January 31, 2016

31:01:2016

I bought a present today. Not for me, but for one of my people, one of my tribe. It doesn’t have an event attributed to it yet but I’m sure it will, in time. This is a habit I picked up, I’m sure, from my Mum, who buys Christmas presents all year round, especially if there are sales on, so that by the end of the year all of us lucky members of her family have a couch load of presents. Literally a couch load. On Christmas Eve a couch would be assigned to each of us kids. We would put our Christmas stocking on the arm of our couch and come Christmas morn we would find our stocking full of chocolates and our couch piled high with presents, meticulously arranged by our Dad to allow the optimum viewing experience. Creeping into that lounge room at some ungodly hour in the morning with my siblings and seeing my couch, seeing my siblings couches, showing one another all the presents we had received, and finally showing them off to my sleep deprived parents in their bed who already knew what all the presents were anyway, is undoubtedly one of my most treasured memories. It created a feeling of joy, unfathomable and unlimited happiness, and magic that perhaps only children are capable of feeling. Either way, today I bought a present.

As I bought this present without an immediate purpose I put it in a box. This box is full of presents for those I love, just quietly waiting for the day when an event or circumstance should arrive where their purpose will be fulfilled, when they will go to their intended individual and hopefully bring joy, or entertainment, or some usefulness to that person’s life. Or at the very least say to that person that I love them, I know them, I think about them, and here’s the proof of that in a physical form. I really like having a box full of awaiting presents. It makes me happy to think that they’re there and that should I die some untimely death, as morbid as that thought may seem, someone would find that box and hand out the gifts to their intended persons, and that amongst the grieving I would be able to give one last round of presents, right when they were needed most. There’s definately a magic in that.

The present I bought was a book, which is a whole other brand of magic, and it’s one so good and so perfect for it’s intended recipient that I almost want to give it to them today. But, while I’m certainly a fan of giving presents for presents sake, I feel like this one is special, and that it’ll wait.

For now I’m off to enjoy a present I received from my girl Holly, seeing a man I’m very much a fan off, Nick Offerman, perform his show. No doubt I’ll tell you about it soon.

Talk soon

Damian

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January 29, 2016

29:01:2016

Something quick today because it is a Friday after all.

I’m currently full of pasta, and I mean full. If you were to cut me I would bleed matriciana sauce. Take a closer look at my flesh and you’d find that at it’s cellular level it’s actually ravioli. My hair is no longer just the colour of freshly cooked spaghetti, it is spaghetti. If you were to perform the game of operation on me the challenge would be to pull out every single type of pasta. I think you get the idea, I ate too much pasta.

So the something quick I have for you today is a trailer for an upcoming documentary. I only heard about it today, and by heard I of course mean read-about-it-on-the-internet, but I’m already very excited.

It’s entitled Temple Of Art, and it’s described as “A documentary that looks at what it means to be an artist, how to fail beautifully, and proceed with courage.” Amazing, right? If that’s not enough to wet your artistic appetites it also features a who’s who of my artistic heroes, inc:
Neil Gaiman
Chuck Palahniuk
Ben Folds
Kevin Smith
Molly Crabapple
David Mack
Amanda Palmer
Dave Mckean &
Grant Morrison
From the trailer it seems to be these giants describing their process and views on being an artist. I’d pay money to see that, and I did. You can too by preordering the movie.

Talk soon

Damian

January 28, 2016

28:01:2016

It was a very full day for me today, mostly due to my continued existence (and doesn’t that get tiring sometimes). It was comprised of such exhausting activities like waking up, eating, and having to move my body from one spot to another. All done in order to complete activities that allow me to get paid. I’m always a bit annoyed by that last one. Not the paid part, that’s lovely, but the having to move part. With the global connectivity of today’s technology it sometimes seems ludicrous to commute everyday in order to sit at a specific computer. I have a computer in my house. I also have a computer in my pocket. In fact my television is also a computer, one that would allow me to do any work related things I needed to were it connected to the right network (and admittedly also watch television). Granted for my job there is more to do than just computer based tasks, but on the average day those comprise maybe a couple of hours work, with the rest of the day spent on the computer.

