It's not the prequel to 300. No. It's not a time when one hundred men were assembled for war, but rather a time when 100 men and women were assembled for the peace of reading.
Reaching 100 required a bit of celebration to mark the moment. Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic has been active since 2007. With little effort to promote the site here through other outlets like Facebook, it has still managed to find an audience. I'm humbled by that and continue to appreciate offering something to those who appreciate science fiction and what little I might have to bring to the table. My blog is just a drop in the ocean. I'm a bit like those characters in the end credits of a film or a good TV series. I'm like Tough Guy played by The Sci-Fi Fanatic or Street Pimp #3 or Indian #2. I do my best with my small contribution.
Of late, admittedly, there has been minimal activity here at the site. Why? I wish the answer was an easy one. Like most realities, several factors I'm sure play a part. Lack of inspiration and motivation of late has not helped. Sadly, I wish that wasn't the truth, but there it is.
And without getting overly existential or philosophical, I sometimes find I overthink things. We're all looking for purpose and reason. Sometimes it's downright crippling for me to feel so small, so insignificant. It's like standing in a large crowd or looking out the window of a landing plane. Suddenly, you think, my God, what could I possibly offer here? I'm like Tom Baker who constantly things about mortality.
Of course these are always our own personal journeys. Only we can figure these things out along the way. The upside is that all we have is time. Though probably never as much as we'd like.
Apart from looking out for family and general health, I've been catching up on some much desired television viewing. And speaking of time, it's a bit like Detective Rustin Spencer "Spence" Cohle said in HBO's True Detective (2014), "life's barely long enough to get good at one thing." Think about that and for someone like myself it can be paralyzing. Though, great series and an interesting character and perspective if a bit sad. The underrated Woody Harrelson is equally engrossing too. I had newfound respect for that actor. But the reality of it is Matthew McConaughey and Harrelson have always been exceptional. So, True Detective is a solid eight episode HBO tale.
Meanwhile, the thrilling Game Of Thrones (2011-present) concluded Season Four and The Leftovers (2014), with former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston, has filled that vacancy nicely on Sunday evenings. I'm enthralled by the odd series even if I find myself scratching my head or attempting to make sense of it all. I remember this feeling with Lost (2004-2010). There may be a sense of deja vu there. The last installment of The Leftovers (Gladys) was graphic and certainly thought-provoking.
I also finally watched the two seasons of HBO's Rome (2005-2007) and Carnivale (2003-2005) too. Both are excellent. And I believe Season Two was marginally better than the first for Rome and I was surprised by that. Again, you can expect universally great production and performances from HBO. These two series have it in spades. I'd give the edge to Carnivale in the casting department. I actually penned several posts for Carnivale but never got them posted.
Those looking for a further dip into Game Of Thrones-flavored waters, especially if you love Sean Bean, could check Black Death (2010). But you would be wise to generally steer clear of it or lower expectations. I found the story poorly executed, a bit slow and generally disappointing.
During my absence I checked out the Season Four opener for Falling Skies (2011-present) and that series just seems to be missing something for me. It's simply not compelling enough to hold me. The treadmill effect reminds me of The Walking Dead (2010-present). They are both okay. My daughter is an absolute The Walking Dead fiend. My son, who has kept busy with loads of baseball, not so much.
I recently re-watched Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012). My daughter loved it. I did too. It's an excellent science fiction story with plenty to ponder and one that prompted my daughter to say, "take me to see the sequel in theatres." Okay, I won't turn that down. Prometheus is indeed the kind of thoughtful story that engages me.
A library rental of Riddick (2013) saw my daughter leave the room in disappointment. Truth be told I wasn't impressed. Thankfully it was a rental.
And speaking of terrifically woven serial killer tales like True Detective, on the reading front, following a viewing of the terrific first season of TV Series Hannibal (2013-present) starring the magnetic Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, I picked up the Thomas Harris book trilogy. I've always enjoyed the films and the mythology of its true crime world remains fascinating to me. Red Dragon (1981) has been a page turner. I can't wait for Hannibal Season Two and was thrilled it was picked up for a third season. The performances alone are completely captivating. I can't wait to see how they continue to adapt the world of Harris.
In fact, Mikkelsen is so good, as always, I intend on revisiting Casino Royale (2006). More notably his work also led me to the foreign film The Hunt (2012) which is an outstanding and even heartbreaking film with a splendid performance by the actor.
American Horror Story: Murder House (2011) Season One was also exceptional. That series and True Detective were so absorbing they actually lured The One To Be Pitied away from reality TV for the engrossing viewing experience.
I finished Breaking Bad (2008-2013) too. Man, that series is a modern American television classic. Vince Gilligan and company are no doubt proud and should be.
And speaking of American classics, to simplify my life, I've even looked at a few early episodes of The Little House On The Prairie (1974-1983). That series by Michael Landon was incredibly sincere and I'm impressed with how well it holds up and how sharp it looks on Blu-Ray. I love the traditional, pioneering, ethic of the series. These were indeed hard times and some scenes appear fairly faithful to the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder from the 1930s. Landon created a heartfelt and perfectly casted one for the ages with that series.
In fact, sadly, unbeknownst to me, one of the many greats on the series, Richard Bull (1924-2014), who played Nels Oleson, passed away in February of this year. He was a delight on the series among a long list.
For those ridiculous moods, I've even checked out raunchy classics like Animal House (1978), Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982) and Porky's (1982). I'm really happy my kids weren't around. Those films were really unsuitable and my gosh I was watching them at their age. Where was my mother?
On the creative front, I began attempting to funnel my passion for music through a new idea, Dog In Space. Folks here understand my passion for music given a number of music posts that appeared here at Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic. Thus, I decided to separate those posts into a new site. Alas, it's all about the inspiration to write there as well but at least it's another outlet for when the spirit moves me.
I've purchased some new music of late too. Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence (2014) and Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour (2014). Both could easily qualify as two of the year's best. These are meticulously produced without the rote production of most pop. There is real personality in both projects.
So that's a snapshot of my generally leisurely ways of late. And finding focus and inspiration to blog of late has been difficult. These things tend to wax and wane for me. Too often I'm caught up with attempting to make sense of matters far too great for this mere mortal to dissect and break down. This is the cross I bear. My mind tends to work as it does and sometimes it can be quite incapacitating.
Until I manage to pull myself together more consistently my sincere thanks to everyone who has taken time to visit here over the years and to those who officially signed on board. Thanks very much. I hope there are entries of some value here and hopefully there will be many more to come. (Publish) I did it.