jesters: <user name=thescarlet> → <user name=uncrossedgrafix> ([ Reach ])
I'm posting for record more than anything else these days, because the way I use journaling sites has altered drastically over the last five years or so, but I'm sort of returning to a point of reflection in a way I did several years back the morning after being kettled for the first time in White Hall during the 2011 student demos.

I've been anxious about this vote. Where I work, where I live, I wasn't scared: no-one I'd spoken to were voting Out. Not even my "liberal" conservative parents were voting Out (though I'm convinced the only reason they voted Remain was because of their property in Spain, which has been worth very little virtually since they invested in it almost 15 years ago.) I was definitely among friends--children of immigrants, partners of expats, people who felt European. But I'd said on several occasions, "I'm not worried about the London vote."

London was a clear Remain area to me. Sure, you'd get some foolish spatterings of disenfranchised workers who were being legitimately rammed by the state of the world and would rather blame it on the Polish workers than look closer to home for who was responsible, but I was secure in London and scared of the rest of the world.

I was scared of boroughs like the ones that house my hometown, who voted 63.16% Leave, that are far from urban spaces and multicultural communities. I was scared of the men and women who my dad drinks with down the pub, who are scared of Sharia law and have never met a muslim in their life, let alone a British-born muslim. I was nervous of the communities where the government target young men and women whose education and work prospects are forfeit and instead recruit them into the army with nationalist sentiments polished up to sound like protection.

I voted on the way to work. I got up, left the house around 7:45am, went to the local school, saw a pug, voted, and on the way out heard a couple chatting where one said "Let's just say my voice will... REMAIN a secret," and then I got my train. It was pouring rain all day. I knew people were finding it hard to get into work and to polling stations. I got the last train before the hour-long delays and cancellations hit. I saw a couple of Remain folks handing out stickers and I made literal grabby hands for one. I wore it all day at work. No-one commented on it.

I chatted to my boss, who was sad because his mother had disappointed him for the first time in nearly 30 years. My boss' family on his grand mother's side is Italian, his grandmother slaved over textiles when she moved to the UK over 50 years ago. His father still has an Italian passport. My manager's mother told him on the phone a few days before the referendum, that she didn't want to discuss politics and that they "should LEAVE it at that." My manager said he was convinced, like so many others, by the claim that money that would otherwise go to the EU would be ploughed back into the NHS, which is the service his mother works for. He believes she voted because she wanted to see the NHS restored to what it was 30 or 40 years ago.

I got a lift home with a coworker that night through the torrential rain, went food shopping in my work clothes still wearing my Remain sticker. No-one said a word and I kept thinking someone would because something in the air still felt very tense.

In the weeks building up, we'd have European students and parents asking what will happen if Britain leaves the EU. We said we didn't know, that the fees won't change immediately either way, and we would do our best to make sure that didn't happen.

I was confident in London, but in my bones I felt like we'd be leaving, because despite what people around me in the capital were saying, every media outsource was blaring LEAVE. I resigned myself to the thought this would happen, or that the outcome we got would be these numbers, but the other way around--a narrow margin for Remain, like Scotland. The final pollsters put Remain ahead 6 points. I was nervous, but I figured, by the skin of our teeth, it'd be okay.

I woke up at 4:30am yesterday morning--our dehumidifier was screaming because it was full. That was enough to make me check the results on my phone, and at 5am, after a lot of frantic scrolling and refreshing I said "52% Out. Jesus fuck." on plurk.

And as more results came in and closed the margin that Remain had to rush forward and block Leave, the worse it got. Skyler woke up at about 5:30am, rolled over, stretched, said good morning, then asked how it was going. When I told him, he just said "...fuck." We watched the value of the pound plummet. 10 years ago, I never dreamt I'd give a thundering fuck about the value of the pound, let alone watch its movement closely.

I put on the shirt we bought at Tokyo Pride a couple of years ago. I don't usually wear t-shirts to work, but it was the Friday before Pride, and went to work. I normally play pointless moe anime girl rhythm games on my phone on the train into work and make my arms rigid so the business man who invariably sits down beside me doesn't take up more space than he needs because I'm a smaller guy than he is--I keep my legs firm and my elbows out because he's got the aisle anyway and if he needs to air his nuts in his suit pants then he's got the whole gangway to do it and can damn well leave me to punch notes of high-pitched candy J-pop songs on my phone in peace, then feel like a momentary failure at life when I miss a note off the Full Combo.

I didn't play games on my phone during that commute--I was too busy reading the updates.

