The Rantings of a Paranoid Nerd is a diary writing project authored by FAHtastic. In this edition, FAH chronicled his interesting life during the 12 days leading up to Christmas 2007.
Some of you might remember my relatively short writing project earlier in the year (in fact, from October last year through to July this year), most of you do not. I lost interest because I wasn't getting enough feedback, although people assured me they did read. Anyhow, on that note, I've decided to do a twelve day stint leading up to Christmas.
Ok, so there are technically thirteen days left till Christmas if you include today, but this is an opportunity for me to catch you all up.
Right then. I'm in my second year at Reading university in England. I'm doing a course in Applied English Language Studies, which is basically Linguistics except it isn't.
I live in a house with two other guys and three girls. One of the guys is my one friend, who isn't actually the only friend I've got here. The others I've only really gotten to know in the last 3-5 months.
Ok, so first, let me tell you about my new housemates.
First off is...uh, I probably shouldn't use real names. Meh, first off is Camilla. She's single, although only just. There was drama when she moved in to start with because she was sort of on the rocks with her boyfriend who she had gone out with during the summer. She's cool and not half-bad looking and really athletic. She goes, like, running and stuff. Yeah, I know, what's up with that?
Next is Kate. Out of all the people I don't know, she's my favourite. Mostly because she's nice to look at, but she's pretty easy to talk to, although a bit quick to temper. She's small, but on more than occasion she's given me a dead arm by beating the crap out of me with something. Usually because I made fun of her height...or her intelligence...or fashion sense.
I honestly don't know why she likes me as much as I assume she does. Maybe she doesn't like me? Well, that's an issue for next year when we decide whether we want to put up with eachother for another year.
She's single, but again, drama with old boyfriend. And drama with new boyfriend who is the best friend of housemate 3, Aaron. Aaron means well, but is generally pretty annoying. If he's not trundling around in the early hours of the morning whistling and leaving dishes to be washed by someone else or stealing my food, he's having arguments with Kate for going out with people that aren't him or Camila for doing charity work.
Yeah, I still don't quite understand the last bit. He's a farmer though, so the pesticides have probably driven him crazy. He plays American football too, which probably doesn't help. Annoyingly the government gave him a crap load of tech for free because he's dyslexic, which sucks.
Then there's my one friend's girlfriend. I originally, and still sorta, kinda do, think she doesn't like me, but that might just be my paranoia. As far as things go, she's perfectly nice to me. I think both her and my one friend are too busy being annoyed at Aaron for generally being selfish with the chores and Katie and Camila for constantly doing their homework in the living room so no one else can watch TV. I usually stay in my room and work on the weekends, so a lot of the blame is shifted. Hoo-hah responsibilities.
That's an unusually hard word to type.
Uh, yeah, my one friend used to be the only friend I had at Reading, but is no longer. The name kinda stuck though, so I'll keep using it for the 1.7 people who used to read this crap. He was planning on getting a job because he wanted to buy a Wii, but then the stupid university gave him a £1000 grant for being a smart arse and now he's lazier than ever.
My only real problem is that because he spends so much time with his girlfriend, he rarely ever wants to come and play video games with me. I mean, how selfish is that?
My room is the in the attic, which is great, 'cause it's huge and it's got a sink, but because I'm over two rooms I have to watch myself late at night. Or during the day depending on what I'm...uh, doing.
Ok, that should be enough of a scene setter. Sorry if it wasn't interesting, but...well, it's not gonna get much better. I'd advise you stop reading. That topic with Ulti's failed marriage is pretty good. I'd go read that.
I, like most students who have essays in tomorrow, am up late doing an essay. In fact, 4/6ths of the house are currently awake and working on projects we've all left until the very last minute. I'm not as bad off as the other three, because my essay is just taking a while because it's hard, whereas their essays are just long. If I put my mind to it, I could finish it in about another hour.
Instead I'm writing this. Consider yourselves privileged.
We had a Secret Santa thing tonight, on my suggestion. I got the Zombies!!! boardgame from my one friend. I know it's supposed to be secret, but he's the only person who could have gotten me it.
And he told me as much.
I had to get Aaron something, who was the person I wanted the least. I got him some of those finger drums, because he's always typing so damn loudly in his room that the noise comes through to the living room. At first we thought it was something else, but Katie bravely ventured upstairs to check it out.
