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7 Dec

I have a job! Thanks to this job I am now tired all the time. However, we have just got a car and that will knock two hours of travel time off every day so hopefully soon I shall resume posting on a regular basis.

Researching hate

1 Nov

For just the tiniest smidgen of my novel, I needed an idea of how racist rallies work. I’ve never been to a protest of any kind (although I walked near one once; there were about five people waving placards in Southampton city centre – I think they were protesting the Iraq war) so I didn’t/don’t know how they really work. My character is hearing the protests from a distance, so that didn’t matter too much.

What I did need to know was what sort of slogan would be chanted at a protest with a racist objective. So I delved into the dark places of the internet. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but I did find a strong urge to vomit. I found a blog with horrible jokes about Muslim people, dehumanising and disgusting, and further posts from the same blog explaining why Muslims weren’t as good as other people and violence against them was totally justified.

Then I stopped researching for the day and went to take a shower.

It absolutely horrified me that in 2014 there are people who think some people are better than other people just because of the colour of their skin or the god(s) they worship or don’t worship. For a milder example, I would probably not get to be president of the United States because I am an atheist.

Also because I am English (and female, but I think we’re getting there on that one. Slowly).

Eventually I gave up, and it’s not something I want to research again. Sometimes it would be easier to bury my head in the sand completely.

It's a threeway! ...tie for gaming victory

Kjarl and I are quite the detectives

 

Currently reading:

Harry Potter y la Cámara Secreta by J K Rowling

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

The Magic in the Weaving by Tamora Pierce

The Story of the Jews  by Simon Schama*

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen*

Sagittarius Whorl by Julian May

A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris

Completed since 12/3/2014 (62)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*
United We Spy by Ally Carter
The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*
Trapped by Kevin Hearne*
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Perseus Spur by Julian May
Hunted by Kevin Hearne*
Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*
The Martian by Andy Weir*
“I tested the brackets by hitting them with rocks. This kind of sophistication is what we interplanetary scientists are known for.”

Orion Arm by Julian May
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch*
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë*

*First read

Books vs Movies

7 Oct

A lot of people get really fixated on how much better books are than the movie adaptations of said books. I’m not really one of them – I tend to try and find things to enjoy in both.

When I was just barely 16, The Fellowship of the Ring came out in cinemas. Whilst I’d read LotR (That’s Lord of the Rings to the less geeky amongst you…I’m not sure you exist, but I’ll explain things anyway) a couple of times by that point, I wasn’t hugely into it – Tolkien’s writing can be pretty difficult work if you’re a kid. I did quickly reread FotR (this one you can probably work out) before going to see it in the cinema, and enjoyed it more that time, but it was seeing the movie that really kindled my love of Tolkien’s works.

I joined the Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza in January 2002 as a direct result of the movie, and the people around me quickly inspired me to read and read again, discovering the lore and poetry of Middle-earth.

So movie adaptations do have their place. The thing is, it’s very hard to make a book into a film. There are lots of elements that work on the page that don’t work on the screen. So I don’t mind that directors cut things out – Tom Bombadil for example *ducks flying rocks from diehard Bombadil fans).

Adding things in…I’m less okay with.

Arwen rescuing Frodo at the ford? Really, Peter Jackson?

But I get why he did a fair bit of it.

Some film adaptations are just wrong. For example, I will never watch The Dark is Rising. It’s such a British book, a very British series, but for some reason they felt the need to have the main character in the movie be an American tourist, not the Anglican choir boy he should be? Weird.

Usually I can find something to enjoy in everything I watch, if I can change the way I watch it. Nobody will ever make an exact adaptation from book to film.

Currently reading:

Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*

Harry Potter y la Cámara Secreta by J K Rowling

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë*

The Martian by Andy Weir*
‘”He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” 
   He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”

LOG ENTRY: SOL 61

How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.’

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

The Magic in the Weaving by Tamora Pierce

Orion Arm by Julian May

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch*

Completed since 12/3/2014 (54)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*
United We Spy by Ally Carter
The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*
Trapped by Kevin Hearne*
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
“‘You self-righteous cock, I’ll -‘
‘What?’ shouted Jean.
‘- I’ll throw myself at you, and you’ll beat the shit out of me,’ said Locke. ‘And then you’ll feel awful!'”

