balances out with so much wonderful silly. As I suspected, Chevy Chase is mostly unscripted. And Ponder Stibbons John Oliver is great in everything. Oh, and I think I've fallen in love with Alison Brie. Fallen hard. I think this might be it, you know, I think she might be The One. I've picked out a ring and everything. See, it must be love, why else would I be having such Hinckley thoughts?

And so finishes yet another of my novellas journal entries.
dar: (Default)
Habits I need to grow out of, No.#3054: The feeling that I need to introduce every new post I make. Maybe it's just the writer in me, I dunno. That first line MUST hook the reader. Yes, it must. Except in every good book I've ever read, but what do published and praised authors know about writing, anyway?

I find it's best to start with what my readers are interested in: people who aren't me. It's my Da's 60th birthday on Sunday. And like me, he's impossible to shop for (at least I know where I get it from). Well, nearly did manage to find him one thing, but both Amazon and Ebay wanted €50 shipping for it. Screw that. Fortunately, I have a plan B. And it's a good one, because usually when I have a plan B, the 'B' stands for 'brainless', so there you go. Anyways, he recently got good news last hospital visit (not to mention uncharacteristically completely stoned), and you can't ask for much more than that :)
Oh, and Ronan's coming home Friday, so it's looking like it's going to be a good week for all involved, despite the election that's in it. Argh, have to go and vote for some twonk before we go collect him in Holyhead (road trip!) but on the bright side, if the rising tide of global insanity is any indication, it'll probably be the last election we have to have. ...Ever.

Oh, and I got my hair cut. The flatness and tying it back kept annoying me. Decided it was time for a change (Why not? Everything else is). Turned out a bit more Sammy Winchester than I was expecting, but it could have been worse. I look like a boy from behind again, woo. I think it actually makes me look a bit taller and slimmer when I get it right. I missed my man-bangs, I do admit it.

But the real news, the big news, is that I'm going to Tokyo with [personal profile] phoenix in exactly three weeks time! Her idea, actually. Not that she had to exactly twist my arm to get me involved, because hello, GEEK MECCA! Booked the tickets and accommodations yesterday. 'Tis going to be awesome!
She'd brought the idea up a few weeks ago around New Years, and I honestly wasn't expecting to be going this soon. Wasn't expecting to be able to afford to, but January turned out to be such a good month work-wise. Don't need a visa, it's only for a week and we're still in our twenties, so why not? Call me crazy, but I have my suspicions that when the zombies overrun us all, I won't be sitting in a bunker thinking "No, I'm glad I didn't see Japan while it was still there. It was better in the long run to just keep the money and use it for toilet paper as society collapsed."
So, if anyone has any recommendations, tips or advice, do tell. We'll probably only be in Tokyo itself, as travel outside the city by rail sounds prohibitively expensive. I know I definitely plan to bring my camera and tape as much of the trip as possible. I've got some ideas for places I want to see and things I want to do. And hey, we'll even be there for St. Patrick's Day, though whether we'll be able to actually DO anything for it (like finding some displaced Americans to worship us as gods?) all depends on jet lag. Mind you, my mother and aunt spent a week in China once, and said the jet lag upon arrival is minimal, especially compared to the lag you get coming back.
To say we're looking forward to it would be an understatement. So would saying nerves in play, but there's three weeks to work on those. Strange, one of the things I really want to see? The coast. Because I've been to the Californian coast, and I like the idea of having been both as far west and as far east as you can go. Something to cross off the bucket list. Not bad for a Tallaght kid who kicked around the same four streets most of his life, I think.
So, three weeks from now we'll be on a plane to Japan. Four weeks from now we'll be on the way back. Five weeks from now, I'll probably be hiding in Dragon Age 2 and wallowing in post-Tokyo-back-in-fucking-Ireland-under-right-wing-Fine-Gael-knobend-government blues.

Oh yes, and I've also been causing Sabrina to have "Who are you, and what have you done with Dar?" moments by finally watching Buffy. Yes, I didn't watch Buffy before now. ...Well. I had seen it around on TV before, bits and pieces, usually while waiting on something else to come on. People were talking nostalgically about it a few weeks ago, and you know I loved Firefly, so I figured it was stupid of me to deprive myself of such an iconic show, just because I was an awful angry eejit back when it was on. It's never a good idea to let your past self make your decisions for you.
And Jane Espenson's tweets made me want to see more of her work. It's an awesome show, I missed out. Though I will say, I like how doing things I thought I wouldn't when I was younger makes me feel. It's not the further distancing who I am now from who I was, though that is a part of it. There's also the feeling that it makes the world seem more open. Like there's more to do, because you opened all those doors you closed to yourself.

