Creating a Universe

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Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.

Which apparently for me is in Black and White.

There’s a simplicity in it. Clean lines and well defined contrasts. This universe is a lot more structured and less ambiguous. Which for me makes sense. Unstructured ambiguity creates uncertainty and therefore anxiety, which takes me back to less pleasant times. I can see how this might stifle the more creative, free-spirited types, but for me it’s the opposite. There’s an embracing comfort in it which is optimal for me.

I drafted up a note yesterday asking the interviewer for clarification on the feedback. Slept on it overnight, and sent it off this morning. I’m not expecting much in return, perhaps some confirmation that their thought processes are skewed and therefore inaccurate. I’m fully aware that the follow up response, if any, may be just as poorly worded and dismissive as the initial feedback, which may end up digging the knife in deeper. But, I wanted to see if there is anything usable there and felt like the downside is minimal. I’ll likely lose a bit of sleep, and that’s not exactly the end of the world.

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/16
52mm
ISO 800

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Trials

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A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.

Status: fucking tired. Wide awake at 3:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so gave up trying around 4am and got up. Night terrors as usual, but these extended throughout the night which is unusual. Things peaking out from shadowy corners, movement across the room and from behind the drapes. My mind was obviously overactive last night seeing things which are not there.

Received odd feedback yesterday from an interview which I had two and half months ago. I’d long forgotten about it, rightly getting the impression during the interview that they weren’t really interested, which is fine. That said, the tardiness of the response and inelegant content of the message was a little off-putting and has left me wondering if I should seek clarification or leave it alone. Perhaps that’s all I need to know about the organisation, tactless correspondence as an indicator of the way they approach employee relations.

Still, is this an opportunity to make some changes?

Nikon D3400
1/640 sec
f/9
18mm
ISO 100

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Visions of the Future

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Sometimes my vision becomes blurred and I can’t see the future anymore. In times like this, I seek clarity by taking myself out of the picture for a while.

Status: I can see the future, but I don’t like it much. I have an interview next week for a position I can probably get. I also have my network which I can leverage for available opportunities, and I’ve been procrastinating about doing that. If I’m being honest with myself, I don’t want to go back to Finance, I’d prefer to do something else.

The problem is it’s going to take me a while to gain traction on The Next Thing, and I think it’s a practical choice to bridge the gap with gainful employment in the Finance field while that happens, and then transition over to The Next Thing when I’m comfortable that it can comfortably support me.

I know that’s the right call, but I’m still not happy about it. Suspect that I’ll have to do the usual and white knuckle it in the short term to get what I want in the long term. I’ve had plenty of practice doing this, so maybe it’s best to just pull the trigger and get on with it………….

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/5.6
18mm
ISO 1600

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Resistance

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It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.

Status: procrastinating again. I’m at that part of the day, very early in the morning, where I’m full of hope about what the day could be, and then I sink into little self-indulgences designed to provide immediate gratification, but to also delay working on things which will give me fulfillment in the long run.

This is a hard one to get past, and I’m afraid I’m losing the battle. The day goes by, and then a week goes by, and then a month goes by, and I use that lack of completing things to self-flagellate. So, I’m stuck in this cycle of immediate gratifying dopamine hits which provide nothing of long term benefit, and then use that behaviour to beat myself up.

I’ve tried a bunch of different things in order to de-emphasize the former and focus on the latter, and nothing seems to be sticking. So, I have to ask myself: is this really what I want to do? Do I actually want to pursue photography and writing (because at the moment it looks like the answer is No), or should I set it to the side and focus on something else?

I’m being foolish. I think it’s time to make a change…..

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/5
18mm
ISO 3200

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The Road

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Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.

Status: feeling more like myself today. Need to reach out to my network for the next opportunity, but I don’t want to. Conventional wisdom would say that this is my pride talking, however I think it is me avoiding the sting of rejection. Well, that’s part of it anyway. There’s more, but perhaps that’s best shared on another day.

The benefit of doing it now is that I find out if there is anything currently available, and if not then I can move onto The Next Thing – make plans and lay out the roadway for it. So, procrastinating and avoiding the pain is only hurting not helping me. Ironically.

Best get on with it, then.

Nikon D3400
1/15 sec
f/5.6
24mm
ISO 12800

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Comic Book Review – Thor: God of Thunder Volume 4: The Last Days of Midgard (2015)

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This volume collects issues #19-25.

The series takes an interesting turn as Thor faces off against Roxxon Corporate President Darren Aggers. Aggers is clearly polluting the environment and Thor is none too happy about it. Unfortunately, for the God of thunder he cannot swing his hammer at this foe as he is protected by an entourage of lawyers and the politics and bureaucracy of human kind. Thor does have help with rookie agent of S.H.E.I.L.D., Roz Solomon, who tries to help Thor battle Aggers through legal means, though the Odinson is not big on patience in that regard.

