It’s 5:45 in the evening on a Tuesday. I’m drinking the last of a bottle of gin and tonic that Scott and I gave a decent nudge to last week. It’s kind of cold, the house is fairly dark, and I’m feeling a range of emotions over one really simple thing.
Getting my fucking computer working again.
It began 3 weeks ago. I got back from a month overseas, only to get sick shortly afterwards. I spent a week on the couch, watching movies like citizen four, TV shows like Mr Robot and doing the general sick thing. I felt no motivation to do anything other than hide from the world.
I started to come good. My head was working again, I could concentrate, perfect time to write about the trip.
I think I wrote for about 2 days. Now don’t take that the wrong way, I did other things too. I picked up the guitar after almost 3 months of no use. I organised photos and audio from the trip and put them on my mac. I knew I had the house to myself for a few weeks, and so I set the lounge up so I could record and jam in the lounge. But I put a good few hours into writing, and was almost at 4,000 words, or about half way through my story as I’m too fucking verbose. I still had to edit it down and all of that, but I’d made a big dent in the post. I was feeling pretty chuffed in general you could say.
What’s the saying? A picture tells a thousand words? Well, here’s what I’d written.
I was spring cleaning my creative life, after leaving it in a mess since about June. I decided to go back to some old movies I’d started to make, and finish them off. Clean the hard drive, tie the loose ends from various projects and all that. Then my computer froze. I reset it, and saw a folder with a question mark. I reset it a few more times, and eventually nothing would happen, just a blank grey screen.
I tried a bunch of things, but I couldn’t get it to work. Recovery mode, safe mode, single user, verbose, nothing would happen. I took it in to a place to get looked at, they said come back in a week.
I then had to (shock horror) entertain myself.
I filled in the week easily enough. I read the outsider by Camus. I re-read brave new world by Huxley, then brave new world re-imagined. I finally clocked red dead redemption, and got a shocking case of the feels. I worked a few shifts. I had one day where I woke up and began drinking at 8 AM with Scott, getting through half a bottle of spiced cap’n morgans and almost a litre of gin (truth be told, that day was a complete wash and wasn’t the smartest idea I’ve had). I wouldn’t say before I knew it, but the week passed and I called them back to get my macbook.
Turns out the SSD was blocking. It meant nothing to me, so I googled it and it means my hard drive was sick and on the way out. I managed to back up most of my stuff before it got sent away to get tested by Samsung, as it’s still under warranty. I was hoping that maybe they could have a quick look, see the fault, I’d have a new one later that day. No dice. I’m looking at a 3-4 week turn around.
I don’t mind waiting a week. Another 3-4 weeks without a computer wasn’t something I was looking forward to though. I can keep myself entertained, I think it’s good to sometimes turn off distractions. But I was getting itchy fingers. Without being able to edit, I didn’t have much drive to make music. Without being able to use Scrivener, I couldn’t finish the post I’d started. I was also getting increasingly fed up with using my phone for the internet, as it’s something I’ve already done for over 2 months this year.
So I pulled out my old hard drive from 2014, opened up my mac, and chucked it in.
Fucking boom! I’m back!
With a bit of tweaking, I got most of the programs working again. Sure, it’s a bit slower. I won’t be able to make any videos. But I have this feeling of motivation back. I can type again, and lose myself going hand jogging, throwing words onto a page.
So what is the point of this post?
Well, it’s all those thoughts and feelings that have come up.
Not to flog a dead horse, but turning on a laptop that’s almost 2 years old, and you get old feelings come back. My wallpaper shows a pedal board and set-up I had built with the intention of going busking with. I still haven’t gone busking, and, if anything, I’m even further away from doing that than I was 2 years ago. I’ve spent the last few months either travelling or working, and I’ve lost all my musical chops and calluses. Sure, I can still pick up a guitar and play it, but in some ways I’ve lost the confidence of where I was only a few months ago.
Deciding to change the background only showed me other old photo’s. A cat, a dog and a girl; a completely different lifestyle to what I’m living now. I can’t change my past, but it’s not good to dwell on it for too long either. Too easy to start questioning decisions and looking at things with rose coloured glasses. No, better by far to drink gin and move on.
