"You met me at a very strange time in my life.."
It's difficult to convey much sense of self in a block of text (or ten). Nevertheless, I shall spend several paragraphs battling this conundrum For Your Entertainment, flying in the face of all apathy and self-respecting reason. Yes, we're all unique and beautiful little snowflakes, but dodging the question doesn't really prove that point, does it?
My profile is quite long. There's a quiz at the end, and
THE SHORT: I am a 30-some year old writer and coder who lives near London. I tend to focus on the things I am most passionate about: videogames, television and cultural output in general - occasionally I even get paid for it! I am extremely open to new people, particularly for a good conversation about Stuff. If you are friendly, open-minded and expressive then we'll probably get on well. Or maybe not, but that's part of the fun, isn't it? :)
I used to say, "Well, I'm a student!" For one it was true, and somehow that was all that needed to be said. 'I'm studying' - which somehow conveyed whatever people wanted it to: up til all hours finishing essays, sleeping too much, finding my footing - and so on. It's a comfortable catch-all. I've long since finished university, but I still happily embrace the student ethos, whatever that is. Perhaps the desire to learn something new, to be forever open-minded, and a passion for knowledge and discussion. (The positives which people like to overlook)
I'm not someone who relished those piles of books, come essay week, apart from those rare books that managed to be readable and edifying. However, if anything sums up my attitude to life I guess it's a massive interest in almost everything. I entertain a wide-eyed awe at the world, universe, and so on, and I find it difficult to understand how some people don't. I try to sustain a balance between naivety and pragmatism. It's healthy to maintain an open, receptive mind, at the risk of asking one too many questions. I don't agree with cynicism. Ultimately I prefer people who wear their heart and their opinions on their sleeve, as long as they can debate them honestly. I have something of a vendetta against apathy. Passion is the order of the day!
Despite this star-gazing, I'd never dismiss the urbane and the everyday, which I happily enjoy. I spend a lot of time thinking about Stuff and talking about Things with friends. I love idiosyncrasies, foibles and cuddles, and I adore conversation. I thrive in small groups of four or five, usually getting upto hijinks, or becoming embroiled in deep discussion (which needn't be about anything deep itself!). I'm more anxious about larger gatherings or meeting lots of new people at once, but if I felt like using the word forté to describe anything it would probably be conversation. Language is amazing, and not enough people spend much time talking properly.
There's a practical application for all this (so-called) procrastination, and it's the world at large. I think sometimes you just need to 'take a moment', if only to avoid an early grave. We generally lack worldy power and influence. Not all of us are Obamas-in-the-making. This can be frustrating, but the world is all in the details, the urbane: how we might deal with each other; How one conversation can change a mood, start a relationship, or change a lifetime. The realisation that we're just biological organisms kicking around on a ball of rock needn't be a harsh reality - I think it's utterly compelling.
The quote up top is not just a nod to Fight Club: I think the strange is worth embracing. I love alternative culture and the niche. Geekdom, whether it be about films, games, literature, art, or whatever. It's Obsession and Passion hand in hand, down at the arcades, or in the back row of the cinema, or curled up in bed with a good book.
In particular, videogames and films are involving, immersive, and brilliantly social, despite the usual stigmas. I am an evangelist. Ask me about Italian plumbers, or how to to beat Death at chess.
I think I'll stop writing here!
Thus endeth the open-essay. You're now free to return to friends and loved-ones, who have alerted the police as to your disappearance.
Up until relatively recently I lacked a creative output. I had almost forgotten I was capable of being creative and had stopped thinking of myself that way. I used to paint and draw prolifically when I was younger, and then school and LIFE happened, and I stopped. Which seems terrible, when I think about it.
At the end of 2015 - like I'm sure many others did - I tuned in to watch Bob Ross' painting shows for the first time, rebroadcast in all their majesty. The great man reignited a spark in me. I now have 'a dream in my heart', and I'm trying to put it to good use. It may sound trite or unbelievable, but I mention it anyway because, well, his shows are magical and he inspired me to change my life. I would recommend them to anyone, especially those who had never picked up a brush before!
