First Days of August 2020

A good weekend. I guess that’s a good way to summarize my weekend. I wrote, I watched a few anime episodes, and I watched the Ju-On: Origins‘ six episodes. I’ll probably write a review about it. It’s not even new anymore, so I don’t mind taking my sweet little time.


I must tell you that this post was originally meant to be the second entry of my Project Journal about Black Fields but I discarded the idea to make it a random blog entry. The reason is that I did not see a point to make an entry when the new chapter has more spoiler material. I need to figure out how to write about it or just wait until the “waters are still” to talk without revealing too much.


I won’t complain. I know a lot of people feels kinda claustrophobic unable to meet in parties (assuming there’s an actual brain), or at least to gather at their favorite restaurants. I know there are more opportunities to go out and do more stuff in comparison to previous months as long as you take precautions and wash the very last corner of your being.

Introvert teenagers and adults like me and many others are in the paradise. It’d be a lie, though, if I deny that being a full-introvert is unhealthy, but it is what it is. There’ll be the opportunity to greet more humans when it becomes necessary. Until then, introverts can enjoy themselves and make the best out of it. The extroverts are having more trouble to cope; just hang in there, follow the rules, and I know this will be over, or at least controlled to the point where we’ll be able to go out without the paranoia of being infected with bat-illness.

mona lisa protection protect virus

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I remember a man on Twitter that asked what would be like to live in a world without vaccines today. I cannot imagine it myself, but just take a look at it; a world without ONE SINGLE vaccine. Everything is going crazy. I am not sure if crazy is a good term to use here, but some chaos has been around while a virus is taking over some lives and control over the situation we’re living. I am not expert, or knowledgeable on medicine, and my bet is that everything is going to be like this for two years at least.

Let’s not get too deep into an area far from my knowledge, I hope I am wrong and tomorrow an expert goes to a big TV/internet channel and tells the world the vaccine is there and that everything is going back to normal for Christmas (dreaming is free, right?)

Entertaining myself, entertaining yourself

This is easy. I’ve talked about it several times on previous posts. If you’re “lucky” enough to work from home, and you don’t know what to do with your time, it is the perfect chance to try something new. A movie or a show on Netflix, a book of the genre that grabbed your attention, an anime, or videogames. Sure, it is cool to go back to the things you love, though the most interesting perspective to take is to try something new. Who knows, maybe you’re going to find a new favorite movie, song, book, or game! Whenever I try a show or anime, I watch two-to-three episodes (no more), and if I don’t like it, I just move on to a different show.

Never listen to anybody telling stupid things like “Hang on, the show starts to get good after the 500th episode.” I mean, this is most common in anime, and we know most of the shonen fans have no criteria; just put fights and lights and they’re going to be happy.

One Piece is great, though! It has everything! And Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is genius in so many senses! I heard a lot of good things about Hunter x Hunter as well, but I haven’t seen the series, so I won’t put my hands on fire for it.

Words, words, and more words

I feel so satisfied with the books I’ve read (so far) in 2020. Finally introducing myself into The Wheel of Time series, and everything after it feels strange. I don’t know, it’s like something within me is forcing me to go back and read the whole series before anything else. I would not mind, though I have said before that I usually take breaks between the books in a series and the next; even I did that with the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, I read Mistborn, then two different books, and then Well of Ascension, and so on. But The Wheel of Time series, my friends, is something I just cannot pass by. I am trying to read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, but Robert Jordan is calling me, pointing at his series. I cannot resist temptation anymore. I am going to finish Six of Crows first, but after that I am going for The Great Hunt (book two of The Wheel of Time series) and probably for the next after it.

The music I listen

I don’t listen to music as often as I used to. I do listen, though, to my favorite (instrumental) music while I write, and I listen to my favorite songs with lyrics when I feel bored or before sleeping. I haven’t discovered many new-old bands or songs, but I feel satisfied with the few things I found. I guess I need to share a music video here, just for the old times and love for this form of artistic expression.

This song is not very new and not too old either, and I feel very surprised this thing didn’t turn into a meme. Perhaps is my lack of interest on memes that I haven’t found any. Anyway, Alestorm is a Pirate Metal band (yeah, that’s what the genre is called) from the United Kingdom, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. They have several songs that are very interesting, and most of them, if not all, really feel that they were written by a bunch of lost pirates that got lost in time and found electric basses and guitars. I appreciate they do it. Though I heard of the genre in the past, this is the first time that I actually got into it, and I love it.

By the way, go to the comment section of the video. The comments are hilarious!

Gaming

Nothing to talk here. Nothing to comment. I’ve been focusing a lot on my novel and I don’t want to interrupt my rhythm with gaming. I beat a couple of levels in Warframe and a few Call of Duty: World War II multiplayer matches, but if I need to make an hour count from the beginning of the month, I doubt I’ve played six hours in total. Both games have short levels that you could just play in very short sessions.

So yes. I recommend you to play Warframe if you’re looking for a good sci-fi/action game that is available for FREE on PlayStation 4.