Perseus Spur by Julian May
Hunted by Kevin Hearne*

*First read

 

Hoping and choosing hope

25 Sep

I had an interview yesterday. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve had since I lost my job 10 months ago, but I think it’s in the 30s now. Still, I choose to believe that I will get called back for a second interview for this one. I was totally in the zone yesterday – I didn’t even stutter and have to go ‘Bleurgh – Oops, I seem to have forgotten how to talk’, which is quite common for me! It gives me an opportunity to reset my words. If you’ve ever watched Ally Macbeal, one of the characters had a stutter and he would reset himself by saying ‘Poughkepsie’, which is a city in New York state.

Anyway, in the interview I didn’t go into any roundabout speeches like that one up there.

I’ve also just started my marketing course – I’ll be stopping writing in a moment to go to the second webinar. I’m really excited – I will learn things that I can actually use for my chosen vocation! I feel all fancy.

On the subject of choosing hope, and totally separate to everything I do on this blog usually, I’d like to draw attention to the fact that it is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Mary Tyler Mom, who lost her four year old daughter to a brain tumour a few years ago, is curating a series where every day in September, somebody tells their story of childhood cancer. I really recommend giving it a read.

(This post began being written on Tuesday and finished up on Thursday. Not my speediest!)

Currently reading:

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
“‘Now, if you find yourself in trouble wherever you go, you can say, “You have no idea who you’re fucking with. I’m under the protection of the lady who gave me this object of her favour.”‘
‘And that’s supposed to make them stop?’
‘Shit no, that’s just to confuse them. Then you can kill them while they’re standing there looking at you funny.'”

Harry Potter y la Cámara Secreta by J K Rowling

Perseus Spur by Julian May

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Hunted by Kevin Hearne

The Martian by Andy Weir

Completed since 12/3/2014 (50)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*
United We Spy by Ally Carter
“Our dads are politicians, Preston. Of course we grew up thinking they might be evil.”

The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*
Trapped by Kevin Hearne*
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*

*First read

Busy going nowhere

17 Sep

Everything is very frustrating and up in the air these days. I was playing lots of Star Wars: The Old Republic as a distraction but my main character is stuck because Sith Lords are hard to kill, so I got frustrated with that too.

As a result, I am reading voraciously. I have finished five books since Friday, and I currently am surrounded by the eight books I am reading at the moment. I’m trying to broaden my mind a bit, so I’ve broken into reading nonfiction, and I continue my slow crawl through the classics section of the library. I’m still on Brontë, though Anne now. Why this was shelved after Charlotte is beyond me. Maybe Eastleigh Library alphabet is different to our English alphabet (Which I want to say is Hindu-Arabic but I think that’s our numeric system).

The stream of consciousness in this post is overflowing. I think I need to fetch sandbags.

Anyway, so I read a history book and now I’m reading one about nurses’ perspectives in World War II.

I’m also devouring geography quizzes and can now locate and name all the states of the US (in alphabetical order, forwards and backwards…it helps me sleep), and locate the countries of South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. My friends are getting used to being told things like ‘Eritrea is kinda shaped like a funnel’ and ‘Turkmenistan sorta looks like it’s on its way to eat Turkey, but Azerbaijan with its big nose is in the way’. They are thrilled.

I am enjoying the exciting process of being rejected for jobs that would challenge me AND jobs that I could do in my sleep. It’s a fun time. I wish I had known, when I stopped qualifying for Job Seekers Allowance, that I would still be unemployed four months later. I could have spent the time working on my own business and writing my novel instead of searching for jobs.

Anyway, I have excellent family and friends, and that’s something that should never be undervalued. I’ll be starting a marketing course on Monday, courtesy of Fairy, and I’m looking forward to it :-)

Everybody proving equally matched at boardgames

It’s a four-way tie for second/last place!

