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Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Thoughts (page 1 of 12)

All that for naught

If a joke falls on the Internet, and nobody laughs, does it make a goddamned bit of difference?

My Time Is My Own

It was suggested, years ago, that I rejected monogamy because I have issues with commitment. The fact that I’ve maintained two stable relationships for a dozen years or so now may put the lie to the intent of the statement, let’s be clear.

There may be a commitment problem in my mind, though. Just not the one some may have suggested. I’ve been thinking lately about how attached I get to the idea of finishing a thing, sticking with a thing, long past the point it stopped being fun.

Which is to say, I’ve been thinking about why it’s so hard for me to let go of TV shows and video games that aren’t fun anymore. I get too invested in the idea that I’m “supposed to” be watching a show for whatever reason (a friend got me started on it and I don’t want to seem disloyal, for instance). I feel like I’m letting the pixels on the screen down if I walk away from a silly little game.

For Uncle Pete’s sake, it’s games! It’s TV! It’s leisure-time crap! I should be able to walk away, cool as that guy walking away from the explosion without looking back. And yet, nope. I had a hard time removing a game from my tablet that had been actively pissing me off the last dozen times I played it.

(Sailor Moon Drops, for the curious, a game whose difficulty scale can best be summed up as “get lucky or spend money, loser.”)

The impetus for writing this post came this week as I tried for a second time to get into the Supergirl TV show. It’s cute, it’s quirky, it’s clever, the lead actors are very good! But… it triggers my embarrassment squick a lot and the first few episodes spend a lot of time setting up some kind of love-triangle-ish mess and I’m profoundly un-interested in watching that play out. Yet I think, “I should power through this, for the sake of all the stuff people tell me is good about the show!” But. Why? Why am I letting what I perceive as something other people might want me to do control what I actually do with my free time? I should be watching shows and playing games to relax, not as a required chore to meet some kind of social requirement.

Yep, that’s me in a nutshell: Stressing myself out over how I spend my leisure time by imagining what other people want/expect from me and trying to do what would make them most happy, when in fact nobody really cares if I do/don’t watch/play anything in particular.

It’s even worse with mobile games, since literally nobody cares if I grind for levels in Puzzle & Dragons or do my dailies in Future Fight, yet I feel bad about the idea of leaving my pixel-art monsters/heroes to wither and die, let alone taking care of my daily “friend”-transaction requirements. (To be fair, I’m still enjoying Future Fight. PAD, not as much.)

Play shouldn’t be work, dammit. What’s wrong with me?

Anyway. My new goal is to become stronger about choosing how I spend my downtime based on what is actually fun & fulfilling, not by how attached I am to virtual objects made of pure data. I can do this, right?

PSA Taken To Heart

I realized something this morning: In a weird sort of way, I embody the warning not to drink and drive, as I do neither of those things.

(This could’ve been just a “tweet.” The other thing I realized this morning, however, is that I haven’t posted here in over a month. I have some new music reviews to tidy up in order to remedy the dearth of content…)

Still Watching Anime: Snow White With The Red Hair

Just because i deleted the unused anime blog and just because I spent most of the last three years barely using my CrunchyRoll account doesn’t mean that I’m not still an anime fan.

For instance!

Starting up this month is the second batch of episodes for a delightful fluffy gem of a fantasy-romance show called Snow White With The Red Hair.

What’s it about, really? In short: A spunky redhead who wants to be an herbalist comes to the attention of a sleazy local prince who tries to force an indecent proposal on our heroine. She promptly cuts her hair and kites off through the forest toward a neighboring country. Along the way she runs into trouble and is saved by… the younger prince of that country. Sparks fly, adorableness commences, adventures are had, hearts and minds are won over, and so on.

Let’s be clear: This is fluffy stuff. Sometimes it almost looks like it might get a smidgen dark, but that’s been averted every time so far. It’s just that kind of show. Bad things do happen but the show doesn’t make a grimdark deal about it.

And you know what? I adore the show. It’s nice to get a relatively uncomplicated romance with two young, determined, smart, devoted people surrounded by similar smart and devoted mentors and minions. If Snow White can’t make you smile, you may need to consult your doctor about a heart replacement.

You’ll find it on Funimation‘s streaming service, which runs you something like five bucks a month. Honestly I’d say it’s worth it to be able to watch Snow White and Arslan alone, never mind whatever else is in their streaming catalog.

Tin Machine, Tin Machine, Take Me Anywhere

Monday morning, the news broke, Twitter was all “Starman” and “Space Oddity” and “Ziggy Stardust” quotes. Me? I went to work and immediately queued up both of the Tin Machine albums.

In the late 1980s I was still figuring out what I really liked, musically. I’d immersed myself in pop radio and had started to branch out a bit. Right about then, David Bowie decided to be in a rock n roll band. By most accounts, it was a good idea. Whether or not people really liked the albums made by this band, the result was a revitalized Bowie who went on to do better, more interesting things than he’d been up to beforehand.

But, you know what? Those two studio albums by Tin Machine are totally worth owning. I mean, it’s a rock band. Fronted by David effing Bowie. Both albums have some real gems, such as the first album’s “Prisoner of Love,” “Run,” and “I Can’t Read.” They made me like a Lennon song with their rendition of “Working Class Hero.” On the second album, “You Belong In Rock N Roll” and especially “Amlapura” are worth a listen.

So, late 80s-early 90s Bowie is “my” Bowie. (Yes, I own Black Tie White Noise as well. I don’t love it, but I like a few songs on it pretty well.) I never grew into a super big fan of his, but he had a big part in shaping my tastes at a critical point, and he left behind some amazing music that I love still.

Yeah, Mister Bowie, you belonged in rock n roll.

The Rainbow Cone Action

This morning, taking the Sunset Highway from Portland through Beaverton out to Hillsboro, I was treated to a full double rainbow on account of the clear sunrise behind me and a vigorous rain squall in my path. I noticed something as the rainbow “moved” along with the car: It seemed to exist at a distance but also pass in front of objects. That’s when I realized something I probably should have picked up a long time ago.

I always think of a rainbow as a structure which exists as a flat band “over there” somewhere, but in fact any bunch of raindrops at the correct angle from my eyes can be part of that particular illusion. It is, in fact, built by a cone (or section of a cone) in which there’s sufficient water vapor and/or raindrops.

In other words, with apologies to Jim Henson: One day I found it, the rainbow cone action.

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