It’s been a while since I last did a proper post.
My only defense is that life in Belfast is rather sedate, and a lot of what I could write about would prove to be either boring, or confidential (for now).
Here are a couple of random bits and pieces, in an attempt to make it look as if the last few weeks have been interesting:
What have I been doing?
Dining: – I finally ate at Zen, a rather upmarket Japanese Restaurant in the heart of Belfast. The sushi was really tasty and it was the closest I’ve come to the Japanese restaurants I frequented in New York and Los Angeles. I plan to go back in the next couple of weeks, providing my wheels within wheels activities warrant it.
Drinking: – Yes, why do you ask?
Writing: – I’ve been doing some writing, but I’ve found that my mind is clouded regarding certain aspects of the current story. Im sure this will sort itself out, but I must guiltily confess that Im rather enjoying the break from writing this has given me.
Taking a Bullet: – I attended a Science Fiction convention, with the specific aim of watching a friend of mine, Eugene, present a rather nifty lecture on quack medicine, which also incorporated demonstrations of various archaic paraphernalia. Eugene clearly loves this subject, and so did the audience, but despite the success of the lecture I cannot help but make a general criticism of the convention itself. I know that this is rich coming from a man who only turned up for an hour and a half on the last day, but the general aura of the convention, including the numbers attending would make my use of the word ‘pisspoor’ an understatement of polite proportions. Given that the GoH list held such people as Robert Rankin, Ian McDonald, Paul Holden, and Glenn Fabry, I would find the lack of actual people (total weekend membership: fifty, and almost all of them either directly connected to the GoHs or to the committee/club itself) at the convention to be insulting to both the guests and to the supposed organizers of the weekend.
Near Death: – A joyrider in a car (much more dangerous than a joyrider on foot) almost had a head-on collision with the taxi I was in late one Sunday night. The upshot of it was that there was a swerve at high speed and said vehicle only just missed us. If that wasn’t enough, it was followed by a police land rover in hot pursuit, who had to make the same kind of emergency dodge in order to avoid us.
The taxi driver nearly had a heart attack, while I remained somewhat ambivalent to it all.
Familial Matters: – I popped over to Dungannon, to see the folks, and so much fun, I found it rather hard to leave.
Reading: – It’s mostly been revisiting ‘Astro City’, as well as ‘The Invisibles’, but I’ve also read my fair share of manga, including more of ‘Iron Wok Jan’ and the third and fourth volume ‘Excel Saga’ (thanks to Carl for pointing me towards this one). I’ve also read the first two volumes of ‘Tuxedo Gin’, and the first volume of Fruits Basket (which is snuggled up to the original Japanese version that I own). Alien Nine: Emulators is next up. I also have several novels that I’m intending to read, but time and will are not in sync just yet.
Music: – I’ve been ripping lots of my anime soundtracks and whatnot and storing them in a great big folder on my laptop. As a result of this, I’ve got almost 1,500 songs on shuffle, with still more to add. To offset this, I’ve also been going through a bit of an 80’s revolution, and right now have reacquired an aural fondness for Depeche Mode.
Well, that’s the past. What about the now of now and the future of later on?
Nihongo: – This coming week marks the end of a Japanese language class that I joined last year. I’ve been doing some self-study for the last couple of years, and found that while I enjoyed it, I wanted a teacher to help me. The final two classes are this Thursday and Friday, and I must confess that I will miss my sensei as she has helped me realize that while my Japanese may be somewhat shaky (I’m by no means proficient), it’s good enough to be understood.
That said, this week also marks the start of a potential Japanese conversation group. It’s just going to be four or five of us in a coffee shop trying out our spoken Japanese, which should be fun if nothing else.
Writers I Want to Pimp: – I was surprised and happy to see Glenn Patterson, my old creative writing tutor, on the BBC News website. He has a new book coming out, which, like a good little bunny, I’ll be purchasing. (And so should you).
One of Those Things: – I’ve made another one of my famous decisions. I’ll talk more about it when the time is right.
Weddings: – A friend of mine is getting married this month – in India no less. This left me rather happy and smiley inside, as last year, when he and she began to date, it was yours truly who wrote the letters of woo.
Right, that should me be up to speed. I’ve mentioned all the more interesting happenings in my life. Now all I need to do is
(an unsuspecting nudge)
- ow! My ankle! Oh, yes. I forgot one thing.
(picks up a red box)
I am now the proud owner of the Renewal of Evangelion. I had meant to buy it when I was in America, but my financial planning made it clear that I shouldn’t be going off and buying toys willy-nilly. Now that several months have gone by and that prudent voice of mine has been sated by my actual fiscal survival, I was able to purchase said box-set.
Everything that people have said about the remastered version is correct – the visuals, the audio – it’s like a completely different show (bar the fact that it’s exactly the same, but – aww, you know what I mean).
As a taste test, I did a comparison between the first seven minutes of the first episode, Region 1 against the Region 2 Renewal, and I was left speechless. The End of Evangelion, it should go without saying, is spectacular to the point of distressing.
Thanks to this, and the other nuggets above, Im a really happy guy right now.