The Account of a Lifetime

February 29, 2012

The Burning Skies

Filed under: Salamanders,Writing — xisor @ 3:26 pm

Korsi waited in the corridor. A door loomed barely a foot in front of him. The corridor was quiet, the ship sounds themselves only a distant murmur of a far-away crowd, a highway busy in the middle-distance. Imperial & Nocturnian iconography, variations on eagles, skulls and lizards, monstrous and majestic in equal measure, decorated this wing of the Fulcrum. Broadly speaking, it was a well kept ship. The hull-most compartments fell to disarray in place, but on a starship boasting ten thousand crewmen, Korsi heard it said his lord valued pragmatic efficiency first and foremost – sometimes deck plates simply went unwashed for days, or decades.

The corridor itself was one of several concessions to affectation aboard ship. Almost everything was well made, the forge-ships supplying the fleet were proud and stern in their overseeing of technomats, of whom  very least could barely allow themselves to turn in a half-arsed job. Well made, but hardly adorned with more than functional affection would allow.

Three weeks aboard, but this was the first case he would meet his lord. His peers had largely kept their own counsel. The shift crew barely needed direction. Life docked above Prometheus was particularly calm and particularly boring.

The pressure seals around the door hissed. Sweat immediately beaded beneath his collar, not just from anxiety. Scorching air gusted down the corridor, a wave-front of sweltering heat.

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January 7, 2012

Our Destiny Is In The Stars

“Our lives are important — at least to us — and as we see, so we learn… Our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it.”
– The (First) Doctor

It’s a new year and a new dawn. And all that jazz. I’m a slow reader, I wonder if it’s the eye-muscles being silly buggers. I’d been warned they’re weak, it’d be bloody annoying if my hands fall off.

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October 27, 2011

To Be Free

Filed under: A day in the life of...,Reflections,Tea. Earl Grey. Hot — xisor @ 8:30 pm

Ultimately, in life, I don’t particularly want riches. I don’t want complete, utter freedom from poverty. I don’t want never-ending sex, I don’t even want a cup of tea.

None of that is singularly important, it seems. Today I’ve spent the day sad that it’s not yet payday. What I want, more’n anything, is a wee bit of freedom and confidence to simply not be stuck here when I’d rather be…over there.

It’d be lovely to jaunt to St Andrews, to head west or east, to take a day or three out to dash off to London or, hell, to briefly escape to Dundee or to Aberdeen.

I don’t need to travel widely to be happy, I’d rather just not be here. Not even ‘here’ in Stirling, but here, metaphorically as well as literally in the house on this couch. That might be due to my feet being cold and it being warmer upstairs.

To put it simply, I want to have a little freedom to mix things up. Though I have that freedom at the moment, I’m not exercising it. I’m…in the doldrums, as it were. Oh for it to be payday, then I could just go to the pub for a quiet pint, or go to grab a coffee. Or even just go out for a nonchalant wander unworried and without the hassle of ‘not having money’ hanging around.

I’ve piles of books to read, I’ve nowhere to read them in comfort that feels my own. My room’s a prison cell, long since filled with irritation and the reminder of restraint and constraint. My companions are loud when they eat and irritating when they speak or grumble, lacking particular insight or vigour in conversation.

I visited a bundle of friends and the weekend and, crucially, it reminded me of how far from it all it seems here. Going out to make friends here shouldn’t be an issue at all, yet here I am: Sat, bored and irritated, and doing bugger all.

My resolution? I’m going to retreat to my earliest forays into proper literary insight and criticism. Or rather, my first proper non-Star Warsy passion, led by the future-spectre of one Leonard Mead.

To enter out into that silence that was the
city at eight o'clock of a misty evening in November,
to put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to
step over grassy seams and make your way, hands in
pockets, through the silences, that was what Mr.
Leonard Mead most dearly loved to do.

From Ray Bradbury’s “The Pedestrian”. I guess I’ll just have to suck up the worry and vexation of this no-money business. Humbug!

October 19, 2011

Call of C’tan

Filed under: Cogitations,Visions of the future — xisor @ 9:26 pm

In discussion with LordLucan there, I noticed a good ‘description’ of my feeling on matters new-Necronomical.

I suggested that Andy Chamber’s Deus Ex Mechanicus fits neatly with the new ‘shards’ C’tan concept. Or rather, DEM informs the new shard concept in a pretty interesting way, almost as much as it would if it were republished verbatim as if it were written wholly for the new lore.

