Derik Badman's Journal

2019-12-29 08:24

I turned 43 today. I don't know if that has any significance. I'm middle aged, guess I have been for a while now. Hasn't yet felt all that different from most other times except feeling more settled in my ways. We always joke that not having kids keeps us feeling younger, but I do think that is true to a large extent: there are no constant reminders of youth or childhood to make us feel old by contrast, and we've been worn less by time and stress.

I wonder at what I have accomplished in the past year. I worked a lot, but I also worked less than the previous year because I tried really hard to not work 10-hour days every day, so that's good. I got this journal started. It's been... I've forgotten how many months, but quite a few and while I haven't made an entry every day I've done a pretty good job. Still feel like I'm finding my method for this so that things I want to write about don't disappear into my memory and time.

I watched a lot more movies this year which was part of my plan to begin with so that was good. I enjoyed a lot of them, and it's good to accomplish a goal you set out to do. Not sure I did much else of note other than the daily walks and cooking and such. I got that one article written for The Comics Journal which I'm proud of, and seems like I'm going to be working on a one or two other things for them.

I did not really draw anything or make any art. I ran some various role-playing games, though it feels that was a lot unsuccessful as far as it goes, but we had fun so I guess that's the success. I didn't get any further with some of the other things I had been working on last year, like my research into doing an ancient Greek d&d setting/zine.

I probably played too many video games or spent too much time on the ones I did play, and I'm still not sure how I feel about that: good enough to keep doing it I guess, but bad enough that I feel like maybe I'd be spending my time better watching a movie or reading a book or writing something, but I'm not sure I can say that is objectively true. It's not like any of those things are really more productive, at least playing a game is a little more active for me than watching something and has been a good way to relax after work.

As usual I don't really have any plans for the actual day of my birthday. Just now, walking back from the co-op with some breakfast supplies to make myself breakfast. I will have to figure out what I want to have for dinner tonight, I'm never very good at the picking out a special meal thing. May just make some tacos or get takeout from the vegetarian Chinese restaurant that we don't get food from very often. Otherwise I will probably just stay home and work on my 5th edition character sheet thing that I've been updating. Maybe I'll watch some other movie. Maybe I'll read my book.

Watched Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir last night, which is another movie that was on some best of year lists for this year. I enjoyed it. It was not totally what I expected from the early parts. It's about this young film school student in the early 80s, and she's dating this guy. It turns out he has a heroine problem. The whole movie is pretty elliptical in the way it is told. We don't actually see how they meet just they're there having a meal somewhere, and he's kind of asking to stay at her place, and they seem to be in a relationship.

She only finds out he's doing heroin when a friend of his is asking her if she's a druggie and since she isn't, how it works as a relationship with the heroin addict. You can tell that to that point she didn't know, but then as the film goes on we never see them discuss it, there's no conflict or fight between them about it, but you can tell that she knows and he knows she knows, and she seems to drive him to places to get his fix. So it's interesting her learning that, in many narratives would be a point of drama and conflict. The story does that a lot throughout the movie, eliding things she would expect to see, avoiding certain tropes you expect to see (I don't think there's a single scene where they have any kind of violent altercation with each other).

And there are parts that kind of remain mysterious. He says he works for the foreign office (this is in London), but I got the feeling maybe he was lying since he's always borrowing money from her, doesn't seem to have a place to stay, and seems to use the nature of his work as a way to hide information from her. But we never get any kind of exposure of that possibility so maybe I just imagined it.

I was really expecting it to all be some kind of swindle and a catastrophe and... while it doesn't end upbeat, it was also less... agressive... than I expected.

It's a all filmed lovely, there are a few shots that have a voiceover reading what seems to be letters from him to her, showing the horizon, grass, some trees, and a lot of cloudy sky. That cuts in a few times as a kind of pause between scenes and then in the very final scene, these big doors open on some kind of warehouse and the camera is inside looking out, and in the gap between the doors seems to be the same landscape we saw in thse intercut voiceover shots. Are those landscape shots some kind of... film she made subsequently?