And I like being able to surprise people.
dar: (Default)
It is at this stage of a diet that two things happen. One, you wonder why no visible results have manifested yet and this is probably when people decide it's not worth doing. And two? You understand why other people see certain foods like chocolate as a hedonistic treat and not just a snack. I know now why Da is able to regard dessert or a Big Mac as indulges instead of options. I think I actually "get" food now.

I've been playing Mass Effect 2. Well, technically I've played it before. Between the PC demo, the PS3 demo and the actual game, I've seen my Shepard killed and revived more times than Jack Harkness. Was definitely worth the wait, though. The PS3 release is a pretty solid bundle, with most of the PC/Xbox DLC already incorporated into the game, and a code for a free download of the Cerberus Network DLC included with every new copy (beat THAT, pre-owned bin).
It takes a little getting used to at first, though. For one thing the controls are not as intuitive as they could have been, certainly not as intuitive as Dragon Age. For instance, I spent quite a while wondering just how you put your weapons back in the holster. The process of elimination determined it to be the Select button, of all things. The Select button, a normally vestigial feature. I can count on the fingers of one hand games I've played where it had much function, this one included. I'm a little unsure of Bioware's reasoning on this one. Maybe they figured once your gun was out, you were gonna be keeping it out for the rest of the level anyway?
Another thing to get used to is how often you're reminded you're playing a sequel. I suppose it's less noticeable if you have played the first one, but many PS3 gamers like me haven't. Don't get me wrong, it's not a dealbreaker. After all, I've seen and read movie and book sequels before their antecedent works, and I've come into TV shows halfway through a series. This is no different. But while Bioware do provide an interactive prologue that allows you to implement choices from the first game into the world of this one, you're still unfamiliar with a lot of the nuances and backstory, and you're going to be reminded of it. A lot. For instance, at the Citadel I met a reporter who'd apparently pulled a bit of a Fox News on Shepard in the last game. I took the game's word for it and punched her in the face. But it's little things like that. There's a HUGE amount of continuity in this series and it's just a shame PS3 gamers have only one half of it.
That being said, it's a tremendously enjoyable game. There was a while back there at the start when I was beginning to wonder if this would just be Dragon Age Origins IN SPAAAACE! After all, it wasn't hard to notice that the characters move and talk and make facial expressions in exactly the same way as DAO. But this game gives you a hell of a lot more freedom. The whole frickin' galaxy is yours to explore (and shoot your way across). It's Star Trek's strange new worlds with Firefly's big damn heroes. A winning combination.
And here's the bit where I admit to being strangely attracted to my Shepard. Which I'm told is not all that uncommon. I've been playing her as sort of a fun mix of Captain Picard and Jack Bauer (let that roll around your head a bit). Picard's integrity, leadership qualities and intelligence and Jack's dedication and ruthlessness. Also helps that Jennifer Hale's performance reminds me quite a bit of Torri Higginson in Stargate Atlantis. And the same thing happened in character creation as with my Grey Warden: I tried to make her look perfect, failed, and later actually preferred how imperfect she looked. Especially the scars. Made up my mind pretty quickly that I actually don't want them to heal, and neither would she. Playing games like these enable you to write the character in your head as you're playing them. Hell, sometimes I'll just be playing along and narration pops into my head when the game won't provide one. I realized early on that Shephard wouldn't want her scars to heal as she prefers them to stand as a clear division of her life before she died and her life after. Plus, they're nice and intimidating, which is handy in a job that involves meeting lots of unsavory characters.
That's what I like about games like this. How character creation doesn't end at creation. By being given so many choices, you get to really know someone whom you pulled out of your head. The sandbox isn't just a place you go to waste time instead of writing - it's a place to do more writing in your head.

It occurred to me today how annoying I find folk who look down their nose at Sci-Fi and Fantasy and dismiss them with a cynical snort. I mean, if you're not interested in them, fine. But the idea that they're a waste of time because they're not "real" is small-minded and, what's more, completely and utterly mistaken.
The stereotype of one who interests themselves in Science Fiction is someone with their head in the clouds, dreaming of different worlds and irrelevant ideas. It's the single greatest misconception that Sci-Fi is completely divorced from reality, when it has ALWAYS been about the human condition. I've seen Sci-Fi be topical and controversial when the masters of other genres succumbed to cowardice and distracted themselves from the big issues by churning out pointless fluff.
Don't try and tell me it doesn't matter. In an increasingly vacuous society, it's one of the few things left that does.

