Cannibals and Pirate Lords

I feel guilty for doing nothing.

On my weekends, I spend a lot of my time in books and television. I let it wash over me, but I feel like I should be doing something more constructive with the time.

I feel like I should be working on something, a new language, a new project, a new idea. Or being out with people, somewhere, anywhere.

I guess it’s a struggle between the¬†introvert and extrovert.

On weekends, the introvert tends to win more often than not. I save the extrovert for Monday through Friday it seems, maybe because he is so damned useful at work?

So, this weekend, right now as a matter-of-fact, I am watching some Hannibal… because I can.

And I have a box-set of Pirates of the Caribbean waiting to be studied in detail… because I need to learn to be a better pirate for work-related reasons. Also D&D, but “for work” sounds more interesting and mysterious so that’s what I’m going to label it.

I haven’t quite worked out whether this means I need to let my hair grow or if I need to buy a bandanna and a hat.

Time will tell.

Last Day

I cannot exactly say that 8 weeks felt like the blink of an eye. They definitely felt like A-Long-Time-tm.

And I feel a little guilty about how little of consequence I have done with it, but not too much.

I have managed to re-establish a workable gym routine that had been suffering from too many interruptions last year from around August till November. I can actually do Body Attack again without dying, and my legs feel mostly okay after an hour.

I have read a half dozen fairly lengthy books from the large pile I was indirectly gifted by my former co-workers (a gift certificate well spent!)

I have watched way too many movies, way too much TV, and had a few nice do-nothing days along the way too.

And most importantly, I feel completely relaxed.
Which bodes well for tomorrow, the coming month, and the years beyond.

Campaign Monitor, here I come!
I must remember to take pictures along the way.

Day 326 – Renaissance

40 – 100 Best Australian Albums

I haven’t listened to the radio in over a decade. I haven’t really watched television for almost as long. My life has been devoid of advertisements for so long that I cannot even remember what it’s like to have my entertainment interrupted by them.
Continue reading Day 326 – Renaissance

Day 264 – Gain and Loss

I didn’t get to bed till about 2am last night. I got sucked in by my movie/tv spread sheet, and The Stubborn got the better of me. I added release years to most of the 650 lines of movie entries on my sheet, and researched Amazon and eBay prices for most of the series I am interested in.

As I fell into bed, I knew I had to be up and awake again by 10, because I had committed to being able to open the front door for The Hired Help (Abbey’s parents). I wasn’t looking forward to my Flex trying to wake me at 7:30, and then my phone trying again at 8:15. I could have made it 9:00, but then I’d have to rush my wake-up routine to be ready in case of early arrivals.

I wasn’t surprised to feel unimpressed at my Flex. My eyes did that burny-groggy thing that means I need to shut them again. I rolled onto my front and hid my face in the pillow; this usually is a bad idea for my neck, but 45 minutes wasn’t going to kill me. I couldn’t really sleep any more, but just letting my mind wander slowly through the essentials of the day is as good a way as any to prepare for the inevitable.

At 8:15 I dutifully got up, checked the email for any unclaimed Nigerian millions, my eBay listing for yet more untold riches unfolding, and Facebook for signs of a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. A quick shower later (this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds, but that’s another story), and I was sitting back in front of the PC with my sandwiches and a glass of water.

I felt better than I had anticipated.

After Abbey’s mum arrived it became clear almost immediately, why. I had completely not realised that the clock was moving this weekend. I had slept an hour longer than I thought I had. A whole 6-and-a-half! Luxury!

I’ve spent the better portion of today ripping some movies and series to the QNAP, in between reading, doing shopping runs, and listening to pod-casts.

In the process of all this cataloguing I have come to realise that despite the impressive stacks of discs, all is not as it should be. I know for sure that I have a copy of Amelie, I had at least one season of Pushing Daisies, and my Galaxy Quest is also nowhere to be found. I have searched the house for a hidden cache, to no avail. I may have to interrogate Abbey next, because she’s the prime suspect at this stage. If that doesn’t yield anything I may have to do a grid-search and dig up the yard to find where they are buried.


