Friday, October 28, 2011

Annual Update.

I got an email today from someone that said he'd read my blog from start to finish and encouraged me to update a little. So here goes:

Dani and I are still together and well. From my point of view, the relationship got better with time, which is a good thing in my book. There are still plenty of cultural differences (his extroverted southern European/ Mediterranean background vs my introverted Chinese one). But I it works.  The in-laws are great as well, despite be not being able to speak with them very well. This is usually overcome by spending all my time with them eating, which is not unlike time with my parents, whom I can speak with, but prefer not talk a lot, if at all.

I got a great job at an international organisation, which is fortunate for a fresh art/media grad., in this economic climate. Plus working for an NGO has always been something I've been interested in. There's a lot of fascinating stuff to be done, it's a pity that large organisations are so bureaucratic, so it takes a lot to get to the work at the core.

My love for SFF has only gotten worse since coming here. Dani loves SFF too, so there's a lot of that around. Also, playing computer games has replaced clubbing, which isn't fun anymore once you're not on the prowl.

Still a gym nut, although that has been tempered with my new found abilities to cook. We're going to re-do the kitchen so we can start practicing some modernist cooking!

Went to Croatia with Phil and my sister. One of the best holidays. I'd say it's the loveliest place on the Mediterranean. Maybe that, and the South of France. Some of the best preserved Roman structures are there, and you can even book holiday apartments in these structures (which we did). Can't beat that.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fantasy, Good Reads and Geekry.

It started when Dani got me to play Dragon Age, and it got worse after Michael re-promoted his book on Facebook. Don't under estimate FB promotion when it comes to selling e-books. I'd always wanted to read Mike's book, only Phil kept on mentioning it after several bottles of wine, so I never got 'round to it. With a Kindle link on FB, immediately purcahsed it.

I thought it was very good, and when he posted about re-releasing his collecion of short stories "All the World A Grave" and asked for comments on the cover, I offered to do it for him. The result on the left.

Through Amazon's fail safe recommendation system, I discovered the Riyria revelations. I haven't read much of anything for a long time now. Apart from manuals on Wordpress, because that's what I do now. The Riyria revelations is probably the best fantasy-adventure series I've read. The story unfolds like a really good chess game. The pieces of the puzzle all fit. To top it up, that characters really stick with you. The sort I go to bed thinking about and scouring GoodReads to find another series just like it. 

I suggested to Mike that we could make a graphic novel together. Although the more I think about it, the less I feel confident enough to be able to make something in any reasonable amount of time. Even if it were black and white, it will still take awhile. Plus, it would be more fun to try something a little different. Like an illuminated manuscript perhaps, or annotated scenes. I think annotated scenes could be interesting.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Games, Fantasy, and everything else.

So every once in awhile I feel this great desire to blog. Like now. I've been spending quite a lot of time doing nerdy things, which is something I've always loved. Nothing like holing up with an awesome fantasy novel or playing RPGs late into the night. I used to do quite a bit of that as a kid, always loved SF. Then I turned 17, and I decided to be all grown up and only read serious books (or trashy ones written by friends) and I forgot all of it. Writing fiction became almost impossible. When I sieved through my old compositions (you know, the stuff they make you write in Secondary school) last Christmas, I remembered thinking, 'gee... I wonder where I got all those crazy ideas from'. They were good too.

Then, at some point, I 'grew up' and started wondering what the point of all this fiction was. They were set in other non-existant universes, they had no bearings on reality, they didn't aspire to be um... politically or socially critical. I stopped reading or watching anything that I felt wasn't educational in anyway. Studying animation didnt' make it better. Imagining things, and creating art became work. And so I forgot how fun these things could be.

Then somehow, Dani persuaded me to play this game called Dragon Age:Origins. I was totally against it at first. What a waste of time! But I think about SF differently again. It isn't a waste of time. It sparks something in me; almost forces me to want to imagine other worlds. And I've started writing fun things. Not like that stupid memoir I never wrote (which I supposed would have sold resonably well back during Belle DeJour days).

ThagothA friend of mine (the DM when I was playing D&D in Singers) started reviving his book, Thagoth. Phil had told me many times before that it was brilliant, and I'd always wanted to read it, but I don't have a kindle, so I never got around to it, until now. I guess part of the reason why I read it was because I wanted to stay in touch with a friend. I was really surprised at how good it was. But then again, he'd always make up really interesting narratives when we played D&D. They were always very... human.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I'll try to post more often. I keep saying that. Life is good. Dani and I do surprisingly well, admist all the failed relationships we see around us. We really take time to make the relationship work. Especially him.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Designed to Fuck you Over.

I'm back in Holland. Lovely weather. No seriously. Sunny and cool. The air feels cleaner already. Dani threw a whiskey tasting thing last night, which was lovely. An eclectic collection of guests showed up, and there was plenty of swapping of war stories admits the indulgence. Like M, for example, who was caught at the border while trying to escape Iraq a total of 11 times. You know all those stories you read in books like Persepolis, it's actually worse in real life. He hid in a mountain hut somewhere in Bulgaria, in the middle of winter, with 34 other men, for days. I don't think I could ever imagine that of him if he never told me. I don't think I'm still comprehending any of it as having been a reality of any of the people I've met that have told me such stories. 

Victor reminded me of the existence of The Consumerist. Read it an learn. I've just started an annoying back and forth with getting my gym to cancel my membership because I'm no longer in Singers. Fun times. I know now when I have a gut feeling that I'm being coerced, I should listen to that gut feeling and act on it. Anyway, get this. The whole system is designed to FUCK YOU OVER.

Everything is designed to make you feel like you don't have enough. That you don't earn enough and that external forces require you to spend more than you make just to reach up to some sickening, wasteful ideal to imply that you do (make a lot of money).

I've spent a lot of time letting guys spend their money on me. I'd say it's given me lots of great experiences, and I really appreciate them for it. And hopefully it's not wasted and one day I'll be an awesome artist, or something. But looking back on it, I'm just realising that most of them didn't really have all that much. If you get a lot, you spend a lot, and in the end it's all designed so you end up having nothing. Of course you only live once, and you can't take it with you. But that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point is that the system is really trying to screw you over. That somehow we've created a world in which we are compelled to milk everything we have at our disposal, in return for negative value. 

We are pathetic. 

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Back in Singers.

Okay geez. Who fucking reads this anymore, but I guess I should update it regularly anyway to keep my friends feeling like they still wub me. Or something. Whatever.

Back in Sing, met up with the lot. Phil, MGM, my crazy ass sister who is even crazier than ever. They're all still as lovely as ever. But of course, how else would it be. The D&D real life RPG group is still happening (it's just an excuse to pretend I'm 12 and drink lots of beer, not like I need one though). I know more about it now after spending cold winter months rained in playing computer games on a 27in Mac.

Anyway, I guess I better face it. This blog won't have that much slutty activity going on any longer. I mean, Dani and I try to slut it out as much as possible you know. Seriously. We've even talked about it while frolicking through the fields about engaging in lewd kinky behaviour with a rotating tag team from various dodgy sources. And okay I'm not ruling out the possibility that it'll happen, which it will. But real life kinda sets in for all of us, and I'm no longer a student hobo, and since I've tried the tantalizing prospect of high class escorting and found it not at all suitable for me (c'mon, me in the service industry? Eh, fuck that.) So work it is!

So, I'll just blog on random stuff I guess. God knows what.