Wednesday, 12 March 2008

First Steps

I've thought long and hard as to whether or not to set up my own blog, mainly because it isn't immediately apparent as to what exactly I can bring to the sphere as a whole. I had hoped I could sell myself as offering an above-average number of dick jokes, but considering some of the competition I have in that regard, I might be setting the bar a little high.

Eventually, though, I decided not to worry about it. Time will tell as to whether or not this exercise is entirely futile. I guess at this point some kind of introduction is in order. So, in order of importance, the following things can, in a very rough sense, be considered the parts of which I, SpaceSquid, am the sum.

1. Mathematics

Specifically, probability. The theoretical behemoth through which I (just about) eke out a living. I'm not idiotic enough to be liable to discuss probability in great depth here, so you can breathe easy on that score, but it is worth noting that it tends to creep into my thinking whenever statistics are presented by politicians, journalists, or foaming-mouthed amateurs.

2. Writing

Prose, mainly. Well, exclusively, in effect, since every poem I have ever written has been bilge of the highest order (I eventually switched to haikus, since they at least are over too quickly for anyone to be too disgusted). I've done a lot of short stories, one novella, one novel (that is in desperate need of an edit and a proper ending), and a screen-play for a short film which we shot last September, and which could have been a lot worse than it turned out to be. Of course, this may be down to the director, assuming you buy into the Auteur theory, and further buy into the idea that it applies to drunken insurance agents waving a camera at his actors essentially at random.

3. Politics

US politics, mainly, because their endless ideological war is far more interesting than our tendency to agree on almost everything, and respectfully agree to disagree on the rest. Remember how much trouble the Tories got into over "New Labour, New Danger?" Our American cousins would pull that shit in an election for class president, unless the guy they were running against was black, in which case they'd come up with something substantially worse.

4. Japanese

About to take the exam for the end of my second year, which means I can navigate, order food, state preferences, and read two of their three alphabets. Since the third one contains upwards of fifty thousand symbols, I might choose to give it a miss, and just spend my first trip there pretending to be blind.

5. Guitar

This is towards the bottom of the list for the simple reason that I am awful at it. Right now, I can play exactly three songs, and maybe a fourth if I can ever remember the chord progression in the chorus, which currently puts me at the talent level of a drunken hobo busking with a penny-whistle. I am only a bridge-figuring-out away from reaching the legendary fifth song, at which point I will have reached the talent level of Mark Ronson. Seriously, listening to the aural abortion that was his version of The Smith's Stop Me... was like hearing your old friend's baby being beaten to death by a crack-addled cyborg using a microphone with the gain turned up as far as it'll go. Maybe it was irony that led to the song choice ("Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before"), but the actual arrangement is shit, and you can't equate irony with shit unless you're Alanis Morissette, at which point you're still doing it simply due to an inadequate grasp of the English language. Still, you have to admire the brass testes it takes to murder both The Smiths and Radiohead with consecutive releases. Anyway, I digress.

6. Digression.

Not so much a skill, talent or hobby as an inevitable occurrence. Consider yourselves warned.

7. Single.

That's right ladies, SpaceSquid is open for business. For now, anyways; previous experience has taught me that it could be as little as three years before I'm snapped up again, so book early to avoid disappointment. Or, to be more plausible, to change the packaging in which your disappointment will be delivered.

Right, well I guess that about covers it as an introduction. I'll be back when I can think of something more specific to scribble down.

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