kinra: (lion cute)
So how about those new terms of service, huh?

I mean, you won't see new posts here often, which doesn't change much. But still, reeling.

Top Five

Dec. 27th, 2015 02:25 am
kinra: (lion cute)
Just finished watching Chris Rock's "Top Five".

It was pretty good, heartfelt and sincere about showbiz compromises without wallowing too hard. A lot of good silliness.

Watched a few Jessica Joneses today with [livejournal.com profile] theyellowline after we got back from our short, functional Boxing Day jaunt to Queen West. It was a relatively mellow afternoon, though I've been cranky this weekend as I reestablish something resembling a diurnal sleep schedule.

Planning to join the Y in the new year. Lots of reasons for this.

Put together a few models, particularly a Metal Earth Cessna 172 of which I'm quite proud -- it's not too well-thought-out a set of assembly instructions, as the bottom of the fuselage won't gracefully attach once you've put together the rest of it (and the propeller), but it looks great in the end. Assembled the Reaper Bones Clockwork Dragon and Cthulhu, finally, which don't even really need glue but benefitted from a little bit. On further inspection the Reaper Bones models are really nicely detailed, particularly the Chronoscape sci-fi troopers. Compare favourably to some of my metal Space Marine types.

Had picked up both Alien and Fury Road on the Google Play store during their sale last week. Jen grabbed Last Five Years. Trying to be a bit more particular with my Comixology purchases, though I just scooped up a few Image titles on discount. I don't read them as quickly as I want to, and I don't always enjoy them when I do. I could do with a cull of attention-sinks because attention seems to be the most precious commodity I've got these days, besides time with Jen.

One more classic Starblazers/Yamato model to build then I can put together the ships from the 2199 series. That'll be a big psychological hurdle to surmount. If I can tackle that, I might even consider trying to organize all of my X-Wing ships. And then... the sky's the limit, right? Organizing my MW:DA stuff, even trying to play some 10mm games with one of the various rulesets floating around (Future War Commander's the leading candidate).

I like when the words flow. Working where I work has really forced me to overconsider everything I write to the extent that there's very little spontaneous (self-indulgent) expression -- and Twitter, of course, has forced thoughts into these grotesque, truncated veal pens.

It's a weird time for the written word, isn't it?

To change

Aug. 6th, 2015 02:53 pm
kinra: (lion cute)
Twitter isn't worth the sand it's written on.

Funny

Jul. 20th, 2015 04:08 am
kinra: (lion cute)
Funny how I have trouble sleeping the night before a big day.

Funny in the "City of Angels Song" sense, where it's used as an epithet.

Well, away we go.

Keepalive

Mar. 30th, 2015 04:11 pm
kinra: (lion cute)
Just so I'm not only posting when things are glum and bad.

I'm mostly just very excited to meet a new kiddo, on the part of one of my oldest friends and his partner in crime. Went to a very, very nice preliminary welcome for the little one -- who's going to be facing a health challenge right out of the box, but will be surrounded with love.

There's not a lot to report, here. Not much in the way of professional updates -- that's not what I really use this venue for. And personally, well, there's [livejournal.com profile] theyellowline and that's the granddaddy of status quo of good times.

Home office has been rearranged nicely -- we're sort of wrestling the old house into a nice shape for habitation, hospitality, what-have-you. Spent a chunk of time yesterday going over finances, which once again--I'm not the best at, but TYL is the best at, so I've figured out some ways to keep even keel. Still, a stressful night, but exposure therapy innit.

This is my last "compressed work week" day for a while, on the other hand. It was nice to use for its various domestic purposes, and on the one hand I'll miss it. On the other hand, it never turned out to be worth the tradeoffs.

Heading back into school, really enjoying the course (in general) but know I've got to turn up the juice in terms of getting the homework done early lest I run the risk of more sleepless nights. Work is bad enough in that regard.

TL;DR: things are okay in a way that if I have any bad days, I can look back on today as one of the good days. And things are okay in a way that if any of you are having bad days, come by. We can feed you, entertain you, and provide hang-out-with-cats time.
kinra: (lion cute)
Remembered my ICQ password.

