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Sep. 21st, 2010

Contemplative

"I've been having these weird thoughts lately, like is any of this for real...or not?"

Haven't posted here in some time. No concrete reason for wandering away. It was more of a drifting off, you might say; I just didn't feel a need to say too much. Not here, not in this space.

However, I feel a light pull. I can't quite identify the sensation, but it feels like a wanting. A wanting to type some thoughts up and have them out there in the sea of circuits. I don't have that many readers, true - the potential audience, however, speaks to my vanity in some small way. I admit it.

Class is back in session, and I have begun my final year. I feel myself standing on the precipice of a changing. It might be a large change, it might be a small change. Can't rightly say as yet. But I think there will be some things I need to put down; to work through; to explain; to make known, to myself as much as to others.

So. Perhaps I will end up jotting down a word or two, throwing together a descriptive phrase here and there so as to paint a picture of my days. I suppose time will tell.

Mar. 8th, 2010

Contemplative

Time

Spent this morning doing last minute cleaning before the realtors came by to take pics.

It's a weird experience, getting ready to sell the apartment. I've lived with many different people over the (almost) five years that I've been here, seen them all come and go. Even Britt has spent extended periods of time outside of the apartment for work or vacation. But for all of those minor transitions, those bizarre alterations to my social landscape, the condo and I have remained constant. That my reassuring constancy is drawing close feels a little odd.

There is nothing confirmed yet, as far as dates or places - the apartment goes up on the market tomorrow, so we have no idea how long it will take to sell. Also, we won't be going anywhere until I'm done classes sometime in April. But by the late spring, early summer period, the final chapter of what was, once upon a time, called the "Geek Fort" will draw to a close.

I am excited for the move, while simultaneously dreading it. I dislike the uncertainty of the moving process, as I have no clue where I will be living or where/if I'll be working this summer. It'll be a new adventure, I'm sure, but I have great difficulty in being optimistic. Perhaps it's merely the overwhelming waves of nostalgia and memory of what this place has been, who has been here, what the past half-decade of my life has comprised. There is a great weight here that must be sloughed off in order to proceed to my next destination; yet there is also an unwillingness to let go of all those materials that represent the physical manifestation of my identity, lo these past five years.

This is not going to be an easy process for me - but I will get though it.

Mar. 6th, 2010

Speedy

Waxing and Waning

Have not posted recently. Oops.
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I have three major interests that wax and wane (I believe in accordance with the cycles of the Moon): books, comics, and video games. At any given time, one of these three interests is in ascendancy, with the other two subordinate to it. For the past year or so, in part influenced by my English studies, I have been lost in books, buying, reading, etc. Recently, I have been engaged in a "gentleman's bet" with Britt, suggesting that I spend a little too much time (and money) in used book stores, the argument being that I own a great many books that I have yet to read. Our agreement stipulates that I may not return to the used book store scene until I have read twenty books from my own shelves. This is proving a little slower than originally anticipated, as I'm only up to eight, and I thought I'd be past the halfway mark by this time. I continue to read as much as I can, but I find myself reading a lot of short stories these past few weeks, and anthologies are far slower going than novels.

As a result of this agreement, and my inability to go to the used book stores, which I admittedly have been spending an inordinate amount of time in, I have had little to do with the commercial world. So, this past week, something came over me in which I started getting interested in comics again. I can't quite pinpoint the beginning of this inclination, but it would seem that the ascendancy of books is waning, slightly, and comics are rising. I went to The Beguiling with Zoe yesterday and found a few titles to try:
  • "Batman and Robin"
  • "Daytripper"
  • "Amazing Spider-Man"
  • "Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island" (Warren Ellis + Electro-punk)
I've only read the "B&R" so far, as I am trying to savour my purchases; at the end of the day I am still a student as am trying not to spend unreasonable sums on non-essentials. However, it was great fun sitting around and just reading a comic again, and not fretting about collecting something. I want to be able to read'em, trade'em around with friends, and enjoy comics the way that they used to be enjoyed when our parents were kids. I'm trying not to get caught up in the commodification of the things, just enjoying the art, the writing, the ephemeral quality of the medium. So I'll read my stuff, and I'll read some friends' stuff, and I'll chat about it, and I'll write about it, and in general, just try to think more about what a comic contains, rather than what it is.

