Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
Well, the good news is I’m not dead. And I finally got wi-fi back up, which is a relief, because apparently the whole commenting-on-my-phone thing didn’t really work out. Even with the internet back up though, these past months have simply been too busy for me to really check up on Ferretbrain. I’ve been getting my visa and medical insurance back, teaching and lesson-planning at my schools, and writing by butt off to finish my novel, the final draft of which is nearing completion. Living in the city is way more hectic and expensive than the countryside, and yet at the same time I feel more satisfied than I was back there. I still remember the fear. I still remember the feeling of hopelessness and despair that marked my last few months here. But the black moods have subsided, and I know what it is to feel happy again.
To explain: At the time, at the urging of my partner at the time, I was playing Undertale, which at the time was significantly less of a Thing than it became not too long after, and upon reading Dan H’s “Games Are Not Art”, I became quite frustrated with the gulf between my own experiences with the potential for “entertainment software” to tell a moving story—in other games but particularly in that one, where the narrative and mechanics are so intimately wedded—and the rather pat and somewhat reductionist viewpoint I felt that the article expressed. Already having been a reader of the site for some time at that point, I decided to take the bull by the horns and pitch an article on the subject to Arthur.
Alas, I never wrote this article, or any other, for this august site, and now I never will.
But then, a Hallowe’en surprise: The developer of that selfsame game releases the first chapter in something which is and is not a sequel to that game, an... *uncanny* little release, heavily reliant on intertextuality for its full effect despite appearing entirely self-contained. And suddenly the wheels begin turning anew. I have no idea where I might publish my mitherings on this particular subject, but... well, I’ll figure something out.
It is down to individuals as to whether they want to actually post their stuff. I am going to reach out to all former contributors to let them know the shutdown's happening and let them know it's an option, but I'm not going to strongarm people into contributing to the Blogroll if they don't want to.
What about some of the other contributors, out of curiosity? Dan and Kyra haven't been around since 2013, sadly. Shim still has his sporadically-updated RPG blog. Are there any others to follow?
And hey, I just realized I'm actually working on a sorta horror-themed article at the moment. Maybe I can clean it up and get it submission-ready in time to join the month's roster ...
Until I get wi-fi installed, I guess it's radio silence for now.
(Weird, though, that apparently the Japanese legal code ranks grown adults selling sexual favors as a crime comparably serious to trafficking minors.)
By the way, I've been meaning to mention, in terms of wrestling resources: I've heard good things about GLOW ("Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling") on Netflix. Haven't checked it out myself, but I seem to remember hearing it's a good entry point for people who aren't already familiar with wrestling. Granted, I understand time and bandwith constraints are a factor for you right now, but it might be worth making a note for future reference.
I tell ya, if it's not one thing it's another. Oy vey.
*sigh*, so true.
I guess national borders and immigration controls screw people over pretty much everywhere; some places more so than others.
Good luck with it all.
On the other hand, it's because of all this that I've remembered the genuine fear and anguish I felt during my brief week of homelessness. I'd forgotten that fear. I had such an amazing life in Kazo that I'd forgotten just how afraid I once was. But now I remember, and even as I swear to appreciate a stable life once it someday finds me again, I know that I will never be able to live up to that promise. Not really.
Also once I move in to my apartment I won't have wi-fi, unless my friend's extends across the whole complex. So... uh... maybe I won't even be able to post anything in October. So don't worry about the radio dramas. Still, if that's the case, it means my visa went through, I was able to move in, and I got insurance, so... yeah. :)
Raymond: wait, I'm still lost. Why would I perceive you enduring all the hardships you've faced as a negative thing?
Okay, let me see if I can break it down and make some manner of sense of all this. When I said
Robinson: My intention there was to correct, not to retaliate, and I'm sorry if I came across as aggressive.
I wasn't referring to my initial comment (henceforth, C1), but the follow-up (C2), specifically:
Robinson: Er, actually, I meant that as a word of encouragement for you to keep up the writing
And the reason why, in the comment I'm going to refer to as C3, I said I didn't mean to
Robinson: retaliate, and I'm sorry if I came across as aggressive.
