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Archive for the ‘Observation’ Category

You Can’t Make Me Laugh

October 30, 2015 Leave a comment

Laughing animalSociety has changed a heck of a lot over the last half-century. I suspect we’re missing some element we used to have and that we’ve become more hollow and paranoid as a result. But when I try to figure out the exact cause of this problem, I can never quite put my finger on it. So feel free to download this little bit of rambling about the hints at societal change I noticed from watching different versions of the game show “Make Me Laugh.” You’ll get to hear me flail about and spiral into near-madness as I try to figure it out.

The video I mention near the beginning with John Cleese and John Hodgman can be found HERE.

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The Chromatic Perspective Vortex

March 2, 2015 Leave a comment

Dress2Forgive me, Internet, but I’m going to discuss The Dress. You probably know the one I’m talking about – you know, the one whose colors people can’t agree on. What fascinated me about this recent phenomenon wasn’t so much the optical illusion but the sheer amount of rage people exhibited. And the opportunity this one particular dress has given us to learn about ourselves.

 

JYTJ Episode 064

 

Here, have some links:

Caitlin McNeill’s tumblr post (WARNING! SEEING THIS PICTURE MAY CAUSE ARGUMENTS AND, PERHAPS, INSANITY.)

The Buzzfeed article that ramped up the madness

A neuroscientist weighs in on the dress on NPR

Who the Hell Am I?

October 30, 2014 Leave a comment

or Man’s Crisis of Identity in the Earlier Half of the 21st Century

who-am-iThis one’s a bit different from my normal ramblings, and is much more introspective than usual. I had something of an epiphany the other day after a slip of the tongue at our local Geek Gala that led me to remember something very basic about myself. Something I haven’t thought about for a good, long while, and which gets at what’s pretty much the root of my identity. In this episode, I talk about this realization. I also say “Here’s the thing,” quite a lot.

 

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Time Tightens Its Grip

June 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Mechanical horse jumping over a clockI go on a reflective kickabout and talk about the increasing pressure to do fewer social activities in favor of getting creative work done. This is something that’s been bothering me a lot lately and I decided to talk about it in the hope of relieving a little bit of the pressure. As a result, this episode is a wee bit more serious and soul-searching than most.

 

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Categories: Observation Tags: , , , , ,

Not Everything Sucks

April 7, 2014 Leave a comment

NegativeLet’s have a little chat about negativity and why it’s not as great an idea as it seems.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Nebulous Doom

March 17, 2014 Leave a comment

ClockworkEver get that feeling like the clock in your head is speeding up and the seconds are ticking away faster and faster because you’re not working on something RIGHT NOW? I certainly do.

Incidentally, if you’re curious about the awesome and entertaining Geologic Podcast, which I mention early on, it can be found at http://www.geologicpodcast.com/.

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Observation Tags: ,

Snowpocalyptic Schadenfreude

February 19, 2014 Leave a comment

200px-Snow.svgI was snowed in for a while last week and got to look on as people went mad trying to deal with it. It was as strange as it was entertaining.

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Write or Else!

June 25, 2013 Leave a comment

I’ve been on a crusade of late.typewriter

Well, maybe “crusade” is too strong a word. “Quixotic Jaunt” might be a better description.

The last few months I’ve been focusing a great deal of attention on getting my various projects done, or at least making significant progress on them. To that end, I’ve begun doing this strange thing I once heard about on television called “scheduling.” Apparently, the idea is that you plan to do a particular thing on a particular day at a particular time, and when that moment comes… you do it!

What a crazy concept!

For a good portion of my existence, my process has been: 1) Get an idea, 2) Start working on the idea, 3) Get distracted by a shiny, NEW idea, 4) Repeat steps 2-4. You can see how this naturally leads to an unending spiral of unfinished work.

Enter “scheduling.”

For the first time in my life, I’m actually working on one thing at a time.  And it seems to be working. I’ve started playtesting a game I’ve been writing and I’m about 42,000 words into a novel that I aim to finish by around the end of the month. (Which month, I’m not exactly sure. Probably not this one – but ONE of them, anyway, I know that much!)

I’m stepping things up not only because I desperately want to, but because I feel as though I’m denying my identity as a content creator if I don’t. Writing is a sizable part of what defines me as a person, and it’s about time I jolly well acted like it.

When I think back on every career I’ve ever considered, I realize that those career choices are just excuses to write. I once wanted to be a computer programmer so that I could write the plots of computer games. I once wanted to be an actor so that I could eventually write and perform my own material. I got into theatre because I wanted to write and stage my own plays. I got into broadcasting in the hope that one day I might be able to write and produce my own TV or radio shows.

