Smoking in the fog

So I’m currently located in a small rural town in NSW. This is where I was born. I have managed to have some fun since arriving, but I’m going to chalk that up to freak events. …but it isn’t so bad hear, out in the sticks. It’s a quiet night. The stars are bright and clouds are whispering by under a full moon. It’s some fine, relaxing shit, really. Earlier I caved and bought a pouch of tobacco, the first in well over a year, though I did buy a packet of cigs while eating and drinking my way around Sydney, a couple of weeks ago. Small vices make it all a little easier.

That first puff, and I could feel tightly wound structures deep in my brain unclenching. What now? I’m staying with family until I work out what I want to give a crap about and what I want to do about it. Most of me is dropping not so subtle hints we shouldn’t give fucks about anything. Disappear. Fade away. Admit we are nothing. Clip my wings to keep myself tame. Admit that such a position is not something we can abide. Or admit it is something we can abide?

This is the image of reality when lost deep in the foggy lands. Beyond the fog lies an all-encompassing maze of razors and shit. I’ve heard there are better ways to get from A to B. Damned if I know what they look like, or where they lie. I’ve been in that maze. I don’t want to go back. Looking at myself now, I’m looking at the same person I was at 16. To think I would be back here in the fog, where everything outside the fog looks like the lesser alternative to nothing. If that I had the strength to eat razors and kick down walls…

Fragments

Late-night emo sessions coming at ya! This was written several months back. Not much has changed.

It’s just me and the dark. Laying here, sprawled among the wasted shards. There’s nothing left to give me that little warm feeling. I have failed and I’m pushed right to the jagged edge of this little reality.

I’ve never been so close to absolute night. There’s nothing out there. Nothing for me. Pinpricks of light sail the silence. Little bubbles of light and life. Could I swim that far? Would they have me even if I did? I’m trapped in this vacuum tube and I’m running out of time. Once the glass brakes it’ll be drowning time.

I can feel the pressure rising, and it’s already imploding. I can already feel the shards tearing flesh. This life, my world, cutting me to pieces. Love and hope and little moments of condensed light, all tearing me apart in a slow inevitable concussion a lifetime long.

All I can do is close my eyes as the world I’ve known shatters, leaving me to the crushing depths. I know I’m drowning. And I know it’s my fault. I know I should have been bold. I should have been shrewd. I should have sold my little life whole-sale and went out to fight in that big bad void. I should have fought and killed. I should have kicked and stabbed and taken everything that could be torn free.

Now all I can do is sell this life a shard at a time. Pull theses frozen spikes from my flesh. Sell them at a bargain. Sell them to live another day, washed up on some alien stretch of void. Dream of the vacuum tube. No, instead dream of the glories that could have been – maybe what can still be achieved, if only I can hang onto enough of these burning fragments long enough to make it to the day. Dream of the day I can use what I still hold to make a fresh reality to burn away the dark and the pain.

Jim Is ep .0- Birth of a Comic Strip

Jim Is - text and image. Introduction to dark, self-depricating existential comic.
Click me

Jim Is will be a self-deprecating, and hopefully humorous comic exploring issues of depression and anxiety, existential terror, etcetera. For now the strip will be posted here, but it is likely it will eventually find a more fitting home.

Jim Is, is created with Photoshop, angst and a fucking ray of hope for the purposes of laughs and therapy. I welcome comments, criticism and suggestions.

Why A Perfect Circle’s “Passive” Describes My Relationship With Miss X

A dark and broody song, this was a favourite of this angsty teenager, and it was one of the first songs that conveyed the feelings I had about the apocalyptic breakup of my last relationship. As with any symbolism or metaphor, this song does not perfectly represent the situation, but it is as close as any song has been. Miss X, and many others in my life, would say that said relationship is so far gone and dead that there’s nothing to even be angry about now – nothing left to discuss or fight about, or for. But here I am, still just as and angry; still just as thirsty for answers.

