thessalian: (Yay)
My iPod and phone are back in my possession. It turns out that the waitress found them, waited all afternoon for me to come back and even tried getting hold of my friends to make sure I knew where it was (so if anyone got a missed call from me, that's why). So I get music on my way home tonight, and music to wake up to in the morning instead of the infernal bleeping that my iPod dock clock radio thing defaults to. (I'd have used the radio but I can't get any of the stations I actually like so I did without.)

So ... yay! It doesn't solve the other stuff, but at least it's one less thing, and I'm willing to take whatever good news I can get as things currently stand.
thessalian: (writing)
Hey, look! It's a post where I'm not bitching about work! (Then again, I've only been here an hour.) Nor am I going to bitch about the state of my health (no, I am not feeling better. I am resigned to the blech because the doctors don't give a flying monkey). No, instead I am going to bitch about something completely different! Rejoice!

Seriously, I'm having a thing at the moment of the "I don't know what's wrong with me" variety in terms of the writing. Basically in that I have not actually been doing it lately. Well, okay, fanfic, but you know what I mean. I have words, I have characters, I even have story ... but I guess what I don't have is confidence. I just feel like an utter mediocrity, nothing comes out as well as I want it to, I can never come up with a better way to put it so that it will come out as well as I want it to and in the end, by the time I actually have writing time, I'm too tired or apathetic or just plain flattened to bother. It's different with fanfic; there's already an investment there. It seems easier to get invested in something that has inspired me - a thing with an existing structure - than it is to build a structure to inspire myself and then get invested in that. If that makes any sense.

I mean, it's not as if there's anything wrong with writing fanfic. It's just that I always harboured dreams of being paid for writing fiction and I get further and further from that every day. At least part of it's a confidence issue, I suppose; it's not like I actually do anything sensible like write things and let other people read them very often, or try to submit anything anywhere, or even write original stuff much. And without external input, it's a little hard to have confidence in much ... at least if you're like me and generally your own worst critic. Having been in a gently deepening depressive funk for the last few months probably doesn't help, either. And having been sick the last three weeks probably makes it even worse.

But in the end, at least part of it's to do with the fact that ... well, I am not all that, writer-wise. My style has a certain appeal, but not a particularly wide-ranging one. I have no poetry. I have a very good ear for dialogue but a very bare-bones look at descriptive narrative. It doesn't help that I don't actually like flowery, poetic prose very often. I am probably the textbook definition of 'prosaic' in that regard; give me enough description to draw me a picture that I can colour in with my own imagination, give me characters that I can believe in, and above all, give me what happened, and I'm happy. Make me wade through a ball pit of beautiful translucent soap-bubble prose to get to the bits of the story I want, and I will inevitably grow bored and skip over the painstakingly poetic narrative until I find the plot. I'm not saying that all poetic narrative is bad, by the way. It's just not what I like. And because I don't appreciate it and don't believe in it, I can't write it. Maybe I have a skewed view of the sort of fiction I write in terms of what sells, but a lot of the success stories I've been hearing come from those who use words like a paintbrush, whereas I tend to use mine like a camera. Both are art forms, but a camera shows you what's there through the eye of the person taking the picture, whereas a paintbrush can show you anything and relies on texture and style as much as lighting and angle and colour or lack thereof.

Of course, a lot of this could just be the mood talking. It's a little hard not to be self-defeatist in my current situation. There's the job thing, about which I have bitched at length. I don't get out much and I don't talk to enough people, which in and of itself is a vicious cycle - I don't talk to people, thus I get lonely and depressed and no fit company for anyone, thus I talk to people even less and so on and so on. There's getting the brush-off from disinterested medical personnel to whom I turn for help, which is to the self-esteem what a round of buckshot is to a balloon animal. However much I try to make with the seasonal festivities on my own, the fact is that I'm not entirely looking forward to a Christmas on my own as anything but a two-day reprieve from the job. I'm tired, I'm sick, I'm stressed and I am struggling to find things I'm looking forward to. If I want optimism, I have to make it myself, and finding the energy to do so is hard.

Also, I cannot find my cellphone or my iPod. I thought they might have fallen out of my handbag at the office, but no luck. The only other option is that they fell out of my handbag at the cafe were I had lunch yesterday. If so, I can only hope that the people at the next table handed them in to the waitresses, or that the waitress found them, and that they're sitting behind the counter waiting for me when I pop in at lunchtime today to ask about it. If not ... well, shit. The commute is miserable without my music and that phone, while cheap as all hell, is brand fucking new, and I don't want to have to pass out yet another number change.

Fuck it. I don't like being all blue and miserable and depressed. I am going to get some work done, have another cup of coffee and think story. Maybe it'll be fanfic, maybe not. Maybe no one will give a shit about it, but I will. Maybe I will never make money from the writing, but if I find the enjoyment in it again, that won't matter. I am going to drag myself out of this mood, damnit! Though I'll admit that it'd be a lot easier to do so if I could just be less sick. But the lurgy will pass eventually, I'm sure, even if I do get the brush-off by senior nurse specialists at the walk-in clinic and have to slog through it the hard way.

