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October 29th, 2014

09:02 pm - Thor (2014) #1 Review
Some months ago there was a big hubbub about how Marvel was "changing Thor into a woman", by which I mean they are replacing the title character in the comic book series. That is, we would ostensibly be following the adventures of a different (female) character, rather than Thor himself being physically changed into a woman somehow. So, today, the first issue of this new direction found its way into my hands, and I felt compelled to write a few words.

My first reaction is disappointment. Marvel pushes this big significant new thing, and then the whole issue ends up being about the original male Thor in the end. Only on the very last few instants of the issue does the new female Thor show up and does nothing more than pick up the hammer, and that's the end of this month's episode. She has all of one speech bubble, "There must always be a Thor." I for one came here to see the new Thor, and I felt cheated reading so much about old Thor.

On the other hand, writer Jason Aaron presents us with an interesting premise in that the leadership of the Asgardians is now contested between the traditional leader, male Odin, and his wife Frigga. The latter has been taking care of business while the former was gone, and now that Odin has returned, Frigga isn't easily pushed out of the driver's seat, thus setting up a husband/wife conflict. I felt that was a far more compellingly introduced subplot than anything else in the issue.

The villain and/or villains of the issue were paper-thin and written like typical cackling comic book evil. Wantonly murdering without any sort of remotely sympathetic or understandable angle, they're just one-dimensional bad guys that are due for a smacking down. No shades of Magneto's tragic past or Doctor Doom's nobility here, just boring cardboard cruelty and sadism.

Interestingly, there's a development on male Thor towards the end of the issue that is painfully reminiscent of what DC did to Aquaman in the early 1990s relaunch of that character's series. I mean for gosh sakes, two blond, bearded royals, and the exact same thing happens to them. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I can't shake the Aquaman vibes right now. Maybe it'll grow into its own thing over time.

So pulling that all together: Too much male Thor, too little female Thor. Uninspired villains. Aquaman retread. But nice Odin/Frigga conflict, which was more or less the best thing about the issue. I'll give this a couple more issues, but I'm not hopeful.

Grade: Two stars out of five.

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July 28th, 2014

05:49 am - All-New X-Men
So today I caught up on some comic reading, including some of the recent issues of Brian Bendis' ALL-NEW X-MEN. And I'm excited enough that I needed to rant somewhere, so I came to my Livejournal for the first time in like years.

It's really bizarre how much I like ANXM, because for years and years, during his time helming the Avengers franchise, Bendis was one of my most hated Marvel Comics writers. And now, he may be my favorite. It's that radical a change. I'm not going to get into why I hated his Avengers material because that's somewhat beside the point. But his X-Men...damn.

It just feels *RIGHT*.

For me, consistency in fiction is very important. 1960s TV Captain Kirk should have the same personality quirks and speech mannerisms as the 1980s movie Kirk. (Unless it's a clearly intentional change in the character over time, of course.) I mean, I don't have a cow when there's a minor contradiction like, "Hey, in episode 106 Spock stated his favorite cereal was Froot Loops, but here in episode 318 he's having Captain Crunch!" But when those small details *do* click, and the writer actually has Spock eating the same cereal in two different episodes two years apart -- those little things are what elevate fiction from just a story to living, breathing characters. When a character sounds the same and acts the same under different writers 30, 40 years apart, that's when you can connect with a character. They're no longer just a storytelling tool, but something that you can feel like you know them as if they were a real person, something that you can consequently empathize with.

And that's what I feel Bendis has really knocked out of the park here, in ALL-NEW X-MEN. His Scott Summers feels, acts and sounds like the "real" Scott that I haven't seen in comics for quite a few years. And the same holds for many other characters as well. It's like coming back home to old friends. New plotlines, but the same characters. I think Bendis is probably the writer who has gotten the closest to what I personally feel are the definitive "voices" of the various X-Men characters.

So, when there was this scene in ALL-NEW X-MEN #26, I could barely contain my excitement. Scott crushed on Jean for like 10 years (our time), then dated her for like 20 years, then was married to her for like another 10 years, and now most recently she's been dead for like 10 years (still, our time). And then, Jean's younger teenage incarnation is hanging out with the X-Men due to some time travel shenanigans that are not important right now. So, you've been messing around with this girl for like 40 years, then she's been dead, and now she's right there in front of you, except she's like 16 and you're like 30.


And then she's coming on to you.

You could cut the tension with a goddamned knife.

I feel like this is the first time there's been any real tension between Scott and Jean since like the mid-eighties. Since then, it's more or less been, "okay we're together", end of story. (Aside from the brief Morrison diversion just before she died.) Scott and Jean had become such a bland, default couple over the years that even their names got aggregated into just being called a compound "JeanScott". They were like yawn. And now...the couple that was always "meant to be together" is more than a little bit morally questionable because of a) age difference and b) teacher/student relationship. Suddenly Jean is Scott's Lolita.

It's like agh I can't stand it because they're Jean and Scott they're supposed to be together but agh they can't because!!

One of the main reasons why X-Men was the most popular comic book of the eighties was its heavy emphasis on soap opera.

So, under Bendis, it's not only the characters who have regained their familiar voice, but the series as well.
Current Mood: excitedexcited

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March 15th, 2013

08:33 am - Biggest Mistake I Ever Made Was Not Committing Murder
So I just got done with my 36th birthday, and as -- I suppose -- is common, birthdays are one of those points in time when one looks back and thinks about their life. What's different this year, compared to all previous years, is that now I'm in therapy. So, even moreso than all other previous years, I think about things, and specifically the sort of things that go back a long ways and had a big effect on me a long time ago. And as I've gone over my life, I keep coming back to one thing. "If you could change one thing, what would it be?" And I find that, if there were only one thing I could change, one single thing I would have done differently, I should have committed murder.

Let me open that up for you.

When I was fifteen, my father killed my mother. This was preceded by, well, about fifteen years of growing up under a violent and physically abusive father. Fifteen years of watching my mother chased out of the house with an axe, him yelling that he's going to kill her for whatever the offense was that day. Living under a constant fear of death -- not for myself so much, I just received beatings but not so much death threats, but for my mother. Every day is a day that your -- a child's -- most important person could die. There was no safety, not even in your own home. And in that regard, there are some similarities to growing up in a war zone. I'm not saying it was "as bad as" -- there was always food and electricity and all the comforts of the modern world. But in the aspect of personal safety, growing up in a household where death threats were just a normal part of the daily routine, there are some similarities to being in the middle of a war. For fifteen years.

So after fifteen years, you start to sort of think, "well, it's not going to happen for real". You start convincing yourself that, "It's just talk." You start to develop a sort of a feeling of security in the insecurity persisting and not blowing up in your face. And then, it does. And you're left without a mother *and* a father, put in a foster family for a year, can't get along, and finally moving out to live on your own. And at the age of sixteen, your only support network is a social worker. Then after high school you move to a different city for university, and since, at nineteen, you're technically an adult on paper, you lose contact with even the social worker.

At nineteen years old, you've lost both parents, you have no close relatives, you've lost contact with high school friends because you moved to a different city, you don't even have any contact with the authorities. You have zero contact with any adults. On top of that, you have a ton of trust issues from an insecure home, so you have trouble approaching people and making new friends. So you have nobody to give you advice with bureaucratic jungles, nobody to lend you a bit of money if your washing machine breaks down, nobody to lean on emotionally when you have trouble your studies, or with your future direction, or with anything really.

You can't read text longer than a sheet of paper because your ability to concentrate is basically nonexistent because of what you now understand was probably post-traumatic stress disorder. You have similar problems producing text or doing any sort of independent work. You have trouble motivating yourself for any kind of long term projects because you're not sure you can even survive to the end of the month. And you're in university.

What could possibly go wrong?

Your life remains kind of on hold, treading water as you try to do things, but can't complete anything. You try to crawl forward, and you do get some things done, but it feels like you're managing an inch a year and the goal is a mile away. This continues for fourteen more years without reaching any significant goals.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I have no personal responsibility in how things turned out. I could have, at least in theory, done a lot of things to improve my situation that I ended up never doing. I'm not writing this to say, "I'm fucked up but it's not my fault, it's everybody else's fault."

I'm writing this to show what kind of pretty bad place one alternative is.

Then let's look at the other alternative. If I *had* committed murder, ideally before I turned fifteen because that's when criminal liability starts in this country, then --

1) My mother would have lived. Granted, she might have died in a car accident or gotten cancer the next year anyway, but let's assume a fairly average set of circumstances. I would have had a home -- instead of just an apartment where I slept alone -- through my high school years. After moving off to university, I would have had someone to visit at school holidays, someone to call every week, someone who would have noticed how messed up I was and pressured me to go to mental health services, someone who would have helped me with all the bureaucracy and what my rights as a citizen were. I would have had smaller mental trauma to deal with, and I would have ended up in therapy sooner.

2) My father would have died. The element that created fear (and in some ways, still does) would have been eliminated from my life. I would, from that point onward, felt the sort of safety in the world that even still, today, eludes me. I would have, from age 13-14-15, whenever I committed murder, onward have felt much safer than I have ever felt in my life, to date. Additionally, I would have felt a sense of justice in the world, that bad things happen to bad people instead of to good people. I would have had less fear, more safety, more sense of justice, more faith in society and less cynicism.

