A silly little blog for me to drop the excrement of my mind.
Random thoughts abound
Published on August 20, 2007 By BlueDev In Blogging
This is incredibly petty of me, but I have to admit, after my last blog that was actually about what has been going on in my life went over like a rock, with only one comment (thanks Maso!!!  You da man!), I have been somewhat sapped of my desire to blog.  It is a silly reason, but I am the first to admit that one of my impetuses for blogging is the comments.  So, being summarily ignored was a bit of a let down.  Oh well, I can't say I have been great about commenting on other's blogs either, so I shouldn't expect more I suppose.
I am finally done down in Concord.  It is bittersweet.  On the one hand, I won't miss being on call every 2.7 days (the rules are no more than every 3), I won't miss sleeping on that little, hard bed, I won't miss eating the crap that you eat when you are pretty much pooped all the time and you drag yourself home to a little, tiny dorm fridge, an old stove and no decent pots or pans to cook in.  Most of all, I won't miss only seeing my family once a week.  On the other hand, I will miss the incredibly cool attendings, getting to operate as much as I did, and just generally the comfort of having been in one place for a while, knowing the system, etc.  Overall, the being home is the best part, and outweighs everything else (but not being on call three times a week is pretty huge as well).
I'm back at the VA, and I think I had forgotten just how miserable of a place it can be.  It smells, the patients are sick, with lots and lots of problems, and the amount of crap consults you get is impressive.  I think I will end up enjoying it hear, but I do recall not really liking it at first last year.  It will probably just take some time to get used to it again.
The quest for new and fascinating music continues.  Lately I have been most impressed by a bunch of bands that I would be willing to be a lot of money that no one here has heard of, let alone actually heard (with the obvious exception being my bro, San Cho, who introduced me to some of these bands).  Topping the list these days are the following, all of whom I highly recommend: Gojira, Nahemah, Kongh, The Pax Cecilia, Russian Circles, and Quo Vadis.  Good stuff, good stuff.
Haven't  been playing much in terms of games.  I did pick up Marvel: Ultimate Alliance a month or so ago.  Fun game, pretty simple and much more of an action game, with next to no RPG elements.  That is what I have really been wanting, a good RPG.  Sadly, the XBox 360 has a shortage of them (as did its predecessor).  I am holding out until Mass Effect hits in early December.  Bioshock looks interesting, and now that I am home I will have to check out the demo.  Halo 3 is, of course, only a month away.  That ought to be fun as well. 
Finally, last night, I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  It was a very satisfying end to a fabulous series.  Some people like to rag on Harry Potter, but I think that JK Rowling did a marvelous job creating characters you really empathized with, and a world that was rich and fascinating, without delving into the tedium that is often the side effect of serious "world building".  There were some things I would have liked to see differently: less camping, a bit more time to resolve at the end, and a couple of others.  But it was satisfying.  Of course, it was also very sad.  I always feel sad when I get to the end of a series of books I have really connected with.  I want to know more about the characters, more of their lives.  But alas, it is not to be.
Well, not much more to say, so I will wrap it up here.  Let's see if I can attract more than one dear reader this time around.  Maybe I should go and post a comment or two. . .
on Aug 20, 2007
Nice job posting comments!

World Building without tedium is definitely what went on, good point. I forget how much explanation has to go into all those fantasy books, about what everything is and all, and I usually just gloss over it when reading it. Then I find out that an elf is not the kind of elf I'm used to and have to go back, blech.

Anyway, Rowlings did a great job with the world and the characters, always leaving you wondering what more magic could do, and what the characters would do in response. Actually, the loss of tedium, for me, was the fact that pretty much all the magical world was new to the character, as well, so it all was explained as we went, in dialog, instead of in a huge paragraph.

As for games, I'm currently into Railroad Tycoon 2, so that should go to show you just how much my gaming opinions would mean to an RPG fan with an Xbox 360.

Good luck with the VA, and the stepping out of your normal routine.
on Aug 20, 2007
I might have to check out some of those bands.

