amnesia-inator asked: Hah, I'm glad. :) How was your Tumblr break? You said it was job-related, right? Sounds stressful. :P
If you don’t mind, I’ll answer this one publicly so’s I don’t have to repeat myself unnecessarily.
At the moment I’m employed as a travel agent in Istanbul. I work in the incoming department of a comparatively small (9-10 office workers) agency near Taksim Square. “Incoming” in this case meaning that I organize tours for people from outside the country - in our case, usually East Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
My job consists of several different tasks: communicating with agencies in the Far East, preparing quotes and itinerary proposals, arranging group reservations at restaurants and hotels, domestic flights, tickets for sightseeing, guides and transportation, etc. There’s a whole bunch of ancillary stuff related to that which also falls under my domain: preparing invoices, inspecting hotels, serving as an emergency contact, occasionally being a guide for airport-to-hotel transfers (as in being one of those dudes with a sign waiting outside the baggage retrieval area), assisting co-workers with English comprehension and communication…the list kinda goes on.
It’s particularly challenging work for a person like me, because I’m not really a detail-oriented person - maybe with narrative, but in an organizational sense it’s certainly not my forte. And this is the sort of job where even small mistakes can get amplified by group size. If you accidentally quote a rate that is, say, 10 bucks under what you should have, a 40-person group means the company’s just made 400 bucks less than it ideally should have. (To put that in perspective, that would be most of my monthly salary.)
In a way, though, it’s rewarding for precisely that reason because I’m basically surviving OK enough at the company even though I’m not really playing to my strengths. It’s a good confidence-booster. And it’s helped me gain confidence in a lot of sticky situations where I would otherwise get rather nervous - like having to deliver bad news to a tour group, or negotiate costs with a hotel, or simply have a telephone conversation. (I hate using phones. Very much. It’ll never go away, but I’m getting used to it.)
I also kind of like the feeling of having a specialized body of knowledge in my head. Yeah, I’ll probably never again need to know foreigners’ entry fees for Troy, or the best value for your money to be had getting a four-star hotel in Istanbul’s Old City area or whatever, but it’s still sorta neat. And there are some skills I can take with me - my Turkish is much improved, I know how to use a credit card terminal, my spreadsheet skills have expanded a little. Et cetera.
Of course, it also happens to be the case that April is the beginning of conference season - and though we usually do culture tours, we also handle conference groups. Much of the last couple months was spent preparing quotes; now much of my time is being spent making the quoted tours actually happen.
Partly by chance, I’m also in the position of being responsible for about 35% of our incoming tourists this month even though there are four people in my department. I don’t mean this as a complaint because the others have good reasons for handling fewer groups (more quotes, for instance). But it can get a bit difficult at times. The weekend before last, I had 61 people arrive in Istanbul in three different groups. This past Saturday, a driver sort of accidentally deposited five of my tourists on the pavement without pointing out to them exactly where their hotel was, and I couldn’t get in touch with them on the phone. Not experiences I particularly want to repeat, though I imagine they’re good character-building exercises.
The last three weeks in particular have been quite hectic. I’ve been leaving the office at around 8:30 and sometimes later, rather than at 6:00 when office hours normally end. I’m drifting back towards reasonable work times now, but it remains to be seen if that’ll continue.
congruencerespectsmultiplication asked: Heya Kaan *waves* (: hope all is well! And that you're using that gorgeous brain of yours :3 stay cool soda pop!
Personally, I’ve never seen my brain, so I can’t evaluate the truth of your claim that it is gorgeous…but thanks!
typefourtytardiss asked: have you seen the trailer currently out for series 7 part two of doctor who? also, what has been keeping you away from tumblr? everything alright
Belated message response time!
Everything’s fine, thanks. My current job gets absurdly hectic around this time of year; between that and attempting to cultivate a social life in meatspace, I haven’t had much time for Tumblr. But it’s looking a bit more manageable at the moment, so we’ll see where it goes.
The Snowmen Review (version 2)
The Snowmen witnesses the Doctor Who mythology’s head disappear so far up its own arse it forms a closed spacelike loop, retroactively inspiring the 2011 Comic Relief Special. It also takes to the concept of respecting the audience’s intelligence much like the Joker took to Jason Todd. With a crowbar.
If Time and the Rani were written as a serious story, it wouldn’t be much different from this. And the episode’s lack of awareness regarding how truly crap it is may be the reason I spent much of my initial viewing of the episode periodically pausing to punch floral throw-pillows while screaming racial obscenities.
