Now that the Connection is open again…

I guess I have to catch up with what’s been happening.

The world has turned into a new year and after some increasing pressure and a few kicks from my mate @Stilldormant I realized that it would probably be worth it to start blogging again. I have realized a few things from last year.

  1. I don’t like feeling pressured to write. Setting goals for myself on this blog, forcing myself to blog, had been a mistake. I grew resentful and with so many other things on my plate I did the one thing I know how to do well. I cut it off and forgot about it. Till now that is.
  2. I’ve become a gamer. Oh dear. Yes. The obsession with Mass Effect is still abound. Now, more than ever, I find myself geeking out with the rest of the community, waiting anxiously for the beginning of the 9th of March. The release date of Mass Effect 3.
  3. I’m a nerd. Well, I didn’t realize this last year, but it’s just been reaffirmed again. Oh, how proud I am of the Nerdverse, oh – how frightened the rest of the world should be of us.
  4. I’m not writing to please anybody. I still write because I enjoy it. Writing with any other goal in mind (and yes, that includes publishing) just doesn’t work for me. I like to sit down and do what I do best. Write for myself. Write to escape. Write because I have to to do so to keep me sane.
  5. My country sucks. No, I didn’t get accepted into veterinary science. I’m too white. You can’t get much whiter than a red head unfortunately. And more pissed off about the matter. I don’t know how to fix this. I don’t know how to fix the ache that I have over not being out there studying again. I didn’t want to return to my job. I didn’t.
  6. I can face down a guy with a knife. Yes. I’ll blog about that later. Come on, it’s exciting. And, it’s worth it to know that nobody should mess with me.
  7. I didn’t turn out too bad… Having felt that I’ve been weighed, measured and found unworthy (or just too pale) by the veterinary department of Onderstepoort made me do a lot of soul searching. Yes, I knew it wasn’t my fault that I wasn’t selected, but still – I had to think about me for a bit. I like to do that, to sit down and measure whether or not I’m still alright with the person that I am. I faced a couple of things, realized some others, remembered a few more and came to the conclusion that although I might not be the nicest person out there in the universe, I’m pretty balanced. And, that’s alright.

It’s also worth a mention that I’ve put my creative gamer juices to good use and I’m now writing for a website called NerdTrek once a week. My articles range from gaming news, to movie reviews though when I have time I’ll probably expand this to a few oddball articles as well. It’s fun and rewarding.

So, watch this space returning, new and loyal readers. There will be more. I can’t say when, but there will be.

Alyss

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Aheila’s Drabble Day – Guest

Argh, I forgot to schedule this for yesterday.

Good day everybody – as always, here is my drabble for the week. I get these drabble challenges from Aheila’s website.

 Remember how it works?

  • Read the prompt and find your angle.
  • Write a drabble (100 words story, give or take five words).
  • Post a direct link to your drabble in the comments (or, if you don’t have a blog, just go ahead and post your drabble in the comments).
  • In the post on your blog, make sure to link back to this post.

Today’s prompt is: Guest!
And the extra challenge for points no one keeps track of: avoid the “unwanted guest” twist!

Guest

“Well doctor,” Mr. Jones said looking pale and worried. “Can you tell me what’s wrong with me? Can you tell me why I’ve been feeling so ill the past couple of weeks?”

Dr. Smith went to his notes, his face tight with concentration. “Well, just to recap, you’ve been experiencing diarrhoea, abdominal pain, you’ve lost a lot of weight, you’re always tired and this week you’ve noticed that the whites of your eyes have gone yellow…”

“I know what I had Doctor,” Mr. Jones said irritated. “Just tell me what I have!”

The doctor looked up from his notes and smiled slightly. “And unwanted guest,” he said. “You’re condition is called clonorchiasis… Otherwise known as Liver Fluke infection…”

 

 

Mystery Monday: Err…

I’m staying with my parents tonight on our one day a month rendezvous which means that there will be no Mystery Monday today. My parents live quite far from where I do, so when I have the opportunity to see clients in their area I embrace it with open arms.

Of course, that means that I don’t have time to do research. J

So, alas, I’ll leave you to debate the mystery of why a mother’s cooking is somehow always better than your own. Tomorrow my scheduling will continue as normal with Aheila’s Drabble Day Challenge.

Enjoy your Monday everybody, I have to say – I’m happy mine’s over.

Good night.

Reviewing Redemption – a look at two sequel movies.

