thessalian: (Default)
Another long weekend approaches, and despite it only having been a three-day week this week, I could use it. At least partly because I have a desperate need for new shoes - I've worn down the heels on my clogs and am currently reduced to wearing my Chucks to work because I refuse to climb three flights of stairs (one of which is longer than the average) in anything resembling heels, which accounts for most of my comfortable non-clog footwear. I love my Red or Dead ankle boots but ... not on stairs, I don't. My platform Mary Janes? I'd break my neck, particularly when trying to go down the stairs unable to see properly around a pile of notes and the blur that my cheap varifocals gives my peripheral vision. Basically, I need new glasses too, but new shoes are cheaper. Marginally. Actually, I have my eye on Doc Marten loafers ... if I can find a pair in black. Purple DM loafers are kind of awesome, but they don't go with a lot of my clothes. So ... yeah, that's going to be at least part of the weekend.

At least in part because I am never going to Westfield on a weekday again. EVER. Hell, I may not ever go again, full stop, if it looks anything like it did last night. For reference, Westfield is what the USians on my flist would call a 'shopping mall' but that the UK folkses would call a 'shopping centre'. (Malls are different things in the UK; something to do with being outdoors, I think?) Anyway, Westfield is one of the bigger ones in the greater London area, and one of my work colleagues keeps talking about it so I thought I'd check it out yesterday as a preliminary to my shoe-quest. ...It was like Oxford Street, but worse. I now know what a battery hen feels like. I like my personal space and there was simply none in that gods-awful place. I miss Montreal shopping malls.

Anyway ... yeah, this weekend is going to involve shopping. Not just shoes, but headphones too. My current set are ... um ... well, they kind of snapped at the headband a couple of weeks ago and I employed the Mighty Power of Sellotape so that was okay but now they're doing that thing where the wire has to be positioned just so to get any sound out of them because the wiring inside is starting to fray. I don't mind them not looking particularly nice; I just need them to work, and since they're not working, I guess they'll have to be replaced too. 'Tis the season to replace shit, evidently.

I'm also going to do some writing. Fine, it's all fic, but I am sick and tired of those bloody works in progress mocking me. I imagine stuff will turn up on AO3 at some point this weekend. That and Tumblr. Y'know, stuff.

There is no one in the office but me. Well, there's the guy who sits by the window, but he's been in and out, mostly out, all morning. My work colleague is generally in around 10am, but she hasn't quite arrived yet. So it's very quiet. I like quiet. Though at this point, I'd much prefer quiet in my own flat, in my own bed, sleeping for another couple of hours. But since that's not going to happen, I'll settle for faff with occasional bursts of work.
thessalian: (Rant)
The banks, they make me livid.

Look, here's the thing. Letters from Inland Revenue are scary ... usually. So when I opened up my mail earlier this week, including the scary letters from Inland Revenue, imagine my utter shock when it turned out that they were giving me money. And I don't just mean 'I won ten quid on the lottery; let's get fish and chips with it' money, either. I'm talking a little over £450, 'Fuck's sake, be sensible and don't buy that iPod classic you've been drooling over for a year' money. So I get my nice shiny cheque/postal order thing from Inland Revenue, huzzah!

So I take this money to my bank. My bank puts it in my account. Ostensibly, anyway. I check my balance next day - because this is a postal order, not a cheque per se, and should clear pretty quickly, and if it doesn't ... well, no harm in looking, right? It says MONEY. So I go to use said money. Except that the cash machine tells me that I cannot access this money. Apparently, despite the fact that the bank is saying that this money is in my account, I can't have it. Apparently it hasn't cleared yet.

Then why the fuck are you telling me that it's in my account?

...Oh right; you want the interest, you fuckers.

Look, I get that they want to make sure that the money that is going to happen is ... y'know, going to happen before they give it to me. I understand that; I really do. But to say that this money is in my account when it isn't is absolutely fucking ludicrous. If my cheque has not cleared, do not tell me that my account has the funds that it would have if my cheque has cleared. If you are telling me that I have this money, let me have this fucking money, okay? It's not rocket science.

This is probably one of those first world problem things, but I don't actually care. Half the problem with this economy seems to be that people are finding ways to make imaginary money for themselves, and holding on to someone else's money to gain a piddling few pence worth of interest is part of that. Can we just have a clear-cut system whereby things move in a logical way? Like, people are not told that they have funds until those funds are available? Is that so hard?

It doesn't actually help that the staff at the bank branch I visited to check on this matter on Thursday were ... well, okay, the greeters at the door were nice, but I think that's because that's what they're there for; the friendly smiling icing on the turd cupcake that is over-the-counter banking. Because the guy I talked to about this a) didn't crack a smile, b) talked to me like I was about six and c) basically said, "Yes, it says you have this money but you don't; try on Tuesday" without so much as a 'sorry for the confusion'. Even if it's not meant, you could at least say it. I have to apologise for shit that isn't my fault and I'm not genuinely sorry for because it's company (read: NHS) policy all the time! A certain consultant only wants my co-admin to handle appointment bookings and I'm on the phones because it's Friday and some patient is screaming at me to book them an appointment RightThisSecondNow? Maybe I'm not sorry because the patient (or, more often, the patient's relative) is being an arsehole, but I'll say it. Gods, is a little tiiiiiiny bit of politeness too much to ask for? It's not like I was asking for the moon; I was asking for clarification on a matter, nothing more. And the question of "How do I know when these funds have actually reached my account so that if I do decide to make a purchase for an amount greater than the funds that are currently in my account, taking into consideration that it says these funds are in my account but apparently aren't, I don't get horrifically embarrassed" should not be met with a sullen shrug and no response at all. Apparently it's perfectly reasonable to have someone check their available balance on a local ATM every day until it states that they have X money available, because of course no one hates it when people waste time faffing about on the ATM ahead of them when they just want to take out a tenner to buy lunch with the half-hour they've got for their lunch break. Apparently it's reasonable to let customers not know how much money they really have available in their accounts because their actual balance says one thing and the ATM says another. It's a damn good thing I didn't need that money particularly or I'd have been fucked.

