Saturday, May 30, 2009

This must've been someone who came to work covered in children's blood every morning

2009 may be the most spectacular year I've ever experienced, entertainment-wise. At least if we're talking live entertainment. So far this year, we've seen Wintersleep and Wovenhand live, both of which were spectacular. This summer I get to see three of my fave bands (Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More and Neurosis) in seven days. I may just overload on near religious musical experiences.

And on Monday we get to see Dylan Moran. A bitter, chain smoking, wine drinking Irishman, who is one of our favorite standup comics. Oh the joy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How lies have fed your legend, Harry!

I was supposed to have the aftertaste of pecan pie in my mouth now. And my stomach full of steak. And pecan pie on top of the steak. But no. Harry had to give me attitude.

Harry, you ask? My stomach. Hairy Harry. Who is gay.

And before you even go there, it's the only part of my body I have named. Because he talks. Because he has a personality. And because he can hold a grudge. I have taught him well.

He has a partner too. Tommy. Tommy the Tummy. They speak to each other. We're pretty sure they run around the apartment at night and do all sorts of mischief. That they have wild monkey sex on the couch. That's what the stains are from, yes of course.

Usually I like Harry. We've been friends for a long time. Today, though, I'm holding the grudge. He'd better get his act together by tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A mercenary, a psychopath & a bundle of cash...what could go wrong?

Again, a question of plot.

I recently finished the game Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, on my Xbox 360. It received mixed reviews, and some people I know with insight into the gaming business sort of sneered when I said I had bought it.

Lynch was a bit pissed at Kane's snoring and bought him a Breathe-Right

In the campaign mode, you play Kane, a former merc who is rescued from a prison transport and then paired up with an unstable psycho called Lynch to retrieve a large sum of money that Kane supposedly stole from his former mercenary partners, The7. The game involves shootouts, sneaking around, family members murdered, betrayals, yada yada yada.

Kane & Lynch is definitely not the best game I've played, nor is it the worst. And while there are some problems with the actual mechanics of the game (is that the right term, oh game geeks? Mechanics?), the main problem is the story. The plot.

It begins promising, but clichéd, then builds through a number of cityscape scenes obviously inspired by, among others, Michael Mann's Heat (Best. Shootout. Ever.). Unfortunately, the end doesn't deliver, at all, and throughout the game, it feels as if there are cut scenes missing between levels, and no real explanation of why you move from one setting to the next.

With more time, more work on the story and a more powerful ending, this could have been a great game. Dark and intense, and above all different. Now it feels like any low-rate action thriller that didn't get the proper budget or script treatment. Too bad.

Oh. Of course there's a movie in the making. Lo and behold, it's stunt coordinator/second unit director Simon Crane who'll make his directorial debut, and rumors point to Bruce Willis starring as Kane and possible Mickey Rourke or Billy Bob Thornton as Lynch. In the hands of an experienced director and above all an experienced screenwriter (Kyle Ward has written one movie that no one has heard of), Kane & Lynch could be really great. Again: dark, intense, different. Is it too much to ask for the Coen Brothers or David Fincher to do a video game adaptation? Script by Jonathan Nolan? No?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Driven by need for transcendence

I realized today just how much I miss this band. This is “Tat Twam Asi”, off earthtone9's third and final full-length, “arc'tan'gent”.

I had the privilege of watching et9 live twice, when they opened in Stockholm for both Pitchshifter and Fear Factory. They were a tragically overlooked band that deserved a lot more attention than they got. That's the way it often goes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

If the audience never understands the plot, it can be counted on to be attentive to the very end

The concepts of plot, narrative and story have been occupying my thoughts a lot lately. Not just in connection with my own writing, but more generally as well.

I like being confused. I like having no idea what the hell is going on. When I read a book or see a movie that is. I'm not talking a story with unnecessary twists and turns, confusion for the sake of confusion, but a well-crafted tale that asks as many questions as it supplies answers. Open-ended stories, or stories that end with a punch in the stomach, are my favorites.

One problem I have with a lot of movies, and TV shows for that matter, is that they assume the viewers are stupid. When a character has a flash-back to something we saw only 30 minutes ago, they see the need to show that specific flash-back instead of assuming we can get into the character's head. This dumbing down, the assumption that those watching cannot think for themselves, infuriates me to no end.

And yes, this is the kinds of things I fill my head with. What I walk around being irritated about. I can't help it.

So, when I see or read something which doesn't assume I have the attention span of a six-year old with ADD, I get excited. When someone sees fit to craft a story that doesn't end the way you expect, or that simply goes against convention and ends badly, if it's an American movie, I get excited.

