Derik Badman's Journal

2022-07-08 12:59

I took today off at the last minute; I just did not feel like working today, not that I had anything else particular to do. Lianne's been away all week at weaving school, and I've been here without much to do feeling a bit depressed at times. I haven't been working on any projects lately, except a minor change to my character sheet app for our game last week.

I finally shut down Elden Ring and my PS4 on Wednesday, as I kind of feel playing that game too much is detrimental. The whole atmosphere of it is so bleak and while the game play keeps me wanting to return to progress, I also feel like it is a hopeless narrative without any positive npcs or even the expectation that there will be some kind of ending that isn't at best mixed.

I feel like I need to... do something... pick up a regular habit of doing something else. Again I end up back at my lack of focus on one thing. It's work, chores, movies/tv, and reading... the occasional walk... cooking. But I guess I feel like I need to do something else to work my brain or my creativity. I was enjoying doing coding projects but it's also so much like work that I don't always feel like going back to my computer to stare at a screen and write code more. I got some music equipment but didn't get far before I got overwhelmed with trying to figure out how it all worked so I could do more than just noodle on a guitar or bash some keys.

Even writing this journal entry has been slow and scattered.

I have been getting on with my long book reading. Finished Jerusalem on Sunday. The book at times feels like it needed a little stronger editorial hand, but overall I really enjoyed it again. Moore created a wonderful 1200 page evocation of his home town while also explicating this... theory about... synchronous time... I'm too lazy to look up what it's specifically called. That all times are happening simultaneously and endlessly. But moreso than that, the way he collages together this image of his city (Northampton, UK, and more specifically the area of it he comes from) across time, across a variety of characters, using the time jumps to show changes, and generate new perspectives via contrast, is the real beauty of the work. It's a giant love letter.

Since then I've been reading Zola's Germinal, having to this point never read any of his work. I keep thinking I'm going to get bored with it and then he jumps ahead to the next thing and I keep my interest in the narrative. It's a bit of a hard read, as I can't imagine there's a positive outcome for any of the miners and their families, given the times it takes place in.

Have mostly forgotten what I've watched... The Worst Person in the World a few weeks ago, which was entertaining, but in the end felt very banal and empty. I'm not sure what the point of it all was. The most notable thing to me was how much the lead actress's face always seemed to look different, like just by turning her head or a change in the light she almost looked like a different person.

Watched the hour long music video that is Halsey's If I can't have love I want power. I've been enjoying the album a lot since I first got it, and the accompanying movie was a like a lavish video from the old days of MTV where there would occasionally be an extended version of a video for a song that included more than just the song, time before or after the music, to make it more like a "real" movie. In this case it goes for the whole album with sections in between songs and, I think, no points where we actually see anyone performing music (or even singing). The narrative is very dark mature fairy tale-esque with Halsey as some kind of medieval queen who poisons her abusive king husband and then has his baby. It seemed a lot focused on her as a body and her costumes and crazy make-up, moreso than really digging into the story. Which is guess is what you'd expect from such a thing.

Watched the whole thing but got pretty bored with Sam Fuller's House of Bamboo, which I kind of thought I had seen but I think confused with The Crimson Kimono. None of it ever really pulled me in enough to keep me invested in what was going on.

Quite enjoyed Henry King's The Gunfighter (1950) with Gregory Peck as a famous gunslinger who is sick of his infamy and the trouble it brings, just wanting to settle down with his estranged wife and child. It mostly takes place over a few hours and Peck's character barely leaves the bar he sets up in early on. I can see some parallels to how the Hickok storyline is handled in Deadwood, in re the burden of infamy.

I've been scattering bird seed on the porch for awhile now at first just for the doves that are always nearby (though they seemed to have build there nest elsewhere), but it has become a bit of wild nature viewing as time goes on. At least one of the foxes visits regularly to eat the sunflower seeds and gulp down the peanuts. He's always very aware and jumpy, but keeps coming back both in the morning and at night. The catbirds and doves and house finches are back there a lot, as is the little guy with the curved beak that I always say is a brown creeper but might actually be something else [Edit: it's a carolina wren]. There have even now been a lot of sightings of a chipmunk, which have previous to now been very rare over the years, but even just today while sitting here on the couch, I've seen him out there multiple times stuffing his little cheeks with food. Of course the squirrels are always about, and the ground hog makes the occasional visit too.

I've been sitting out on the porch to read (or work on crossword puzzles) a lot since the weather turned nice and the animals often show up for the seed and are shocked to discover my sitting there quiet and still. Some just immediately take off, but the occasional dove or squirrel will take its chances and creep closer to get at the seed. The chipmunk even got pretty close to me the one time.

The other week, sitting out there, I saw something moving in the corner of my eye. Thinking one of the animals was sneaking up on me I turned and discovered it was Buddy creeping along slowly. Somehow I had managed to not get the door shut properly with my arms holding cushion, book, and drink. Thankfully he didn't run off as I got up to grab him. That was his first adventure outside... ever I think, if you don't count trips to the vet in his carrier. Freaked me out, but he seemed pretty blase about it.