3) I would have had to deal with the consequences of taking a life, both legal and psychological. Had I done it before age 15, I'm given to understand that I wouldn't have been criminally liable. Now, I might have been taken away from my mother and been put in an institution of some kind maybe, but I probably would have been able to stay in contact with her and reunite with her when I eventually got out anyway. Let's go with the worst case scenario and consider what if I did it after my 15th birthday. The maximum sentence in this country is 15 years, so absolute worst case scenario, I would've been out for at least 6 years by now. You can do high school in prison, so I could have been in university for six years by now, with a much healthier mind than I have now. And I could have prepared for university by studying in advance, with full board provided so I didn't have to be distracted with work to support myself. Even in the worst case scenario, I would be willing to bet that I would have graduated by now if I had committed murder. And things get even better when you consider that I probably wouldn't have gotten the maximum sentence.

4) But then there is the psychological aspect. How would I have dealt with having committed murder? It's impossible to tell without trying, of course. But the criminal justice system in this country is aimed at rehabilitating more than punishing, so at least in theory the authorities would be trying to provide some kind of psychiatric help. It would probably also be helpful that I would mostly feel that I did it for the right reasons, to save the life of a good person. Although I would probably wrestle quite a lot with second-guessing myself. Was it necessary? Or did I overreact? Would it have turned out okay if I hadn't done anything? I now know it wouldn't have, but the me who chose a different path couldn't know. I have no hard facts here so I have to go with my gut feeling and say that I would deal better with having killed a bad person than I do deal with having allowed a good person to die.

5) There's also the social aspect. Making friends could be difficult after having been to jail for murder. Of course, I could always change my name and never bring up the incident myself, which would make it fairly tough (but not impossible) for any regular person to find out what happened. I would say that it would probably not be a factor in 90% or more of potential friendships. But the real problem is with employment, since some employers want to check your criminal record. I don't think every workplace can or does check your criminal record though, so there would have to be options still. I'd have to live with not being able to get to certain kinds of jobs though. I think that's a fair price to pay for having a parent.

Taking into account all of the above, I think it can be argued that it is possible my life would be better if I had committed murder as a 14-15 year old. The main cons are jail time (if done at 15) -- but I feel like I've been in a mental jail anyway for longer than a maximum sentence would have been -- and having to carry the psychological responsibility for the crime. But in return, I would have progressed further in my life, would have a parent, a support network and better mental health overall. I'd be a more functional human being. I'd have committed a pretty severe crime, but I think it's very likely that I'd have a much better life in all the years after that.

And that is why the biggest mistake I ever made was not committing murder.

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June 29th, 2012

12:16 pm - Animation
Learning to make animated gifs.

Current Mood: tiredtired

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April 22nd, 2012

06:32 am - I'm alive
It's funny, the things that can inspire you to write. Over the past two years I've made a total of three posts. Then you run into someone who's been a commenter here and he spontaneously brings up appreciation for this long-dormant journal, and bam, here I am.

It's not that I've lacked things to say, there has been lots of interesting things going on, but somehow it tends to feel like there's never time to write. Not books, not this journal. This is a subjective opinion but to me personally it feels pretty sad in retrospect when my main writing outlet is two-liners on Facebook.

One of the main reasons for the perceived lack of time is that I'm still happily in that relationship I started a few posts back (in other words, little over two years ago). Relationships take a hell of a lot of time, energy and focus to cultivate, and when you're living with someone there's always that constant buzz at the back of your head being vaguely aware of the other person somewhere in the apartment. It's much tougher to sink into a state of deep concentration when you have one ear constantly listening if she's speaking to you from the other side of the apartment. There's this perpetual readiness mode, as if your mouse pointer was constantly moving and preventing the screen saver from activating, if you know what I mean.

Which isn't to be taken as a complaint, mind you. I'm definitely enjoying not living alone (I should, after having bitched about it for nearly ten years on this journal) but it isn't without its challenges, having to adjust to a lot of changes. One would think two years would be enough time to adjust, but, well. In my defense, I *had* been living completely alone for 16.5 years. Isolation of that magnitude gives habits a lot of time to settle in and fortify their positions.

But let's put philosophical introspection aside for a moment. If there's still somebody reading this after such a prolonged silence, let me catch you up on the highlights of my 2010-2011. Still working at a hotel, although I really want to put that to rest more and more each year. Studies are progressing, I finally scraped together 180 study credits which would be enough for a Bachelor's if I wasn't splitting my studies between two subjects. As it is, this time next year I should finally have a BA English or be very close to one. I'm still a little unsure where exactly I'll go after that, but I think I'm going to aim for an MSc Physics or Astronomy with teacher training, and maybe try to land a job as a math/physics teacher, if somebody will hire a nearly 40 year old raw graduate in this economy. Hobbywise I'm running a regular Dungeons & Dragons campaign and holding biweekly Star Trek video nights, both of which are a lot of fun but also a little exhausting.

On the health side things haven't been going terribly well. I finally got an official on-paper diagnosis of severe depression. I feel exhausted and completely worn down a lot of the time, which I guess is understandable when you're juggling a relationship, work, university, a roleplaying game and video nights all at the same time. I'm sure there are people out there who can do that much without major problems and I wish I had their energy levels because I sure am being run ragged. Speaking of which, energy levels are the main symptom I'm complaining about to various doctors and one of the treatments being tried is CPAP which is a breathing mask while sleeping -- alas I've been using that for about a year now and better breathing during sleep doesn't seem to have helped. I've tried three different antidepressants: escitalopram (Cipralex), venlafaxine (Efexor) and currently bupropion (Voxra) but none of them have had much of a noticeable effect. I also suspected ADHD for a while and managed to talk my doctor into trying out methylphenidate (Concerta) for that, but it also failed to produce a response. Overall it seems like the most likely chemical solutions aren't doing me much if any good.

Because medication doesn't seem to be useful to me, the plan now is to find a therapist and enter cognitive psychotherapy, and see if that can help me, either alone or combined with medication. I'm personally more than a little skeptical about the power of therapy, but just about everyone involved is strongly recommending it so I'm going to give it a try.

On the plus side, I may still be struggling with depression, but I'm nowhere as bad as I was after the bad breakup in 2008. 2009 was a hell of suicidal thoughts, feeling absolutely worthless and a ton of loneliness anxiety. All three of those have been 100% absent for the past two years. I still have a lot of dark moods, general sadness and the aforementioned constant feeling of exhaustion, but even so, there's a lot of weight I've shed from my shoulders.

Overall I sort of wish I could just become a rural hermit, away from the fast-paced life. Most of the time it just feels like my head is filled with unintelligible whispering and murmuring and mumbling and all sorts of background noise that is driving me crazy. What I feel I really need is a couple of years of raking a zen pebble garden and having no obligations in any direction whatsoever. No thinking about work, no thinking about school, no thinking about anything except finding a quiet place inside my head. If I was independently wealthy I would totally take one or two sabbatical years and just go somewhere really quiet, peaceful and non-Western. I'm becoming really disillusioned with the Western "work hard so you can pay the bills and do the exact same thing again next month, rinse and repeat until death" world. I know "downshifting" is supposed to be the trendy thing right now, but damned if it isn't exactly what I do need.

Anyway, I've rambled a while now and I think I'll wrap for today, but I really hope it won't be another year until my next update. I'll try to be back here more often again.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

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December 21st, 2010

04:43 am - School
Back in the game. Just received the first study credits since my breakdown in late 2008. Once they're done awarding I should get at least 18 credits for this semester, 23 if I complete the one final assignment left on the programming course.

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November 8th, 2010

05:15 am - School
Haven't written in a while. Everything is great, except too busy. Too many things to do. Work, school, scifi club, roleplaying games, relationship, and trying to find some scarce moments of self time in-between all of that. Writing has been more or less out of the question. This would be nanowrimo month but. Ah well. I didn't come here to complain about too few hours in a day, I came here to think about my studies.

So I'm working on a Bachelor of Arts (English) and Bachelor of Science (Astronomy). English consists of English studies (which I should have done by spring) plus a sizable bunch of pretty freely selectable minors (which I haven't picked yet). Astronomy consists of bunches of courses in math, physics, astronomy and freely selectable stuff. But now I'm thinking of dropping the astronomy part out of the BSc and stuffing it into the BA as a minor. The void left in the BSc would be replaced by more physics courses, so the BSc (Astronomy) would become a BSc (Physics).

This would have the benefit of allowing me to, in a way, extend my physics studies (astronomy being a subfield of physics) into the minors space of the BA, and focus my BSc on just the non-astronomy physics. This might be good in the sense of the job market, as a physics BSc is a lot more marketable than an astronomy BSc. And English is useless in the job market. So basically I'd stuff all my non-marketable studies (English + astronomy) under the BA umbrella and try to focus the BSc on more marketable skills and proficiencies.

If I did this, I have enough English and astro studies done that I could have the BA knocked off in as little as a year. That's pretty damn soon for somebody who feels like they've been slaving away for a decade+. Lots would still be left on the BSc though, but whichever way I decide to go, completing both degrees will take several more years anyway.

In any case this is mostly academic (no pun intended) rumination. By the time I get the BSc I'll be too old to be hired at any entry level positions anyway. Not to mention how many places require a minimum of Master's. Sometimes it feels like I don't know why I bother to study. I can do 360 study credits and as far as the job market goes have accomplished nothing. :b But then I remind myself, when they write my obituary someday, I damn well want it to have some degrees on it, whether they ever got me a job or not.
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted

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May 26th, 2010

03:23 pm - Update
So, I'm still here.

I see that since my relationship started in the first week of February, I've made a total of three longer posts here on LJ. One about some weird dream, another about the closing of the comic book fan fiction community IRC channel, and a third one about the Alice movie.