We're watching Stranger Than Fiction tonight. A movie that at its very center deals with the concept of narrative. If you haven't seen it, see it. It excites me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

There are other worlds than these

If I had a choice what to do with my time, I would write. Spend my days hunched over a laptop, tappin' away. Creating worlds. Crafting words.

I think a lot of people nurture dreams of writing. “If only I had the time I would write a novel”, and all that. I have spent some time wondering why this is. And I've come to the conclusion that I can only answer for myself. I have no idea why others want to write. Do you? Do you want to write, and if so, why? Tell me.

For me, it's all about worlds. A word, a phrase, a picture, a movie, a smell, can trigger a landslide of images and words inside my head. If I don't get them out, by writing them down, I think I would go mad. Seriously, full-blown, off the wall crazy.

There's a theory that every writer has two personalities inside of him, sometimes working together, sometimes in all-out war. Here's my take on that.

There's the Writer, who's the creative font, the one that can sit down and write hundreds of words without meaning, just to write. Just to see the pen move across the paper, or fingers across keyboard. He's the guy that stands up at the party and recites poetry, perhaps not correctly, but with passion and a smile on his face.

The Editor, on the other hand, is all about rules and regulations, structure and grammar. Creating something with no substance and, even worse, no form, is anathema to the Editor. There has to be a beginning, a middle and an end, and a clear path leading from one to the next to the last, preferably before he even sits down to write. Mindmaps and outlines and synopses are his favored tools. He's the guy who corrects the guy standing up at the party reciting poetry. And smirks while he does it.

For those of you that know me, it should come as no surprise that my Editor is stronger than my Writer. I'm a planner and a control freak. My Writer spends most days in a dusty corner of my mind, bound, gagged and blindfolded, while my Editor spends two weeks dissecting a single sentence, over and over and over. When he has a bad day he goes over and pulls a couple of the Writer's fingernails, just to watch him squirm.

I've read some books on writing, and discussed the craft a lot in the writing class (the good one) I've taken, where the idea of morning writing sessions has come up. This is the idea that you should get up an hour earlier every day and write. Keep the pen or fingers moving, regardless of what comes out. Even if you just write “I can't write. I can't write. I can't write” for sixty minutes. The very idea makes my Editor run around screaming in my head. Maybe that's why I have The Headache...

I need structure to write. Peace of mind. Time. Sure, an idea may come to me at the oddest moment, and I write it down, usually in my phone or in an email I send to myself, like a little treasure for me to unearth and polish a few days later. But if I try to sit down and just write, let the words flow, I feel miserable with the meaningless shit that comes out. Words without meaning have no meaning. On occasion, I've had what the class calls “a writing frenzy”, but it's a rare occurrence and even when I do, I manage to write something that has meaning and that I can edit into something worthwhile. “I can't write. I can't write. I can't write” over and over says nothing to me except that: I can't write. And I know that ain't true.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pain is always new to the sufferer, but loses its originality for those around him

The Headache has been tormenting me for a couple of days. Its hard to describe how unfocused I become when the attacks punch through the haze of Neurontin. Before the pills, before they diagnosed me, the attacks were so bad I cried, and I spent two months cooking, reading and talking walks. Woke up several times each night from the pain. Sitting in front of a computer was impossible, and I could only get through a movie with a couple of pauses.

Since I started poppin' pills this time around, which was in January 2007, its broken through the drugs a few times. Two weeks in late 2007, when I had to stay home, and an odd day here and there. And now.

This time around its nowhere near as bad as in November of 07. I had to stay home from work Thursday and Friday, because I couldn't focus and didn't get enough sleep, but I intend to work tomorrow, unless it gets a lot worse. There's only three working days this coming week, so I should be able to get through it regardless.

Staying home and feeling the headaches has allowed my mind to wander. When it hits, it obliterates every single thing going on in my head, and my mind just zooms off into the distance. I lose focus. I think of odd things. Some tie into other things I've had going on, stuff I've been writing or just thoughts and feelings, some are completely new. I write some of them down, I forget some of them when the next attack comes crashing in.

The Headache sucks. If I could change one single thing about myself here and now, it would be that. Remove the headache. Screw losing 20 kilos and screw thicker chin hair and screw winning the lottery. The Headache must go.

I have a telephone appointment with my neurologist next week. My guess is she'll say the same thing as last time, “you should be happy the pills work”, and I want to talk about redoing some tests and whatever. I've done the CT and the MRI and all that, but I want to do them again. Check it all again. I already have a second opinion, which is from the neurologist I'm seeing now, but whatever. I need to be sure.

