thessalian: (facepalm)
I seem to use my 'facepalm' icon an awful lot these days...

Anyway, um. Christmas was fine - it was just me and my roast beast and a lot of sleep. I think I even managed to mostly shake this lurgy! There were even presents in the form of [personal profile] ilyena_sylph getting me paid time on Dreamwidth (thank you, sweets!), which was unexpected but awesome. I also crawled to level 83 on Warcrack (I really haven't been playing much) and archived my meagre offering of DA fic on AO3, as well as doing a bit of writing of same. (Yes, [livejournal.com profile] mitchy, your thiefy-fic is coming along, though I'm not entirely sure where it's going yet.) So many WIPs, so little time now that I'm back at work. But AO3 is very cool, and I am looking forward to posting more stuff there when I have more stuff to post.

Speaking of, though, what remains of this week seems determined to mess with me. The first part was getting there - not entirely sure how I missed it unless they didn't precisely announce the fact very well, but apparently the trains are running a Saturday service at the moment. Which I didn't know until I got onto the train platform and discovered that not only was the next train to where I needed to go running seven minutes later than usual because of the 'Saturday service' crap, but it was also running three minutes behind schedule on top of that. Hooray.

Then of course, my first tape of the day started off ... troublesome. Mostly because it started with a list of people to send the letter to and then launched into the text of the letter without so much as giving a hospital number or, y'know, a name of the patient. At least it gave the patient's age and gender, so it was a matter of digging through the pile of notes to find someone that matched the gender and age given and then double-checking the addressees to see if they matched up. Of course, it couldn't be the set of notes on the top of the pile, or the bottom of the pile. No, that would make sense. I swear if I have to play Guess Who with the rest of these letters, I am going to track down the registrar and make him eat them. Also his letter makes no sense.

I really ought to move downstairs, since apparently none of my colleagues are even in the office (well, as of a little after 9am, anyway, and usually someone's in by then) and there are spare desks down there. Someone dug a radio out of storage up here and so this current office arrangement doesn't even spare me from Heart 106.2 anymore. *whimper* They try to keep it quiet but the radio lives on the desk directly behind me, so if they keep it at a volume the whole office can hear, it's ... loud. Some of it's not so bad but what I do not need at this time of morning is "It's Raining Men". I don't give a damn if it's raining men, women or chimpanzees so long as they shut up and let me type. Anyway, the main reasons I don't are that a) there might actually be someone in there by now, b) there are the phones to consider and c) I do not want to have to haul the heavy stacks of notes I managed to lug up here back down again. Going up the stairs with them is fine, if tiring and painful, but going down ... well, my varifocals don't allow for the clearest of peripheral vision (my own fault for going for the cheap ones this time around) and it tends to mean that stairs are a bit of a trial. To clearly see the stairs, I have to look down, and it's hard to do that when there's a huge stack of notes in the way. So ... yeah, none of that.

I need more coffee, but I didn't think to pick up an extra jar so I'm running perilously low. I may have to borrow from a colleague until lunchtime. Which cannot come fast enough.
thessalian: (DAO)
Ever feel like you're being punished for doing your job well?

I have managed to more or less conquer the backlog in my current department to the point where people have finally apparently decided that it's worth their while to actually do some work. So apparently having me type the older stuff is confusing. Because apparently "I will work on the older clinics" is hard. I guess I can understand that. However, what I dislike is the fact that they have solved the confusion by giving me the least pleasant tasks possible. I know it's human nature, but...

Okay, look. There are some doctors who absolutely refuse to get on the digital dictation system. They won't do it. At all. No one calls them out on this, no one takes their dictaphones away, no one does a damn thing to keep things uniform. No, they just figure the secretaries will put up with having to vacillate between tapes and the digital dictation, never thinking that maybe we have the digital dictation system for a reason. I mean, it's not like our central document management system currently relies on digital dictation and we now have to keep this whole separate document filing system just to keep track of letters that don't make their way to the digital dictation system...

Oh. Wait.

Anyway, point is that I got told not to do the digital dictation anymore. Instead, I'm doing the clinic tapes. The doctor I have currently gets the hospital numbers wrong, half the notes are missing and overall, I'm pretty sure I'm being punished for being quick enough for it to not matter that I have to waste five minutes digging up patient details and typing them into a really sucky template. Oh well, whatever. At least they dropped off a whole bunch of tapes and the relevant notes, which means I can just get the hell on with it and not have anyone bothering me.

The office around me is filling with holiday cheer, by the way, and most of it is ignoring me. The office has a secret Santa thing going. I was not invited to take part. I get the impression that Christmas cheer is going to be a little thin on the ground this year, as my mother and I aren't speaking again (don't ask) and my office seems to have decided that I only exist to dump typing on. Seems to be a running theme, really, though at least last year there was the novelty of the ShinyNewFlat. The ShinyNewFlat is not so ShinyNew these days, so I'm going to have to find something else to be Christmas-cheery about.

Because I do intend to be Christmas-cheery. I intend to roast a whole duck this year, and have leftovers for days. I intend to get myself something special with the express purpose of wrapping it up and putting it under the tree with a 'do not open until Christmas' tag. (This may or may not be Skyrim; there has to be something to open up and play with first thing Christmas morning.) I intend to stay up until stupid o'clock Christmas Eve watching scary movies and then wake up stupidly early to watch cartoons with sugary cereals and coffee and then watch White Christmas over dinner. And have cider.

