¤ the man ¤ the mystery ¤ the minions ¤ more? ¤

(37 coooooooocks | shout it out)

Leavetakings? [10 Jul 2010|01:27am]
[ mood | melancholy ]

So, um, hello! I'm not sure if anyone still reads this, but this post is partially for myself, so I suppose it doesn't really matter.

It's come to my attention that, well, I just don't really use this journal anymore. I don't know exactly why I stopped. To be fair, I don't really know why I started in the first place, either.

This journal has been with me through thick and thin, good and bad. I started it on September 4th, 2001 and while I went a little while before it caught on, I started writing at a ridiculous rate in April of 2002. A rate that I kept up for some time, might I add. Quite some time. As of right now, I have 2,451 entires in this journal, which isn't that bad. Considering that there are a total of 3,285 days over the course of 9 years, in that entire time I averaged one post every 1.3 days. For NINE YEARS. Man, that's dedication.

I can hardly even remember all the stuff that's happened in all that time. I was in college in Gainesville, on and off. I dated several girls, had several jobs, made friends, lost friends, got cancer, got rid of cancer and even managed to get a college degree, though some suspected I wouldn't. Even more importantly than that, I got married. It's funny to look back at those early posts and see what I was like back then, and sometimes I have to wonder how things turned out the way that they did. They certainly looked pretty grim, for awhile there.

But all of that is in the past. Now I live in Atlanta, and I have a great life for myself here. My career is starting to move forward, I have a house with a lovely wife and an adorable dog, and it's a damn sight better than the cramped apartment that I was sitting in when I wrote that first entry, on September 4th, 2001. It was a day after I got back from DragonCon (or perhaps that night), and little did I know that that trip to DragonCon would kick into motion a series of events that I can trace from there to meeting my wife.

What I'm getting at, I suppose, is that I'm officially leaving livejournal. I haven't posted in it for far too long, and I haven't read it for even longer. I make Facebook posts from time to time now, and while I don't particularly appreciate how society is becoming used to these small, bite-sized pieces of information, I can't really say too much when I'm as guilty of it as everyone else.

So, I still get e-mail notifications of comments from LJ, and I'm leaving this post here as a memorial to my journal. So feel free to comment until the end of time, I suppose. Generally speaking, I'm a pretty easy guy to find on the internet, but if you only know me through the internet and don't know my real name to find me on Facebook, just comment here, and I'll get it to you.

I'd also like to add that I'm extremely thankful for everyone who's in any way interacted with this journal over the last ten years, whether by commenting or by being around me in person and having me write about you. While yeah, the last ten years have had ups and downs, I wouldn't be the person I am today without it, and I think I've turned out okay so far. So, thanks, everyone. Thank you for reading, commenting or just being there. It meant a tremendous amount to me, even those of you who have drifted away from me over the years. Whether you think I hate you, or don't care about you, or whatever, I can assure you that every now and then (maybe only every few years), I stop and think about you.

Most importantly, though, I want to thank my journal. You've been there for me throughout everything that happened, and while there have been several scares about this website going away, it never did. Thanks, Journal.


(13 coooooooocks | shout it out)

Whirlwind much? [04 Mar 2010|04:29pm]
Okay, it's come to my attention that I haven't updated my livejournal in two weeks. The reason for this, I suppose, is that it feels as though LJ has been declining in popularity. Well, at least that's one reason. The other reason is that I've been really busy.

So, um, it appears that I'm making a short film. My director friend came in from out of town and was basically like, "Hey, let's shoot a quick film." And I was like, "Okay." And he was like, "Good. So, go ahead and write the script." <chuckles>

So over the course of about six hours we'd come up with a premise, cast a lead character and written a script. It's basically going to be a short steampunk action film involving a robbery and a betrayal, and we're shooting it March 15-17th.

And, umm, during this whole process, I kind of got the idea for another short film. My director friend agreed to direct it, provided that I write it and it comes out good. It's a zombie film about five people stuck in a mall during the zombie apocalypse. Oh, also, it's a musical.

Yeah, you heard me. I'm writing a zombie musical. I can't write music, so I'm collaborating with a friend of mine for the melodies. I've always loved musicals, and I'm really, really excited about the prospect of writing a musical. If this works out, I would absolutely love to do a series of musicals in various genres, like sci-fi, fantasy, etc.