This too shall pass. I will keep telling myself that until it does.
thessalian: (writing)
I want to put a sign up in this wretched cubicle of mine. I want it to say "PUT A HAND ON ME AND DRAW BACK A STUMP".

Look, it's relatively simple - I don't like people touching me unless I know them really well. I can tolerate it when I have no choice - crowded trains, lifts, incidental brushes when handing over money and taking change while shopping (though even that I'll avoid where I can) - but I don't like it. While I don't assume everyone feels the same way, I generally won't initiate contact with people I don't know well because it's better to not risk them being like me in their antipathy to being touched by near-strangers.

My office apparently has other ideas. If they want my attention so badly, I wish they'd ask. Verbally. Y'know, say "Excuse me?" I know I am generally in the middle of typing a letter when someone wants my attention, but they could at least wait until there's a lull in my typing if they're that worried about not being heard. Tapping me on the shoulder when I am in the middle of typing something just gets me on edge. I do not like it. I partly do not like it because it means that there is someone in my blind spot, deep in my personal space. I partly do not like it because I am fucking busy and would prefer to have people at least wait for a lull instead of stopping me mid-word. But I mostly do not like it because someone I do not know and/or may not actually like is laying hands on me. Maybe I'm oversensitive, but ... this is my body we're talking about and I should at least have some say in who or what comes in contact with it. I just don't like people I don't know well touching me when I don't know it's coming. I want the option to say 'no', even to something as relatively harmless as a touch on the shoulder. (And it generally will be 'no'; I just don't like it.)

Besides, everyone in my office knows that I am plaguemonkey at the moment. I shouldn't think they'd want to be touching me when I might pass on my cold/flu/viral infection/strep throat/whatever the hell it is I have that the doctors didn't care all that much about. And yet...

Maybe I'm just less patient about it today than I would ordinarily be because, despite getting to bed early last night, I am still exhausted, dragged out, aching and miserable right now. Even minor annoyances feel pretty major to me right now. I should be in bed, I know this, but that's not an option. If I'm lucky, I can get home early, but ... probably not. So I'll keep on truckin' and hope I don't fall asleep at my desk. Which seriously feels like an option right now. With my luck, though, I won't have anything but the weekends until the Christmas bank holidays.

Man, I hope they appreciate me...
thessalian: (facepalm)
I am having One Of Those Days.

I was late for work owing to the more-or-less standard public transport woes. I guess it froze last night, to judge by the salt scattered all over the train platform this morning. Anyway, I wasn't very late, so that was alright. Still, not a great way to start the day, particularly when you have no idea what desk you're going to end up sitting at when you get in. (I know more or less what department I'm working in until mid-January. What I don't know is exactly where I'll be sitting on any given day.) As it happened, the other float temp wasn't in so I was offered her desk. However, I figured that it would be just my luck if she turned up while I was mid-letter, so I declined and took the desk of the IT guy who sits across from her desk instead. Unfortunately, there is only one foot pedal for our shiny new digital dictation machine, so I nabbed that.

Well ... I nabbed that after I got my computer access back.

Yeah, imagine my shock when I tried to log in and got beeped at with an error message saying that this user account had expired. Apparently, IT got really confused when my job spec went wibbly and I ended up doing the typing for half the damn hospital. Or they mistook me for one of the temps that float through the place sometimes. I honestly don't know. Either way, they somehow thought that my contact was ending and pulled the plug on my account on Friday night. So ... that was a truly unpleasant surprise, about which I thankfully got immediate reassurance. Things got settled on that end ... mostly ... except that I'm now having some issues with my EPR account that IT hasn't sorted out because EPR helpdesk is a separate department, which is traditionally staffed by lazy twits. But at least I can more or less type.

Unfortunately, the other secretary can't. Look, we have exactly one foot pedal up here. Headphones we have in plenty because there are still some of the old transcription machines kicking around (because, despite us having gone live with digital dictation over a month ago now, some of the consultants still refuse to use it altogether and so we have to make special allowances for tapes, because consultants are Speshul Snowflakes and anyone who's trying to maximise the efficiency of the NHS really needs to crack down on that bullshit, JUST SO YOU KNOW), but that doesn't work for the footpedals. I found my colleague trying to plug a foot pedal from a transcription machine into the microphone jack of her computer. Then she wandered away and found one that would fit an old-fashioned pin socket. Which our computers don't actually have anymore, given that I think those gave way to USB ports about five years ago and not even the NHS is that bad about updating its equipment. Sometimes. Mostly. Anyway, point is that she is boned. And if she hadn't had a worse time on public transport than I did, that'd be me.