If it sounds like I'm overcompensating ... eh, maybe. But hey, c'mon. This season is all about chasing away the nasty winter cold and dark, so that's what I'll do. Things have been pretty sucky lately; I think chasing away the dark and cold and suck with my own personal little-kid's-Christmas seems appropriate. Besides, I don't really get a whole lot of time off over the holidays this year. I may as well make the most of it.
thessalian: (facepalm)
First day back at work after a holiday and already I wish I hadn't taken time off. It's not that I didn't enjoy the holiday - it's that even with a float secretary covering some of the workload, this place goes to hell every time I go away for longer than a day. I came in to find notes scattered hell to breakfast all over my workspace - desk, shelves, floor, everywhere. No rhyme or reason, no order ... so I had to sort out at least the desk before I could so much as sit down. I later discovered that a couple of the nurse specialists (or possibly the float, I'm not sure) got the bright idea to leave clinic tapes and associated notes on the floor, on top of a couple of stacks of notes that probably need to be booked in to our department, in front of a filing cabinet. Which meant that when someone knocked the entire pile over to get at the filing cabinet and then didn't bother to pick up the mess they'd made, I was lucky to be able to salvage the clinic tapes and their notes without getting them so blended into a pile of notes that were about to be hidden away that I'd never see them again. Not to mention saving the tapes themselves from getting lost, crushed or otherwise untypable. I was mid-way through sorting out the backlog in my email in-tray (because gods forbid they copy in my colleague when they know I'm away so that he can deal with anything urgent; that'd just be madness) and dealing with an amping-up of the headache that has still not gone away yet, when my colleague turned up and we had the following conversation:

Him: Hey, could you do this tape next?
Me: Yep, sure; it was the first tape I was going to do anyway, because of date order.
Him: It's just because there's this patient that [short explanation of why this needs doing]
Me: (trying to work) Okay; just let--
Him: Yeah, it's just [longer explanation of why this needs doing]
Me: ............. (trying not to explode) Look, just let me clear my email backlog and I will get right on that, okay?
Him: Yeah, sure; it's just--
(Mercifully interrupted by his phone ringing, letting me get back to work.)

My carefully stacked clinic tapes (sorted by consultant) are in shambles. My desk is a disaster. The float did not wipe any of the tapes so that's another job for me to do so that the consultants have tapes to dictate on, but I can't do that while there's typing to be done. And one of my consultants can't read out a hospital number correctly even when he's looking at it. My headache is back in spades, though at least part of that is the noise of the photocopier and the reek of photocopier ink and that bloody hand sanitising gunk, not to mention the fact that people use the space behind my desk as a conference room and the yammer kills my head on top of trying to decipher consultant accents.

In short, the aftermath of holiday has not only erased every bit of benefit the holiday gave me, but has actually made matters worse. All in a single morning. That really should tell me something, shouldn't it? Well, surely matters will settle down once I get this place beaten into some semblance of submission. Until then, I'll just have to get through the headache and the stress and the wanting to kill things, I suppose. I suppose the 'wanting to kill things' is what Warcrack is for.

Also ... two of my colleagues have bad colds. And they've come into the office to spread it around. On top of how I'm feeling right now, a cold would probably put me flat on my back, if not outright kill me. I work with surgeons; there's bound to be a surgical mask around here somewhere, right?
thessalian: (Yay)
I've been quiet out here in journal-land, I know. Mostly I've been cat-sitting and having a much-needed holiday. The biggest bonus to staying at [livejournal.com profile] mitchy's place to look after Rob T Furball is that I have had no stress at all over "I should be at work". I suppose it helps that I'm in an entirely different city ... and never mind the fact that the fast train into King's Cross from here is actually faster than the train I get to St Pancras every morning, and they're basically the same station. I'm farther away and thus there is no guilt over "I should be working!" Somehow I have managed to avoid thinking about how much work will have piled up in my absence. Gods, I hope they got a float secretary in...

Anyway, maybe the other part of the non-stress over work absence has been the needy furball. It's not 24/7, the neediness, but he'll alternate between curling up in his cat bed / on the armchair dead to the world, and then all of a sudden he'll decide that if he isn't fussed and petted and scritched RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND he will die of heartbreak. Cue the yowling and the feeling that someone has replaced his fur with velcro. This is not a bad thing, but it can be tricky when one is trying to chat to someone over IM and just stopping the petting gets the big-sad-eyes look and a plaintive yowl. I'm such a sucker. Anyway, the point is that I might feel guilty about taking time off if it was just me at home on my own not doing much of anything, but since I am elsewhere, maybe not seeming to do much of anything but really ensuring that a lovely furball is fed and watered and petted and fussed, at least I am being useful to somebody. Apparently this assuages my work-guilt somewhat. So ... yay!

I'll be glad to be home, though. There are definitely things that my place lacks (bathtub, gas stove, decent-sized fridge with freezer that doesn't frost over every three days, space) but it's mine and I miss it. I miss my bed and my computer 'desk' ... hell, I miss my computer, full stop. Not to mention Warcrack - I decided that it was too much addict behaviour to travel all the way home just to check on my little Azeroth denizens mid-week, so I didn't. I'm not overly jonesing, thankfully, but then again, I had DA2 as a placebo. Not to mention a particularly stellar DVD collection - my tastes and [livejournal.com profile] mitchy's don't always coincide, but I have to admit that she's introduced me to more TV shows than any other single person I know. Most people, it's a show here or there; it's been at least a half-dozen with [livejournal.com profile] mitchy - more than anyone else, fewer than it could be (I just can't get into NCIS: LA, but I love the original and Criminal Minds is growing on me).

On the subject of video games and various bits of entertainment ... Sebastian Vael. I swear, the only reason I'm not sorry I got the DLC is that the extra quests give XP. You get him way too late in the game to build him up properly, and you end up with this relatively useless rogue who can't pick half the locks or disarm about a third of the traps and, despite his mail-and-plate armour, goes down like a twenty-quid hooker the minute anyone carrying a sword looks at him cross-eyed. Mostly I just leave him tucked away in the Chantry and don't deal with him until he demands that we go do quest types of things. I haven't got through a full playthrough with him yet so maybe his hissy-fit over the events in Act 3 will make having him as a full-on party member a little more worth it. As it stands, Varric is still my all-time archer in-game BFF, kthnx.

(Also, Sebastian, character-wise, is a cross between Leliana and Hamlet.)

Warcrack-wise ... still hacking my way through Northrend. I do not like Coldarra. It's creepy-death. Or ... well, it would be creepy-death if I weren't playing a Paladin. I would say I don't think Paladins can die but I have seen proof otherwise. (I still want to know how a massive 75-Elite patrolbot managed to sneak up on me in Hellfire Peninsula when I was doing my purgatory time in Outland.) Anyway, a lot of that is Nexus dungeon and since I don't really have the sort of party backing required to hack my way through one, I feel justified in abandoning the zone entirely beyond a couple of little quests and a flyover or the 'Explored Borean Tundra' achievement. I could probably move on to Dragonblight now, but I think I'll move to Howling Fjord and grind a couple of levels there first. I like level-grinding in lowish-level areas. Particularly when I've been logged out in an inn for a week and a half. The 'Well-Rested' XP bonus is going to last forever...

