WordPress has this thing going this year where they post a prompt for you to blog about every single day. This, I guess, is out of basic human kindness so that all of their users can “inflict their opinions on the world” by blogging. Cos the thing we need right now is more people rich enough to own computers and have reliable access to the internet with some aspirations to being “writers” yammering on and on about their daily lives. I thought this was rather contemptible–my New Year’s resolution is to publish every day this year, but come on. Who needs prompts? Real writers can write no matter what! Especially ones whose articles are almost entirely dependent on the outside culture giving them something to write about. … Wait–

So yeah, now I’m gonna see how many of these prompts I need to make some good filler here. Cos I gotta write something and I don’t have any movies I want to review or series to recap or albums that are particularly notable or anything. But before we get to the prompts, let’s have a run down of what I’m thinking about right now. First, you know it’s a slow day in the movies when the only notable thing that happened is the passing of Pete Postlethwaite. Rest in peace, Pete–you will be sorely missed. Second, you know it’s a slow day in my life when the only thing even vaguely media related I did all day was watch a half hour interview with Makoto Shinkai, director of 5 cm/s, The Place Promised in Our Early Days and Voices of a Distant Star.

Makoto Shinkai is a fascinating individual. He was giving this very comprehensive monologue on the production of 5 cm/s when he mentioned that it was rather cramped, fitting thirteen people into his house daily. When I realized that 5 cm/s–a movie that is gobsmackingly beautiful–was made on home PCs by fourteen people in a single living room. He’s even giving the interview in which he says this from his living room. As he says this, out loud, his cat walks up to him on his desk. This is, perhaps, one of the most inspiring things I have ever heard, and Shinkai-san just shrugs it off. However, the true extent of his heroics emerged when he spoke of production for his first feature, Voices of a Distant StarDistant Star was animated entirely by Shinkai himself–I knew that going in. What I didn’t know was what he said in this interview. Paraphrasing, here:

I was working at a day job while making that movie, so it wasn’t my everyday life. It was something I came home to. I used it to work through and process all of the feelings I was experiencing in my life and at my job that I couldn’t deal with through work. And during production, I quit my job to finish the movie. It took about seven months, but eventually, I got it done. And those were the happiest days I can recall, with nothing to do but work on my animation.

(Emphasis mine.) He quit his damn job to finish a twenty-four minute animated movie. I–. I can’t–. I don’t–. What is that, I can’t even–. People are not allowed to quit their jobs, pursue their dreams with a passionate and true heart and succeed! That’s not how real life is supposed to work! This man said “I got a cushy job here, pays for a pretty decent apartment–screw all that, I wanna make movies!” and has since become one of the best people working in his medium today. I’d call that inspiring, but my brain is so sluggish, I’m not sure what it would inspire me to. Wait, wait, wait, I think this was one of the–let’s check…

  1. Something you’re looking forward to this year.
  2. Something you regret not having done last year.
  3. Something with which you struggle.
  4. Something that is part of your routine that you enjoy.
  5. Something in life that gives you balance.

Nope. Not one of those things is “detail esoteric experience that inspired you in life”. Or “that you feel would inspire you in life had you not ingested 85 grams of orange flavoured cocoa butter in the preceding evening”. Makoto Shinkai is a behind the scenes badass, and I respect him immensely. Anyway, let’s see how many of these I can fill out.

1. I dunno. Getting a full-time job maybe? There is nothing that will inevitably happen this year that I’m looking forward to. All of it is subject to travel plans, storage facilities, good friends, anime studios, girlfriends, parents, siblings and best friends. Oh, wait, there is one thing I am most certainly looking forward to. Getting slizzered and going to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon. That’s gonna get hectic. We’re gonna be fly like a G6.

2. It’s hard to talk about my real-life regrets and my real-life shames on this blag as I know my girlfriend and mother read it. Okay, my mom doesn’t–she thought I posted once a week, apparently, which goes to show exactly how much she reads it–but if I say anything I did with Ailish there, she’ll eviscerate me. So, let me say this now: Ailish, I do not regret a single moment spent with you.

3. Deadlines. I struggle with deadlines, I struggle with commitment, I struggle with following through on what I start. I was about to just leave this post blank and go to bed when my conscience nagged at me that I had to write something, anything to fill this space. I was going to format all my stuff to do it as a book, but then I found out that, like, that’s not easy, man. And the pre-formatted starter files they give you never get indenting right.

4. Waking up, walking downstairs, showering and washing my hair. I’ve done that every day of every week since I got my job at NMR, and it feels better every day. Something about bathing has always been fundamentally pleasurable–the relaxing hot water, the slow awakening, the feeling of cleanliness at the end of it all. I mean, aside from that and riding the bus and my job, I don’t really have a daily routine.

5. Good question.