The upshot of all this is that I'm doing well, and having fun!

(14 coooooooocks | shout it out)

Snow Day! [13 Feb 2010|03:33am]
So, things have been pretty busy lately. On the downside, the feature film script thing didn't work out. On the upside, I've made significant progress toward making the audio drama move forward, as well as working on another script for a short film.

However, that's all less exciting than the fact that today it snowed in Atlanta! And it snowed a ton!

So what's a guy to do but make weird snowmen on his front lawn and... on... top... of... his... car?

Yeah, you heard me.Collapse )

(4 coooooooocks | shout it out)

State of the Austin Address [31 Jan 2010|01:44am]
[ mood | working ]

So, it's come to my attention that I have a huge number of things that I'm working on right now, and I figured I'd lay them out for all of you, just so you know what's up with me.

First of all, I still don't know for sure about the movie script... I've been going back and forth with the director, but he seems pretty dedicated to working with me, so once we get a script sample that he approves, I think things will move forward on that front. ^^

So here's the list!

  • Provided that I get the script contract for the film, there's that.
  • That director may also be interested in making short films of some of my short stories, so I've been talking to him about that as well.
  • I'm working on a short film with the Outlanders in which I'll be working on the script, and acting. (It's the sequel to this short film.)
  • I wrote a script for a filmmaker in Canada who's supposedly making a short film of it in the next few months.
  • I'm working on an audio drama based on my short story, "Virgil".
  • I'll be reading "Virgil" at the Crossroads Writers' Conference, for which I received an invitation kind of out of the blue.
  • I should have an audiobook of "The Phantastic and Wondrous Adventures of Mr. Jonathan Darby" coming out (at least in episodic form) in the next month or two.
  • I'm the Academic Panel Coordinator for both AnachroCon and the Alternate History Track at DragonCon, so I need to put together a whole bunch of panels in the next few months.
  • I'll be presenting a paper on Steampunk at the Internation Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts (which I haven't written yet) at the end of March.
  • I'm working on my Master's Thesis, which is a textual analysis of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine"'s revision history.

    Now, I THINK that's it. But that only covers the creative things that I've been up to lately.

    So, I'm really hoping that the majority of those things come to fruition. The various events are gonna happen no matter what I do, and I just hope that I do a good job on them. Still, it would be great if all of those films and other projects come together.

    Now you know!
  • (11 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    Cross your fingers! [25 Jan 2010|07:06am]
    [ mood | excited ]

    I can't say very much at this stage since it's still so early, but it looks as though there's a good chance that I'll be working on the script for a financed feature film.

    It's very exciting for me!

    Essentially, the situation is that there's already a script, but it's in pretty bad shape, so I'd be coming on almost more as an editor than a writer. There was a disagreement between the previous scriptwriter and the director, so they need someone else.

    It would be a paying job (which is more than I can say of some other jobs I've done), and I should theoretically know within the next day or so if it's gonna happen.

    I've got a good feeling about it, but wish me luck anyway! =D

    (6 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    Prevailing versus post-vailing. [22 Jan 2010|05:36pm]
    So, last night I sent the track director an e-mail regarding what had happened on steamfashion, and she had a talk with Jaborwhalky about it.

    Supposedly it wasn't her who deleted the post, but one of her moderators. I find this somewhat hard to believe, but I also can't prove or disprove it, so...

    Anyway, the track director explained the situation to her, and Jaborwhalky said that if I posted it again, it wouldn't be deleted. I'm about to go post it again now.

    Hooray, prevailing!

    Thank you all for your comments on my last post. =)

    (43 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    Haters gonna hate. [22 Jan 2010|01:23am]
    So, today I had a meeting with Cindy and William, the two track directors for the Alternate History track at DragonCon and the organizers of AnachroCon.

    Essentially, I'm the Academic Panel Director, which is a title that I sort of made up to cover my responsibilities. I'm in charge (relatively autonomously) of putting together good academic panels for both DragonCon and AnachroCon (some of which I'll be participating in myself).

