Pulling up

Apr. 24th, 2012 08:21 am
kinra: (Default)
Slept a little. Ate a little. Feeling a little better.

Now have a scary chunk of stuff to do in order not to crash and burn.

Off to it.
kinra: (ilan in motion)
Incessant schedule.

Starvation diet.

Wild uncertainty.

Falling apart one day at a time.

Lately I've been doing a new job at work, which means my days tend to start before 8, end after 6, deal with insane stress as myriad toothpick-and-string systems collide, and learn the frenzied damage-control techniques we use to keep it from falling apart.

Lately I've been eating a lot less than I need, as all-plant and Passover-friendly (Ashkenazic variation) have a narrow intersection with "convenience", though I've had a lot of help with preparing stuff in advance.

The festival's this weekend - http://torontovocalartsfestival.com - and it's pretty exciting to see it happening, though my organizational involvement in it is late in the game.

Worth posting this to let people know I'm alive, while it's still the case!
kinra: (Default)
Tune in to Breakfast Television on City TV in Toronto - http://www.ustream.tv/channel/breakfast-television - at 7:40 AM tomorrow! Countermeasure will be singing live.

On air.

On TV!


Dec. 17th, 2011 10:59 am
kinra: (Default)

I was traumatized to see a line through the name of a friend's journal when I linked to it in a comment on a friend's post the other day.

I inquired about this development, and was greeted with something in the vein of a shrug.

It's really weird to think about how much I take for granted the archiving of information about our online identities. I know that data mining and identity theft are constant kobolds in the super dungeon explore of our online experience. Plus, comment spam.

But I'm immensely thankful that Deniz' journal is still up and readable. It's not like she's still here - I can't read new entries, thoughts on Corey Konieczka's or Vlaada Chvatil's game design, invectives about Twilight or Game of Thrones, or emergent patterns of sapience in information flows between multi-core tablets. I'll never know what Deniz would have thought about Countermeasure, or whether she'd have auditioned or enjoyed this music without all the Exeter baggage. But the person she was until 2005, the things she thought and wrote (in enormous quantity) and her points of connection to my life are still there.

It's not just watching the footprints stop, in this case. It's seeing the whole trail washed away.

I have a predisposition toward nostalgia, I guess. I have trouble throwing things out, and I'm trying to cure that. But text? Text stored on servers? Particularly decentralized servers, where new space is cheaper than the paper it would take to write those words down? That's the past now. It keeps us honest. It reassures us that things did happen in the way they did. Yes, it prevents us from reinventing ourselves daily, something upon which I place a pretty high premium (and I feel fairly artificial when I don't). But memory is fickle and treacherous. Documentation, while often embarrassing and frustrating, is true. And this reinvention is really only valuable when it gets you somewhere truer.

The old Robin Hood show from the '80s had a quote that appears all over my 1991 high school yearbook. "Either we face the ghosts of the past or we become ghosts ourselves." I saw much of that show but not that episode. I assume they were swordfighting actual ghosts. I take it to mean, in an allegorical sense, that if we don't look at the stupid things we've done, we turn into repetitive clichés.

Reading this post, it probably looks like a bunch of stupid, introspective, self-obsessed posts I've already written. Fair point. But if I *want*, I can at least go back and reread those other posts and realize how stupid, introspective and self-obsessed they seem. Isn't that a kind of progress?
kinra: (Default)
Ewan, ever the poet, responded to my victory shout with the mot juste: "Ikea is the Guitar Hero of Carpentry."

I just had to throw up the horns.

So it's been two weeks, really maybe three, since the Beginning of the Move from where I was at to at where I now dwell, which is not wholly coincidentally in the eventual company of [livejournal.com profile] andmiss. Something like five and a half years ago, had I known this, my eyes would have gone quite motherf**king wide and my jaw would have dropped like a texas leaguer in the bottom half of a home game at the Rogers Sky Centre Dome.

But here I am, born to be kings.

(I read a whole whack of achewood this weekend, and it stayed good.)