I also got my one friend some Wii points and a copy of Sonic and the Secret Rings, because...well, he's been my friend for ages. I'm a little annoyed that I don't think he's going to get me anything else though. I should really stop spending as much money on him as I do, but on the plus side, he probably wouldn't have bought SatSS if I hadn't gotten it for him, so now I can play on it.
Woo! Self-serving for the win.
What else...seriously. Ulti's marriage is on the rocks! Or your could talk about the User of the Year contest! There's really nothing keeping you here, I swear!
I still work at a wholesaler. There's a flirty Polish girl who I don't know if she likes me or if Polish girls are just generally flirty. I think it's the latter, 'cause my Polish supervisor is also a little flirty. She is young and hot though. Work's good, basically.
Right. This starts properly tomorrow when I will tell you all about the party I'm going to. I can't guarantee this will be interesting over the next week and a half, but I can guarantee it will be lengthy and tiresome.
That way, if it awesome, you'll all be pleasantly surprised!
Uh, assuming, that is, that you keep reading that long. This one did kinda suck, I guess...
I'll work on sexing these up a little. Maybe purposely do things so that I have something to write about.
Then again, doing anything too strange would probably get me in some other losers blog talking about the weirdo he saw in the street. I don't really need that.
Uh, I'll work on it.
I probably should have thought of hilarious 'Twelve Days of Christmas' titles beforehand. Meh, I'll try and think of something for tomorrow.
Right, well. I can see you're all thrilled about this. I wanna sleep, really. It's only been one day and it's already feeling kinda like a chore.
Ok, so I was up most of last night working on my essay for today. I say working, I was dicking around with the Internet and watching anime, but I got my essay done with no less than three Gurren Lagann references. Hopefully these will make up for the fact that the rest of my essay was a bit naff and occasionally about dragons.
I decided I should sleep before I went to hand it in. It was either that or go in really early to print it off then come back and sleep until the afternoon.
I got up about tenish, poked about a bit and finally left a little after eleven, after getting away from Aaron who is going back home today and wouldn't shut up. I needed some change for the printers and seeing as I hadn't eaten lunch, treated myself to a sausage and bean melt.
I say treat loosely. It was a bit greasy.
Y'know, bad greasy.
I got in to find that almost the entire student body was trying to print their essays off for twelve O'clock deadlines. There was a twenty person queue for the printers in the library, so I slinked away to a smaller room. This room was emptier, but most of the computers weren't working. I did get to see my old friend Biggles from college, which is always a nice surprise.
Since I took a gap year, he's in the year above me, which is a shame, because it would have been awesome doing the same course as him.
As I was leaving to hand my work in, I ran into my friend Pete, who was also printing stuff off. I decided to hang out for a bit since I knew he wasn't coming to the house party later that night and it would be my last chance to see him before Christmas.
In the end, I handed my work in fifteen minutes late, but fortunately our secretary was out most of the day, so I slipped it in the box and went on my merry way. As we were walking over to hand in Pete's impressive 3000 word essays, I ran into my one friend's girlfriend who was frantically running around trying to hand in some work for my one friend. I told her the general direction of his secretary and I think she found it.
I learned from Aaron later that right after I had left, my one friend, who had been up the entire night writing essays too, suddenly realised he had an essay in at twelve too and was rushing around eventually forcing Aaron to give him a lift in.
Anyhow, I had a nice little chat with Pete whose dad was coming to pick him up later in the day, hence why he couldn't come to the party, and headed home to bed. I passed my English Language Teaching teacher, Claire, who sarcastically told me 'long time no see', seeing as I hadn't been in many of her lessons recently.
I just smiled and waved.
I think I have her next term too. Hmm...
Anyway, I came home and planned to head straight to bed, but Aaron, who insisted he would be gone by five, wanted to annoy me.
Well, he wanted to talk to me, but it was annoying, so ergo and therefore.
I slept until about five when I stumbled out of bed, showered and headed out the door. I said good bye to Aaron for a third and final time, as he still hadn't left despite it now being about six.
I was going to my friends unofficial Christmas party. We had had one last year, which was really cramped in the little kitchen, but this year, wasn't so great. First of all, Pete wasn't there. Second of all, a lot of people I didn't know were there. It was...a longish night.
I mostly talk to the outcasts of the group. Firstly there's Jimbo, who I've become good friends with over the last term. He's a little...difficult to strike up conversation with, but we have a lot of the same interests, so we get on fine. There's Sarah who is really annoying, but I like her. I think she'd be a lot cuter if she was single, mostly because there might actually be a reason to put up with her constant interruptions and irrelevant tangents. As it she is dating Syler.