I posted on Facebook more times yesterday than I have in six months. I noted that a margin of difference between Leave and Remain was about 1 million votes and how I totally felt like punching about a million people. A coworker said "I'd better stay out of the Student Centre [where I work] today then" and then on his own timeline said he was pleased with the result, but wondered, as if he'd been asked a harmless riddle, how leaving the EU would effect European students who get Disabled Living Allowance. He works in our office that helps disabled students get to grips with equipment to help them access education to the fullest. A friend of his said "I am shocked that you are pleased with this result being in your educational role!" I Liked that comment, and didn't respond to any of his.

When I went into work my favourite co-worker, born in Canada, raised as much over there as here and is much British as she is Canadian, stepped around the corner of the office, saw me, and immediately run over to hug me as she burst into tears. I told her hugs would be on tap that day, that she could have as much time as she needed, whenever she needed, however she needed, to be sad. I decided I wasn't going to cry and instead be whatever him of support my coworkers, my friends, needed me to be.

I hugged my manager when he came in. We agreed not to talk about it, because he was clearly raw on so many levels. Of course, we talked about it all at length. And felt very raw about it.

I refreshed various media outlets while on the desk, saw the final count come in, saw Cameron announce he was stepping down as PM, and I began to feel the numbness become anger. I didn't want it to become despair. I juggled as many tasks as I could at work to keep my mind busy--dealt with two difficult students, chased two on-going voice queries, and answered e-mails in a kind of frenzy to leave no space in my brain.

I read about 16 and 17 year olds who were protesting the vote in Downing Street, saying they had never been given a voice. I believe strongly in giving votes at 16--you can join the army at 16, you should get a vote in the stakes of the country that's asking you to die for them at 16.

After work, I went to central. I wanted to feel the mood, to find the rage, to find a vibe that was energy and not numb defeat. I found tourists taking selfies and the Social Worker Party, the group that made protecting a rapist in their high ranks a more important mission than putting their party where their politics were supposed to be. I was offered a banner by a SWP member, I said "No, I want nothing to do with the SWP. Sorry." I shouldn't have apologised, even sarcastically.

I walked around White Hall and Parliament Square, then up Trafalgar Square to meet Skyler at Charing Cross. I didn't find the energy I wanted, but I didn't want to be at home.

Walking through Leicester Square, we saw two young men dressed all in black wearing masks--a gas mask and a white opera-style mask--down an alleyway to our right. They had metal baseball bats and were swinging and dragging them across the floor. I was really scared. When I'd see young folks on the streets in politically charged moments in the past, I felt safe--Black Block defend the people who they know can't or won't do it themselves and they'll fight off police with riot gear who make grabs for peaceful protesters.

But we couldn't tell what these young men were there for. Were they pro or anti-Brexit? Were they anti-gay?

I think the one closest to me realised that I was genuinely scared by his posturing, and maybe saw the shirt I was wearing, maybe put the pieces together that they'd been a massive attack on the LGBTQ community recently, and suddenly he took off his mask and with all smiles was like "No, no! It's for a YouTube video! It's for YouTube!!"

The guy in the gasmask didn't take his off. Skyler stared them down and told them "It's not funny, not today."

I was still really scared.

We went to Soho, to a burger place near the Admiral Duncan on Old Compton Street. We picked that burger branch over the one in Covent Garden--I wanted to be around family. It seemed like the place to be. We ate our feelings, got bubble tea, Cinnabon, and eventually went home.

I said this was this view from the platform at Lewisham station by that finally broke me, and I stared to feel the sadness set in:

I cried for about three minutes several hours later when I first tried to sleep. I couldn't. I got up, paced around the kitchen with my hands in my hair and couldn't settle down. Eventually, after a 22 hour day, I slept.
jesters: <user name=innate> → <user name=arraying> ([ No Worries ])
So as par the course it's been a couple of months since I last posted and since then some stuff has happened.

I got my grades back for the MA and, by the skin of my teeth, I got that Distinction. I am pleased, but I'm more relived that pleased and even with some distance from the MA I'm still just glad to see the back of it. Once the graduation in January is done, I probably won't need to think about Sussex again.

Pretty much as soon as the thesis was in I started looking for jobs and was offered one at my undergrade college in student support. So I'm back on a salary and we moved out of Seaford and back to London. The move the London was a great choice, though we're in a state of post-moving upheaval and the place we're in is much smaller than before to try and make rent as reasonable as possible on London rates.

But I am enjoying the job very much. I know the place and the kind of students we get, the team is nice and I adjusted to the role really quickly. Though I did give up pre-booked holiday to start early, so I still have close to three weeks to take off so we can travel to the states again. We'll probably do that in the spring.