The only cup of coffee I could get this morning was some incredibly disgusting instant. We were out of sugar so I had to use someone's artificial sweetener, which only made it worse. My tiny bag of dried apricots was not suitable for breakfast and it's at least an hour 'til lunch. I have a headache. My knees are really feeling the change in weather, as are my sinuses. I am tired and unhappy and I want to go hooooooooooome. And one of the doctors not only cannot figure out that he needs to hit the record button before he starts talking, but also has not yet worked out that the digital dictation system means that you have to dictate each letter as a separate sound file. So I'm going to look real forward to formatting this sucker when I finally get this sucker typed.

[Edit: Also, when I have cleared out three months of your typing backlog, do not turn around to me with bitch-face and tell me not to do your typing anymore because you don't need the help. Not when I have managed to clear the backlog that you've been leaving sitting there since June because you've been too busy reading the Metro or talking too loudly to your colleagues to actually do a damn thing. And this is the woman who bitches about how coming in on weekends isn't worth the overtime she gets! I don't even know what the hell she does! Argh!]
thessalian: (facepalm)
Here's this meme again. [ profile] mitchy gave me age 25. Ooooooooh shit.

I was dating:
I wasn't, which was frankly a good thing. That year was a welter of therapy and trying to get my life back in order after I had a total mental breakdown and I really didn't have the headspace. I don't think I started seeing [ profile] cholten99 until late 2003 or so.

I wanted to be:
Self-sufficient and sane, mostly. Well, as sane as I ever usually get, anyhow. Maybe it sounds simplistic, but it really wasn't. Basically, all I wanted was to get my life back in order and figure out how to make sure that the last year's events didn't repeat themselves. Which ... worked out pretty well, really.

My best friend:
That would have been [personal profile] redstapler, [ profile] nightskywarlock and [ profile] happypickle. Yes, they were entirely online but there's nothing particularly wrong with that.

I lived:
Half of it I spent in a flat about two blocks from my mother's place. At the time, it was deemed necessary for me to be close by in case of mental health issues (though really I think it had a lot more to do with being able to drop in unannounced whenever she felt like and bitch about my housekeeping). Then I moved out into a flat in Tooting where I was paying the rent pretty much on my own and had a lot more autonomy. Though I guess I never really felt comfortable there because the fact was that Mum pressured me into getting that one, even though I'd wanted a cheaper studio flat in Camden that I could afford without her input but she decided that it was too small and generally unsuitable and badgered me until I got the more expensive one-bed place that she helped me pay rent on. Yes, it was a nice place, but ... I wanted to live in Camden with less stuff that needed cleaning.

So ... yeah. That was age 25. Age 25 kind of sucked.
thessalian: (writing)
I haz a meme. [ profile] kelemvor givez it me. And he gave me age 17. TEENAGE ANGST GO!

I was dating:
Expect this to be complicated; I was seventeen. Let's see. For most of it, I was dating Gopi Flaherty, who was a year above me in school and ended up going to college in Pennsylvania while I was doing my last year of A-levels. There was a lot of off-again, on-again, both during the long-distance phase and not. But at least he was a waaaaay better kisser than my age-16 boyfriend...

I wanted to be:
Ah, that was when the big sea change happened. For most of my life prior to that, I wanted to be a veterinarian - or, more specifically, a marine zoologist as decided when I was about ten. Age seventeen was around when I was slogging desperately through a Chemistry A-level and a Maths AS-level that I could not get to grips with at all and I realised that I was not really cut out for this 'science' thing. Of course, that was also around the time I started writing anything other than diary entries. I don't even remember why I started, though I'd been writing things for as long as I can remember. I think my mother still has my first clumsily-written stories and a few copies of the newspaper I wrote, illustrated and sold around her office when I was little. Anyway, that was the point at which I decided that I wanted to be a writer. Thankfully, when I put my mind to it, I took to typing a lot better than I did to maths.

In terms of anything other than future plans, I wanted to be away most of all. That was the year I begged my mother to let me be a boarding student at the school I was in at the time, citing 'I'll be able to focus on my studies better' as a reason. Really, I just couldn't take ... well, her and David, mostly. Having every aspect of my life controlled (right down to diet and exercise regime, thank you; 45 minutes on the exercise bike every day, gods-awful microwave diet meals for dinner, and let's not talk about the time I found my mother reading my diary and having her tell me that I didn't have the right to think that way about her...) got really old, really fast.

My best friend:
Ah, the dream team. The concept of a singular best friend was pretty freakin' difficult once I moved to the UK the year previous. Mostly I was hanging around with Louise Baxter, Bryony Watson and Finn Pollard at the time. I guess at the end of the day, Louise was the best friend, if I had to choose. If there's a female equivalent of the term 'epic bromance' ... that was us.

I lived:
In Letchworth, Hertfordshire. Specifically, in a not-too-bad room in the house owned by my mother and now-stepfather. Though again, if I could have lived at my school, I would have leapt at the opportunity. At least by then I'd been allowed to redecorate the horrid place; when I moved in, it was peach carpet and this hideous wallpaper. The peach carpet stayed but I got to paint the walls, at least. The furniture was cheap crap and I had little privacy, but it was a place to lay my head, anyway. I was not sorry to leave.

