jesters: ([ Splash Free! ])
We arrived safely in Japan yesterday after a solid day of travel. I'll do some long posts about this trip sometime later, but for now just saying we're alive and sharing my favourite photo from the first day:



Sorry I've not gotten back to any comments on my previous posts, life has been a bit hectic! But I do read and appreciate them :)!
◾ Tags:
jesters: (Default)
Randomly deciding to sleepily update this because why not.

I kept meaning to say and never quite getting around to it that I hate my job and I can't wait for June 20th to roll around so I can be done with it. I won't miss it; this job has fucked me up. It's not even the students or the committees or anything like that it's the "good" people who don't put their money where their mouth is and every time I hear someone talk about how ethical and radical and diverse we are I want to fling my hands up and storm out the room telling them they're so full of shit because if they really gave a damn they'd call their staff out on their casual sexism and actually put people before their egos and/or career goals. But this is how it is and these "good" people mean so fucking well that calling them out on anything just isn't worth it. So since Christmas I've been feel burnt out, not motivated, disheartened and disillusioned by the student union and, clearly, I didn't re-run for the post. I don't regret that except for the part where suddenly in June I won't have a salary anymore and that's scary.

But I am going to do my Masters degree at Sussex in their Sexual Dissidence programme. I'm very exciting, it's a great-looking course and they got back to me with an unconditional offer in under a week, which is incredible.

Skyler passed his PhD and he's now looking for work, which is much easier said than done in the education sector on this island.

And a week tomorrow we fly out to Haneda airport in Tokyo and are staying for about a month because I haven't taken any annual leave all year; I've always been very bad at that. I'm very tired right now, but I'm incredibly excited because, as my dad pointed out recently, it's about ten years since I was offered the scholarship to study there and I turned it down. And as I told [personal profile] pseudorca recently I still don't regret that choice.

All that stuff aside, we suddenly got into Kuroko no Basuke and I never expected to really love a sports anime Free! doesn't count, I hate to say but now season two is done I feel like our Sunday mornings are missing something special. Boo.

I'm sure I had more steam for this earlier, but that's all gone now. So suffice to say it's probably time for bed
jesters: ([ Rin ])
I'm feeling a bit nostalgic. This happens every six months or so and I write a vague post then delete it. But I guess I'm feeling self-reflective over the last five or six years and overall come to the conclusion that I feel calm. Not pleased or satisfied, and not unhappy or regretful, but calm.

I don't regret much, just wish I could have handled things a few years ago like I would now. If I had then what I do now, I might have been braver, found better words, mediated things more effectively, been more honest with myself and others. I might have picked times better, may have said some things that I didn't, and not said things that I did. I might have had better logical thinking, been more selfish when I needed to be, and been more aware of people around me when I should have.

Really, there's not much point in going round in circles over-thinking things by compared ourselves now to how we were in past points because you can't get to the Now-self without going through the Past-self; you can't get to anywhere without fucking up royally and reflecting on it. So I'm not beating myself up here and I'm not clinging to resentment of anyone, I've never been one for holding grudges. I'm just at a point--and think I have been for sometime--where I can and do reflect on events and people and not feel resentful or angry. It was a mixed bag, but I wouldn't change any of it in actual substance.

I don't regret much, just wish I was more the person I am now back then, which is actually impossible.

Maybe this is a long-winded way of saying thank you for the memories--they do mean a lot to me. Truly.
◾ Tags:
jesters: (Default)
Bi-monthly update is go, I suppose.

Since my last update I got all my results back for my undergraduate degree and my UG dissertation, after all my fretting and distress, got the highest grade of my entire degree, an 84 and the knowledge that one of markers felt that "[his] piece is terrific in my view. He's got to be one of the most compelling writers we've ever had and he's great on this combination-popular culture and gender construction." I have my graduation ceremony in mid-September where I get to wear silly robes and a hat and my mom will probably cry because I'll be graduating top two of my class (I don't know what the other guy got) with a First.