Miss X is the woman I love and hate with equal strength. She is someone I always want to see, but if I came upon her a hundred-thousand years from now, it would still be too soon. Compound this issue with the fact we have a child together – yep she’s in my life for now and ever. She’s someone I would feel very conflicted about knowing they were having a bad and horrible life.

In this way she is a prime candidate to become my perfect enemy, but she has never faced me, never given me any answers – just walks away – just plays dead. This lack of closure is very disappointing. There is no conflict to pour the immensity of my deeply conflicted emotions into. I am now walking away in disgust. She is obviously better off keeping her reasons to herself, too afraid to face me and admit the truth. At the best, I can expect passive aggressive bullshit. So deeply unsatisfying from someone I care/d for so much.

I will certainly be better off for moving so far away, where she can’t rely on me to be there for her needs, while completely ignoring my own. You fucking disappoint me.

Now, regale me with your comments telling me to get over it.

Dead as dead can be
The doctor tells me
But I just can’t believe him
Ever the optimistic one
I’m sure of your ability
To become my perfect enemy

Wake up and face me
Don’t play dead ’cause maybe
Someday, I’ll walk away and say
You disappoint me
Maybe you’re better off this way

(The only answers I ever got amounted to nothing. The breakup is still a raw and bitter deal for me. To me it could have always been salvaged. Now I can’t even

Leanin’ over you here
Cold and catatonic
I catch a brief reflection
Of what you could and might have been
It’s your right and your ability
To become my perfect enemy

Wake up and face me
Don’t play dead ’cause maybe
Someday I’ll walk away and say
You disappoint me
Maybe you’re better off this way

Maybe you’re better off this way
Maybe you’re better off this way
Maybe you’re better off this way
You’re better off this
You’re better off this
Maybe you’re better off

Wake up and face me
Don’t play dead ’cause maybe
Someday I’ll walk away and say
You fuckin’ disappoint me
Maybe you’re better off this way

Go ahead and play dead
I know that you can hear this
Go ahead and play dead
Why can’t you turn and face me?
Why can’t you turn and face me?
Why can’t you turn and face me?
Why can’t you turn and face me?
You fuckin’ disappoint me

Passive, aggressive bullshit
Passive, aggressive bullshit
Passive, aggressive bullshit

Nightmare Spaces

I’m out of time and out of options. The walls are too near – closer upon every measure. Doors are closed and lights fading to null. It really shouldn’t worry me. A life spent lingering in the spaces between possibilities, sniffing at uncertainty, always knowing that ruin was inevitable. The best days were spent firing off riddles into the dark. Questions, statements, curiosities. Little flares placed to navigate the night lands, each a living sanctuary. Imperfectly made, usually incomplete. DNA unstable.

And now mutated horrors come back looking for me. My miserable little zombies, they have become. Unfulfilled. Hungry. Seeking. Stuck between the walls and the abortions of dreams, hideous refractions of the reality I wanted nothing of. Now I am a pathetic parody of my creations, and I know, deep down, they were always prophesy.

All refuge is comprised of nightmare spaces. My fellow travellers urge me into this one or that one, but one other door reopens. All know of its existence, but they dare not speak its name. It is a vilified space. It is cold and absolute, a one-way deal, but it proposes a personal redemption and an end to horror. There is no anxiety or despair or picking between nightmares. To gather up my mutated creations and enter the oblivion that was before time, or not, that is the final question.

Over It

So, I thought that whole, “I woke up one day and realised I was over him/her/it”, was a bunch of malarkey, but that’s a fairly accurate account of how I feel right now. I’m not sure when exactly it happened but the roller coaster seems to be petering out (really truly), and has been for some time. Generally, I like roller coasters but that one got old damn quick. Psychic emo rides are the sort of thing only drama queens and masochists can derive any joy from.

The booze and slobbing about period has lapsed back into my native state of booze-and-slobbing-about-lite, which has always been a more productive space. I’ve never managed to attain the dubious title of “drunken master” in any of my pursuits. A little extra lubrication rarely hurts, though that is indeed a very slippery slope that can easily result in pizza and zom-coms (or whatever) for the ill-disciplined and vulnerable.