Anyway, that said, it looks like Tuesday was pushing things a bit. Maybe. I have a habit of sticking most available funds into my flexi-saver account and transferring out what bits I need week to week, so that I don't spend too much. So I didn't actually have the funds necessary to, in this case, buy Sims 3 Pets without that cheque clearing. I decided to try the card purchase again (I download these things via Origin these days; it's easier, and this way I don't have even potential embarrassment of 'your card has been declined' from a human being, and as a way to ensure that there is money it beats the hell out of yomping down the road in the cold and grey for what might be a total waste of time) and it actually went through. So ... I maybe have my awesome tax rebate money. It certainly likes my card now, which it didn't on Thursday. I probably will have to go to the ATM and double-check this later, but that can double with my trek out for supplies (for which I have cash money) so it won't be a wasted trip even if I can't get cash out from the ATM. Which would be really stupid, seeing as Origin likes my debit card, but I am putting nothing past my bank right now.

Soooooo ... anyway, Sims 3 Pets! I'll stop bitching now...
thessalian: (facepalm)
Dear consultants, SHOs, SpRs, clinical assistants and nurse specialists:

I am not entirely fond of my job. Who the hell would be? However, I am not entirely unfond of my job either, and it would be nice if we could tip the scales away back towards actual fondness. There are things that you can do to help:

1) I CAN HAZ HOSPITAL NUMBERS? Seriously. Eight digits. Read them out to me. Sometimes I do not get the notes, or medical records steals them before I can get around to the clinic tape or something else happens and I have not got the hospital number for ease of reference. Yes, having the date of birth helps (I'm looking at you, French Consultant; at least give me something instead of subjecting me to the mangled pronunciation of a fairly simple English name. How the hell hard is 'Smith'?) but really, I would prefer the hospital number. And if you are reading off the date of birth, you are likely looking at documentation that contains the hospital number. This would make my job go faster, having hospital numbers.

2) Think about what you want to say before you say it! What I mean is, do not go back three letters mid-tape because you couldn't be arsed to look at the bit of patient note you just wrote down about a patient's meds. Once in awhile, I could understand. Multiple times per tape? Please actually sit down and consider what is coming out of your mouth.

3) On the subject of what is coming out of your mouth, or what is going into it, please do not do any of the following with your mouth mere millimetres from the microphone:
- yawn
- sneeze
- cough
- exhale heavily
- chew

Seriously. Tape distortion and most breath sounds are NOT MY FRIENDS.

4) Places you should not be dictating clinic letters:
- In your car, apparently during rush hour
- Any restaurant or bar
- Public transport of any description
- Your living room when your kids are having a tantrum
- Standing directly behind me in the office while I am trying to type something else
- Any office, building or residence where the fire alarm is going off

5) If English is not your first language, please let the final judgement of what constitutes good English go to the person who actually speaks it fluently. Do not 'correct' letters so that they say things like 'He continue well despite no to have symptoms of--' (No, I am not making this up) and if you're going to add things to letters after you've dictated them and I've typed them, let me know that you've made amendments so that I can correct your fractured English and not send appalling letters out to GPs all over the damn country.

6) There is a queue. Respect the queue. And for the love of every god, stop dictating things three to four weeks after the clinic in question! It throws off my system and it makes me look bad to management when I don't type something from a 22 June clinic until 22 July. (Also, if you could actually check and amend the letters that I have typed as I type them instead of letting them sit for a month and giving them to me in a wodge that will take an entire day to clear? I'd be obliged.)

If you follow these very simple instructions, you might actually succeed in not pissing me off or driving me to the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Regards,
Your long-suffering secretary.

Seriously, I don't know what's going on with Schrodinger's Admin anymore. Apparently she has been signed off for another four weeks for stress, even as Office Manager has said that she does not want Schrodinger's Admin back ever again. I don't know if Schrodinger's Admin has got that memo or if HR are even taking it seriously, but I do know that this is now six weeks that Schrodinger's Admin has been signed off for 'stress'. Though apparently she's doing university courses! ...In Psychology. This woman with the attention span of a gnat and the volatility of decade-old TNT is taking Psychology. And she says she's doing well. I ... my mind is comprehensively blown by the notion. Plus she does not strike me as all that bright or indeed well-versed in how people think. Ah well. Suppose it's not my business. I just hope she never comes back again ever. Particularly not next week for any reason. Next week, everyone who is regularly in this office - OtherAdmin, LovelyFrenchAdminLady, NurseGuy - are out of the office and that just leaves me, all by myself. Schrodinger's Admin would kill and eat me.

Payday woo! I have Lush products and little plastic bottles with dropper-caps, and tomorrow it's to the Brixton hoodoo shop for fragrance oils. I'm also pondering a trip to see Deathly Hallows 2 but I haven't seen the first one yet. But then, I'm subscribed to LoveFilm so I suppose I can watch it from there if I want to. Still, I'm not all that invested in it. I've heard mixed reviews. And anyone who says anything to me about 3D should know better; I'm not even entirely over this week's migraine attack and I have no desire to risk it further with that 3D shit. Frankly, most films shot with 3D in mind are obsessed with shots aimed directly at the camera, and I think that even if I did escape the migraine, the vertigo'd get me. I remember this from when Hollywood fell in love with that swooping helicopter circular pan shot that they overused so completely in the LotR movies.

...Or maybe I'll just stay home and buy the 'all the Harry Potter DVDs in one box set' pack when it comes out. And then throw CoS in the nearest bin.