Weird, though, now that ICQ and LJ are owned by Russian corporations, and Russia is... different, now.
kinra: (lion cute)
Just trying to get this all out of my system. The same grinding noise my thoughts make against each other as I encounter another birthday every year.

Appreciation for the people who, sincerely or out of obligation, will say or do nice things tomorrow.

Frustration at the ways my mind and body fall apart as they age gracelessly, as I neglect them.

Guilt, at the wonderful things that life has brought me -- doubly, trebly, infinitely so in the last two years, even with all it's taken away -- while I go through what everyone goes through, and get off much lighter than the billions who don't get this.

The billions who can't count on the security of a home that they own and a roof through which they can't see the terrifying night, the security that they won't be killed in their sleep, that water won't sicken them, that food will be there tomorrow, that they're connected to the other privileged few with electricity and information technology and what still passes for culture.

Appreciation, frustration, guilt. I think that's it.

In the AM

Jun. 17th, 2014 01:10 am
kinra: (lion cute)
Tooth re-chipped; stopping off at the dentist's in the morning for a hasty repair.

Game of Thrones Season 4 just finished but I only watched part of the finale. I like that they've sort of reached Book 5 for some characters, book 3 for some others, and are being judicious in what and how they include. I couldn't have tolerated two more seasons of "plodding in the snow".

Poured myself a very small bit of single-malt and flipped through [livejournal.com profile] denizsarikaya's journal again, to remind myself of the things and people we lose but I guess never really lose, and it reminded me that for all that I carry a little glass window into the Internet around with me everywhere, I don't really have a Thing For Writing with me much anymore, and I should do what Deniz did and try not to lose track of the days. Particularly since the days are so full of love right now, because [livejournal.com profile] theyellowline is a part of every one of them. (Except the next few, when she'll be jetsetting in California, because she's awesome and skilled.)

I guess I starred in a play and my friends' group (including [livejournal.com profile] alienne4, [livejournal.com profile] yuriko and [livejournal.com profile] chanteuse11 just closed the SOCAN awards and sang for Canada's music elite. Had a few hours of band rehearsal; drove around the midwest to visit cousins; biked around my paradise neighbourhood and saw a film adaptation of Days of Future Past.

I mean, I like the future that's happened since 2005, don't get me wrong. But I wish that the world hadn't stopped for Deniz back then.
kinra: (lion cute)
When you're young you usually don't have access to the authors of the creative work you enjoy. You're confronted with the work itself, and very limited set of critical tools to assess its merit. Mostly, do you enjoy it? Does it entertain you, and give you its duration's worth of escape? Does it leave you with a little something that you can take away from it, elevating those few hours that follow its consumption?

When you get a little older and you see enough similar stuff -- and maybe learn a little about the creative process, and a little bit about psychology and the science of human communication -- you start to see the patterns, the bits that are repeated, the things that stand for other things in a social context. You see each bit of stuff you take in as a part of a larger continuum of work with bits of it transmitted from work-to-author-to-work.

Then there's a stage when you start to learn about author's voice; that you learn that no matter the piece of art, *somebody* had to create it. You learn that these things don't stand alone, but that they're the output of some kind of creator, and you start to look for these creative people. Maybe you want to learn more about the meaning of a piece of work; maybe you want to create something yourself. Either way, you find the human that made the thing.

Often, these humans are pretty terrible. Not always, but there are no guarantees.

I don't want to say that this is disproportionately the case in Science-Fiction versus other genres, but SF authors aren't doing a lot to defend themselves. Part of the situation is that if you write SF, you have a tendency to see *ideas* as more valuable, in and of themselves, than the human experience, particularly the emotional experience. One insane idea that's caught vogue recently is that liberty and decency are mutually exclusive, and a swathe of jerks within the Science Fiction Writers of America (though not the current SFWA administration; rather, what seems to style itself as a sort of "disloyal opposition") has leapt to the idea that an association-wide sort of anti-harrassment policy is some sort of affront to what they see as a constitutional right to antagonize, dehumanize and belittle targeted groups within a private organization.