Aside from the comics, being reading a lot of Gaiman and Ellis; some Lovecraft, Atwood and Vonnegut; short story collections of weird and thrilling tales. Wrote a small story the other day, which was nice, because it had an end. I've been struggling with that over the past few months, finding a natural ending to a story (short although it was). It was the shot in the shoulder that I needed, and I hope to get some more written over the next couple of weeks. I need to practice more.
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Well, that's it for me. Writing up these entries generally serves as an energy boost for writing, so I should continue to do so with more regularity than I have exhibited these past few months.

See you out there, space cowboys.

Jan. 18th, 2010

Fremen

(no subject)

Picked up a used copy of Jack Ketchum's short story collection, Peaceable Kingdom at BMV yesterday. I was originally lent a copy by a friend some time ago, a copy I have yet to return. I hadn't read enough to be able to talk about with my friend, so I kept it in the spirit of reading it. Time, however, just never let me get back to it.

Anyway, the stories that I have read are really good. Some haunting stuff in there. So I picked it up in order to return my friend's copy, while keeping a copy for myself, to read as I can. Read another one tonight. Short Western-themed tale. A little telegraphed, but that's okay. There can be a fun in the inevitability of certain eerie tales.

I'm enjoying familiarizing myself with Gothic and horror literature, past and present. A little Poe here, a little Lovecraft there. Some Ketchum, some King. Reading Dracula for the first time is proving to be a very fun experience. I am a little surprised at how much I've been enjoying it. Frankenstein is next in the line of epistolary horror novels.

Weee!

Jan. 15th, 2010

Contemplative

(no subject)

Been reading some stories lately that have been making me think about growing up. I don't profess to be very old, in the grand scheme of things, but I keep feeling that I'm at a crossroads of some kind; I'm moving farther and farther away from something.

Anyway.

It's just been a weird time lately, thinking about who I've been in the past, and who I'll be in the future. Sometimes it's a good anxious, sometimes a bad anxious. Altogether, though, it just feels a little disconcerting. When I was a kid, I kept running forward to be older: for responsibility, for power, for respect, for authority. I guess I've just started reflecting a little more on how far I've come, and am a little sad that I won't be running down that stretch of road any more.

Jan. 10th, 2010

Vergil

In Which I Blog 2010 For The First Time

Well, I think I'm due for an update.

The previous semester ended well, apparently. I checked my online record last night and found that I got an A in my Literary Theory I course. I'm hoping to do the same with Lit. Theo. II this semester. Canadian Literature is going well, also, as my paper and exam were significantly over the class average. This is not me attempting to boast; but I am suggesting that I'm happy and somewhat successful with where I am at present. Here's hoping this semester is as strong!

On a more disappointing note, I got, like, none of the reading I assigned myself done over the holiday. It seemed that, for all of my good intentions, as soon as my final paper was handed in, my brain shut dooown. This is not to say that I didn't enjoy my holiday. It was quiet and restful, which is a good thing, with much of it being spent with family in London. I just wish that I had done a little more, that's all. I mean, I can't really complain about Christmas and New Year's this year. I'm not stuck in a ridiculous university strike, and I'm not suffering from a crippling depression. On those comparative grounds, this holiday season was a gas next to the previous one. So, ya know. Here's hoping 2010 is better than 2009.

Nothing particularly new at present. I'm reading ridiculous amounts, not all for class. There's apparently a guest lecturer coming to campus to deliver a talk on Dracula. Having recently found an M. Litt program in Gothic Studies that I really want to attend, I'm definitely in the right mood to go to a talk on le vampyre!...it just means that I have to finally read the book...by Monday...morning...totally doable.

I only ever seem to use this thing to talk about school and books. I apologize for how staggeringly boring that must be to read, but, to be honest, nothing else of terrible interest happens to me these days. I go to school, I read books, and I play board games. And short of writing up detailed Session Reports of the games I'm playing, it seems that LJ is only going to get my thoughts on books and school. Sorry again if that's a little tiring; but perhaps something devilishly fascinating will happen in the near future. Then I'll recount it.

That does it for me. I'll see about updating more regularly again, now that I'm back on a regular schedule. All the best in 2010, and I'll see you all in that sea of stars.

