22 July 2010

A View from a Hammock

oh, to float
suspended in air, looking up
into the birches, arching above
feeling the sway, the rustling whisper
the breeze on my skin, caressing my hair

blue and grey, the swirling sky
just a dream beyond, so far above
beyond these leaves, these whispering veils
both cocoon and ocean, closed in yet free

oh, to float
in flow given form, in stillness reborn
in the wood's silent roar, the gentlest of storms

Odes at SoundCloud

I just found SoundCloud. It looks like a nice place for uploading and streaming music, much more pleasant and functional than, say, MySpace (which I loathe but registered at anyway so I'd have a place for people to easily stream my music).

I've registered, and uploaded Odes to Melancholy there in it's entirety. The whole album can be streamed here. It's still the same album as before, though, with it's amateurish home recorded songs and crappy sound quality. And no, I have no idea when I might get around to recording more or better quality songs.

17 July 2010

I Comment, Therefore I Am

Where do people vanish on summer Saturday's? There always seems to be a drastic drop in the number of status updates on Facebook. I tend to be at home most Saturdays, so this always seems baffling to me, as does the drop in updates over various holidays. I mean, that's when you're supposed to have more time to hang out online, isn't it? Not the other way round.

I generally check Facebook and Twitter (and IRC of course) for new messages at least once every couple of hours unless I'm out somewhere, probably much more frequently when I'm in the vicinity of my computer (which generally is pretty much always). I shudder to think how much more time I'd spend there (and how much more pointless updates I'd post) if I had a web capable smart phone.

I'm currently vacationing in Nilsiä, as I often do this time of year, so my social existence is more or less limited to the Internet. So people vanishing for most of the day is understandably a worrying prospect. Internet addict? Maybe a little, but if the alternative is to have no social life at all, I'll pick this any day.

Speaking of summer in Nilsiä, as I've written before, I read Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind every summer while I'm here. I just finished reading it again, and it's still as beautiful as ever (so beautiful my eyes blearing up occasionally makes reading difficult). And I still keep noticing new details after all these years. Honestly, if there's one printed work that's even more dear to me than The Lord of the Rings, it's Nausicaä.

Finland's been tormented by an uncommonly long heat wave lately. Today's been surprisingly pleasant, though, with temperature here rising only to about 20°C. I really don't like extreme heat. And it only seems to affect me more each year. I guess I'm getting old. Anything much more that 20°C, and I'm too exhausted and uncomfortable to really do much of anything. Although I'm not sure that's really a drastic change from my normal existence...

9 July 2010

Building Up Steam

So somehow I've ended up getting into a lot of steampunk-ish stuff lately. First, of course, there's my new fantasy roleplaying game Tales from the Teya'o Iva. Once we finally got started we've been playing pretty actively during June and July, and having lots of fun. The players have been getting into the spirit of the game admirably, contributing lots of ideas. Zany monsters, eccentric rival zeppelin crews and crazy inventions abound. (In the very first session the characters spent a fair share of time designing and building the world's first blow dryer! Which they actually were able to put to good use next time when battling a bunch of ice elementals.)

Then I was pointed to the comic Girl Genius (published online and free to read), and was instantly hooked. I can't believe I've only now found out about this masterpiece. It took me only about four days to read the first nine volumes (doing very little else during those days, of course). Now I'll somehow have to adapt to reading it just a page at a time as it's published. Not necessarily an easy task.

Last, I started to wonder whether there's any good steampunk themed music. Through Wikipedia I found Vernian Process, a darkwave band (they describe themselves as 'steamwave') with Jules Verne/steampunk themes. I've just listened through their album Behold the Machine, and it's not half bad. What's more, you can download it for free from their website.