It is Monday already, let’s see what happens. New week, new opportunities to be positive, or negative. Both options are valid.

Have a wonderful week!

JDR

Forced Not-Vacations

Day whatever of the quarantine. We’re forced to stay at home, this is our contribution to society today. It isn’t hard, but it seems some fools can’t follow a single instruction, as if they were asking for something difficult. Thanks to these people, the quarantine could be longer, and they feel fine because, apparently, everything is a conspiracy of power. I suppose there’s nothing we can do when part of our communities lacks gray matter.


man walking on the empty street

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While we work from home, and the beautiful people that are risking their lives every day to keep important services going, all networks have noticed a lot of changes. Honestly, I am curious myself to see how everything’s going to be once everything is, kinda, normal. The way we see things, the way companies work; nothing’s going to be the same.

A busy day

I am amazed how adaptive we could be. When everything started, being forced to work from home, I thought we’d have more time to spend for ourselves. I was wrong. Not every employer has the same rules; all depends on the type of industry you’ve been working with. Some companies let you work from home and take all the breaks, and there are others where you must take your seat for several hours until your work is done.

Can’t imagine all employees that are forced to go to their work places, pending of all required services. Hospitals, groceries, construction, just to mention a few; everything that they have to do with all the procedures that have been added as precautions. They deserve respect, more than ever.

Activities

How do you spend your time at home? Personally, I am taking my time to read more, play more, listen to more music. Remember when we had many excuses before trying something new.

Always the Music

This is another comforting post for me. I just want to share some of my favorite singles (songs) of all time. I’ve previously mentioned how much I love music, and how much I hate nostalgia. It seems that many people can’t just listen to other thing but “classics” or believe that whatever was made in a certain decade was better than the new stuff, and dare to claim knowledge. 

But this is not a post about me ranting. This is just me, sharing some of the music I love.


I always try to talk about those songs that didn’t make it into a single. You know, these songs that are chosen by the record label or the band to promote a new album. They usually pick the most radio-friendly songs to have better reception. And, as we all should know by now, that doesn’t mean the singles are the best songs from the new album; again, these are just the most radio-friendly.

However, I understand that a good way to introduce new bands to people, is to pick these catchy songs from YouTube, and send the link to your friends. If they like it, they’re going to buy the album, or stream it on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, or other services I forgot.

analog audio cassette cassette tape

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This list is a reminder for me, and maybe others, that music is a huge wave of nostalgia that is ready to take us out to the sea of good and bad memories. Music has that power, and I also believe that music is even more powerful than literature when we want to travel to a world beyond imagination. Don’t you agree?

RISE AGAINST

I know, this is unbelievable; the first song I heard heard of Rise against was “The Violence” from the album called Wolves (2016). I’ve been late to the party. This is weird for a persona like me, being so close to punk music since I was in middle school. Even I ask myself what in the world happened to me for not paying attention to this band, THEY ARE GREAT! The message they want to deliver is clear when they talk about politics, in a very mature way; and same thing happens with their most romantic songs, and more personal songs. This is a band that lyrically care about what is happening with society. There’s also a humble feeling in each song that makes me truly believe they know where they come from. After “The Violence” I write down the mission to myself to listen to all their albums, and found my favorite: Siren Song of the Counter Culture (2004).

 

SOCIAL DISTORTION

Before I take a step into another genre here, I want to speak about my “new” favorite punk rock band. Social Distortion is a particular case here. I’ve been listening to them for decades, even when I hadn’t had the opportunity to get any of these albums. I grew up in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and the music stores are very small, no punk at all. No Social Distortion, no Bad Religion, no Pennywise, no Rancid; nothing. Thanks to the power of the internet I found about more bands. I became obsessed with a lot of music that wasn’t even available in the whole continent! It was a paradise to me. Unfortunately, the only option I had is to stream in a very bad quality and a lot of lag. But that’s what we had back then!

I have to say that I hadn’t loved Social Distortion so much until they visited El Paso, TX. The Tricky Falls existed (and now it’s gone, sadly) and many cool events took place. I was living a tough situation; and I wasn’t in the mood to attend any concert. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I ended up buying the ticket for Social Distortion concert. I don’t know why, Mike Ness’ words went through my heart. I wrote a whole post about it, so I’ll keep the whole story out of this post.

I wanted to put this on top, but if I let my inner fanboy goes out, it’d contradict the message that I always try to tell about listening to different stuff.

AMARAL

Amaral, the duo from Zaragoza, Spain. Other musicians that have a meaningful story in my life. There’s a post about it, but I’ll summarize it for you: I loved music, but I underestimated all music in Spanish, but thanks to Amaral I regretted being ignorant for so long.