It's been hellabusy. (That's busy*10^27) We're closing in on five months together and we're in the process of moving in together. Most of our stuff got moved in with a van two weeks ago but there's still some minor stuff left. My old apartment (where I've lived pretty much all the while that I've known all of you who are reading this -- hanneloore has known me longer since we go way back to high school and lostkun and cyriael met me online in '96 so they just sneak in before I moved here in '97) has the last rent day on Monday, so I need to do some end cleaning to it this week and make sure it's in a condition to be released. (I'll probably fail because cleaning isn't exactly my forté but ah well.) It feels a little nostalgic to leave a place that's been your home for thirteen years, but like I've been saying for years now, "I grew out of that place five years ago". Meaning it was way too small for me and I really should have moved out before now, but -- well, inertia. Because of the amount of material things I possess (which I'm both proud and not-proud of, in various contexts) moving is hell, and I've half tongue-in-cheek hoped that I would only move two more times over the rest of my life: 1) when I move in together with someone and 2) when we need a bigger place to raise kids. Well, I managed to hang in there and not move until I could synergize it with number one.

I can tell you, it's a pretty big change to move from 23 square meters to 79 square meters. Our new living room is pretty much the size of the single-room apartment where I slept, cooked and worked before. And in addition to that I now have a separate room for kitchen, separate room for sleeping, separate room for a study. And a sauna. It feels like I'm living in an apartment for real humans now, as opposed to a place for students which are some kind of subhuman creatures who don't need a human-rights-compatible living arrangement. :D I'll try to get you people some pictures soon, once all the boxes are unpacked and/or cleared out.

I haven't gotten a lot of other stuff done over the past months than work and relationship stuff. It's still that early phase where we spend every moment together so I haven't gotten a lot of gaming or reading or hobbies done. My comics reading backlog is like three meters high or something, for not having read any of the stuff that's come in the mail for almost half a year. I had a shot at being in the local comics anthology this year with an eight-page story drawn by a current Marvel artist (whom I'd hired to draw the story for me a couple of years back before he broke into the business) but I didn't have time to letter the story so fail. :( None of my novels have moved forward this year so far. I'm only getting this LJ post written because she's on a trip to Belgium with her dad. :D But it's still awesome to be together with her -- some things are more important than reading and writing -- and I'm sure things will even out over time and I'll make some more time for myself and my hobbies.

Some pictures behind the cut.

Read more...Collapse )

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March 29th, 2010

12:58 am - Update
Eight weeks and everything is still awesome.
Current Mood: goodgood

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March 26th, 2010

12:07 am - Alice
3d movies are starting to annoy me a little. The glasses make my eyes hurt, probably because I spend a lot of time focusing on subtitles and they are too close and my eyes are not used to focusing to that distance or something. Also, they tend to feel like Viewmaster reels where each actor or set or prop is a flat cardboard at different levels of depth. You get a sense of their relative depths but the things themselves don't have depth to them and often end up looking like flat cardboards against a background.

The Alice movie itself, it was such a typical well executed Burton movie and if you know what his movies are like you can probably make a pretty educated guess on whether you'd like this or not. I was kind of hoping for a twist of some kind, something that would have made the story a little more interesting than the basic black and white (red and white) good and evil, it would've been cool if the SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER FROM NOW ONCollapse )

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February 25th, 2010

08:57 am - Anniversary
About ten years ago the comic book fan fiction community was a huge part of my life. I even met ex1 in it. Today the community closed its IRC channel because things have been dead for a long time. I'm glad I heard about it so I could drop in and attend the vigil. It's not like I had much of anything to say to anyone, but I've always believed in the importance of symbolism, and I was pleased to be there at the closing of something that meant so much to me once upon a time.

It also drives home how fast time goes by. Many of these names I haven't even seen in 7-8 years but it felt like only weeks had passed since I was chatting with them on a daily basis. I remembered all sorts of things about them. It was a curious sensation, like hopping on a time machine and visiting 2002 and realizing, damn, it's been eight years? It felt like my people -- yet, at the same time, it also felt like I'm not with these people anymore and haven't been for a long long time. It must be what class reunions are like.

Seeing ex1 was interesting, and rubs in my face the fact that I have absolutely no problems holding grudges for a decade. I wish more people understood the importance of good closure. With both ex1 and ex2 there wasn't good closure and I wonder if I'll still be angry at ex2 in the year 2016 for that. Conversely with ex3 I'm not angry at all since that one was closed well.

On a happier but still topical note, approaching the one month anniversary with current SO. Everything seems to be awesome. Taking her on a Baltic cruise next week for a quick 24h getaway. Spending way too much time (some would say, although I don't feel that way) at her place, which makes me a little jittery because I don't want to ruin this one with too much intensity like I feel happened with ex2. I worry that like ex2, *anybody* can just flick like a light switch from "everything's great" to "never again" in the space of about five seconds. But I guess that's just a survival skill that any human must eventually learn -- that nothing is guaranteed in life, and no matter how great things might seem, it can all be taken away in the blink of an eye.

And that certainly doesn't make me want to rein in my intensity. If there's any risk of the sky falling tomorrow, even just theoretically, I want to at least remember that I enjoyed the hell out of today.

I'm very glad I have her, and I'm going to enjoy every single moment I get with her.
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic

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February 21st, 2010

02:01 am
No news is good news.

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February 10th, 2010

08:29 pm - Dream
In less than two hours' naptime, I dreamt the following:

I was in an apartment that had the layout of my gf's apartment (probably signifying nothing more than the fact that I've spent a lot of time there recently). It was apparently my father's apartment and I was visiting him for some reason that wasn't clear. At one point the doorbell rang and my father opened the door for an asian woman who appeared to be his neighbor. Or more, it soon turned out as he and this woman kissed. At this point, I kicked him in the head, knocking him back, and told the woman that my father had killed his previous wife -- my mother -- and strongly recommended that she walk away and never look back. (There are many of my psychological aspects in play here. One, my fear that the world is so unjust that he'll have another chance at happiness when my mother never can. Two, my pent-up desire to do violence upon him to compensate for the perceived lack of punishment he has gotten. Three, my protective streak in not wanting anyone to have to go through what our family had to go through. Four, my arrogant streak in thinking I know what is best for everyone better than they know themselves.)

After I revealed what my father had done, the woman seemed to be surprised as if she had not known, and she heeded my suggestion and walked away. I continued to perpetrate severe physical abuse onto my father, the kind that you see in Schwarzenegger movie end boss fights, except one-sided. (Catharsis.) It eventually zoomed out to overland map level and the audio track became a phone call from me to the police department where I said I was going to kill him and I was hidden and barricaded and nobody could stop me in time. (Fiction cliches.) I had blocked the entrance road to my Evil Lair (TM) with big logs on the road and the fire department was called in to clear them out.

At this point the perspective shifted to one of the firefighters as the call came in, a female one with a noticeable but not absolute resemblance to my mother, and she became the point of view character through whose eyes I was experiencing the dream. She was tired after too many hours awake but hopped behind the wheel of one of the fire trucks going to the roadblock. At one steep curve she lost control of the vehicle and it ran off road and flipped over multiple times before coming to a halt. None of the firefighters in the vehicle died or were seriously but she was in hysterical tears over how close it had been that she might have gotten someone crippled or dead and she blamed herself for driving with too little sleep and kept saying she was never going to drive again.

At that point the protagonist melted from the female firefighter back to me, although a teenage incarnation of myself, the hysterical tears continuing. Of all people, Obama showed up at the scene to comfort me and went into this big speech about how he was going to open an elementary school that was shaped like two upside down L-letters with four boxes hanging under each crossbeam representing a classroom. He was going to call it "Starfleet Academy" (representing my Star Trek addiction, duh) but it had nothing to do with spaceflight but instead about teaching children utopistic and idealistic ethical principles after (Star Trek creator) Gene Roddenberry's dreams. Basically, an elementary school where 24th century Star Trek utopia ethics were part of the curriculum. That's actually kind of cool. :D The teenage version of me ended up teaching at that school. (I think the teenage version of me represented my purer, more idealistic core still remaining inside me but these days buried under all the realism and cynicism that has taken me over during the past 20 years.)

It ended with teen-me teaching eight year old kids at the school about how to be better leaders for a humanistic, anticorporate future and how to believe in the innate goodness of human race.

Maybe that represents that I still have some hope for the future. :)

Maybe that's because of a certain someone. ;)

But stepping away from the psychoanalysis for a second, I sure don't have dull dreams. :D Considering all the negative things I described, one might think it might have been a nightmare, but although I was very tense when I woke up, I wouldn't characterize it that way. More like a tense thriller or action movie, but not a scary flick. I'm lucky in that I almost never have nightmares.

But now I have to finish up here so I can start getting ready to escort my certain someone to an eighties party. :) Later. :)
Current Mood: busybusy

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February 5th, 2010

05:31 am
As per Facebook,

"is in a relationship"

So there. :)

And yes, she's awesome. :)

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February 3rd, 2010

01:30 am
Outlook very bright. :) :) :)

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January 30th, 2010

09:10 am - Hot
A woman who is so into science that she has the DNA helix tattooed around her arm. :) :)
Current Mood: impressedimpressed

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January 28th, 2010

01:10 am - Existence
While linking on from Wikipedia's existential crisis article, I chanced upon this webpage:

Existential depression in gifted individuals

which had some interesting things to say. I wouldn't consider myself "gifted" [in fact considering my scholastic success I'm probably below average (although one could always take the argumentative route that sometimes gifted people do poorly in school because they get bored, but I won't take that route because it's egotistically self-serving)] but I think the same thoughts can occur in non-gifted individuals as well.