I'm pleased. Very pleased.

Also since the last update I started my year-long full time job at the Student Union. Since mid-June it's been a lot of getting up to speed with the inner workings of the institute, travelling across the country getting irritating and pointless training from the NUS, and planning for the swiftly-approaching new academic year. So far so good; we're getting along as a team, the work itself is enjoyable, but I'm already fairly convinced I won't re-run next year and I'll instead be going to do my MA somewhere.

We also decided to start swimming several mornings a week because I'm not very active and should be. We've had a lot of conflict of interest in finding physical activities that appeal because I don't like running or most sports and actively hate gyms. Swimming seems to be working well so far and I'm actually excited to go, so hopefully this will be an on-going thing (we'll see where we're at in a few weeks...)

In fandom life, we've been watching Attack on Massive McHugeBro Titan (great setting and plot, generally lackluster characters, which is sad), and Free! (aka the Gay Swimming Anime). [personal profile] laboratory came to visit in July and we had a spectacular nerdgasm over Pacific Rim which also included an impressive marathon of Evangelion because Fal hadn't seen it. I got to see big robots punching monsters for an entire weekend. I was thrilled. Also watched The Wolverine which was amazingly Orientalist in it's Japanese clichés, but I love me some Hugh Jackman as Wolverine so even though it wasn't an amazing movie it was enjoyable. HOW ABOUT THAT SCENE AT THE END THOUGH?? Seriously, best bit. I was clutching my face it utter joy.

So yeah. Life is busy. I don't get to sleep in anymore. Skyler is nearing the end of his PhD and I'm so awed by him. We're having non-fandom friends over soon for wine-drinking and Marvel movie watching, so I'm muchly looking forward to that... Life is good, though very busy.


Some photos?
Read more... )

That's about it for now. Not a super exciting update, but that's what's been up.
jesters: (Default)
So, today I got feedback on my final politics paper which focused on the shifting political causes Captain America has been put to over the years and I got a fucking 80! I am so relieved. I also did a quick grade calculation and I may still get that overall First for the degree after all, so I'm feeling more cheerful today.

I pretty much wasted the entire day on GW1 doing Luxon quests and achieved very little in relation to my HoM achievements and bought the wrong Luxon armour in a moment of not properly checking what I was doing. Boo, self. Such a waste. But it did remind me how pretty the Jade Sea is. I would love to see what GW2 Cantha would look like.

Day 02 - Day 02 - The biggest jerk you’ve dealt with (in game)? )
jesters: (Default)
So, I handed in my undergraduate dissertation yesterday and then just kind of cried my eyes out for a while. For a lot of reasons. I was pretty down on myself most of yesterday, but since then I've had some time to calm down and think more rationally and clearly, and even if I miss getting the First I was aiming for it won't be the end of the world.

I can be more rational today and say that I'm not impressed with how I handled the dissertation overall or how cock-sure of myself I'd gotten after being able to churn out short papers in relatively short amounts of time, but I didn't really prepare myself properly for writing something that was a very different project. I'm not displeased with the ideas within it, and I actually really want to return to some of the key thoughts going on in there (discussions of Tony Stark as the antithesis of Haraway's cyborg and the link-up between bugchasing and Extremis in particular) but there's a lot I need to do in the meantime, like improve my writing skills and increase my effectiveness in conveying ideas. It's not a bad thing to be reminded that you ain't all that, so I'm not displeased. But on the flip side, I'm not taking up all the blame unnecessarily; the dissertation stuff was very bad because we were pretty much left on our own to write a 8,000-10,000 word project with very little guidance except "buy this book and here's a double-sided print out summary" with one of two group meetings in the last two terms. I'm not angry with our course leader, I know he left holding a lot of loose ends and we, unfortunately, fell through the cracks but it is irritating not to have had consistent guidance.

But there we go. It's all done. Now I just wait for the results in August.

