NO U

Day 59. 100 pages, 50,022 words.

Here’s something that occasionally bugs me, and I’m wondering if it’s just me (and just when I’m tired, overworked and cranky).

Being told I have too much time on my hands.

I don’t know what it is. Yes, sometimes it’s the person who says it to me. I get annoyed by dismissive responses like this from some people who don’t seem to actually create anything or even have thoughts and opinions worth sharing. Because usually when I hear this response, it’s because I’ve just made or shared something casually creative or silly that I have been inordinately entertained by in the process of dreaming up. My Witty Retort webcomic, or some unholy movie plot mash-up or other, leap immediately to mind … but the same remark has been made regarding my children’s book, for example, and even The Final Fall of Man series itself.

By the exact same token, of course, it’s quite easy to just shrug off and ignore said opinion, because who cares what those fuckers think?

I should disclaim, at this point, that as always I am not referring to the few times my friends have levelled the accusation at me on this blog. Sometimes I do put more effort into things, and find those things more hysterically enjoyable, than even I admit is entirely normal. I like to think that when they say it, it’s an affectionate / exasperated / maybe even slightly admiring commentary. As, fair to say, it might be when ‘most anyone says it.

But here’s the thing: It’s not remotely true.

I have no time on my hands. Anyone who knows me even a little, knows this about me. I start with the same basic 24 hours a day everyone else does, I work full time, I have a wife and two kids and as active a social life as a couch potato can have, I write novels and a daily blog and … yeah, come on. I don’t have too much goddamn time on my hands. I might use my tiny scraps of spare time for silly things – that I won’t deny – but don’t tell me I have too much time. It makes you look like an idiot and it pisses me off.

I wish I had time to sleep eight hours a night, play computer games, watch movies and have hobbies like people who don’t regularly get told they have too much time on their hands. Because it’s not even that the people using this accusation are uncreative muggle troglodytes – quite often they have perfectly creative outlets of their own. They’re just more commonly accepted things that I find impossibly dull but which – and this is important – I never sneer at them about.

But to be honest, this isn’t really about me. I’m big and hairy enough (as folks used to say back in the Good Ole Days) to handle a bit of playful metaphorical noogieeing. Pretty sure my self-confidence is up to the task and I’m not going to whine about my poor hurt feelings.

I do, however, see this accusation tossed around and yeah, sometimes it bugs me. Whether or not it’s even true of the people it gets said to, it bounces back on the accuser and makes them look shitty.

Come up with something less stupid to say.

End public service announcement.

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The Trump Documents

Day 58. 98 pages, 48,984 words.

Today, the Onion outdid themselves.

The video played live on Facebook (it’s a new feature, or at least I finally have a phone capable of handling it), and then linked to a resource page where … just staggering amounts of work has been put into some of the most surreal satire I’ve seen in a long time.

conwaybannon

It truly is a golden age for satire. Also, quite possibly, the last days of the human race. But oh well.

Okay, not much time to do anything today, but this had to be shared. Well done, Onion. Well done.

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The Dark Crystal

Day 57. 91 pages, 45,216 words.

So, it seems that Netflix is going there. And by “going there”, I mean “getting all up in The Dark Crystal and doing stuff.”

Now, I’m slightly concerned but not all that upset by this. I was excited to see that Netflix had snaffled up Danger Mouse and Inspector Gadget, but was underwhelmed by their attempt to resurrect them[1]. And, to be fair, Danger Mouse was always just five minutes of silliness before Doctor Who came on anyway, they might as well reboot Bananaman[2]. Wump, however, seemed to find the reboots quite fun even though they didn’t have anywhere near enough horses, unicorns, pegasuses, unicorn pegasuses, and butterfly centaur horse unicorn fairies in them. Wump has a very specific set of requirements for a television show to be considered good.

[1] And seeing new Inspector Gadget episodes just succeeded in finally making me realise that I had absolutely no idea what Gadget actually was. Was he a person with augmentations? Was he a full-on robot? He had a niece, so … dear God, it’s horrifying. He was a tortured parody of life and his clumsiness was clearly a not-even-subconscious attempt to end his own suffering. He should have been allowed to die.

[2] No, seriously. They should. Oh wait.

And that’s all fine. I don’t think film or television creators have an obligation to satisfy the now-aging kids who watched earlier iterations of movies or shows.

But let’s keep it real. Wump loves The Dark Crystal, and she’s not a nostalgic thirtysomething, sitting with her arms folded and lips pursed as a heartless money-mill reboots her cherished childhood memories. She’s still six goddamn years old. So I’ll be taking my cues from her on this.