 

Currently reading:

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

United We Spy by Ally Carter
‘”And…and…this is your fault.” He pointed in my direction. “You should have had the decency to die when we needed you to.”
“Sorry,” I admitted. “I’ve been going through a bit of a rebellious streak. I swear it’s almost over.”‘

Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*

The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*

Trapped by Kevin Hearne*

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
“‘We have all the bows, Ravelle!’
‘Well, damn,’ said Locke. ‘You must have raided the weapons lockers then. I suppose I was hoping we could have one of those pleasant dancing mutinies, or maybe a singing-and-card-games mutiny, you know?'”

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*

Completed since 12/3/2014 (45)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
“‘You are very near death, Master Lamora,’ said Ibelius. ‘it is foolish for you to be larking about on deck in this weather.’
‘Ibelius,’ said Jean, ‘if what Locke is doing were larking about, corpses could get jobs as acrobats.’

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
‘”You know,” I whispered, “some girls might think it’s creepy having a boy watch them sleep.”
He smirked and pointed to himself. “Spy.”
“Oh.” I nodded. “Right. So you’re a trained Peeping Tom.”
“Product of the best peeping academies in the country.”‘

Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
“Singapore was supposed to be impregnable but, as a certain young mother from Bethlehem could tell you, impregnation can sometimes come from the most unexpected direction.”

Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*

*First read

The Trouser Legs of Time

2 Sep

Sometimes I find myself caught up in ‘what-ifs’, what Terry Pratchett calls the trouser legs of time. Not necessarily in a wistful way – sometimes in a ‘whoa, that would suck’ kind of way.

Let’s start with ‘What if I had studied harder at college and got better A level grades?’ 

Oddly, this one wouldn’t make that much of a difference. I got into the university I wanted and the course I wanted.

Which leads us to ‘What if I had made more friends at uni, studied harder, and slept through less lectures?’

I could have been a teacher for seven years by now! Weird. Also, I would never have met my ex.

Which leads us to ‘What if my ex hadn’t broken up with me?’

To be fair, I would be pretty miserable. I was devastated at the time, but our particular mesh of mental illnesses did not complement each other at all. Also, as a result of our breakup, I was at my mum’s house one day when a neighbour came over to ask if any of Mum’s children would like a summer job…

‘What if I hadn’t worked for the NHS?’

Then I wouldn’t have been on a Southampton City Primary Care Trust Christmas party that collided with a Southampton University Hospitals Trust Christmas party, which was largely insignificant except that I met my fiance that night.

These are just some of the ways my mind goes. Sometimes it can get pretty dizzying, considering all the possibilities.

Like, ‘What if I’d won more games recently?’

Then the table wouldn’t look like this:

Table top games

Orphen’s been on a roll lately

Currently reading:

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
“‘You wound us, Madam,’ said Calo. ‘We’re harmless as kittens.’
‘More so,’ said Galdo. ‘Kittens have claws and piss on things indiscriminately.'”

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Hexed by Kevin Hearne*

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Completed since 12/3/2014 (37)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
“It struck Mort with sudden, terrible poignancy that Death must be the loneliest creature in the universe. In the great party of Creation, he was always in the kitchen.”

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
“‘Percy,’ my mom said. ‘I give you my blessing.’
‘Be safe, brother!’ Tyson pleaded.
‘Enchiladas!’ Grover said. I wasn’t sure where that came from, but it didn’t seem to help much.”

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
“The Operatives realized they were about to have a very hostile encounter with a very angry teacher- slash-possible-enemy-agent, so they utilized a number of highly recommended covert tactics.
1. Operative McHenry said, “Are you ready yet? Are you ready yet? Are you ready yet?” in rapid succession until Operative Sutton was, in fact, ready”

Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
“Monty Python is like catnip for nerds. Once you get them started quoting it, they re constitutionally incapable of feeling depressed.”

*First Read

Learning new things

5 Aug

In the face of my struggling computer, I decided it’s time to see what I can do to fix it up a bit, since buying a new one or paying for repairs is out of the question. So a few days ago I loaded up a video on Youtube and learned how to clean the fan. It was mucky but easy enough, and my computer now runs a lot more quietly and I don’t have a permanent heat rash on my left leg. Success!

I still need to work out how to speed the thing up though – can’t afford a new hard drive or anything. I also need a new battery and charger.