    I came home from said meeting excited about getting the word out and getting started on putting together some panels. So I made a post to steamfashion asking people to either volunteer to speak, recommend a speaker, or just give their thoughts about last year's track. I wrote the post using my real name, and as an official representative of the track at DragonCon.

    I'm sure you can see where this is going. The post only lasted an hour or two before it was summarily deleted by, I can assume, jaborwhalky, that mad monarch who gives new meaning to the word 'despot'.

    It's one thing to hate on me in an unofficial capacity, but an entirely different thing to get in the way of my organizing a good set of panels for DragonCon, which is something that will affect the community as a whole.

    Frankly, I don't know how Falksen stands her.

    Included below is the text from my post on steamfashion, just in case anyone wants to spread the word that I'm looking for good, knowledgeable speakers and panel ideas or feedback. I said that I was mastergode because, of course, I had to post it under my alternate name that I made just for steamfashion, anti_censorship, because my primary name, this one, was banned from the community.


    My name is Austin Sirkin (also (by which I mean primarily) known as mastergode), and I'm the Academic Panel Director for the Alternate History Track at DragonCon this year, which is quite a mouthful! Essentially, this means that I'm in charge of putting together a spate of academic panels for our track. Those of you who attended last year may remember me from the Wild West panel, the men's fashion panel, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Panel or the Time Travel Paradoxes panel as the gentleman with the goatee with the handlebar moustache.

    Since our track is a fan track we focus primarily on discussion and dissemination rather than on simply listening to special guests ramble. Which means that I'm looking at all of you to help make this year as great as it can be!

  • Did you attend our track last year? If so, did you enjoy the academic panels that you attended (if any)? Why or why not?
  • Have you attended another event in which you were impressed by a particular speaker who you'd like to see on our track?
  • Are you, yourself, interested in speaking about a particular subject?
  • Or is there just a topic that is of particular interest to you, that you'd like to hear talked about?

    If you can answer any of the above questions, please feel free to do so! The more feedback we get, the better the track will be this year! If you are interested in being a speaker, or in recommending someone else, I suggest that you don't wait to inquire about it. The con is still 9 months away, but that time goes by pretty quick, and the available panel slots will likely fill up pretty fast.

    You're welcome to either respond via a comment to this post, or e-mail me at austin.sirkin@gmail.com.

    Thank you!"
  • (21 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    Best. Concert. Ever. [17 Jan 2010|04:45am]
    Okay, it wasn't the best concert ever. That was quite possibly Manowar and Rhapsody, or maybe one of the old TMBG and OKGO shows.

    However, tonight I went to go see Jonathan Coulton, and it was SO FUCKING GOOD.

    For those of you who don't know, his opening band, Paul and Storm, were freaking hilarious. Coulton was pretty much exactly what I expected him to be, but the opening band had me laughing so freaking hard. Seriously, I have NEVER laughed that hard at a show before, even at a comedy show!

    It was just a really good show, and the audience was a really good crowd. I wish I could have... I dunno, bottled that show and then given it to other people to experience, it was just that good.

    Oh, also, coming up in February are two more shows that I want to go to, and if anyone else is interested, you should let me know. That 1 Guy is playing in the middle of the month, and Henry Rollins is at the end of the month. I dunno if Rollins is doing music or spoken word or what, but I just have to see that guy, because he's fucking crazy. <chuckles>

    Anyway, time to go watch an episode of Community, and then go to sleep. ^^

    (24 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    Circadian what? [16 Jan 2010|05:32pm]
    I've been on a really bad sleep schedule lately, and even though I keep trying to change it, I just can't seem to do it.

    The problem, I think, is that I've started having trouble going to sleep. Not actually sleeping, but going to sleep. I just get so wound-up as the day goes on that it's hard for me to calm myself down and convince myself to go to sleep, even though I know I need to.

    It's an issue that's affected more than just my sleep schedule. I've just been really tense lately, too... All of the muscles in my body are tight and sore, primarily in my neck and shoulders. And I've even begun going back to the gym lately, so it's not that I'm not getting enough exercise. And yes, I've been stretching.

    I just need to calm the hell down, and I don't know how. I mean, I'm already on anti-anxiety drugs and I really don't want to increase my dosage.