Read more...Collapse )
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

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January 27th, 2010

11:13 pm - Bipolar
I think I'm definitely starting to think I have bipolar rather than depression. It's like my heart is making a sine wave. I get these waves of "life is great" and waves of "I wish I were dead". I think the amplitude (the intensity of the peaks and troughs) is lessening gradually though and maybe in a couple of years I could see the waves settling to a more level ocean. It's also a little reassuring to know that if I feel like crap, I can wait a couple of hours and distract myself with some webpage, and the feeling will usually go away with time. It'll return eventually of course, but at least I'm not at a constant bottom anymore. It's easier to endure the bottoms of the sea when I know I'll come up for air periodically. I've also noticed that there are definite triggers for the bottoms, like when I see particularly sad fates, I empathize and it starts a bottom for me (like the mummy thing yesterday), or -- unfortunately -- when I see particularly good fates, which makes me feel jealous and rub in everything that I'm missing myself, which also triggers bottom episodes. I'd probably be best off if I focused on hanging out with people who are kind of average-ish and don't have either big tragedies that I'd empathize with, nor things I would become jealous about. That would eliminate a lot of the bottom triggers and maybe help smooth out the waves.
Current Mood: stressedstressed

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10:42 pm - iPad
Well they finally unveiled it. My initial thoughts are rather underwhelmed. It's got barely better resolution than my current phone (800x480 vs 1024x768) so I don't know carrying around that huge screen gives me that much more advantage in screen real estate compared to something I can put in my pocket. What's more, it seems it *still* doesn't have *multitasking*. For god's sakes, my Amiga 500 back in 1987 could multitask, have a music player and a chat program and a text editor open at the same time, and Apple still can't make that work 23 years later? (OMG, has it really been 23 years??)

Another of my chief concerns is durability. That's a pretty big plate of glass (or whatever it's made of) to be carrying around constantly, it better be pretty friggin' durable and rugged. Now, the same accusation can be levelled against laptops too of course, but laptops at least have the advantage of having a closable lid which protects the screen so that it's not on the outer damage-prone surface of the device. Phones are small enough that they can be put out of harm's way, and laptops have a protective lid. I imagine we'll probably see some nice carry bags for the iPad with a hard shell and padding inside, which would negate a lot of the concern. Such a carry bag would IMO be practically a must for the device. I really worry about that screen, it scares me to think of hundreds of those in subway traffic et al.

And for me personally of course, as a writer, the lack of a keyboard is pretty much a deal breaker.

All in all, I don't really think I, at least, have enough need for a device between the phone and the laptop. It's true that I could use a better portable device for web browsing and other activities than my phone, but at the end of the day, the very minor jump in resolution and screen real estate really isn't worth losing multitasking and a keyboard. So I think I'll just stick with my phone for small web browsing and pull out my laptop when I need to do the big browsing.
Current Mood: blahblah

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06:45 am - Mummy
Ah, wonderful. The evening papers today are again writing about another case where a mummified body was found in an apartment, having been dead for approximately 2.5 years. In a sidebar the article listed five other similar cases in recent years.

I just know I'm going to end up like that. I'm gonna end up like that and I warned people many times and nobody cares. :b Well, not completely nobody. A couple people introduced me to their friends. Those were rare highlights and much appreciated. :)

I think I'll rather just take my chances trekking the jungles. I'd rather be eaten by a tiger and disappear without a trace into the jungle, than die alone and sit at home mummifying for three years. I'd rather die active than passive. I refuse to die at home if a home is just an empty shell without love. Things would be different if home had love. If I had family to be with, I'd be happy to die at home with them. But I don't, and home is just a shell of rock and plaster and I have no desire to die in an inhuman box.

I'm going to go somewhere out there and have adventures and die with my boots on and be shot dead by Burmese soldiers or eaten by cannibals or murdered by robbers or whatever, I'll much rather take that than just sit at home and die and mummify there for years until somebody stumbles in by accident. Fuck home. Home is nothing without love in it. I'd rather die hopelessly fighting a tiger or even contracting goddamned malaria than sitting in a damn recliner alone.

I hate that whole concept of mummified death so much, it's the ultimate expression of nobody cared about you, that you were so valueless to society that your passing didn't leave a single ripple. I'd rather be beheaded by terrorists than be mummified. At least that way some people thought that your passing might affect somebody somewhere, which is a compliment compared to the complete non-relevance and non-existence of mummified death. I hate it so much and I refuse to go like that. I'd rather go any other way in the world but that.
Current Mood: angryangry

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January 23rd, 2010

10:52 pm - Route
I spent the entire day reading Thailand sights and now I've got a rough draft of a route.


Biking straight through Thailand from the north border to the south border would have been "only" 1800km. This route only gets halfway down the country and runs up to 2500km. There's way too much to see. Heck, even 1800 might be too much, I'll have to see. The good thing about cycling is that you're not tied to any itinerary and you can change everything at a moment's notice depending on how you feel every morning. For all I know, I'll end up starting in Chiang Rai, biking 50 km, then finding a beautiful place and feeling lazy and renting a place and just sitting there stationary for three months, writing a book. :b That would definitely be a less than impressive performance, but it is very relieving to know that I could do that if I felt like it, that there's no obligation on my back.

On the other hand, without an obligation, that only makes it more likely that I'll become lazy if I don't have to fulfill some mandate to bike two thousand km.

On the third hand, the stuff I've been researching is so interesting and I've managed to pace it frequently enough that it's always just "only 50km to the next one..." that their magnetism might actually manage to pull my lethargic self onwards through this journey.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

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03:31 pm - Drink
If I'm going to do 6-10 hours of biking a day, I need to have a hydration system. One part of that is the hydration pack, but I'll address that another day. The second part is the contents of the pack, i.e. the liquid to drink. As many know, drinking just plain water while exercising for lengthy periods of time is going to result in bad things -- hence the invention "sports drinks" which replenish the nutrients lost with sweating so the exercise can go on.

Alas, purchasing a gallon of sports drinks per day for three months running would probably double my daily expenses. Therefore, an alternative must be formulated. There's many instructions on the Internet for "make your own sports drink", but most of them seem to rely on access to a home fridge, since they list a whole bunch of perishable or otherwise difficult to carry goods. What I need, on the road, is compact dry goods. Salt and sugar are easy dry goods to carry along fairly compactly and mix in with water, so that would make a good base, but there are other micronutrients also that need replenishing, such as potassium. So I need to figure out an easy, cheap and *consistently available practically everywhere* source of various micronutrients to get a good balance.
Current Mood: geekygeeky

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09:58 am - Lots
Man, I am so overwhelmed by everything I need to do and buy. I have a year before I'm planning to go on my Southeast Asia trip and I feel like it's not going to be enough.

And I may have to cut down on the route ambitions. North Thailand to Singapore would be totally doable in three months if I just biked it straight through but if I want to stop to enjoy the ambience of certain places and smell the roses, as it were, I don't think it's doable. Maybe just plain Thailand north border to south border would suffice if I want to actually stop to see things.

Going just straight through would be about 1800km. Now that's only three weeks of cycling. But add in all the detours to see cool things, that can easily double that to six weeks. Then add rest days and chilling walking around days to take in the locales and double again to about 12 weeks and that's the three months there already.

So maybe Chiang Rai - Krabi would suffice for three months. I could do all the way to Singapore if I didn't stop to see anything, easy. But what's the point of traveling if you don't stop to see anything. I don't see value in cycling just for the sake of cycling.

On the other hand, the eastern coast of Thailand is interesting too. Less developed, less touristy than Phuket et al. Maybe I should head east from Bangkok.
Current Mood: nervousnervous

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09:50 am
LOL! "Pedalphiles Cycling Club"? I'm sorry but I would not join a club named that if you paid me. :D It's FAR too easy for the tongue to slip there. :D

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January 20th, 2010

06:42 pm - World Trek: TNG
After positive experiences with last year's pilot miniseries set in Florida, the budgetary division has given preliminary approval to commissioning a whole new season of exploratory journeys.

The year 2010 will be spent preparing the logistics for the first season, and in January 2011 filming is expected to begin in the city of Bangkok, Thailand. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the season is expected to run until March or April of that year and follow the protagonist's cycling journey through Thailand, and depending on the pace that will be established, may go further south to peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and/or the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Required preparations checklist for future reference:
  • Visas
  • Vaccines
  • Travel insurance
  • Maps
  • Phrasebooks
  • Better camera
  • New bicycle (poss. from Bangkok)
  • Bicycle helmet
  • Hydration backpack (Camelbak, Osprey et al)
  • Bicycle toolkit
  • Hub dynamos to generate electricity while cycling
  • Design/build or obtain unit that converts 6VAC to 12VDC for laptop charging
  • Research good anti-insect clothing (malaria defense et al)
  • Research defense against larger beasts (feral dog packs reported in some areas)
  • Research points of interest to visit for episodes
  • Plan routes to meet up with episodes
Possible episodes:
  • Golden Triangle, point where Thailand, Laos and Burma/Myanmar connect, opium history and museum
  • Thailand's highest mountains, going from North to South
    • Loi Un in Chiang Rai
    • Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai
    • Khao Mokochu in Nakhon Sawan (prob. too challenging to climb, maybe just photograph)
  • Kayan people (neck elongation tradition) in Mae Hong Son
  • Poss. other hill tribes in the north
  • More to come...