This isn't new, by any stretch of the imagination (even that of an SF fan). One can go back to Card, whose books lit my imagination on fire, and then began what looked like a rapid slide into incoherent, hysterical reactionary clownishness. One can go back further, to Hubbard, who has ruined life after life after life with a pseudoscience cult once he'd had a chance to inspire a generation of readers with his stories. It's not an inevitable correlation, but books that make your heart sing and your brain throb can be written by people with some terrible, terrible ideas.

When you're not young anymore, when you know enough about the world and the art that helps you give it meaning, you eventually learn that art comes from artists, and artists are human, and some humans are terrible. What you do with that knowledge is up to you. It certainly makes it a lot harder for me to enjoy their art. Maybe the trick is, to enjoy what you can, while you can, until you learn how it's made. Then walk away.
kinra: (lion cute)
You'd think that writing new LJ entries would help me grind through my home-office tasks more quickly.

Shake loose some of those words that need to get out of the queue before I'm clear to put the pen back onto the cardboard.

Well, here's hoping.

In the meantime, will talk a bit about rehearsal tonight. Surprisingly tricky to get all the lines into my head, until I look at my book and realize there are about 300 pages of lines and score, and I'm in essentially every scene, with occasional disappearances behind pianos or (I can only hope) in puffs of smoke so that I can drink some water (or stronger) and maybe stretch my legs and check makeup.

Working these scenes is surprisingly intense. The copious dialogue (monologue, in many cases) have little mnemonic tricks built in, thankfully, but the clown-focused approach our director employs is simultaneously so kinematically stylized and so emotionally naturalistic that it almost requires a meditative approach, a constant emotional vigilance while still moving in a broad, clean way around the stage. Warner Brothers cartoons strongly inform the approach, and in this case, it's for the better; there's definitely an element of Duck Amuck in the concept, of the audience directing the performers to "An Ending In Accordance With [Their] Specifications". But this also means that while staging and lines need to be locked in, timing and rapport have to be incredibly fluid and reactive.

It's going to be my most challenging artistic undertaking yet, I guess. A two-week run, full of improvisation, belty singing, belty dialogue, intense dancing, raw emotion, physicality, and probably some jell-O wrestling. (I haven't told the rest of the cast about that; how would it be a surprise if I did?)

If you're interested, check it out here: The Alexander Showcase Theatre (Presenting the Mystery of Edwin Drood)

If you're not interested, you've probably spent three or four paragraphs being pretty bored. I'm not sorry. You didn't have to read this. It's not like some unskippable YouTube ad or something.

Okay, it's getting late and it's definitely getting chilly at my desk. We will for sure need to re-insulate this room.
kinra: (lion cute)
No secret that the ads in LJ have gotten more intrusive since the latest sale. Playing audio, expanding on hover, etc.

But now they're just naked malware. Immediately redirecting you to a fake Java update page? Giving you no-choice dialog boxes to "upgrade your virus software"?

What a sad state of affairs. But I suppose you get what you pay for.
kinra: (camwhore)
Caught up on the Leijiverse, a bit. Did you know that Uchuu Senkan Yamato not only premiered on October 6, 1973, but was, in-Universe, launched on October 6, 2199? So, as good a reason as any to be a fan. Though it was revisited on account of the whole inspiring-Galaxion thing, and then on account of thinking and reading all sorts of things about spaceship board games. Playing spaceship games on my phone and computer. Space ships. Cardboard boxes.

Where was I?

Today I was at the Archives, which is pretty cool. They have been transplanted from a concrete cube downtown, up to a glass cube at York, which is remote, desolate, and strangely appropriate for such an enterprise. I think about what sorts of decisions it takes to decide what is--and what isn't--history. About how it speaks to epistemology, which makes me think about a post I just read about Feminist Epistemology, and situation of knowledge, and do we have the right archivists and everything, maybe they should be a council?

