Sherlocked

I love shows that are well written, well acted, well produced and well…bloody good. Sherlock fits that bill. It’s a modern day take on the Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan Doyle, written by Stephen Moffat (current show runner on Dr Who, another brilliant show) and Mark Gatiss

Waving, not drowning. Just watch out for the sharks…

I’ve started my novel. I’ve written unfinished novels in the past, but my intention with this one is to actually write an entire book. Maybe I’ll toss it in the trash at that point, but I have to write it, anyway.

Rush Lozenge, Spaaaaaaaaaaaace Ranger…Ranger…ranger…ranger…

Here’s some dialogue I wrote for Uni. It’s not meant to be serious, and wasn’t included in any of my assignments, so it’s okay for me to include it here. Enjoy! Or not.

Valentine’s Day Massacre

I hate Valentine’s Day.
I don’t like the rampant commercialism. I don’t like being railroaded into an expectation of gift giving due to a marketing exercise based on a particular day. And I don’t like being alone on said stupid day.

Fatherhood – Never-ending Love and Never-ending Guilt

Every time I drop my teenage son off at his mother’s after staying with me for the weekend, he waves me off with a look of intense poignancy that tears me apart. He has stayed over almost every weekend since he was six months old. I am his father and his friend. And I’m also guilt-stricken because I can’t be there for him all the time, the way I think I should be.

Rest, Recuperation and the Art of Camouflage

It’s been three days since my last workout. I’m lying on the lounge, checking Twitter. Alpha Girl enters and does a double-take. “Hey,” she says. “Aren’t you supposed to be doing 500 push ups or something, by now?”
“I’m having a week off,” I reply.
“So, you’re resting your arm?”
 “As a matter of fact, yes.”
“Good. It’s about time you used your brain for something other than being stupid, or upset with yourself. Are you intending to lie around all week?”

A Tsunami of Taking Back Sunday Goodness – ‘Tidal Wave’ album review

American alt-rock band Taking Back Sunday have an alt-rock sound verging on punk. They’ve released their seventh studio album, titled Tidal Wave, in Australia a few months ago. As usual I’m catching up.

What the Frack? (“Battlestar Galactica” frack, not the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks)

I had a few things on my mind today…

Awkward Online First Dates

The first date when you’re online dating can be a bit awkward, can’t it?
I don’t know about you, but I felt that way, sipping a flat white (that’s a standard coffee with a thin layer of frothed milk, for American readers) and talking about an array of subjects and philosophies, at once engaging and confusing.

Free-Wrench. A book review.

Free-Wrench is a swashbuckling, steampunk fantasy set in a world of islands, where airships are the primary form of travel between them. The island of Caldera is isolated, by choice, from the rest of the world. Nita is a “free-wrench”, one who works the steam power plants in Caldera’s volcano.

Tabata This, Tabata That…

So, I’m a bit of a fitness freak (well, less freak and more fitness). Exercise is not only great for physical fitness, but for mental fitness as well. Research has shown that regular exercise can decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, and contribute to improved self-esteem. So, I need to exercise to keep reasonably on track, head-wise.

Blog Addiction – it’s a real medical condition…

I started this blog to force me to write every day. So far, so good. Originally, I said I’d be the only person reading it, and didn’t care if anyone else did. After all, it was cathartic, a way of getting issues off my chest. But I guess lately I’ve gotten caught up in whether people are actually reading what I’m writing.

What is Love? “Real Love”, that is

In the 1980’s, an English musician called Howard Jones released a great single called What is Love (Anyway).
Today, I find myself asking that question more and more. It’s not like I haven’t been in love before; I have a few times, but I don’t consider those times as “real love”. It’s something I’m still waiting for.

Rock Cliché in Spades (“Night People” album review)

You Me At Six are an English alt-rock band with four successful albums under their belt. They’ve released a new album, Night People.

Night People is short and to the point, clocking in at just over 35 minutes for 10 songs. It has a polished and commercial sound, leaning heavily on 70’s and 80’s hard rock influences.

That’s an Online Dating Fail! (Or, Strike One)

I joined up with a Christian online dating service a week or so back (get the lowdown on why, here). I received a contact from a lovely lady; we emailed back and forth, then texted, then spoke on the phone, and texted. We set up our first face-to-face meeting, to have coffee and see a movie together.

J’aime Mon Chien

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).

Man of Steel – Superman for a pragmatic generation

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).

Proud to be a Bookworm (or Books Make My World Go Around)

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.

Lost in the Crowd

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.

When Good Dungeon Masters Go Bad

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.

Dark Blue is not my Favourite Colour

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.

Finding Disney (or, feeding the beast with two ears)

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.

The Ballad of Long Term Systemic Gym Junkie Injuries

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?”

The Muso Who Said: No More! Or was it no, more…

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.

The Last Chocolate Cowboy

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.

Angry Birds – or “I’m on a good thing here…”

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’).

Sting’s “57th & 9th” – a review through the eyes of a jaded muso

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).

The Perils of Christian Dating (or “ask questions first and shoot after you’re married”)

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.”

Real Men Play D&D (when their girlfriends aren’t looking)

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.