Any advice, recommendations, or requests are entertained.
Current Mood: pensivepensive

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January 18th, 2010

03:42 pm - Ketosis
Weight's gone up a lot lately. Need emergency measures. Trying a low-carb diet again. Previous two times I've tried it, I got the gout on my big toe, which was quite painful. Trying for a greener meat/veggies ratio this time. Hopefully less protein buildup in joints. We'll see. Either it works or I get sick and can skip work. Win-win. Ah, scientific experiments on self always brighten my day.
Current Mood: geekygeeky

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January 15th, 2010

11:10 pm - Karma
While I've thought about the following often, I haven't thought it prudent to post it during the darker times, since it might have given people the impression that I was greasing up a rope. It's kind of morbid but it's not indicative of suicidal thoughts, I'm comparatively okay at the moment, which is why I feel safe and comfortable in posting this.

But I just wanted to make explicit note, for the record, of the fact that if I end up suddenly dying someday through some accident, a car crash, or a sudden heart failure, or while saving people from a burning building, or anything like that, then I would rather the event be celebrated than mourned. I would prefer people to have the mindset that I have gone to a better place, and it's something to be happy about, not sad. No, I don't believe in an afterlife, but I do believe the state of non-consciousness to be comparatively a better state than most times I've had -- a few highs are exceptions, but by and large if I take a past 10 year average for instance, then the sum total is more pain than pleasure, and a zero would have been better in retrospect. So in a way, it would be an end to what mostly has been pain and suffering, and in that context the state of non-consciousness would be a relief and a good thing.

So don't be sad for me if I accidentally get run over by a lawnmower or choke on a sea turtle egg. I'd much rather take the bullet than somebody who actually is happy with their life. In fact it really would make me happy (for what, 0.2 seconds? but still) to die in exchange for somebody who can make the best out of life, rather than some happy person dying and whiny old me going on. If I end up being on some plane that crashes, then I took a seat where some mother and child might have been sitting otherwise. If I pick up a box of food from the grocery store that accidentally had some toxin in it, then damn, better me than some guy who's really enjoying life!

I just wanted to get that off my chest. Don't give me any shit eulogies like, "He was having such a great life, it's such a shame he's gone wah wah", but rather something like, "He was in pain and he's in a better shape now so let's pop the bottles and rock and roll!" I don't care if some too-serious people whine about respect for the dead, it's my funeral and I get to say what's respectful. Consider this effectively my will for any postmortem services.

Having gotten all of that off my chest, so I feel like I've made the necessary preparations if something should happen out of the blue, now I'm gonna go browse Thailand condos and fantasize about a better life next year! Later!
Current Mood: determineddetermined

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January 14th, 2010

09:44 am - Avatar
So I went to watch Avatar. I'm much more of a story guy than an art guy, so while I recognize that the visuals were pretty good, that aspect was pretty unimportant to me so here I will mostly be talking about the story instead.

If you don"t want spoilers, turn back now.Collapse )
Current Mood: blahblah

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January 11th, 2010

09:38 am - Sloth
How do you know you're lazy as hell?

Answer: When you've got a long work night behind you, are carrying three heavy shopping bags, have ten minutes until the next bus, and give serious consideration to just grabbing a taxi and being home by the time the bus would arrive. It's pretty lazy when you'd almost rather drop fifteen euro than wait ten minutes for a bus.

Having said that, I'm terribly lucky in that I do have the option at least. I remember back when I was studying full-time and grabbing a taxi would probably have meant something like not eating for a week. Now it's a much smaller expenditure in comparison.

Still, I am glad to report that for today at least, I have defeated the deadly sin of sloth, but instead succumbed to the deadly sin of greed I guess. A penny pinched is a penny earned. Go figure, either way I'm a sinner. I guess it's in my blood.

So I waited at the bus stop and I've got another question. How do you know you're irredeemably on crack?

Answer: When you give serious thought to where one could buy a fishbowl helmet in order to protect your nose from getting cold outdoors. And here I thought Mysterio was just making a fashion statement. He must've been raised up north too. You know there really aren't good face protection solutions accepted by the mainstream. I guess the most common widely used whole-face protection would be a commando mask, but in these days I'm not too wild about wearing one of those out on the city streets. Then again, a fishbowl would probably draw even more attention, and what's more, it wouldn't even hide my identity. :)

I think I'll try to endure without a fishbowl helmet for now even though my nose is all sniffly and the skin is broken.

So instead, I started doing some math in the bus about how many AA batteries I'd need to build a heating system inside my jacket for 10-20 minutes of runtime. It kind of ran into a wall when I wasn't sure how to convert wattage into degrees. I'm sure there's reams and reams of tables that will have thermal radiation parameters for all sorts of materials but it might be more fun to experiment with a battery, a resistor and a wire and try different currents and see how the wire heats up. P=I²R, IIRC.

I should go sleep now instead of fantasizing about a heated copper wire mesh inside my jacket. I still got one night to go before a tentatively promising looking few days off.

PS. The fishbowl helmet would probably have required a microphone on the inside and speaker on the outside. But I'm not thinking about it anymore. Honest.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

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January 10th, 2010

04:54 am - Work
Her: "You're nice."
Me: "Yeah?"
Her: "Really cute."
Me: "Awwwww."
Her: *dash away to the elevator*

Well! Wish I'd been thinking on my feet quick enough to invite her to stay and chat more, but still, it was lovely to get *some* hope that not *every* girl thinks I'm an ogre. :) Maybe there is some hope yet. :)

Just wish occurrences like that weren't paced approximately five years apart. :)
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

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January 9th, 2010

03:58 am - Sin
I wish I could be happy for other people but instead I'm completely self-absorbed in my own pain.

I got a wedding invite but I'm probably going to skip it because, to be blunt, I don't want to be reminded of what I don't have. I fought hard to try and think of other things in life than a partner, and I really don't want to risk slipping back down to the bottom of the pit. I am happy for them from afar, I just don't want to go through the ceremonies rubbing in my face how happy other people are. I guess it's a shitty attitude to have, but whatever. Just add it to the list of my many sins. I didn't choose my mental hangup. I just try to find a way to survive it.

The only question is whether to tell them this, or to make up a convenient excuse. I wouldn't want to bring up my depression to shadow their happiness, so maybe a little white lie instead, like I'm out of town then or whatever, something mundane that nobody would think twice about.

(And yes, I know it's totally narcissistic to only think about me me me.)
Current Mood: depresseddepressed

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January 1st, 2010

04:38 pm - Waves
I think I might be bipolar these days. I keep getting these intense waves of, "I wish I were dead" or "I'm so happy" rushing through my system like a hormonal flood. Fortunately these are only occasional and 95% of the time is -- for the moment -- spent on fairly stable ground. Still, I don't think these emotional waves are normal, though they're fortunately not so frequent as to interfere with normal life.

75% complete, 9 of 12 consecutive work nights are behind me and I feel fine. I feel like I'm in a position to really try to work hard for 2010 in preparation for the 2011 trip abroad. I've even been thinking about taking a course or two at school this spring, too, although I dunno because it would require going out in the cold. :b I try to minimize any having to go out the door right now.

As of today, I am officially on the board of our scifi club Tutka; I haven't been in the board of anything since B&B-Infrared (only those who were there should get that reference) or high school student council. It's an interesting challenge and I was a bit concerned about meshing it this year with my Florida trips, but since those have fallen through and are no longer relevant, I should be able to be around all year to contribute to the club meaningfully. I don't think I'm going to pursue another term though, because I'd feel guilty about taking up a board slot in 2011 while being out of the country for three months. (And who knows, I might suck at it this year anyway.)

I dunno about girls, there are a couple I'd really like to harass (as in, ask if they might be available for dinner), but on the other hand I also have the really strong feeling of wanting to give up and just not worry about it at all this year. I dunno if the stress is worth it. Maybe I should just let them be and try to stop thinking about them. It's not like they can't lead their own lives without my interference. It's not like anybody actually *needs* me in their lives that way, so why not just continue taking a break from women.

Priorities for the year 2010, in order of importance:

1. Work hard -> build bank balance, save up for next winter trip, maybe get new furniture
2. Chill at home and rest to avoid overexertion
3. Focus on Tutka and try to do the best job I can
4. MAYBE a couple of courses at school here and there
5. Don't think about women
6. Try to get a LITTLE bit of writing done
Current Mood: blankblank

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03:38 pm
Is facepalming an inborn reaction like laughing or crying, or is it learned behavior? Cuz it feels so natural and instinctive and understood across cultures. ;)

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December 30th, 2009

04:03 am - Countries
So I want to move to the tropics and never see ice again unless it's in a glass. I've started mapping out potential destinations because I need to visit places before I can move, in order to get a feel for them. I'm thinking hopefully in 8-12 years or so I'll have enough saved up that I can invest in a small piece of land somewhere between 23.5°N and 23.5°S, which is not only motivated by climate but also astronomy as I would have access to the star skies of both hemispheres.

So if I'll plan to get myself a place by the time I'm 40 or 45, I'll need to do some exploring first, see which cultures I feel comfortable with, what places would make me feel welcome, because this country sure doesn't.

One of the most important things to look at is whether foreigners even *can* buy land in a given country. In Western countries that isn't often an issue, but in much of the developing world, foreigners have a lot of limitations in order to prevent rich Western conglomerates from buying up all the land -- and with rising demand, causing prices to rocket sky high -- which would put land out of reach for the locals. So in many countries with low GDP and cost of living, foreigners can't buy land. Not freehold anyway, which is the term for "pay once, own forever". Many of the countries that don't sell freehold sell leasehold to foreigners instead, which is "pay once, own for a limited time", often for something like 30, 60 or 90 years. That's not something that appeals to me greatly because if I do manage to live to x years old, I don't want to have to deal with being evicted in my older years. The long-term security of freehold is appealing and I prefer to focus on countries where foreigners can purchase freehold.