A board.

It's late, which is why I'm writing, because sometimes I need to run out the clock until the words flow, so that I can get other words onto paper. Specifically the words in this report that's been overdue for weeks and weeks while my life comes together.

Life comes together.

I probably haven't written here much at all since meeting the love of my life, not to say that every day that came before was desolate and lonely. But I suppose one day you wake up and you know? And then you build a future, which is what's been going on most days. We know where we'll live, and how. And with whom; with which cats. These aren't things I knew, like, eleven months ago, but now it's eleven months later.

It's late.

The words are finally flowing and it's time for me to direct that current into the task at hand. Just wanted to say hello.
kinra: (Default)
Thinking about the myth of expulsion from Eden in the context of my continuing assertion that I'm not some kind of "good guy" - that I'm just a guy, and we can all just choose what we do, and that once we know better we can't go back to not knowing - all that we can do is do the thing we know to be good, considering the circumstances.

Learning on your own? Eating of the forbidden fruit of knowledge? It's invigorating, and transformative. It's pretty great to realize that you know something; that you know whether it's right or wrong. Sometimes, of course, it comes inadvertently. Being forced into knowledge of good and evil is painful, but once you've got it, you've got that burden. That's how I feel about vegetarianism. I can't really go back; I know. I'm out of the garden.

Same applies to knowing what makes people happy and what lets them down. Once you know, you know. Innocence is impossible. Can't screw someone over and pretend you didn't know - unless you didn't know.

But that doesn't make you good. In mythological antecedent it's not like the tree imparted goodness or evil, simply awareness. Once you know the right thing to do, it's up to you.

I still insist that there are no good people and no evil people. Just the actions. And the innocents - those who don't know that what they did was wrong - I think that is also situational; down to ignorance.

So if you know right from wrong in a given situation and choose wrong, is that doing evil, or even being evil?

Well, every decision gives you a choice between right and wrong, but like any habit, doing one or the other gets you used to it. Then it boils down to behaviourism, reinforcement.

That's how I think of this whole morality thing right now, anyway.
kinra: (Default)
Welcome to a new sort of everything.

It's September. That's usually when this all happens, so I can't say it's out of character. New place to live - that's happened before, lots of times. Never totally on my own terms like this time, but lots of times.

New job. Well, not *that* new. When the call came, out of the blue, they asked if I could start four days after the interview. It was *physically* possible, sure. But it might kill me.

It didn't kill me.

New people! I'm very surprised still to be meeting new people. It's teaching me a little bit about who I am, though, to meet new people and still be, myself the same person. I'm meeting them in a variety of capacities --- singing, dancing, just being people --- and sadly sort of cauterizing a few old connections to people. I won't go so far as to call it "necessary" surgery, but it certainly had the feeling of emergency surgery. VAGUEBOOKING!

THere's a sort-of-beginning I have pretty good reason not to talk about just yet, so I'll STFU there for now.

Oh, looks, Pixel is attempting to play the piano. I hope that she remains more interested in that than in eating the wires that connect it to the world, or any wires in general. Vain hope, I"m sure.

Nice to check in here once in a while.

oho

Aug. 6th, 2012 07:09 pm
kinra: (Default)
well, THAT'll take the wind out of your sails.
kinra: (Default)
My obliviousness sense is tingling!

The best part about this sense is that even if it's wrong, it's right - possibly even more so for having gone off in the first place.

*continues bumping into walls*
kinra: (Default)
Hey, a thing happened.

Or rather, a thing didn't happen yet: as a consequence, I'm in a bit of a detente when it comes to service to Her Majesty. This means I get to be in service of the not-so-Royal "I" for a week or so. Laundry! Sleep! Self-maintenance!

...and new episodes of Squideye and The Bitter Guy uploaded only four months after recording!

Judge away, my friends. Judge me like crazy.

Maybe I'll bump up my N7 score, this week. Finish the grant report (now that I know exactly what's needed - and finishing it a month in advance of the deadline is about right).