We, nowadays, have a ‘Shard’ of the Deceiver, rather than the Deceiver itself. LL notes he still thinks he runs the place. I suggest: The Deceiver’s ‘prolific’ magnificence that it claims could be backwards-interpreted as some sense of dispersed self-awareness; knowledge of what other, perhaps non-battlefield, shards are up to. And even if not, why make such claims? Because even as a minuscule shard having escaped some shackles, he’s still the Deceiver, that’s why. And strictly its true. Even if he’s a shard-slave, he can still think he *should* be the master, and thus lie about it.

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September 28, 2011

The Many Circles

Filed under: Reflections,Visions of the future — xisor @ 2:28 am

I find myself often acting like a very lonely person. It’s perhaps unsurprising that I often feel extremely lonely. For a very long time, perhaps all my life, I’ve cherished that loneliness.

I’ve often remarked, when pushed on it, that I enjoy the loneliness. The solitude is certainly something I’ve enjoyed. One of the best holidays of my life, the trip to Prague in 2006, is ‘the best’ in spite of the actual quality of the holiday. It highlighted the trouble of the relationship I was in at the time, even though I was arguably too blind (or too deluded) to see it. That blindness certainly accounts for its end; I’d like to consider myself a misanthrope of a sociopath, but I think the truth is somewhat less appealing than that.

A Wonderful City

I really enjoyed Prague!

No, the trip to Prague was excellent. I loved that city. Really, I can’t think of a place I really felt more…comfortable. Perhaps it’s something to do with being in tears on a stone cold bathroom floor that melds ones’ ‘soul’ to a place, I assume that’s what happens in Soul Binding, tears before the Golden Throne. But I digress. Prague was excellent. Soup in breads, drinking bars dry of absinthe, wonderful city steeped in history. It really felt like a wonderful place. It also highlighted that I don’t treat my friends very well. Or something like that, the happiest day was when I got frustrated with them all and resolved to wander off, alone. It was excellent, I found some marvellous hilltop gardens and had a good old, proper explore without having to account for why I’m going one way rather than the other. (more…)

August 6, 2011

Demon the Third: The Creature of an Ashen Home

Filed under: demons,Reflections,Tea. Earl Grey. Hot — xisor @ 6:48 pm

Through this summer, I’ve found plenty of time for introspection. Mainly with a feeling of being on the outside looking in, on my own life. Not a sensation of being ‘out of control’, but of not quite having the prolonged, guiding/directional control most folks feel fairly comfortable with.

In that manner, I felt some discomfort. Not an immense amount, mainly because it’s been a rather pleasant summer, but a subtle discomfort, a nagging that things weren’t quite the way they should be. And it’s ruddy annoying, I’ll say, mainly because it seems there’s nothing to be done to rectify it except actually getting on with things. Life is certainly not in a position, for me, where if I’m not doing something I’m somehow ‘dead’. I’ve prided myself for a very long time on the maxim brought to my ken by way of Marcus Aurelias “To think is to live”, which seems pretty reasonable to me.

The trouble is that, though thinking is al well and good, it would seem that being able to sustain longer, focussed and organised periods of thoughts is something I’m yearning after and which, for the past … well, recent history, it’s something that’s generally been escaping me. I can think well enough to hop from A to B to C, but all the way to Z without touching down in the middle? No, I’ve not done that.

The thing is, I’ve not tried either. Which leads me to the simple case that to really have the perspective I’m mooching after, I need some metric by which to measure success.

Victory is Life

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July 12, 2011

A Conclave of Elder Things

Filed under: Visions of the future — xisor @ 1:37 am

The vast tetrahedral fortress ploughed the gas-filled void. Some light years distant, in the heart of the stellar remnant, the soon-fusing cores of a dozen proto-stars were coalescing. Shockwaves and pressure-fronts cascaded around the ship. Less than a speck in the grand dance of the universe, it nevertheless was an eternal fulcrum, an anvil of creation and repository of life in a near barren expanse of the world.