My Other Half and I watched quite a lot of movies last weekend and among them, two stood out. Both of these I approached with more than a bucket full of caution. The sequels of the past three years had really disappointed me. In both the genre’s and I wasn’t quite willing to deal with another disappointment. As it turned out, I was surprised.

X-Men Origins: First Class

Like most kids my age, I have been watching the X-Men cartoons ever since our country managed to get its hands on its first decent cable channel. Admittably, I never saw the later shows like X-Men evolution and anything after that, but the classic comic was enough for me. Like all kids, I had my favourite characters (specifically Storm and The Beast) and liked the idea that somewhere out there, there was a haven for people who were a little bit different than others.

I was very excited about the X-Men movies and wasn’t really disappointed with the first two. But then came X-Men: The Last Stand and Wolverine to a lesser extent and my faith in the show died. The movies were terrible. I can’t even begin to voice my displeasure in them because if I do – this blog will become R rated and I might just get banned for not warning my readers. But, it’s fair to say that I didn’t like them. I therefor approached this new addition to the franchise with caution and didn’t really expect a lot. Which is why, I suspect, I was pleasantly surprised.

I liked X-Men Origins: First Class. The beginning was a little bit rushed, but once all the characters settled in together, the story flowed well. I liked the interaction between the two main characters – Professor X played by James McAvoy and Magneto played by Michael Fassbender. There was something deeply touching about their friendship, what they shared in their isolation brought on by their power and how the ignorance of their youth shaped them to be the men that they are when they are older. The action was good, the special effects not disappointing and the supporting cast well put together. I also haven’t seen Kevin Bacon in a movie since Hollow Man so it was nice to see him around as well.

On IMDB they scored this movie an 8 (in comparison to Wolverine’s 2) and I have to agree. It was well worth the time and effort to watch.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Let me get something out of the way first. I like Johnny Depp. I really do. If I ever get the chance to have his children, I will embrace it with both hands. It’s therefore crucial that you understand that – when I say I didn’t like one of his movies, it means that there was really something wrong with it.

That was how I felt over the second and third Pirates movies. Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End were two of the worst written movies I have ever watched in my life. They were so bad that I even found myself unwilling to watch the first movie again. I eventually broke and watched The Curse of the Black Pearl earlier in the year and it reminded me how good it was, and how bad the others were. I didn’t think that the writers would shame themselves into attempting a fourth movie but apparently I had underestimated the tenacity of Hollywood ambition.

On Stranger Tides started showing here about a month ago and I found myself in two minds about whether or not I was going to waste my time and money watching it. I eventually broke under peer pressure when my best friend and riding companion dragged myself and Other Half to the cinema. Her faith in Johnny was still strong and she was very determined to watch this movie.

I went with a lot of reserve and found that – although it wasn’t great, it was most certainly better than the previous two. The humour, the character and the rhythm of the movie was a lot more like the first one. It wasn’t as exciting or as ‘new’ as it could’ve been but it certainly wasn’t bad. I’m a sucker for swashbuckling sword fights. The more ‘ca-ching’ of metal on metal that I hear, the happier I get.

So, Jack Sparrow managed to redeem himself and the ending they gave us was the ending I needed in the third movie. Jack got his ship back, all was well in the pirate world and… he didn’t get hit by another girl. 😉

I wouldn’t give it more than a 6 out of 10 score wise, but it wasn’t torture to watch from beginning to end.

Silence

I haven’t been writing the past week, once again cut off from my muse by a personal surge of emotions. I went running with a friend yesterday and we spoke about this problem that I had, that the moment my brain received too many emotions it just short circuited.
I’m not sure why, years ago – I could write like this. I used to channel my emotions into what I was working on and produce something.
Now, nothing.
It made me realize that writing changes, just like people do. My talent has certainly evolved. Sometimes, I feel as if it has become more like a practice, a job than a hobby. I think that’s why I stop doing it when I’m under stress.
It’s a shame in a way, because it used to be a coping mechanism. A way I dealt with all of my emotions. Now, it’s just something that I do.
I’m not sad or upset, I’m just… strangely taken aback.
I don’t want it this way, but also – this has a positive reaction as well.
You see, years ago – I could actually only write when I was upset. Now, I can mostly do it all the time.
Mostly.
So, although my words aren’t flowing now, I know that they will again. Next week if I get my arse in gear, but – I’m in no hurry. I know that I will write again – and, I trust that you’ll be patient.