I’m vivapokey and this is my WordPress blog thingo. I wanted to begin some kind of blog as a way of bringing together a bunch of my interests into one place. Also, after 6 years (and counting) at uni writing with scientific language and agonising over APA guidelines – I wanted to refresh and have a platform to write extensively in an informal manner. I’m planning on having my blog split primarily into four different categories: music, gaming, and TV/Movies. There also might be a small amount of personal musings on other topics – auspol, social happenings or amusing anecdotes.

Music. For the most part, my writing about music will consist of album and gig reviews. Sadly, since I’m on a student’s income, my gig-going has dried up a bit lately but I still make sure I won’t miss must-see gigs! Music is still one of my biggest passions in life and something I am constantly thinking about. So I wanted to capture some of my thoughts and archive memories (and any photos/videos from gigs that I can). My musical tastes vary quite extensively. I was fortunate to be brought up into a music loving family who taught me the value in staying open minded when it comes to exploring music. There’s some styles of music that I do struggle to connect with – 80s power/hair metal, street rap, modern RnB, and a lot of electronic techno/dubstep stuff. But even within all of those genres, there are exceptions. Otherwise I love exploring Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Swing, World Music (Folk, African, Indian, Latin etc), Ska, Country, Metal, Disco, Lounge/Ambient, Stoner, Big Band, Funk, Hip Hop, Rockabilly and…a lot more. A few of my favourite artists off the top of my head are The Smiths/Morrissey, Ween, The Decemberists, Rammstein, The Bombay Royale, Sparks, TISM, Grant Lee Buffalo, C.W. Stoneking, The Go! Team, Franz Ferdinand, Kate Miller-Heidke, Marina and the Diamonds, Frank Zappa, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Madness and various Mike Patton lead bands. One thing I have become weary of over the past 18 months or so is not exploring enough new music. It’s something I have loved doing for so long and has kind of stalled a little recently, so as well as revisiting old favourites I plan to make a conscious effort to seek out new music in 2018 and beyond.

Gaming. Over the past 12-18 months I have rediscovered my love of gaming. I grew up loving games. My first gaming machine was the Amiga 500+ in 1991. From there I went through the SNES, Playstation, N64, PS2, XBox 360 and PC. My last console was a 360 and sadly is red ringed while I was completing the last mission of GTAV! I waited until the PC release years later before I could finally finish that! I’ve been without a console since then and so I’ve been gaming purely on PC and mobile phone. My computer is a little on the old side now (custom built in late 2011) and so I am in desperate need of an upgrade – a new GPU will be something to save for! I’m also thinking I will look into getting a PS4 in 2018 for the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 (and the new God of War!). My PC still hangs in there, games that are customised well like GTAV still run really well on high settings. Poorly optimised games which demand a lot from the CPU or GPU are a struggle though.

Some of my favourite games growing up ranged from old Amiga classics such as Lemmings, Mega Lo Mania, Sim City, Final Fight, and Maniac Mansion. Other old favourites include the Command and Conquer/Red Alert series, Goldeneye, the Ultima series, Knights of the Old Republic, the Total War and Civilisation series, Zelda Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past, Mario Kart, the GTA series, the Dragon Age series, Resident Evil 1 – 5, and countless others.
Currently I have been playing games like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Witcher 3 (and its DLCs), Guild Wars 2, and XCom 2. In 2018 there’s plenty to look forward to – the aforementioned Red Dead Redemption and God of War, I want to play more indie games and a few games which have been out awhile that I just haven’t touched for one reason or another – Stardew Valley, Supreme Commander, Company of Heroes 2, Dragon’s Dogma, Paradigm, and a few of the Telltale games. Money (for games) and a good PC set up is what is mostly limiting me at the moment – I’m hoping to slowly save and add various components to a new PC set up over the next couple of years though, starting with a new GPU.

Another aspect of gaming which became part of my life in 2017 is streaming games via Twitch. I’ve been introduced to not only some great games via Twitch but also great streamers and communities. I’ll do separate entries for various channels and communities on Twitch in time, but its been a whole new way of consuming media, mixing gaming with passive media like TV with social interaction via the community chat and engagement with the streamer. In 2018 I hope to give streaming a shot myself with zero lofty expectations other than for the experience itself. I am hampered a bit by the aforementioned potato PC and laughable Australia internet. As bad as NBN is, hopefully it will come to my area soon to give me a chance at streaming. In the mean time, behind the scenes, I’ve been happy slowly teaching myself various aspects of it such as using programs XSplit and OBS and exploring Stream Elements. In any case, gaming and the community around it have come roaring back into my life this year and I couldn’t be happier about that.

TV/Movies. There isn’t much to explain here. Everyone loves TV shows, everyone loves movies – I simply want to discuss some of my favourites (or ones I am disappointed in) either as they happen or as I do a re-watch, or as I go back through the huge backlog of movies and shows that I have to get through. Some of my favourite shows in the past have been The Thick of it, The Wire, The Shield, Black Mirror, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Seinfeld, Bojack Horseman, Breaking Bad, Father Ted, Blackbooks, Fargo, Dr Who, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Carnivale, Oz, Rome, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development, Veep, The Venture Brothers, Peep Show, Louie, and many more. It’s an exciting time for television as new shows continually set the bar for quality in both production and content.

Ultimately, I am not writing any entries in this blog for anyone other than myself. If other people find it and want to read it, that’s great! Actually, more than great, I hope you enjoy it and its in any way informative about various topics or gives you a different way of viewing things! But it’s really an exercise for me, it’s a chance to write in a different way, to document different things I love and to keep track of things. There will be some dodgy grammar used I’m sure, but I want to improve my writing too and hopefully see a progression from now until maybe 12 months from now. Either ways, this is me!