Thoroughly Thursday - the "Earthquake!" Edition


Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the Earthquake! Edition. Actually, maybe that should be "EARTHQUAKE! [screaming] EARTHQUAAAAAKE!" On Friday, there was a trembler a few hundred miles from our house, followed by an even bigger one on Saturday. As quakes go, these were pretty mild by the time they reached us. Each caused the house to sway, but nothing broke. Earthquakes are one of the scary inevitabilities of living in Southern California, like talking about freeway traffic or getting stuck in a conversation with someone with a TV pilot "in development."

One of the strange emotional balances that one has to decide when living on the West Coast is how to answer the question, "How terrified every day should I be of the BIG ONE?" The BIG ONE is the mega-San-Andreas-Fault-splitting calamity which could, depending on who you talk to (and which movies you watch), create months of devastating, Mad Max styled chaos and may happen anywhere from later this afternoon to sometime within the next 5,000 years. The problem is that it's hard to stay vigilant for something that may not occur in your, or your grandchildren's, lifetime. But, to be on the safe side, I'm thinking of stocking up on a couple of extra boxes of granola bars just in case.

What I'm Watching - So Many Flowing Capes, So Little Time 
This week I watched the first season of Castlevania, the American anime series based on the iconic Japanese video game (got that, right?). When his wife dies after being falsely accused of being a witch, the immensely powerful vampire Dracula decides everyone in medieval Wallachia (northern Romania) must die via his demonic horde, and only a plucky crew of outcasts can stop him. Though the story sounds straightforward enough, veteran comic book genius Warren Ellis instills a nuance to the various characters that you wouldn't expect. Dracula is more sympathetic than a bloodsucker hell-bent on vengeance has a right to be, while the local Christian clergy, with their close-minded righteousness, distrust of science (the aforementioned accusations of witchcraft), and love of inciting local mobs, prove to be the real villains of the story. Being only four half-hour episodes on Netflix, the first season is an excellent, brief introduction to both the characters and the series' beautiful animation.

What I'm Reading - Creative Routine Is Not an Oxymoron
This week I've been reading Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon, which was a gift from the fantastic Smacksy. Kleon, who describes himself as a "writer that draws" pens fun, creative books like Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work. His most recent book is part 90's zine filled with quotes, comic panels, and "blackout poetry," and part self-help book on taking the long view with creative pursuits. In much the same way that meditation masters advise keeping beginner's mind when searching for enlightenment, Kleon suggests "Forget the noun. Do the verb." What follows is an enjoyable collection of tidbits, anecdotes, and advice to stay motivated through the (daily) practice of creation.

What I'm Thinking About - Straightjacket Not Required
Relying on craft and routine is a lot less sexy than being an artistic genius. But, it is an excellent strategy for not going insane. - Christoph Niemann

All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)

Scott Moe

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P.P.S. The oral history of The Guild web series, the trailblazing comedy that you can still find on YouTube.

P.P.P.S. I'm always on the lookout for new items to write about. If you notice something that you think would be worth sharing, send it my way.