Sunday, November 23, 2003

Wanting to Write

It's been a crap week - I've got flu. Or a head cold. Sore throat and gummy sinues, anyway. Would have loved to take a few days off work sick and just sleep, but we had a consultant from the Eastern States that we were paying a huge amount of money to train us in the use and do the initial setup of a nice new tape library. So no days off for Simon, unless he was dead.

Right now I'm trying to write an article for Damian Magee. He's doing a once off re-printing of the old West Lodge fanzine to celebrate the 40th anniversay of Doctor Who (which is today! Happy Birthday Doctor!) and the 20th anniversary of the West Lodge (being the Perth Doctor Who fan club) He's asked me for a piece about what the West Lodge means to me or what I remember or something along those lines. So, along with my fuzzy brief and the general difficulties I have with writing (blog writing isn't quite the same - I'm allowed to ramble here), I have the added bonus of trying to not sound like an arrogant wanker, or making it seem too self-indulgant. But I guess an autobiographical piece is allowed to be self-centred. On top of that, I'm having troubles with structure - I seem to be wanting to say everything at once.

I'm quite happy with the opening that I've written. It's almost funny. If I do manage to finish it (its already a couple of days late), I might post it here after publication.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Cowboy Bebop

It's no secret that I watch anime. A couple of years ago, I was importing (from the US) and watching quite a bit of anime as it being launched onto the then-brand-new DVD format that let you have a subtitled and dubbed version in the one package. At the time there was a bunch of old titles getting re-release, like Tenchi and El-Hazard, and a bunch of new shows, that were basically still the cream of the crop.

(These days the US market is licensing anything that moves from Japan. In some cases, titles are being licensed before they even screen. The end result being is that we get the lesser quality titles, and the over all quality seems to be falling as well. Or maybe I'm getting old)

One title I started purchasing from the US on the basis of only having seen the first episode, in Japanese, unsubtitled, was a show called Cowboy Bebop - a decision I've never regretted. For those of you who haven't seen it - it's a science-fiction based show about the adventures of four bounty hunters. It's been released locally by Madman Entertainment, so it's probably in your local video store. Go, watch it. It's gorgeously drawn and features some of the best writing and direction you'll probably ever see. And the jazz soundtrack by Yoko Kanno seriously kicks bottom.

Earlier this year (in US and Japan) six episodes of the series were released featuring a new 5.1 channel soundtrack - 3 of the series director favourite episodes and three chosen by Japanese fans of the series. At the time, I really couldn't justify $60 to repurchase episodes I already owned just for a remixed soundtrack. I mean, what hell difference could it make?

Thanks to the aforementioned Madman Entertainment and a 15% sale at K-Mart, I found out today just how much of a difference it could make. A great soundscape can make a great story even more great and just add so much more depth to the cinematic experience. I've watched two episodes so far, and it was 'Ballard of Fallen Angels' (that's episode 5 - the one with battle in the church on Mars at the end) that the new soundtrack really stood out. So, if you're a fan of Bebop and you've got a sound system that can do Dolby Digital and dts, I can thoroughly recommend Cowboy Bebop: Best Sessions.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Not A Lot

Ok, so I haven't updated for over a week. What can I say? Not a a hell of a lot is going on right now. I haven't travelled to any exotic locations. The most interesting thing that happened was catching up with a few friends from Uni that I haven't seen for several years before seeing The Matrix Revolutions (Which bored me rigid - there not much I can say about that hasn't already)

Life is slowly resuming some level of normalicy, but there's nothing I've felt compelled to write about lately. Maybe next week.

For now, here is an article from The Onion about what happens when your Mother finds your blog. (The Onion is a satirical website, so Mum, if you're still reading, don't take it too seriously)

Oh, and I'm having a housewarming this Saturday. Email me if I've not managed to tell you about it yet. That is if you know me in real life and/or regularly post on my board, I guess. (I hear rumors that Pamela is being dragged along or something)

One last thing: Chris C pointed out in my board that the first episode of new animated Doctor Who (with the voice of Richard E Grant as the Doctor) is now up.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Home is where...

I remembered something this evening. The place where I live is my home - which means I should stop tip-toeing about the place and make it feel like I live there.

So, the lounge room found a logical arguement and strategic compromise, and the kitchen and dinning rooms got a bit of a shuffle.

Unfortunately, I discovered an empty port bottle in my shufflings that closely resembled a quite full and completely sealed bottle of port I purchased earlier in the year that is no longer next to my other port in the pantry. Questions will be asked at the highest level.

Overall, though, feeling a bit better about things.

Simon-Shaped Hole

Before I went away, life had vomited on my shoes. From the beginning of August to when I left in September, I looked for a house, moved house, oversaw the publication of an issue of Borderlands, ran Borderlands the convention and then spent the remain three weeks at work. Some nights I got to come home to sleep.

And then I left the country and everything behind.

For 6 weeks, it was just me, a car and entire country I'd never seen before, full of new things to see and new things to explore. I was responsible only for myself and my own wellbeing.

And now I'm back - half unpacked house, job, magazine. Dozens of loose ends snaking about a Simon-shaped hole. The problem seems to be is that I'm no longer the same shape as the hole.

I've lived in the short-term for long enough to find the long term hard to handle. What I need to do is try and get on top of the crap that the Simon-of-7-weeks ago left me. Little things, like get the magazine back under control and try and unpack some of the boxes in my house. And try to find a resolution for the unresolvable argument over lounge room chairs that has no obvious compromise. Even after a week, it still feels like I'm living in someone else's house that just happens to have stuff in it that looks like mine.

And maybe get more sleep.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Facts and Figures

Fun facts and figures from my trip:

Distance Flown: 29600 km (approx)

Distance Driven: 3196 miles / 5114 km

Distance Walked: 266 miles / 426 km (approx)

Distance as punt passenger: 1.5 miles / 2.4 km (approx)

Number of books taken in luggage (not counting copies of Borderlands or souvenir booklets): 6 (3 lonely Planet guide, a novel, a London A-Z and Doctor Who: On Location)

Number of books returned with in luggage: 27 (including two Encylopedias of Science Fiction, 3 trade paperbacks and one hardcover coffee table book on Sesame Street)

Most useful piece of luggage: A tie between the microfibre travel towel and lonely Planet Guide to England.

Least useful piece of luggage: The two jumpers I never had the occasion to wear

Number of different places I stayed the night: 22

Number of friends who put me up for a few days: 3 (Big huge thanks to Kevin, Daniel and Bron and her adopted family)

Most disappointing place: The Lakes District, but I'm sure it looks much prettier in the sunshine than it did in the fog

Most cool looking place: Avebury (standing stone circle around a village)

Number of photographs taken: 640

Most photographed location: Portmerion - it was just so pretty.

Hmm. This did all seem much more funny and interesting in my head.