With my suddenly not-burning-with-the-heat-of-a-thousand-suns computer, I decided I would spend some time playing Star Wars: The Old Republic again. SWTOR is an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) a bit like World of Warcraft, but obviously set in the Star Wars galaxy. You can play with two characters for free up to a certain

Dominion - tabletop card based games

Our layout of Dominion, complete with Kjarl and Fairlake’s hands

level, and although being a subscriber gets you extra stuff, it’s still plenty of fun. I played for two days solid and got up to about level 12, and I think you can go up to level 50 for free. You can choose your class (Jedi, trooper, empire etc) and your race (I’m human at the moment, my first time playing my main Jedi character was a Twi’lek) and whether you want to play on the side of the Republic or the Sith Empire.

I kind of want to play right now. Oh well. Stuff to do.

A couple of weeks ago the gang played Dominion for the first time – it started out seeming really difficult but then we got the hang of it and it was loads of fun. It’s a card based game where you have to …accomplish…stuff. Okay, it was a couple of weeks ago. I can’t remember how to play, just that I enjoyed myself, and that I won!

That changes the scoreboard (though just a little bit), so here goes:

Board games scoreboard

You may all admire how I forget what font I’ve used every time I update the table

Currently reading:

Mort by Terry Pratchett
“Mort tapped the stallholder in the small of the back. 
   ‘Can you see me?’ he demanded.
   The stallholder squinted critically at him.
   ‘I reckon so,’ he said. ‘or someone very much like you.'”

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
“The Operatives made contact with an asset who had firsthand knowledge of the Blackthorne Institute for Boys. The Asset was also privy to Joe Solomon’s private plans, the Circle’s secrets, and some of the most awesome-smelling soap in the world. The Operatives, therefore, tried not to trust (or smell) The Asset.”

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Completed since 12/3/2014 (32)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
“‘My fatal flaw. That’s what the sirens showed me. My fatal flaw is hubris.’
   I blinked. ‘That brown stuff they spread on veggie sandwiches?’
   She rolled her eyes. ‘No, Seaweed Brain. That’s hummus. Hubris is worse.’
   ‘What could be worse than hummus?'”

A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
“Operatives Morgan, Baxter and Sutton conducted a detailed search of the Gallagher Mansion, following the textbook grid pattern of detection. (They were sure about this because Operative Sutton brought along the actual textbook.)”

Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
“‘Your mark was on the crates at camp. Quintus got his scorpions from you.’
   ‘Quintus . . .’Geryon mused. ‘Short grey hair, muscular, swordsman?’
   ‘Yeah.’
   ‘Never heard of him.'”

Branching out

11 Jul

In the interests of building up my copywriting portfolio, I’ve been working on starting a blog for my dad’s morris dancing side. I’ve been along to the last couple of dance evenings with my trusty notebook and less trusty phone to take some pictures and video with, and have been working on the graphics aspect of the blog – far from my specialism but an area I’m working on! Hopefully I’ll be teaching myself video editing too. Once I’m all set up, I’ll add that to my blog roll, so if any of my seven loyal readers are interested in morris dancing and folk music, you can learn something!

I am in the endgame stage of learning to drive, but I am keeping test dates and such things close to my chest to keep the pressure off myself. When I have my driving licence a fair few more jobs will be open to me – I already had one interview where I would definitely have got the job if I had my licence.

I continue to use Halo to help me on days when my anxiety is a bit out of control. It’s a little counter-intuitive – it has the opposite effect on my fiance, making him very tense – but it takes my mind off anything else and wakes up my whole brain at the same time. Eventually on multiplayer mode, though, I’ll end up getting frustrated with myself as my skills are…erratic, to say the least.

I usually have lots to enjoy and look forward to this time of year, as I get really swept up in the big sports tournaments, but this has been an AWFUL year for British sports!

That might be the least geeky thing I will ever say on this blog. But you can totally be geeky about sports – my middle brother is, though he probably wouldn’t use that word to describe himself.

Currently reading

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
‘“You know the undersecretary,” Mr Mosckowitz was saying to Anna Fetterman as we danced past, “is really directly under…the secretary. So really I’m just like the secretary, but…”
“Under?” Anna guessed’

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*

A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*

Mort by Terry Pratchett

Completed since 12/3/2014 (24)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*

*First read

Running through tarmac

3 Jul

Time is speeding along while nothing much changes at Casa Lexicon. No job is forthcoming, and now I can add jobs I’m overqualified for to my list of jobs I’m being rejected for, having broadened my search.