I paint almost daily. I also make 3D models and other procedural arty things. Sometimes I mess around with a midi keyboard (but I'm no musician...yet!).
Somewhere along the way I also taught myself to code. Making games is ultimately the creative impulse that drives everything, but I took me most of my life to find this out. I dream of telling stories in this medium. Literally. It's been rewarding to get to the middle part of the 'being a developer' process (rather than the beginning which is INCREDIBLY TEDIOUS). In a few years time, hopefully others will play and enjoy my things.
What am I really doing with my life? Good question. I am sure it will all make sense eventually.
I am a good counsel for friends. I enjoy listening to them, and I put them first.
Vox by Nicholson Baker. Just about the most adorably brilliant thing ever. Baker writes some of the most uncanny, delicious and engrossing dialogue, and Vox is probably his best work in this respect. It's voyeurism, but playful voyeurism, and also (like many of his other books) quietly romantic. The Fermata is similarly awesome in its dealing with the urbane alongside sexual fantasy and fetishes.
I also have a soft spot for Post Office by Charles Bukowski. One of those books I might not read again for a long time but I'll never forget the specific adventure of first reading it, when it seemed to syncopate with my emotions. The voice of Bukowski through the ages was, at times, painful, bleak and startling, yet somehow overwhelmingly warm and comforting. A really moving experience.
I adore.. Pulp Fiction, 8 ½, Once Upon a Time in The West, Mulholland Drive, Trois Coleurs: Rouge, American Graffiti.
These films have moved me to tears or smiles or puzzlement and back many times, and I'm always excited watching them with someone new to find out what they think.
I have an endless list of favourite films, and to list them is basically reductive. Ask me, that's more fun isn't it? :)
I like all good music regardless of genre, but generally Electronica, Post-Rock and Alt-Pop. That includes people like Bjork, The Avalanches, Sigur Ros, GYBE, A Silver Mt Zion, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, King Crimson, Amon Tobin, and many others.
My overwhelming favourite is In Treatment. I loved it for its focus on character and quality dialogue, with a proper understanding of what good serial drama should be like. Humanist, moving and introspective. Highly recommended!
2017 update: not a lot of good TV right now. Black Sails was incredible and I was sad to see it end. Also the show about the dragons.
some of my other favourites are Something for the Weekend, The X-Files, Firefly, Buffy, Deadwood, The Wire, The Big Breakfast, Breaking Bad, Day Break, Entourage, Bored to Death, Tabletop, True Blood, The West Wing, Prison Break, Six Feet Under, Lost, Men of a Certain Age, Bits, Moomin, The Venture Bros, Chihayafuru, The Americans and Black Sails.
Dungeon Keeper, Deus Ex and the Half-Life series. Much imitated, never bettered. I guess I'd be lying if I didn't mention the approx. bajillion hours I've
Some form of internet - the best thing that's happened/happening to the world in the past two decades. Bar none.
Pulp Fiction - this is one of the films that kickstarted my all-consuming passion for the subject, way back when. It's something of a touchstone for me.
Introspection - as much as I sometimes loathe it, it's one of my defining characteristics and it keeps me sane.
Sex - you know, it's brilliant. I love sexuality and I consider myself a sex positivist.
2011 update: ...there's only five things here. I guess I can do without basic arithmatic.
... or none of the above.
It's a mini adventure.
Current videogame shennanigans: denying creeps and playing a lot of Magic. The best game! I build and rebuild most of my decks each week.
When I am upset, I am quite guarded with my emotions. I tend to put everyone else before myself, so I don't often talk about it unless prompted to. It's difficult for me to remember any times when I have been less than upbeat around my friends, even if I was melancholy on the inside. This does annoy me because I try to be as open as possible, and usually things are better discussed.
On the flipside, when I am in a relationship I am emotionally committed. I also have absolutely no problem bawling over TV and films, even music. Anything sublime and it's waterworks. There's a whole slew of films I purposely avoid for five-ten year stretches due to Kleenex related costs.
..you are coding, writing, recording, painting, etc etc. You value the exchange of ideas as highly as anything else.
You want to geek out over any of the n million things mentioned on this page, or other things I inexplicably forgot!