I haven't been on as my belf pally as much as I could be because I don't really like Northrend all that much, though I do hack through a level or two, time to time. I have, however, been working a little on my other characters - I've made a few as alts that I might actually stick with for awhile. Dwarf Pally, Gnome Warlock and Goblin Shaman, mainly - that last a holdover from my first spate of character creation early on. At least there's kind of variety, and a good Alliance/Horde spread. Though given that the Dwarf and Gnome starting levels are more or less the same after level ... oh, six or so? I kind of have to alternate with the other two so I don't get bored out of my skull.

There have been other things - potential writing projects, finally having solidified what I want to do for this WoD site that I still need to talk to [personal profile] lithiumdoll about as re: Jove when she's less busy and had some relaxy time, stuff like that there - but a lot of it's too vague to yammer about here and I'm thinking moar coffee. Then haul my lazy arse (and a mid-sized wheely suitcase full of books OMG heavy) back home, likely via somewhere I can get some lunch. Then probably right back out again to pick up something for dinner because I made sure that my fridge was empty before I came out here. I didn't want to find something gaining independent life in my fridge when I got home.

Engineering

Jun. 2nd, 2011 04:27 pm
thessalian: (Default)
So I finally got around to calling the people at BT about the fact that my internet connection keeps dropping. After a protracted conversation with someone who was clearly not even in England, let alone from England (or indeed any English-speaking country) in which I had to explain the same thing three or four times in increasingly simple language, the man agreed to do a line test. This proved conclusively that it is not my router. It is, in fact, simply that my line is faulty. This is apparently going to be fixed. Sometime in the next two weeks. But they 'value customers like me'. Uh-huh. To be fair, 'two weeks' is the absolute outside, but ... dude, seriously, come on. Anyway, it basically means that as much as I might want to faff about on Warcrack and RP and stuff over the rest of my week off, it's going to be very bloody hard to do so because odds are high that my connection will simply drop for two or three hours at a time. Or it might just intermittently hiccup. Which is almost as annoying, if not more so. Seriously. Sheesh.

To be fair, my week off's been pretty glorious so far. Not that I've done much with it, but that was kind of the point.

I had a bit of an issue with Warcrack the other day. I tripped over my first instance. However, I did not realise that it was an instance. So I stumbled into Ragefire Chasm, smacked an elemental upside the head ... and to be fair, lasted a good five minutes before I died a horrible, screaming death. There's only so far Healing Wave will take you. So I need to figure out how to form groups. But who's gonna want to, damnit? I'm a level 17 moocow. Orgrimmar is full of high-level people. This, I suppose, is why one needs a Guild. I hardly ever see anybody in starting-level areas these days. I feel like I'm so behind. This is why I wonder why I bother with MMOs, y'know. Still, it's fun to noodle around with and at least I'm making progress with the soloing.

I could go back to bed and nap now, if I wanted to. I might do, but I require food that isn't sugary cereal with marshmallows. (The soya milk thing is a godsend. Not really what I'd call 'drinkable' but fine for cereal.) Also coffee, which might preclude my need for napping.
thessalian: (Default)
So I finally levelled up a WoW character past level 10. And once again, I surprise myself unutterably.

Did I level up past level 10 with the Mage!Gnome? No.
Did I level up past level 10 with the Human!Hunter, despite her being at level 10 and it being no effort whatsoever? No.
Did I, in fact, level up any Alliance character past level 10, for all my talk about not wanting to play Horde? ...No.

What did I level up past level 10?
The shiny new Tauren!Shaman.

Yeah, I actually deleted my original Tauren!Shaman (because I forgot to customise that character), started all over again and whaddya know? Level 12. And have just hoofed it (no pun intended) over to Thunder Bluff to run around the place like someone set my tail on fire, doing various diddy-quests and generally having a fine old time. No, it's not a time-sink to the level of FFXI, which is good because ... well, I like having something that approximates a life, thanks ... but it is fun to have around.

So it's Sunday, and currently I am enjoying the hell out of just vegging out, thanks. There's a chunk of brisket marinading in the fridge, and I'm going to get started on cooking that as soon as I've gone out to get some butter for the veg. I knew there was some reason I had to leave the house today (and something I forgot on my massive shopping excursion yesterday). Boo. Ah well. Brisket, baked potato and veg, and side salad. With mango chunks and strawberries for dessert. This is gonna be awesome.

The question is: what shall I watch while I am eating dinner of awesome? I have new DVDs from last week, y'see (there was a sale on). I could watch Strictly Ballroom. Or possibly Pirates of the Caribbean. Probably not Ring or Let the Right One In, as they're not strictly speaking meal-friendly movies. Or I could just go back to one of my old standbys. I dunno. I'll think of something.

I know that I wouldn't have had to go into work tomorrow anyway, given as how there's that whole thing with the bank holiday and all. But knowing that there's a whole week of this kind of vegging out for me? It's just so satisfying, somehow. But it says something about my job that I can be this relieved at not having to go in for a week, doesn't it? Ah well.
thessalian: (Rant)
Not a whole lot has been going on the last couple of days, I have to admit. A bit of RP and a distinct lack of Warcrack ... though that latter has something to do with the connection hiccups that have been plaguing me for days on end. Seriously, there was a point at which I disconnected five times in as many minutes and I have no the hell idea why. By last night, it seemed to have stabilised, but if this doesn't get sorted out soon, part of my week off is going to be ringing BT and figuring out what the hell is going on. Because seriously, this ain't natural.

Not sure what-all I want to do with this week off that is coming so very close and looking so very enticing. I think I might actually try cooking something a little more ambitious than I usually manage. Not entirely sure what though. I could roast something. I'm good at roasting things, and I won't end up freezing my arse off by keeping the windows open so I don't set off the smoke alarm. It's not as sensitive as the one we had at Sourcebook Central 2.0, but it's close. And I think the oven needs cleaning. Oh, gods, I don't want to spend my week off cleaning the oven! But then again, I don't want to continuously set off the smoke alarm just because there was gunk in my oven from day one, either. But I spent last weekend cleaning and I've been so good this week! No dishes left in the sink, no clothes left on the floor, bed made in the morning ... I dunno what the hell kind of new leaf I turned over, but I can't say I'm not happy about it. So ... probably oven cleaner. Gaaaaaah. But there can and must and shall be treats, too - I may head over to that shop in Angel that specialises in sweets from overseas. Might even risk a film (there's at least one that looks like it might be worth seeing in the cinema, though I hate going by myself), or go to the zoo or something.