Warcrack. Level 37 and wandering around Stranglethorn Bay or something like that. I'd probably be further along if I actually moved on to level 35-40 areas, but I'm not in the mood. I just want to level slowly and mine things. Particularly after that hideous 'poison the farm for the Forsaken' quest, when I got mobbed by many, many Alliance farmhands (though I managed to survive, which surprises me). And now I have to go back to kill nine of them, but I'm waiting for awhile because ... again, finishing up those stupid quests in Stranglethorn and mining things. There's a lot of iron deposits and a bit of gold around Hardwrench's Hideaway. Speaking of mining, iron really is used in Jewelcrafting. A lot. Who knew? Wish I hadn't smelted all my tin, though. It's awesome for prospecting. Still, I suppose now I can prospect any tin I get hold of and make a lot of bronze with the tin I smelted. Which is useful because I seem to need a lot of bronze settings. Damnit, [livejournal.com profile] wingedkami!

Right. Guess I've killed enough time. Fridaaaay!
thessalian: (DAO)
So ... yeah, I got dragged into another instance today. And y'know what? It didn't suck. I still kept kind of flailing, or I felt like I was, but it didn't suck.

Look, I was blundering out and about in Arathi, trying to get this one quest done (at least until I realised it was a liiiiiittle bit above my level. But I did figure out that I can be mobbed by two guys three levels up from me and still survive, which is ... good) and as I was trying to take down these two individuals, the person who invited me to the last instance invited me to another one. I tried to turn them down, I really did - explained that I didn't want to go through the same kind of fiasco I did the last time - but their response to that was to tell me that it was better to learn at lower levels than later. I considered telling them that hey, not if I plan to get through entirely on soloing? But I decided that I was better off explaining the problem, which was that no one ever tells me what the hell we're supposed to be doing in these dungeons. They explained (basically, kill everything until you hit the boss at the end) and with all due trepidation, I agreed. So next thing I know, I'm in the middle of the Scarlet Monastary, trying to hold hate as we hacked our way through I dunno what and there were NPCs with exclamation points that I never had time to click on and ... well ... it didn't entirely suck. At least I mostly held hate and held my own. I died once, but hey, it happens, and the one who invited me was a shammie so I got rezzed and we went on. Most of all? Everyone just kind of shut up and got on with it and there was no running commentary about how much I sucked. Which is good. So ... yeah. Dungeon that did not suck. There was supposed to be a second but people bailed and the most it taught me was how to disband from a party. Which no, I did not know how to do. Now I know. Woo.

I also ditched Blacksmithing. Well, it was freakin' dull. I picked up Jewelcrafting instead, because I've been having fun with that with my Draenei shammie. My mining's been coming along nicely, too - going after ogres in Arathi netted me a fair ol' bit of iron ore. I don't think that's going to be useful in Jewelcrafting but it'll sell at the auction house, I'd imagine. I made the unpleasant discovery that you cannot send bits and pieces between your alts if they're not both with the same faction, though, which blows. I'm going to need faction mules or something.

So ... yeah. To [livejournal.com profile] tyrell, I can only say that yes, you were right about the Prot spec, not to mention Seal of Insight - woo, that is one useful little thing to have. And to [livejournal.com profile] wingedkami ... thanks for the mining tips and I blame you for the enabling. So there. Ha. *g*

The weekends are way, way too short. I see uncertainty on the rise tomorrow as Schrodinger's Admin comes back from her two weeks' 'sick leave for stress' or whatever the hell. I dunno what's going on, I dunno where I'm going to end up sitting tomorrow and all I know for sure is that I'm going to end up camped in front of my office manager's door until she gets in sometime after quarter past nine so that I can find out the answers to these questions. Woo. *sigh* I'd like my job a lot better if it wasn't for shit like this.

Oooh! But Rebekah Brooks got arrested! *squeak* There is at least some justice in the world. Though there was this one guy in the second-hand bookstore I went to yesterday ranting about how it was all going to just be smoothed over and Murdoch playing a long game and will be allowed to buy the rest of BskyB next year and yadda yadda. It's probably true, but it's got a level of pessimism that even I can't manage. I'm just glad that there seems to be something going in the general direction of "someone's getting what's coming to them" in this whole thing.

Also, while wandering yesterday, I happened to drop into this shop that does incense and candles and a lot of hoodoo stuff ... and fragrance oils. The kinds I thought I could only get online. Didn't have the cash to do anything with it then, but by the end of the month ... booya! *g* It was just happenstance that I wandered in at all; I thought it might be something that might be useful, but I didn't know how useful. Sometimes I have luck. It's a thing.

Right. I suppose there should be vegging with what veg-time I have left before I need to consider stupid things like bed and work in the morning. Bleh. This is why it's easier to talk about things like Warcrack than it is about my actual life.
thessalian: (DAO)
I am procrastinating. Heavily. Because today is Clean All The Things Day. See, I do try to keep things as tidy as possible in here, but let's face it; clutter happens. I could just let clutter keep happening until I can't see the floor anymore and then clean it up, but ... nah. Instead, I have Clean All The Things Day, which mostly involves doing the laundry, picking up the books that have accumulated on the floor by my bed, cleaning out the fridge of the stuff I somehow didn't get around to eating during the course of the week and taking out the rubbish. I should probably actually go out into meatspace to do the grocery shopping this week too, as it's stopped raining and I've got a jar full of coins to dump into the Coinstar machine over at the Sainsbury's. Besides, the people who pack the groceries for the online delivery gave me somewhat squished tomatoes last time. Boo.

But first, coffee and procrastination. Because it's the weekend, damnit, and I'm not spending all my free time after a pretty slogtastic week at work doing yet more work. Besides, it's only midday and I haven't finished my coffee yet.