So ... who wants in on this meme-thing?
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 [ 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 [ 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 [ 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.
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: (Default)
My router is still hiccupping like I don't even know. It's frustrating and disheartening and I'd rather not have to call BT. I just wish I knew what was wrong with the bloody thing. If I dropped £45 on a router I don't even need, I am going to be so pissed off. But I'll have a play around with it this weekend. Possibly at around the same time as I try to move furniture around. Yes, I am considering moving the furniture, mostly because I'm bored with the current arrangement and it's a little bit clumsy anyway. I already moved the desk (hoping that taking the router off my PC tower would help matters, which ... no) but I think the bed needs shifting. Hell, I need a single bed. It's not like I use more than half of it anyway and it just takes up space. But I suppose that's one for the landlord.

In other news, today is a beautiful, bright sunshiny sort of day. So of course, I am miserable. The bright shiny sunshine is a fast-track to migraine, and my sinuses are screaming their displeasure at the pretty flowering things because the pollen is really not helping matters. At all. Of course, it also didn't help that walking to work from St Pancras this morning, there were people scrubbing the steps of the Brunswick complex (shopping, dining, cinema specialising in foreign films) with industrial bleach. Inflammation of the sinuses + bleach fumes = owwwwww. Just FYI.

So grateful it's the weekend. This week has been a bit of a slog, all things considered. Not that this weekend stands to be a whole lot better, if I'm going to turn it into a router-prodding, laundry-doing, furniture-moving, bookshelf-tidying, CLEAN-ALL-THE-THINGS-ing extravaganza, but at least I get to sleep in. I just don't like mornings very much, I guess.

For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, I realised I never actually mentioned the name I gave my lonely Forsaken warlock lady wandering around Bloodhoof at the moment. In a stroke of questionable inspiration, knowing that people have been on this server for awhile and most of the 'generic fantasy' names have likely already been used, I gave my zombie chick the name Porphyria.

Sounds real classy until you click on the link, no? *g*

Anyway, I have decided that from now on, all of my MMO characters are getting medical terminology names. Might as well put my medical secretarial training to good use, no? So I'll see how that goes. I mean, this is always assuming I can get my stupid connection to stop kicking me offline every ten minutes or so. It's really annoying...
thessalian: (DAO)
Annnnnnd another moment that makes DA2 so worth playing...

I was at the docks with Isabela, Fenris and Varric, just having talked to the last surviving Harrowmont for some quest or other, and as we're looting Carta bodies, this random wandering-around-the-area NPC chick out of the blue comes out with:

NPC: I know your face. The boys from Orlais named an itch after you.
Isabela: A sneer on your lips but want in your eye.

Okay, I know the recycled areas annoy everyone. But if that's the price of little moments like that, where the wandering NPCs randomly react to the people you've got in party? I'll pay it gladly. (Yes, it would have been nice if they'd done both. But then it'd load slower and we'd have had to wait forever for it to come out.)

[Edit: Shit, everyone in the docks talks to Isabela!

NPC: Didn't ... didn't you board us once in Rivain! Woman, you left us drifting!
Isabela: I'm sorry; I don't speak 'never-gets-sex-again'.

*gigglefit* Love this game so hard...]

In other news, my bank holiday weekend is going smashingly, thank you. The weather has been delightful, I haven't shut my window since Thursday night, and ... well, okay, I haven't actually been outside beyond a couple of shopping forays, but it's sunny. I don't do well in sunny. It tends to trigger my migraines. This is not good. The number the pollen's doing on my sinuses and the fact that my glasses are scratched all to hell is bad enough. I'm not adding sun-triggered migraine to the low-level hurt already there.

There will have to be chores, eventually. Dishes. Laundry. That kind of thing. Right now, though? I'm happy enough just faffing, playing video games and chatting to people. Though I do need to take my stupid antihistamines. I so need this long weekend, you have no idea.
thessalian: (Default)
It's another one of those days in which I am trapped in an office where all I get to do all day is copy/paste letters from one document to another. *confetti* But at least I have my back to a wall and I can faff if I want to. And believe me, I want to. So much. Sometimes this job? NOT all it is cracked up to be. But at least it gets me paid. I guess anything that keeps me in broadband and Mountain Dew is a good thing.

For those of you who don't live in London, the current state of affairs is 'warm, sunny and stuffed to the gills with tourists'. This last bit isn't particularly unusual, to be fair - London is 'One Of Those Cities', y'know? I mean, it seems to be a running theme that tourists coming to London assume that ... y'know, that's all London's for. It's like they think it's Disneyworld or something, where everyone is pottering around strictly for their benefit and their job is strictly to be backdrop to the tourist experience. Sort of the same kind of mood you'll get in someplace like New York or Los Angeles or Paris or someplace.