In the future, Old King Thor desperately is trying to reignite life on Earth, which is now a barren wasteland. His granddaughters plead with him to give it up, but two of the most enduring traits of the God is his love of Midgard and his stubbornness. To complicate matters, Galactus shows up, very worn down and hungry, and the Earth will be his meal. But, not if the King of Asgard has something to say about it, “Have at thee”.

This collection is bittersweet for a few reasons. First, it signals the end of Aaron’s “God of Thunder” era for this series. Marvel and Aaron made headlines and announcements from different media sources that there would be a Goddess of Thunder, which meant the cancellation of this series as well as the launch of a new one. It does look like it is off to a good start, the Odinson is still around, and is continuing on plot threads from this series. The other bittersweet issue is that Easd Ribic will no longer be the primary artist with Aaron for Thor beyond this volume. He is teaming up with Jonathan Hickman for next year’s Secret Wars event (an excellent combo) but breakout artist Russel Dauterman joins team Thor and is doing a fine job with all things Asgardian. Well, enough of the future of this series and on to the content here…

I love this series and I was never really a Thor fan before picking up volume one. Aaron and Ribic grabbed me with the whole God Butcher arc, through volumes one and two, and forced me into being a mighty fan of thee! Even volume three with Ron Garney on pencils, and Malekith as the antagonist, was quite the awesome journey. I would give the first three volumes a no doubt grade of A++. But this entry here, I would give an A- or even a B+. It is great but does not reach the same plain as it’s predecessors.

Thor’s battle with Aggers and Roxxon has it’s ups and downs but ultimately reaches an anticlimactic conclusion. As Aggers is a new character, it would have been nice to have some more background information on him and how is able to do what he does. Plus, Thor has been around awhile, quite awhile, it seems he would be a bit brighter for a battle with the CEO of a Midgard corporation and not be so stereotypically fooled. The outcome for Asgardia and Broxton felt like it had been covered before in the event Seige and even during Fraction’s run, but felt really forced as Aaron, whether from orders from higher up or not, sets up a new status quo for both realms.

The bright spot of this tale is the moments of action, which Aaron sets up nicely and Ribic and colorist Ive Svorcina make look legendary. Roz Solomon gets further developed which is a plus. She is a rocking new S.H.E.I.L.D agent. And although Aggers is a mystery and a too much of a cliche, he still made a nice villain for this story.

The main highlight for this collection for me is the story of old King Thor, that intersects with the modern tale, trying to revive a dead Earth only to have Galactus show up and be very hungry. Thor’s granddaughters are really cool and are a bunch of B.A.’s! And seeing old King Thor in action is sweet, especially against the devourer of worlds. Again, kudos to Ribic and Svorcina as they illustrate probably the best take on the big fella I have ever seen. The only issue I had here was that Glactus came off as spiteful and mocked Thor quite a bit. The best portrayals of Galactus are where he is cold and indifferent. He has no malice or feelings of revenge when devouring a world, he just does it because it is the will of the comos that relinquishes his hunger in this regard. But this is an undefined future and he looks extremely worn down. He did not even have a herald, so the personality change might have been to the centuries not being too kind to the big fella.

The final issue of the series is a combination of stories. One where a young Thor fights frost giants, another featuring the origin of Malekith, all while the granddaughters of Thor read on about these tales. Entertaining tales as they mostly are setup for the next era of Thor.

More love to Esad Ribic and the art teams here as they turn in incredible work. Ribic gets some help out at the end of this series from illustrators Agustin Alessio, Simon Bisley, and R. M. Guera.

So, for now, this is it for the God of Thunder and an amazing run, but the story does continue and as long as Jason Aaron is writing them and Marvel puts quality artists on them, I will stick with it.

 

5 out of 5 stars

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Neon and Early Mornings

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Lord, please help me find the strength to remain chaste…….but not today.

Status: tired, low energy. Awake at 2pm and couldn’t get back to sleep, so decided to give up around 4am and just start my day. Upside, downside. The early start gives me extra time to work on my task list for the day, however because I’m dragging my feet I’m not really capitalising on the extra time, so it’s a wash.

Suspect that this is a “hangover” from yesterday, which was not a good one. I’m feeling generally better today, but yesterday my depression was getting the better of me and it usually takes me a day or two to pull myself up from the depths and shake it off when that happens.

White-knuckling it at it’s finest. I really shouldn’t do that, I think it’d be better if I talk to someone.

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/5
18mm
ISO 3200

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