There's a very tall, and she looks taller than she is because she's lanky, lesbian called Emily. She's sort of quiet and we don't have a lot in common, but we're on friendly terms. Again, a lot cuter if I thought I had a chance. Finally, there's Ashe. Now, we were supposed to do a secret santa thing (I got a Halo 3 soundtrack from Jimbo for some reason), but her gift didn't come in time, so I assured her that it was awesome and that I would bring it over when I could.
I found it funny that the hand-prepared, diamond-encrusted mouse I had bought for my mum for Christmas and ordered after Ashe's had come today and I'm still waiting for hers. Just tickled me a little. You know, in the way that it's not actually funny, but you've got a nice story to go along with complaining about it being late.
I spent the majority of the night talking with these few. I did spend a decent amount of time with Liz, who is the cutest nerd I know, but madly in love with a doctor. I'd dislike the guy, but he is pretty damn lovable. And Posh and Common John, who are posh and common respectively. And comparatively.
So, yeah. Bit of a washout overall. Still, some nice food. Annoying that I got full almost before I had started despite only eating that weird sausage thing earlier.
I ended up walking Ashe home, since she lives in the same direction as me. She's a nice girl, not exactly stunning, but you wouldn't kick her out of bed. I think someone told me she seemed to have aspergers (I think it was Jimbo who actually has it. I think Emily has it too. I don't think the three of them are good friends though). I'm not sure entirely of the specifics of aspergers, but I think it means you have trouble with certain emotions.
Mostly humour, which might explain why I have such a hard time striking up riveting conversation with Jimbo, despite both of us liking quite a lot of the same stuff.
We had a nice enough talk walking home. I wished her a happy Christmas and all that jazz, got a hug and went on my way. And now I'm home. I'm pretty tired from not actually having a decent nights sleep and having walked all over the place today. I'm really tempted to call in sick to work too...I shouldn't though, seeing as I've got next week off.
Tomorrow I tackle Christmas shoppers buying stuff in bulk.
Eleven...Uh, this is hardEdit
Right, well, I worked today. It was...actually incredibly quiet for the penultimate Saturday before Christmas.
I work at a wholesaler called Makro. You have them in America and, from what I can gather from the film 'Employee of the Month' they work in very much the same way, so I won't go in to any boring details about what my job is like. Well, I might.
Well, I will.
Anyhow, I was on the door for the first hour. My basic responsibility on the door is to annoy customers. Well, it isn't, but what I do does, so ergo and therefore. We've been over this. Essentially, I'm there to discourage shoplifters and to check whether we've accidentally overcharged or undercharged customers. Now, as I work in a wholesaler, about half of our customers have full trolleys. And our trolleys are huge.
Like, mattress huge.
So, I mostly just shrug and stamp it. Occasionally I get a laugh out of them for sympathising with the futility of my efforts. It annoys a lot of people too, especially those who stuff their receipts right away into their pockets and don't have a trolley.
After that, I went on my till. Despite being a wholesaler, working the till is very much the same as working the till at a supermarket, it's just that everything is bigger and I have to swipe their membership cards before I can start scanning. Also, since most of my customers work in small shops or are self employed, they all carry huge wads of cash with them. It's really easy for them to launder money if they so please.
I've considered mugging a lot of my customers when I see just how fat their wallets are with cash. Bastards. My wallet isn't fat with cash...oh, actually, right now it is. My housemate paid his rent this month in cash, so I'm carrying £270 around with me.
I'm also my house's landlord, apparently.
After a little while, Agnese, my hot, Polish supervisor, told me to close up because she, and I quote "needed me for something about a card". Now, I was a little worried. The party I had gone to yesterday had been almost entirely catered for by Makro and my friends came in on my card and used my employee discount to get the shopping. I was going to lie and say they were my housemates. Also, the previous Saturday I had lent my card to Aaron, who, and I quote again, had "200 sausages, 200 burgers and no buns".
I should have asked for a little context, in retrospect.
Turns out it was just my hot, Polish supervisors poor English. She needed me for training and the sheets she was using were called 'cards' for some reason, despite quite obviously being sheets. The fact that I called them as much is evidence to this.
Now, I know how to do my job, but Makro is pretty unorganised, so they've decided to do all my health and safety training seven months after I started working there, in the middle of the holiday busy season. Still, I got to sit with my hot, Polish supervisor AND my hot, Polish co-worker, Monika.