I haven't put away every box yet, and at the old place there's a little bit of cleaning and taking-out-of-things that has to happen before everything is all sorted. But I've moved. Today was a big piece: construction of a pair of 80x202x28cm Billy Bookcases, to hold all the things that were in boxes. And the filling of said bookcases - well, also the filling of the places where clothes go at, on account of the clothes are put away too. Really I just need to do some dishes, lock my bike up and maybe unpack another dozen boxes of miscellany before I can deem myself "settled proper like".

But here I am.

I'm sharing a space in a different sort of way than I have in the past. Principally, this is an arrangement wherein we both pay reasonable amount of rent and need to travel the absolute minimum distance to shout at/hit/lounge around with one another. It's also a way we can both see the cat. It is also also a way to have my TV set up so that a number of couches converge upon it, thereby facilitating the playing of multiple video games with multiple people, or watching a movie or two or such, or just generally being social while being at home.

It's a geographical arrangement whereby I can get coffee at no less than five different places without walking more than three blocks, or bank at any of three different institutions within a single block.

And I can fall out of bed and onto the subway.

So the only real downsides are huge windows, and distance from the old roommate - a good friend, and a presence I'll miss.

It's going to be the future any day now. In the future, I'll be at a wedding in California, I'll be back at work, I'll be back in the choir with such as [livejournal.com profile] alienne4 and [livejournal.com profile] yuriko and even [livejournal.com profile] chanteuse11 as of very recently, and I'll be trying to figure out just what on earth to do next.

Then again, I barely know what to do now.

Unpack, really. Unpack and move forward.
kinra: (Default)
Some upgrades to the Countermeasure website last night/this morning.

Check it out! Let me know what you think!


Jun. 27th, 2011 03:27 am
kinra: (Default)
Had an actually nice cruise, which was undertaken as an opportunity to see the branch of the extended family what lives in Florida, and Indiana and such.

Be a part of the little kid cousins' lives, and such.

I do need to revisit David Foster Wallace's essay on the subject. While I had a generally good time, and was not filled with existential despair, I did have to spend basically a ton of energy combatting the urge to microanalyse the bits of the experience that are at a "war effort" level of dehumanizing monstrousness.

I can sort of do that now, because I did my best to pay attention to that stuff without digging too deeply into it at the time.

Important to keep in mind: these cousins (and associated uncle, aunt) are not folks with whom I can reasonably talk about politics or philosophy. We stick to things like family, entertainment, recreation, as otherwise the questions will create the kind of tension that would have ended all efforts at communication or familial connection. I made the mistake of raising the issue of American news media at our last get together. I won't make that mistake again.

In the meantime, I got some sun, snorkeled, zip-lined and generally saw a part of the world in which I'd never really spent any time. And also a part of the family for which the same applies. It was well worth it.

Tomorrow I begin Python Class, so I'm not right back at school yet.


Jun. 14th, 2011 02:24 am
kinra: (Default)
Am I seriously waking up at 6:20am to go running?


I think so.

I updated the Countermeasure site and I updated my Criticism blog. Still haven't worked on my tech and philosophy blog, nor my podcast which has no less than THREE episodes in the can waiting for postproduction.

But I did record some awesome VO tracks for Countermeasure with [livejournal.com profile] yuriko this weekend. And I played boardgames for three consecutive days -- Small World on Thursday, Carcassone and Seven Wonders on Friday, and a trifecta of Kaiju World Wars, Pergamon and Yomi on Saturday.

Obviously this doesn't mean I've painted, built or played with any miniatures in months. I have to start learning to keep promises to myself.
kinra: (Default)
It's here!

Episode 18!

Super great fun that may bring you to tears!

And when you finish with that one, check out the main page for Episode 19!


Mar. 3rd, 2011 12:05 am
kinra: (Default)
Turned off Facebook for a bit.

Can't stand frustrating people because of things outside of my control.

May be back. May not.
kinra: (Default)
Donated plasma and platelets at 6.

Visited my grandfather in the hospital at 9.

Loaded up on coffee and comics at 1 -- just hook 'em to my vein.

Not surprisingly, now I feel drained.

