New Music for 2017: Tunes to Write and Study By

I’ve previously mentioned that between 60-70% of my music collection is music for studying or writing to.

In truth, it’s probably closer to 80-85%.

The reasons for this are obvious to me.  I began collecting music in earnest when I first started having money of my own for some luxury items.  This corresponded with my first entering university, which saw me spending the majority of my time outside of class studying and completing assignments.

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Character Study: Optimus Prime from Transformers (and the struggles of the Lawful Good)

By GEARSMITH on deviantART

By GEARSMITH on deviantART

Having recently watched the latest Transformers movie in theatre – perhaps against my better judgement – I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the character Optimus Prime.

Because the movie, in my humble opinion, made his personality almost completely unrecognizable.

Optimus Prime – right up there with Xena, the Warrior Princess – has long been a favourite character of mine. For those unfamiliar with the Transformers franchise – of which there have numerous incarnations via cartoons, movies, and comics – the main, unchanging premise is that of a race of giant alien sentient robots who are gripped in an eons-long war of good against evil.

Optimus Prime is the long-standing leader of the heroic Autobots against the ruthless Decepticons led by the tyrant Megatron.

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Writing for Prime Time

Two weeks ago, I was sick.

This, for me, is a rare occurrence.  I take my health, fitness, and diet very seriously, and am also just naturally blessed with an ironclad constitution.

As a result, the minor aches, coughs, and sniffles that many people suffer every other month do not afflict me.  I don’t even really get monthly menstrual cramps.

What I do get is one major illness every year to year-and-a-half that takes me down for about a week despite my prideful efforts to fight it.

That’s what this recent illness was: it started off as a sore throat, quickly progressed to a hacking cough, and before I could say, “I’m fine,” I had a full-blown head cold complete with cement-filled sinuses, pounding temples, aching neck, shoulders, back and abs from coughing, throat scratched raw from the same, tiredness, weakness, and about as much air capacity in my lungs as if I were breathing through a straw, particularly when trying to lie in bed.

I was not fine.

And the thing that hurt the most was my ego in having to admit to my malady.

It was a low moment.  So low, in fact, my body became a metaphor for my mental state: bypassing my bed entirely, I spread a blanket on my living room floor, brought my laptop down with me, and searched for something to watch on YouTube to distract me from my misery.

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