...Though I suppose we don't do ourselves any favors with things like The Cape. I can think of no point to this show other than to make me wonder if getting my Glau fix is worth it. Actually, when I watch it, I'm mostly just thinking about how I could have infinitely improved the whole thing. From a story AND a technical standpoint. Seriously, I've never seen so many pointless Dutch angles in my life. For those of you who don't know what I mean, a Dutch angle is when the camera is off balance, to give the impression that the characters are uneasy, bewildered or stunned. But The Cape uses them all the time in situations where it's not warranted. Like the characters having lunch. For those of you unfamiliar with lunch, it's generally something never done dramatically. If only The Cape had tried as hard to make a decent show as they had at making lunch look dramatic.
This show had the potential to be The Dark Knight: The Series, but they forgot what Christopher Nolan did to make his Batman movies such a success. Usually when a comic is adapted to a movie, reality is changed to accommodate the world of the comic. In Nolan's Bat-films, the world of the comics are changed to accommodate reality. There's no realistic way for Ra's al Ghul to be immortal, so he's not. There's no realistic way for the Joker's skin to be bleached, so he just wears make-up, and so on. The Cape doesn't do that, and honestly that was the wrong choice to make.

I'm trying to remember what the hell I actually did whenever I didn't have work. Can't have been life, I never had one of those.
dar: (Default)
I seem to have fallen into a diet. Now, I'd like to point out that I wasn't shamed or peer pressured or fadded or trended or Jamie Olivered or Wii'd into it. If anything, I seem to have started at a time people are usually quitting theirs. I've fallen into it by a very similar mechanism to that one where you're perfectly happy to be living with your room in a mess, and then one day suddenly start cleaning up without previously planning to. That's what happened here, I started dieting without planning to.
Maybe it was seeing those pictures of my grandparents when they were around my age that did it. Realizing then that what we look like now is not how we'll be remembered looking in the future. And then I looked at pictures of myself when I was younger. I'd been wondering about the size disparity between my brothers and I and realized it had not always been there. I don't remember my teens very well at all, but if it was as full of junk food as it was depression, it certainly explains a lot. And my mother says that when she met my father, he'd been a rake back then. Point is, I wasn't born this way. I don't think less of anyone who is. But if I did this to myself, then I can undo it. I guess I've just realized that the way I am now is not the way I'll always have to be. And I'm legitimately curious as to what I actually look like under this extra layer of padding.
Besides, I've lost weight before. I managed to lose my second chin in college, though by a less than ideal combination of stress and starvation. I'm pretty sure I can do better this time.
So, my new diet is as follows:
Breakfast: 1 appetite suppressant, 1 glass of water.
Lunch: 1 appetite suppressant, half a glass of water.
Dinner: 2 appetite suppressants, 1 glass of low-fat water.
Snack: Half an appetite suppressant.

Okay, kidding. That's just what it bloody feels like. It's actually this.
Breakfast: 1 cup of coffee, 4 small biscuity bran oaty bar thingies. I dunno. Let's just call them Fruity Oaty Bars, even though they're not bars and have no fruit but everyone loves a Firefly reference so much that they're the only reason you're watching Castle. Admit it.
Lunch: Soup, slice of bread.
Dinner: Whatever's going, only in smaller portions. It's usually the healthiest thing I've eaten all day anyway.
Snack: Fruit. And may I say what a particularly effective snack fruit makes. It's like dwarf bread, you see that's all there is to eat and decide you'll wait for dinner. I was able to procrastinate the bejeezus out of an orange almost the entire day yesterday. I pretty much just used it as a prop more than an actual source of food.

Hmm, what else. Well, cut out chocolate. Entirely. It's not even Lent yet. Yeah, getting a head start on all y'all. Trimming down on the dairy, too. No more than one slice of cheese per day, if that. Low fat milk. Low fat everything, actually (tastes as good as it sounds). Going by what my Da's dietician told us, anything with over three grams of saturated fat in it is off-limits. Which is 99% of the entire fucking supermarket/food chain.
I'm also trying to tap into that "overly polite stomach" phenomenon I've experienced whenever I've gone abroad. I don't know if it's an Irish thing or what, but when staying with other people, my stomach's always gone all "I won't, says I, I'm fine!", which leads to me wondering why it can't be this behaved when I'm at home on my own. Next to fruit, it's the most effective anti-snacking measure I've ever witnessed, and I just need to tap into that. Somehow convince my digestive system that this house isn't my house, upon which it will be instantly mortified at the prospect of imposing. Maybe if I move the furniture around in my sleep...