I loved The Dark Crystal too, it’s right up there with Labyrinth, Willow and The Neverending Story as a movie that shaped my imagination as a kid. And Henson’s work is so amazing. Just a single slow-pan across a fantasy Henson forest shows you caterpillars and flowers and eyeballs on stems and … just so much stuff. And it’s all made from practical effects. And it’s not even the point of the scene. It’s just Henson creating a world for his characters to be in. It makes Avatar look stupid.

avatar

Which, you know, it kinda was. I liked it, but it kinda was.

I’m heartened to see Netflix is teaming up with Henson’s company for this. There seems to be plenty of non-computer work going into it, so with any luck it will be a faithful addition to the world, and a fun prequel – and I have to admit, this was one story I have always wanted to see more about. And Netflix seems to do better (in my arms-folded, lips-pursed thirtysomething opinion) with live-action stuff than it does with animation revivals.

Now, I think I’ll go back to my Internetting and wait for the first reviews of Twin Peaks to start rolling in. It’s meant to be starting on HBO Nordic tonight. Apparently Twitter’s already boiling.

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Extreme Wump

Day 56. 85 pages, 42,550 words. Weekend flatline. But the last couple of days of last week were awesome, I got so much written I actually see a gap between the data dots on the graph! Never mind. Anyway, getting the hang of Part Two and have it mostly mapped out.                 

Not sure what was meant to be happening today. I think we’re taking Wump to participate in an Extreme Run for kids? Something like that? Toop will be watching from the sidelines with us.

Follow-up: Wump aced it, competing with kids 1-2 years older than her because of Finnish age grouping methods, came in middle of the pack with no parental help. Hell of an obstacle course, and she did some adorable training yesterday by building her own course at home. Fun day out, now just chilling out at home and getting ready to sauna.

dav

Oh no! Participation medal! If I know my Internet, this is going to turn her into literally the worst millennial ever.

Meh. I have nothing to add for today. Pre-writing this anyway, and starting to feel like I might be coming down with a cough. Ah well.

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Restaurant Day

Day 55. 85 pages, 42,550 words. Weekend flatline.

Well heck. Today we’re dropping Wump off at a church arts & crafts & socialising day[1], and after we’ve dropped her off there we’re going to cruise over to Jenky’s Café for another fabulous Restaurant Day event involving Pie Witch pies. We shall scoff pies, and we shall scoff tea and scones with jam and cream, and we shall scoff cookies, and then we shall pick Wump back up and head to a friend’s new place for the one-week-later kids-friendly version of a housewarming, which should be fun and may or may not also include food.

[1] I’m still deeply ambivalent about these events and the stuff she comes home with in her head, but I like the way they arrange these events and there’s nothing wrong with further developing circles of friends and social skills, which is what this is about. At least Mrs. Hatboy is getting something from her tithe. I trust my daughter to be smart, like her mother (and, I like to think, her father), and make up her own mind about things – and ultimately it comes down to whether or not you are a good person, not what you believe. I’m pretty tired of the ugly bigotry on every side of this question, if you must know. So this is me, letting it be.

After that, I’m not sure. I think we’ll just roll home and go to bed. Who knows?

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Rick and Morty

Day 54. 85 pages, 42,550 words.                       

I came very late to this show, but now I’m waiting with considerable anticipation for season 3 to hit Netflix. It started weirdly, and it has a strong seam of absolute stoner humour that you probably need to appreciate in order to make the show worth watching, but I guess I’m lucky there.

Man, talk about a perfect mixture of adult cartoon, science fiction geekery, interesting world- and character-building, and some of the most savagely witty and thought-provoking writing I think I’ve ever seen in a cartoon.

And that’s taking into account shows like Futurama, which is brilliant but just can’t get as dark as this.

Highly, highly recommended to all viewers who enjoy slightly surrealist levels of science-fiction intensity, a bit of violence and swearing in their cartoons, and oh yeah, are hopelessly fascinated by train-wrecks in human form.

peptalk

I now need this colour-printed in higher quality so I can hang it on the wall of Bar Äijä’s.
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Performance Review

Day 53. 81 pages, 40,066 words.                       

Today I have my first annual performance review. Yes, as of next week I will have been at Planmeca a whole year already.

It really has just flown by, but I guess time has a habit of doing that, when you’re busy as a worn-out and mildly-offensive stereotype in a hackneyed simile. I’ll always remember my first week at the new job as the week my balls were about twice the size they were meant to be and throbbing with agony due to a post-vasectomy infection.

Good times.

Anyway, I’ll continue this after my review.

[comes back 15 minutes later]

Yep, that went well. I love a performance review that’s booked for an hour but is done in quarter of an hour. I even managed to raise a few language validation and QA suggestions. Not bad for a first round.

Right, lunchtime.

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