...Or I could just stay in, RP and play Warcrack all week. Either way. Actually, I've still got that Dragon Age playthrough to finish, as well as stuff I want to write. But getting out and about for more than the weekly shop would probably be a good idea. There's no point in having a yearly travelcard with a good nine months left on it if you don't actually use it as often as possible, right?

Last but not least ... is anyone else sick of the Lady GaGa thing everywhere? The only reason I'm grateful for this 'famous footballer who everybody now knows about trying to shut the barn door after the horse has bolted by sticking a gagging order on anyone who dares say publicly that he cheated on his wife lest he get booed on the pitch' thing is that it seems to have knocked her out of the news. The footballer thing ... well, it's an interesting look at freedom of information and privacy stuff and everything, but my question is this: why does anyone actually care? What the man does for a living should not technically make it more newsworthy when he sleeps around. That said, he also knows full well that he is in the public eye and there are always going to be vultures and if he didn't want to get caught with his trousers down, he shouldn't have slept around on his wife, should he? If he actually gave a shit, he'd pick one or ask about an open relationship kind of marriage, and take the consequences. But nooooooo, he can't have consequences! He's a footballer! In short, I don't see why this is news beyond the implications for privacy laws on things like Twitter. The fact that Twitter will, if asked, hand over personal details of anyone who's violated this gagging order and let them be taken to court over a fucking reTweet ... well, it irks the hell out of me. Wonder how Facebook's handling it. This is the stuff that interests me, not who some footballer's been boinking.
thessalian: (Default)
Happy New Year, y'all! May the worst day of 2011 be no worse than the best day of 2010, yeah?

The evening did not go exactly as I planned. It never does. For one thing, while I knew there were going to be leftovers from the Chinese, I did rather expect to at least finish the starters. But my appetite went on strike and now I've got prawn toast leftover along with all the main course dishes. I'm going to be eating leftover Chinese until Wednesday, I'm telling you. I'm not actually complaining about this, mind; leftover Chinese is food of the gods as far as I'm concerned. Still, I do find myself peckish again so I'm going to go finish the starters and then see how I feel.

Sims 3 Late Night is ... actually kind of cool. It's nice to have a reason to go out and ... y'know, socialise, as the last few expansions, beyond a few missions in various holiday spots, really didn't focus much on that. Of course, my luck being as it is, I was just finally getting the hang of stuff when the whole thing crashed on me. And of course, I hadn't saved. Oh well. We'll call that a trial run. Like my first elven mage in Dragon Age. I'll probably give it a bit more of a prod before I go to bed tonight.

So less food than I thought, crashed game ... but there is liiiiiittle bit of alcohol and leftovers and now there'll be a bit more Sims 3-ing and then there'll be bed, hopefully to get some decent sleep. That'd be nice.

And for those of you still lingering in 2010 ... welcome to the future. We'll keep it tidy for you. *g*

Arbitrary

Dec. 31st, 2010 04:52 pm
thessalian: (Default)
Last night, I stayed up way too late RPing and ended up heading out to the post office before I went to bed. It was nice and quiet and I found the delivery office with no problem ... but those post office guys scare me with the lacksadaisical attitude sometimes. Look, the little card you get in the post says to bring ID to make sure that they're giving the parcel to the right person. I get that. I'm not horribly paranoid or anything, but I do know that in a building like mine, the post all gets dumped into a central foyer. This is not the safest thing in the whole wide world, admittedly, as it makes identity theft a distinct possibility, but that's how it works. So anyone in your building could get hold of your delivery notice card. Which means that anyone in your building that wanted to could get your stuff and use and/or sell it. I don't believe in being constantly obliged to carry ID for any Authority Figure who wants to see it (I mean, seriously, fascism much?) but there are things that I believe should require ID to do. Registering at a doctor's surgery, for example. Getting a library card. Banking. Picking up anything that's meant for a specific someone.

So when I turn up at the delivery office with my passport and the water bill just in case they want proof of address? It might be nice if the slothlike creature behind the counter actually looked at the ID that his office actually requires him to look at!

...Let's just say that I lack faith in the postal system.

Anyway, I headed home, I crawled into bed ... and then, somewhere around two, the fire alarm went off. Again. Apparently the downstairs neighbours got hold of someone who looked at it, prodded it for awhile (on and off ear-splitting wail, hoo-freakin-rah) and from what I overheard from downstairs, could do nothing with it. Also, the downstairs neighbours lied about how it happened in what I assume is a bid to avoid being charged the fee to get the damn thing reset. So we're without a fire alarm for the moment. Which ... y'know, I think we'll survive. We've all got smoke detectors, and they're loud enough to be heard throughout the building. Yeesh.

So now I'm underslept, with a burgeoning headache (though at least part of that is a lack of caffeine; I haven't had my coffee yet). Great way to end the year. Heh. But I have my new Sims 3 expansion to go poke around with and I should really switch the kettle on. I've got a liiiiittle bit of booze and I've ordered enough Chinese food to be leftovers for days, so that's pretty awesome. I mean, this kind of thing isn't exactly what someone normally thinks of as a New Year's celebration, but I'm not paying above the odds to cram myself into a room full of total strangers to celebrate something that, given I more or less ascribe to the idea that the year ended ten days ago, really doesn't mean a whole lot to me anyway.

*ahem* Not that I'm judgemental. Whenever you want to celebrate year's end is cool by me, and I wish you all the best in the coming year. And now I'm going to go torture little pixellated people for awhile.

Loot!