We did go and get celebratory sushi, sashimi, a bottle of plum wine, ice-cream mochi and then went home and had snuggles. I have the best boyfriend ♥

In a few months I need to really start considering where I'm going to do my MA/where Skyler will find work. More and more we're leaning toward the idea that we're going to end up State-side. That's so huge an idea to me. But I'm excited by the idea. We had various chats about what to expect of MAs in the States and they sound like something I would really benefit from.

On my birthday I start work as a Sabb, that'll be interesting. I have a feeling I will have various levels of angry overall.

I also need to search for a new laptop and get more repairs on this one; since I fell down the stairs a few weeks back while carrying the laptops mine has difficulty staying plugged in. I got a new battery recently which helps a lot, but it still sucks to jiggle the wire around trying to find the right spot that works. It probably would benefit from a new fan and thermal compound too.

We need to go down to Torquay again soon to scatter Faith-dog's ashes and I said I'd help dad pick out a new laptop for him too since I've got a better sense of laptop specs and whatnot than he does these days. Mom is back from Spain and in Birmingham helping nan out with negotiating her moving out. Nan's still quite sick so we don't know how long mom will be there, but I likely won't see her whenever we go to Torquay; I said I'd visit her in the Midlands and possibly we'll get a new car when we do.

See, a few months back dad got a new car and was going to scrap his old one, but instead gave it to us. It's very old though and overheats easily. Nan's sick and likely not going to drive again, so she's wanting to get rid of her car. It's newer and smaller than ours, so we'll see.

We also popped down to MCM Expo at the weekend and saw [personal profile] son_of_darkness for the first time in a while in his Nero cosplay from Devil May Cry. It was a really nice day and I think we've been inspired to start on a long-term cosplay project for the first time in ages, so that'll be nice.

TV shows and whatnot lately, we recently caught up with all of CSI and when we got to the end of Season 13 I screamed at the TV. We've never followed CSI at time of broadcast before. It's so frustrating. We also watched all of Girls, which is a show about terrible people. It's so masterful in its horribleness.

And I've been watching Hannibal. SPOILERS (I'm critical as fuck about this show...) )

In the gaming world, because I wanted to make sure my laptop survived my deadlines I've not been playing much GW2... But I have been dicking around in GW1 trying to pump up them Hall of Monuments points, and it's not going too badly, but I was never a great GW1 player and most of the things you get in HoM would just be for the shiny. Though I suppose that's what most of them are. :B

But a 30 Day Guild Wars 2 Challenge has been floating around on tumblr so why not.

Day 01 - Your First Character. )

Man, this is a very disjointed post. I think I'm just too tired to string things together nicely.

Anyways, rambles aside I need to go to an anti-fascist organisation meeting :)
jesters: ([ Assassin ])
In a bid to not be so miserable, I'm doing some window shopping for a new laptop, and I'm justifying the window shopping by saying it'll be a "Yay, you finished your degree!" and a "Yay, you'll have a good salary for a year!" thing.

I've got a general sense of what I'm after, and it kinda falls into the department of something with very decent gaming potential, but what I'm less sure about is company and/or physical shell because I do want something with good air circulation. Anyone got any go-to shops or companies they'd recommend? [livejournal.com profile] kamara? Or anyone else who has insight? :)
jesters: ([ No Thanks ])
We didn't put Faith-dog through surgery today. She was telling us she was done, so we let her be done.

We get her ashes back in about ten days and then we'll take her to the beach one last time.
◾ Tags:
jesters: <user name=thescarlet site=livejournal.com> → <user name=uncrossedgrafix site=livejournal.com> ([ Reach ])


Asuka is my spirit animal today.

My motivation is low and that's not helpful with so many things to do. Last stretch. Ughhhhhhhhhhh.
jesters: (Default)
So, some general updates.

