Derik Badman's Journal

2019-07-08 08:08

Spent our third night in a row at ███ and ███'s last night for dinner (veggie blts and sweet potato fries). We've been rewatching Veronica Mars season 3 in anticipation of the new season starting next month. Even on a probably third time through, I'm impressed by the plotting. The writers manage to keep a season long mystery going alongside various mysteries of the week and various interpersonal drama of the main characters. In all three seasons the pacing is well done, you don't feel like they are treading water or rushing through the main mystery. This is in rather sharp contrast to a lot of other more recent shows that seem unable to pace out a season long arc even for a shorter 13 episode season (like the various Netflix Marvel shows). It feels like (I have not read anything to confirm this), that the writers planned out the whole mystery more like a novel before they started work on the season, though I imagine, at the time, that was not how the show would have been written and filmed (I think at that time they would have been filming later season episodes as earlier ones were first being run). Even in the first episode of season three you can see some of the clues to the solution of the mystery. The season 3 mystery about college rapes feels all too contemporary, though one wishes the writers had done a better job portraying the college feminists, who especially early on, come off as a little too comedic.

I was actually awoken by my alarm this morning at 6:30, a rare occurrence as I usually wake myself up in time to keep it from going off. Odd as I didn't stay up that late. I was shuffling between three books reading in bed before sleeping. Primarily I'm trying to finish up Walden x 40 by Robert B. Ray. Like his books on film I've enjoyed (The Avant-Garde Find Andy Hardy and The ABCs of Classic Hollywood) it's composed of short essays organized alphabetically by the thematic word, but this time it's all about Thoreau's Walden. I've been enjoying reading it in small chunks over the past week or so, and like effective critical essays it's making me want to reread the object of study. It's been awhile since I reread Walden, as I've tended to get more engrossed in Thoreau's Journals than his published work.

I've also started reading a verse translation of Lucretius' On the Nature of Things which is a little slower going. It's translated into rhyming couplets and I still have trouble reading rhyming poetry in a way that doesn't put too much focus in my head on the line endings and rhymes. I find it reads smoother if I let the rhyming be de-emphasized and focus more on the more natural pauses over the enjambed lines. I don't even remember what got me again wanting to read Lucretius, but after deciding that and picking which translation I thought would be best, I ended up finding the exact one used in a bookstore in Northampton when we were up in Mass the other week.

My third read is a reread of Mark Greif's Against Everything a collection of essays that I really enjoyed when I first read it at the end of last year and as soon as I finished decided I would need to reread sooner rather than later. So far it is not disappointing with it's early essays on food, exercise, and society's sexualization of youth. Most of the essay come from n+1 one of the few magazines/journals I subscribe to in print.

It's a grey overcast sky for this Monday. I made myself an egg sandwich and watched part of an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine over coffee. After many recommendations, ███ was watching the pilot episode the other day when I went over for lunch (to get out of the house while the cleaning lady was here), and then I ended up watching more later when I was looking for something casual to watch over lunch. This is probably my... fourth? at least third time restarting the series, still my favorite of the Star Trek's and the only one I've managed to watch fully through more than once. It's attention to larger plot lines amongst all the problem of the week episodes always attracts me (yes, that is a theme in my television interest when a series is not a hyper-focused modern single plot series).

I sat down to start work in my office and decided to try writing now. I need to get myself on some kind of schedule again. It used to be I'd spend time making comics before I started work, but then as my work pressure/stress increased I started just beginning work earlier and earlier in the morning until all I was doing was getting up and working. I think over the past years (!?) I've really started to feel that in my stress and my happiness levels. I end up feeling like work is all I accomplish in a day. I'd like to be able to do other creative activities at night, but by the time I've worked, made dinner, etc. I tend to not be at my best for writing, drawing, etc. Maybe if I really try I can set aside some time in the morning each day. It's already been almost half an hour just writing these paragraphs.

Also it's Lianne's and my anniversary today: number 13.