Some of the interesting prospects are:

* Egypt. Freehold is available (except in the South Sinai peninsula). Prices seem to be generally considered pretty low. Close to Europe, easy access back to Europe if desired. One of the more moderate countries of the Arab League. It would be cool to live in the world's oldest country (by some stretchy definitions, but still). Building codes lax though, caution about buying anything that might be falling apart.

* Brazil. As far as I'm aware, freehold is available. Have heard some reports that moving money in and out of the country has been problematic and bureaucratic and some land deals have fallen through because of that. Vast country, lots of different climates available. Personal feeling that it's going to be a strong growth country in the decades to come. People reputed to be very friendly. Far from Europe/US.

* Costa Rica. Foreigners have the same real estate rights as locals, by constitution, includes freehold. Close to North America. Adjacent countries Nicaragua and Panama also have some interesting aspects. Some tropical cyclone risk, except Panama which dodges the hurricane belt.

* Thailand. Big drawback is you can only buy condos freehold, not land. Would have to give up on exploring solar energy science. People reputed to be very friendly. Tourist country on the beaten path is both good and bad. Some stunning natural beauty especially in the south. Prices very reasonable. Might be better to save the country for a second home if I get rich enough, with solar science concentrated at main home. Mainly Buddhist country = good. Monsoon region, some tropical cyclone risk.

* Malaysia. Freehold available to foreigners. Predominantly Muslim country, which causes some problems. Dodges tropical cyclone belt. Malaysia, Truly Asia. Personal feeling that it's going to be a strong growth country.

* Cambodia. Risky at the moment but bears keeping an eye on, see how it develops in the next 5-10 years. High risk high yield investment opportunity?

These make for 4 fairly distinct regions to tour. Egypt. Brazil. Central America. Southeast Asia. I don't think I can afford to take more than one long vacation from work per year, so let's say check one of these regions per year. Now it's just a question of more fact finding and deciding which region I want to go check out first. I'm thinking either Egypt or Southeast Asia first. Probably Jan-Mar 2011. It's too late to prep a vacation for this winter, and I do want to be here and make money the whole off-winter. But next winter looks promising. Then again, so did this winter until I got derailed by Florida, but that's life. I'm gonna do my damn best that this is the last winter I have to spend in this country though.
Current Mood: numbnumb

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December 27th, 2009

05:33 am
"Kyllä suurin osa mun tutuistakin on kolmekymppisenä jo vakituisessa parisuhteessa ja lapsiakin on useampi. Sitten on näitä ikisinkkuja joita hieman säälitään suottakin kun ne ei kellekään kelpaa eikä niitä oikein voi pitää aikuisinakaan." --jostakin

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December 24th, 2009

03:30 pm - Snow
Huge winter storms in both Europe and the United States.

Half tongue in cheek, I want more global warming.

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06:15 am - Counterpoint
Just so it doesn't seem like I'm always a downer, here's something that to date has always succeeded at making me smile.

Current Mood: workingworking

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05:27 am - Year
This is the time of year when I look back and reflect even more than I usually do.

This time of year has always been the roughest for me, because it's such a family holiday and I have, for practical purposes, none. Everybody's at home celebrating with their families and I'm sitting behind a desk at work, alone in the quiet night. Volunteered to work Christmas, as I do every year, knowing that other people have loved ones they'd like to spend the holidays with, and I...well, I would just sit at home alone. It's a day like any other for me. When thinking about these things, a scene always comes to my mind from the movie "Rocky":

Adrian: But it was Thanksgiving.
Rocky: It was what?
Adrian: It was Thanksgiving.
Rocky: Yeah, to you, but to me, it's Thursday, right?

I wish I had a family. I wish I had little kids running around, excited about getting presents. Wish I had someone to make dinner with. Wish I had someone to tell bedtime stories to, someone to tuck to bed, someone to go to sleep with. But that brings to mind another quote, from "Samaritan Snare":

Wesley Crusher: Didn't you ever wish you had kids of your own?
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Wishing for a thing does not make it so.

And from "Generations"

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I've become aware that there are fewer days ahead than there are behind. I took some comfort from the fact that the family would go on, but now there'll be no more Picards.

I guess I've been trying very hard to avoid that fate, but it seems a man cannot change his destiny. I hate it. I'm angry at it. I despise the fact that one does not have the power to build their own future. You can only wait for random pieces to fall and hope you get the right one. Some people get the piece that fits, some people don't, and there doesn't seem to be anything you can do about it. I've had years when I've just laid back and not tried at all. I've had years when I tried harder than ever. None of it mattered. No matter which strategy I tried, I lost. The world did with me as it pleased anyway. I hate that kind of predestination. It's making me hate this world. It's making me into a bitter old maid. It's not a direction I ever wanted to go, but as the years pass, as the sand runs through the hourglass, it is a change I inevitably feel happening inside me.

I remember when I was young, I was so idealistic, so full of hopes and dreams for the future, and what has ever come of them? Naught but ashes. My bitterness grows year after year, failure after failure.

Having said that, I am at least in a much better condition now than I was this time last year, when I was a total mental wreck. I guess maybe I'm getting accustomed to the idea that I'm going to die alone. The hopes and dreams are slipping through my fingers and I'm being forced to accept that they're just not going to happen. All I have left to look forward to is endless Christmases alone sitting in the dark. When I die, nobody will realize it for weeks, maybe months, because it happened alone at home, and people will only notice when the funny smell starts to make itself known. That may sound morbid, but the good news is that, if one looks at the stages of grief, I think I'm starting to pass from anger and depression into acceptance. I currently feel little or no suicidal tendencies, as opposed to a year ago. I'm becoming just passively resigned and defeated.

I think the suicidal tendencies were, at least partly, driven by the desire to be a master of your own destiny. If the world is going to make you die alone, then by damn, at least you get to decide when and where, instead of letting the world decide that too. As I mentioned earlier, there has been an overwhelming sensation of not being able to decide your future, that "fate" was deciding it for you. And that's very frustrating and confining to a non-conformist. It's like being a rat trapped in a maze, being experimented on by scientists, and screaming out, "I'd rather die than be your little plaything! I'd rather die of my own free decision than live like a slave!" It's the one thing you get to decide about yourself, your right to self-determination when the world takes away all other options from you.

In a way, it could be seen as a bad thing, to no longer be suicidal. To be broken and defeated and enslaved by destiny into playing out your remaining loser life, instead of saying "screw you" to destiny and checking out, leaving it without its plaything. Considering suicide was fire, it was defiance, it was, ultimately, *freedom*.

But I don't even care anymore. It's like emotions are exhausted inside me. If I had the energy to care, I might not like what I'm becoming.

All I wanted was a family, to love and to be loved. I guess that's just too much to ask for in this world.

I don't care anymore. I'm too tired to care.

I guess if I can't have my hopes and dreams, then I'm just going to waste my time on trivial things. Travel. Accumulation of material wealth. I'd say getting drunk but I don't get pleasure from that anymore. Maybe meaningless sex. None of those will fill the void of what I really need, but I suppose they'll pass the years as well as anything else, while I wait to die.

I think part of the problem is that there aren't any more compelling things remaining to do in the world of today. If this was a different world, maybe I could find something fulfilling to fill the rest of my days with, but in the modern world, there just isn't anything I can get terribly interested in. Exploration would have been fun, if I'd been born 500 years ago when there were still "here there be dragons" white areas on maps. Or if I'd been born 500 years from now, when hopefully humans will be traveling and colonizing nearby planets and exploring every canyon and crevice. But right now, Earth is mapped out, and the exploration remaining outside Earth requires billions of credits to get there.

I could get interested in science, but there is almost nothing for amateur scientists to do anymore. Science has been pushed to such high levels that in most fields (ones that I'm interested in anyway, which tends to be the hard sciences), meaningful research can only be done in highly funded laboratories funded by government or corporate level money. There's very few fields remaining where amateur scientists can push the boundaries of science in their garage workshops anymore. I'm not going to advance rocket science in my apartment with a few thousand bucks a month. Like maps, science has become so explored that you require billions behind you before you can make significant contributions.

The one thing remaining that I *might* be able to get sufficient satisfaction and raison d'être from, is writing. Maybe, just maybe, if I focus on finishing and publishing my books, I might get enough satisfaction from those pursuits that it'd make life feel like it's worth living.

So I guess maybe I'm in an existential crisis. Why should I live? What is the purpose behind it? Is there some way in which I can contribute more than I consume? It's not enough for me to live just for the sake of living. Continue breathing just because I was born. I need some kind of a higher purpose, I need to feel useful in order to feel satisfied with life. The one thing I wanted more than anything else was a family, but what could I possibly replace it with, and can that replacement/substitute provide me with enough satisfaction to make my life feel meaningful?

This year, my theme was women. I made a final effort to try and meet as many girls as possible; invite them to dinner, talk to them, get to know them, see if there's any chemistry. That was much bolder than I've ever been before. Tossed away the shyness I usually have and went ahead. I probably went out with more girls this year than in all previous years combined.

And got shot down by just about everyone.