All this makes me wonder if with the rise of technology there’s an equal rise in people working from home. It seems likely, except for two things. We’re lazy and easily distracted.

Between finishing my course and working full time I had about six months of working very part time, just six hours each weekend. As there are one hundred and sixty eight hours in the week that leaves me with a lot of free time. Maths. While I didn’t have a paid job in this time I did have a self appointed job, screenwriting. I would work not only at improving my writing but also at trying to worm my way into the biz. I did not however achieve either of these two things. I did instead watch a lot of television, read a lot of books, and weed most of the garden. If that last one seems odd just remember that procrastination can take many forms.

I think the problem may be that there was no punishment for these incomplete tasks, other than the disappointment in myself for not achieving my goals, and this was easily fixed with chocolate.

In fact I’ve managed be a lot more proactive in that field since I’ve restarted full time work.

I’m not sure if I’m leading to a point here other than I’m pretty good at disproving my own original point of view, or, that if I ever do work from home there needs to be a bigger punishment for procrastination than failed dreams.

Maybe I should just continue to ride to work.

And on the topic of procrastination here are some wonderful things the internet passed across my eyes today:
+ A short animated video from TED-ed about how and why our internal organs are asymmetrical. If you haven’t seen these TED-ed videos before prepare to get hooked.
+ An exceptionally cool and most importantly free online course about writing comics. It includes classes on defining comics, comics relationships, time and space, layout and grid design, and how to thumbnail. It starts in February, I’m going to be doing it, and did I mention it was free?
+ And finally this outstandingly hilarious video entitled Anyone Can Quantum featuring Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves, and Stephen Hawking. It’s so very funny and clever it’ll have you asking yourself why haven’t these three been in a video together before? 

That’s all the words from me today.

Talk soon.

Damian

January 27, 2016

27:01:2016

Hello from Brunswick Manor, by which I mean the three bedroom I live in located in inner city Melbourne. It’s hot and muggy here and we’re on the cusp of a stormfront that has been making it’s way toward the city all day. I’m hoping it’ll break soon just so we can get some relief, it’s feeling too amazonian for my tastes at the moment.

If I seem somewhat melancholy today that’s because I am. Something happened last weekend that crushed me. I lost a good friend and constant ally, someone who had been by my side or on my lap for the past five years.

My macbook pro.

It was by no means the perfect bit of machinery. It roared softly like an angry cat whenever it got overheated, the screen never seemed completely free of dust no matter how many times I cleaned it, and one of its speakers no longer worked. But it was special, and it was mine.

Together we wrote stories, drew comics, created websites (such as this one), listened to music, and watched movies. It helped me download tabs so I could play songs on my guitar, find recipes so I could cook new and delicious meals. With it I completed a masters, bought plane tickets and accommodation to travel the globe, and interacted with a digital world. It allowed me to contact the people I love when they were far away, write to them, talk to them, smile at them as they smiled back at me. It quite simply helped me organise my life, both work and play. It will be missed. It will also be replaced. I sure there’s a moral there if you’re in the mood for one.

However much I’m mourning my laptop I’m also that one that killed it. I was visiting my friend Gabe, at his beautiful new place in Kew, together with our friend Sean (who’s so nice I refer to  him as nice-guy-Sean), and the three of us were having a writing day. We all met while doing the screenwriting course and have been working on a web series for the past few months. Little did I know this would be the last writing project my poor macbook would work on.The day was going well; we had managed to whip our pilot episode script into shape with a collective pool of jokes and Gabe’s hard fingered typing, and weren’t too far from a well earned break. That’s when I made a decision that would end a life; I decided to charge my laptop. In order to reach the outlet I moved to the other side of the table, stretched my charger from my laptop to the wall, and plugged it in. In doing so I had trapped myself between my stretched out cable and Gabe’s chair. I tried to step over the cable. I failed. I accidentally pulled the cable, the laptop came with it, and it hit the floor hard. Being the nice guy that he is Sean asked “Is it alright?” It was not. My desktop picture of a panda climbing a tree showed up briefly in a sickening display of purple and greens before the screen switched to a hazy collection of greys. The irony that through the act of trying to extend my laptop’s life I instead killed it is not lost on me.