It's been a while since I spoke about Faith-dog and how she's been doing lately, and the long and short is she's not been doing so well over the last month or so. She's stopped eating on her own, has lost a lot of weight and various other generally gross things I'm not going into here. Keeping things fairly short on this matter, she's going to the vet for the final hurdle next Tuesday for surgery. It's the final hurdle because while the chemotherapy she's been on has worked incredibly well on her and it seems for the most part the cancer has gone into remission and her blood is now all fine, there's a section of duodenum, near to where her stomach and intestine meet, that's rigid when it should be flexible. The surgery would be to remove that rigid section. Basically either the surgery will correct the final thing that's needed for her to have a happy four months to two years of life, or else they'll open her up and find there's nothing they can do for her in which case she'll be put to sleep. Either way, we feel going for the surgery is the best thing we could do by her given the circumstances. If it's her time then that's fine, she's fought very hard and is a wonderful dog and we'll be doing the best thing for her so she doesn't suffer, and if this fixes the problem and she can live out her days comfortably with us then that's wonderful. We'll know on Tuesday.

Aside from that... Lots of work and it's the final push. My last deadline as an undergraduate student is May 28th and then I have about a month "off" before I step into my role as Sabbatical officer. It's a bit surreal.

I don't know if I mentioned this, but the SU awarded me Part-time Officer of the Year for 2012/13. I have a little trophy and everything.

At the start of April we went down to Torquay and met up with my best friend from school who I haven't seen in years. It was amazing how easy it was to slip back into conversation with him. Still politically sound, still gay, things I value very much. He lives in London now and I'm hoping we get to see him a bit more :) We also got to see [personal profile] laboratory which is always wonderful. Actually, we drove done to Parr beach to visit him because dad got a new car and gave us the old one otherwise it would be scrapped. So we have a car, Skyler has a licence and that makes life a lot easier. Actually, when we went to Parr we stopped for lunch and I had the most amazing seafood pizza...that gave me some of the worst food poisoning I've ever had. It was so bad we had to crash at my parents' for an extra night because we were due to leave the little cottage we'd been staying in. Oops.

While we were down there my nan was staying with my folks too. Nan usually lives in the Midlands, but she's been very sick. She has heart failure and now can't be on her own so my mom had been her carer for several weeks. Now they've taken her back up to the Midlands and are in the process of selling her flat to move her into a place with fewer stairs and more people around 24-7. Until then, she's having a nurse stop by every day to check on her. I've been really worried about my mom and her emotional state because her brother has been helping but hasn't been physically with nan 24-7 like mom had been, and mom's sister only really wants to get involved when it suits her (or when money seems to be involved) so I've been furious every time mom and I have spoken about my aunt being generally selfish.

Since we got the car going back and forth to the horse yard has been much easier, and actually now Skyler is starting to actually ride Salsa with me on the ground lunging. It's been a really unique experience so far and I'm pretty pleased with what we've been doing even though I know pretty much nothing about horses. But I did go and bring her in from the field on my own for the first time a week or so ago and that was pretty awesome to me.

Also briefly been talking to [personal profile] pseudorca about OCs and whatnot and it's made me all nostalgic. I think after deadlines are done I might poke and prod at some drabbles with this characters because while some of the stuff is utterly terrible there's about six characters that I still have soft spots for and I think could be salvageable on some level. We'll see, I'd oddly excited about this. I've missed these characters. :)

Kind on the topic OCs, I wasted some time yesterday making little profiles for my Guild Wars 2 characters and that's been rather nice. I kind of want to mess around with them in terms of RPing and/or writing in general.

In other news, been watching a lot of CSI lately. We caught up on the last three or four seasons that we didn't already have on DVD and are now working our way through season 13. I gotta say, I kind of adore D.B. Yes. Good. I've also been watching Hannibal which I have mixed feelings about which kind of go from "YES, THIS PART IS AMAZING AND I LOVE IT!" to "...ph my god, what are you fuckers doing with these characters??" But then Red Dragon has been close to my heart for a bunch of years so... Yeah. Maybe later I'll do a longer post about this show and my issues with it in particular.

