I got the iPhone 13 Pro. So far, most noticeable improvements are the screen and the camera. The animation is so smooth it's really starting to feel like the things on the screen are real physical things that you can touch. I don't have much to compare because I only use Apple stuff but I love their screens. Everything looks great on them. The stills from the camera are excellent as well. I feel like it's a noticeable improvement from the 12 Pro, which is the first time I've noticed that.
I've been watching Mad Men a lot. It's really incredibly beautiful. I know you're supposed to identify with Don Draper, but I wasn't prepared for how much I would identify with him. Life has changed since the 1960s, but in many ways it really hasn't.
I'm just finished with season 4. One thing that strikes me is how people have always used other people's lives to figure out how they're doing. It's so depressing. I often feel tempted to talk to Charlotte about this show as if these are people I really know, and as if this is something that's relevant right now. "Charlotte, you'll never guess Don is engaged. I know."
That's the mark of a truly exceptional piece of art, in my opinion. It's one thing for reality TV to present real lives to us, but it's something very separate to present fiction so convincing, so real on a meta level, that it's almost disappointing that it's not real.
I'm not an ad man. I'm not a salesman of any kind like Don. But I am Don. The episode I watched today, someone said "I hope she realises that you only like the beginning of things" and god I felt so attacked. Who doesn't like the beginning of things? Everything is so pure and uncomplicated (I refuse to use the phrase "pure and simple" in earnest).
I don't feel like I can honestly describe why I love Mad Men so much without offending someone in my life. It is a truly beautiful, and timeless commentary on society, masculinity, femininity, love, culture, work, family. This is art made by people who can communicate more exposition with a single frozen frame, than many can with seasons of TV. This is something expertly designed to make you feel something, and to question how you treat people, and your attitude to everyone who isn't you. It's designed to show you things that you do, and then show you how stupid those things are. It's really one of the most elegant and compelling pieces of storytelling that I think I've ever seen in my life.
And just quickly in closing. This is a TV show that runs for 7 seasons, about one doomed man and how he almost pathologically hammers nails into his own coffin. The number of times I've said "are you kidding me with this" whilst watching this show, is ridiculous. But also, the number of times I've cried, as Don sabotages his own life, or really profoundly hurts the people around him, exceeds maybe anything I've ever watched.
This is one of those shows I don't think I will ever stop watching, pondering, and learning from. I know everyone has already seen it but it's so incredibly perfect in every way that I feel like I want to tell you to watch it again.
I just got my PAC from Three via SMS, then signed up for a new contract with EE online. I worked at Phones4u when I was 18 and this process used to be an absolute nightmare. I dread to think, the amount of time I've spent on hold to networks to get a customer's PAC just so the sale didn't walk out the door.
No, I am not cut out for sales. I know this. I can't imagine me doing it either, but someone had to pay for my Marlboro Reds and hair bleach.
If we're going to get some junk food, I like to exercise on the way there. I kinda feel like if I walk 10km to get some ice cream, that this is at least a token junk-food-offset.
There's loads of new music out today. I like days like this where there's a few records out from bands you like. Funnily enough, my favourite is from a band I've never really liked, doing something I never heard before. Turnstile - Glow On is such a weird mix of things that shouldn't work but really does. Then there's Jinjer - Wallflowers, which is another refinement and technical progression of an already very polished sound. Then finally there's TesseracT - Portals, which is a very accomplished live album, and a good mix of TesseracT's career. If you're new to them but familiar with the genre (how?), it might sound a bit samey, but I'm enjoying it.
As a bonus, something that came out a while ago that I can't stop thinking about is Alexis Marshall - House of Lull House of When. Incredibly bleak and unsettling. A really coherent, borderline jazz direction of the sound on Daughters' latest record, which is still (and may always be?) my favourite live music experience ever.
You're not always going to come back from a walk with an SD card full of winners, but sometimes you're just out for an hour and the light is golden, and you're looking at everything and framing it and everything looks beautiful and the photos you come home with don't really matter.
There's a family of lovely foxes at Charlotte's allotment. I've always wanted to take pictures of a fox from a reasonable distance. This was a real treat for me.
Every time we feed Sudo, we ask "is it dinner time?" and since revisiting Donald Glover, it always reminds me of this song, which has been stuck in my head for about 3 weeks. It'd be annoying if I didn't love this song and its video, I suppose.
I've wanted one of Little Keyboards' kits for ages, but they were always a bit spenny. This Reviung41 Comptroller case was actually pretty reasonable. Especially for the quality.
One of my favourite things to do, when I've written a long blog post, is to go back through and edit it to remove the 500 occurrences of the word "really". No idea why I use it so much. I wonder if I do that in speech as well.
Going away anywhere is strange and makes me feel nervous pretty much constantly, but we managed to have a really nice few days away visiting family and friends for the first time in absolutely ages.
In a concerted effort to get out of my creative funk, I've done a few things. Firstly I've decided that everywhere I go, a camera goes too. And I will take pictures. Probably not good pictures, but when you fall out of a good habit, the first thing to do is get back in.
I haven't posted, or really taken any pictures since my last post, which was before my birthday, which was over a month ago. I'm just not into anything right now. I want to be but that's where my motivation ends.
When I was a kid, my dad knew this guy called Ronan O'Connor. His mother was an Austrian woman called Maria, and my dad used to work on their vehicles. They lived in a huge house with loads of land, right on a flood plain. When it flooded Ronan had a kayak he would take from his front door to his front gate so that he could do things like leaving his home.
Once I was a precocious ~ten-year-old; if you can believe that. I forget the exact content of this conversation, but one day Ronan was trying to tell me something. He had a left-hand-drive VW Scirocco, and he'd obviously seen a lot of the world. I distinctly remember being blasé and obstructive. I already knew what he was trying to tell me, and so the conversation ended before it began.
Later, I asked my dad what Ronan had been trying to tell me. He didn't know. I was so busy trying to impress Ronan that I'd missed out on something cool he could've taught me.
I learned three things that day:
- Always keep your ears and mind open
- Your parents don't know everything
- Get your damn COVID vaccination. I don't care about your half-baked research. This isn't about you.
When I was a kid, dairy grossed me out. Don't know why but I have a real problem with food texture so maybe there.
Anyway now I have two favourite butters and I don't remember the last time I wasn't eating cheese.
Pralines and Cream is the epitome of ice cream flavours. If I could only ever have one flavour of ice cream forever it'd be this. 10/10
I've been going through a phase of writing a lot recently. Work's been pleasantly busy - lots of smaller, fun tasks to work on doing things I don't get to do a lot. We've got something big starting soon so it's always nice to get stuff done before I need to get my head down.
Here's a hot tip for you, if you're making a TV show: if you need to fill some product placement obligations, you should contrive to shoot a scene in a supermarket. All the cool kids are doing it!