Monika is the flirty Polish girl I mentioned a couple of days ago. I think she is just naturally flirty, because whilst she does stroke my arm whenever I tell a joke, she also strokes Agnese's hair whenever she gets adorably confused.
And considering her English and with training that uses words like 'maneuvering' her hair was stroked a lot. Despite Mon' not knowing the word either.
I also had to try and define 'ambiance'. I said it was like, the atmosphere, although I'm not entirely sure how right that is.
The rest of my shift was on the tills. Despite not being an incredibly busy day, it did fly by. I sometimes get the feeling that my supervisors dislike me. Again, I'm paranoid, so maybe not, but I occasionally get the impression that they're annoyed with me every time I need one of their IDs to authorise a reduction or whenever I need a pick-up (this is when my till has too much money and I need them to relieve me of it. We're bored of the "If we split it, I won't say anything if you don't" jokes by now).
I also get the feeling that I'm being timed on my lunches. I'm usually pretty good. Much better than some of my coworkers, but occasionally I accosted by a customer who needs help either on the way out or the way in. I guess I just look like I might be helpful. Obviously, this makes it seem that I'm taking longer on my lunch breaks than I actually am, but it feels like that if I come back off lunch and immediately apologise and explain that I was dealing with a customer, eventually they'll just assume I'm lying.
I also found out we're not open New Years day. Annoyingly, I had planned to work New Years day and now I can't, meaning I'm stuck in Reading with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. I can't even go home because my Uncle is using my room while he visits from Germany.
We had a bin of reduced GBA games which I had noticed a lot of customers were buying from. Nothing caught my eye, but I called my one friend who decided on Fatal Fury One, Puyo Pop Fever and Astroboy. I'm going to check how much I could get on Ebay for them and if there's a decent enough mark up, I might pick some more up tomorrow.
Sneaky, sneaky, catchy monkey.
When I got home, two of my housemates were playing the Friends drinking game with some of their friends. I made my dinner of sandwiches and retreated upstairs, only stopping to hurl the games at my one friend whilst I passed his room.
And here I am. I watched some TV and a little anime and then just dicked around online. On a side note, despite assuring me that it is the same length as normal animes and have a markedly shorter opening sequence, Kaiji always seems to over really quickly and it always feels like nothing has happened.
Good series though.
Tomorrow I continue to my fight to think up decent names for these posts.
Ten Lords are doing beyond the impossible and kicking reason to the curb!Edit
No? I kind of liked that one.
I worked again today. I slept in a little, so I didn't have nearly enough time to get showered or eat before work, but that doesn't matter all that much.
Today started the same as any shift, working on the door, but unlike most Sundays, we were really, really quiet and, unlike most Sundays, we had loads of staff in because it was Christmas. So, Agnese decided she was going to finish my training about an hour into my shift and called me off the door.
It only took about ten minutes to do my training, but I was on the desk for nearly an hour helping her. First of all, I wanted my payslip, so she gave me her code and went off upstairs to get them all, which was nice of her. Fortunately, no one came to me with any difficult questions. I don't know what it is, whether I'm just too damn good or whether everyone else is just a bit crap in comparison, but wherever I work, I always seem to get given semi-supervisory roles.
Now, obviously it's never anything official, since I'm only a weekender, and there's not too much responsibility. It's mostly just looking after my fellow employees. It's nice having a bit of power with almost no responsibility.
Despite an early lunch, the day felt pretty short. We got busy during the middle of the day, but it was never bust enough to feel like it was too busy, but busy enough that there was at least three customers on each till at any one time for two hours, which is how I like it really. And, since Agnese had given me her code earlier in the day, I didn't have to keep paging them from my far till for codes.
To top things off, my payslip arrived attached to a drum of biscuits. It was a bit of a con though. When I got them home, there were three trays each with three kinds of biscuit. When you empty them into the drum, it only fills about 2/5 of the way. Glad I didn't pay for them.
I also got a card signed by the managers. They must have had to hate doing that for everyone. Or maybe they just did it for me. I didn't see anyone else with a card...
One customer made me laugh today. She wanted a Christmas log or something and apparently had seen one for about 70p cheaper about two weeks ago, and we had run out of one and filled the gap with the other one that didn't have marzipan. I'm still a little hazy on that part. Anyhow, she had figured it into her head that somehow, since the log, which may or may not have been the one she had now, had once been 70p cheaper, it should be now.
We told her that was not the case.
Man. Crazy old people are livid when they're denied a 70p offer. "You've just lost a valuable customer" she yelled as she marched off. I mean, assuming we even had it on offer, if it was always that price, it wouldn't be an offer it would just be how much it costs.