So ... yeah, there have been random acts of BPAL lately. Random acts of BPAL are awesome when you find people giving the kinds of bargains that I've been finding lately. Of course, my wishlist is still unmitigatedly huge, and there are a few I cannot find and am desperate enough to own that I'm actually considering ordering the imp's ears from the actual site? But for the most part, I'm hacking through my wishlist pretty comprehensively. So for those of you who care, here's what the collection looks like. All those with asterisks by them are the ones that are currently en route. Double asterisks mean that they're actually in London but because Paypal is run by lunatics, they ended up at [profile] dodgyhoodoo's place and I am picking them up Wednesday, when I return the book he loaned me forever ago and we discuss the man-with-van I'm hiring to pick up my variegated and miscellaneous junk from his place next weekend.

Edit for clarification note: this list represents what I have actually have, whether it's on its way or sitting in my little panda-face bag. The wishlist will be covered in a separate post. *g*

Hold on to your socks, people; this is going to get long. )

All the double-asterisk ones except the bottle of Summer's Last Will and Testament come from the fact that some kind soul essentially threw a whole bunch of decants of Neil Gaiman scents that didn't work for her into a bag and said, "Selling them as a job lot for $8. Take my imps, please". Since more than half of them were on my wishlist, how the hell could I refuse? And I'm finally getting an imp of Alecto; boo-ya!

My problem now is storage space. Currently my little panda-face bag is fine for imp storage, but that's not going to cut it when the rest of my imps get here. It's already about half full, my little panda-face bag. Might have to see if I can find a good storage box while I'm out today. And then I need to find someplace to put the storage box. Tiny flat, y'see. Tiiiiiny flat. I'm thinking that the RPG sourcebooks maybe ought to live at the bottom of my wardrobe from now on. I'd say on top of my wardrobe but it's a cheap plywood thing and I'm a little bit afraid that the 'ceiling' would just cave in under the sheer weight of the things. Anyway, after that, I could maybe move my end table over to next to the rickety rescued bookshelf and have the space by my bed have room for another bookshelf or something - anything to give me more storage space in general. Possibly a DVD rack for the various DVDs and game boxes that clutter up the spot by my makeshift desk. These are all probably things I should have done ages ago, but I didn't have a solution then and I sure as hell don't have a solution now. Though I suppose I'm closer now than I was. Basically MOAR FURNITURE. Bah.

Right. I really should do at least part of Clean All The Things Day so that I can take out the rubbish on my way out to the grocery shopping before the rain sets in again. And I'll see what I can do about the storage space situation while I'm at it. (I r a mof'ing adult, yo.)
thessalian: (Rant)
I know that no one really understands the human body all that well in terms of nitty-gritty detail. But I still want an answer to one pretty big question that came up during my (long overdue, admittedly) eye exam this afternoon:

How the unholy hell is my distance-vision in my right eye getting better?

Seriously. Yeah, my reading prescription needs upping (again, which we only found out the optician told me to stop squinting - I didn't even realise I was doing it so it must be pretty natural to me by now, which means my prescription really needed revision) and the distance-vision in my left eye is about the same, but ... apparently the long-range vision in my right eye has improved. Again. So ... why? How? And why isn't my left eye improving? What the fuck?

Anyway, before that epic conundrum, there was the standard sort of deal, which includes the eye pressure tests that are mandatory after you hit 30. Which means puffs of air in the eye. Which is unfortunate because my eyes are already itchy and sore and a bit watery because of the damn pollen everywhere, so now ... well, no fun. No fun AT ALL. And it's going to be worse next week. Because there's this little black dot in my field of vision in my right eye (yes, the one that's spontaneously improving - I don't even know anymore) and they want to do a thorough fundoscopy and that means dilation. Drops in the eyes. Woo. It's booked for 4:30pm Tuesday but I am apparently going to be unable to read for three hours and getting home's going to be a hoot and a half, I tell you. Fucksticks.

However, after all that and fighting off the Upsell Demon (no, dude, I do not use my peripheral vision all that much; I am a secretary and everything I do requires that my vision be focused on a rather small area right in front of my face, so paying an extra £100 for the reeeeeeeally good kind of varifocals is not necessary and not something I can afford, okay? And the glare resistance that you say wore off my current glasses without my even noticing? If I didn't notice it was gone off this pair, who the hell says I need it in the new pair?), I got the buy one pair of glasses, get the prescription shades free deal. Which is actually kind of cool because the prescription sunglasses? Technically more expensive than the pair I actually paid for. Buy-one-get-one usually means that the cheaper item is free, but not in this case. Then again, most of that £24 savings went on the eye exam. I think I can get reimbursed by the hospital, but I have to check.

I pick up my new glasses next week. Probably at the same time as I go and get further eye exams to find out why the little black dot. And now my eyes itch like hell and I'm kind of half dead. And they still haven't sacked Schrodinger's Admin yet (she currently exists in a state of fired/not-fired until the scientist - read, HR manager - observes the experiment) but at least there's a desk free all week.

I can haz weekend?
thessalian: (writing)
So I may have been awake earlier than intended. This has something to do with the arsehole ringing my doorbell at 8am. I did get in some further napping time, but I somehow did not find that all that refreshing. Ah well. I did at least get out and get stuff done today. More than I bargained for, in point of fact.

It is a sad and sorry thing when I have to truck my buns all the way up to Angel to get the treats of my childhood. But then again, it's probably better than not having the treats of my childhood at all. So I am currently drinking cream soda ... which, I'll be honest, I'm starting to regret. I really don't remember it being this sweet. But there's root beer and Mountain Dew Code Red (not exactly 'of my childhood', but I liked it ten years ago) and other stuff, which is nice.

