sareini: "I knew the two of you would get along like a house on fire (screams, flames, people running for safety...) - Discworld (House on Fire)
2017-06-25 12:11 pm
Entry tags:

Friending Meme!

Stepping out of my comfort zone a bit and doing this today:

sareini: "Did I mention that my nose was on fire? That I have fifteen wild badgers living in my trousers?" - Babylon 5 (Nose on fire)
2017-06-19 04:50 pm
Entry tags:

Hot Hot Hot

28 degrees C! I swear, we British are not equipped to deal with temperatures like this. Well, at the very least *I'm* not.

Lily has come up with the best way to beat the heat - she just climbs into the big cardboard box and goes to sleep in it. It's shady and cool and I wish I could fit in there with her. Callie just lies flat on the upstairs landing, where there are no windows and so it's a little cooler than the rest of the house. Meanwhile I sit and seriously debate the merits of just taking all my clothes off and pulling the blind down in the living room before I remember that still leaves me uncomfortably sticky and I can't go into the kitchen then.

I might have to put ice cubes in the cats' water soon, although whenever I did last year they just looked at me as if to say, "Mummy, why have you made the water lumpy?" Then Callie started trying to play with the floating ice cubes.

I know that others are enjoying the hot weather, and that's great. I just wish air conditioning was a thing in the UK for those of us who don't do well in the heat. If nothing else, it's sapping my concentration for doing stuff as well...
sareini: (ringu)
2017-06-16 07:19 pm
Entry tags:

Friday Five for 16.6.17

1. Have you ever been to summer camp?

2. If so, was it fun or did you hate it?

3. If not, did you ever wish you had?

4. What movie says "Summer Time" to you?

5. Did movies like "Friday the 13th" put you off summer camp?


1. Summer camp isn't really a thing here in the UK - or at least it wasn't when I was growing up. Now they have PGL stuff for kids and families to go to, which is where my younger niece worked for a couple of years before buggering off to Australia with her boyfriend for two years.

I went to Guide camp a few times though. Mostly weekend stuff; I made it most of the way through a week-long camp once.

2. I did my best to enjoy myself; however the very first time I went on a weekend camp I broke into hysterics for no discernible reason on the Saturday night. When I got back I discovered that my father had been taken into hospital on the Saturday evening, and that was were he stayed for the next week until he died of cancer. So after that I developed a bad case of magical thinking - something bad will happen while I'm away from home. Which tended to put a damper on things. Plus I tended to be bullied, which didn't improve matters much. If I'd been left to my own devices a little more and we'd all understood why I'd develop a growing level of panic as the week went on, I'd probably have had a lot more fun.

3. Honestly, if I could do it over? I'd not have gone. Not because of fears of people dying, but because I was trying to do "normal" things to make other people happy, like socialising with people I didn't really like and doing things I didn't want to do. Now, of course, I know that there are better things I can do for that that don't involve sleeping in a tent with 4 strangers and having to do washing up on the ground next to a patch of nettles (ask me about my allergy to Sting-Eze after that!)

4. ...this is a question I've never thought of before. The first movie that comes to mind for it is Grease; I think more because of the fact that it seemed to be on TV every summer holiday when I was growing up.

5. If any horror movie was going to have put me off summer camp, it would have been Sleepaway Camp. Not because of the murders, but because of all the horrible, bullying kids there.

(From here.)
sareini: A Procrastinator's work is never done! (Procrastination)
2017-06-10 06:30 pm

Saturday Musings and Links

It's been an interesting couple of days, hasn't it?

I wasn't expecting Labour to get a landslide victory out of nowhere in the general election, so I am more than pleasantly surprised to see them manage to knock the hell out of the Conservatives' majority. Teresa May's gambit really blew up in her face and now it's just counting down the months before she's out of 10 Downing Street (Larry the Cat, of course, remains). In my area Labour won again (we've been Labour since the constituency was formed in 1950 and at this point I think it would take the offer of a free unicorn and maybe a blowjob for ever voter to change things), but with a majority of just under 4k, which is slightly worrying. It was just Labour and the Tories in the fight; everyone else was so low that I doubt they even got their deposits back.

If this guy had been standing in my area, I'd have voted for him in a heartbeat though.

I went into town today and bought myself some (more) notebooks. One will be for worldbuilding stuff, one will be for character building stuff, and the last will be for the times when I want to write fanfic with my OCs (that I may or may not ever post anywhere, because OCs). My stationary compulsion continues unabated.

And RIP Adam West.
sareini: Bruce Campbell as Elvis from Bubba Ho-Tep (Bubba Ho-Tep)
2017-06-08 09:47 pm

Wednesday and Thursday

Yesterday was more interesting than expected.