Another customer was this little boy. His mum was complaining about wine or something, but that's not what interested me. At my store, we have these tags. We put them on alcohol, DVDs and clothes, same as most stores, to stop people stealing them. I got bored and decided to collect them all up (When the store gets quiet, I try and find something time consuming that I don't mind doing so that I don't get sent to do something that I do).
Anyhow, while I was collecting some, he came over and asked me what I was doing. I'm not one to patronise kids, so I told him I was collecting tags. He asked why and I told him it was because they were messy. He asked what they did and I said we put them on things and they set the alarm off. Finally he asked why they did that. I paused for a moment. This kid was pretty adorable, so I decided to tell him that sometimes people forget to pay for things, which is kind of what stealing is, really.
I did have some ticket swappers too. The best thing about them, is they're often too embarrassed or afraid of being caught to argue when I tell them the price is wrong. And when they hide things in the pockets of stuff, I just scan them and put them back in.
So, I came home after a long day. One last thing, we have these mats on each till which I've just found out are called fatigue mats. I never really thought about it before, but whenever I came to work and went straight on the door, I was fine. My feet didn't hurt or anything, but when I spend an hour or so on my till and then on the door, my feet always get tired really quickly.
And they're deathtraps too. And I keep dropping money in the holes.
When I got home, the girls were talking about things. I gave them biscuits and decided to pounce on this rare opportunity when my one friend was away from his girlfriend to make him play video games. We decided to try and finish Halo 3. We had started playing it having not played a Halo game before on Legendary. It was a hell of a lot of fun. We were hoping to finish it, but we didn't know it would take the whole of nine hours.
Still, it's 6:00am, and my 360 accounts is several achievements heavier.
The last level was awesome. A lot of people had said they were disappointed with it. Ok, so climbing that tower was a chore and the gun bit was a bit of a drag, but driving the Warthog through the exploding metal...stuff, was awesome. Took us about 20 tries, but we got there in the end.
Annoyingly, I skipped the credits and missed the extra ending, so I may just look it up on Youtube or something.
I also ate pizza. I think I will really have to cook something tomorrow. I can't keep eating sandwiches and takeaway.
Tomorrow I go into town after sleeping in, no doubt.
Nine ladies rocking out hardcoreEdit
Yeah, it's not witty, but it's relevant. Sort of. I'm not a lady, nor am I nine people, but...you know.
Unfortunately, since I stayed up until 8:30am the day before, my day is kinda short (I say that, it is 4:10am as I write this).
I had originally planned to go into town with my one friend, but the only person lazier than me is my one friend and seeing as how he stayed up almost as late as I did, getting him up wasn't really an option. I tried, anyhow, and failed. I needed to get his rent cheque anyhow, which was the main reason I was going into town.
I went downstairs for a surprise to find that my One Piece Franky statuette had arrived. My Portrait of Pirates collection is the pride of my action figure collection.
I collect action figures.
I'd take a picture, but I can't be bothered. Maybe tomorrow.
So, I set off into town on my own. First of all, I needed to phone Pritch. Apart from paying some rent money into my account, I also wanted to get Guitar Hero 3 for the 360. My friend Pritch has Guitar Hero 2 and I know he wanted 3 and Rock Band. So, I spoke with him and told him not to get GH3 and that I would lend him it. This way, between the two of us, we had two guitars, so we could play with each other. I then told him if he got Rock Band when it came out and the drums and we could play it three-player (I don't think we need karaoke alongside us clicking toy instruments).
Sadly, he didn't pick up his phone, so I couldn't tell him any of this.
My one friend had told me that this manga store, which we had been told about a few months ago, was now open on London Street. Fortunately, London Street is the one I use to walk in to town, so it wasn't much of a bother to walk down it and see if I could find it.
I could not, much to my chagrin.
I went to my one friend's bank because I had offered to deposit some a cheque for him. Unfortunately, the queue was large and I needed to get to my bank before five, so I gave up on it.
I noticed I had two missed calls from Pritch and called him back. He seemed to like the idea, but I think he wanted to get GH3 in the wait for Rock Band, since it doesn't come out until March here. I promised him that he could borrow it off me and he's not got a lot of cash, so I think he saw the sense in the idea.
After visiting my bank, I began my search for two things. Firstly, a Wiimote for my dad. Secondly, a copy of GH3 that was cheaper or the same price as the one at work.