OK, I exaggerate. They were ableist obscenities.
Hello. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Tumblr looks different. Interesting.
So. OK. A couple of you have been wondering about fairly obvious things. The answers to which are: I’ve been entirely too busy for much of an Internet life, and yes, I’ve been watching.
Now as I recall, I have a half-finished review sitting on my blog. It will, however, not Do for me to attempt to write the second half. Doesn’t fit my style. So I’m retconning that bit out of existence and writing the review from scratch.
In the interests of giving you something other than straightforward news, below are the first sentences of the upcoming reviews:
- The Snowmen witnesses the Doctor Who mythology’s head disappear so far up its own arse it forms a closed spacelike loop, retroactively inspiring the 2011 Comic Relief Special.
- The Bells of St. John has a title with no relevance to the story, which is paradoxically quite fitting as it has a story with no relevance to life.
- The Rings of Akhaten is what happens when you record a seven-year-old playing with his Indiana Jones action figure and transcribe it into a screenplay.
- Cold War is the latest in a five-year streak of writers attempting to re-make Dalek without anyone noticing.
My people! My people.
My laptop has returned to the grave from whence it unnaturally sprung. Be not afear’d! I had the foresight to secrete my notes in a more accessible location, and as such you shall have part two of the review once I get to my work computer. (Slow week at the office.)
You’ve been very patient and rather enthusiastic, which is all great. Keep doing that thing you’re doing.
Anonymous asked: Loved your Snowmen review- but one tiny thing. Isn't ice less dense than water since it expands? The whole clouds thing was silly though. (also, red drinks - I thought of Ribena) (also I thought the ice lady was not very scary in her appearance, something that was maybe a step further than what did to R.E.G. at the end would've been convincing that the weirdly bad CGI?)
Oh dear. You’re quite correct in stating that ice is less dense than water. I had been going under the assumption that sufficiently cold ice was denser, but it looks like that isn’t true. I would amend the point to simply ask why the Doctor didn’t just close the TARDIS doors.
I neglected to add this to the review, but I would have preferred the governess to be a makeup job rather than CGI. A frosted-over corpse would have impressed me quite a bit. I imagine it would be time-consuming, but then again the Weeping Angels are portrayed by live actors, and the effect of the Flesh characters was outstanding if you ask me.
It’s got to do with the general uncanny valley principle, I think. The more humanlike something is, the more horrifying it is. The Cybermen are creepy because they are quite visibly corpses in suits, which is the main reason I dislike their current robotic appearance.
My laptop has risen from the dead!
Now that I am in possession of a freakish Frankenbook, I’m gonna just finish writing the review as originally planned. Good times.
And if you are one of the approximately 1 people who watched the previous video, yes, I saw The Hobbit. Did I like it? At the moment, it depends on the time of day you ask me. The answer will range from “fuck yes” to “fuck no”. It certainly wasn’t as bad as I’d feared. But that’s another review for another day.
The significance of plot without conflict
In the West, plot is commonly thought to revolve around conflict: a confrontation between two or more elements, in which one ultimately dominates the other. The standard three- and five-act plot structures—which permeate Western media—have conflict written into their very foundations. A “problem” appears near the end of the first act; and, in the second act, the conflict generated by this problem takes center stage. Conflict is used to create reader involvement even by many post-modern writers, whose work otherwise defies traditional structure.
The necessity of conflict is preached as a kind of dogma by contemporary writers’ workshops and Internet “guides” to writing. A plot without conflict is considered dull; some even go so far as to call it impossible. This has influenced not only fiction, but writing in general—arguably even philosophy. Yet, is there any truth to this belief? Does plot necessarily hinge on conflict? No. Such claims are a product of the West’s insularity. For countless centuries, Chinese and Japanese writers have used a plot structure that does not have conflict “built in”, so to speak. Rather, it relies on exposition and contrast to generate interest. This structure is known as kishōtenketsu.
I don’t see how the example plot with the soda machine is one without conflict. You write:
No problem impedes the protagonist; nothing is pitted against anything else.
But you are incorrect in stating so. The problem in the scenario is: the protagonist wants a drink, but has not yet received it. The protagonist’s desire is pitted against its state of fulfillment. The protagonist acts against the disconnect by attempting to get a drink from the machine. The third panel emphasizes this disconnect between desire and fulfillment, and the fourth panel resolves it. In narrative terms, that IS conflict - or more specifically, suspense.
Ironically, while the post discusses the insularity of “Western” narrative thinking, I think the problem here is that your given definition of “conflict” is excessively narrow.