Sunday Morning Stuff 01/09

It’s Sunday morning…hey. What you up to? Plans for the day? Ah yeah that sounds nice. Me? Well I’ve got a long run to get in but otherwise, not a lot, thanks for asking, but first things first I’ve got to lay out all the stuff that’s been keeping my sanity in check this week…

Reading

To get me back on track on the reading front I’ve gone to the mean and lean Hunger by Knut Hamsun, a semi-autobiographical story about a young writer struggling to find work, money, and food. It is written with an excited fervour, driven by the starvation that the protagonist suffers from as he leaps from scheme to scheme, his mood swinging wildly as he battles to keep his senses between his sparse meals. It is a grim tale but written with a love of life which keeps every page vibrant. I don’t know a huge amount Hamsun other than his prose clearly influenced many modern greats – see Joyce, Bukowski, even Cormac McCarthy – and I also know that he turned out to be a toss pot, declaring his allegiance with the Nazi’s who occupied his home country of Norway. Shame, but he’s dead, long dead. His books live on, but let’s allow his politics to stay in the grave with him.  

Playing

That Dragon Quest XI demo on Switch must have really got to me because after smashing out the OG Dragon Quest on Android I’ve dived headfirst into Dragon Quest V and boy, I’m having a grand old time. It’s just…classic. Gameplay is exactly what you’d expect, but the enemies are so varied, and fairly challenging, so that typical JRPG grind is no bother at all. Then the story! The world is the kind of off-kilter fantasy fare that makes you want to explore every corner of it, and the way in which it tells its story, the way in which it uses its own mechanics to deliver narrative blows, it’s just fantastic. Some of the dialogue seems to be victim of some dodgy translation, but if anything it just adds to the charm.

Between sessions of JRPG-ing I’ve been delving a bit into Enter the Dungeon on Switch. I downloaded it an age ago but never really committed much time to it…and I think that’s because I’m not very good at it at all. Still, I’m having a good time in its procedurally generated dungeons, dodge rolling and twin sticking my way to an early death, and that probably tells you all you need to know – it’s good enough to be fun even when you’re far from winning.

Listening to…

As I predicted last week GINGER from BROCKHAMPTON has been on heavy rotation in my car. With each listen it’s growing on me, and perhaps I was wrong to disregard it from the top of my album of the year lists so early on. They also released a pretty heart wrenching video for DEARLY DEPARTED which’ll hit long-term fans of the group right where it hurts.

Lana Del Ray isn’t one my favourite artists in the world, but I’m always drawn in to see what she’s up to.The amazingly titled Norman Fucking Rockwell is so far quite comfortably my favourite project from her that I’ve heard. I’m particularly fond of the sweet title track which sees Lana in moody, but sharp form over a soft piano, and eventually faded horns and strings, setting the mood for the entire project.

Watching

Mindhunter S2 and Dark Crystal are out on Netflix, and…I’ve not watched either of them yet. Watch this space, I guess.

Running

I don’t want to jinx myself, but things are looking a lot better on the running front. Mileage is increasing, speed is increasing…I’m not superstitious but I’m not going to commit to saying too much more. I’ve got a long run planned for later on, if it goes well then things will well and truly be back on track.

It’s a concise Sunday Morning Stuff this week, but that’s the way I like it. You think I haven’t got better things to do than sit here typing all morning? You’re probably right. For now, I’m going to hit the road with a little seven-miler to test my recovery.

After that…well it’s a glorious day, the sun is shining, sky is blue, birds are chirping…so I’ll probably sit inside and play Dragon Quest.

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