So, that's the diet plan. Which, you have to admit, is head and shoulders above my original one. See I was originally just going to wait for the apocalypse, and then watch the pounds just drop off. Upon further consideration, the optimal thing is probably to be physically fit before the apocalypse hits. ...Hey, I wonder if there's a market in post-apocalyptic diet books? ...Oh! Oh! Wait for it! Let it come! Ladies and gentlemen: The Waistland Survival Guide.

Ah haw haw.

Very little of the above was serious. The diet plan is real, everything else is waffle. ...Mmmmm. Waffffles.
dar: (Default)
Oh, 2011. You keep promising us nice things. It's like after all the suckage of 2010, you're trying to make up for it with gifts. Or you're lavishly showering us with them so we won't leave you for 2012, the younger model. As years go, you're quite the sugar daddy.
And it's good that you are promising us nice things. Because we go into a new year optimistic and it's always that first international tragedy that takes the sheen off it and reminds us it's going to be another three hundred and sixty-five days of the Same. Old. Crap. So the promise of good things to come may just help us get through it with some interest.

Anyway, decent enough day, mostly. Was kinda bummed out last night, not expecting good things for today. But there was work. And a call from Ronan at work. He's hoping to be home for Da's sixtieth birthday next month. He's sending out CV's at the moment, though. Gave him that e-mail address tip [livejournal.com profile] shoopuf showed me about using an e-mail address with your name instead of a nickname to look more professional. Hasn't helped me much, but hopefully it'll help him.
Oh yeah, Da and I went to see The Next Three Days the other night upon Ronan's recommendation. Good film, takes a while to get going but has a really thrilling second half. Well directed and edited, and I say that as someone who finds it very hard giving a crap about Russell Crowe. I mean, have you tried giving a crap about Russell Crowe? Exactly! It's borderline impossible, which is what makes this film such an achievement in film-making. One thing about it is that usually when you watch a film, your suspension of disbelief only goes so far. You rarely find yourself worried the protagonist won't make it because a part of your brain is going "Of course he'll make it, it's a movie!". But in this movie, as well as rooting for the fugitives to escape, at the same time I was also rooting for the police to catch them. Usually in a movie like this, we'd cement the cops as "bad guys" by making them corrupt or nasty, which makes our heroes breaking the law and thwarting them relatively "okay". But in this, the cops AREN'T dicks. They're doing their job and they're good at it and part of you wants to see them succeed in doing it, while another part of you wants Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks to succeed in escape. You're ambivalent, conflicted and thrilled. And you know what I would call that? ENTERTAINING.
It also has Liam Neeson, but not enough Liam Neeson. Sexy, sexy man. And a pretty damn good soundtrack, too. Nice to hear Moby making good music again, like this.

So then while waiting on work, I looked up Shinra News to see suspicions in the last few days confimed: Final Fantasy XIII-2 is happening.
Now, here's why I'm excited instead of the "Oh great, more corridors." reaction. Now is a surprisingly good time to be a fan of Final Fantasy. Why? Because Final Fantasy XIII was only alright (but flawed!) and Final Fantasy XIV is terrible. And both of these facts weren't just reflected in the sales, Square's stock took a punch in the crotch, too. Square have learned the hard way that the Final Fantasy brand is not invincible and simply slapping the label on any half-cooked game is not going to guarantee its success anymore. They know now that they have to save the brand and the only way to do that is to make it good again. And the only way to do THAT is to finally listen to the fans and give them what they want instead of telling them what they want.
Final Fanboy XIII )

And so, with little else left to say, he resorted to photoshop.