That's just the thing to build a guy's self-confidence. When everybody sees you as unnecessary in the field that you feel the most drawn to. Maybe for some of you, the most important thing is hanging with your friends. Imagine if nobody invited you to parties and everybody made excuses not to come see a movie with you. Or if you're passionate about your art. And nobody gives five minutes of time to the painting you just spent half a year on. Or you love music, but every song you write, everybody thinks they always suck.

Imagine twenty years of constant that, and don't tell me you wouldn't be at least a little bit injured inside, because I'm not gonna believe it.

With my luck, I'm gonna give up on women and settle for writing, and then my books will be universally reviled, so that I'm gonna be a double failure. Ah well. Such is life for me. Like I said earlier, I'm not sure I can muster up enough emotion to care anymore.

Next year, I think my theme will be writing. Fuck women, I think I'm done. I tried my best this year and nothing. There's only so much hitting your head against the wall that a guy can take before you start asking yourself what the hell are you doing to yourself. I'm tired of playing a game where I don't understand the rules and constantly end up losing. At least with writing, I have some confidence that I know the rules. With writing at least, I *know* I'm not the worst guy out there. The world has yet to demolish my self-confidence in that field. So far.

We'll see how next year goes, with a change in focus. This year sure didn't go well, with the exception of the Florida trip which was just about the only good thing in the whole year.
Current Mood: apatheticapathetic

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November 26th, 2009

04:56 am - Back
Well, I'm back after a very eventful trip. Actually I've been back for about a week now but it's taken time to decompress and process and get all sorts of other things done as well, such as sort through my pictures taken and post them online.

If you're interested in photographs and haven't seen them already on my Facebook, you can get to them through here:
It's an album on Facebook but it should be accessible even if you don't have a Facebook account. Please let me know if you can't access it for some reason.

Short version: it was an excellent trip altogether and definitely worth the money and effort and then some. The girl I went to meet didn't turn out to be a fake or an axe murderer of any kind, and she's great and we got along wonderfully I think. Getting along isn't always everything, though, as the distance is a major factor. Is it enough to see someone 2-3 months a year? Could I ever realistically move to Florida? Stuff like that. It's always great to get along but there's also the real world and its complications to take into consideration. Those things are something that I'll be thinking about a lot in the coming months.

If nothing else though, at least my mood is noticeably better. I barely have any gloomy moments anymore. Whereas before I had waves of dark void of sadness flowing through me at random times for no particular reason, they seem to have been replaced by waves of light warm glow flowing through me at random times for no particular reason. Every now and then I catch myself smiling for no reason. It feels nice to feel like a normal whole person again instead of an emo teenager. All it took was just one person who made me feel like I mattered. Like I belonged.

I dunno where it's gonna go from here but there are tentative plans of trying to get time off work and finances together so I can take a longer six week trip to Florida around February or so, so we can explore things in a less rushed manner.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful

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November 6th, 2009

05:54 am - Travel
Flying really brought back a lot of memories. I don't know where the last five years have gone. Back in 2004 I took a trip (hi counterweight, caffeineferret, cyriael, infinitepryde and bentarc) across northeastern US, and after that...after that, I've been what? Sitting at home and working. Well, if I go through my memories I can come up with many things I've done between then and now, but somehow it feels inexcusable that I haven't really done much traveling between 2004-2009.

I don't remember if I've mentioned it or not, but my mom was a travel agent, and eventually set up her own travel agency too, so we traveled a lot when I was a kid. At least one trip a year to Southern Europe and so on. So I grew up flying and traveling. Getting back into an airplane cabin and watching the ground fall away and watching the clouds envelop you, well, it felt in many ways like coming back home again, and for the life of me I can't justify why I've allowed five years to go by without traveling. It feels like a colossal mistake and I've gotta stop perpetrating it, so I'd like to devote more financial priority towards traveling in the future.

Having said that, as a green who feels guilty about being too lazy to be a good green, these days it's also difficult to justify air travel to oneself. All those emissions just to go see another corner of the world, does one have the right to destroy a bit of the environment just for your personal entertainment? What redeeming qualities does air travel have? What could justify it?

These concerns are somewhat hammered home at places like Heathrow, where the mall is basically a shrine to consumption. Lots and lots of stores, but it feels like it's the same thing over and over again. Electronics, booze, chocolate, cosmetics. Wherever you look they have shiny display cases for Dolce & Gabbana or gold jewelry. It's like the mall is designed for the superficial high society "elite". Then again, aren't they all, I suppose. I wonder what a mall would be like that would be tailored and aimed at green environmentally conscious consumers. One thing's for sure, I didn't see anything remotely like that at Heathrow.

Despite that, I've always liked Heathrow. Something about its atmosphere is so gosh darn cosmopolitan that it truly feels like the hub and center of the world, as befits its status as one of the world's busiest airports (the busiest?).

One of the things that vexed me repeatedly yesterday was the endless security checks. Man, things were easier even back in 2004. It really has gone insane. During one day of travel, I must have spent about three hours total queuing and being processed at various security checkpoints. I can't help but wonder where goes the line between reasonable caution and paranoia, and whether that line has been crossed. How much further can things go anymore, how much inconvenience can travelers possibly be subjected to, and is it possible we might see a pullback and relaxation of procedures someday. Is it even desired?

As on many of my previous trips, another vexing experience was the seating on British Airways Boeing 777s. For a guy 6'4", it's just ridiculous. There's no possible physical configuration to sit comfortably in one of those damn mini-me seats. It's just not physically possible, I say. My trip back in 2004, I actually stood and paced the cabin 90% of the 8 hour flight back to London, because it was physically painful to try to fit myself into that seat. This ride wasn't quite that bad as I'd made it a point to stay awake for almost 24 hours before the transatlantic leg of the journey, so I was exhausted enough that I fell asleep for part of the flight, no matter how uncomfortable the seat. I can tell you though, my neck and shoulders were in screaming agony when I woke up towards the end of the flight, and I had a splitting migraine from neck and shoulder tension. God, my head hurt. Fortunately I had had the foresight to pack some headache pills, so once I got to my accommodation and got to lie down and pop the pills, the situation quickly improved, but god, the agony saved from my legs felt like it just went to my head instead. For the record, I hate British Airways 777s. They are the bane of my existence.

Anyway, I disembarked at Atlanta airport and, you know it's crazy, Heathrow had it too and many others in the world do too, but I don't think I've run into them before. That is to say, airports that have their own subways. Heathrow's new Terminal 5 has three buildings that are connected by a subway line, and Atlanta's airport also has a subway line that goes between the five or so concourses. I think all my previous trips I've only done intra-airport transits with buses or on foot, so finding two intra-airport subways was a fascinating little treat.

When I exited Atlanta airport I ran into another new system I wasn't previously familiar with, that of airport-hotel shuttles. That is to say, outside Atlanta airport there's a waiting zone where vans labelled with hotel logos come pick up people and shuttle them direct to the hotel. So you walk over to this zone, chill out a few minutes (comfortably so because it's a nice and lovely comfortable +15C/59F as compared to the freezing point when I was leaving Finland), and wait for a van to stop by that has your hotel's logo. Don't even need to pre-book one or call one up, you just wait and one comes eventually. I had to wait only about 3-5 minutes before one with my hotel's name showed up. I was the only guy for that hotel, so I sat up front and chatted with the driver on the way to the place. Evidently all hotels generally just buy their own vans and have a guy who drives non-stop back and forth between the hotel and the airport. It's supposedly the cheapest system they've figured out, which makes me wonder a little about how much anybody's really tried to streamline the system. I mean you could have two hotels practically side by side, and both of them send separate vans non-stop back and forth. What's more, they send the car going back and forth even without knowing if anyone will be coming over from the airport. It just seems incredibly wasteful. Of course, from a customer service standpoint, it was top of the line. It was free of charge, I just walked to a zone, waited a couple of minutes, and had a guy drive me direct to my place. Couldn't get easier or cheaper from a traveler's standpoint, and it was of course oh god so very appreciated because I was having that splitting headache at that point.

But I do have to wonder just how efficient it is. Seems like a system like that would result in a massive waste of gasoline. On the other hand, after a company invested in making things so incredibly easy for me, I feel kind of like an ungrateful guest criticizing them for being wasteful.

Anyway, I checked in and dropped my things to my room and popped the pills and rested a while. Eventually I went back to the reception and chatted a while to get the lay of the land. I loved how he was like, "There's a Ruby Tuesday's if you go that way you'll hit a dead end and go left at that point. Stay near where you'll see other hotels. Don't go right when you hit the dead end. You don't want to be there."

That is so alien to a Finn. What am I, in Sudan or Somalia or something? I am so unused to "bad neighborhoods" in the West. I can't say I wasn't intrigued by the prospect of going to explore just what it would have been like if I'd turned right. But I had 26 hours of traveling under my belt and a headache and tired and well...I didn't do it. But go figure, I'm like a big kid. Tell me I don't want to do something, and you only make certain that I get curious about it. I am so easy for reverse psychology.

I'm up early (since about 5:18), the headache is gone, I feel refreshed, it's warm and the inn breakfast has all the orange juice I can drink.

I definitely don't regret coming. Flying isn't cheap nor is it environmentally friendly, but I suppose from the way I feel, I can at least say it is good for the soul.

I just hope I remembered to turn the stove off at home. :)
Current Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful

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November 5th, 2009

03:49 am - Bus
I am paranoid sometimes because I have to check so many times whether I have everything along when I go on a trip. And even when I have more or less irrevocably boarded a vehicle (such as the bus I'm typing this in) I keep thinking about what I could possibly have forgotten that will stop my journey short at some point. For one reason or another, I'm just certain that they'll turn me back in HEL, or in LHR, or in ATL. Air travel - intercontinental at least - is so much bureaucracy that I can't help but wonder what I've missed.