EA seems to think I live in the US. That's the only excuse I have for the fact that they got me all excited sending me an email telling me that the new Sims 3 EP was coming out today when actually, it comes out Friday here. But to be honest, I don't mind so much. See, if I'd not gone out looking for it and been disappointed, I wouldn't have drowned my sorrows with a trip to the bookstore. The second book in the Mira Grant series that started with "Feed" is out, and it happened to be there. Just one copy. Sitting there as if waiting for me. One of the many books in a three-for-two offer. And it doesn't seem to matter how old I get, I will still hug books that please me and squeak with joy. In public. I think it was Brian who said something about how I'm immune to embarrassment. Which I suppose is true with people I've never met, will never meet and likely will never even see again. *shrug*

Which probably explains my reaction when the girl at the till made a face at my new Mira Grant novel. I mean, hey, I know the whole deal about being a liiiiiiiittle fed up with the bog-standard zombie apocalypse deal in modern fiction. I get how it's stupid to assume that no one's seen a horror movie. But I don't get someone making a face at someone else's book just because the back blurb talks about zombies. Cue me spending five minutes explaining to a chastened and increasingly interested-looking sales clerk about how it's not your standard zombie story, it's not the Apocalypse per se; that it's about society and how it evolves to deal with anything ... and finds a way to turn the damnest things and tragedies into a political manoeuvre. I explained the premise without giving away the plot, and explained that it's not your standard small-group-of-survivors zombie story. By the time I was done, I think she was planning on picking up the first one. So ... ha. Take that, judgemental sales clerk.

Oh gods, so tired. Not fair. It's my week off. I should have been allowed to sleep in. Why can't we greet salespeople at the door with bludgeons?
thessalian: (Default)
So, after a bad night's sleep and a hard day's work, I shlepped off to Tottenham Court Road and went to see if I could get a new computer (or at least, the tower and necessary components therein) without breaking the bank or buying cheap crap.

I neither broke the bank nor bought cheap crap. I just went into a little dingy-looking place that pinged up on my usually stellar radar (though to be fair, my radar is most often restaurant-oriented, but it has its moments on other bits of shopping), and ended up with a bunch of really charming Turkish guys staying past closing to assemble a computer to my specifications, and the prices weren't bad for what I got. So now I'm running Windows 7 on a fairly good motherboard, Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB storage and my nifty new graphics card. Now all I have to do is take a determined screwdriver to Hardison to get my old hard drive back (I think I see how to do it but it's like a puzzle box, seriously) tomorrow, and all will be well!

Of course, this one needed a name too, and I thought about it on the way home. From Goodge Street to bloody Tulse Hill. Lugging a PC tower onto and off of a bus, onto and off of a train, and through various turnstiles and crowds and roads and doorways ... yeah. Bit of a bitch.

...So my PC is powerful, useful, beautiful, entertaining ... and a bitch to travel with for any real distance. There's only one name that fits.

First Crudpuppy, then Frankenbox, then Eshu, then Hardison ... and now I have Morrigan.

In other news, does anyone know why a hundred-odd cyclists (emphasis on 'odd') insisted on rolling up Tottenham Court Road towards Camden at 8pm or so? En masse? It was kind of awesome to watch, but a little weird. And frankly, the drivers didn't have to be such dicks about it.
thessalian: (Default)
Well, things are basically just a little bit sucky right now.

I was so chuffed and generally thrilled - I had new memory for my computer and a new graphics card and I was just going to log on to squee over it before installing...

And Hardison wouldn't start up. The fans were going, all was fine there, but it just wouldn't boot. Which ... well. That makes it a little problematic to use, doesn't it?

So last night was entirely dull. Thing is, I don't own a TV or a stereo. I have my computer for that. So when my computer is down, it doesn't just mean no chat. It means no movies, no TV, no music beyond what I can drag out of my iPod through my iPod dock ... I have books. And there's nothing wrong with books, but it takes away a good 75% of my entertainment options.

I'd just order a new one, but ordering a new one involves it not being delivered for at least three days. The word I am looking for there is "FUCK". Not to mention that this kills my budget in ways I never even dreamed of. But I cannot do without a computer. At all. In any way, shape or form. I don't even know if I'm going to be able to get all my information off Hardison - I swear, that mini-thing? NEVER AFUCKINGGAIN - but ... yeah, no, I can't do without a computer. End of statement. So ... bye-bye budget, hello serious financial juggling, and hello trip to PC World or somewhere equally stupid. Hu-freakin-zah.

*sigh* Fare thee well, Hardison. You served well and faithfully.

(I am currently at a King's Cross internet cafe. Woo.)
thessalian: (Default)
Oh dear gods my feeeeeeeeet. I honestly thought that Brixton was going to be the less tiring, foot-wearying option for shopping with my mother. Hoo boy was I wrong. Not that it didn't go well, but the weariness, aaaaaagh. Still, I can hardly complain. My flat is now so much more nicely stocked and so forth now.

So first it was Japanese food, as it usually is. I found us this gorgeous little fusion place called Gyoza on Coldharbour Lane that I highly recommend, by the way. Their dumplings are awesome and they have a sort of 'select your own bento box bits' deal thing. Nom. Anyway, after that was a lovely little shop where Mum kept sort of flinging stuff at me. So from there I came away with three new mugs, a "Where The Wild Things Are" T-shirt, three books (Dirty French Slang, Dirty Spanish Slang, and Dirty Jokes - I don't even know why my mother thinks I need these things, but eh), a notebook with "I Coulda Been A Novel" on the cover and a fridge magnet that reads "DRINK COFFEE - Do stupid things faster with more energy". Either my mother knows me way too well, I slipped up one day and told her about my RP character on CbN, or both.

We then moved on to clothes. My mother has this thing about me and clothes, and I'm hardly going to complain because most of mine are too big now. So I now have many new tops and amused by the fact that ... well, twenty years ago, my mother made faces at me when I wanted a Guns n' Roses T-shirt and now she's insisting I add one to the pile, nostalgia-grinning all over her face. Next time it's apparently to be new jeans 'cos my favourite blue ones keep falling down. *grumble*

Sidebar: I saw a hopeful thing on my way to the fitting rooms to try stuff on - Rolling Stones T-shirt prominently displayed in the Girls Aged 9-14 section. Though it's weird that such shares space with Hello Kitty. Yeah, I don't even.

