My late-teens son, Padawan Nerd-in-Training, rarely listens when I offer advice. I can see his eyes glazing and his brain slowly switching off the brilliant lecture I have so carefully devised. He becomes a literal “brick wall”.
That little dog was originally acquired as my ex-wife wanted to walk more to lose weight. From the very first day (as I suspected), I became the one who walked Black Doggo, looked after him, took him everywhere. Because he was little (about twice as big as a Chihuahua), he conveniently fit nicely in my small car (my version of a handbag, I suppose). I would take him on long drives on weekends, walking along the beach, visiting parents and friends (a convenient substitute for my ex-wife).
Today was Australia Day. And despite the inclement weather, most people were out celebrating (or protesting) and having fun (or protesting). I, however, stayed home and recorded music (which is my way of having fun).
I watched Man of Steel the other day, the underrated and divisive Zack Snyder film that reintroduced Superman on film and was the start of the celluloid DC Comics movie universe (known as the DCEU).
I’ve been playing guitar for around 25 years, and not long ago I gave my original old Aria acoustic to a friend and updated to a Takemine. It sounds wonderful and I’ve written about twenty songs on it since I got it.
I am an avid reader. I read about 50-60 books a year – novels, Uni textbooks, short stories, autobiographies, histories; all sorts of stuff. I also love graphic novels.
A few years back, before I became Christian, I fell on very dark times and attempted to take my life. It’s not a story I’m proud of (although when I think about it, it is a somewhat black comedy of errors). Suicidal thoughts are something that many people with depression face every day.
Have you ever played a game where the referee just doesn’t know what they’re doing? In D&D, it’s the type who rolls up (pun intended) to the game with no preparation, no rule books, no dice and very little clue. I experienced a game like that the other night.
A few weeks ago, I started Wing Chun Kung Fu. It’s something I’d wanted to do for a long time but had never gotten around to. Now that I was a student of leisure with some time on my hands, I could take the plunge.
If there’s one thing that irritates me a lot, it’s iTunes.
I started this blog to force me to write as much as possible. I want to be a real writer, after all (a poverty-stricken writer, more than likely, but a writer nonetheless). I also wanted to post some of my Uni discussion thread posts, as I had received good feedback on them.
I went for a drive into town, then a seven kilometre walk accompanied by my iPod. Through it all I was deeply melancholy – the wretchedness you feel when you fixate on your past and realise just how crappy you were. It was triggered by a conversation about my soon-to-be ex-wife, who I heard was very sad. “I never wanted her to be sad,” I said. “I just wanted her to move forward and find happiness with someone else.” The irony was not lost on me.
I remember a time when Disney was home to saccharine kid’s movies and animated classics. I remember a time when I used to watch the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night, replaying their catalogue of old movies in two parts, once a week. There weren’t that many Disney products around at the time, aside from a glut of lunchboxes, books and viewmasters (those 3D viewer thingies with the round picture wheels – remember them? Probably not). Disney was just a struggling movie company with some interesting theme parks.
I’m just finishing my fifth set of weighted pull ups – that’s where you hang a 20 kilograms barbell from your belt and do correct form pull ups from a suspended chin up bar – when Alpha Girl enters and stands with her arms crossed. “You sweat a lot,” she says. “And do you have to grunt so loudly?”
I have been a serious musician for about 25 years or so. I play guitar, drums, bass, keyboards and sing. I write my own music and have made seven albums. (And, yes, I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my music – so, sue me.) I have very broad musical tastes; I like metal, punk, jazz, pop, funk, rap, classical, and opera, to name a few styles. But in all my time as a serious muso, I have never, ever admitted to liking the music of Taylor Swift.
Chocolate! I’m not a huge chocolate eater, but when I have some I like to take my time to enjoy it. Of course, I share with others because it’s the right thing to do. But deep down, there’s that niggling selfishness to keep it all to myself, so I can stuff my face silly.
I visited one of my good mates the other day (whom I shall refer to as ‘Pastor Guy’, or PG, for short), and was greeted by his wife (forever more to be known as ‘Master Artiste’, or MA), who was engaged in conversation with a fuming man (whom I will refer to as ‘Angry Bird’).
The first thing that struck me when comparing 57th & 9th with Sting’s previous material is how stripped back it is. His recent reunion tour with The Police has been an obvious influence. I saw Sting playing live on TV the other night and he had a three-piece backing band supporting him as he played bass, rather than the large ensembles he usually tours with. The material on 57th & 9th has a leaner production and drier mix than previously (tighter, less involved arrangements and less reverb, for those not in the know).
Alpha Girl reclines on the lounge and eyes me venomously. “So when are you going to get out and meet someone? I know it’s hard, you being a loser and all, but other people do it.”
Beta Max thumbs his Xbox controller and nods. “She’s right you know. You’ve been a hermit for too long, man.”
Through artful manipulation of multiple controller buttons I eliminate his on screen avatar, turn and smile at them both. “I’ll have you know that I’ve thought about that. I’m writing a blog about it later.”
Like many young nerds, I played Dungeons and Dragons, a tabletop fantasy role playing game and glowing beacon for nerdity everywhere. Now some of you reading this blog (if there are actually any of you), may be wondering just what this D&D thing is.
Good question, I ask myself.
I’ve recently enrolled in two writing courses for Uni. I’ve written for work in a business capacity for years, and I wrote short stories in my youth. I guess I thought I should do something now that I’m semi-retired (that’s a nice way of saying unemployed).