[Carpe diem bro]

Academy of Interactive Entertainment: The First Week

The Pain of Getting to Know You

Who else finds those “getting to know you” sessions awkward and painful? Maybe it’s just me but whether it be for study, work, or just about anything else this part of the orientation has me looking for emergency escape routes. In short, it has the exact opposite of its intended effect.

HR goon/tutor/etc: “Stand up and tell us about yourself. Don’t be shy. No one’s going to judge you.”

Me: Umm, no thanks.

HR goon/tutor/etc: “Ok, fantastic! Let’s all break up into groups by favourite colour and penis size for awkward bonding activities which are designed to be stupid and disarming.”

Me: Fuck my life.

Or Not…

This time around there was none of that awful anxiety. Maybe I’m just chilling the fuck out in my old age, or maybe being in a room with other awkward geeks and creative types blunted the harsh edge of “getting to know you” politics. Sure, the group wasn’t uniformly anxious and dysfunctional, but these are my people… more-or-less. It also helped a lot that the first round of introductions was simply, “name, and last video game you played”. Our disarming group activity was building structures with marshmallows and spaghetti. How can you go wrong?

The fun rolled on with party games on a huge projection screen in the foyer. Strangers facing off in Joust and the innuendo laden Pole Riders resulted in much laughter and applause.

Down to Business, Maya Style

After a barbecue lunch (which I ditched in favour of a much-needed coffee) it was down to business with the first introductory classes. It was slightly amusing but more painful listening to the tutors struggling to explain fundamental principles such as UV mapping and rigging. Some of the explanations were a feat of linguistic contortion, and likely left those new to the concepts supremely confused. To be fair, these can be hard to explain off the top of your head.

As I suspected, Maya is the 3D software we use in class. My first impressions of Maya: what the fucking fuck? Coming to Maya as a LightWave user made for a distressing first encounter. Without knowledge of why Maya is laid out the way it is and why it functions the way it does, the program appears to be an unforgiving hodge-podge of idiosyncrasies. After a few hours of being completely lost and confused the logic started to appear and an incredibly powerful program was unfolding. Unless I end up landing a job with a big studio I don’t see myself working with it much in the future, but that is more due to the price of an Australian commercial license than the software itself.

All-in-all the first week at AIE was positive and I am optimistic about the opportunities the course and institution have to offer.

The Grand Reboot 2.0

heavily manipulated photograph of sunset with office furniture in the foreground
The view from my office/bedroom

Turn back ye now! Ahead lies a most self-indulgent post of woe (and hope). Everything is about me. So, run or stay. Your choice! Another year has spun on. My hearing is getting worse, my eyes are deteriorating and my hair is in a slow retreat. Those things I can live with but this break-up weight seriously needs to go. I can still see my toes. Last year was one arsehole of a year, but thanks to some good friends and family, self-medication and therapy I’m still here.

Things are looking a little better and new possibilities beckon. This isn’t to say everything was great when I look back further. The five years I spent with miss X and my second born had many ups and downs, but in many respects, they were the best so far. But when looking all the way back to my first days at high school and every day since, a general lack of direction, self-doubt and existential aliments has resulted in a jumbled, turbulent and unorthodox life to date. Not to mention conflicting and contradictory. So, some good and some bad. Some extraordinarily super periods and some hellish.

I know I’m not alone here. Most people experience at least some of what I’ve been through, and there are plenty who go through much worse. There are far too many that don’t made it through to the other side of their worst days, either because the bad ones keep on rolling on, or because suicide becomes preferable. I got lucky. I didn’t end up dead or a vegetable.

My greatest regrets are letting anxiety get the better of me all to often, living so far away from my eldest, and allowing my relationship with miss X to implode.

