skew_whiff: (dear dad)
I'm still here!

I just, er, haven't been doing much, thanks to work and Tumblr and general apathy. But for those of us still stubbornly keeping this journal thing going, here's what's been occurring:

- Work still good, if occasionally intense; busy days go faster, though, and I'm on top of things. Summer appears to have been and gone already, but I can live with that, as my wardrobe isn't well-suited to hot weather and sun seems to bring out all the noisy people (as per being woken up at midnight by the remaining stragglers from next door's barbecue having a bizarre argument about the merits of putting mayonnaise on burgers). Absolutely bloody burned out on the fic front, which is annoying as anything - I still have the ideas, it's just nothing's coming out. I wrote a pinch-hit for Fic For Victory and it was both hard to write and personally unsatisfying when done, and that was with characters I really like, too. Probably just means it's rewatch time again.

- Talking of which, started rewatching Generation Kill, for the first time since I originally watched it back in... 2009, I think? Anyway, as I thought, immeasurably improved both by having read the book and also by putting on subtitles, which makes everything a lot easier to follow. It might also be having grown older and more cynical, or just inured to Marines and their ways, but I'm warming to the characters more this time round. Ray and Brad's old-married-couple bromance is still the best, but I also have boundless respect for Doc Bryan and I've never got why Garza doesn't get more love from the fandom; admittedly I've only ever puttered around the edges of GK fandom, but still, I never see him getting talked about, and that sucks, because he's great. Oh, and Trombley is still the prettiest, even if he does give me the shudders.

- Been to the movies a bit. Star Trek was great, even if I can personally take or leave Benedict Cumberbatch; really want to go and watch some of the TOS-based movies for comparison now. Behind the Candelabra also great for entirely different reasons. Haven't made my mind up about whether I'll see Man of Steel - I'm not a big Superman fan in general, but there are comics about him I've enjoyed (the original Siegel and Shuster stuff, Red Son, All-Star Superman); I've heard both positive and negative reviews.

- Oh, and last week I went on a date with a guy I'd been talking to on OkCupid. I've never been on a date before, but somehow I'm pretty sure I managed to not fuck it up! At least, it was successful enough that we're going out for dinner tomorrow. Early days yet, but this is an interesting and novel experience, and while I'm not entirely sure what he sees in me, I ain't gonna question it.
skew_whiff: (come into the factories)
Last Friday was my 24th birthday. Which means I am now undeniably in my mid-twenties - although also, mercifully, just about used enough to the concept of being a twentysomething that I'm no longer thrown into mild panic just by the thought of it. (God knows why it bothered me so much, given that I hated my teens, but it did. No doubt this is going to keep repeating itself every decade or so until I either mature enough to stop caring, or become senile enough to stop noticing.)

Anyway, over the past few years I've established the habit of celebrating my birthday by going off on a trip somewhere, and this time round I went to Manchester. Which I've visited before, but never for long enough to really appreciate it, and usually I've either ended up lost or quite drunk or both. It's a big, sprawly sort of city - not quite so much as London, but certainly enough to easily overwhelm a visitor who hasn't got a map handy. Luckily, this time I did have a map, and I had a thoroughly good time of it.

More specific details under the cut, including a few recommendations, a brief film review, and things that caught my eye. )

AW YISS

Nov. 19th, 2012 07:14 pm
skew_whiff: (raising hell)
So, this weekend, I went to my first ever comic convention!

The short version: IT WAS REALLY GOOD AND I GOT TO MEET KATE BEATON WHEEE

More detail under the cut )

I'M BACK

Sep. 7th, 2012 05:56 pm
skew_whiff: (raising hell)
I'M BACK, I'M BACK, PRAISE BE, I AM BACK

I am so elated I could honestly almost cry.

It is not because the internet service provider I signed up with made with the goods at last, mind you, but because after waiting all morning for a phone engineer that never came, I finally cracked, and have now struck a deal with the guy living next door to me that I'll use his wireless and pay half the share.

I really should've done that a month ago and saved myself the bother, and I don't look forward to the rigmarole of calling TalkTalk's appalling call centre and cancelling the whole shebang, but FUCK IT I AM BACK. GOD, INTERNET, I HAVE MISSED YOU.


Anyway. Amsterdam, for the record, was amazing - rather expensive, much more so than Berlin, so I had to tread carefully - but exactly what I needed, a relaxing stay in a beautiful city in which, for once, nothing went wrong. (Asides from occasionally getting confused by the barriers on the trams and missing my stop.)

I spent a lot of time just wandering around admiring the architecture and being amused by tourists - like the bunch of Germans who startled me on the train by barking 'Fahrkarte bitte' at me as they entered my compartment (I only wish I had enough German to have told them they were reminding me something out of The Great Escape; they were amused that I knew enough just to get all flustered and actually start reaching for my ticket), and the weird American guy who came into the cafe where I was eating breakfast to ask where he could go to buy a joint. I mean, jeez, bro, at least wait until after lunch.

I saw several museums, including the excellent Verzetsmuseum, which is about the experience of the Netherlands and its people during WWII - the stuff about the war in Europe and the Dutch resistance was fascinating, but what I was really impressed by was the little sub-exhibit about Dutch-occupied Indonesia during the Pacific war; it's a subject on which I know precious little, and I was particularly struck by the awkwardness of the situation in which mixed-race Dutch-Indonesians found themselves in after the war, not necessarily welcome in their home country or in the Netherlands.

I also ate exceedingly well, and came home with a bag stuffed full of cakes and Dutch gin. Including a packet of these biscuits, which made me burst out into entirely inappropriate laughter in the shop. It's not the name so much as the name with the exclamation mark afterwards - it just seems so incongruously jolly.

Talking of BoB, Webster was entirely right in that the Dutch do all speak English (and wrong about Van Gogh being born in Nuenen; he lived there, but not as a child), to the point that the signs in Schiphol airport actually have the English words for things first, above the Dutch ones. It's really easy to come by English-language books and newspapers, I passed an event where the University of Amsterdam were holding free outdoor lectures in English, I went to see a film which was in English with Dutch subtitles (and watched Top Gear on BBC2 in my hotel room)... it's a little odd, but certainly convenient.

So, yeah. It was amazing, and I recommend it to anyone. You do have to keep a keen eye out to avoid being run over by bicycles, but asides from that, it's a wonderful city - prettier than Paris, friendlier than London, good food is in abundance and it's easy to get around. I could honestly see myself living there one day.

But in the meantime - it's good to be home. Have I missed much?

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