News flash, people: millions of people live and work here. Yes, it's a city full of history and entertainment and beautiful architecture and all manner of things to do and see. But it's not bloody Disneyworld, okay? The people bustling around in your holiday photos of London are not there just to be 'a little local colour'. They're trying to get to work, or home from work, or grab a quick lunch break, or get to a doctor's appointment, or do the shopping for the week. It'd be nice if you respected that a tiny bit.

I actually recommend a series of bylaws for tourists. Maybe confine offenders to their hotels and stick repeat offenders on the no-fly list.

1) People cannot walk through you and your map. Therefore, there are places that not only manners but simple common sense dictate that you should not unfold a big map and spend at least five minutes poring over it, trying to decide where to go next. Places like ... the tops or bottoms of stairwells and escalators. Or right in front of Tube station ticket barriers. Or any doorway. Or smack in the middle of the sidewalk. Particularly if you are in a group, make sure that you are not blocking someone's way before you start poring over a map.

2) If you are asking for directions, be consise. Know what it is you're actually looking for. Do not expect someone to know exactly where 'that place with the thing' or 'that place where that play by that guy' is on if that's literally all you can tell them. Likewise, do your research and if you're heading for a multi-building complex, know which building you want. Don't stand in, say, one part of University College London, which spreads out over half the gods-damned city, and say, "No, just tell me where UCL is". Or at least, accept that the answer is, "All around you; can you please name a specific building so I can actually help you?" without rolling your eyes like the one who lives here is the stupid one.

3) On that subject ... the dirty looks when we maybe accidentally get in your well-framed picture of Tower Bridge or squeeze past you when you're standing in front of the ticket barrier at Oxford Street? They're unbecoming and unnecessary. We try to be polite. We try to hang back when you're taking pictures. But we would like to get on with our lives and if you're going to be selfish, thoughtless arseholes, we're going to get around you - as politely as possible, but we are going to get on with our lives. We've gone through the Blitz, the IRA, various Roman invasions, the Great Fire and more generalised terrorist bombing crap than you can imagine. We're not going to let a bunch of bloody tourists stop us from going about our day. So lose the 'tude. You're on our turf now. Respect it.

Don't mind me. I'm just a little aerated about the tourists because they're coming out in more droves than usual this week. But that's not surprising. Next week, Prince William marries Kate Middleton and London's going to be a veritable zoo. I feel bad for William and Kate, I really do. I imagine both of them just want to run away and get hitched in a registry office or something, but they know they can't. It's all gone insane, with the merchandising and everything. Though as I understand it, the Charles/Diana thing was just as bad. (I'm a little too young and too Canadian to really remember that one, but I hear things.)

Right. I'm done bitching. Smoke break, and then back to the grind. Yeargh.
thessalian: (Default)
Right. Proper, non-eulogising greeting for all y'all that came from the Dragon Age friending meme. Hello, and welcome to the insanity. I'm Thess, mid-30s, medical secretary, BPAL addict-in-training, writer, filker, ranter, RPer, pagan and all-around freak of nature. How d'you do, and how d'you do, and how d'you do again? *g*

To be fair, I haven't posted much fic on the various Dragon Age communities to which I belong. There was the one where Nathaniel and F!Mahariel have a conversation in the wake of the Adria thing, a piece of Zevran/F!Mahariel platonic relationfic I wrote for a challenge once ... and then there were parts one, two and three where I set the whole of the Mage origin to the tune of the Wizard of Oz. Because I am a lunatic. But then, considering my fic project list includes a further filking effort on the Dwarven Noble origin that includes riffs from Disney hits? You probably already knew that.

Beyond fic, my interests include:
- General writing (book 3 of urban horror series in progress)
- Reading: Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, Stephen King, Joe Hill, Cory Doctorow, Neal Stephenson George RR Martin ... eh, to be fair, I'll read damn near anything I can get my hands on that isn't Mills & Boon. My bookshelf is eclectic, with everything from Watership Down, The Secret History and Gone with the Wind to almost everything King's ever written, the Rachel Morgan books and my rebuilding collection of Dresden Files novels.
- TV: A lot of the shows I like are miniseries, over or cancelled - Neverwhere, Wonderfalls, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Daria, Ultraviolet. But there's also Misfits, Doctor Who, Leverage, Eureka, the V remake they started in 2009, Primeval, White Collar, NCIS, and an itch to get back into True Blood and Farscape.
- Movies: Oh dear gods. Um. My tastes run the gamut from 80s cheese (The Breakfast Club, Heathers, Pump Up the Volume) to quasi-serious drama stuff (American Beauty, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation) to really heavy drama stuff (Blood Diamond, Lord of War, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) to period pieces (Amadeus, Gone With the Wind) to Western horror (Silent Hill, the Nightmare on Elm Street series, at least the first Saw movie) to Eastern horror (Whispering Corridors, Wishing Stairs, Memento Mori). Also Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars IV-VI, the Harry Potter films and ... well. You get the idea.
- Video Games: Given my lack of console, my inability to make a controller work on my PC and my fumble-fingered atrocities with keyboard controls, I haven't played a lot of video games of late. I played a lot of FFXI online for awhile, but gave it up and am pondering Warcraft. Currently all I really play are Sims 3, the Dragon Age games and the occasional round of Worms World Party or Civ IV. I'm so out of touch and really want to play my Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect 1 and 2...
- RPG: Mostly old WoD, mostly Mage: the Ascension ... entirely bloody nuts. But fun. Awesome wicked fun. I play with an awesome online group and my only real complaint is that either they're in the wrong time zone, or I am. Bloody UK.