Luckily however through a HDMI cable, a connector, my TV, and an external hard drive I was able to transfer my life off of the hard drive. The repair costs however would be over a thousand dollars and for that price I can buy a new one, which I will, once the mourning process is over.

Bring on the storm, it suits my mood.

Talk soon

Damian

January 25, 2016

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It’s Monday again, it seems like only a week since that happened. That’s how you start a blog, with a joke that’s not quite good enough to even be a pun. Alright, let’s get into this.

No blogging was done by yours truly over the weekend, mostly because the person who shared a womb with me (AKA twin brother Jonathan) is back by my side once more. However don’t let that make you think writing wasn’t done. It was, but we’ll get into that later.

First I want to tell you about a game. This game, as yet unnamed, was invented by the very same womb-sharing Jonathan who’s back in the country, the lovely lady Holly, and myself – and was invented almost two years ago to the day, on the Australia day of 2014…which for any potential non-Australians out there in internet land, is January 26th, also, tomorrow.

It’s a drinking game/social experiment that goes like this: One person in your group makes a post on their social media site of choice; preferably a post that has a wide audience appeal – with the aim being that each person in the drinking group tries to predict what people in your social circles will like, heart, share, comment, or tattoo on themselves your post. With the canny person taking into account chronic social media users, those who would relate to the post in question, and the type of people who would likely be on social media at the time the post is made. Consequences or rewards of the drinking variety are then set in place depending on who, and in what fashion, people interact with the post.

For example, Holly, Jonathan, and myself played this game on the weekend when we went to a bar in Brunswick East called The Alehouse (try their peanut butter and jelly amber ale, it tastes amazingly like rocky road). Jonathan posted a photo of a welcome back message Holly had cleverly made for him using scrabble magnets on our freezer (see below).

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He posted this photo to facebook with the caption “Holly scrabbled me up a welcoming message – it’s good to be back with these two“, making sure to tag Holly and myself in it in order to reach a wider audience. We then each nominated five people who we thought would ‘like’ the post, one person we thought would comment on the post, and a ‘wildcard’; someone we nominate to interact with the post who is a more risky option i.e. someone who doesn’t use social media a lot, sporadically, or who is on the fringes of our social circle but still a friend on facebook – a wildcard. We then agreed upon reward/punishments for each other should one of our people like and/or comment on the post. In this case when one of your people likes the post everyone else has a drink, same if your person comments, and if your wildcard comments you have to take a shot. Throughout the day we even strategically liked or commented on the post ourselves to ensure it stays in the newsfeed cycle, and therefore strengthen the chances of our nominated people seeing it and getting a response.

And that’s basically why I didn’t write blog on the weekend.

The end results were shameful. I only had one of my people like it. Jonathan got four and Holly got three, and we had no comments. We still managed to drink a lot though.

As I mentioned the game is as yet unnamed, if you have any ideas for a name let me know.

Talk soon.

Damian

January 22, 2016

22:01:2016

A quick one today I’m thinking, as I probably should start putting more of my writing juices into working on the script.

I say writing juices, I should be saying manic caffeine induced coffee juices. My parents have been drinking coffee since I was in the cradle – probably before too, but I wasn’t around then and to be honest their lives before I existed has basically no interest to me, like looking through a bunch of photos when all you’re really interested in is seeing the ones you’re in, or skyping with someone and looking at the small window that has you in it the whole time. We’re a vain species. Either way somehow it took me until my mid twenties to start enjoying the brown brew. Admittedly I primarily drink mochas which I’m sure the coffee connoisseurs out there may look down upon, crying out with their suffocating coffee breath that it’s basically hot chocolate, which it is, which is why it’s so great. The point is that I’ve finally decided to suckle at the coffee teat, allowing myself to become dependant on it’s sustaining and energizing flow, and I try to direct that buzz straight into writing..I feel like I may have gotten sidetracked.

