And though I had slain a thousand foes less one,
The thousandth knife found my liver;
The thousandth enemy said to me,
'Now you shall die,
Now none shall know.'
And the fool, looking down, believed this,
Not seeing, above his shoulders, the naked stars,
Each one remembering.
--John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

The Asylum Director

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"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." - Russel Baker

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Blood Must Be Shed

Yes, I’m alive. Regardless of the lack of updates on my other site and in this blog, I’m not dead yet. I’m just a little busy and more than a little tired because of all the things on my table that are taking up my time. So, with the prerequisite excuse out of the way, let’s get to the meat and bones of this whole thing.

I just finished reading Haruki Murakami’s Sputnik Sweetheart, an interesting piece. I confess I’d never read any of his work before and I was originally just searching for Kafka on the Shore (another of Murakami’s novels that a friend of mine said would be a good read) but couldn’t find it when I stumbled on this little thing. It was…well, it was beyond my expectations. I’d hardly heard anything about Sputnik Sweetheart, in comparison to Kafka on the Shore and A Wild Sheep Chase. (Okay, I admit it. I was originally looking for The Mammoth Book of Lesbian Erotica and The Mammoth Book of Erotica, okay?!) Of course, as is my habit, I cast away any and all preconceptions about a book as soon as I start reading through the first page. And, frankly, I am quite a happy camper after going through the narrative.

Sumire (the book’s lead but, strangely yet fittingly, not the narrator) is almost an exact reflection of me, when it comes down to personally and certain habits. I don’t like the daytime and find more comfort in the oddities and rampant, imagination-fuelling madness of nighttime, much like Sumire’s feeling of comfort and (I’m not sure about this) familiarity with the early morning hours. She’s a frustrated writer, something I haven’t quite gotten to yet but hope to at some point soon. Right now, I’m just aspiring, nowhere near the necessary point to be frustrated. Somehow, even though I can’t see things from her point of view (we see things through the experiences and memories of her best friend, K) I feel like she and I think very much alike on so many levels. Quite a rare experience for me, being able to relate to a character so much.

The book has reinvigorated my creative desire, added that little fuel needed to fan the fires of writing again and I got off my laziness to get some writing done, starting with this. Murakami is talented in making a plot element so out of place, so outrageous seem so ordinary, so surrealistically and perfectly in-place with the rational world that I’m in awe of it. And, unlike other novels with similar endings, Sputnik Sweetheart has an ending that, despite leaving me rather full of questions that could be easily answered if Murakami ever wrote a sequel/follow-up that used Sumire as narrator, I find no fault in it. Sometimes, you got to accept things the way they are and what happens at the end is something that you accept. You’ll likely have tons of questions about it but you’ll somehow accept it.

Moving on from Sumire and K and Miu’s little tale, time to move on with what’s going on with life.

I’m still at Vocativ. Frankly, the company’s not bad but I miss the people I met at TeleTech. I honestly don’t enjoy spending the whole day with most of my fellow trainees at Vocativ. I don’t seem to be in the same wavelength as they are, almost as if I grew up in a different country than they did. I find it difficult to really relate to most of them and the only ones I feel are even remotely close to my erratic, twisted thought-patterns are Fritzie and Rowan. Granted, it’s not like I dislike them or anything. It’s simply that what they are interested in, what they want, what they see is different from the way I see things. Twice I’ve turned down the chance to go drinking with them, my dislike of beer being the excuse I gave. Truth be told, I just wasn’t interested in it. I don’t like going out drinking and the company wasn’t really a group that I was too comfortable with the thought of getting drunk with. The gang at TeleTech is a different matter. Them I could be more myself with and be more comfortable with but here at Vocativ…I almost always feel isolated in some way. Nothing new. Almost feels like high school again, really.

High school. Not a pleasant experience for me. The cliques, the tight-knit groups that only sparsely let those outside their inner circles in. I shared none of the interests of the males in my batch, felt a little bit odd when relating to most of the girls and the girls that I did feel more comfortable with were part of the ‘N class’ and that meant that they were almost isolated from the bulk of the class population. Even among that group, I only found out too late just how much in common I shared with one of them as long as our interests were concerned. In short, I hated high school and I still do. Some moments were good but for the most part, I’d rather not have to live through all that a second time. No, my college buddies at DLS-CSB and the TeleTech Wave 3.3 were the people I fit in more. Too bad I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with them as I did the groups I didn’t fit in with.

Maybe one of these days, I’ll write a story based on my experiences but that’d feel a little too…absurd to me. Writing characters that are like me, based on me, has never been a comfortable thing to do.

Moving on. In hopes of rekindling some semblance of the old works of mine that really got me going late into the night, defying my body clock and the required hours of sleep to preserve sanity, in writing out the chapters, I’m going back to the genre that I started with…romance. To be specific, romance that weaves in the absurd as if they were ordinary (though I can’t do it as well as others and likely won’t ever get to that level) and trying to blend in too many elements from countless other genres to create something that vaguely resembled a readable narrative. Here’s hoping I can get back to that!

Although I feel that with the combined inspirations of the Saerileth Romance Mod (for Baldur’s Gate 2), the beauty of Sputnik Sweetheart and my re-watching of Hand Maid May, I think it won’t be too hard. I just need to convince myself that a page a day is not a sign that I’m losing my delusion of being gifted with some insignificant measure of writing talent.

Game-wise, BG2 is back on my HD again. The usual stuff has been installed, including Baldurdash, Dungeon-Be-Gone, some parts of Ease-Of-Use, the mod that lets arcane spellcasters learn some divine spells (the name of which I cannot recall). However, unlike before, I decided to forego the famous Imoen Romance due to rumored incompatibilities with the Saerileth Romance Mod, which I’ve been wanting to get a crack at for a while now. So far, I think sacrificing the Imoen Romance is worth it. Saerileth is truly an incredible character and a better romance. Most entertaining stuff.

Currently Playing:

Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn (with Saerileth Romance Mod [highly recommended!] installed)

Still Life

Currently Listening To:

OST – Final Fantasy VIII

OST – Tekken 5

Currently Reading:

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Currently Watching:

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride

The Godfather (1 and 2 but not the crap that was 3)

A few recorded episodes of The Fairly Oddparents and Avatar

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