Otherwise life is fairly... Well, that. Job and London and much happier than where we were a few months ago.

Last year we went to visit Skyler's folks for the holidays, this year we're going to visit mine. And then in late January I get to wear silly robes again for a graduation and (hopefully) get sloshed on free bubbly. Seems only fair after this year.

Plans for PhD are still very much A Thing, but first a bit of a break from study with this job and hopefully some freelance writing, prep for the GRE, and general independent study.

Overall though, things are looking and feeling better :)

There hasn't been much room for written RP, but there's been a fair bit of gaming. It's Wintersday in GW2 and Skyler's first experience. If nothing else I really want to get the drinking achievement, but we'll see how that goes. I'm awful at the bells game and while I've gotten better at jumping puzzles over this year I'm still not great at the Winter Wonderland jumping puzzle; the first set of peppermints and then the exploding presents fuck my shit up. :T

That aside, we actually haven't done much of HoT yet--we were moving during the initial launch and Halloween happened, and now we're settled Wintersday is here, but I know Living World Season 3 is coming in the new year so we need to do more jungle running soon.
jesters: <user name=thescarlet> → <user name=uncrossedgrafix> ([ Reach ])
I've been thinking about making a post like this for a little while, for myself, to talk a bit about the experience of doing my MA itself and the impact it had on me as a person and a thinker.

Really, there's no easy or better ways to say that this year has been awful on so many levels and a huge part of it has been my MA at University of Sussex, but it isn't the only aspect. I'm not going to talk in detail about other life stuff though because this is a processing through of the MA experience. I want this to be constructive, but I am angry, I'm hurt, and I have not come out of this MA stronger and more confident than I went in. So it's meant to be reflective and constructive, but also trying to get gunk out of a tender wound so I can start to heal and become myself again.

If there are comments on this I may or may not reply, it will depend entirely on how I feel.

Read more... )
jesters: ([ Rin ])
PSA: Hakkyuu is fucking pretty in GW2 with the karka-hunting rifle.

I just really like this shot, okay.

And apparently someone liked it enough to ask about it on Reddit. ////

I've been having this weird experience of people recognising me in game now too, mostly from RP/tumblr. I'm very not used to being noticed and randomly contacted, but it's also kinda interesting.

Today through to Monday is the Revenant beta and that's exciting. I haven't played any of the Rev before so I'm looking forward to this.

In the meantime, I'm putting together a proposal to attend a queer networking event in Budapest in September and chewing my way through a reader.

So life is pretty much work and gaming right now and trying to just hold it all together.
jesters: ([ Rin ])
I feel a bit like since last update I've lost several months to being utterly miserable. Really, I don't get prolonged periods of being down, but I crashed quite hard at the end of January and have been having a hard time picking myself up.

Things are tough, the MA has been tough, homelife has been tough, upcoming life looks set to be tough too.

I thought after six months I'd have plenty to update with, but I don't except to say I feel like I made a lot of progress in life and this MA smashed into a lot of that. I think I didn't help either but I suppose a lot of things just smashed into each other and made the whole thing a bit too much for me to handle.

All that's left for the MA now is the thesis and I've returned to themes of HIV/AIDS. In a weird way, I'm very glad to be back here. One of the papers I wrote for last term dealt with AIDS in Sword Art Online II (horrible, vile show) and I was pleased to find the ideas had some meat on them so regardless of how those go I feel pleased I managed to push the boat out in terms of thinking and take some risks. I think I got crippled by the fear of taking risks and trying to climb back up to a place where I'm not so afraid to fail is taking some time.

I'm looking at PhD programs in the states and the academic job market remains rather barren, but what can anyone do except continue?

In the coming year I'm hoping to do some more intensive language study in prep for the PhD and right now I'm reading Tim Dean's wonderful Unlimited Intimacy which just gets the mental juices flowing so nicely.

Skyler and I went to visit my mom in Menorca for a week. I hadn't been there since [personal profile] pseudorca when we were teenagers. It was very surreal, very hot, and very boring. I'd like us to go back sometime, but not where my folks' place is. More the area we went when I was a kid--it's more lively there and, imo, visually nicer too. In addition, every time I see my folks I get more and more stressed. I dislike the expectation to be a politics dispenser but ultimately know that I'm being asked despite mom having her own opinions already formed and no amount of my semi-professional training or knowledge makes a lick of difference. That, coupled with a very small living space and lack of things to distract ourselves with, turned what should have been a very relaxing ten days into a rather tense and hot affair. I also, once again, hate flying.