Back to my script. It’s coming along. What’s coming along more is the ideas for it. The great thing about forcing myself to start a project is that once I do my brain finally says ‘oh, are we doing this?’ and then opens the ideas spigot to a heavy flow. The bad thing about that though is that I usually have trouble getting to sleep as that’s when my brain decides to start batting me with these ideas, like a child who wants to show off a painting they’ve done by shoving it in your face repeatedly, while you’re trying to sleep. Much like with that metaphorical child, I’ve found the best thing to do is acknowledge my brain, pat it on the head, and say good job. By this I mean, use the ideas. Note them down, or write them out completely. As I’m currently forcing myself to write every day, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Furthermore I believe that doing so is the only way to make room for new ideas. I know our brains are this amazing piece of biological technology that has so much space for data that it basically continues inwards forever. I also know I have trouble accessing this data. The hardware’s great but the software is useless. I can see what’s on the desktop, but the rest of the files are buried somewhere deep in the hard drive and I can’t remember what folder they’re in. These new ideas flood the desktop of my brain, clog it up, and stop new ones from arriving. Until I take these ideas, organise, and use them, there’s no room on the desktop for new ones. Alright, metaphor over.

The main piece of news for the day is that my best friend and twin brother, Jonathan, comes home today. He’s been spending the last six to seven months hopping his way over Europe, primarily living and working in London. He’s back home because his close friends, Erica and Brian, are getting married – and to be smothered in hugs by me. Needless to say I’m excited.

I was also in a collision today but that’s a story for another time.

Coffee fueled rant over, time to get back to work.

Talk soon.

Damian

January 21, 2016

21:01:2016

I thought I’d give myself and the rest of you a break from me banging on about my views on writing and simply share with you some cool stuff the internet spewed up today.

First up is the potential news that we could well have a ninth planet…again. Poor Pluto. Coincidentally the guy who led to the demotion of Pluto to a dwarf planet, Mike Brown, is one of two people who have published a paper on this supposed new planet. I say supposed because that’s exactly what it is for now. The possible planet in question has yet to be sighted and is instead inferred by the observed movement of objects in the outer solar system caused by, what they think, is the gravitational pull of a giant planet. If true, this is huge news. Well, sort of. For us, the only known species capable of space travel in this solar system. There are obviously millions of planets out there and and any one planet has about as much relevance as one grain of sand on a beach. But for us it’s huge! It’s all about perspective, isn’t it?

Second is this surgeon’s claim that he has performed a head transplant on a monkey. Not for the faint hearted, but interesting for any one who likes head transplants and/or the movie Face/Off.

Third is actually somewhat writing based. I know, I promised, but, well, it is my blog. Anyway it’s more aimed at my screenwriting friends. That sounds like I’m bragging doesn’t it? But, yeah, I’ve got a lot of friends. The thing is a script for a comic written by the talented Kelly Sue DeConnick. I had a read of this today and I was inspired. Her writing is great. She not only starts by writing a thoughtful and entertaining letter to her artist, but also shares links to images throughout the script as a way of showing what she’s trying to describe. Brilliant. It cuts right to the chase and makes what’s in her head get into our heads as easily as possible. While sharing links in a screenplay is probably frowned upon, it does remind me to use quick real life examples of known things in my writing as descriptions, rather than try to describe it all in detail.

The fourth thing I have to share you’ve already seen. It’s the photo up above that I took of my friend Kath’s dog, Ben. He is beautiful, not only in appearance but also in nature.

Day done, blog done.

Talk soon.

Damian