Because when the mind wanders, it sometimes wanders off in darker directions than it should.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Children should be seen and not heard

Today, in line at the grocery store, we were assaulted by what sounded like an air-raid siren. It was, in fact, a child. Face painted, most likely from a visit to McD's, screaming her lungs out like the horrible little banshee she was, howling at her parents, banging at walls, pillars, shopping carts, whatever. Such parental bliss. Such harmony. And the parents reacted soooo well, I think. I felt an urge to step up and start yelling as well. But I didn't. I thought of my happy place. Happy, happy, happy!

Two conclusions were drawn from this. One of them has been aired here before, but it needs to be said again.

Before I go any further I have to say I don't know jack about parenting. I don't want to know. I haven't really discussed the intricacies of actually forming a person out of the little bundle of joy and excruciating pain that's the sum of the genetic material of you and your significant other. Sure, the subject has come up, but I have nothing to add, and truth be told, since I don't plan on having children, ever, I don't really care. This might sound harsh, but it's true. Why discuss births and pregnancies and diapers and all that when it will never apply to you?

At the same time I am filled with nothing but pride over the friends and family members who actually manage the act of parenting. Who will, no doubt, make this a better world by filling it with complete, happy, stable people. You know who you are.

So. The conclusions.

There should be some sort of license required to spawn children. Or at least some sort of test after child one, to see if you actually do a good job and get to have another. I'm not a believer in any kind of genetic supremacy theories, but I do believe some people really shouldn't be parents. I applaud those that come to this conclusion themselves, and I loathe those that I see screaming at their children. Or worse, hitting them. Some time ago, I berated a woman on the subway that slapped her son when he wouldn't stop talking. Again, some people shouldn't have children.

The second conclusion is that my father was a parenting genius. When my brother and I got a little frisky, he would tell us to play carrots. Because carrots are silent and still. And we did.

I'm the one on the far right. Pre-beard.
My brother is second from the left.

We played carrots. To this day I can't believe it worked. He must have used some sort of hypnosis. Or maybe we were just very well-adjusted children. This is where Mah Girl says “or stupid”. I prefer well-adjusted.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The mastermind always wants more. It's criminal nature

At home today. Feels like someone punched me with a blunt object across the right temple. My eye is more bloodshot than last night. I've felt the headache over the last few days, but dared to believe it wouldn't flare up again. I'm still hopeful, though I've slept a few hours today, the head is still throbbing and I'm still tired. Pointless. What evolutionary quirk decided that headaches were a good idea?

A side note (though not really). Six people answered this. There still has to be a few lurkers out there. Come on. What are you afraid of? Tell me who you are.

Male or female?
Where do you call home?
How did you discover the shows in my mind?
Have we met? Or be you a stranger?
What should I write more about?
Name a blog or three you think I would like.
Name a band I should check out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It is in games that many men discover their paradise

On Monday I participated in the City of Masks, a sort of pseudo-interactive theater walk through parts of Stockholm. It's a part of Maskspel, an ARG run by Interacting Arts.

It's been a long time since I was involved with anything even resembling the City of Masks, and it's only the second time I've been in an ARG. My other live game experiences have all been in a closed environment.

The experience, from within the game itself, is outlined in my post yesterday. Before I go into specific thoughts on it, I need to explain my standpoint when it comes to Interacting Arts. They have a lot of interesting ideas, especially regarding stepping outside your comfort zone, which I talked about here.

However, a lot of their ideas and events, including the City of Masks, contain undertones of both anarchism and primitivism, philosophies that I can't say I know a lot about, really, but which don't appeal to me. At all. Vandalism of public or private property is not my cup o' tea. Rejecting modern society isn't either. I like my TV, my Xbox, my iPod, my hot water, public transportation, etc. I'm not Tyler Durden. In any way, shape or form.

The City of Masks took the form of a long walk through various parts of Söder in Stockholm. We got a small pamphlet, with several maps and pages of texts, and downloaded sound files, that we listened to at set places along the way. A very interesting way of conveying a story/alternate reality game.

There were definitely moments when the story pulled me in, and I found myself living within the reality of the game. Above all it was when we walked through a series of allotment gardens, along winding paths, poking around a shed marked on the map and marveling at how the gardens climbed the hill above us, and when we walked through the crowd of people prepping the piers for summer, something which I believe was just a happy coincidence and not an actual part of the game. At times it did feel like we were in some kind of modern fairytale.