Dec. 4th, 2009

Speedy

In Which I Mention Foxes and Fiction

Just got back from Fantastic Mr. Fox, and I must say, it was a damn funny film. I had a vague idea of what to expect from the trailer, but not being a Wes Anderson aficionado, I didn't know quite what was going to happen. Awesomeness happened, it would seem. If you are heading to the theaters in the next week or two, people, consider taking in Fantastic Mr. Fox. It will charm the pants off of you.

Two papers left, one each for Literary Theory and Satire, but my stress-out week is over. I have time to work with these papers and not feel completely under the gun. Which, ya know, is nice. The readings are done for the semester, though, but I've been making sure to keep my book pile moving. I'm currently rotating through a few series, namely the Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Chronicles of Narnia and A Series of Unfortunate Events books. I have not read through the whole Narnia series, so it will be new to me after I finish rereading The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I am nearing the end of The Bad Beginning from Lemony Snicket, and it's been quite fun so far. I picked up The Reptile Room this evening (as well as The Horse and His Boy by Lewis) at BMV before the movie, so I'll be continuing on presently.

Despite being a hectic week, it's come to a close and I am breathing a little easier. Board gaming tomorrow, which will be a nice way to decompress, and then back to the grindstone for the last of the semester's work. Almost in the clear!

Nov. 21st, 2009

Speedy

(no subject)

So I'm going to be filling out a form on Monday in order to audit a half-year course for the Winter term: 20th Century Children's Literature. I've talked to the prof, and she was more than happy to give her permission. Just a matter of getting through the red-tape now. So I'll have a whole pile of extra books for next semester, but considering the reading list includes:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman
The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling

and more, I think I'll be juuuust fine with the added material.

With this on my transcript, it should look marginally better when I start fishing for schools that will allow me to work with Children's Literature for grad work.

Nov. 16th, 2009

Vergil

In Which I Discuss Youth Fiction, Greek-Stylez

Listening to the BSG soundtrack. Makes me want to re-watch the show, but I don't have that kind of time. I am contenting myself with catching up on Fringe: Season 2. Finally finished Warehouse 13: Season 1 (which was bloody brilliant!). My weeklies (Heroes, Castle, South Park and Venture Bros.) are all up to date, so I'm good on that front. On paper it seems like a fair bit of television, perhaps, but I'm still spending a lot more time at the books than with the telly. Northanger Abbey, The Tin Flute and Ovid's Metamorphoses (selections) over the past couple of weeks, and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass left for the semester (alongside a number of shorter articles and essays).

While doing some online roaming on the subject of Greek philosophy and mythology, I came across Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & The Olympians series. I'd seen it in stores on and off for the past few years, but nothing ever pushed towards picking it up. I read up a little, and it seemed like an entertaining premise which was getting good reviews, so I went down to ye olde BMV to see if they had the first book, The Lightning Thief, in stock. Well, they didn't have the individual book, but they had a box set of the first three books (out of the five currently published) for $10, so I said to myself, "what the hell." Started The Lightning Thief and it's not bad. Not terribly far into it yet, but the writing is good enough to keep me at the table. Always nice to come across good youth fiction.

Several papers coming up over the next couple of weeks. I have to get down to brass tacks presently. The semester is starting to move towards its inevitable conclusion, and I mean to breathe easy through the winter break. I've got good momentum going into these papers, and I'm damned if I'm going to let that fizzle now.

Nov. 7th, 2009

Contemplative

(no subject)

I've been spending a portion of the evening cleaning, and it's been an odd experience. Let me clarify.

I am a pack-rat. Trinkets, mementos, little things collect wherever I reside. They may end up on shelves, in drawers, in boxes, in bags. I accumulate this personal debris over long periods, generally unaware of the fact that I am doing so. At least, the process is not a reflexive one. So, every once and a while, when I engage in a "deep clean", poking into the recesses of the aforementioned shelves, drawers, boxes and bags, I stumble across all manner of artifacts from my past. They awaken memory after memory, until I have unearthed enough of my past to start thinking about my present.

It makes me remember old friends who are now happily married, friends who are now dead, and some friends who are now simply strangers. As the years roll by, we all shed friends and acquaintances like the snake sheds its skin. It doesn't make me feel old; I'm not so silly as to think like that. But it becomes harder and harder to remember who I was.

I don't think I was going anywhere with this. I 'm just trying to remember who I am, since I can't seem to remember who I was. And I honestly don't know whether that's good or bad. It simply is.

That's all.

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