I think I've gone into enough detail about what I'm into entertainment-wise. There's other stuff (aromatherapy, my BPAL addiction, various mad socio-political ravings, yadda) but for that, you can probably click on various tags if you're interested. In the meantime, all I can say is hi, and that I promise to be better at posting and to try not to bore you when I do. *wave*
thessalian: (Default)
So ... there's going to be more perfume. Blame again, y'all. You know who you are.

Look, I have all this perfume. Some of it came to me as incredibly thoughtful gifts. I thought it was time I started ... y'know, wearing it. So even if I'm not going out anywhere, I'm taking to actually wearing a little bit of scented awesome, courtesy Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Currently I'm wearing Al-Shairan, which starts off a little overpowering but is a bit better once it dries. I don't know entirely how that works, but it does, so I'm just going to smile and nod. Still, I don't think it's a favourite. I think it's actually making me sneeze.

Of course, this prompted me to actually take a look at the huge list of perfumes that I actually want and compare it to the stuff that people have for sale or swap on the various BPAL forums to which I ill-advisedly belong. And someone had, like, a whole bunch of ones on my list. (Unfortunately, because my list is so long, I didn't realise that there were more on my list available by said person, and am strongly considering swapping out a couple of the ones I did buy to fill the 8-for-$10 requirement for the ones that are actually on my list before the charming entity from whom I bought them goes to the post office. But then, sometimes there are surprises in the offing when I get random stuff, so ... pondering on a Sunday as I know the post office is closed, like, everywhere on Sunday.) And they had a bottle of one of my favourites for sale. So ... there are eight imps and a mostly-full bottle of The Lady of Shalott winging their way to me. I'm pleased. But still ... man, more perfume? What is it with BPAL? Do they infuse the perfumes with some kind of addictive chemical? What?

Aaaaanyway. I'm not the sort of person who makes new year's resolutions, but there is stuff that I'm determined to be better about from here on out, as decided a week or so ago. For one thing, a look at those X-rays of my elbow following my rib-sprainy slip-and-fall got me kind of worried about the whole 'not getting enough calcium because of the lactose intolerance issue and thus all but asking for osteoporosis' thing, so I'm getting myself back into the habit of daily calcium supplements. Also a daily glass of cranberry juice (small, because I hate cranberry juice) because doctors have told me that it's a good thing for me to be intaking due to potentially TMI sorts of issues. There's the perfume thing that goes along with a general increase in attention paid to my appearance - it's not like I'm going to go overboard or anything but like with my BPAL, I have a collection of flavoured lip glosses that I really need to start wearing more. I've been pretty good about the flat but I'm still determined to keep it reasonably tidy. Well, as tidy as I can when there's a lack of storage space, anyway. Y'know. Try to keep my house in order, literally and metaphorically speaking.

I tidied up today, cleared out the fridge, did some shopping and now I'm going to start some laundry and ponder actually writing. Y'know, something that's not the daftest Dragon Age fanfic I've come up with to date. (And yes, that's counting the Wizard-of-Oz parody thing.) I finally found the handwritten completion of my chapter-by-chapter synopsis notes and maybe getting those down with the rest will inspire me to get back to the next HIPPIE book. I've bashed away at it a little since bailing on NaNoWriMo (shaaaaaaame!) but it's really time I got it up and running again. So I'll have a look at the completed chapter synopsis and see how I go.
thessalian: (sick)
I admit I've been awful at using my LJ. Sorry, all. Now trying to think of what to actually say.

Well, let's start with the fact that my appointment with the neurologist is tomorrow. Without going into any real detail (I'm going to have to do enough of that tomorrow, thanks), things have been getting worse over the last couple of months. It's really starting to impede my ability to function, and the idea of trying to claim Disability Living Allowance has done more than cross my mind. I can't commute or work like this; I have a hard enough time with day to day living just now. I don't know what is wrong with my brain, but I get the impression that this isn't something that's going to get fixed overnight. I don't like the idea of registering as disabled, but given recent issues, I honestly don't know what else to do. I don't exactly qualify as 'able' anymore, all things considered. It galls me, but at least it's a solution that doesn't lead to a financial arse-fucking.