The original plan was that my brother was coming down to visit; he'd drive Lily and I to the vets for her monthly checkup (Lily is still fine, put on another 300g so now we're having to try to fix that; personally I'm happy because she had been losing a ton of weight before we got this condition under control so as long as she's not losing weight things are still going well); then go to lunch and then the cinema to see Wonder Woman (again).

Then I found out I needed cat food, so a trip to the pet store was added.

Then yesterday morning I went to put some rubbish in the bin in the back yard... and discovered that Marley had killed another pigeon and left it for me. And unfortunately this had happened several days ago, during which time nature had gone and natured all over it.

So when my poor brother arrived I handed him a pair of rubber gloves and several plastic bags and asked if he would be so kind as to help me out before I vomited uncontrollably everywhere. Thankfully he was okay with it.

(I'm trying to work out if Marley is leaving me these pigeons as some sort of offering to me as the human who provides Second Breakfast or if he's just too lazy to drag his kill home. It could go either way, really.)

The rest of the day went pretty much as planned; brother enjoyed Wonder Woman greatly; I came home and was once again shattered from a day being social with people and slept so long Lily started worrying that I wouldn't wake up.

Today is Election Day here in the UK; I went out and did my civic duty (in the rain). I have no illusions about the Tories getting booted out of 10 Downing Street, but I am at least hopeful that neither they nor UKIP get in here and Labour continues to retain. Other than that, the only other thing of note is that I actually finished a story! I'm so very proud of myself. Now I'm just waiting for my volunteer beta readers to look it over and then I might actually dare to post it...
sareini: (surprised)
2017-05-26 02:47 pm
Entry tags:

Still Hot

It's 24 degrees C (and likely to get hotter). I've published a review (Intruders) and now have ice cream.

I'd say anything else I do today is a bonus.
sareini: (hiding)
2017-05-25 05:21 pm
Entry tags:

Heat and Humidity

According to the AccuWeather app on my phone, right now it is 25 degrees Celcius. For most of the day it has been 23 degrees C.

I am not one of those people who enjoys the heat. For one thing, I have severe hay fever that's been a constant companion for all my life (my brother is the same; he was once offered immunotherapy - basically they wanted to inject him with small amounts of pollen daily - for his because we're both so bad with it). It can start as early as March and be with me all the way to October or even November. Eyes itch, twitch, sting and swell shut; nose dries up so badly it bleeds spontaneously and itches, and the roof of my mouth and the back of my throat itch painfully, among other symptoms. So that's one reason to avoid going outside in this weather I am basically allergic to ALL THE POLLEN. ALL OF IT.

Secondly, I am possessed of a skin type that can be best described as "translucent". One of the reasons I don't bother with makeup is that even the palest foundation is usually still a few shades darker than my skin. Which wouldn't be that bad, except that I also don't feel it when I burn. I just go from 0 to lobster without any warning signs. And skin cancer runs in my family (I was 8 or 9 before I discovered that you don't automatically have to have all your moles removed when you reach a certain age. My mother was of the same skin type, and had grown up in the 40s and 50s on a beach in Ireland, back when they didn't know about the dangers of too much sun, so when I was growing up she was usually at the dermatologist clinic every six months or so to have another dodgy mole removed.) so I like to take precautions now. Generally those precautions are, "Don't leave the house in daylight unless you have to."

The cats have been enjoying the sun and the heat though. Lily has been back and forth on my desk in front of a window all day, lying on my keyboard and preventing me from doing very much while she suns herself. So at least someone is enjoying themselves.
sareini: "Do not fuck with Cthulhu" (Cthulhu)
2017-05-23 10:05 pm

Ugh.

I woke up this morning at 5am with bile in my mouth and literally coming out of my nose. Damn acid reflux. I've not suffered that in months, and certainly never that bad. And of course, after I'd dealt with it I wasn't feeling too well and so I stayed in bed for the rest of the morning.

So really the day started as it meant to go on, what with news of shitgibbons blowing up children at concerts, Sir Roger Moore dying at 89, the local ATM having a "moment" and telling me my bank had cancelled my card (it hadn't), and meeting someone I hadn't seen from before Nick died and having to give them the news. So I decided to retreat from the world again and started playing EVE Online again, now that there's a free option.

EVE Online appeals to me for the strangest reasons - I like the repetitive tasks like mining and exploration/scanning. They soothe me. Plus I can do things like knitting and crochet and watching movies while playing. Last time I played was just before Nick died though, and while I have a character who's very well kitted out for those things, I haven't decided if I'm coming back properly and if I want to spend money to play yet (I think some of her stuff requires a paid account). Plus I'm not quite ready to reconnect with my old corp just yet. So I created a new character to play around with. Her name?