The biconal seminary hosted a collection of beings. Two sat roughly opposed on silent, motionless thrones of stone, pulsing eathly energies from within their hieroglyph and geometrically adorned exteriors. Around them clustered coteries of beings, members of younger races, their mentors, the scriveners and bio-technicians who commanded the flow of energies throughout the vessel, a great garden of flora and fungi covered the available surfaces. Several of the delegate-elders were near-catatonic in their contemplations of the birthing-clouds extending for dozens of light years from the ship in all directions, their mental exertions brushing lightly against the thoughts of others, mere eddies and whorls in the seminary’s discourse.
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May 8, 2011

The Second Demon: Kshawor

Filed under: demons,Reflections — xisor @ 3:35 am

Kshawor

I think this one’s actually pretty easy. Sometimes, in life, you feel yourself. Most of the time, in fact. If you don’t, I understand that to be a spot of an issue. Nevertheless, this Kshawor, as it is difficult to really analyse, except for the things it does, is a fiesty beast. More than that: it’s a binary beast. It either has you, or it’s long gone and untenable.

How would I know it? Looking back, particularly in the times closest to now (what we normally call the recent past, I’m given to understand) I identify the sensation by simply having gaps. Long gaps, usually, (i.e. not mere minutes/hours so contrasts to any points where I lose my temper, for instance) wherein I do almost nothing at all. Not ‘cease existing’ and bored myself up, but fritter the time away. Do nothing, uncaringly ignore plans and schedules I’m supposed to be keeping, half-arsedly attempt/say-I’ve-completed the things I do actually undertake. I imagine I’m probably a bit annoying when I’m in ‘that place’, but perhaps fortunately I’m suitable inactive/lacklustre enough to fly within people’s tolerance levels, to mix a metaphor or three.

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February 10, 2011

Demons can be fought

Filed under: demons — xisor @ 11:41 pm
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They say we all have our demons. It’s difficult for someone, like myself, who has for a good few years now studiously poured scorn on such notions to really turn around and pick up some of the beneficial bits of the ‘ritual’ of religion that I left behind. Prayers, for example, seem to me very much a way of getting your head straight. Of focussing. I’ve spent many a conversation since affecting the guise of a curmudgeon and firing off lazy quips like “praying is indistinguishable from talking to yourself” to poison the well of opinion.

I’ll confess, I also do it in the name of comedy. It’s lazy, still, but it appeals to my sense of mischief. On a walk this evening, I had a few thoughts. In some of the fictional universes I read a lot (notably the Star Wars, Warhammer and 40k settings, I’m a geek y’see) there’s a prevalence of mental, psychic and faith powers, the manifest will of the mind.

I don’t much care for deities and strict metaphysical orders, mainly because I’m a bit of a materialist in that manner. If ain’t falsifiable or a reasonable extension, it’s up in the air and fair game for messing about with. This is a frustrating position to be confronted with, I imagine, but it’s also a wearying one to hold too. It requires a lot of thinking on my feet, a lot of risking arguments by anticipating points and  dodging contentious issues by thinking it out. Sometimes, many times, it is not successful and an argument will be had. As Dr Steve Novella has mentioned a couple of times on the SGU podcast, it’s an advancement in my style of arguing.

Many years back, I was characterised as argumentative. Or a know-it-all. Or always-has-to-be-right. I always took this to be a good thing, I was either pushing myself or testing myself, in hindsight I see the flaw. I apologise to those who’ve suffered my nonsense because of it. In light of that, though, I see arguments nowadays not about being right, but as a means to foremost understand the difference  between my opinion and someone else’s, but secondarily as a means to see how either, both or neither of the opinions and arguments need be modified to reach an agreeable position. Novella takes the view that it’s about honing one’s ability to craft a sensible argument and, practically, as a means to find out what you and the other person actually agree on. Different styles, but not exclusive, certainly.

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December 16, 2010

The Eleventh Semester

Filed under: A day in the life of...,Tea. Earl Grey. Hot — xisor @ 2:12 am

This is indeed a peculiar situation to be in. Here, six years and a few months after the commencement of my university career, I sit in a different uni’s library studying a subject I really should’ve gotten out of the way five years ago.

In studying IT at Stirling I’ve learned a few things. One of them is that even competency isn’t enough to deliver focus. Even confidence and a decided flair/vigour doesn’t sustain indefinitely. To put it lightly, I could do with a bit of a challenge.

I’ve done well so far. My only non-first class grades are from modules I don’t care for, or from items which were delivered late. I shouldn’t be content with this. I’m sortof smiling on the inside, but not far beneath that I’m deeply dissatisfied with the run of things. (more…)

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