Things I never expected to forget

I am feeling rather old and melancholy today. Here’s a list of things I have unexpectedly forgotten:

  • The names of my elementary school teachers
  • My first crush
  • When I decided it was time settle for the life I have
  • What it felt like to run as fast as I can
  • What it felt like to be young enough to not know any better
  • How to be earnest without feeling ashamed and guilty about it
  • The sound of my father’s voice and laugh

If only I’d been a blogger in my youth, then I might remember all these things.


More Gobbos. You Never Have Enough

Miniatures 32-36 – I painted them in a rush last night, trying to get ahead again. I find I don’t like doing anything a little bit each day; I prefer to batch in a couple of hours I guess. I really love these sculpts, but they’re entirely too much work to paint. So many straps and stuff, some of which I didn’t even bother with, as you might see.

I am not sure I like this skin tone color on them. Too late now, but will probably try other colors in the future.



The Gremlins Midnight Conundrum

One thing that has bothered fans of the Gremlins movies (especially the ones that overthink things like me): what exactly defines midnight? It’s not a natural phenomenon. Do gremlins trigger this by reading clocks? What’s the deal? How do you know for sure when they think “midnight” is?

Yes, I know I’m talking about a franchise of movies about malicious green puppets. No, I don’t care.

I realized this past week that I have a solution that circumvents the conundrum entirely. The true solution to the midnight conundrum is that it’s all bullshit–just an old wives’ tale that nobody ever had a chance to disprove. 99% of all Mogwai undergo the metamorphosis into the gremlin life stage. Gizmo isn’t prudent and wise and a picky eater or whatever. He’s just the mogwai equivalent of a caterpillar that refuses to molt and just gets really huge. He’s a genetic freak and he deserves our pity. He will never know the joy of shanking some housewife and cackling like he’s on laughing gas. So sad!

If I weren’t retired as a writer, I’d write a semi-serious take on a world in which Gremlins were a real thing. If Peter Watts can do it for The Thing, I don’t see why I can’t for Amblin movies.


What happens when CGI becomes perfect?

We saw Avatar: The Way of Water today. I don’t think I want to say too much about the movie itself. I think you already know if you are the kind of person who will enjoy a movie like this. Judging from the box office success, most people at least were willing to go sit through it. Personally, I liked it okay, and thought it was an improvement on the first. Sarah called it Toxic Masculity: The Movie and she has a fair point. Teenage boys and their testosterone is apparently a cross-species thing.

The main thing I’ve been thinking about is how seamlessly the special effects work was, and how quickly I forgot I was watching a movie that was almost entirely rendered on computers. As a child of the 80s, I’m used to being able to immediately spot most SFX shots because for the longest time, true verisimilitude was beyond our technical reach. To do CG water in a way that is indistinguishable from reality, I would have thought impossible even just a couple of years ago. Clearly fucking not. The water in this movie absolutely astonished me.

There were still a few seams here and there. Probably some rushed shots. Shots that weren’t able to use motion capture in particular jarred me a bit in places, but it’s a testament to the tech and the craft of the people working on these films that I was able to forget I was looking at CG for 90% of the run time (conservative estimate).

So we’re what, maybe a couple of years out from special effects artists being able to perfectly emulate anything they want, anything the directors and creative team can imagine. We’ve been getting there for a while, but I really wonder what the future of visual arts looks like when this is possible. Is it a good thing? If you had asked me in my animation obsessed twenties, I would have said absolutely. That’s before I learned how soul-crushingly awful it can be to work in that special effects industry.

I can’t help but think about what the human cost is of films like this. It’s not like James Cameron is known for being a great guy to work for. Still – what sights we saw today. How amazing was it that I believed it so thoroughly. An alien world has never felt so real. The sight of the pristine wilderness of it and what the “sky people” brought me to the brink of tears.

I’m grateful for getting to see it. I hope my enjoyment didn’t come at too high of a cost for the workers.


Movies and TV

Watch Poker Face

The new TV show Poker Face on Peacock by Rian Johnson starring Natasha Lyonne, I mean. Not, like, the song by Lady Gaga or whatever.