Incontinentia Buttox.

I can't wait till the CSR who messages every new player within two days of them starting gets to me and sees that name. Hopefully they get the reference. If not I'll have to name a ship "Welese Woderick".
sareini: (creative)
2017-05-20 03:14 pm

Fresh Yarn!

The past couple of days have been good for yarn, as I've had two separate packages of the stuff delivered to my door. First off was yesterday's delivery, which consisted of the last ball of yarn I needed to complete the Shawl of Secrets (the shade is called Secluded Lake) and a ball of the new Scheepjes Whirl yarn, which is 1000m of 4ply cotton/acrylic that has long colour changes all the way through it, making it great for shawls, scarves and anything else that you might want that kind of effect with.

Two balls of yarn

The name of the colourway I got this time is Melting Macaron. It's not the kind of colourway I would normally have gotten - I generally prefer darks, or blues and purples - but most of the colourways were out of stock and I wanted to try working with some new colours for once. With the Whirl I'm making a Mandala Cardigan, using a pattern designed specifically for the launch of the yarn, which can be found here. And of course I started it already despite having a ton of other prokects to be getting on with, because I like the instant gratification and playing with new things.

The beginning of a mandala cardigan

Then this morning I got my monthly yarn club delivery from Devon Sun Yarns. they're an indy yarn company who specialise in hand dyed yarns in numerous and striking colours, and I've been in love with them for ages now. They have several yarn clubs but I'm a member of the Sock Yarn Club, which delivers me a skein of 4ply yarn every month to do with as I please - although right now I've got several months' worth sitting waiting to be used because I haven't decided what to make with them, need the time to start them and because Callie bit through my bamboo sock needles (she has a powerful chew on her). This month's colourway is a gorgeous blue-green.

A skein of yarn

So I have plenty to keep me busy for a while.

***

In other news, I finally accepted that my computer chair's hydraulics have died, after only a week of sitting on a chair only 6-8 inches off the floor and developing a constant pain in my left leg from it. So I've swapped out my dead chair for Nick's old computer chair, which involved moving half the stuff in the front room around to move a chair four feet and confused the cats greatly, but right now Callie is sitting behind me in the chair while Lily is boxhopping, so they're happy enough. Hopefully my leg will stop hurting now as well because it was starting to affect my sleep.
sareini: richard goes fwoom! (lfg)
2017-05-10 09:42 am

Random Wednesday Musings

After about 25 hours now of Dragon Age: Inquisition, I have an Inquisitorial Decree: Fuck Bears. Seriously, fuck them and their stupid aggro radius and infinite chasing AI, even if you disengaged before a single shot was fired. And their ability to spawn on top of you in the middle of a fight. Seriously, I think my Inquisition now has a bear bounty. Best part was when I was trying to do a quest where you had to walk three times round a statue to resurrect someone's dead grandmother or something, and all I managed to summon was bears - and once a pack of wardogs when I tried going the other direction. Apparently grandmother was a bear in disguise. Who knew?

In other news, I've recruited the final member of my party - the Hogwarts Sorting Hat as worn by a teenage boy - and finally got to the kissing stage with Dorian. Woo! Now I can go kiss him in the library whenever I want, I believe, while I wait for the trigger for the next part of the relationship to start. Which might not be for a while now, as I think I'm going to have to spend most of the next couple of days doing the last-minute sprint on my niece's cardigan before Saturday. Time to catch up on some TV shows.

***

On the Lily front, her illness continues to perplex me. On a whim on Monday, I gave her the very last steroid tablet left after we stopped them last week. She was sick that night, but not last night, and the last two nights she's been playing with Callie and with her shoe (Lily has a strange affection for one of my formal dress shoes). Does this mean that she needs to go back on the steroids as well, or was the few days' vomiting just a blip or getting the last of the stuff out of her system? I guess tonight will be a deciding night for it - if she's sick again I'll be calling the vets tomorrow; if not then I will cross my fingers and leave it till next week. Part of the problem is the stress and logistics of taking her to the vet - not only do I have to get her in the box and do all that, but I have to try to get myself in a suitable mindset for leaving the house on short notice, without triggering an anxiety attack.

But at least there are no bears, I guess.
sareini: ('everything is true')
2017-05-03 02:32 pm
Entry tags:

TV Shows

I watched the first episode of American Gods last night, having forgotten it was going to be on Amazon Prime and thus stumbled across it while looking for something to while away an hour or two.