My main problem with the whole thing is that there were too many parts of the walk where nothing happened. We walked for a long while along Ringvägen without anything to listen to, and there were several places where they could have added a little something, someone in a mask, a madman, a Kerberos security guard, whatever, that could have heightened the experience considerably. As it was, there were too many places where we felt like reality intruded on the story, and we moved outside the alternate reality of the City of Masks.

My other gripe is that there wasn't enough story. I've read some of the background material, but not everything, and some hadn't read anything at all. I would have liked to see more context, more plot, if you will.

The overall experience was good, but I find myself a bit disappointed that the event didn't deliver the way it could have. I will, however, keep my eyes peeled for more events tied to the same ARG, and also other things Interacting Arts arrange.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Walking through The City of Masks

Sunset over the City of Masks

We got the letter at Café Mineur, by ordering “the special”. A scattering of old couches and scuffed tables. Vaulted stone ceiling. Pillars. Ecological juices and veggie sandwiches on the menu.

Outside, a man stopped us. Pulled us aside, into a stone gate vault. He told us we had to make a choice. We could either go on the journey outlined in the letter, and in doing so, help the Masks, and see another reality than our own, or we could ignore it all and go home. “In that case it's only a matter of time before you're picked up and taken to an institution. They come down hard on those with ABCD.”

ABCD. As in Abnormal Behavior Control Disorder. Something that has been spreading, of late. We decided to help the Masks.

The first part of the journey took us to Hornstulls Strand. Down by the water, the Mask of the Elder hung from a pillar under a bridge. It spoke to us, of the woods that used to be here, of the roots that run below the city, of the cliffs down in the water.

Another Mask was waiting for us further along the water. The Elder spoke to us again as we walked there, speaking of the hidden pathways through the city, and the cottages that would be built on the mountain once civilization as we know it is gone. Once this reality has ended.

One of many tunnels we walked through

We walked past a number of piers and boats and sheds. Among them, dozens of people moved with purpose, raking leaves, moving dead branches, airing out their equipment sheds. It felt like we had walked into a fishing village, where the villagers were preparing their boats for the summer. The city felt very far away, and all we could see was water, boats and trees.

The Mask of Dreams was hanging from a gate into the mountain. It spoke of the tunnels the gate lead to, of the doorways to industrial complexes that used to be on the outskirts of Stockholm, of the secret harbors where ships and other vessels from other realities make port.

The gateway into the Underworld. The Mask of Dreams above it.

Directly across the pathway from the Mask of Dreams, was a pier, covered in debris, with an old fishing boat tied to it. The map in the letter had marked the pier as “Madame?”. We squeezed through the gate, which was permanently fixed in a half-open position. We saw Madame. She was brilliantly white and moved gracefully across the water. She didn't speak to us, but we could feel her approval of what we were doing.

We moved on, to a series of allotment gardens that climbed up the side of the hill. Pauline spoke to us as we walked up a series of winding stairs, and cautioned us. She told us of the wartime hospital underneath Södersjukhuset, where those wishing to control this reality bring those that have come in contact with the Masks, and those that exhibit symptoms of ABCD.

At the top of the hill, this sign awaited us.

At the crossroads Ringvägen/Götgatan, the Veiled Dancer spoke to us. She spoke to us of how the people around us can't express their emotions because the white noise anchors them too strongly in this rigid reality. As we walked futher down the road, a young girl seated by the side of the road gave us a small metal object wrapped in cloth. A part of the Machine underneath the city. Someone else sat singing, and a young man with a gas mask hanging from his belt swept the sidewalk in front of us. We had heard of him, in the words the Masks whispered to us.

The subway took us to the next stop on our journey, to the bridge above Katarinahissen, where the Mask of the Child was waiting for us. A poster from the Board For Social Control urged us to be on the lookout for a woman that might be suffering from psychic problems. She looked eerily similar to the girl on the street with the pieces of the Machine.

The poster from the Board of Social Control.

The Child urged us to find the child within ourselves, and wanted us to look at the city in new ways. Then we walked down an alley to Södermalmstorg, and sat there as the Mask of Fire spoke to us. It wanted to shine its light through the wall that separates our reality from that of the Masks. It told us we could become someone else than the one we are. That we could act outside the conventions of society, by channeling the characters of the Masks. “Do you want to change? Do you have a choice?”, it asked, and invited us to the Carnival that will change the city.