Maybe I'll see old friends, long gone. Heck, I've already run into a friend I haven't seen in 21 years, and we're grabbing a cup of something chemically active sometime today.

I've seen my family! Twice! In a week! Built a gazebo with my brother and father, in advance of the upcoming sororal nuptials.

You know, even though it's not legitimately "change" per se, the simple fact of a week off of work is enough to qualify as an unfamiliar situation. This, to go along with moving, relationship reconfiguration (read: ending), loss of longtime family pet, and all sorts of other stuff.

Certainly qualified me for a new haircut.
kinra: (Default)
Been on the road with [livejournal.com profile] alienne4, [livejournal.com profile] yuriko, [livejournal.com profile] chanteuse11 and the rest of Countermeasure for about three days now - hard to believe it's been such a short time - and I'm almost starting to get enough distance from the Toronto life to start thinking with a bit of perspective.

First thing is that I observed how much easier it was to create a moment of ego-building self-improvement with my music and my choice of repetitive activity (calisthenics) when I'm in a space without the usual trappings: not in a work cubicle, not in an apartment full of cats and ghosts, and not in my childhood home. So, that was something.

Second is I've watched this group slowly evolve into a performing machine. The road is taking an early toll - people coughing, stressing, schedule and sound shenanigans - but we're so shockingly locked that performance moments that sounded shaky to us on stage were crystalline to the audience.

Maybe I'm addled. Check it out, I've got time.

Millennium Stage concerts (we're on June 26th).

Beyond that, been trying out different sleeping arrangements. Nothing's ideal, but I'm trying to accommodate. I'm not getting happier yet, but it's been pointed out (and I realize independently) that a key for me is to really get it all out. Cry it all out, with a sad song or book or a season of Buffy or Veronica Mars. Scream and swear and despair. And then find an excuse to get physical activity happening, and use those endorphins like crazy. Then I'll be a little better suited for human interaction.

Still, Jess has been supportive, positing out that no matter what I'm going through, Countermeasure would rather have me here with them. We'd want Qwyn here no matter how she's feeling, if it weren't for the fact that she needs things that are where she is right now. And we want Voltz back, yesterday.

And I got a chance to see Washington DC for the first time in a long while. I guess I am still pretty American at heart. Really moving, but troubling stuff. I see it all with more cynical eyes. But also with so much more appreciation of the history and sacrifice it took to build this trophy hall of a city and the country that surrounds it. Having seen John Adams and read widely, plus being in m thirties and not 10, things look different.

Gonna sleep now, but glad to get the chance to stretch my legs. Big day tomorrow.
kinra: (Default)
Let's get some data points happening.

Woke up: 5:30am. Snooze cycle until 8:00am.
Dreams: Something about working late on a project. LSD was passed around. I partook, donned a cowboy hat, apparently grew a goatee and walked around the dorm (?)
Breakfast: Clif bar (PB Crunch)
Going-to-work music: Paul's Boutique
Personal style: Black cotton GAP slacks, dark green socks, low-cut black Doc Marten shoes, navy t-shirt, fading black linen sport jacket. No glasses, no shave.
Work: Yeah.
Work tunes: Two Steps From Hell's "Invincible" - an album of trailer music.
After work: Dropped in with family at "Empty Bowls" fundraiser where your ticket gets you a ceramic bowl, then a bunch of different soups from fancy-schmancy restaurants around the city.
After after work: Back to the office to finish what's left and critical.
After after work tunes: A Tribe Called Quest's "Low-end Theory". I finally understand "scenario".

Adrenaline

May. 21st, 2012 01:08 am
kinra: (Default)
So let's get this out of my system.

Life is not fair.

It falls to us not to give up when it's conspicuously unfair to the people around us.

I'm thinking of the fact that I'm wearing my soldier t-shirt not for its facile answers to problems (shoot it more!) but because it stands for a powerless person facing hopeless odds.

Not giving up, though.

I hope everything's okay for my friends. But I will do everything I can to make it okay.
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