    (6 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    I love the internet [09 Jan 2010|06:15pm]
    Last night, somehow or other, I got the song "Mexican Radio" by Wall of Voodoo stuck in my head. The problem, though, was that I didn't know the name of the song, who sang it, or any of the lyrics other than "I'm on a somethingsomething radio," from the chorus.

    Well, as you can imagine, googling "i'm on a radio" didn't turn up anything helpful.

    So I went to YouTube and typed that in, and scrolled through the various videos until I found the above linked video, and I was like, "Ah-hah! This is it!"

    I was... amazed, frankly, and it made me think of the way music used to be when I was a kid. Children growing up today are going to have an entirely different perception of music and music culture.

    For example, band information used to be hard to come by. That was how you could differentiate the real fans from people who just sort of liked a band -- they knew all about the band beyond just the music. Not only that, but sometimes just knowing of a band's existence was enough to earn you cool points.

    Nowadays, almost every band has a wikipedia page detailing their entire history, making that information available to everyone. There are sites like Pandora that introduce you to new music. If you don't know a song, you can just look it up on YouTube.

    It's... Well, it's pretty awesome.

    Every now and then, I have moments like this. In which I come to a realization that the world has changed markedly since I was a child.

    (18 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    Heating update [08 Jan 2010|01:35am]
    No one likes a story without an ending, so I'm going to fill you in on what's happened with my heat.

    Yesterday morning, I woke up and was freezing. When I went downstairs to let the heater repairguy in, it was 42 degrees inside my house. My breath was visible in the air.

    The guy went into my crawlspace and lit the pilot light, and everything was fine. The heat came back on, there were no carbon monoxide issues, and everything was great. Yesterday, my house was warm.

    Well, today it started getting a little cold in my house again. I checked the thermostat, and indeed, it was set for 80, but no heat was coming out of the vents.

    So, reluctantly, I went down into the crawlspace. After much experimentation, I got the heater to come back on, but I have realized that the ignitor for my heater has died. Pilot light, ignitor, I have no idea what my unit has (because I haven't been able to find it), but either way, it won't light itself anymore. Every time I want the heat to come on, I have to put on my heavy coat and go outside (in the snow, might I add) and go into the crawlspace, then sit there in the cold and coax it to turn itself back on, and then light the gas manually, with a kitchen lighter.

    That's how things stand tonight. So basically, I have no idea how cold it's going to be when I wake up tomorrow morning, and I have no idea whether anyone's going to be able to come out and fix it tomorrow. So I might have to do this several times a day for the next several days.

    Why can't my house just be warm? T_T

    I'm not sure if this qualifies as a FML, or a first world crisis, but either way, it sucks.

    (14 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    It should never be this cold in a house [06 Jan 2010|03:36am]
    [ mood | sad ]

    So, I had someone come today to fix my heater.

    It didn't go so well.

    Well, it did and it didn't.

    The problem was easy to fix... The area inside the heater needed a good cleaning (which is good that I called someone, because I wouldn't have known how to get in there), which the guy did.

    Unfortunately, while he was here, he was like, "Hey. This vent tube is single-walled, and it needs to be double-walled in order to be up to code. We need to replace all of this, because it's a carbon monoxide hazard, and I can't turn your heater back on until it's fixed which could be in as little as a few days."

    Yeah, that's right. He came to fix my heater, and instead disconnected it. Never mind that the tubes have been fine for the last 30 years (or god only knows how long they've been there) and that there was no actual evidence of any carbon monoxide problem. Nope. So when he finally left, it was almost 5, and I went into the basement afterward with the intention of just turning the damned thing back on myself. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to light the pilot light. There were no instructions or anything. So I called a handyman to come light it for me, but it was too late in the day, and he couldn't make it over.

    So now I have no heat in my house whatsoever, and it's 40-something degrees INSIDE. Outside, it's probably about 18.

    THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. Thankfully I'll get someone to turn it on tomorrow, BUT STILL.

    At least we have a set of portable heaters upstairs, so Megan and I will just be sleeping upstairs tonight, but even with both heaters running, it's still cold! Way to leave someone without heat on one of the coldest nights of the year.


