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
I’ve been writing for a short while. Obviously, I am now an expert and need to share my accrued wisdom with the world. Yes, that was a joke.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
I had a few things on my mind today…
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some days I just feel down.
It’s part of who I am, part of the depression I suffer. I can’t get motivated, it’s difficult to think straight, everything just seems too hard. It’s as if the weight of gravity has increased and I’m just too weak to get up.
I saw Split today, the new M. Night Shyamalan movie. Having it fresh in my mind, I thought I’d do a little movie review, as I haven’t done one before, and felt that I needed to.
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.
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).