Thing is, moving on is harder than it sounds. I don’t even know exactly what defines moving on. Does it mean embracing your present or working towards a “better” situation than one you were already in? I miss the intimacy of being in a relationship. Having someone to share your life with. Having someone to both look after and be looked after by. Then there’s the sexual side. I really miss that.
To be honest, my present right now is lacking in all of the above. True, my recent past was great! I was in fucking Europe! It was winter and I escaped into the arms of a beautiful girl, well for a little over a week anyway. But upon returning to Australia, and having a couple of weeks to really sit down and contemplate my life without the usual distractions, I’m wondering where I’m at now. What did I gain from the trip, and what did I lose?
Music wise, I’ve gone back. Financially, I’ve gone back and have to really pick up some shifts. I had some ideas for some writing, but until today I haven’t had the means to put them onto a computer. Why did I even go, when I think back on it? As is usual before a trip, I had this idea of what it would be like, and it was totally different to what I’d expected.
But it was quite inspiring in other ways. I had a blast seeing old friends and making new ones. I saw some awe inspiring things and had some amazing conversations. In some ways, I learnt or re-enforced the idea that we really don’t need much to be happy. Roof over our heads, food in our bellies, something to do for a while. You can have these things paying back an obscene mortgage, up to your eye balls in gas and electricity bills or from the back of a van with none of life’s “necessities”.
I like the idea of doing it from the back of a van. But I also like just being home too.
It’s now 11 PM on Wednesday, 2 weeks later. Wait, what did you just read? That’s right, 2 weeks has gone by since I started writing this post. I’m drinking the start of a new bottle of gin that my brother brought home from his trip to Thailand last week. Crazy hey. Mid blog post for you the reader, but 2 weeks into the future for me.
I wrote all of the above stuff and then never posted it. I can’t remember why I didn’t now, bunch of reasons I guess. I finished the old post I mentioned earlier that was all about the trip, writing 7,000 words in total, and then chucked it. There were good parts, but overall it was boring. Or I had a case of work-induced post holiday depression, and didn’t want to re-live my memories of european summer whilst it was pissing down rain outside. I wrote another post that went no where, night shift drivel from a tired mind, not for public consumption. In general, when I wasn’t working, I lay in bed a lot wondering why I should even get up seeing as I had my phone plugged in and could trawl reddit on my phone from the comfort of my blankets. In short, I’ve been lazy and I haven’t sat down and done the work.
So I’ve come full circle back to this post I started a couple of weeks ago.
I’m back in a semi-proactive state of mind again. I wrote a list of shit to get done, and now I’m working through the list. First thing was edit and release some music. Thank fuck I managed to back up my mac, as the album was made from stuff I’d recorded prior to Sri Lanka, with samples from Europe. You can check it out here if you want. Or don’t. As much as it would be great to have people listen to it, I’m aware that most people have busy lives and the idea of spending 40 minutes listening to music I’ve made isn’t that high on their agenda. The music is disjointed and experimental, it’s not everyone’s thing. Same as these verbose blog posts, it’s unlikely many, if any, people will ever read the whole thing. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking the time to write it. Did I say I was in a proactive or introspective state of mind? Must be the gin. Better stop typing before I start ranting and justifying that….
So I haven’t done a challenge for a while. It’s time I did one.
I’ve been intending to do this one for a few years now. Actually, looking back over my old plans for challenges, I had “dry july” written in and then nothing until November and NaNoWriMo. So yeah fuck it, time to get my writing on.
For anyone reading this who is wondering what that is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s actually international now. The whole deal is that you have the month of November to write a 50,000 word novel. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but it’s not if you stick at it. Well, that’s what I’m hoping. I’m allowed to start doing research and getting ideas about the story now, but I can’t actually start the story until November.
I’ve got a bunch of ideas I’ve written down over the years, so I’ll start reading through them, hoping something jumps out at me and screams to be written.
The one in the photo above was research I did all about “zombie pills”, basically an ecstacy tablet that causes people to turn into zombies for a few hours before waking up to, well, half eaten corpses at a rave. I’m sure someone has made that into a movie by now, I should have followed through and finished it back when the thought came to me.
With that, it’s time I put this up and went back to work. Been too long between posts.
One last thing. Seeing as I was going to post 7,000 words about the last trip, and I’ve already posted “4,000”, I’ll post 3 more photos as they each tell a thousand words.