tomfromhr.com a blog on tech, politics, life and zombies

26Dec/130

Rediscovering Reading

At any given time I can tell you what I'm reading. Usually it's 2 or 3 books; often one fiction, one non-fiction, and one less serious fiction. The latter is often a reread; a Terry Pratchett, more often than not. 

Like most geeky people I embraced the ereader phenomenon as soon as I could. I remember lusting after the original Kindle before it even came to Canada. My first reader though, really, was an iPad. Since then I've switched to different iPads, an actual ereader, and now I find myself coming back full circle to books. I find I missed the physical feel of books. The heft of a good read in my hands. The texture and design of a nice looking cover. The way some books have that kind of fake older feel to the edge of the pages. 

My switch back to physical books has really happened quite recently though. I purchased Nick Offerman's book in hardcover because it just seemed like the type of thing he would want. As a man who seems to glorify and revel in the physical and the traditional, it seemed almost blasphemous to buy his book on an ereader.

Then, when choosing a book for Book Club (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell) Mich asked if she could borrow it after I was done. Since I can't so much loan an ebook, I went and found it in hardcover.

And as a book about writing and book…something about it clicked for me. I liked seeing the pages fly by. I liked carrying it around. I liked the focus it offered, compared to an iPad with its notifications and whatnot.

I feel a renewed love of reading, of books and characters. I've even gotten into audiobooks, too. I've started to feel the stirrings of stories within me. Not a lot. It's still not fully formed, and I don't feel the urge to write the same way I feel the urge to blog (see me being here instead of pounding something out in Pages on this flight). But it's there. I may even have something original this time, as opposed to the usual fan fiction that jumps into my head.

We will see, however.

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14Sep/131

Mere Confidence

In the last few weeks I've embarked on what I'm calling a Secret Project. It's one of those things where I'm worried if I talk about it will go the way of all my other projects, and it's important to me that it doesn't. I'll say it concerns my health and my confidence, and leave it at that.

But speaking of confidence, I have thoughts on that today.

To me, sometimes, confidence is a switch.

In reality it's something you build slowly, over time. It's built by quieting those voices, by replacing them with others. It's built by doing things, by feeling things. It's built in therapy, often. 

Occasionally, though, I find something happens in my life. It's like I've found the switch to a light in the basement and it just goes "flick."

And suddenly I am Thomas Fucking Fromhr. I am tall, confident, and can take on whatever the universe throws at me. Often, for me, it means I let a lot of that roll off my back. I let it slide off me, and stay still.

I've found a few meditative moments lately. I've been outside and had a free moment, so I sit down. I feel the cool air around me. I close my eyes and let my mind quiet, and almost immediately chastise myself for not doing this more often. I often find a fair bit of confidence in those quiet moments. When I can quiet my mind, the voices telling me I can't do X or Y, that I'm too A or B, they go quiet. All I'm left with is awesome, wonderful, in control me. 

I feel that way right now. Part of it was buying a new shirt today that makes me feel like a million bucks. Not the act of buying the shirt (though I won't pretend I don't enjoy that a bit) but a nice fitting, slimming thing. A thing that reminds you of who you are, even if the body doesn't fully cooperate right now, even if you look in the mirror the wrong way sometimes and see something you don't like.

Part of it was simply reading a good book, Anansi Boys. In it one of the characters in supremely confident. He's a God, after all, he should be. And in some ways it's wonderful to remember, to realize, what life will let you get away with if you ask, if you expect. It's amazing what comes to you, and I don't even mean in a law of attraction sort of way, when you have no doubt about it. 

How perfect life can be!

I need to feel like this more often. I need to find this switch, this little thing today that clicked in my head and left me without a doubt that I am powerful. That I am worthy. That I am able.

2Nov/121

What I’m Absorbing: November 2nd

Each week I'll post the things that are in my ears and in front of my eyes. This can include articles, websites, blogs, YouTube Channels, TV shows, podcasts, books, games, programs, utilities or anything I can think of! Where possible I'll try to put links to check things out. The idea here to share, critically look at what I'm doing, and to motivate myself a bit to not just play WoW all the time.

Watching: Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23 and The Mindy Project - I'm throwing both of these here because I suspect both will be added to my regular viewing schedule. I've felt a bit of a TV drought this season; besides old standbys like Parks and Rec, Castle, HIMYM and New Girl, I hadn't had much to watch. On GFM's recommendation I checked out Apartment 23 and rather enjoyed it. Both leads are charming, and James Van Der Beek playing a caricature of himself is perfect and awesome. The Mindy Project was...okay. I love Mindy Kaling, both as a comedienne and on a crush level, and truthfully her alone makes it watchable. The rest of it is...I don't know. I expected better. It doesn't have the subtle humour the Office has (or had, anyway). It feels a bit more...madcap. Like any number of single-camera comedies that get trotted out and shot down each year. It's just a very standard comedy show. Mind you, it's got Mindy Kaling in it, which knocks it up a bit and makes it worth watching. But I don't love it.