    (8 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    Cold [04 Jan 2010|01:07am]
    It's very cold in Atlanta tonight. It's about 20 degrees which, for this part of the world, is pretty cold.

    That doesn't really bother me all that much.

    What bothers me is that I have my thermostat set on 80 degrees inside my house, and it's not getting any warmer than about 65. Even ruling out issues like thin glass, not enough insulation, etc., there's still just no reason for it to be this cold. I suspect that there must be something wrong with my heater (though what it is, I have no idea, since there IS heat coming out of the vents, it's just not blowing very hard).

    Anyway, we're wearing sweaters around the house, and it makes me very unhappy. =(

    I just thought I'd let you all know!

    (8 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    Updates and such [31 Dec 2009|04:24am]
    Man, the holidays have been busy. But fun, of course. I got some stuff I wanted for Christmas (even though I'm a Jewish atheist), mostly consisting of a few power tools and the like.

    What's been frustrating, though, is that I haven't been able to work on my most recent story, "Virgil". I apologize to those of you who've been waiting for the next chapter... I simply haven't had the time to sit down and write. However, I have decided what I'm going to do with it.

    Once I've finished the story, I'm going to write a script to make it into an audio drama. For those of you not familiar with audio dramas, they're basically like television shows for radio. I've already cast the two main characters (Virgil and Dr. Stewart), and I have a few people for extra characters, and I even have someone willing to do incidental music. All I need is someone who can either make sound effects, or just use pre-existing ones and edit it all together into a professional-sounding package.

    I'm really excited about the project for a number of reasons. First, I've had the itch to do an audio drama for some time. I'm really looking forward to playing with the idea of giving visual cues via dialogue, because I think it will be really fun. Second, I'm excited because (at least so far) everyone I'm working with lives in Atlanta. So I'll actually be able to rope people into doing things, rather than just sitting around twiddling my thumbs, waiting for stuff to get done. I really, really hate when people working on creative projects just don't come through. It's because I get all excited about it, and then it never happens, and that's just such an awful feeling. T_T

    On the upside, though, some of you may remember my Jonathan Darby novellas. The first of which is currently being made into an audiobook (or more appropriately, a podiobook). This is different from an audio drama because it's just one guy reading, and he's reading the actual text of the story, not just the dialogue. I said podiobook rather than audiobook because we'll be releasing them in episodes, rather than just all at once. I've heard some samples so far, and it sounds really smooth and professional. It'll be about four chapters per episode, with seven episodes total. I think that each episode will run about half an hour, or thereabouts. Hopefully it'll be done by February or March, though we may start airing episodes before the whole thing is done, we'll see.

    So, yay, projects. =)

    In other news, it's now New Year's Eve. I feel like I should take a moment to reflect back on what's happened this past year, though I think I'll keep it brief. The first main thing that comes to mind is that I got married this year. That was pretty huge, I'd say. On the whole, I would say that it's been a good year, full of things that have been interesting-good and interesting-bad. <chuckles> I've slacked on a lot of things, and also been really industrious about other things.

    Oh, man. I just realized that this isn't just the end of the year, but the end of the decade. Now I feel like I need to close out my 20's. Hmm. Well, my 20's were... both awesome and awful. Highs and lows, you know? Some very highs and some very lows. On one hand, I fell into a horrible pit of anxiety and let it rule my life for literally years. Plus, I had cancer, which was a pretty terrible experience. But on the other hand, I graduated from college, I met my wife, I found a direction for my life, and I moved to a new city that I intend to call my home for quite some time. I'd say that the good far outweighs the bad. =)

    And that's it! I probably won't make another post before the new year, so I suppose I'd better wish everyone a happy new year!

    Seriously, I hope that this new year (and new decade) is full of good things for everyone. Every single one of you reading this, no matter who you are (and I really do mean that), I hope that you have a good decade. Laugh a lot, have a good time, and live a life you'll be proud of.

    Take care, everyone. <3

    (22 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    I hate you, Joss Whedon, because you're a jerk. [22 Dec 2009|03:06am]
    So, I've been watching the show Dollhouse. I have, in fact, been watching it since it started airing. The only reason why this is noteworthy is because when the show started, it was patently awful. The writing was awful, the acting was awful and even the directing was awful. It was almost a chore to struggle through each episode of it, but I did it anyway, partially because I was bored, and partially because I was familiar with Whedon's other work. Because of his other shows (Buffy, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, etc.), I decided to stick with it, just to see where it went.