I now have more than one reason to hope to hell that when I get Chaos Magic written, it actually sells worth a tin shit. There aren't many chapters to go before it's done (though the work has been slow, slow, slow of late; the story's there, but my recent brain-wrong has meant that the words just haven't been coming, which more or less makes me want to cry), and there's so much to do even after it's written. The editing job has been done as I go, thankfully. I'm finding the podcasting a great tool for pre-edit; if I read out a sentence and it sounds off, I can identify it a lot easier than when trying to read it. It obliges me to pay more attention by virtue of having to read every word to speak it. So at least I'm less worried about the editing process than I usually am.

It's the graphic elements that are really bothering me. I think I know what I want it to look like now, which is better than the last few months of "OMG WUT???", but I'm not sure how to put it together. Also, in some cases I'm having to settle because believe me, it is hard to find a free-use graphic of a city block entirely covered in toads. At least we have an appropriate novelty mug in the house. I may just need to find a good Photoshop tutorial to get the visual effect I want in at least one case, and brush up my skills with Photoshop in general. I may also have to buy Play-Doh at some point.

Then there's setting up the Lightning Source account and blah-de-blah, but that's a ways off yet. Suffice to say, though, that the closer I get to the logistical bits of this, the more I want to run away and hide. And let's not even discuss promotion when that's all done. Though at least I'm learning at the TwitterFox-ish feet of the masters in the form of JC Hutchins, Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace. I'd say Scott Sigler as well, but I don't really follow him on Twitter or anything, mostly because I'm not really a major fan and it would feel dishonest somehow.

Oh, and one of my little squees of the moment is that Matt Wallace and JC Hutchins have actually read and commented on my Absurdist Inc reviews of their podcasted stuff. Commented favourably, I might add. I wonder if Mike Bennett will read it when I finally get around to reviewing Underwood and Flinch.

Anyway, at least that's something to occupy my thoughts while things go more or less to hell. Maybe it's a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe it's an oncoming train. I dunno, but I'll give everything my best shot, anyway. Beats the hell out of moping over silly online flash games and random free MMOs.
thessalian: (Depressed)
I am headachy and depressed and really, really flat right now. So I'm sort of alternating Buffy S4 with occasional peeks at IM to see if anyone's about and that'll probably be the rest of my mid-evening. Well, that and KFC. Deep-fried nasty always helps.

After that ... well, it depends. Possibly RP, or I might go back onto FFXI and see if I can find a party invite lurking about the place. Nuking things is good. Nuking things is cathartic. Plus if I do any more damn bug broth crafting, I may well die of boredom (though, still, 115k+, not bad).

On the whole, though ... gods, I'm miserable.

(Oh. But. Courtesy [ profile] mitchy:

Comment here and I will reply to you and tell you what icon of yours I associate with you. Once I reply, please repost this in your own journal, because I want to know what icon you associate with me.

Not, as [ profile] mitchy says, that you have to do that last. But it'd be nice.)


Feb. 1st, 2007 11:52 pm
thessalian: (need a hug)
Still ill.

Must go get passport application forms tomorrow. Whoopee. But hey, US trip!

Application for Canadian birth certificates = minimal red tape. Wow.

BST still sucks as a job.

New job Monday. Had better be better.

And [ profile] angusabranson selling off many Mage: the Awakening books at nice low prices that I still can't afford, mostly due to having been off work this week. Miss sick pay. Still, birthday coming up. Might get lucky.
thessalian: (need a hug)
I haven't been out of bed for very long, as I feel intensely miserable after yesterday's exertions, but already I've been witness to an incubating altercation at the local off-licence. Some scruffy, elderly and possibly homeless man (I say this mainly because he was surrounded by ratty plastic bags full of apparantly random belongings and cluttering up the counter while at least three customers were being served stashing his newspaper and two packs of some really cheap nasty brand of cigarette into said bags) decided to mutter random disparaging remarks about the other customers, and the other customers started taking offence. I guess it's not like in the city, where such people are generally ignored if they start mouthing off in stores. I'd be proud of the nacent community spirit in my borough/suburb/whatever if it weren't for the fact that said 'community spirit' included some guy threatening to punch the scruffy elderly man's jaw off.

My Sims 2 expansion and SiP TPB arrived today. So the Strangers in Paradise story is finally coming to an end. I don't really know how I feel about that, to be honest. I suppose good, in a way - after all, how much longer can even someone as talented as Moore follow this story along? Still, I'll be sad when there aren't any more. I wonder if he's got anything else in the works. I suppose my next purchase comics-wise is going to be the last Dogwitch TPB. Now that's one I really need to see the end of.

