Monday, 26 December 2011

Halfway out of the dark

So, apparently it was Christmas yesterday or something. I got series 6 of Doctor Who and some other stuff. OK, it's not that I don't care about my Christmas presents, it's just that I don't want to talk about them at this point in the post. I only bring up the DVDs because the post title is a quote from last year's DW Christmas special, which I rewatched earlier. Y'know, linking Christmas to the Winter Solstice. I rather like the turn of phrase, and it's kind of applicable to me as well, though not to this blog.
So, yeah, the blog event here is that this is my 50th post. Milestone! And this is why the title doesn't apply to it. Because while it would be nice to say I'll be out of the dark by post 100, I really don't want to try and predict or promise anything. Also, that would imply my first 50 posts were going through the dark, which they weren't really.

OK, so the dark here is figurative for me having various issues, which is one of the reasons I became rubbish at blogging regularly. The other main reason, ironically, was that I wanted to improve this blog. Because I wanted to improve it, I made it rubbish by not posting anything.
Because, you see, 50 posts. That's pretty big as far as I'm concerned. I wanted to do something special. Kind of revamp the look of the blog. Because while the space-y background is kinda cool, I'd rather have something more fitting to me and the ideas behind the blog. So I was going to draw some stuff. I still intend to, but I didn't want to put this off any longer. Once I'm past my milestone, I can just post whatever I like, and hopefully I'll get to doing those drawings and changing the look sooner or later, or at least before I hit 100 posts. So hopefully the current background will soon enough be replaced with the fruits of my dubious Inkscape skills, in the shape of dinosaurs (Who are me), spaceships (Which are not me), a singing mouse on the road to Hell (Who is me), maybe a pocketwatch (Which is me), and me (Who is, surprisingly enough, me) with a variety of boxes on my head. Also the boxes. Hopefully it'll look decent. If not, I can always give up or ask someone with artistic talent to do it for me. But I'd like to do it myself if I can.
Also meaning to rejig the post tags, possibly add some static pages to help navigate things and to help out confused new readers (Just on the offchance I acquire some from somewhere).

So, yeah, anyway. Since I started this blog a fair amount has happened in my life. I'm not going to talk about all of it, but a sort of general update along those lines was one of the things I had in mind for this post, so let's see...
..trying to think of things I haven't actually posted about on this blog anyway... I would seem sort of redundant to say I'd been in *counts* 6 shows since starting this, since I blogged about all of them when they happened.
Um, I turned 23? I got closer to some friends, drifted away from others. I failed to find a job, leading to something of a nagging feeling of inadequacy? Maybe I should come back to that later.

I got much more into following assorted youtubers. That's definitely a thing. I think I've mentioned in other posts (Sidenote in case  you weren't aware: while I think my posts through fairly thoroughly before writing them, afterwards I forget most of the details) that I could potentially see myself becoming at least a bit of a video blogger? But that I'd likely stick much more to text-blogging on here, just supplemented by videos. I still feel like that, but the draw of youtube is becoming stronger. While even a few months before I started blogging the concept just woul've seemed like something I would never do. It's interesting to note myself changing still, despite having reached a point in my life where I feel like I'm not really going to change that much (Though I'm pretty sure I've felt like that before...)
Also, coming to the realisation that, regardless of how bad I may be at regularly updating with stuff, blogging really is something I'd like to do more - hence why I want to spruce everything up a bit. Hell, if I could somehow manage to get myself paid to blog, that'd be amazing, because I do really enjoy this. Plus then I could describe myself as "professionally opinionated".

We're veering back towards how I want to possibly change up the blog a bit, but that's really what I want to mostly end on, so let's get back to my nagging feelings of inadequacy.

Quick point before I get into any of this: I do not want your pity. I don't know if I'll evoke your pity, because I don't know what I'm going to say yet, but regardless, I don't want it. I'm OK with support, helpful advice (So not obvious stuff that I already know), and/or possibly a kick up the backside to get me moving (Preferably not a literal, physical one).
Anyway. So. I don't have a job. It's hard to find one. I've been gradually screwing up my sleep pattern of late, and spending an inordinate amount of time playing video games. I don't want to get into talking about video game compulsion here - that's to be a separate blog post. But yeah. I kind of feel like my life has mostly been slowly falling apart, and I don't think being aware of this potentially self-destructive direction really makes it any better. I mean, sure, I'm still in control, and being in control is good. But on the other hand, that means I'm continuing to do these things despite knowing they're bad ideas, which begs the question "Why?" And I don't know if I really have an answer.
I mean, I put on a decent show of not being a total wreck. I'm fine in what social life I have - G&S rehearsals, the occasional chess match (Though admittedly sometimes I'm distracted and make terrible moves and lose to small children), parties, etc, these I can deal with. I guess this is another reason I don't want pity, and also why I don't generally want to get into this too much - in those contexts, I am still fine. I would rather maintain that fine-ness untainted. Having these parts of my life which still definitely work will help me feel better about working through fixing the parts which aren't so great right now.