    Well, when the first season ended, I was pretty much aching for this show to be cancelled. Every additional episode was almost worse than the one before it, and I kept thinking to myself, "why, oh why, have they not cancelled this show?"

    The answer, of course, was that Fox was afraid of Whedon's rabid fans. No amount of rabid fans could save a show that was so patently awful, and they eventually decided to cancel it midway through the second season.

    So I hate Joss Whedon for making a show that sucked.

    I've been watching the second season as the episodes have come out, and it's sort of been an exercise in frustration, but not for the same reason that the first season was. The first season represented pretty much everything that was bad in television. But the second season? Starting with episode 4 ("Belonging"), the season has been pretty fantastic. The acting, while still bad in spots, is a lot better. Dushku has... Well, I don't want to give any spoilers, but suffice it to say that I think she's grown into the role, and the other actors have done better, as well. Particularly the guy who plays Victor, who's freaking amazing. Total showstealing segment in episodes five and six.

    And this week's episodes? Excellent. They represent everything that this show should have been from the very start, but wasn't.

    So now I hate Joss Whedon for making such a crappy first season (and start of the second season) that the network cancelled his show, and then only AFTER the cancellation, made the show kind of awesome.

    What a freaking jerk.

    You know, I sort of wonder whether he did that on purpose, just to get back at Fox for dicking him over on Firefly.

    Anyway, if anyone else has been watching Dollhouse, I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

    (18 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    Mmmmm [21 Dec 2009|01:07am]
    [ mood | Catharticized? Which is sort of like Jazzercized? ]

    How do you spell 'catharsis'?

    Allow me to show you, in pictures!Collapse )

    (80 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    The Gingerbread House of Shame [17 Dec 2009|10:05pm]
    [ mood | sad ]

    So, I got fired from my job today.

    Some of you may remember that I worked at a candy store. How do you get fired from a candy store, you ask?

    Well, allow me to show you how, in pictures.

    How to get fired from a candy store:Collapse )

    Sigh. Really, it's just one of those days. I really did enjoy working there, and I'm sad that it had to end on account of something so ridiculous. We took it home, and now it's sitting on our dining room table, a testament to my (now former) job. I mean, if I got fired over it, I may as well enjoy the hell out of it, right?

    So, umm... Anyone know where I can find a job?

    (15 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    Virgil: Chapter Four [15 Dec 2009|03:53am]
    I'm not sure if anyone's actually reading these anymore, or if they are and just haven't said anything. However, I have for your enjoyment chapter four in my latest story.

    Of course it's still rough and blah blah blah, but that's what I need you folks for! =D

    Virgil: Chapter FourCollapse )

    (shout it out)

    A short chapter [14 Dec 2009|05:38am]
    I was hoping to finish chapter four tonight, so that I could post chapters three and four at the same time, since they're both a little on the shorter side. However, it's gotten quite late and I'm still not finished.

    So, you just get chapter three. In it, you'll learn a bit more about Dr. Stewart's history and a bit more about the strange object uncovered in the lunar mine.

    Enjoy chapter three!Collapse )

    (7 coooooooocks | shout it out)

    The next chapter [12 Dec 2009|10:10pm]
    It's so much easier to write stories when people read them and leave comments. It's just so much more exciting, and it's easy to do anything when you're excited about it. In short, what I'm saying is: thank you, everyone who's reading and commenting. ^_^

    Originally, I wrote this chapter to have a cliffhanger ending as well, but this time the ending is simply ominous, I think. I've incorporated a few more real historical people/events/whatnot into it, and I hope that you all continue to enjoy. ;)

    Oh, also, I figured I'd tell you who people are named after. Governor Armstrong is perhaps the most obvious, being named after Neil Armstrong. The main character is named after Virgil Grissom, the pilot of the Liberty Bell 7, the second manned suborbital flight. Dr. Jack Stewart is a portmanteau of doctors Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart, a biologist and mathematician, respectively. That's it for now. =)

    Virgil: Chapter TwoCollapse )