And this is where it has all lead to. At 30 years of age I am yet again trying to make a “fresh” start. It was 5 years ago, almost to the day, that I first came to Canberra on the grand reboot, and once again I’m heading back to school at a new institution. Unlike previous attempts I’m feeling more secure in my field of study and have a clearer idea of where I’m going. The future has always been a severe case of writers block. Any clarity is very welcome.

Starting next week (Feb 2nd) I embark on a two year diploma of 3D Animation & VFX for Film at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment. I almost forgot what optimism felt like. That too is also very welcome. The biggest obstacle to overcome in making it through this course will be to settle for “close enough is good enough”. In past studies an unrelenting propensity for perfectionism has lead me to burnout time and again. Of course, perfection is a myth, or at best, a fleeting moment destroyed by it’s mere observation. Good is good enough. Repeat. Practice. Good is good enough.

And then there are feels like these

Mostly pleasant day with showers of sad, a mild case of witch. Showers strengthen in late afternoon to full-blown despair.

It has been more than nine months since the split, and here I am, still wanting a dank cave to fade away in. Don’t get me wrong, internet ghosts, I’ve had some good times in these nine months, but here I am driving around in circles. Have I made any progress on being a better, stronger person, more capable of living life the way I want? Maybe… Maybe not.

I’ve spent some solid time working on my artistic skills, but more time slumped in bed watching old TV shows. If nothing else, at least I can say I’ve lived my life as a model of depression. Thankfully there isn’t anyone handing out awards for such achievements.

Oh, I just came back from a holiday. I spent it in the lands of my youth with my boys and family. That was nice. That was when it all started building up again. Perhaps this is an indication that the nightly indulgence of a red or three had more of an impact on the medication than I previously thought? Or maybe I’m on the wrong meds, they do nothing and I just lucked out, snagging one of those “one in a thousand year” type breakups.

Then again… Come on, boy! Suck it up! Join the army and harden the fuck up already. Life isn’t some bleeding-heart liberal picnic. Life’s a war. It’s command and conquer and you’re either someone else’s grunt or you are the fucking commander in chief.

Reality bites.

Welcome to the CyberageFunk Grand Opening

Hey there random visitor! Welcome to this here blog. My name is Jim. I reside in Canberra Australia, but don’t hold that against me. Life has calmed down a little since I purchased this domain and wrote the introductory blog post (which I never got around to posting). Cyber Age Funk is still just as applicable to my life now as it was then, but I expect this blog will be less self-deprecating angst and more about things I think are cool and worth talking about.

So, what was the angst all about? Well… it had something to do with a breakup of apocalyptic magnitude and attempted suicide. No kidding! But it’s all fine now. No more suicide anyway [/troll bait]. Now with that little piece of history receding into the past it’s way past time I got back to work. My work is not incredibly lucrative and the income it provides has become almost non-existent since the end-of-the-world. But what do I do for peanuts? I write. I blogs (therefore I am). I also make 3D models on the side. My primary blog, which is all about 3D arts, has been in deep freeze for the last several months. It was this blog that was meant to fill the void until I felt up to getting back into that world but huge amounts of cheap wine and slobbing about got in the way.

But here we are! I survived the nuclear winter and all is returning to some sort of normality above ground. I’m still deciding just how I’m going to play this new blog business, but I’m thinking it’ll have a little of everything. I’ve been reading a lot, gaming and toking away on my e-cig, as I ponder on transcending a life of nihilism punctuated with severe bouts of fear and loathing. But let’s not get too philosophical. Not yet anyway. I hardly know you, so let’s take this slow [too creepy?].

Now, just throwing some ideas of what you might read here: fiction, film, writing, games, e-cigs (because they are a rad alternative to dying of tobacco related diseases), interesting science and technology tid-bits, and other assorted geekery. In the interest of staying in the beans and earning from my wordsmithing ways some articles will contain the dreaded affiliate link to stuff I dig. I’m not a marketing trash-bag, so don’t worry, no diet pills and penis enlargement copy/paste posts here.

Until next time stay sane(ish),

Jimmy CyberRage signing off