Unsurprisingly, no one had a Wiimote. Surprisingly, the store that usually has games for quite a significant mark-up, had GH3 for quite a lot cheaper than most other places and only a few pence more expensive than the copy at work, so I picked it up.
I missed two buses. One was sort of leaving and wouldn't open its door for me and the other had decided that since it got there at the same time as the other bus it would just drive past. Still, the next one wasn't long and I was at the front of the queue.
I gave my mum a call about the Wiimote and she told me she'd have a look in town for me.
My plan was to bring my 360 downstairs on the widescreen and play GH3 on that, but my plan was foiled by people being in the living room and watching TV. I sat in the living room for about three or so hours waiting for a chance to set it up, but it didn't come.
I did use most of that time trying to decide which stickers to put on my new guitar controller to make it banging though.
Again, maybe a picture tomorrow.
After I had both made and consumed bacon sandwiches, I took my axe and went upstairs.
Guitar Hero 3 is hard.
I never like to play games on the easy setting, but I was getting my ass handed to me by the first boss battle in normal, so I decided to play through on easy first. I figured that doing so would give me enough practice for normal, then hard, then expert, assuming I don't lose interest before then, which I may well do.
My hands cramped up and I kept getting finger-tied. Still, playing in easy is, well...easier. I can get five stars on most songs first time and I screw up the switchy bits less, so hopefully I can be all kickass in normal next time around. I don't recognise a lot of the songs either.
I was going to do homework in the library tomorrow, but I didn't get half the stuff done today which I needed to do (go to town, clean my room. Half, see?) and considering I'm up this late, I may as well make tomorrow a day to...play Guitar Hero, mostly.
Hooray for premature arthritis!
I wish people would read this...
Eight ladies falling asleep fully clothedEdit
Bit of eroticism for you.
I'm a little irked that the only comments I've received are from Icon and he hasn't even read the topic, ****ing canuck, however I'm equally miffed that a random topic about me sucking at Guitar Hero turned out more successful.
Maybe I should write less.
Or be more interesting.
Right, well, another late start. I wanted to get a few things done today, which in all fairness, I did get most of it done, just late. Mostly because I started the day by playing Guitar Hero 3 rather than, y'know washing or getting up or anything silly. I ended up playing, on and off, for about three hours. I'm getting better. I've got my first five stars on a song on regular.
I mentioned my plan was to get the game so I could eventually play Rock Band with my friends, however I've just discovered my other Guitar Hero owning friend plays at the expert level, which essentially puts the kibosh on my plans to only get as good as hard.
I didn't really do much else, sadly. My hand had become a misshapen claw, so more Guitar Hero was out. I did get my room clean to a lesser extent than I had hoped and I finally took my clean pants and socks down and put them away so I could hang up my wet T-shirts, which was seriously overdue.
I ate Chinese food, which is always worth writing about.
I had planned to take the 360 downstairs and hook it up to the big TV, but I fell asleep. Well, no, I went to bed because I couldn't be bothered to undress or wash.
On the plus side, it means that I am now awake at the super early 6:00am, which never happens. I may even use today to go to the library and get some coursework done; an unprecedented act of sensibleness.
Apologies to...well, no-one I guess, for the short post. I'll make up for it with pictures.
Firstly, my Guitar Hero guitar: Kicking Axe.
As you can see the stickers maximise its awesome potential.
Secondly, the pride of the figure collection, my One Piece Portrait of Pirate figures
Yeah, they cost way too much.
And, just because there's not much else to take pictures of in my room, my Resident Evil figures
Also including Shaun and Ed from Shaun of the Dead and some weird Jedi-Knuckles-Stone-Cold-Steve-Austin thing. And a Lego.
I'm fully awake and showered now. Considering how long the day is going to be, hopefully I'll have done something worth writing, and reading, about tomorrow.
Seven Swans a Sketchin'Edit
That one's pretty good.
Right, I had some crazy dream of going to the library to do some coursework. It didn't happen.
I was awake at six in the morning. This...does not happen to me all that often. I watched some crappy early morning TV and eventually decided to play some Guitar Hero. I know that I'm getting better, but my wrist keeps giving out before I'm bored. It's odd having a game I know I want to play, but that I can't because it physically hurts to play.
Anyway. Good TV ran out in my room, so I trundled downstairs to watch TV there.
Camila has gone home and Kate is...somewhere. I don't think she's gone home quite yet. I think she may have gone to a horse show or something. My other two room mates probably wouldn't be awake until about six in the afternoon, because they fail at holidays.