WIIIITH THEEEESE! HUN-GRY EYES!
ONE LOOK AT YOU AND I CAN'T DISGUISE I'VE GOT HUN-GREE EYES!
I FEEL THE MAGIC BETWEEN YOU AND I!
I NEED YOU TO SEEEEE!
THIS LOVE WAS MEANT TO BE!
Sax solo!
dar: (Default)
Since I haven't updated in three weeks, it was suggested I do so before people go looking for my obituary. (You'll only be disappointed anyway.)
I am back, and with me I bring a policy change. I like to think it's not just a New Year's thing, as I've been considering plenty as far back as November. But you know, "shit or get off the pot" is easy enough to say, but not to someone with the thinking equivalent of IBS. So yeah, this new change is that from now on most Dreamwidth entries will be public, but their crosspostings to LJ will remain locked. This is for a whole bunch of reasons;
1) - I have been wanting to semi-sorta come out of hiding a bit. Not putting myself out there, but I did miss the feeling of talking to everyone. It's been easier for me to use twitter than a journal, not just because it's short and fast, but because there's the actual crowd feeling over there. Also, I've been thinking I'd like to move into Actual Real Blogging™ at some point, which is hard to do when you're in hiding.
2) - Things have thawed a little between myself and ᵽαυᶅ (Spelling it like that to hopefully thwart the google monster.). Long story short, I had a dream about my grandmother and my dog which depressed the everloving fuck out of me and let to me thinking that I didn't see any of my uncles not talking to each other. It just isn't worth keeping up. So we talked and we're going to try to be better to each other this year. But I'm still not okay with the idea of family reading this (even though I won't be making the mistake of talking about them again), and since LJ is the link that's known, that's the one that's getting hidden.
3) - Anonymous folk like to read back through your entries and taunt you with things you've revealed there. And while the mistake was revealing them in the first place, it's not one I'm going to make again.
4) - I just want a fresh start. And since this page is what my Twitter account links to, I suppose people clicking on it would like to be actually able to see something if they do.

So, yeah, thinking about Real Blogging, and come up with an idea for a blog I may need some help with if anyone knows a bit about design. I think I took 2010 off (though it was a shite year for most, can you blame me?) and seemed happy enough to just sit and comment, but eventually got tired of wasting my time and not exercising creativity anywhere outside my head much. Going to hopefully work on that in the coming months.

Speaking of which, here was going to be that accent/pronounciation meme that's going around. I gave it a try. At first I thought "Where can I find a microphone?", and then I remembered I have a new phone...



...yeah, that face. Hardly surprising from the guy who once actually forgot he has a mother, though. Anyway, was going to do the meme, recorded it, uploaded it, but it came out all choppy and sped up. No idea what I did wrong. Bah. I'll do it again sometime, just not tonight.

So yeah. What's up with me. Well, unusually for a January there's actually a fuckload of work, which is quite welcome don't you know. January's always been a terrible month for garage work (everyone's poor after the holidays) but I reckon the snowpocalypse reminded people that cars are not invulnerable. And the recession (snap out of the denial, it's a full-blown depression by now) reminds people that they're no longer rich enough to buy a new car when their current one is making funny noises, so they have to take care of them now. And apparently, according to An Expert Who Specializes In These Kind Of Things whom my Da knows, small garages like ours are the future because the big ones are closing down due to, well, economic Darwinism, really. Makes sense, when you think about it. Our overheads are smaller. And we did survive the 80s, after all.
For those of you too young to remember the 80s (and Jesus Von Christ I can't believe that's something I'm actually old enough to say), it was a lot like the 21st century - everyone was poor except for the psychopathically rich, most shopfronts were permanent shutters, and people were emigrating like there was a zombie horde behind them. Really the only difference is the music was better because it wasn't a democracy and the Devil had yet to donkey punch humanity with the advent of autotune. ...Good times.

Watched The Cape. It was, ahh... Well, it's not a terrible show, but it's not a fantastic show. And we're spoiled, because we're used to seeing Summer Glau in fantastic shows. ...And Dollhouse. And, you know, it's kind of sad when you see a really great actor like Summer Glau, Keith David or Richard Schiff given something that you know it's impossible for them to be excited about, but they still do their best with what they've got.
But at least Summer's character is a Master Mistress of Disguise, so after seeing her one way in Firefly and another way in Terminator, it's interesting to see her in multiple different ways, like Jennifer Garner in Alias. ...So. There's that.
It's a poor man's Batman, really. Literally. It's not The Dark Knight: The Series, but it could have been. The ingredients are there. Don't get me wrong, it has its moments. If you're gonna liken it to Batman, it's more Tim Burton than Joel Schumacher, but it's not Christopher Nolan, and I think it wants to be. All the ingredients are there, but they're mixed wrong. I felt like I was watching the second draft of something, before somebody would have come along, thrown out the comedy, turned off the camp and made it more intense. Basically, I think the audience would have preferred to have been reminded of a good Batman movie rather than a bad or okay one.

So, good to be back. How're you?