Stuff for the flat came next - apparently all to be considered gifts from my stepdad. I did not know this until afterwards, but I will have to remember a thank-you email. Because I have pretty new bedding that is not cheap crap from Sainsburys, a really gorgeous new pillow, a lovely soft Egyptian cotton towel, a frying pan that the enamel probably won't chip off when I try to use it, two wooden spoons that don't splinter if I so much as look at them funny, a strainer, and ... *fanfare* ... a rice cooker! I have wanted a rice-cooker for over ten years now! Best part? There is little spending-guilt-by-proxy because every single item was on sale for half-price or lower.

After a quick turn-around in Body Shop (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face scrub, scented candle), I made a horrific discovery. That pub I like - The Rest Is Noise? With the pear cider on tap and the lovely comfy seats and always looked hella busy and was open two weeks ago? Isn't open anymore. *weeps* Now I need a new pub-I-like-that's-near. Anyway, so instead of that, Mum bought a couple of bottles of wine (one for just me, one so she could have a glass at my place) and she came over to Shiny New Flat. She just wanted to see the place, and was pleased - probably a little pleasantly surprised, actually, since she knows my rep for the slovenly. Anyway, I loaned her a few DVDs (V season 1, Neverwhere, Dead Poets Society because she didn't think my stepdad had seen it and she loves it) and there was the whole hospitality thing - as well as it can be managed in a one-room flat where I hadn't brought out a second chair, anyway. I then walked her to the train station, picked up some dinner bits, and now I am home and am so knackered you have no idea.

Mum brought me back a souvenir from Thailand - she recalled my mentioning the statue of Ganesh at Sourcebook Central 2.0 and she looked all over everywhere to find me a really nice one of my own. Yes, she thinks the whole thing is crap and laments not giving me a 'good Christian upbringing' or similar bollocks, but despite all that, she remembered that I sort of missed that little statue of Ganesh and brought me one specially. There are warmer fuzzies about that than anything else about today. Not to mention that it never hurts to sacrifice a few sweets to the God of Overcoming Obstacles, life being as it is. So Ganesh is now sitting on my windowsill, symbolically nomming two after-dinner mints and a cherry Life Saver.

(Yes, I'm weird. You all knew this. Carry on.)

So ... yeah. Tired but triumphand and full of glee and generally feeling even more like my flat is made of win. And there will be RP of awesome tonight, woo! So before any of that happens, I need to put away the clothes, put the new bedding on my bed and grab a shower, I think. Also dinner, but that can wait a little longer. Right now I just want my feet to stop hurting, kthnx.

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.

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.

Treats!

Sep. 12th, 2009 08:19 pm
thessalian: (coffee)
I'm pleased to note that once again, however many treats and things I received during my lunch outing with my mother, I did actually give as good as I got ... in a sense, anyway. For someone who has technically lived and worked in London a bit longer than I have, I seem to know London a lot better than she does, and whenever we go out, it's like she finds a bit of London she didn't even know existed. This usually works out very well for us both.

I bought lunch, though Mum paid for the wine - it was a standard trip to Ikkyusan for sushi and gyoza, but it wasn't even crowded, which was a nice surprise. I picked up my birth certificate (next step: apply for passport) and we had a good long chat. In the course of that, we discussed the computer thing, and Mum's going to get onto my stepdad about how, while she knows he wants to be thorough, I need a new computer and I need it now because my current one is dead and I can't manage without a computer. So hopefully things will be sorted so that the PC will either be delivered ASAP or be available for collection at the nearest shop. Please please please SOON I miss my music collection and my vids and my games... I paid for my FFXI time and can't use it agh!

*ahem* Sorry.

Afterwards, we were going to get me some shoes, as my Doc Marten flats are really wearing out, but they only had them in two or three sizes too small for me, so we more or less gave up on the shoes and, after stopping for a drink at the Montagu Pyke, I showed Mum Forbidden Planet, which she hadn't even heard of. A sci-fi/fantasy fan who doesn't know where Forbidden Planet is ... can't be allowed. Mum happily gravitated to the anthologies and picked out a couple (though she now suspects that she already owns one of the ones she got, which she apparently does a lot), and then allowed me convince her that yes, she really wanted to buy Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box because no, even though he's Stephen King's son, he is not a Stephen King copycat. Then she did the usual thing of getting me to pick out a book. One book. Does anyone know how hard it is for me to pick one book out of the however many I wish to own? Show of hands? Exquisite torture. Anyway, in the end I decided on A Fistful of Charms, as I'm working on getting the whole set of Kim Harrison novels. Not doing too badly, either - only missing Where Demons Dare and White Witch, Black Curse, which I haven't even read yet and refuse to until I own the others. Yes, even though I've read library copies of everything up to Where Demons Dare.

There were other bits and pieces too. We happened to breeze by a Sanrio equivalent and I came away with a dice bag shaped like a panda bear face, a 1-Up mushroom cushion, a new notebook and a paper fan with cats printed on it. (I bought my mother a box of unicorn-print plasters. It's an in-joke.) And apparently I could not leave Forbidden Planet without the pin badge reading "My imaginary friend doesn't like you". Afterwards, we decided to stop for one last drink before heading for King's Cross to renew my monthly travelcard (I hadn't expected her to, but am glad she did) and then heading our separate ways. Since we were in the area, I suggested the little bar where we had the NaNoWriMo launch party a few years ago - the one [livejournal.com profile] dodgyhoodoo went to and gave me the idea for Voudon Udon.

Mum was going to stick with wine, but changed her mind when she saw what I'd found on the cocktail menu. It was called an espresso martini, and consisted of espresso, sugar, kahlua and vanilla vodka. There are no words to describe the awesome of that cocktail. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Mum has now decided that we have to end every London meet-up we have there for one of these. I'm not arguing because I can't justify the prices at that place very often. But surely I will be able to make it myself at some point.

