Monday, 17 January 2011

2011, and all that that means

… and a place in the winter, for Di-hig-nity...

It’s been weird this year, so far. I’ve not been doing the usual things I do, and yet the more things have changed, the more they’ve stayed the same.

I went to Blighty for the holidays. I never do that. I avoid England because there’s nothing to see there. There are people, granted, but I know most of the places and, let’s be honest, I’m not going there to sight-see, am I? And the places - I know them but they’ve changed. They look the same on the surface, but they’re nothing like they used to be. But then again, neither are the people.

I bought a computer. Last time I did that was about three years ago (not counting 1812, my failed ninja project). Still got the three-year-old. Jarvis, my ever-faithful iMac, now has a fellow clan member in the form of Billy, my eleven inch MacBook Air. They get along fine via Bluetooth and memory stick, and between them they take up most of my time. Like I said, things stay the same.

… In that they change. Now, instead of freezing my arse off in my small room (that belongs to Jarvis), I can be found on my sofa, using Billy to read and re-read stuff I’ve written. In fact, Billy has kind of become my third hand, seeing as he’s always attached to my original two. Even JT, my iPhone 4, is starting to give him shifty, possessive looks. She’ll get over it, I know. After all, PCCW can’t make the wi-fi modem work, so only Jarvis is hooked up to (cabled) Tinternet right now. All Billy can do is look on with wistful sighs as I shut him down to go use Jarvis for all Tinternet shite. It’s a shame, but then, Jarvis is quicker, more powerful and pretty much the real brain in my house flat, so it’s only right. And he’s where I’ve spent hours on Photoshop - mostly swearing and cursing at the bloody thing crashing or just plain refusing to work on me. Yes, the ‘known issue’ of Photoshop Elements 8 not letting Mac users change the frame delay on animated gifs is more than a little annoying. So is its refusal to let me resize or rotate layers without first shifting them in some direction by a few pixels. There is a lesson in all this: why did I bother paying for a legitimate version of PE8 when I should have stuck with my cracked, pirated version of CS4 that always worked? Ah well. I shan’t be wasting my money on another Photoshop product. Adobe fall into the Ben Kenobi category of effective teaching styles.

Cafepress. They’ve also incurred my wrath this afternoon - trying to work out why products don’t show up in your own shop is just a little vexing, especially when you’ve read the ‘help’ pages that don’t seem to pertain to your version of a shop. Then again, they were really fast (a matter of hours) in answering my direct e-mail for help. If only the information they e-mailed me were available in the help section to begin with, they wouldn’t get so many mails bitching about the same subject - I’m willing to bet. Still, mystery solved. It’s all sorted, and a lot more quickly than I’d anticipated. Go team Cafepress.

So I sat on the sofa tonight - oh alright, lounged on the sofa - and watched some telly via Billy and a Moshi Mini Display Port to HDMI adapter, and my nice big telly, Tosh (you get to guess what make she is). And the funny thing was, the two programmes I watched were both from my secondary school years. First was ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’, with the real, actual Holmes playing himself. For some reason, no-one was supposed to know, so they billed him as Jeremy Brett and kept up the pretence for the entire series. Granada tried very hard to fool people into thinking they hadn’t simply borrowed the TARDIS from the Beeb and whisked him forward in time to play himself, but I saw the signs and I’ve witnessed his little slips with my own eyes - gotcha, Mr Holmes. But don’t worry; when I tell people this they don’t believe me, and simply assume I’ve been on the vodka.

Which is odd, because I haven’t been. Been out to dinner with friends, and haven’t actually felt like drinking. Still haven’t been to a single pub quiz this year, and I’m getting withdrawal symptoms. Must make it next week.

Anyway, point was (when I can get to it), the other show was ‘The Pretender’. Used to love it back in the day, and now I’m watching it again and wondering how I forgot so much. Mostly to do with the fact that, while Jarod is perfectly innocent and lovely (in a Sam Tyler kind of way, meaning I could never give him one), he’s also a complete fucking psycho whose ee-vil face is proper fru-its of the dev-il and he honestly can kill people with his brain - it’s just that he wants to torture them by snaring them in some overly-elaborate yet excruciatingly agonising plan mirroring their own misdeed. He’s ace. And then I look at the fact that I’m watching both TV series via a cable sticking out of a brand spanking new MacBook, and marvel at the distance and time between now and when I first saw them, live on real telly. So much has happened in the time that feels so long, that I really have to just stop and think about it, mentally pick through all the highs and lows. And then I realise there’s just too much and I have to say ‘fuck it’ and leave it alone. Such is the way of all things memory.

Cleverest IT Guy password-cracked some old - nay, fucking ancient - Word files of mine this week, and I found the Holy Grail of Where It All Began, my own original book-wise. All the facts I thought I had in my head, all the back-story and history I thought existed nowhere but my own little nutshell of a brain, had actually been set down on virtual paper by me a over a decade ago. Reading them again was a weird experience; the sentences were mine, the characters remarkably unchanged from when I turned them into real people in the latter half of 2010, the storylines exactly as I knew the foundation to unfold. But I don’t remember having written it down.

Perhaps, at the time, writing wasn’t important in the Grand Scheme of Things. Perhaps, at that time, I had a life and other things that kept me occupied. Which means I was writing, but not really obsessing over it.

How things have changed. I coast along in my job - so that I can concentrate on writing when I get home. I get home late Saturday night but stay up later - so that I can read through what I’ve written in the week. I own an iMac and a MacBook - so I can use MacSpeech Dictate to get things down. It’s fair to say that writing is pretty much my obsession, and even distractions like TV shows and work won’t always be in the way. And so it goes.

And so do I. This post, my first for 2011, has been longer than I’d anticipated. I was supposed to say ‘oh, nearly broke my foot but we’ll find out if it’s just a sprain when I’ve had an X-ray later this week’, but obviously I needed to get a few things off my chest first.

So that, my friends, is all the news that’s fit to print. At least for now. Soopytwist.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Camera Obscura said...

I hope your foot is okay and that you have a bloody happy birthday.

Soupdragon said...

Ay thank yow! It's been alright apart from hobbling around like Kevin Spacey, LOL. Cheers!

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