Following the death of my sister-in-law in a traffic accident last year, the trial for the man who caused the accident was last week, and he was found not guilty. My fiance has really struggled with the run-up to the trial and the trial itself, and it’s impacted his mental health and job performance, which is Bad. He’s expecting a warning of some sort next week.

So, yes, basically everything continues to suck.

In nice things, however, the weather has been beautiful for most of the last few weeks, and Floydie is enjoying indulging his sundog side. I’ve been cutting myself off internet time a little bit earlier so I can read more.

I’ve discovered the Percy Jackson series thanks to Orphen’s recommendation (and lending me the books) and am hugely enjoying them so far. I’m also watching Star Trek TOS for the first time in the order it originally aired, and it’s awesome – I had no idea I’d enjoy it this much. The Naked Time, which is the fourth episode, is entirely too much fun.

The gang are hoping to start playing games again soon, and hopefully I’ll get a job one day!

This post is all over the place.

Currently reading

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

Pawn by Aimée Carter*

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
‘The Operative was able to neutralise the immediate threat to the operation by feigning severe mental distress – which was easier than she’d thought, since she was feeling both distressed and mental.’

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
‘He looked like an evil male model, showing off what the fashionable college-age villain was wearing to Harvard this year.’

A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*

Completed since 12/3/2014 (24)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
“‘I am the Mother of Monsters, the terrible Echidna!’
I stared at her. All I could think to say was: ‘Isn’t that a kind of anteater?’
She howled, her reptilian face turning brown and green with rage, ‘I hate it when people say that! I hate Australia!'”

Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*

*First read

Underground, overground, wombling free

25 Jun

That title works equally well for what I did on most of my holiday and also for the fact that I’m watching a lot of tennis lately!

We got back from the Isle of Wight a week and a half ago, and since then I’ve been running through quicksand a bit. Last week started out with a day of panic attacks that stopped me from functioning basically for the entire week, though I did have a great meeting with my Prince’s Trust mentor on the Tuesday. He agrees that finding a job is actually the first step towards building my business, so I can stop worrying about money so much, so that takes some pressure off.

With Wimbledon going on, I’m probably not going to have time to take part in this month’s pictonaut challenge – I had an idea about an inverse fairytale but now the world shall never know!

Many games were played whilst we were on holiday – I think there was only one night where we didn’t play, and we half watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture instead. Holy homoerotic subtext, Batman!

So, here’s the table as it stands:

Now Orphen and I are lagging behind

Now Orphen and I are lagging behind

We also played several rounds of Pandemic, which is really hard. You play co-operatively against the game, trying to save humanity from four diseases, which you can name yourself. We had:

  • The Zombie Apocalypse (of course)
  • Stupidity
  • Yawning (we wanted something contagious)
  • Floyditis (After the dog. Symptoms include drooling, obsession with my fiance, excessive waggliness, awful farts, and inappropriate boners)

We played three times, and although we did get better, we never progressed past curing one disease. We got Yawning once and Stupidity once. We never eradicated it though. We must continue playing until we improve!

Currently reading

A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*

Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
“From stone’s point of view the universe is hardly created and mountain ranges are bouncing up and down like organ-stops while continents zip backwards and forwards in general high spirits, crashing into each other from the sheer joy of momentum and getting their rocks off. It is going to be quite some time before stone notices its disfiguring little skin disease and starts to scratch, which is just as well.”

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*

Pawn by Aimée Carter* (I thought it was by Ally Carter when I picked it up, but it’s still really good!)

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Completed since 12/3/2014 (19)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
‘“Did you mail a picture of your penis?”
He raised an eyebrow. “Would it make it better if I said I was mailing pictures of someone else’s penis?”
I’ve thought about that question for fifteen years and I still don’t have a good answer.

Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
“Thor, if they made a greeting card which said: congratulations to you on your army gathering skills…I would buy you one” – Tony Stark

I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

*First read

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