That's not what I wanted to talk about, though. On the way from Turku to Helsinki there is this small city called Salo, and I grew up there. The bus passed it about half an hour ago and I can't help but introspect and retrospect.

In so many ways, I'm still the same person I was those 20-25 years ago, and I still remember these buildings. I remember the electronics store where mom bought me my first computer, the kiosks where I used to buy comics, the hill I've sledded down. Heck, I passed within sight of the house that I helped build and which I might inherit someday. It's impossible for me to go through Salo and not be overwhelmed by memories.

How now, when I'm on a trip to explore a possible future? The memories feel even more powerful. To go through my childhood in order to reach my future, one could say it's full of symbolism. And since, for all I know, the plane might blow up and I might be dead in 24 hours, I'm intentionally trying to feel things even stronger still, to close out my life even as I'm taking it a step further.

I wonder about the ways in which I have changed in two decades and - perhaps more keenly - about the ways in which I have not. Who am I? What do these things make me? In the end is changing the important thing about man - our capacity to evolve both as individuals and as a race? Or is the most important thing the one that always stays constant? Am I the intersection, the AND operator, of the things that I was and the things that I am? The things that I was at 10 and still am at 30, the ones that still remain after two decades, are those the things that define who I am?

I was always a dreamer. I always lived inside my own head, building castles in the clouds. Always was, always am, always - I think - will be. And I'm surprisingly comfortable with that. I sometimes feel like an old Japanese zen pebble gardener thinking that the only thing that matters is finding harmony within yourself.

I'm still on a quest to find that harmony, and many other things besides. But today at least, I feel like I am moving instead of being static like I have been for so much of my life. It's a good sensation to have some progress. Whether for better or for worse, I can take either. But I'm so tired of standing still.

There is snow outside. It was cold waiting for the bus. I hope I won't feel cold for quite a while to come.
Current Location: On bus between Salo and HEL
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: Star Trek: The Next Generation - Opening Theme

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November 1st, 2009

10:51 pm - Loneliness
Just by doing a quick flip through this week's tabloids there were two public figures speaking out that they don't think it's good for a person to be alone, Tapani Kansa (a singer) and Sirkka Mertala (the fiancee of the prime minister).

It's nice to hear that opinion every now and then. All too often I hear what feels like, "if you're not fine with being alone, you're a co-dependent freak".
Current Mood: workingworking

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03:32 pm - Mass
Blue line is how many calories eaten in a day. In some cases numbers have not been available and I've had to do rough estimates.

Red line is how much my unreliable scales show every morning. Measurement has been taken right after waking up, before eating anything. As can be seen, variance is very strong, suggesting a crappy piece of equipment, but trend is nonetheless clear.

Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied

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October 21st, 2009

04:39 am - Pizza
I just got a reading on my scales -17kg (-37lb) as compared to mid-August top reading. Now, I most strongly emphasize that I believe my scales have a very wide error margin, probably something like +-3kg, so the truth is probably much less radical than that, but unless the scales are *totally* broken, the overall trend is unmistakable and successful: My pizza diet is working, so booyah!
Current Mood: jubilantjubilant

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October 19th, 2009

11:17 am
Wrath:Very Low
Lust:Very High

Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

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10:12 am - Better
I haven't updated much recently, largely because things have been in flux and I've been continually reassessing my changing situation over the past month or so. But I suppose I might as well officially round up some of the things that have been appearing in tidbits here and there.

As the observant among you may have noticed, there's a girl, and I'm traveling to Florida to go on a date in November. It's a bit of a long distance to go for a date, I know, and I have really strong personal bias against long distance relationships since ex1, but I guess that's what the universe insists on having me do. Considering I've approached nearly two dozen women in the last year or so and not a single one has expressed interest back, I may just be forced to conclude that there's just something in me that rubs Finnish women the wrong way, and that there's no chance to be found here. Maybe the universe is just trying to give me additional motivations to leave this country behind. I hate the climate, and if I'm not welcome with the women either, well then hell, I don't see many reasons to stick around.

But that sounds more self-pitying than I feel. I still wouldn't use the word "happy", but I do feel the best I've felt since last fall. Feeling like I matter to someone -- not just in the sense of, "gee, it's nice he's around" like most casual acquaintances, but in the sense of someone actually adjusting their schedule to meet mine -- plus listening to the Rocky soundtrack, those two together make me feel like it doesn't matter how much crap the world feels like piling on my shoulders, I can take it all and then some.

I think it's ironic that the girl, like ex1, lives in America of all places. It's like the cosmic plan -- if I believed in one -- REALLY wanted me in America for some reason. Go figure.

I also still think she's an axe murderer who is just luring me over so she has something to feed her alligators. Or a fabricated prank by someone who really hates me. I'm gonna be pretty surprised if she turns out to be real. ;) I'm probably being excessively cautious, but given that the last time I threw caution to the wind I got my heart ripped out and put through a meat grinder, I don't think I'm going to be reckless anytime soon.

Still, maybe there's something. Maybe. Cautious. We'll see in three weeks. If I don't come back, then fine, I'm gator chow or something. But I'm gonna give this a try at least. I'm not going to sit at home and hide from chances. I want to live my life, not avoid it, and that includes taking risks. I'd rather risk and die than not try at all.

"Risk is part of the game if you want to sit in that chair."
-- James T. Kirk, "Generations"

"Sir, respectfully submit our only choice is to fight."
-- Worf, "Encounter at Farpoint"

"Our only other option is to tuck tail between our legs and return to Earth as [the Q] demand."
-- Jean-Luc Picard, "Encounter at Farpoint"
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed

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08:46 am - Loot
Time for my monthly post office trip to pick up loot.

Highlights this month include:

* More Legion of Super-Heroes than you can shake a stick at! When I heard that DC Archives (hardcover books collecting influential comics from the 1940s-70s) were starting to go out of print, I made it a priority to grab the ones I wanted but hadn't gotten around to obtaining yet. In this shipment I got volumes 4-7 and 9, and combined with the ones I already had, that leaves me missing just volume 8, which has gone out of print, but I'm sure I'll be able to track down a copy someday via eBay or some similar route. These books give me about 1000 pages of vintage Legion action that I've never read before, including classic tales like "Super-Moby Dick of Space!", "Super-Stalag of Space!" (gotta love those sixties story titles!!), "The Adult Legionnaires!", the first Computo story and Ferro Lad's tragic tale. But that's not all! I also got two more copies of "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes", the Geoff Johns written story from about two years ago, which I think is just that spectacular that I want to hand it out as presents to everybody. I've already inflicted it upon poor khuure, and now I have two more targets to pick out. But wait! That's not all! The Legion also has a story in this month's "Adventure Comics #2", in which Lightning Lad has a heart-to-heart with his evil brother.

* Now, moving on from the Legion, my Marvel Masterwork (the Marvel Comics equivalent for DC's Archives) in this month's shipment is Iron Man, Vol. 6, which collects Iron Man stories from 1969-70. I don't really know much about these at all, and I haven't heard much buzz about them afterwards either, indicating that these were probably not stories that set the world on fire, exactly, but I'm still a little bit curious to see what they are like. darkmark could probably fill me in on whether this is good stuff or just middling stuff.

* Jumping ahead a decade and a half to the mid-eighties, I've got a hardcover of "Batman: A Death in the Family", which collects two separate but related stories -- the one where the second Robin (after Dick Grayson graduated) Jason Todd is killed by the Joker, and the one where the third Robin Tim Drake earns his mantle.

* Moving on even further towards the modern day, I've got two more books that I know almost nothing about except their reputations. "Tom Strong Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1" is the first volume in a series collecting the eponymous Tom Strong, which I'm given to understand is a pastiche or a homage of pulp adventurers. It's by Alan ("Watchmen", "V For Vendetta") Moore, so I doubt it will disappoint. I've also got "Fables Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1", which is the first volume in a series collecting Bill Willingham's story about fairy tale characters transposed to the modern world. I've personally been very underwhelmed by Willingham's writing in the past, but this particular work of his is so often critically acclaimed that I suppose it must be better than his usual fare. I know at least elsewhere7 is a fan of the series, so I'm gonna give it a shot.

* Moving on to the realm of single issues, Batman is still Dick Grayson and the Blackest Night crossover continues across various DC titles. Books that still excite me are BATMAN, DETECTIVE COMICS featuring BATWOMAN, ADVENTURE COMICS featuring SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (god the length of the title!), GREEN LANTERN, WONDER WOMAN, SECRET SIX, BOOSTER GOLD, DOOM PATROL, POWER GIRL, X-FACTOR and NEW MUTANTS and, contrary to most other peoples' opinion, TITANS. Art on GREEN LANTERN CORPS still sucks. STRANGE ADVENTURES is one issue short of conclusion and thank god for it because it's boring me to death. REBELS can't be too far from cancellation either so I might as well ride it out even though it's boring me. GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY is so close to being dropped because it sucks. John Byrne starts a new STAR TREK: ROMULANS story called "Schism", and my BUFFY SEASON 8 issues keep piling up and it seems like I never get around to reading them.

Lots of reading to be done.
Current Mood: geekygeeky

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October 18th, 2009

10:01 am - Another

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October 15th, 2009

03:53 am - Flight
Flight booked
Flying to Atlanta Nov 5
Flying back from Orlando Nov 15
Exploring northern Florida in-between

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October 14th, 2009

07:50 am
I felt the need for a new userpic.

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