In other news is Skyler and I have been playing a lot of GW2 still and I've gently returned to writing an old OC because of that. I'm having a lot of fun; it feels a bit like coming home and hearing an old, familiar voice back in the next room suddenly. I've missed hearing that voice a lot. I'm enjoy some newer voices too, but there's something special about that one.

There's all the HoT pre-purchase kerfuffle which is just... messy. Truth is we're both surely going to buy the expansion, but in my own way I'm somewhat :/ at the three tiers at present, but that's about all to say on that. There's a lot of pages and videos of wank on that topic and now it's just exhaustive.

Not sure what else to say at this time. I'm aware that for the first time in years I won't be starting an academic term or working over October, so there's some toying with the idea of being state-side for Halloween. I'd love that. We'll have to see. Maybe this is all there is to say right now.
jesters: ([ Rin ])
It occurs to me the last post I made was during our second day in Japan and that was back in mid-April and since then I've neglected to make any posts at all. Hm.

Well, partly I blame living on plurk because it's so quick and easy to update life things and chat on there, but I also I blame life, and I blame being mostly buried in the RP side of DW.

That doesn't mean stuff hasn't happened though, and I suppose the big one was actually being in Japan for a month. I've been pining wildly periodically since we got back, so in a bid to get some of this stuff out of my system I figure it's high time I did an update about it.

Read more... )

After that trip, I came back for my final week of work. I don't regret not running for a second year.

One of the more difficult things that happened during my last month was that I was assaulted while I was getting lunch in public. The actual event hasn't left any lasting marks on me, but I reported it to the police because the guy was still hanging around the area. The aftermath of that leading up to the court case and dealing with the police is one of the most stressful things I've ever done. I'm not going into tons of details here so much as I'm making this as a note for myself to look back on later, but I had my reservations about going to the police because they have a very poor history of handling LGBT cases appropriately.

The long and short is, while the police decided to charge the guy and take it to court, due to a mishandling on the part of the police and the Crime Prosecution Service over the nature of the charge, I was unable to testify as it would result in me giving up some of my personal rights and, ultimately, lying under oath to fit the charge. Unwilling to do that, the case was dropped after an incredible amount of unacceptable behaviour on the part of the DC handling the case. It was really horrible.

That aside, the leaving-do for work was one of the most awkward events I've ever attended, but it seemed a very fitting way to end a very difficult year, all in all.

In July, we moved out of London to Sussex since I'm doing my MA at Sussex we needed to be closer to the campus, so we're now living in a much cheaper place with a livingroom that has a direct view of the ocean and the horse stabled only a ten minute drive away. I love it, but I do miss London. It also means we're getting to bother [personal profile] annephoenix a lot more and that's excellent.

The other good news is while I don't have a job anymore, I applied for and was awarded a scholarship toward my MA tuition fees, which has cut the overall price nearly in half and taken a huge weight off my shoulders.

I'm now just starting my second term of the MA and it's been quite mixed. I submitted my first two papers a couple of weeks back and I'm anxious about the outcome, but now I only have two more pieces of coursework to do and then the thesis and I'll have completed my MA. So already, I'm starting to think of PhDs and where/who I'll study with. It feels very daunting. But it seems like my focus is heading in the direction of HIV/AIDS and Japanese popular culture.

We also went to America to visit Skyler's folks over Christmas and got to briefly see [personal profile] pseudorca, but it was such a short trip and so much of it was taken up with writing papers that it didn't feel like a real visit at all. I think I felt overall a bit ambivalent about America this trip whereas in the past I was more excited. We did go see a live basketball game though (Atlanta Hawks v. Milwaukee Bucks) and that was really quite fun.

In nerd land, still kind of stuck in Sports Hell in terms of anime, still enjoying Kuroko no Basuke, very disappointed with season 2 of Free!, we got into Haikyuu!! which is adorable, and we recently started watching Yowamushi Pedal. So all the sports. I also watched the first season of the Fate/Stay Night remake and I just don't find it as exciting or interesting as Fate/Zero, for so many reasons.

Otherwise, I've been playing way too much Guild Wars 2 and need to tone it down and get back to working properly... But I just sorta like my cute losers a whole bunch. It's been nice to think about OCs again a bit :') Plus, with the GW2 Heart of Thorns announcement coming today my hype feelings are high. Must have a healthier relationship to this game though, it's a thing that must happen.

So yeah, it's been a busy, mixed year with lots of travelling and work and studying.
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 :)!
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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 [redacted] 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.
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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? [ 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> → <user name=uncrossedgrafix> ([ 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 " 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> → <user name=arraying> ([ 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.

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 :')

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

We're also saw [ 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: (Default)