The Mask of Fire was waiting for us underneath a bridge. A Mask of hunger, of teeth, of primal urges. It guided us further on our walk through the city. Along the water again, towards the Mask of Flow. Up the side of another hill, a staircase, a winding path. Gardens, old houses of stone and wood. Pauline spoke to us again, and invited us into her garden. She had left the city, she said, but would return one day.

In the garden, others that wanted to help the Masks had gathered. Music played. A few people danced. Others sat, talking softly, eating. In a corner the man with the gas mask stood, leaning against a tree, quiet, apart from the others. I left quickly, certain that Kerberos guards would appear at any moment, and carry the revelers away.

I dreamed of the Masks the next night. A door opened in the depths of my being. Into darkness. Into light. Things will never be the same again...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Empty. The opposite of full

I spent a few hours at our Other Office today. It's where our Billing and IT department sits, so lots and lots of really smart people, many of whom do things I couldn't even begin to wrap my head around.

It's a fairly big place, three floors of office space and one with conference rooms. And it's so quiet. Sitting here, I have to stop tapping away at my laptop to even hear other voices anywhere. I fully expect tumbleweeds made out of disused LAN cables to roll by at any moment. It's like an IT ghost town.

And really, it's not about the fact that there's about two empty workspaces for every one that is occupied. It's about the silence that seems to rule unchallenged here. That people just sit down and work. I was quite shocked when two people walked by, talking loudly. Surely these had to have been from outside, from another company, or another office at least?

And now I heard laughing. Distant. Muted. Through an open window, no doubt.

I'm not being an asshole here. I'm just curious as to why a company can have two offices so close to each other that feel completely different, on a cultural level. While being a bit of a smart-ass about it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Windows are made in your mind

It's been a good weekend. Good people. Good food. Good stuff.

Had meaningful conversations with some people. Talked about letting your guard down, which circumstances can trick you into doing and it turns out to be a good thing. Talked about not having children, ever, and the things you can do to live by that. Made lasagna. Ate lasagna. Marveled at how good a lasagna we make. Played some Lego Batman. Felt like a child again, which is a good thing. Which I should do more often. Listened to new Bat For Lashes songs. And Kongh. Lots and lots of Kongh. Read the 20th anniversary issue of Empire, which is guest edited by Stephen Spielberg. Realized, once again, that there are too many movies and not enough time. Worked on monster Kongh interview, soon up here. Hugged the girl. Watched lots and lots of TV. Hugged some more.

Now, sleep and dream. Tomorrow, off into the City of Masks. More on that tomorrow.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's a mystery. Broken into a jigsaw puzzle. Wrapped in a conundrum. Hidden in a Chinese box

Since I started writing here again, I've noticed a distinct spike in traffic. Nothing strange about that, but I'm curious as to who you people are. So riddle me this.

Male or female?
Where do you call home?
How did you discover the shows in my mind?
Have we met? Or be you a stranger?
What should I write more about?
Name a blog or three you think I would like.
Name a band I should check out.

Kind of sort of stolen from Cupcakes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

No one is so old that he does not think he could live another year

I have vivid memories of my grandparents’ place. A big old house, some unnamed shade of green bleached by the sun, sitting at the end of a short gravel road, the massive yard dropping down behind it, rolling hills and all. I remember running around on those vast expanses of grass, with my brother and cousins and one in a long line of dogs my grandfather had.

I only really remember one of those dogs, Manne, a golden retriever that my brother called his cow. This was never questioned nor explained, it was simply one of those things that children say and that adults take for granted.

To me it seemed that the yard and the basement was the domain of my grandfather, while my grandmother ruled the house proper. She ran a very tight ship, though this is mostly a feeling and not the result of a series of hard facts that I can point to. Most of all I remember her cooking. The soft chocolate cake, the fish dish now named “Grandma fish”, and the peas. There were always too many peas. And my brother always ate them all. For those that know my brother, this should come as no great surprise.

The basement was a land of wonder and mystery to us. This was where we watched 8 mm films that my grandfather had shot with a handheld. This was where he had built a model railroad, landscaped with trees and buildings and tiny people. This was where the big boiler that kept the house warm lived, a massive monstrosity that smelled of grease and burning wood.

Watching films down there was like traveling in time. We would all walk down the stairs and then stare in awe as the pictures flickered to life. The color was off, everything was tinted red and the people captured there bore only a slight resemblance to my father and his brothers and sisters, as they gallivanted around on the shore of some lake, sunned themselves on the cliffs and boogie-boarded behind a boat. That’s all I remember from those films, though I’m sure we watched others as well.