See a pattern there? When I saw it, things became much simpler. I realized that the best thing for me to do right now is to cut out the middle man and get some actual writing done.HandPen

There’s another reason I need to get busy creating things, though.

I had an uncle who passed away a couple of years ago. He was an amazing actor, writer, singer and teacher – he was a great inspiration to me and is one of my personal heroes. The last time I saw him, he told me that no matter what happens, I *must* write. He knew me very well, and saw me for what I am. So, I’ve taken his instructions to heart.

I write because I must – not just because I’m following an avuncular edict, but because it is who I am.

And to be honest, I couldn’t be happier about it.

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Music by Kevin MacLeod
Categories: Observation Tags: , , ,

Don’t Kill My Buzz, Man!

April 16, 2011 Leave a comment

As you may have noticed from the audio of the monologue at the end of my previous post, I’m a fan of caffeine.

The problem, though, is that the further I creep into that thing which, for the sake of argument, we’ll call my thirties, I find that I’m becoming more a fan of the IDEA of caffeine than the actual caffeine itself.  As I get older I notice that caffeine has a much subtler but more pronounced effect on me than it did in the past.

Back in the good old days when I was ridiculously young and agile and crazy like a jackalope, I would guzzle down caffeinated beverages like there was no tomorrow.  Back then the only real work I did was for a theatre company and the rest of the time I was a professional wastrel. I’d usually stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning regardless of what I’d been drinking that day.  Even so, I’d be able to go to bed mere seconds after I’d had caffeine and not have the least bit of trouble getting to sleep.

While cola, tea and the like were staples for me, they seemed to have little or no effect. But coffee was a different story.  One sip of java and I’d be bouncing off the walls.

Nowadays, if I drink ordinary caffeinated beverages, I seem to get very little in the way of an energy boost from it.  To all appearances, nothing significant happens… until I try to go to bed.  If I’ve had more than, say, a couple of thimblefuls of caffeine in the last few hours, sleep is utterly IMPOSSIBLE.

But one thing has remained consistent, and that’s my reaction to coffee.  One sip of java and I’m bouncing off the walls.  Okay, maybe it takes TWO sips these days, but the effect is the same.

This is how I eventually came to admit to myself that my reaction to coffee is probably a placebo effect.  I came to this realization not too long ago when I guzzled two frappucinos in preparation for participating in the morning show that’s produced at my broadcasting school’s radio station.  The idea that coffee can turn me into a wired and witty cartoon character is so powerful to me that when I drink the coffee, that’s what happens.

But sadly, it’s naught but an illusion.  The truth is that caffeine doesn’t really GIVE me energy.  It just changes WHEN I have it.

Does it matter, though?  We do all kinds of crazy things to motivate ourselves – you only need to see footage of any random sports rally to confirm that.  So why not let me have my fantasy of a magical concoction that throws my personality into overdrive?  If it amuses me and helps me get things done at the same time, I call that a victory.

What this really means is that while I’m not drinking nearly as much caffeine as I did in the old days, I’m more determined than ever to harness my power of self-delusion and use the resulting tide of caffeine-inspired wackiness for the greater good.

So don’t kill my buzz, man!  Don’t rain on my parade!  Don’t repossess my euphonium!  Lest my army of encaffeinated ninjas descend upon you!!

Er… or words to that effect.

Click below if you’d like to hear me read the article:
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Music by Django Reinhardt
Categories: Observation Tags: ,

Publication News

July 11, 2010 1 comment

Hey, folks!

Just wanted to let you know about a few things of mine that are seeing the light of day.

A couple of my monologues were recently published in Main Street Rag, which is a local magazine.  It’s the first time any of my monologues have seen print and I am very excited about that!

Also, the From the Dark Side anthology has just come out.  It’s a charity anthology benefiting Letters and Light – that’s the organization involved with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  So if you’re interested in helping support and encourage new writers, I suggest you check it out.  The anthology includes a short story I wrote quite a while ago called The Looking Glass at Lughnasa, where I kind of put a fey twist on a few of Lewis Carroll’s ideas.

You’ll see the links to both of those in this article and as a new part of the general sidebar on my web site as well.  It’s a really great honor to be included among the very talented writers in both publications and I’m really happy about it!  And I’d be very pleased if folks would go and take a look at them.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.  See you suddenly!

Click below if you’d like to hear me read the article:
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Music by Dave Girtman