Friday, August 24, 2012


January, 2012:

Hey guys. Did you miss me?

I missed you too. Unless that answer was a 'no' and then I'm not sure why exactly you're continuing reading. But carry on.

I could spend an outrageous amount of time explaining why it is I've been missing out on blogging, or we could save that for another time. It doesn't make very good material. Either way, I am now finding that my world has a little bit more time, so I'll try and blog more.

Pathetic excuses aside, I thought I might try and yak a little bit about something that immediately identifies my nerd-dom but will hopefully make decent blog material.

Have your seen/read/heard of Bleach before?

It's a manga series (there's an anime about it too) - so, a Japanese comic/cartoon/blah - about a schoolkid who can see ghosts.

Odds are, you've already heard me talk about if before if you've read the blog, or met me in person. Anyway.

The gist of the story is, the schoolkid acquires supernatural powers from the other main character - a female 'reaper', and then they and a bunch of other characters do what all the Reapers (I'm going to stick with the Japanese term for the job from now: Shinigami) do in a bunch of adventures. They send the ghosts of people to the afterlife and kill the bad spirits (called Hollows).

A Hollow is a ghost with no heart. They turn into monsters and eat other ghosts, people, Shinigami, blah blah blah. The point is that it's a Shonen manga so there's a truckload of fighting and drama and explosions and infrequent fanservice, which is frankly embarrassing even at the best of times.

But rather then spend my long preamble telling you about the Boob Lady, I kinda wanted to bring up the idea of the Hollow.

Hollows, or the theory of a Hollow, was something that I checked out earlier in the year, because I based a uni project around the idea of the mask, which relates to Hollows and the such.

Pictures explain better.

So, there is the hollow. It has a hole where the heart used to be and a mask that shields what is left of the ghost. What is left exactly? According to Kubo, the writer of the series, 'a heap of instincts'.

Hollows get to be more fun later in the series, because the main character, Ichigo, has some fairly close encounters with one particular one. I'm deliberately being vague.

What does this have to do with anything?

At the start of 2011, I had a bit of a 'life priority reshuffle'. It was needed, but it was hella painful, and for a while there, things got...interesting.

So, because the brain and the heart were playing up, I spent a lot of the year playing with and tinkering on the concept of instinct.

I did more things based on it. I allowed it to become a little more rampant, at the cost of a bit of sanity, and probably part of my reputation with my housemate. But then, housemates are spared the tediousness of interacting with the mask instead of what exactly is underneath it.

(You see what I did there?)

What I am saying is, there is no point to a mask with a housemate. Anyway, I'm drafting this when I ought to be in bed, so I hope that there's some quality still intact.

Rambling aside, this year got to be very different. And spending bits of it as a Hollow was...

...I want to and at the same time don't want to say worth it. Do you want to spend half your time running on instinct?

That's up to you.

What I found was that it was almost exactly like Ichigo's experience in dealing with...yeah. I mean, it's useful for getting out of tight spots, and berserkering is great, but a lot of the time got spent either trying to rein it in or trying to regain control.

And truth be told, there's no way that people are able to hide behind a mask for too long. The harder you try, the harder the repercussions are later. Things just...don't work.

But then, this world is fallen. Things don't ever work. And I know that choosing to live by instinct won't ever work well because eventually it just rolls around and turns into self-serving desire before biting you in the bum. Not productive.

Did I enjoy my year as a Hollow?

Some bits. The bits where I got to sit down and draw, and that was what was required for uni work, then instinct was great. Especially in an art school that pushes Abstract so much (I should put that in Comic Sans to make you understand how I feel about being told to stick to blobs all the time). You sit down, tell your brain to shut up about how much you suck, and get down to whatever it is you're working on. Good times.

Would I choose to keep living as a Hollow?

I don't think so. It's handy, but kinda messes up the psyche a lot.

Is this post one that needed a filter?


I'm going to save this as a draft and show you tomorrow.

*Eight months later*

Gilligan-style cuts are amazing, no?

I came home for this weekend. Partly to see the folks, partly to rub my face on the owl some more, and partly to prep for Animania in September.

Anyway. I do a lot more driving by myself now. Was going to get people to come with, and then I left Newie before any of that could get organised. So I got to spend three hours yelling at myself and singing/yowling along with the Hume brothers and Florence Welch. Small cars are amazing.

I'm sorry, we'll get back on track shortly.

So, Animania. And I suddenly realised the Batman take I was having this year on making of costumes. Because earlier in the year I got to be a Weeping Angel with some mates. And in a month, have a guess at what I'm going to be?

Covered in white paint, that's what.

Tomorrow will be sit down and Handicrafts day, where I will sew my sister a trenchcoat, and she will cast a Hollow mask on my head. It will be grand.

But the concept of the Hollow, as I mentioned earlier/ages ago, is something I find intriguing. And more than a bit scary, for a variety of reasons. I think it's a reminder of what we could be if we didn't keep stuff in check.

Vague stuff FTW.

Batman? You know, dress as what frightens you. And what looks gnarly.

I've got a bit more to go before I can give a convincing Hollow scream though.

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