I think I've procrastinated as long as I can for today--better get to work :)
jesters: <user name=innate site=livejournal.com> → <user name=arraying site=livejournal.com> ([ No Worries ])


While that was rather exciting, alas, I think my laptop is at the end of it's GW2 career since it had to go into the shop recently, so I'm not going to be playing much (if at all) until around the end of May when all my work is in. I need this laptop to at least survive until then. After that I may start shopping for a more powerful machine as a reward for graduating/having a job for the year, but we'll see. If I do, that'll be fun :')

Also, the Molten Alliance Mining Pick is awesome. Really nice idea.

In the meantime, lots of work, as I say. I still have my dissertation to finish (though I'm enjoying it a lot so far), one exam, on take-home paper, and two more short papers. And then I'm done with my undergrad. That's kinda cool.

And tomorrow I get up at 5am to take a group of students to Manchester for NUS LGBT Conference... :) No rest. Nooooo rest.
jesters: (Default)
Apparently I'm keeping up this updating streak, for now at least, and I'm not entirely sure why now when I haven't been before. I think I'm just enjoying coming back to a format I pretty much spent the majority of my early net-life making some incredibly valuable connections on and much though I love plurk (and increasingly Twitter) for chattering, there's something nice about more detailed updates and the space to make longer comments back/with others.

Still, I'm updating for now so that's what I'm doing.

Faith-dog
We took Faith-dog to the vet again recently. She had an ultrasound and seemingly it showed one small mass in her intestine near her stomach, but that's all they found. Compared to a couple of months back when they were seeming a lot of irregularities along her intestinal wall, that's very good. It's still unclear if this is just some of the old irregularity which has yet to clear up or a new growth, but for now we're hoping for the former because she's doing so, so well right now. Still keeping fingers-crossed for remission in 8 weeks time when we go back to oncologist. She smells like hospital-dog now.


Here's her from a few weeks back because she's cute :')

Self
Now that I've had some sleep I'm doing much better. I've been planning some papers I'm going to write on which has reduced some of my panic a great deal, including one for a class on Art and War where I'm hoping to examine WWII propaganda in relation to Captain America, both circa WWII and in the current MCU incarnation. I've also been reading Hassler-Forest's Capitalist Superheroes, which so far I'm really enjoying, though it gave me quite a strange feeling after reading his chapter on Batman and V for Vendetta in terms of

Friends
We're also saw [livejournal.com profile] annephoenix recently and that was really, really lovely. I haven't seen her for a couple of years, so Skyler and I met her at the station then went to get breakfast at Giraffe and that was wonderful. I love going out for meals. It's really bad. But I really love going out for breakfast, but usually I'm not up early enough for that and it's sad. Anyways, Anne got to meet Skyler's horse, Salsa, and I think that was good for him because I know shit about horses.

Guild Wars 2
No-one fucking tells you to get map completion you need to damn well do the WvW maps too... I have very mixed feelings about this because I'm not a PvPer by nature, but overall it's just irritating because (at least whenever I'm on) Gandara doesn't seem to have a ton of control over any map so hitting the PoIs and Vistas is a pain in the ass. Still, while I'm waiting around to clear maps it means I can collect Badges of Honour for the coat part of the medium Invader's Armor.

In general though, I think I've figured out my final mismatched thief look via window shopping...
Read more... )

Guess I need to hit more dungeons and get better at WvW... /firstGW2problems

Life Misc.
After mom and I had our fight about the undisclosed subject we have patched things up and Skyler and I are going down to Devon again this coming Friday. Nan has been staying with mom and dad lately because she's really not well and mom saying they're taking it "one day at a time" doesn't sound good. They're taking her back up to the midlands on Sunday so we'll hopefully get Friday and Saturday to see them, so I'm really glad we're getting to see both nan and my folks, if only for a day, while we're down.