Dec. 25th, 2010 07:08 pm
thessalian: (Default)
...I keep getting my list of Things Wot I Got Off Amazon wrong. It doesn't help that they've more or less had to break up the list of things I ordered because ... well, I thought about getting one or two big things but where's the fun in that? Instead, I set my sights on a wide variety of small things and got some pretty good deals. So ... here's what I got for Christmas, officially:

- Sims 3 Late Night (the latest expansion pack I've been dithering over. It was thirteen quid; whatever)
- Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff (the less lame of the stuff packs they've got on offer; let's face it, the cars that come with the base game suck arse)
- Gormenghast on DVD (I thought I'd had to drop that one in favour of Asian horror, but it turns out I dropped the Baz Luhrmann Romeo and Juliet instead on the grounds that I can get it cheap damn near anywhere)
- Primeval seasons 1-3 DVD box set
- Neverwhere on DVD (I had a download but lost it when I had to reformat my hard drive once - before I got to watch it)
- V (2009 remake) season 1 on DVD
- Three Kim Harrison novels (Where Demons Dare; White Witch, Black Curse; Black Magic Sanction - this completes my collection of that particular series)
- Three Asian horror DVDs (Memento Mori; Wishing Stairs; The Ghost)

I figure I got my £100 worth there. Your mileage may vary. But the decison-making process took hours. If it had been a meatspace store, I'd be footsore and weary. As it is, I came away with a headache. But I feel accomplished and content, and things will arrive in the post for me sometime next week. Or maybe the week after that, depending.

Anyway, I then set about making dinner - lovely chicken dinner with potatoes, stuffing and veg. I was remiss in the area of pudding, but never mind; I'm a little too full to care. I then watched White Christmas, as I do every year, and every year I realise how much of an utter sap I am. Never mind. There are probably worse things to be, and it's only once a year. (Why don't we gloss over my reactions to various scenes in Buffy S5 'The Gift', Buffy S2 'Becoming', Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Mira Grant's novel 'Feed', Torchwood S2 'Exit Wounds', Torchwood: Children of Earth, Dragon Age: Origins, Doctor Who 'new' S4 'Turn Left' and 'Journey's End' and ... well, you get the idea, okay? I am a sap. I had to promise myself I wouldn't listen to James Marsters reading Jim Butcher's 'Changes' on public transport anymore - if you don't at least feel a lump in your throat when he reads outthe penultimate lines of chapter 48 [this edit in reaction to being taken to task for spoilers, though I guess I considered it more a teaser than anything else, given I don't actually say what any of that entailed, but never mind - sorry!], then YOU HAVE NO SOUL.)

*ahem* Suffice to say that I am having a lovely day, for all the quiet. I'm going to putz around online a bit and then maybe play some video games or stick something else in the DVD player. Can't wait until my new-n-shinies get here! I have such the warm fuzzies that Mum and stepdad thought of me this year, and that's really enough? But ... well, I can't exactly say I don't really appreciate the presents for what they are rather than just for the thoughtfulness they represent. (Succinctly: I'm not greedy, but neither am I so untethered to material possessions that I don't want the actual presents.)

Once again, happy holidays!
thessalian: (Yay)
So, let's start with 'Happy holidays, y'all!' I hope that the day is treating you all well and that those entities gifting you this year were generous, thoughtful and prescient. :)

The set of parental units I actually still speak to certainly were, anyway. See, Mum and the stepdad are off in Australia until February, so there hasn't exactly been the usual meatspace gift exchange. There wasn't for her birthday, which was last week, and there won't be for my birthday, though that's closest since they're coming back on, like, Valentine's Day or something and that's only a few days after my birthday. Which all makes sense, because they're halfway across the frikkin' planet. However, while my mother has her flaws, she is a very generous woman and she did not want me going through Christmas with no kind of gifting at all. So she rang me up from Australia to wish me a happy Christmas and told me to check my email. So I did, and lo and behold, I have been gifted! Two gift certificate emails from Amazon, one each from my mother and stepdad, to the amount of £50 each. There may have been squeaking and gibbering. Now, however, there is just gibbering.

...Some of you may require an explanation for the gibbering. I mean, generosity is awesome, right? It's not every day you get that much money that you are more or less obliged to spend on perceived frivolities like the audiovisual entertainment for which I have such fondness. (Yes, I know I could buy sensible things like stuff for the flat on Amazon, as they have seriously branched out. But I can do that with paycheque, and anyway, Mum's got a lot of my old kitchen stuff stored so I don't know what I actually have, and I'd rather search the secondhand shops or freecycle for furniture, for the recycling glee. So yeah.) So what on earth would I have to gibber about, and why on earth could I come even close to sounding like I'm complaining about this windfall?

Hands up any of you who have seen me in a meatspace store - bookstore, HMV, whatever - with money to burn.

Yeah, you all know and are probably at least chuckling by now.

The rest of you ... well, I sometimes have a problem with indecisiveness. It's not always this way, and it didn't used to be this way at all. I was the girl who saved up her allowance for weeks for a specific item, walked into a store, bought it and started the cycle up again. I can still do that on some things - sometimes I have a very specific idea of what I want and will just up and grab it. My first iPod is an example of this, but it's the exception that proves the rule. Besides, it's one big thing, not an infinite variety of choices. I suddenly become hyperaware of the amount I have - the bigger the amount, the more aware I become and the harder it gets to spend any of it (irony, I love thee) because frankly, I want to get the most from that amount. Besides, it was a gift, that money. If some well-meaning relative gets you something that doesn't entirely appeal, it can be shrugged off as "Well, they aren't mind-readers; how were they supposed to know?"* But when given the choice, there's an obligation to get just the right thing. It feels like you're letting the side down otherwise.

So I have options. Lots and lots of options. Do I blow the whole wad on the NCIS seasons 1-6 box set and pay the extra to have it arrive before New Year? Do I send in my pre-order for Dragon Age II and the next Butcher novel when I know that they're not even going to get to me 'til March or later? Maybe a selection of things would be better - there's an awful lot of stuff on sale, because of the holidays. I had my eye on the next Sims 3 expansion, after all. Do I risk video games, knowing that a lot of them require a controller? I thought about buying a controller but all the ones available on the site are based on XP - do they have patches to make them compatible with Vista? I mean, shit, I still want to play Mass Effect and the keyboard just isn't cutting it, and don't get me started on my keyboard-related problems with Assassin's Creed... I was thinking about getting into World of Warcraft when my internet is finally set up but I haven't decided yet and I don't know if I want to blow cash on another MMO that is just going to annoy me with the griefers and I want nothing to do with PVP and I'm really not sure about this 'werewolves in top hats' shit. Or should I get better computer speakers while I'm at it? Because the ones I bought as an interim measure are cheap crap. Maybe I shouldn't bother with books so much because I do have a library card and will probably get a second from a closer library over the holidays because the hike to Dulwich Library is kind of insane with the hills and besides, their selection isn't up to that much.