So ... it's been a pretty good day, and with luck I'll have a working PC by the end of the week. *crosses fingers*
thessalian: (Default)
Yesterday was all manner of fun, if vaguely painful. And even if there was a little bit of argument with my mother. At least it was good-natured. I keep forgetting how insistent my mother can be about things she wants to see me wearing.

There was lunch - I'm a little devastated because that place in Chinatown with the Best Beef with Black Bean EVAR closed down, but we found someplace nice with a good express lunch menu. Meet-ups with my mother are a lot better than they used to be because I can actually talk about stuff that bothers me; the vents and frustrations and stresses I've got at the moment are okay to talk about to friends sometimes, but sometimes you just can't beat mother-sympathy, especially when the said mother knows how to help and when to just offer some advice and back off. That and just under half a bottle of wine, and I felt a fair bit better. Yay perspective.

Then came the shopping - if there's one thing my mother and I do well together these days, it's shop. Really, it started with a trip to Boots - Mum needed a few things, and we picked up some bits for me as well. Nothing major at that point, but I got some new lip gloss (I have this thing for flavoured lip gloss, some of you may recall) and toothpaste and some cream for that itchy, swelling eyelid that kind of works, plus this stuff that's designed to hide the dark circles that seem to be perpetually under my eyes no matter how much sleep I get. Comes of being pale, I suppose. All in all, it was good.

Then, though, there was the more fun shopping - to a point, anyway. See, one of the things that tight finances has meant is that we hadn't been able to get a copy of the new Jim Butcher novel, and my Hoodoo deserved a treat as well, we thought. So we spent some time trekking all over the West End, looking for that book. Harder to manage than you think when Borders didn't even seem to have received a shipment and was waiting on one for next week. The man I spoke to at the info desk was disappointed, and it seemed he was a fan too, so there was a nice chat. I like being the Good Customer Asking For Info; beats the couple of Rude Stupid Interrupting Twits we got mid-search... Anyway, I finally found the book at the WH Smith in the Plaza shopping centre on Oxford Street and disturbed a fair bit of clientele with the squee. I've let my Hoodoo be the first one to read it; usually, I get first dibs because I read the quickest, but this is part of the gift. Yes, it pains me. I know I'll have to wait days. But hey, sometimes you make sacrifices.

Following that, there was a window-shop for shoes. Sometime in the not-too-distant, my mother and I are going to go on the day-long quest for The Perfect Pair of Funky Shoes. Personally, I have my eye on a pair of funked-up Victorian ankle boots, but The Perfect Pair of Funky Shoes cannot truly be found without a day-long quest or a lot of time spent browsing the internet. And I can't see myself buying shoes on the internet, as I have wide feet and what size I take depends on the design of the shoe. It's a pain. Anyway, then I just popped my head into H&M to have a look at a pretty top and next thing I know, Mum's decided that I need new summer clothes and I came out with four tops, a skirt and a cardigan, and narrowly escaped going away with a pair of hemp-heeled platform open-toe shoes that I unconditionally despised but that Mum desperately wanted me to have because she insisted they looked good on me. Maybe, but if you don't think you look good, it doesn't much matter. Cue five minutes of Mum saying, "I still think those shoes looked good on you..." and us finally having a fairly good-natured argument on the lines of, "I hated them, Mum; please stop!" Sometimes we shop well together, but there's always a sticking point.

Then I came home and made steak. I was too tired to work the HIPPIEcast last night, though I desperately need to re-record Chapter 15 after royally ballsing it up the other day. So I'll do it today, following a cheap n' cheerful treat-lunch out and doing the washing-up. I think I'm destressed enough not to rush the reading this time around. Also, at some point to day I need to email Mum and say, "Yes, my Hoodoo would like to be included in the trip to see "Waiting for Godot", thank you very much". Woo!

As an aside, I'm a little bemused about the people who end up following me on Twitter. I get a fair bit of spam same as the rest of the Twitterverse, but then I end up with fantasy authors I've never even heard of (how the HELL did these people find me?), Alasdair Stuart of PseudoPod and its related podcasts (that would be down to my Hoodoo; at least I know where that 'random' friending came from...) and just ... yagh. I've recently come to the knowledge that there are people I don't know - people who do this kind of thing, and do it a lot better than I do - listening to the HIPPIEcast at the moment and it's actually kind of nerve-wracking. I know that this is to be expected, but ... Steve Ely? Alasdair Stuart? Getting into arguments debates with people who can write me into the ground over gender roles in fiction? What happened to my little amateur groove? AAAAAA!

Okay, I'm done with my panic attack. Now I go eat lunch.
thessalian: (Default)
Because my head still hurts and I can't sleep, I have been taking my mind off the state of the head by looking up ridiculous FFXI-themed items that, heaven help me, I'm geeky enough to go "*squee* birthday upcoming!" over and intend to purchase when I have more money. List as follows, for the morbidly curious:

- Crafting compass mouse pad: This shows the directions you should be pointing for optimum success or high quality item production during crafting. Given the amount of crystals I shatter whenever I start grinding for craft levels? I need this.

- Vana'diel Gaming Department DRG T-shirt: Okay, look; everyone calls them LOLDRG. However, I personally love the Dragoon job class and don't care who knows it. Hence the shirt (largest size possible to wear as nightshirt, preferably in royal blue to, as sad as it sounds, match my lovely dragon-but-called-Wyvern-by-Square-Enix Sasavi).

- I <3 My Wyvern long-sleeved T-shirt: We've covered this. I <3 my wyvern-that-isn't-because-it-has-four-limbs-and-wings. Sasavi is awesome. 'Nuff said. Hence the shirt (largest size possible for winter nightshirt, preferably in grey).

- Vana'diel Gaming Department WHM long-sleeved T-shirt: Well, it's my primary job class. I could also go for the BLM, DNC, BRD, RNG, THF, MNK, SMN, BST and SCH, but that'd be overkill. Maybe the BLM if I ever level it past 37; right now, it's only maxed for WHM subjob. (Specs for shirt as per 'I <3 My Wyvern'.)