Reading: I was at a bit of a loss book wise on what to do next, so I went back to a series a friend had recommended to me, the Thursday Next series, written by Jasper Fforde, specifically The Well of Lost Plots. The series centers around Thursday Next, who lives in a kind of parallel, slightly more advanced universe to ours and discovers that she has the ability to enter books and that there is an entire sub-universe where fictional characters interact and are as real as you or I, and a whole governing body and police force to ensure no one changes the plots of books. It's a little complex, but fun. If you get past that the whole book is essentially a slightly standard police murder mystery, but the backdrop is fun. I feel like I'm missing out a bit on some references because I'm not that familiar with Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and other classic works, though, which is making me want to try and read some of these. So that's good, I'd say!

Re-consuming: Often I'll end up having a show or book kind of on the sidelines, for when I want something easy and fun, or something in the background. For me lately that's been Futurama. Thanks to the series being on Netflix I've been rewatching it from episode one. It's funny how much the voices and some of the in-universe bits change over time, but it's still a great series. I found myself laughing hard at jokes I've heard many times before, just because. I've been loving it, and it's definitely worth a rewatch if you haven't lately. And if you've never actually watched it...you're in for a real treat, I believe.

What are you absorbing this week?

19Oct/120

What I’m Absorbing: October 19th

Each week I'll post the things that are in my ears and in front of my eyes. This can include articles, websites, blogs, YouTube Channels, TV shows, podcasts, books, games, programs, utilities or anything I can think of! Where possible I'll try to put links to check things out. The idea here to share, critically look at what I'm doing, and to motivate myself a bit to not just play WoW all the time.

Watching: Homeland - I've been watching Season 1 of this a fair bit and really enjoying it. Damian Lewis is a great actor who, in my mind, doesn't get nearly enough work. The spy aspects, the politics, the family dynamics, coupled with the weaving of Islam into it, are fascinating to me. Not to mention Morena Baccarin…I'm sorry, what was I saying? Oh yes. Homeland. Great series so far, and I'm hoping to finish season 1 this weekend.

Reading: I finished Up and Down by Terry Fallis last week. This is a Canadian author who had written two great books, The Best Laid Plans and its sequel The High Road, both comedic stories about Canadian politics. I love both of them, but didn't love Up and Down. This book centres around the inner workings of a Canadian PR agency, trying to help NASA increase their public profile. While neat, it just didn't grab me in the same way. Could be because I don't work at a PR agency, but that seems a very narrow audience to write for, though I know the author worked at (and I believe founded) one. It was an easy read, though, much simpler than my last one, which was a nice change.

Playing: I've been having tons of fun in WoW these days, playing the new expansion, Mists of Pandaria. It introduces us to a new, Asian-inspired continent and a new race of Pandaren (I'll let you guess what they're inspired by) as well as a new martial-arts themed class called the monk. It's been the most fun I've had in years, to be honest. Tons of guild mates are back for it and I think we've all just been really happy with it. There's lots to do for me; professions to work on, alts to level, my monk to level especially plus the usual WoW stuff. I'm letting myself have a bit of fun with it, and since it's early in the expansion I'm just letting myself play, while trying to balance things.

What are you absorbing this week?

1Jun/121

What I’m Consuming: End of May

As I've mentioned before, I've been thinking a lot about the content I consume, and been wanting to consume more. I fell out of that habit the last few weeks, but wanted to get back to it. So I thought, what better way than being accountable to others for what I'm consuming?

So every week I'll be posting a list of the things I'm reading, watching, hearing and...touching? Tasting? Maybe? Likely the first 3, mostly. The idea here is to make sure I have things to share here, knowing I'll be making this post once a week and maybe share some cool things I've discovered.

I'm also doing #BEDJ, or Blog Every Day in June, with many awesome people, and this is sufficing as my first post for that, cause I want to start doing this regularly on Fridays! I may write the Food post, which is our theme for the day, later.

Without further adieu:

What I'm Reading:

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

I've been enjoying this so far, just over halfway through now. It's the sequel to his previous book, The Name of the Wind,  and part of a trilogy. Fairly accessible fantasy, with a fascinating world and a compelling, if somewhat Mary Sue-esque, character. I suspect I'll be done this by next week!

What I'm Hearing:

Radiant Land by Leeroy Stagger

In ways this should be "CBC Music App," as that's how I discovered this album. Randomly loaded the app up, turned on their indie music station, and the song Dirty Windshields came on. The app had a "download on iTunes button" so I clicked that about halfway through the song, and bought the album. A bit country-esque, with a hint of classic rock. The album is the kind of thing I put on in the background (while healing LFR on Wednesday, actually) and it's a nice accompaniment.

What I'm Watching:

Life

Technically, this should be Game of Thrones, as I finished Life last week, but I wanted to highlight this little gem of a show. It ran for two seasons, starring Damian Lewis (Homeland, Band of Brothers) and Sarah Shahi (Fairly Legal) as partners in LAPD Homicide. Lewis' character had just been released from jail after 12 years, after finding Zen Buddhism and clearing his name and getting reinstated as an LAPD officer. Similar to Castle, and not quite as snappy, but fun, with a dose of Zen Buddhism weaved through some of the themes. Should've gone on for longer, if you ask me, but sadly no one did. Watched this on Netflix, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice distraction with most shows heading towards their finales.

 

What are you consuming this week?