This essentially meant I had the downstairs to myself. Because of work, I'm forced to stay here until the 24th, so I decided to move the 360 downstairs so I could play on the big TV. Who's gonna object, huh?
With the UotY contest started and after almost getting kicked out of the first round, I decided it would alleviate my boredom some to try and boost my rankings a little. This writing project hasn't really drawn the crowd I might have liked, so I decided to start drawing the users, assuming that they are always pretty popular.
Annoyingly, it was not so much. Over the course of the day, I got eight requests.
Well, nine, but I ignored one.
Anyhow, you can check them out here.
I'll probably do the same tomorrow. I like drawing and having something and some to draw for is a nice change of pace.
I did play a little more Guitar Hero before my housemates finally woke up at about sixish. I had just bought a bunch of new songs and was trying them out for the first time when they came down, so I was sucking which means they think I suck. Obviously I had to redeem myself so I played some of the easier songs to do, like Miss Murder and...actually, that's the only song I can do competently 100% of the time.
When my wrist started hurting again, I decided to look it up to see if I was playing wrong. A lot of people just reckon that it's because I'm using muscles I don't normally use and so if I use them enough, eventually they'll get used to it and it won't hurt anymore.
Plus my wrist will be stronger, which would be great if I was left handed.
Anyhow, I had decided I had enough Guitar Hero for the day and with no new drawing requests, I just sort of existed most of the afternoon.
I made the grave mistake of letting my housemates choose the channel.
Not only do they have terrible taste in TV shows, they just have to change the channel at every single advert to see if anything else is on. See, the thing about adverts, is that if one show is in them, most of the rest of them are.
What is so hard about sitting through a few adverts every fifteen or so minutes. God, it's so annoying.
Especially when they turn it back late and you miss the start of the next half.
They're also annoying about the heater. If it was me, it would be on all the time and starting tomorrow, it will be. My room is WAY too cold to leave it off all night. It's barely warm with the damn thing on, but at least the floor doesn't feel like ice.
Anyhow, I ate a meal that I cooked for myself for the first time in about a week. With coursework and laziness I've mostly been eating half meals like sandwiches or take out. Today, I have sausage supreme with mushrooms and tagliatelle.
My housemates did offer to cook me dinner, but I hadn't eaten for six hours when they asked and they has just eaten their breakfast and God knows I wasn't going to wait for another five or so hours for some chilli.
They made too much anyway and since they're going home, I got the leftovers. I might eat them tomorrow.
Being awake for eighteen hours really takes it out of you. I'm pooped, so I'm going to bed nice and, relatively, early.
My wrist still kills.
Six Geese A-Playing...Guitar Hero...a little...Edit
That would have worked better if I had actually played some more stuff.
I was woken, rudely, by my one friend's girlfriend who wanted to turn the heater on. I later found out she had texted me as well, but my phone was in my trousers.
Trousers that I do not wear to bed.
Anyhow, I turned it on and went back to sleep. About two hours later my one friend knocked and woke me up again to tell me that my Amazon parcel had arrived. And to turn the heater off. I told him not to, since I was freezing in my room. I also said my goodbyes and wished him a merry Christmas and all that because, despite only living down the road, I probably wouldn't see him over Christmas, mostly due to how little time I'll be spending in Swindon over the hols.
In my half-awake state I looked at the alarm clock and, upon seeing it was 9:30, assumed that I was supposed to sleep until at least two.
So, after waking at two and realising I had just had twelve hours sleep. I read some Buso Renkin and got up and washed. It was good timing too, since my last housemate Kate had just come home from Olympia. It's a horse show, I made a Zeus joke. All was well.
I also discovered that my other housemates had left behind the mince pies they had made and knowing that Kate, having a stomach the size of a grape, wouldn't eat any, I knew then, that they were destined to be mine.
Kate set up her laptop much like me and played Sims 2 whilst I continued drawing pictures of the users all day. We talked every so often, however we're not the closest of friends so it's mostly just small talk. She's cute though, so I didn't mind her being there, although I get the feeling I was wasting my time drawing pictures of people I didn't know.
I don't even think she liked my picture of Starcow.
Eventually she decided, after having a bath and coming back down to find me playing Guitar Hero, that it was time for bed. She did have a go, but wasn't great. Finished the song at least.
I played for a little longer, but gave up not because I was doing badly or my wrist hurt, but because I wanted to watch some anime.