The model railroad was a rare attraction, something we only got to see on a few occasions, and always displayed to us with a note of pride in my grandfather’s voice. It was a complex construction, twists and turns around a large room, and activated by an old-fashioned switching box, which brought the whole thing to life. That box seemed truly magical to me. Looking back, I think I might have expanded the size of the railroad construction in my imagination, and made it into something it was not, a fairytale land where tiny people came alive at the flick of a switch and trains always ran on time.

The boiler also took on aspects of the fantastic, of magic and the unexplained. My grandfather purchased a valve or controller or some other kind of thingamajig, a tiny little box that would somehow enhance the performance of the boiler, and told us that a small Japanese was working down there. In my mind this meant that a small man was actually working inside the boiler, throwing switches and splicing cables and shoveling wood chips. It wasn’t until years later that I understood what he had actually meant.

There was one other place in the house that truly belonged to my grandfather. His chair, in the corner of the living room right in front of the TV. He would sit there, stuff his pipe with tobacco and smoke. Always that smoke.

My grandmother passed away in 1984. It was sudden, and by all accounts very peaceful. By then they had moved out of the house and to an apartment. I have fragmented memories of the night the call came, and remember nothing of going to a funeral. Perhaps my brother and I were deemed to young to attend.

It’s been over twenty years and my grandfather is still around, just a few years shy of a hundred. There’s a theory that men rarely last long after their wives have passed away. Whoever coined that theory hasn’t met my grandfather. The river of life has simply parted around his blocky frame, and only started eroding him in recent years. And he still smokes.

In many ways the smell of pipe smoke is more a part of my memories than any visual input from that house. It permeated everything, and followed my grandfather wherever he went, like an extension of his body and soul. Movies, model trains, the dogs, the yard, everything is secondary to that smell. It has come to represent a feeling of contentment and happiness, the essence of family and summers, and the youthful innocence that is only a memory now.

This text was written a few years back for my creative writing class. I unearthed it from the depths of my hard drive today, like hidden treasure, and polished it a bit. I'm posting it today, since my grandfather Olof, now 98 years old, is in the hospital, and is in a bad way. He's lost 20 pounds in two weeks, and is deteriorating. Knowing him, he's probably furious at the thought.

He is the last of that generation left in my family, on either side. I love him dearly, and writing this now, I feel like crying. I hope he goes in peace.

As above, so below

The summer hair do is now in place. I went to the barber on Thursday too, and trimmed the beard. Its approaching Gustav Vasaian proportions. Excellent.

Like...a ninja!

Passed this on my way back to the office from lunch. I fully expect martial artists of different schools (Drunken Monkey Style! Crane Style! Etc Style!) to start launching themselves through the air at any moment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Shadow of the Shapeless

On Friday, I had the privilege of receiving an advance copy of Kongh's new album. And yes, Jesper. That's copy as in physical copy, and not a bunch of files. It's been the only thing in my player since then. A 60 minute, five track ride on riffs the size of Brontosauri. Not for the faint hearted, and so far the metal release of the year in my book. And oh yeah. The new Mastodon album sucks.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters

I haven't written here in a month. No real reason, it just kind of happened. Inspiration has been running low, and I have been focusing on other things. My fiction writing has been suffering as well, though I have managed to come up with two embryos for stories for the workshop I hope to be part of next summer (one about time travel and JFK, and one about angels, kind of).

One of them was conceived and written today, aboard the train, using Laban, my new-ish laptop. Yes, of course laptops need names, don't be silly. The other one's called Lelle. He's in love with Mah Girl's laptop Lina. We were expecting a flock of little Palm Pilots or something, but alas, they're either saving themselves for marriage, suffering from reproductive problems or practicing safe sex. If they've gone religious on me, we'll be having us a laptop skeet shoot any day now. Just as long as they don't have an STD (Serial port Transmitted Disease).

Life has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs lately. Tuesday was one of the worst working days I've had, ever. Actually, maybe top ten or twenty crap days ever, regardless of work or other circumstances. The Friday before was also epically bad. Just horror show bad.

Then Friday, three days ago, I began three days of bliss. Barbecue on Friday with good friends and then a visit from Mah Girl's best friend over the weekend, which included beer, drinks, steaks, movies (some good, some disappointing, some sooo bad), pizza, more beer and Wovenhand live. Excellent.

Some kind of balance has been reached, then. I'm hoping the universe won't read this and decide to pummel me again.

I should go to bed. And I will, soon. I intend to write more often than once a month from now on. Here's hoping I will.