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w/e 2023-10-22

This week I’ve listened a lot to two not-new albums on Fika Recordings which are both excellent.

There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win by Mammoth Penguins:

and Fortitude Valley by Fortitude Valley:

I like to think I’m hunting for new diverse and experimental musical trailblazers but apparently it’s still upbeat indie-pop about broken hearts that I love.

§ I did about 4½ days of client work this week which is a lot for me. I feel like there was a time, many years ago, when after a day of writing work code I’d happily spend the evening doing the same for myself. Now, after seven hours of typing away, that seems a stupid idea.

Although, thinking back to 20+ years ago, that was when I had “proper jobs” in “offices” which involved a lot of chatting, meetings, making cups of tea, email, sharing funny internet things, going out for lunch, playing pool, celebrating birthdays, etc. Whereas now it’s just me typing into a computer constantly with no distractions.

I still managed to keep up a daily hour-ish of exercise and an hour-ish of German practice. Helped, of course, by having no commute, no kids, and the knowledge that after this there will be less work and I’ll be able to luxuriously catch up on all the other things I put off while working.

But there are self-improvement routines I’ve recently failed to stick with: My attempts at cryptic crosswords faded to nothing after a few weeks because, if anything, I was getting worse at them. And, after months of not touching the piano, my renewed attempt to practise that for an hour a day went well… for about week until we went on holiday, and I haven’t picked it up since.

§ Thanks to a special offer from a bank we now have a free year of Disney+. I’m sure that makes sense to someone. So this week we watched the first season of The Mandalorian and it wasn’t very good.

It’s probably fine if you’re expecting a sort-of-children’s show like The A-Team. Not a lot happens and what does happen is predictable and not very interesting. The goodies and baddies are very obvious (laughably so on the world of happy, innocent, kelp-farmers, hounded by Orc-like marauders).

Aside from a pair of comedy scout troopers* no one in this universe ever has a normal conversation talking normally like normal people. All Discussions Must Be Had As If Reading From Scrolls, Ancient Wisdom Handed Down From The Ancestors. As Mary said, the worst of it is straight from the Steven Toast school of acting.

(* I had to look up that they weren’t called stormtroopers to prevent any fans correcting me.)

It looks great though. We’ll probably give Andor a try but don’t have much other interest in this universe, or the Marvel one.

§ As half of my Deutsch lernen I watched Kleo (on Netflix) which I knew nothing about. It was excellent and I really enjoyed it. It’s not deep but it’s snappy and a lot of fun and keeps on going. It made me think of a comic book in a lot of ways. Jella Haase in the lead role was great and Dimitrij Schaad as Sven trod a nice line of humorous in/competence.

Watching it (with English subtitles) to “learn German” did remind me of being at art school, when I could easily convince myself that so many fun things – watching movies, reading comics, reading magazines, etc. – was all part of studying art, design, culture, and all that. It’s possible it helps in both cases, but also possible it’s just an excuse.

§ After a week my Backblaze backup has now uploaded only 0.027% of 547GB, but 8.7% of 1,560,501 files.

§ That’s all, bye.

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