…I guess I could just buy whatever cannot be found and pretend like I never had it in the first place. I added a new “Loaned to” column to the spread sheet, because it isn’t entirely impossible that some of these discs were loaned out and all parties involved have long-since forgotten. The honour-system only works when everyone has perfect memories; alas, a fatal flaw.

I’ve been trying to arrange my thoughts for a technical post, but I’ve also come to the realisation that my multitasking-habit is getting in the way of solid thinking. I’ve gotten so used to 1) listening to a pod-cast or watching an episode, while 2) casually half-reading a web-page or RSS feed, whilst trying to 3) do the productive thing I am meant to be doing… I think I do it to try and make the most of my weekend. Because relaxation is something one multi-tasks, right?

I’m going to have to un-learn that bad habit.
Focus on one thing at a time on my weekend.
I bet I’ll feel more fulfilled by the end of my weekends.

My next holiday over Easter/ANZAC-day can be no-multi-task-bootcamp. My first hurdle to clear is to avoid the panic over the feeling my holiday won’t be productive. I’m going to have to let that be part of the point of the exercise. Maybe I’ll go to Wet’n’Wild on days where the urge to be productive is the highest; a form of shock-therapy as you will.

Day 103 – Game of Bad Walking Dex

Today I spent a substantial part of my day watching The Walking Dead. I had started Season 3 not that long ago after buying it on BluRay, but watching it one or two at a time on the weekend felt too slow. So today I decided to watch the last 6 surrounding errands and chores.

The bleakness has seeped all through the living room.

Every character has problems. Every one is broken.

I find the absence of a back-story for the zombie epidemic both a smart move (some things once explained limit the directions you can take from there), and a disconcerting one. Without an explanation, there cannot be a cure… and without a cure there are only two ways it can end, neither of which is particularly idyllic.

Breaking Bad cast
Breaking Bad cast

The Walking Dead is far from the only show on television filled with complicated, compromised and flawed characters. I haven’t gotten all the way through Breaking Bad yet, but closing on the end of Season 4, almost every one of the lead characters has a sizeable army of skeletons tucked away.

I’ve been desperately avoiding spoilers since the show ended recently, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see that there’s no room for a completely happy ending for everyone.

For some to thrive, others will need to die.
It’s just a matter of who is who…

Game of Thrones - last supper
Game of Thrones – last supper

And let’s not forget the adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, now probably better known as “Game of Thrones”. I would never have suspected it is possible to have an epic story stay coherent with this much slaughter of the leading cast. And yet, … there it is.

George RR Martin has often stated the reason for his approach is that he wants the reader to actually be in fear of his characters. Traditionally you can rely on the hero surviving, and therefore there is never any real danger. I think the flip-side of that coin is that I now find myself mentally calling for certain characters to die for obvious reasons, yet they never seem to.

And this level of bloody-mindedness has spawned a fascinating meme of video recordings of people watching their favourite characters die. I believe a search for “Red Wedding” on YouTube should give you all you need in that regard.

But of course… there is a point of origin for all this recent flawed-lead-character madness.

Dexter... at the source of it all
Dexter… at the source of it all

I barely could believe at the time that Dexter ever got made for US television at the time.

It seemed inconceivable to me that the country that spawned numerous cop shows and procedurals, all aimed at the inevitable bringing-to-justice of all and sundry criminals, could ever get emotionally invested in a lead that killed for a hobby.

Eight years of Dexter have proven once and for all, that once you allow an audience to enjoy a flawed character, there just isn’t any stopping that train.

I guess it just makes everyone feel better about themselves to compare themselves against characters they cannot ever imagine themselves being like.

And yet; Breaking Bad is already getting pretty close to the “one inevitable step after another” model that should be making some viewers more than a little uncomfortable. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the trend towards ever more subtly falling angels will continue for a while yet.

It’s a bit like horror and thrillers.

We’re all collectively daring each other to watch ever more morally uncomfortable shows… and loving every second of it.