It was interesting. Intriguing. Certainly enough to make me want to keep watching. Ian McShane was very good as Mr. Wednesday (but let's be fair, there's very little he hasn't been good in) and everyone else was good too. I will say that it's probably less confusing if you've read the book beforehand (or even part of it, like me, because Nick went and lent the book to his brother when I was only one-third through it and I never got round to picking it up again), as when I was trying to explain things to my brother later that evening while also trying not to spoil things, all he knew of the series was that it was "based on that book by Neil Gaiman" and needed to think for a good few moments before he even got the "Mr. Wednesday" reference.

While we were discussing it and other TV shows though, my brother mentioned that he feels like the last of a dying breed in that he doesn't like to binge-watch shows season by season - he still likes the old-fashioned way of watching an episode every week or so. He's just finished watching Line of Duty, which he enjoyed both for the police procedural, the storyline and the opportunity to sit there and pick out the flaws in police operations, and he can't understand why so many of his friends have been waiting till the whole thing was over to watch it all at once. He still likes the episodic nature of TV serieses; the anticipation of having to wait a week to find out what happened with the previous week's cliffhangers.

Me, I'm somewhere inbetween. Some shows I watch in small chunks - Criminal Minds or Supernatural, for example. Then there's the ones I'm happy to watch one episode at a time - Lucifer and American Gods. And then there's the occasional show that I will just wait till the end of the season and then watch over two or three days - Gotham is the big one there. Thing is, I have no idea why I do this with some and not others; why some shows appeal to me in a more episodic fashion than others. Then again, I also watch old episodes of Crimewatch on YouTube, so I guess it can just be put down to me being so wonderfully strange that I just baffle everyone.
sareini: ('everything is true')
2017-04-30 07:01 pm

Random Sunday Thoughts

I've been tired all weekend and I'm not really sure why. Either I've been sleeping badly and not noticing (I'm one of those people who sometimes dreams of not being able to fall asleep, thus completely confusing the fuck out of my already addled brain and leaving me exhausted in the morning), or Friday's cinema trip was more emotionally draining than I realised (it was a pretty busy screening for 1pm on a Friday). Either way I've spent a fair amount of time in bed, doing very little and/or dozing.

***

One thing I did do yesterday was watch a horror movie called The Dark Tapes, a found-footage anthology movie that felt to me like it was trying to fill the void left by the V/H/S series. Apparently it's been winning awards on the festival circuit and getting good reviews in lots of places... which makes me feel slightly guilty that I really didn't like it.

Probably some spoilers here )


***

Despite knowing better, I continue to play League of Legends on weekends. At this point I think I deserve every bad game I get just because I won't follow my own advice and not play. There is little more frustrating than going 4/0/1 in your lane making sure your lane opponent can do very little but lament his choices in life, then have your team come mid and feed him kill after kill so that he ends up carrying his team to victory.

***

I am vaguely toying with the idea of some Loki: Agent of Asgard fic stuff. It's kind of nibbling at me right now. We shall see.
sareini: "chocolate: the other major food group!" (Chocolate)
2017-04-21 05:37 pm
Entry tags:

Food Shopping

Because I found myself at a loose end today (mutter grumble limited release) I decided to go food shopping. Actually, I originally wanted to do this last night, but I fell asleep and when I woke up at half past midnight I just couldn't be bothered going out again even though we have a 24-hour Tesco, so today it was.

When I go food shopping, the food generally falls into one of three categories: food that doesn't need to be cooked; food that only requires a small amount of cooking; and food that requires a lot of prep and cooking, which means it will probably live in a cupboard or the freezer until the last possible minute. I try very, very hard to eat healthily, but decades of treating emotional distress with food and a tendency to not notice I need to eat until the last minute tend to get in the way of that. I've certainly gotten better though; I no longer buy cakes and cookies and whole bread and butter puddings that I eat uncooked (ask me about how I'm probably immune to salmonella by now!) and then some actual food as an afterthought. No, I bought things that can be made into casseroles with the slow cooker, and sauces that can go with Quorn... and a big container of potato salad. And a tub of hummous and some breadsticks. And Haagen-Daas because it was half-price. Hey, I never said I was completely better.

I did manage to beat most of my sweet cravings by buying greek yogurt in honey and salted caramel flavours, and a ton of fruit juice (although why is it so difficult to find grape juice now? All I can find is Welch's, and nearly all their varieties have stuff added to them.) I'm also trying out a Vimto Squeezy juice thing because, once again, Tesco are out of the Raspberry Lemonade Mighty Drops (I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and buy i bulk from eBay). The Vimto Squeezy is.... okay, I guess. It tastes a bit too... sweetened for consumption for my taste. I like a bit of bite in my fruit juices and cordials that aren't Ribena or elderflower-related.