- Windurst coffee mug: I need another VeryMuchMine mug. Since Windurst is my starting city, it seems appropriate.

Annoyingly enough, they have yet to make a Renkei chart poster. Given I just started melee jobs, I really need this. I've been reduced to making notes on mob element weaknesses and potential weaponskill combinations on a reporter's notepad. Woe.

Now I will try the sleep thing again. Hoping I feel well enough to do the promised grocery shopping later, but given that I can barely type 'grocery' without typos (nearly spelled it with an S), I'm wondering. Well, I'll do my level best.
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: (blue)
It's not been a particularly good day. Hell, it's not been a particularly good week.

This morning, my alarm did not go off. I don't know why - it just didn't. Which meant that I woke up around the point I was supposed to be at work, swearing a lot. What followed was one of those comedies of errors you just never want to see - ATM at Tally Ho Corner was borked so I had to hike quite some distance to get cash to renew my travelcard, then there were no buses, then I had to wait ten minutes for the next Tube out of Bounds Green, then I got stuck just outside Seven Sisters for 20 minutes or so, and then finally got to Walthamstow Central and again, no buses. I wasn't sure whether to be glad I made it into the office alive or sorry I didn't stay in bed.

[Edit: Someone's pinched two sets of notes for a clinic that only finished fifteen minutes ago, which I'm going to need to type the damn clinic letters once I get through with the mass wodge of stuff from the 16th. Also, some people's printers are down and on the whole, it's a little nightmarish. I wish I'd stayed in bed. Still, couldn't really afford to stay home from the point of view of either pay or built-up workload, so...]

As it is, I got in really late and am now working through lunch, though since my line manager generally insists that people take at least a half-hour for lunch just to have a break, I'm going to take a ten-minute smoke break shortly just to get away from the computer screen. Really it's just wanting to get this stuff done rather than the cash angle - and frankly, I have no intention of working past half-four. That's when I can actually deal with the commuter horde level, and therefore that is when I will leave the office. I can quite happily sacrifice my lunchtime and eat a sandwich at my desk to get out and to somewhere civilised before the crowds on the Piccadilly Line and the 221 get crushingly bad.

There's weekend plans to consider now. I was thinking to pick up DDR but now I'm wondering whether I really want to shell out the cash for that right now. It's not much, but I just feel bad about blowing the money on something that's not strictly speaking necessary. I did say just yesterday that I deserved a treat, godsdamnit, but ... well, there is Spending Guilt. I hate Spending Guilt. I know the sensible thing is to put the vast majority of the extraneous into my savings account and not touch it except in an emergency or for Christmas shopping, but ... I'd like some kind of treat, you know? Sure, I got Sims 2 Apartment Life the other week, but ... argh. I was mainly looking at Dance Dance Revolution because I'd like to get some exercise in a reasonably fun manner that involves as few people as humanly possible watching (and potentially laughing at) me do it. At least it's partway practical. But all the same, I sort of end up second-guessing any purchase of over ten quid that's not strictly speaking necessary. And sometimes even stuff that's less than ten quid, because it all adds up.

There is a difference, or there should be, between being frugal and being miserly. I'm just having a hard time with where the line is at the moment. Which is a little depressing, but never mind. Either way, I think what I'm going to do is get out of here in just over two hours, check out GAME over at the shopping centre by Walthamstow Central, see if they've got what I'm looking for and if they don't, I have another night to think about it. Thing is, I need something to cheer me up, so I should really stop overthinking the idea of spending money at all. I mean, it's not like I haven't budgeted for the grocery shopping and my contribution to the household expenses, or like I haven't already bought my travelcard for the week. There's a fair bit of discretionary cash that's mine free and clear, and I shouldn't feel too bad about using some of it for a little bit of selfish pleasure.

...Right?
thessalian: (cheeky)
It's Sunday morning. I was awake at half-eleven. Something is wrong with this picture.

Went out to lunch with Mum yesterday. After which, we did the traditional "I know that times are rough for you financially and so I'm going to help by getting you the things that you can't really afford to splash out on" shopping thing. This encompasses everything from expensive necessities like really decent sturdy shoes to various 'luxury' electronic items and so forth.

So we went to the following spots:

- Doc Martens store (a pair of black Doc Marten-style flat pumps which have already shredded my feet - they need breaking in as much as any other pair of Docs I've ever owned)
- MAC, a make-up brand store (eye shadow that I actually asked Mum not to get me when I saw the price tag, but she wouldn't listen; also lipstick)
- Neal's Yard (shampoo, conditioner and bath oil base; patchouli, frankincense, bergamot and sweet marjoram oils)
- Curry's (headset microphone and a clock radio with a twist - one can dock one's iPod into the thing and be woken up by one's iPod music rather than the radio or the beeping. No more cellphone used as alarm clock yay!)
- HMV (Count-from-Sesame-Street t-shirt; Parental Advisory pin badges, two DVDs on loan from Mum)

Lots of discussion, the bit about my not talking to Dad came up again but more or less gently, so that's okay, and on the whole it was a lot of fun. I don't think Mum had the vaguest clue what I meant about podcasting and stuff, but she's being supportive regardless, which is good. Gives me the warm fuzzies.

Anyway, now that I'm up, I'd better think groceries. Also consider how I'm going to put a pair of shoes on with some of the shred damage done to my feet by the new shoes. I'll work something out. It's actually not that bad if I wear socks, so... After that, I really should get some writing done. I've been slowing down on the drabble of late, partly due to the wretched cold and the disheartening effect of having lost an entire bit of drabble to computer bork. Feh. Anyway, I think I can recreate 'this is not my beautiful house' drabble from memory, and I'll have a look at the others. I promise I'll have a bit of drabble done before I switch on FFXI...

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July 2012

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