Was in reference to your reply to C2, in which you said:
Raymond: I hope nothing I said came across as insulting or demeaning.
Which rather gave me the impression that I'd come across as aggravated and insulted in C2. So I thought maybe I'd said something in C2 that sounded unintentionally nasty or hostile, which would explain how I could've given that impression.
Raymond: Evidently this is one of the problems with purely text-based forms of communication.
Couldn't have put it better myself.
Huzzah! Another radio fan! Perhaps we should make my plan for October a group effort.
Er, I don't know about that. Horror's never been my genre, so I didn't associate it much back when I was a major radio buff - and like I said, that turned out to be a phase that I came out of back in my late teens. I might be able to come up with one or two horror radio dramas I've really enjoyed if I think hard enough, but I might not.
Concerning George Guidall, I didn't know who he was until I googled him, and the first two results say he's won the Audie award thrice and he's labeled the "King of Audio-Books" by the New York Times.
Given what I know of his narration work, that sounds plausible.
Arthur, thank you so much for that list. Again, I don't know how much spare time I'll have, but this list really helps.
Robinson... wait, I'm still lost. Why would I perceive you enduring all the hardships you've faced as a negative thing? Evidently this is one of the problems with purely text-based forms of communication.
Huzzah! Another radio fan! Perhaps we should make my plan for October a group effort. I was hoping to post a link to a good horror radio drama every day of October, with a little explanation/review detailing why I chose it, but unfortunately, especially in light of recent events, I've only been able to find 21 dramas that I think are worthwhile.
Concerning George Guidall, I didn't know who he was until I googled him, and the first two results say he's won the Audie award thrice and he's labeled the "King of Audio-Books" by the New York Times. Granted it's become hip to shit on the NYT these days, but still.
Also, much thanks to you for your own advice on wrestling things. Again, not much time, but this helps.
So, I'm gonna submit my Sekigahara article, and then try to address everyone in the comments section. I don't know if I'll be able to get a full-blown article on all the movies I watched this summer out before September, but even if it's just for one movie, I'll get another article up before the month is out. I think that's all on my end.
I also used to be a classic radio buff. The interest waned when I grew out of my teens, but I still have a soft spot for 'em. But my parents also used to read to me when I was a little kid, and since I was a precocious little tyke and didn't learn to read properly until several years past the standard age here in the US - ahh, unschooling - they needed something else to occupy my bored little mind when neither of them could read to me. Hence, I grew up with audiobooks, and there my interest hasn't waned. (And considering how very slow I am with regular books, it's unlikely to wane anytime soon.)
I've actually listened to many books narrated by George Guidall - he seems to be a pretty prolific narrator. And I'm not sure if he's really a cut above the rest; true, a lot of audiobooks I've encountered have had mediocre or down right crappy narration, but there's also a lot of real talent in the field, and they turn in some quality stuff. (Then again, I'm not the best person to judge this stuff - when it comes to movies and tv, I can't even spot a bad performance 4 times out of 5, so why imagine I'd be any more discerning when it comes to audio narration?)
I actually haven't read any of Banker's books so far - again, slow reader - but I appreciate those of his short stories I've heard on podcasts so far.
Anyway, congratulations on your job offers, and your refund; I'll cross my fingers that everything works out financially between now and October.
I know bugger-all about wrestling, but I have been entertained by Noah "The Spoony One" Antwiler's video rants about it. I've also heard good things about Lucha Underground, which I understand is less than a decade old, but I don't know how one would go about watching it. Oh, and coming back to commentary, the funniest thing of any kind I've seen in a while have got to be Martin "Little Kuriboh" Billany's "Mark Remark" videos; practically incomprehensible to someone not already familiar with the WWE, but so incredibly funny that I have to pause an average of two or three times an episode because my sides hurt so much from laughing.
... Not sure if any of that helps with what you're looking for but, ehn, thought I'd mention just in case.
That said, I think a lot of them got their groundings in Western promotions before getting signed to Japanese ones; I'm not sure how the process of getting into the Japanese developmental systems works for Westerners.