In conclusion: I'm probably having potato salad for tea.
sareini: default (discworld - tried normality)
2010-02-21 09:38 pm

My 15 minutes of fame?

So, I've apparently come to the attention of the BBC, as seen in this article listing bloggers from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire (guess I'm now really officially a local, then). I wouldn't have even found out about this except that I was bored this morning after staying up all night reading Fashion SWAT on SomethingAwful, and was just idly browsing and wondering what was going on in the local area. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw my name there, and when I showed Nick he nearly spat coffee everywhere.

For those who don't want to scroll 2/3rd of the way down the page to see my name in lights (so to speak), here's what the BBC have to say about me:

"Writers are also using blogs as their starting point for stories. Darkkat, as she is known, regularly posts notes that discuss possible ideas. She also occasionally posts reviews to films that she's interested in - which tend to be about horror and science fiction."

I'm not sure whether to feel impressed, self-conscious or worried that I've been distilled into, effectively, 'writer and reviewer of horror movies' (although when I think about it, that is an awful lot of what I do). But it has made me determined to kick myself up the arse and start posting more...

Also, Nick sulked because he wasn't on the list. So he insisted I pimp him on my blog. So, if anyone's interested in reading the rantings and ramblings of a 30something, hairy, opinionated and crazy liberal, you can find him here.
sareini: default (cthulhu)
2010-01-10 04:12 pm

A Holiday Tale...

This is something I've been meaning to write up for some time. I'm finally getting round to it now because I'm (a) down with the sickness right now (damn flu!) and (b) at something of a loose end while I craft things in Fallen Earth. So I might as well use the time productively.

The long, long story is behind this cut... )
sareini: default (lfg-fwoom)
2009-09-16 04:49 pm
Entry tags:

How are they against the colour yellow?

There is an ad that plays regularly when Nick watches his various politics shows on the internet lately. It's for Duracell batteries, and it's had several different versions, each dealing with a different type of technology that's supposed to be life-saving/incredibly important, that wouldn't be as efficient without Duracell batteries. Their latest one apparently has to do with night-vision goggles, and finishes with the line (or something very much like it), "Even in the blackest night..."

So now Nick and I have decided that Duracell power the Green Lantern rings.

"In brightest day,
In darkest night...
Duracell Batteries, proud sponsors of the Green Lantern Corps."
sareini: (zombie)
2009-06-18 11:58 am
sareini: default (normal people...)
2008-12-27 06:59 pm

Dyscalculia

I was recently provided with a link to a website called Dyscalculia Forum. I think most people already know that I have dyscalculia, also known as numerical dyslexia. I wasn't diagnosed until I was in university - before that, everyone just thought I had really bad math skills. I'd also been aware of the fact that there were very few dyscalculaics (is that a word?) around - or at least, ones who knew that they were, in fact dyscalculaics.

Anyway, I had a look round the site, and found it very interesting. One part that I found particularly interesting was their "symptoms" page - there are considerably more symptoms than I'd known about (and of course, reading the list convinces you that you've got all the symptoms...)

Symptoms below here... )

Which makes 8 or 9 out of 11, I think...
sareini: default (discworld - mountains of madness)
2008-12-18 01:04 am
Entry tags:

Bleh.

I had to go to the doctor's today. The "feeling sick" that I had at the beginning of the week didn't go away, and instead was joined by constant trips to the bathroom, headaches, nausea, light-headedness and, this morning, rather excruciating stomach pain that made it very difficult, if not impossible, to work. the NHS Direct website didn't, for once, tell me to book a coffin and have a dance band ready to play Abide With Me, but they did suggest calling the helpline proper. Who promptly told me to get an appointment to see my doctor.

So down I went, at 5pm, to luckily see the best doctor in the surgery. After breaking his electronic thermometer and blood pressure machines, he told me that I had a fever of about 39-40 degrees celsius (that's about 102 degrees fahrenheit), which would neatly explain the light-headedness at any rate, and in general I had a moderate case of gastroenteritis.

Nick was disappointed; he was certain it would be kidney stones.

***

While I was out, I saw a billboard for the Twilight movie, which is opening over here on Friday. On the left-hand corner are Bella and Edward, with Edward kind of looming over Bella and glaring out at onlookers with dark circles under his eyes and a look that I think the publicists were hoping would portray intensity, brooding and/or attractive emo-ness. Instead, he looked like he belonged on Crimewatch UK in their Most Wanted Faces section - "Have you seen this vampite stalker?"

sigh. Sparkly vampires. What next?