18 May 2011

Here, there, everywhere...

It's been a long time since the last post because I've been focusing on my art instead of my writing, which it should be known by now, is how I've operated creatively for years (don't ask about my Flickr stream, that's gathered enough dust to cut off the robot empire's power supply were it kicked up into the air).
However, more recently a number of my friends from DeviantART have all gotten Tumblr pages and have been asking me to jump on the bandwagon.
Technically speaking, there's virtually nothing that separates Tumblr from Blogger from LiveJournal from (you get the idea) except for a slightly slicker user interface and a few more options as far as just what exactly can be posted. As such, when I finally gave in and decided to get an account, I set a rule for myself that I would only post things there that I couldn't do just as well here on Blogger or DeviantART or Flickr. If anything, I might only consider something like that if I have to abandon one of those accounts for some reason, like getting hacked or banned. After a brief survey on my DeviantART page that yielded neither a definite yes or definite no on any of the ideas listed, I kind of did the dictator thing and went with what I kind of half-had in mind all along, which was a podcast.
Without going into the long and technical details of why that's never really an easy thing to set up on a weblog or why Tumblr is better suited for the task than Blogger, the reason for choosing it is that, apart from a regular webcomic, it's the one thing I've never really tried. The show would be irregularly updated, would cover a wind range of topics, and be mercifully short at about 5-6 minutes in length (I'm really not up for the stream-of-consciousness banter of something like Fast Karate for the Gentleman or the erudite panel discussions of The Greatest Movie EVER! podcast, and I don't think anyone else really is either). Also, as the show would progress, I'd start to include 1-2 minute pre-recorded guest segments, which could either be pre-arranged for upcoming topics and/or rebuttals for previous episodes' contents.

I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for Albuquerque and will be back Saturday afternoon. My brother is graduating from Med School, and this will be the first time I get to see my niece Fiona apart from photos on my brother's and sister-in-law's Facebook pages.

The truth is I'm actually really ambivalent about the trip, and the stress feels like it's giving me ulcers. Without getting into the whole tension-and-drama business that's effectively gone on in my family for at least the past 10 years following my parents' divorce (which will reach the 11-year mark this June), there's a distinct possibility I'll spend a large part of the trip repeating the phrase, "I don't care."
Okay, here's a little detail: My dad and my brother are, at present, not speaking. Am I surprised? No, not really Do I care? Again, no. Trouble is, in this family (chiefly my mom and at times my brother, which is a whole other matter I won't go into), having no opinion means I'm a blank slate that can have written endlessly upon it all the details of the transgression that I really couldn't care less about. If I sound like I'm overreacting, it's entirely possible that I am, but I'm working from a premise of this happening in the past. At its core, it's a lot of trust issues, hearsay, paranoia, cognitive dissonance, and even retcons, all of it completely baseless and unwarranted, yet persisting regardless. Having a difference of opinion or viewpoint is seen as having something horribly wrong with you, and there is no such thing as irreconcilable differences. In other words, half of the family has been able to adapt and cope in the wake of the divorce, the other half hasn't. That's not to say one side is right and one side is wrong, simply that they are fundamentally incompatible and have difficulty co-existing.

Then there's the flight: I can't stand flying. it's not so much a fear, per se, just that it's hardly my preferred method of travel:
1) Driving
2) Train
3) Bus (maybe, I haven't been, personally)
Also, I hate the Goddamn TSA. Once upon a time, I was one of those saying with full confidence and a straight face, "a little loss of privacy is fine for the sake of security." Now, however, I can't say that anymore, because it's gone too far. The enhanced pat-downs and strip-ray machines are as invasive as they are completely and utterly ineffective.
What's really funny about the whole thing is that when these machines (and gropings) were introduced, the proponents kept mentioning the Underwear Bomber as part of their case.

Here's the punchline: neither of these methods would have spotted him.

Amidst that, the "Don't touch my junk" phenomenon, and a story I'd read about a rather embarrassing incident involving the urinary apparatus of a cancer survivor, the TSA is a total failure on nearly every level that a government organization can. This is no longer security, this is paranoia (though I'll admit it's not comforting hearing of potential retaliatory attacks in the wake of Bin Laden's death when you're planning a flight).

That's it, I'm done, I need sleep.
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