SU and Uni
I've been dealing with the new LGBTQ Committee and they are...difficult. I can't fault them for not knowing how the union works, but I'm starting to find my patience tested by the fact that they seem to think that because they're taking over the society that means they can just ignore what everyone else is telling them, step on toes, and act like they've got some sudden monopoly to steamroll over any and all work that's been done so far. I like enthusiasm, I like they're interested and got lots of ideas, but I don't like how little they seem to be considering others and how only token awareness seems to be getting paid to areas of intersection. Boiling everything down, the big complaint seems to be that there hasn't been enough to satisfy the needs of the white, cis, gay men (not enough parties and alcohol, in other words). It's been a bit of a headache, but I'm starting to shift my position from friendly equal to more a voice with more knowledge and authority, and that's a bit difficult for me, but I don't like being walked over and ignored.

And now my classes are over for the year, time to buckle down to work until the end of May.

I've also been sick the last two days and that sucks :(
jesters: ([ Stark ])
Who knows if it'll stick, but, y'know, Iron Man 3 trailer #2.



Have I mentioned I'm fucking excited for April 26th? Because I AM!
jesters: ([ Assassin ])
So, in a bid to relax and unwind and recoup, I've been playing a lot of Guild Wars 2 again lately (this will reduce again once I get back into the work swing) mostly with [personal profile] laboratory and...taking screencaps.

Read more... )
jesters: <user name=thescarlet site=livejournal.com> → <user name=uncrossedgrafix site=livejournal.com> ([ Reach ])
I have a job for next year: I'm going to be a full-time sabbatical officer for my student union.

Let me tell you, after a week of campaigning, I am absolutely exhausted, hate the sound of my own voice, and never want to do it again. But I got it, I won, I get to work in a fairly well-paid political position for students for a year before going on to Postgrad. I'm really excited.

Today I'm having a day of doing sod all, which I think is well-earnt.
jesters: ([ No Thanks ])


Words have meaning.
Words do work.
Words have histories.
Words are bigger than you or I and how they are used matters.

Yes, you can gloss it over by saying it's just something you've always done, it's just a bit of fun between you and your friends, that you're not really sexist, racist, able-ist, homophobic and/or transphobic and that you're not using words with loaded histories and associations in negative ways, but your use of words does not magic meaning and history away. And if you think it does? Then you may want to reflect on how inflated your ego is.
jesters: (Default)
... Travelling to the other side of London on public transit with your very unwell dog because no taxi in London will take dogs and all the vets that are supposed to be 24hr emergency surgeries in your area are closed.

So, we've had to leave Faith-dog at the vet overnight for tests and x-rays after she was showing signs of an uncomfortable stomach and vomiting, but needless to say we are worried for her and just waiting for news.

In the meantime, we'll just distract ourselves with LotR movies and whatever else is distracting, I guess. Yeah. Feeling less than chipper right now, in all honesty.
◾ Tags:
jesters: <user name=alchemilla site=livejournal.com> ([ Bad Goaf! ])
I feel another tl;dr update coming on sometime soon about uni, fandom and general UGH, but not right now.

No, right now is the topic of GW2 and me sucking at jumping puzzles at the best of times, let alone a timed, evil one.

Just about every group I've been with has been reduced to sobbing piles like this one:



I hate this so much... :'( I don't even care about the slippers at the top (though it would be nice), I just want the achievement but at the rate I'm improving I'll probably manage it around mid-July next year.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
jesters: ([ Stark ])
Y'know, this one: )

So. Tuesday, huh. Well that seems an awfully long way away after being left this kind of cocktease.

Nghhh...
jesters: <user name=alchemilla site=livejournal.com> ([ Bad Goaf! ])
OH YEAH, I TOTALLY FORGOT. SKYLER GOT HIS INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN IN THE UK A FEW WEEKS AGO! AHHHHHHHHHH! IT TOOK FOREVER BECAUSE THE HOME OFFICE IS SLOW AS FUCK, BUT IT'S ALL DONE AND YAAAAAAY!

He can apply for dual citizenship in October of this year, and that's super exciting, but the main thing is he has indefinite leave of remain and I get to keep him. That's a huge relief and a big, heavy weight off our shoulders. Phew... :')

Profile

jesters: (Default)
Ghost