All the same, I suppose some of this month's discretionary cash needs to go towards new clothes. Look, my favourite denim skirt - the one that was just 'too big' last month - now is so big on me that I can take it off without unbuttoning it. This sucks because I haven't got all that much cash to spend on new clothes anyway and because, damnit, I like this skirt. I suppose I can start the shopping with a charity shop run; that should stretch the budget a little further. The problem is that I have no idea what size I am now, though I am fairly sure that none of my good skirts fit so my guess is that I've gone down two sizes, minimum. I wouldn't mind this so much if I was actively trying to diet, liked clothes shopping or frankly gave a damn about my weight. As it is, it's all just a not-so-subtle reminder that I am rather ill. After all, it's not like I'm getting any exercise to speak of right now, so if my caloric intake has gone down so much that I've lost this much weight in this little time without exercise ... well, it's bad. Just over a week to go until I see the specialist, so at least that's something.

So now I'm going to install my new Sims 2 expansion pack and make a whole new house with the new downloads. Then I may go back to FFXI - I have a deathgnome whose subjob needs levelling, and a whole bunch of gil from my auction proceeds to spend on spells and such. That's provided I can stay upright for long enough to play much - I really do feel rough.
thessalian: (exasperated)
Medical news for those of you sick to death of Deathgnome posts. (Don't worry; there won't be any for 24 hours at least. Maintenance means that it'll be down between 17:00 and 22:00 GMT at least, so I'm thinking that the Deathgnome is getting no action tonight. Unless I want to play this afternoon and see what my luck is like with the Japanese players. Or Europeans with time off. Or really hardcore Americans with no lives.)

Anyway. Went back to the doctor and it turns out that no, the results of my ultrasound are not in yet. I should ring on Monday to see if said results are in, and probably not come back to actually see the doctor unless the results warrant it - I can get a copy of the results and everything. Ha! It's nice to have a doctor that doesn't treat me like a moron.

Funny thing happened when I mentioned to Dr Bez that he would probably be hearing from my boss. Dr Bez told me that, not only does my boss need my permission to contact my doctor in the first place, my doctor needs my express consent to give my boss the information that my boss is requesting. Good thing I asked, huh? Otherwise the entire "boss getting details on my illness from my doctor" thing would have been delayed even further while Dr Bez sought my permission to talk to my boss. In any case, I gave Dr Bez permission to tell my boss what he needs to know (the words, "maybe he'll leave me the hell alone if he hears it from you" were on the very tip of my tongue, but I was good) so that's one potential crisis averted.

So now I'm signed off until 6th November. Well, 5th technically, but that's a Sunday. That's a bare minimum so that I can get further advice from the gastro specialist (appointment on the 2nd) and wait for test results and ultrasound reports to come in. We'll see what happens after that, but there is no way I'm going back to work without treatment for whatever the hell this is. And it's another two and a half weeks where I don't have to deal with my boss getting at me about possibly suspended pay and various other crap. Breathing space is good.

I didn't actually sleep last night and got about two hours' worth of nap in the morning, so what I think I'm going to do is veg briefly, contemplate lunch, maybe actually eat something and then crash for a few hours. My circadian rhythms are going to be so fucked at the end of this.
thessalian: (Default)
So I went out for drinks with [ profile] dodgyhoodoo and [ profile] weaselbitch, and had a wonderful time. However, if two hours of so of sitting in a pub chatting to people can wipe me out that much and make me feel that miserable, I'm not seeing how work is even a vague possibility. Oh well; at least now I know what happens if I try to exert myself. Plus, again, a wonderful time was had. So can't complain.

So after that, we went home and I went back to FFXI; you may not want to stick around for this... )

Beyond that, not much is new, I'm afraid. Oh, except for the whole "finally going to finish off Restart" thing; it'd be nice to have that SL locked. Then I can start the New and Shiny. Yay for the New and Shiny!


Oct. 16th, 2006 12:15 pm
thessalian: (inspired)
And a very happy birthday to [ profile] beepbeep!

I'm finally getting out of the house properly today! Meeting up with [ profile] dodgyhoodoo and [ profile] weaselbitch for a drink later on this evening. I feel absolutely cruddy at the minute but I am not going to miss this one; for one thing, I haven't seen [ profile] weaselbitch in months, what with one thing and another, so I don't intend to duck out of another pub meet-up just because I still feel like crap.

And of course, Wednesday sees me going back to the doctor to see if the results of the ultrasound I had the other week are back yet, and to get a more current sick leave certificate. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that since I have no clue when I'm going to be up for going back to work; I can barely get through shopping etc without feeling completely icky so I'm really not sure what seven hours in the office would do to me. I don't recall exactly but I think there's provision for signing someone off 'until further notice' and that may be the only way to go here. I'll have to talk to Dr Bez about it. In the meantime, I'm sending my boss a letter saying that he has permission to talk to my doctor directly about my current health problems - I did this last week but it turns out that it needs to be a signed hard copy or it does not apply. *shrug* So now a trip to the post office is also in the offing. Whee. My health issues are complicated.

Anyway, time to go and get some stuff done, and then I can go back home and relax. It's amazing how much rest I seem to need despite not actually doing anything.


thessalian: (Default)

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