Sad games

Jan. 21st, 2011 12:49 am
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So, Stu recommended me this thing called Today I Die Again, which is sad, but is beautiful and brilliant and haunting and kicks ass in all sorts of ways that electronic arts ever do. I recommend it if you've got an iPhone (and it was free today, dunno about tomorrow).

Countermeasure had a strange, sad, quiet rehearsal today; a lot of hard work on a cool but tough song, and I think we're the better for it but it was small and a lot of people weren't too well.

Work was arduous and frustrating in equal measure, but productive. I spent a lot of time with a headset in my ear, trying to block out local chatter and basically finish a few deadlined thingies.

On the way out of the office I downloaded Robot Unicorn Attack: Christmas Edition.

And last night I watched The Green Hornet.
kinra: (Default)
brb going to watch Duel of Ages at Factory Theatre Midnight Massacre fundraiser
kinra: (Default)
A propos of nothing, I fully intend to disconnect my cable and internet and get onto TekSavvy cable and watch what I want to watch online and through Netflix. Rogers has just alienated me for the most utterly final time, with their billing incompetence and customer service apathy.


Jan. 8th, 2011 08:50 am
kinra: (Default)
I think I've decided that Cake is my favourite musical artist. I'm watching "It Might Get Loud", a documentary about The Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White, and the moment where Jack White listens to Son House made me realize what I think about Cake, basically.

So, go Cake.

Laundry day

Jan. 4th, 2011 12:03 am
kinra: (Default)
So naturally I watched a bunch of terrible movies while I waited, and a couple of fun ones.

First, Louie CK's last comedy show before his inevitable divorce, "Chewed Up", mostly about how horrible life gets when you have a wife and kids and turn 40.

Then, Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was unbelievably disjointed and random, but pretty fun, full of great voice acting and really did feel like a Roald Dahl novel.

Also finished watching Lie With Me, directed by Clément Virgo who also did that scene in The Wire where people use only the one word during a crime scene investigation, but still get their point across. He had also worked with my brother on some of his script stuff so I wanted to see some of his own stuff. The movie was "really dirty" as my brother put it, set in Toronto (largely around Bloor and Bathurst, sort of like Scott Pilgrim but with constant sex instead of fighting) and on the whole, pretty well-directed and acted. Almost didn't feel like a Canadian movie at all.

Then for some insane reason watched Highlander: The Source and Robot Jox. No, I don't know why either. They're both largely terrible, yet both built around excellent RPG campaign concepts (a bunch of immortal swordfighters pusuing the greatest power in the universe; giant robots fighting in arena combat to settle the affairs of nations in a world barely alive after a nuclear war). Problem exists between cup and lip, I suppose.

Also caught a Boondocks episode, the SNL "commercial parodies" special, and Blackadder's Christmas Carol.

And ate pizza. And practiced some piano.

But mostly, it was laundry, vacuuming, putting things away to try to clear floor space in my room.

Tomorrow, back to work. And music. Oy.


Jan. 3rd, 2011 02:18 am
kinra: (Default)
Busy weekend, gotta say.

Retrieval of [livejournal.com profile] andmiss from the chilly beaches of Florida to the sunny beaches of Canada was probably the biggest news, and it was absolutely delightful. I like that one; also she can punch like heck so it is unwise to displease her.

Today I plugged in my new Yamaha P-95 keyboard and started going through my set of Oscar Peterson jazz exercises I used to play with my piano teacher Harvey something like 20 years ago. I miss Harvey a lot, and I really want to reconnect with my fingers, and so I'll call it a holiday indulgence but it's also a useful way to help me notebash at home for my two choirs.

Earlier, I caught "The King's Speech", and I'll talk about it over on Stolen Recognizer later. Before that, [livejournal.com profile] andmiss and I wandered around with Jon and Nish whom we'd intercepted quite serendipitously at Bloor-Yonge station, following up with a trip to Fabricland (FABRICLAND!) and then to check in on [livejournal.com profile] alienne4's cat, and finally dessert at Vegetarian Haven, including very curious apple fritters (honestly just deep-fried apple slices) and red bean pancake, plus of course the epic CAKESHAKE -- a smoothie with no kidding a cake in it.