I'm not really playing any games myself as of right now...back in college and a little preoccupied with getting stuff together this first week.

So...I posted a comment...I guess that's a "good on me."

on Aug 21, 2007
I find that when I'm not blogging regularly, it takes a while to again build up a nice stable of commenters.

As for fantasy writing (of any kind, I'll include SF and "dark fantasy," AKA horror, in that, as well) back when I worked with newbie writers I always found it nearly impossible to get them to believe people weren't as fascinated by the worlds they created as they were. They refused to believe readers weren't drooling to read paragraph upon paragraph of endless unnecessary description. I called it "World Builder's Disease." We don't need to know more than is necessary, and it is best woven into dialogue, character, and action. I'd tell them, "If you wouldn't go into those minute explanations about the everyday world we all know, don't do it for your fantasy world!" They never listen.
on Aug 21, 2007
If you're going to write a fantasy world, keep a journal for your own self. Release it later as a 'Guide to ___' if you get popular. But for heaven's sake, don't make the people reading for fun get into all that detail. Have a separate resource for the crazies.
on Aug 21, 2007
Which VA hospital are you at now Dev? I may see ya there.
on Aug 21, 2007

Which VA hospital are you at now Dev? I may see ya there.

I'm at the White River Junction, Vermont VA. 

We don't need to know more than is necessary, and it is best woven into dialogue, character, and action.

Precisely why I feel the world building in the Harry Potter series was so effective.  It was done more through Harry's eyes, as he discovered this world he did not know.  It made it interesting, exciting and much more engaging.

Thanks for the comments!

on Aug 22, 2007
I saw the blog the other day, didn't get the chance to read it, and didn't get back to comment. Life happens. I hear ya though about the let down...it sucks!

Congrats on completing your time at the Concord. I haven't heard those bands. Truthfully I haven't listened to that many new music lately, just the usual ones I love and enjoy. I"ve been trying though because I have a friend who likes to talk about music and movies and such and I've been introduced to a few I haven't had in my repertoire!

Good to read you again Peter!
on Aug 22, 2007
Hey Pete,

Glad to hear you're out of the on-call hell situation and back home with your family, where you belong.

I've been listening to some great new music of late as well. The latest Queens of the Stoneage is a great burst of dirty rock and a worthy followup to what they have done previously. UNKLE's latest disc, War Stories, is also very good. I don't quite know how to describe some of the sounds, though. Josh Homme from QOTSA appears on a few songs, both singing and playing drums. Ian Astbury from The Cult also sings on a couple of songs, which should give you an idea of where this piece of music is coming from. I've also been listening to some great local releases. The bands in question are Rastawookie, who play a hybrid mix of reggae, latin, dance and hip hop and a band called King Farook who play funk rock. Probably not your or your brother's cup of tea, but very much mine. And you're right, I've not heard of any of the bands you listed. I must be getting old

As for Harry Potter, well I'm half way through Deathly Hallows. So far I'm enjoying it but I've got to say having read the last couple of novels just before this, I can see JK employing exactly the same sort of devices she used in her previous novels. It certainly hasn't detracted from my enjoyment of the novel, though. I suppose if you're on a good thing, it is best to stick to it.

I haven't been getting many responses of late either but this is probably because I've only been putting up poems. Still, any acknowledgement is good, in my books.
on Aug 25, 2007
I'm a crappy brother. What can I say? Neither of us has been blogging much lately.

Have you gotten your free copy of The Pax Cecilia's CD yet? I love that they send it out for free, but it's kind of bittersweet - they're way too cool to not be signed to at least a label like Hydra Head or Neurot.

I'll e-mail you later . . .
on Aug 25, 2007

Have you gotten your free copy of The Pax Cecilia's CD yet? I love that they send it out for free, but it's kind of bittersweet - they're way too cool to not be signed to at least a label like Hydra Head or Neurot.

Yeah, I got in in the mail on Tuesday I believe.  Very, very cool CD.  I am really loving it.  It will be interesting to see what happens to them, in terms of a label.  Thanks for the recommendation.