We’ve watched the first four episodes, and they’re mostly stellar TV. The premise is that Charlie is a cocktail waitress who has a nigh-supernatural ability to tell when someone it telling a lie. You might think that would see her gaining fame and riches, and in some genres, she would. But this is noir, so Charlie’s ability just gets her repeatedly entangled in crime.

These are not whodunnits, even that we watch Charlie prove murders every episode. This is because we see the murder at the start of every episode and we actually are waiting for Charlie to catch up. The emphasis here isn’t on justice, either. Again, this isn’t a detective show. These aren’t whodunnits. This is much more in the tradition or crime or noir.

The writing so far has been far above average for this kind of show and the cast is all-star. Rian Johnson continues to impress the hell out of me. I’m so excited that we get a total of 10 episodes in the season!


Movies and TV

Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday

Let’s pretend I didn’t l just write a post about how I fucked up, okay?

It’s Friday and that comes with great relief. I dove into my work week on Monday still not yet fully recovered from my terrible cold. I think the reason I have such a hard time with colds now is that it impacts my ability to sleep with a C-PAP. So not only am I sick, I’m also under-rested. Anyway, I hit the ground running this week trying to catch up and it’s fried me. I’m having a light morning of admin/meeting tasks and then I’m headed to the couch to rest and recuperate.

I’m really looking forward to watching Poker Face, Rian Johnson’s new TV show. And given that the kid is having a sleep-over, TV will be out of the question tonight.



What does it take to form a habit?

Well. 25 days. That’s how long I went without missing a blog post.

I’m not beating myself up about it. Forming habits is hard, and yesterday was a day of many different tasks, including running my bi-weekly post-apocalyptic D&D game. This week, they met the priestesses of the Temple of Shells. They’re giant psychic eggs that never hatch. It’s a weird campaign. Anyway–

I’ve read books about forming habits and stuff, but I think they’re mostly aimed at younger people. I have found it incredibly difficult at this stage in my life to form new habits. I can practice a task for literal months, then suddenly fall off the wagon.

I used to journal in my Evernote. I went for a year and a half. Then I missed one day, and I haven’t done it in a year! I spent six months doing morning brain training games. I haven’t done it in several months. I don’t even really know when or why I stopped. I actually enjoyed those!

Is this a problem unique to me? The only habits I ever seem to develop anymore are bad ones. The ones I try to consciously develop always require effort, and I’ve yet to really succeed at forming one and putting it on autopilot. I guess I need to read more books about it or something.

I do find repetition incredibly difficult, and I get bored easily doing the same thing over and over. Novelty is what I crave in life. I suppose this trait and my failure to form habits might be related…

I’m cheating and back-posting this one to Thursday. Truth is, I realized I had forgotten to write it while I was in bed last night, so I sketched out this post in my head to post this morning. I’m calling that as fitting. I MAKE THE RULES HERE!

I’ll post another one later today. Hopefully for my six readers, the effect will be seamless…


toddler looking at believe in yourself graffiti

Personal Life

Miniatures for 2023 – 26 to 31

Yep, I’m still painting miniatures. I’m a week ahead of the game, even.

Miniatures 26,27,28 – ooze wizard, sorcerer, and fighter. Miniature 29 – a very jolly mummer with a giant hammer and even giant-er mustache. Miniature 30 – another sculpt of a very cool dwarf fighter. Miniature 31 – a very scary man in full plate. Miniature 32 – a simple city guard archer. Not in the exact order below because WordPress’s gallery block is weird.



Human Society: It’s For the Birds

I’m not really a fan of this whole society and culture thing, and generally speaking, I’d rather not participate.

As it turns out, that seems to be increasingly true for many. So many in-person events seem to be dying off. Our board game nights have a fraction of attendance compared to what they once had. Did the COVID pandemic break something fundamental to our human spirits? Does technology eventually lead to alienation?

I’m no luddite, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that the Internet has gone terribly wrong, and thanks to that, our societies are crumbling. Then again, they weren’t that great in the first place, were they?

Perhaps as an introvert, I should be pleased that civilization is so prepared to make it possible for me to live in relative societal isolation. It’d almost be cool, if I didn’t enjoy the company of smart people so much.