Lo! The thought processes of the indecisive! Fear them, for they are whittery and yammery and full of oddly gleeful stress! I'm one of the few people on the planet who can turn a thoughtful, generous gift into a reason to perform the manoeuvre I refer to as the 'Muppet flail'.

So ... yeah. Happy holidays to all! If you'll excuse me, I'm going to poke Amazon some more. I may be some time.

* - There is an exception to this rule. Even parents you see only once every couple of weeks should know your tastes well enough to know that you do not buy your daughter, who is listening to indie, grunge and hard rock almost exclusively, a New Kids on the Block cassette. EVER.
thessalian: (Default)
So it's now Christmas Eve. I spent half my day at work, though the last hour doesn't really count because it was spent munching crisps and drinking a glass of champagne. It was a little weird because the not-really-a-party Christmas do had this thing where we divided into two knots - men on one side of the room, women on the other. Truthfully, I stood between the two groups and barely interacted with either. The other girls in my office were off so I didn't really know anybody there anyway. Sometimes I hate these all-department things, though I imagine I would've been more social if I wasn't still about 75% made of pain.

Yeah, there is still made of pain. This is not fun, as you can imagine. I suppose in a way I was lucky - by yesterday, I could manage a half-day without being too bad in the office. Which may have something to do with being woken up by pain at four in the frikkin' morning and having to take the heavy-duty painkillers before I could go back to sleep. Then getting up again three hours or so later when the worst of the codeine-groggy had worn off but the actual painkilling aspects hadn't. So it goes. At least now I don't have to cram myself onto public transport or be up and down like a yo-yo with the filing - at least, not until 4th January, by which point I should be healed up, with all that time to just kick back and relax. I can hope, anyway.

So it's just me, myself and I this Christmas; no reason to get up early, no presents to open... I am determined not to be blue about this, however. I mean, it's all a circumstance thing, isn't it? Besides, there's something to be said for it, in a way - I'll have a nice dinner in my all-on-my-own flat, and watch White Christmas like I do every year, and maybe I'll get some writing done as a Christmas present for you few lunatics who actually like what I write. *grin* There'll probably also be much snoozing and playing of video games and such. Maybe it won't be particularly festive, but that isn't to say I won't enjoy it. And I guess I won't miss all the running about knees bent advancing behaviour that tends to come with the season. I can just relax and have a holiday - the universe's gift to me after all the running about knees bent advancing behaviour required to get me into Shiny New Flat in the first place.

For now, though, it's going to be curling up under the duvet, maybe napping, maybe reading, maybe watching a DVD, maybe pondering dinner. Some combination thereof, anyway. I need to be lying down. So ... if the universe could see its way clear to throwing one more present my way? A pain-free Christmas would be nice, thank you.

Happy holidays to you all!

Nesting

Dec. 18th, 2010 11:49 am
thessalian: (Shy)
Again I suck at journalling. Been busy. Will now play catch-up.

So the holidays are fast approaching, and I'm going to be working on Christmas Eve. I am informed that it'll probably only be a half-day, but still, that's one of the suck things about working in hospitals. I mean, it's not like it matters or anything, seeing as Mum and David are in Australia until mid-February, but still ... Christmas Eve, man.

Yeah, there's a thing; I'm trying to think of ways to make the holidays more ... holiday-like at the moment. I think this is going to be my first Christmas where I'm entirely alone, so I have a couple of choices there. I can either just let it blow by like any normal day, or I can try to make my own holiday specialness. I mean, there's obviously going to be 'White Christmas' played at some stage and I ought to consider getting myself niceness for dinner. I'm pondering decorating the flat, but I'm not really sure where to start, particularly considering the restrictions on sticking things to the walls and lack of space for a Christmas tree. So, y'know ... suggestions on a postcard.

Meanwhile, I wanted to go out today, because the office-home-office-home-brief-stop-at-grocery-store rut is getting to me. I actually pondered going out to Islington 'cos I know there's a shop there that does American sweets and stuff and I have a weird craving for overly sugary American cereal. However, there is the matter of the snow. It doesn't bother me, but it does occur that it's going to fuck up public transport beyond all recognition. Much as I'd like to get out and about, I'd also rather not get stranded out in the north end of Zone 1. I mean, this is actually what I call proper snow. London's not equipped to deal with what I call proper snow. I suppose I could settle for some other random easily-obtained sugariness and settle in for a day's worth of writing or something. But that really does blow the whole 'I want to go OUT' thing out of the water, doing that. Decisions, decisions.

In other news ... I am going to end up with two library cards for two entirely different boroughs at this rate. Earlier this week, I went home via Dulwich Library and thought I'd stop in to get a library card. The beleagured dude at the customer service desk got my name more cataclysmically wrong than anyone I have ever seen in a professional capacity, seriously (I mean, my surname only resembles 'Wilson' phonetically, and I never actually said it to him; just showed it to him on my water bill) but I came away with a library card and five books. Their anime collection is surprisingly prodigious for a South-East London library. Anyway, I then decided to walk home to see how far away the place was from my home as the secretary ambles. It was far. And uphill a lot. There's actually a closer library around Norwood Junction, so I think I might get a card there instead. Problem is that the Dulwich one is Southwark while the Norwood Junction one is Lambeth, so it's not like I can use the same card there like I might be able to with, say, the three libraries I know about in the Finchley/Barnet area for which my card there worked. So I may end up with two library cards just so I don't have to hoof it up and down those bloody hills and can actually get to a library in less than an hour on foot. I mean, library privileges are awesome but I'd like at least a little convenience. Still, at least I have a library card. Free books and cheap DVDs (so long as I return them)? Awesome.

I ought to get myself a Christmas present. Like, game or something. I did have a yen to pick up the new Sims 3 expansion. That might keep me entertained for a half-hour. But it would necessitate going out if I wanted to get my grubby little mitts on it today. Well, I did need to go grocery shopping, though my area is a little short on anything ... well, anything. I mean, there's a bit more stuff heading towards Norwood Junction, but mostly around here you get Co-Ops, chip shops, a couple of offies and pubs, and that's more or less it until you hit the B&Q, and even then it's more offies and chip chops. But it's not too far from Brixton, so that's something. (There is an awesome pub in Brixton called 'The Rest Is Noise' that I must show more people, by the way. They have apple beer and pear cider on tap and it is awesome.) And Streatham's not far either.