Music that comes from the heart. It is often called pop rock, but I wouldn’t be tagging Amaral just like that; their music has a lot of substance, since they have a variety of genres combined, mainly folk music. The poetic lyrics is another big highlight and, as strange as this will sound, one of the reasons I believe they’re not as popular as many other musicians in the mainstream circle. I’ve heard several people telling that their words don’t make any sense, but that isn’t truth, specially once you’d taken time to learn a bit more about Eva Amaral (vocalist) and Juan Aguirre (guitarist).

This duo is special. It surprises me that is not that popular as I thought they would be. Yes, in Spain they are a big deal. That changes in this continent; sure, there’s a good fanbase, but not big enough compared to other pop bands.

THE CURE

The Cure, a band that I believed an introduction wasn’t necessary, but today, I don’t see many people talking about them. I needed to look deeper for any mentions on social media.

This band, I’m not going to lie, is living out of their hits. Any album or song released after the 90’s is like it hadn’t existed in the first place. “The End of the World”? “Alt.end”? From their self-titled album? Yeah, I thought so. It is sad, their audience (me being part of that audience) is still there, waiting with all hearts for a live show.

I remember a post on Twitter from Kristin “Dee Dee” Gundred (ex-Dum Dum Girls) saying that listening to The Cure is like going to church. I couldn’t agree more. Magic is a word that I’ll always use to define The Cure’s work. Even though the majority of songs are simple, Robert Smith and company did something; put an enchantment to every single song that’d been released. Their versatility and deep lyrics (in the most part) took the band to a well-deserved position in our musical history.

It’s still sad, though, that so very few speak of The Cure nowadays.

AVANTASIA

When everything comes to Metal, the first and last band that comes into my mind is Avantasia. A band that started as a “solo” project by Tobias Sammet (Edguy), and ended up gathering the best of the classic and contemporary metal.

For me, Avantasia’s first album, The Metal Opera, brought something old and yet new to the table. I got the album from one of these weird and hidden music stores in Juarez, and all because it had the word “Opera” in the title. I wasn’t a big fan of Metal back then (I was more into punk), but my curiosity and the money Mom had given me made me feel in the liberty to pick a random music CD.

The first thing that surprised me, was the story; and no, I don’t mean the story behind the album or how it was made. The album itself contains a story. Every song has a scenario, and each song has one or more singers, each representing a role/character in that story. A dialogue between two or more characters, a monologue, a narrator, all singing their part as a metal song. Did I mention that each album has well-known guests? Alice Cooper, Candice Night, Sharon del Adel, among others. Give Avantasia a listen!


I don’t know why, but this quarantine lacks of something. Recommendations are always welcome, and I believe listening to different things or new things is good. Do not hesitate to write down your favorite bands or songs, I’ll listen to them! 

Lost in Quarantine

The Coronavirus is something you should take care of. Indeed, it’s not as dangerous as some… people that is easily scared might say, but as any other virus, we need to take care of ourselves. Think about you and your family, think about others; let’s do our best as a human community to avoid spreading a disease.


Many public places have been closed. Including companies that sent their employees to do home office. Some others, unfortunately, have to assist to their jobs. One thing is for sure though: there are a huge amount of people in their homes, breaking a routine, and wondering what to do in this situations.

That’s the answer: now that your routine has been broken, why not break it even more? I mean, how many times have you said that you wish you had enough time during the day to do something, like reading a book or other activity that demands your attention. This is a great opportunity to find new things to do.

person in yellow protective suit reading a book

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  • READ A BOOK

A book is a thing  that demands all your attention. If you want to read a novel, you’re going to need to follow a story. I know you get home tired from work, and the last thing someone wants to do is pick an activity that seems like a shore. It is not, but it is understandable to feel that way.

This is the time to discover that reading is not a shore. That reading is, indeed, as fun as watching a movie or playing a video game. Do not believe me? Well, hear me out (or read me, actually). Think about your favorite genre in movies. Is it fantasy? Space movies? Romance? Comedy? After that, it is simple: go and look for a book of the same genre. Go to your local bookstore, or look it up on the internet (Google and Goodreads are your friends). Never pick up something that didn’t grab your attention in the first place. Choose from the things you love in other formats.

READING IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!

man holding remote control

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  • WATCH A MOVIE OR SERIES

This is the most common activity in this circumstances. It is too obvious that mentioning will give me the title of Captain Obvious, but I’ll do it anyway.

Watch movies or series that you like. Or, why not, break all of your routines. This is totally the opposite from the books; I had said that you should read something the same genre you love. In this case I’m going to tell you to do the opposite. For the movies try something different. Watching a movie doesn’t even look like a shore as if it were a book. So this time don’t be afraid to watch a movie that you wouldn’t watch with a limited time after working for hours! Imagine, you might end up finding a new favorite film; a favorite film you’d never thought it would be good.

Have you tried watching anime instead of Hollywood movies, perhaps? The world is so big. Netflix and other platforms are providing a good variety of formats for everyone. Try those and see there’s more out there than we think!


This is just my opinion, of course, and I don’t intend to make you break your routines at all! Feel free to add more activities if you like, or tell me if you did watch or read new stuff.