And I am kind of trying to claw my way back towards productivity and stuff. Making that clear, just in case you were getting depressed/bored/exasperated with how useless I apparently am. Iam working on dragging myself out of this pit I've dug myself into. Hell, this post is kind of an indication of that. Blogging may not seem like the most productive thing I could be doing, but it's all about the mindset, and this is good for my mindset. This is why I could kind of describe myself as "halfway out of the dark". And this is what I don't want to make promises or predictions about. All I can do is take things as they come. Sort out one aspect of my life, then another, and another, until things are good again. This may take a while, and since blogging seems to be the first thing I'm going for here, and knowing how much I can blog if I really get into it, I really don't want to set myself a deadline in blog posts. If I get too into it, I have to actually rein myself in to avoid writing more than one post a day.

So, yeah, OK, enough about the depressing aspects of my life. More about what I'm going to be blogging about. I realised an issue I have. One of the things I kind of want to be doing is reviewing, or at least commenting on books, films, TV series, games etc. But here's the problem: I hate giving people spoilers. So, I have made some posts like that, taking great care to avoid spoilers. Games are easier, since the plot is not the msot important aspect of most games - the gameplay is. The other things, though? Stories. They're hard to really give my full opinions on without giving some spoilers.
So, I'm not 100% decided what I'm doing about this. I may end up making two posts about such things - one spioler-free, one with spoilers. And give suitable warnings, of course, so people can avoid the spoiler-posts if they want. do it all in one post, but mark off spoilers, so people can skip over them if they want. Or I might just take advantage of things old enough that I don't care about spoiling them. Maybe a mixture of the three, depending on circumstances. Well, I know I'm definitely doing some of the third. I was rather happy with my post about The Once and Future King, for all I fear it may have provoked a tl;dr from some readers. And why? It's the Arthurian legend. People know the gist of it pretty damn well at this point. I didn't have to worry about spoilers. There are other things like this. Of course I do it with Gilbert & Sullivan. I'd do it with Shakespeare plays. Because not only do a lot of people already know the storylines, it doesn't matter if they do, because the events are not the most important thing in any case. The most important thing is how they're presented. How TOaFK is written, and gets across the emotions and the characters. How the operettas and plays are performed by the actors, and again, get across the emotions and the characters.

On the other hand, there are also things where the story does matter, but people know it well enough that I don't really care about spoiling it at this point. For my big example of this, I have to bring up one of my other ideas - projects. I am retroactively dubbing my abortive NaNoWriMoWroMo as a project (Incidentally, I almost did NaNoWriMo, signed up for an account, then slacked off because I'm lazy), and deciding to do more projects. That is, basically looking at things more in-depth over multiple posts, because if I tried to cram all my thoughts into a single post either I would be leaving out important detail (An idea which is fairly abhorrent to me, as anyone should know who has ever talked to me about film adaptations of books) or the posts would be obscenely long, even by my standards. So, divide them up, take my time, pad my postcount, and so on. So here announcing one of my next projects - I am going to take a fairly in-depth look at the Harry Potter series. Books and films. Spoilers will abound, because really, I think if anyone hasn't read/watched them by now, I'm pretty sure they don't actually care. Thinking about it, while it's bad that I delayed writing this post so long, it's actually kind of convenient, because we now have all the films on DVD, in the house, so I can rewatch them easily - indeed I can rewatch them on my laptop, and make notes/write my blog post while watching.

So, yeah. Those are the main things content-wise. I also have an odd idea about categorising my posts. Three categories - Dinosaur, Mouse, and Box. Dinosaur posts are ones where I'm talking about a thing - a book, a film, a game, whatever. Box posts are where I'm talking about a type of things - books in general, films in general, games in general, etc. Mouse posts are where I'm talking about things that are abstract/conceptual (Not sure if either of these words is quite right but hopefully you get what I mean), like love, religion, etc.
Or, to put it another way:
Dinosaur posts are me talking with a particular box on my head.
Box posts are me talking about what's on the box, and what I am when I put said box on my head.
Mouse posts are me saying what I think about interesting ideas/concepts. But I'm just a singing mouse on the road to Hell. What do I know?

Let's see, anything else... I think the point where my posting rate really started to go downhill was around the Steam Summer Sale, because I was originally thinking of putting some general update on games in this post, mentioning what I'd got in the sale. Now we're into the Steam Christmas Sale... But I guess I could still do it. But actually, I'll put it kind of into a video in which I'll talk about some of the things which I intend to be blogging about in the future (Which will include some of those games).
Having just recorded the video... scratch that. Maybe I'll post about it some other time, or maybe you'll just find out what some of the games I have are when I post about them. No comprehennsive list for you!
Anyway, here's the video:

I'm afraid I rambled a bit. Need to work on not doing that so much.

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