*looks out window* I think I'll go hang up my laundry, which should be dry by now, and then consider how much public transport idiocy I want to brave. Part of me's actually tempted to just go back to bed for a few hours, but nah. I've finally got back on a halfway reasonable sleeping schedule (late nights and early evening naps notwithstanding) and I don't think I want to utterly fuck it up.
thessalian: (Default)
So I'm going to try this meme that [personal profile] mitchy came up with. 30 days of movies. I have a bad track record with these but ... well, you never know.

30 Days of Movie )

1. Favourite movie (or Top 5 Faves, Top 10 Faves, Top Oops I Got Carried Away)?

Yeeeeeeeeeah. This one's always a tricky one because so much is dependent on genre. I think Pump Up the Volume probably wins for sheer inspirational quality, though. It illustrates perfectly the teenage need to talk and break boundaries that has led to the blog generation. A lot of people take it for granted, really - the whole thing where they can say whatever they want to say on a public forum and not have anyone but a bunch of trolls come down on them. Back in the day, there was no forum like that and I imagine a lot of people didn't feel listened to at all.

Plus, some of the lines are just plain amazing.

In other news, back from Brighton and sometimes I just gotta wonder about my mother. I love her dearly, don't get me wrong, but ... well, I wonder, is all. I mean, she has some serious hypocrisy issues sometimes. But we had a good time notwithstanding. There was shopping and nice food and chatting and now I'm just kinda tired. Not in a bad way, mind.

Some of the shopping was books. I finally picked up a copy of Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Which was awesome, by the way - I recommend it. Though our trip to the Brighton Waterstone's lacked the awesome I found in a London branch of same, wherein I found a couple of copies of Mur Lafferty's Playing for Keeps. I also picked up a copy of Feed, by Mira Grant. One of you charming lot blogged about it and piqued my curiosity, and I am enjoying it immensely. I also see that it appears to be a series or at least a trilogy, with a second book coming out in May next year. We'll have to see whether I devour Feed (no pun intended) and wail that I have to wait too long for the next one.

As to my own writings ... I got hit by inspiration on Friday afternoon, when I was entirely unable to work on it. I've jotted down the basic premise (which kicks the arse of the last one, in my view, particularly in terms of overarcing plot - really the idea I had for the third book is better sub-plot somewhere else) and a few bits of dialogue that need cleaning up but I wanted to start it and longhand was all I had. Mum said something about a laptop for Christmas - one of the tiny ones, mayhap - so that's all good. She also said something about helping out with deposit and first month's rent on a flat, once I've got some money behind me to actually move. This is thrilling!

So yeah, there's been a lot going on and I'm sorry I've had radio silence. This shall be remedied. There are rants to be had!
thessalian: (Default)
To start, FFXI ranting/squee. I promise it won't take long.

Of suck jobs and dragons. )

So that was my Boxing Day - watching Hamlet (David Tennant! Patrick Stewart! Awesome all around!) while pounding macro buttons and scoffing [personal profile] mitchy's lovely Boxing Day feast - cold cuts and chutneys and gorgeous roast parsnips and roast potatoes and some of the mash leftover from my Christmas dinner. Omnom. It was nice, and there was relaxing and all was well.

Today was dinner with Mum and Stepdad, for more gift exchange and general nommage. Mum made my favourite pasta dish (prawns, sun-dried tomato and peas) and we unwrapped the presents. David liked his new mouse mat and it immediately got pride of place in their study. Mum was very pleased with the DVDs I got her (The Great Escape and The Handmaid's Tale), so I did well and am happy. For myself, I got books (Stephen King's most recent collection of short stories and an Ursula K LeGuin book Mum thought I'd like), CDs (Metric, Shinedown and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs), new clothes (the tops work, but I'm not really sure about the dress and as to the bright purple jeans? Um...) and a new coat. They're trying to pry me out of my old, battered black leather jacket but while the suede-effect tan trenchcoat is nice and all, and very John Constantine? I like my leather jacket and I'm not binning it.

Last but certainly not least, there was the cute Christmas card with the Amazon 'gift tokens' stuck inside, one each from Mum and Stepdad. See, apparently my Amazon wish list was too extensive for them to decide what to get, even with the abbreviated 'All I Want for Christmas' default list. So instead, we went online after dinner and I picked out a couple of things from the list. Those 'couple of things' turned out to be Sims 3 and the World Adventures expansion pack, of course. Though I admit to being a little peeved at EA for not only charging for the only custom content we can really get at the moment, but for also putting out Stuff Packs on top of that. Yay for being the ever-milked cash cow? Still, I have uses for the game regardless (character and set design works even if I'm a little crippled without custom content) and I do think it's fun.

Of course, there were a couple of things that made me want to punt my mother through a waaaaall... But I'm not going to go into that overmuch. Just ... y'know, I'm 32, not 12.
thessalian: (Default)
For the first time in I-dunno-how-long (possibly ever), I was the one getting woken up with a cheerful squeaking "Good morning! It's Christmas!", instead of the one doing the waking. Though to be fair, this was at the sensible hour of half-past ten rather than my usual seven-ish AM.

So there were scrambled eggs and mimosa (Buck's fizz, whatever) and unwrapping of the pressies. [personal profile] mitchy got me a new headset microphone! Looks like a pretty decent one too, so allow me to quietly squee over here and start thinking podcast again. Hee. She was pleased with the Pretty Woman DVD and Simon's Cat book I got her, as well as the soaps I had/let/made her open on Christmas Eve. (I unrolled a sheet of A4 with a cute picture of a pigtailed girl in glasses holding a certificate and the words 'IOU One Mystery Parcel', so ... something forthcoming, it would appear. Aww.) And now she's settled on one end of the sofa with a Modesty Blaise book and a cup of tea, with Rob T Furball curled up at her feet. Meanwhile, I am settled across the room, with the now-traditional Christmas duck in the oven and a Muppet Show DVD in the computer.