Earlier still, endless chilling with 30 Rock and Pixel, followed by a viewing of "World's Greatest Dad" to which I'll try to do justice on Stolen Recognizer after I document the Firth flick.

Before that was New Year's Day, involving a game of "Seven Wonders" with Danny, Samy, Euge, Laura, and Ora and her friend Mary-Ellen, recently arrived from New Orleans. A neat, fun game with a three-round rotating-resource play that reminded me of a cross between Roll Through the Ages and Guillotine.

Prior to that I spent some time with parents and sister playing Wii Fit and sofa-lounging, and before that was New Year's Eve, one part at Eugene and Carla's and the next at Andrew and Melina's, the former involving some Guitar Hero and crackers, the latter Jurassic Park and other generic insanity (including yakking away about the Classics Conference, a bizarre extracurricular academic conference that must be seen to be believed).

Yes, it feels like an absurdly long weekend so far. And you're damned right that it's a better, less horrific start to 2011 than it was in 2010. You never know what's coming, but if this sets the pace, I'm not complaining.
kinra: (Default)
I noticed a couple of things: first, in "The Fighter", there's a scene where Amy Adams is pissed off at Marky Mark for taking her to a movie that's a crappy date movie. "There wasn't even hardly any good sex in it", she gripes, and also about having to read the subtitles.

Second, "How do you Know", the new thing of some sort with Owen Wilson and Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd that would probably have been a lot more entertaining if it were somehow a remake of "Heat Vision and Jack", sort of tanked.

Movies used to be sort of "a thing" where first, second and nth dates were concerned. So certain types of movies were, I suppose, "appropriate" movies for dates. They had some sexy young actors, probably sort of famous, a couple of embarassing scenes, probably a "meet cute", a moment where you think they won't get together, and (if we're VERY lucky) some really charming dialogue which almost even borders on "witty".

But I feel like even among the late-teen-early-twentysomething crowd looking for things to do to keep from talking to each other as they awkwardly break the ice, there's comparatively little patience for the sort of inept comedy represented by "studio extruded comedy product". People looking to laugh don't necessarily seem to look for it in a crowded theatre anymore; there are some "event comedies", sure, largely gross-out epics like The Hangover or the Jackass movies. Spectacle still seems to get people into crowded dark rooms, and "significant" sentiment, but the whole idea of a "date movie" doesn't seem to be well served anymore.

I mean, they're still made. I'm sure not all of them disappear immediately. But honestly they seem to suck a lot more, with progressively worse scripts and bigger stars slumming it each time, to the extent that I can't remember the last "date movie" that was well-received critically or commercially. I will readily admit my own narrow perspective here -- I don't necessarily know how every movie made in the last five years has done, and I haven't really had a need for a "date movie" recently -- but I used to think of it as a sort of staple of the cultural landscape. I'm starting to worry that it's just not a thing anymore. Doesn't mean there's any great loss, but I feel like every once in a while there's going to be a pair of awkward teenagers who want to get home before curfew, but the only thing playing will be some Michael Bay crap.
kinra: (ilan in motion)
I'm sure I've still got lots of interesting stuff to say about my personal life, the passing of the hours and days and brief candles and damned spots on this Eljay. But I'm also going to start getting into the groove of ranting in an obtuse and curmudgeonly way over on a blag at the Blagspot. To wit:

Stolen Recognizer, where I'll write about theatre and concerts I see, games I play, movies and television and books; in particular, the stuff that doesn't necessarily fit into the purely ALL AWESOME ALL THE TIME paradigm of Squideye and The Bitter Guy which is of course the best way to spend a half hour of your time and become a more awesome person just by listening to some harmless audio -- what could be a better deal than that?

Anyway, that's what Vinnie suggested I do, and because I always do whatever he says, that's what I did, and it has been fine so far; nobody's caught fire or anything.

Then again, it's really only been a week.
kinra: (mini-samurai deft inscrutable)
I'm going to dream out loud.
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