We went for a little walk around Eastbourne. I like it there. There's a weird number of Greek restaurants in very close proximity. They slice their halloumi laterally like I like it.
I've been using dark mode on all my devices for a couple of months and I can confirm I absolutely hate it. Everything looks worse to me in dark mode.
Someone from badminton said Friday was bougie and I have taken it as a point of pride, but Charlotte has taken it personally.
Gaming is probably my oldest hobby. My dad bought a MegaDrive when I was very young - I can't have been more than 6 or 7. Gaming has been with me since that.
I haven't played Mario Kart for ages. Pretty much since I got the Steam Deck, I think.
I'm not normally a pessimist but I'm starting to feel like good decisions are really only decisions that haven't gone bad yet.
I finished Children of Ruin last night. It was a bit of a battle by the end. The latter half lost all pace and I struggled to maintain my interest sufficiently to finish it.
The second book lacks the electricity of the first, and the rhythm of the story is more of a heart attack towards the end. Moments stretch out for chapters, and generations last paragraphs. I even re-read the last chapter, worried that I'd absently skimmed something important; but no, it was just extremely hurried, for whatever reason.
I'm not relieved to be finished, but I'm happy to be onto something else. I'll certainly pick up Children of Memory when the paperback is released.
I have previously torn through trilogies as a single volume - The Fifth Season; Ancillary Justice, move into their next volumes as naturally as a new chapter, but the Children books reset to their original timeline and follow a fresh branching path. It's not a terrible structure for a trilogy but it has felt quite repetitive thus far. The same story being told from a different viewpoint, in a different medium; the end of each strand converging to fall back and be re-woven into a new thread. It's elegant in principle but, in practice, I think I'd have benefitted from more of a break. I was excited. We all make mistakes, especially when driven by emotion.
I've moved onto Too Like the Lightning, which was briefly everywhere on my radar, and is now not. But it was there just enough to grab my interest, and at just the moment where I had some Amazon voucher balance to use.
I'm two chapters in, and the world-building is incredible. Scope is such an inconsistent concept in storytelling because Children is set in solar-systems over the course of thousands of years, and I don't think there was ever a point that any of it was as detailed as the first chapters of Lightning. It's not problematic or anything, but it is noticeable. I feel like I've physically inhabited Lightning's world, but I feel like Children is just something I've read about. I'm excited by Lightning in a way I never was about Children.
Today I saw a car in the car park and it had a sticker in the rear window that said "Ford C-Max mk1 and 2 Owner's Club" and I wonder if there's a mass-production car that doesn't have an owner's club. It made me want to find their forum and see what they talk about, but it's a private Facebook group. Petrol or diesel, they are all one family. It's good that they're not prejudiced about fuel types; that would be disappointing.
People are so strange, and arbitrarily tribal.
Have I already had dinner? Have I had one of the worst and most depressing weeks in recent memory? Did I go to the gym today? Is our oven currently heating nine pizza bagels from LIDL's American week? Is it only goddamn Thursday?
Just because I'm not taking good photos, doesn't mean I'm not taking photos. I just save them up and drop them all at once so the inferior quality seems less obvious.
It's been a weird week for new music. Skrillex has a new record out for the first time in years. I like Skrillex. I liked him in From First to Last, and I enjoy his big stupid electronic djent-style music that everyone pretends to hate but is actually a bop and everyone knows it.
This new record is a very mature progression of his electronic sound, to the point that I don't think you'd even guess it was him (save from a couple of samples; "oh my god" and "listen"). But you'd definitely not be surprised to learn it was him.
The other thing I'm enjoying this week is the new Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. These guys make music that I want from Queens of the Stone Age. I love QOTSA's musicianship but I would prefer if the vocals went harder, and that's pretty much Pigsx7. Metal Injection described this as sounding like it contains "mustaches and drugs", and that's pretty close. Very metallic, wall-to-wall bass amps, rock 'n' roll. This is going to get a lot of play in the car.
In an attempt to pull myself out of my creative funk, a low effort change of scenery was in order. I've used my car too much this month already. Felt really good to get out.
We went back to the Bluebell railway. I do love it there. It feels like an impossible thing now, to have a full-sized model railway you can just go on. Everyone there is so friendly as well.
The last month or so, I've become obsessed by stories. I decided to take a break from drinking at the start of the year and it's paved the way for stories. I was trying to get into reading more late last year, with varying success, but I would always end up falling asleep or forgetting what I'd read, or getting super depressed and needing to take frequent breaks from whatever I was reading (looking at you, The Handmaid's Tale).
Now nearing a month without drinking, I feel like I'm at the edge of a realisation and I don't know how happy I am about it. I feel like I've swapped one undesirable state of mind for another and, though my overall health has likely improved, my frame of mind is the same or maybe even worse.
The most noticeable thing to have changed is I have had zero creative output for myself (or what I consider creative output anyway). I haven't written anything, I haven't taken pictures. All I do is consume; reading, gaming, listening, looking at things other people made. I cannot overstate just how much I hate this. I had hoped that reading would jolt my creativity but I feel like it's killed it instead, or at least knocked it out.
I don't really know what to do about that. If there's even anything I can do about it. There's no conclusion here or anything; I just wanted to write something and timestamp this feeling so I can look back and see when this was.
I don't plan to run back to drinking. I'm not going to be quite so strict about sobriety as I have been, but I have no motivation to have a drink and I'm not going to push it or start up just for the sake of it. I do feel better, if you don't count the constant internal screaming, feelings of general hope/worthlessness and overall malaise. Unfortunately, I do; and therein lies the problem.
I'm pretty spontaneous when it comes to making significant changes to my appearance. Once I get the idea in my head that my hair needs cutting, it's gone. Did pretty much the same when I had dreadlocks.
I've been so busy with work since I got back from Nashville, and the weather sucked too much to go out taking pictures most days. Still I got a few snaps, even if they're pretty crummy, most of them.
I'm pretty much convinced that N.K. Jemisin is incapable of writing books that I don't love. The City We Became started slowly, and I wasn't really sure what type of thing I was reading. It both is, and isn't, fantasy. It's very strange, but so was The Broken Earth. As I was getting towards the end, I found out that the next book was released in November so I bought that to read immediately. I guess that's all the recommendation I need to give.
Every time I use motorways I get frustrated. I can understand that traffic jams occur when there's accidents, but what I don't understand is why there's consistently congestion where traffic joins motorways. Surely there should be a way to use motorways so that there's never congestion when joining them. This feels like either an economics or a physics problem.
There must be a way to behave around junctions that ensures traffic can flow freely up to a point. Things like keeping the left lane clear at junctions, merging slowly. I need a YouTuber to figure this out for me. Going to email Tom Scott.