I know that there are more than a few people on my flist (myself included) who might have reason to be somewhat less than jolly this particular Christmas. I know that 2009 has been a really hard year, and that there are money troubles and family issues and grief and loss that all make the holiday season a little tough to cope with, what with one reason or another. I honestly don't belittle that, but I hope that wherever you are, whatever you're doing, and however you celebrate, that you can somehow find something to celebrate about the day. I'm not one that generally subscribes to arbitrary celebrations, but Christmas/Yule is one of the only ones I really don't see as arbitrary. Whatever you worship or believe, it's a time to celebrate the turning of the year. (I'm really jaded about the whole 31 Dec/1 Jan turn-over because the whole thing was a ploy by the Romans to squeeze in an extra tax year to pay for some war or other; I celebrate my new year when the longest night is done in my hemisphere.) 2009 has sucked, but it's over, more or less. The days are getting longer, the nights are getting shorter, and there's a whole new year waiting in the wings, which we can make of what we will.

Sure, this isn't my best Christmas ever in a lot of ways, but in some ways, it really is - I have some of the best friends anyone could hope for, I'm warm and safe, and there's a future that could hold great opportunities if I'm smart enough to see them for what they are, strong enough to keep looking no matter how miserable things get, and lucky enough to find them in the first place. Sure, I'm not in a very good place right now, but my place could be worse and I can still work to make things better. So between counting my blessings and hope for the future, I'm not going to be all Ebenezer Scrooge about the holiday season.

So to each and every one of you, happy holidays, and remember - axial tilt is the reason for the season, but the reason for the holiday is what you make of it.

(Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be over here, watching Muppet Show episodes. I have Mahna Mahna all cued up!)
thessalian: (Default)
Christmas gift exchange at Mum and David's involved clothes. Lots and lots of clothes. Surprisingly, there's nothing in it that I just will not wear. Every time Mum buys me clothes, there's always something in it that I just won't wear because while it might look good on someone else, on me it would look ridiculous. Not this year - this year, all of it is actually wearable. With the possible exception of the tights. I don't wear tights; the lycra and nylon and stuff makes me itch. Sad, but true. Anyway, the clothes are nice and I won't have to worry about work clothes for awhile. Plus a couple of the tops are higher necked and longer sleeved than most of what I have so are better for the winter. Go, Mum!

I also got a good deal of cash and, while a lot of it is going to go towards sensible things (and renewing things like my paid LJ account and my FFXI content IDs, the reasoning behind that last being made clear in the next paragraph or so), I have made the decision to treat myself with at least some of it - it is Christmas money, after all, and that is what it's for. So there's going to be lunch out and I am pondering something nice and not too expensive to purchase for my good self this year. I have no idea what yet. Decisions, decisions...

The reason that FFXI content IDs are on the list of necessities is simple - I got Mum FFXI for Christmas, and she actually liked it, so since I promised her help with stuff when she got it up and running, it'd be a bit silly if I wasn't actually endowed with an active content ID to do so. I wonder what she's going to pick, race-wise. And job-wise. I'd bet Hume or Mithra, but I wouldn't put it past my mother to roll up a Taru, somehow. I think the only thing she really wouldn't roll up is Galka, but that might have something to do with the fact that I spent a good few minutes complaining about Galka as a race. I mean, come on; they're slow as hell and that makes even just running around cities boring. At least Tarus have a certain element of speed in their Tiggerishness bounce-bounce-bounce as they run. (Run for your fat and bouncy life, little Taru! Eeeeeeeee!)

*ahem* In any case, I gave David a couple of books ("to keep you busy while Mum's playing with her present", I said) - "Down and Out in Paris and London" and "The Invisible Man". He seemed to like them, so I am happy.

Right. Time to go out and see the world, or at least do bank deposits and food shopping.
thessalian: (Default)
So Christmas Eve was the traditional thing of watching "White Christmas" and watching [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo enjoy it just a little bit more every year. Also, I let [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo lie in until half-eight before bounding into the room like a sugar-hyper five-year-old, bouncing up and down and going, "Presents!" I was good. *g*

What I have received for Christmas so far:

From [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo
* "Lord of War" on DVD (the Christmas Eve gift)
* "The Dresden Files" graphic novel
* "Nightingale's Lament", book 3 of the Nightside books by Simon R Green

From [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo's family
* "Fight Club" (book)
* A pashmina (green; I honestly don't know what to do with the thing but it'll go in the "potential LARP costume items" pile)
* More chocolate than I feasibly know what to do with

From [livejournal.com profile] nezumi_sama
* Strawberry Pocky (eee! Arigato gozaimasu!)

[livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo got a nice black jumper, a salt and pepper grinder set and home-made bath oil from me; I was going for inexpensive and useful this year. He also got a biiiig stack of books, "Blood Diamond" on DVD, garlic oil, wok sauces and socks. More forthcoming on the 28th, when I go to visit Mum and David and have dinner over there - I got Mum a copy of FFXI (full set of expansions) and David's getting "Down and Out in Paris and London" and anything else I can dig up that I think he'd like book-wise.

Cooked my traditional Christmas duck - it came out well, despite the lack of Worcestershire sauce in the glaze this year. I substituted some of the A1 Sauce Mum brought back from the US for us and that worked fine. So it was Muppets in the morning while opening presents, followed by reading and napping for most of the afternoon, and then watching "Blood Diamond" and "Lord of War" back to back over dinner. (*omnomnomnom*) Now we veg, and Boxing Day will be [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo-made pot roast and the cake he forgot to take out of the freezer this afternoon.

So it's been a very low-key Christmas, but a good one, I think. Happy Holidays, all!
thessalian: (faith)
Happy 2008, everybody.

I started mine the way I mean to continue. With Changeling doom.

Hope you all enjoyed drawing a line under last year.
thessalian: (sick)
Happy Christmas, all. (Or, y'know, whatever you celebrate.)

I am spending my Christmas day feeling like utter crap. Yes, every single bit of physical crap that could possibly have hit me today, did. Joints, migraine, sinuses, stomach gripe ... everything. Obviously the world decided that [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo did not need me indulging my inner seven-year-old.

However. I now have "The House of M" and "The Sandman Companion", and more chocolates than I know what to do with (...Wait, no. One eats the chocolates. Never mind), so all is good.

I'm going back to bed now in the hopes that if I nap for a couple of hours, I will be up for actually cooking the roast duck and sour cream and garlic mash I've been looking forward to all week. Then, maybe there'll be a chance that I'll actually be up to eating it.

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