Then I drew some more. I'm only stopping now because my legs have both fallen asleep. Plus at this rate, I won't be awake before noon and I don't like doing that too often.
Tomorrow I will be truly alone. Until Monday at least. I don't mind so much, especially because it means I can watch whatever I want on the TV, but y'know. I'm probably not going to have a whole lot to write about tomorrow regardless of when I wake up.
I may go into town.
FIIIIIVEE GOOOO-arrrgh, shut up.Edit
Day long headaches are the worst.
I got up quite early considering I went to bed at four. I didn't want to spend all day in bed like I had the day before. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Kate hadn't gone yet. Mostly because I wanted a lift to the shops when she did go, but also because it meant that I wasn't alone for a bit longer.
It's not so much that I dislike being alone, in fact, I prefer it, but this is a big house, it creaks and neighbours are about, so it's difficult to tell when someone's breaking in or not.
Speaking of which, after I had gotten settled on my chair again and Kate next to me, she was waiting until a little later in the afternoon before she went to London, because she wanted to avoid the rush hour traffic and also because her brothers didn't finish until late, so she killed some time playing Sims while I doodled and poked about online, there was a banging upstairs.
The last time I had this banging was when the neighbours were robbed. I had just assumed it was them crashing around, but...well, long story short, it wasn't. With just the two us here, we were pretty vulnerable. I checked up stairs, nothing. I checked all the rooms and outside. I realised that they were having some work done, possibly by the people who had arrived in the van outside next door.
Being as paranoid as I was and knowing full well that it was just them banging around, I kept swearing it was louder than the previous one and therefore upstairs, so I checked around every hour or so. Kate told me to stop worrying and I pointed out that she's only saying that because if anyone wants to rob her room, they'd have to walk past her line of sight, whereas my room is easy pickings.
She confirmed my suspicions.
When Kate did go home she dropped me off at the supermarket. We said our Merry Christmasses and Happy New Years, despite the fact that I would see her on New Years. She's going on some trip and I'm stuck here to work, so we'll be reunited for one night only before everyone else comes home.
I bought some lunch and, completely forgetting that I needed a new toothbrush, came home.
The rest of my afternoon was spent playing a little Guitar Hero, finally beating the Slash boss battle on Normal, a little drawing, however I'm gradually losing interest and my headache wasn't helping matters. I'll probably finish the last five off tomorrow and call it a day, but that depends on how I feel after work tomorrow, and watching 50 First Dates.
I had decided yesterday that I would eat pizza today and so, despite being quite full, ordered pizza. I didn't eat much, but deciding to fall asleep on the sofa.
And now I'm still over full, my head still hurts, and I want to go to bed.
Four new rulesEdit
Well, there aren't four, but that's just the day it is.
This morning was the first time I've woken up in a completely empty house since the summer. It was pretty cool. The heating was on, which it normally isn't because apparently heat is bad. God knows why. This meant, above all, that I could dry my work uniform overnight and it was nice and warm when I put it on.
Also, I don't have to clean up after myself. I'm currently sitting surrounded by dirty dishes and empty boxes. Obviously I'll clean this stuff up tomorrow before I go home. I don't want to come home and find the place infested with flies or rats or something.
Anyhow, I was late for work for no other reason than because I wanted to read this weeks One Piece.
Work was fine, surprisingly. I sort of assumed that because it was the last Saturday before Christmas it would be really busy, but apparently people decided that it would be busy and decided not to go.
I spent half on my shift on the door. The annoying thing about opening until ten is that Abdul doesn't come in until two, so that's when I usually have to stand on the door for. The paintball people were back in the exit and it was funny to see them whine about the cold.
In fairness, it was cold. Just walking through the door to the exit lobby and you could see your breath, but it's still funny.
I made myself laugh when the girl came in to warm up and asked if she could use my heater. I looked over to it then back at her and said "sure". Then as she walked over to it and put her hands up to it I said "it's not plugged in though".
Why do I have a heater that I don't use? I don't. It's Abdul's heater.
When I went to lunch, I wasn't feeling very hungry, which made the fact that there was a buffet set up all the worse. I ended up just eating a packet of crisps. Fortunately I was hungry by my tea break and went to town. What I thought were mini quiches turned out to be little pizza pie things.
I finished them off sharp-fast.
We've recently had a lot of orders from head office whining about us sucking. This mostly includes us signing lots of stuff to show them that we understand their crazy new policies. Last week they made it so we could no longer use the quantity button to put more than one thing through at a time. Now, when some people buy upwards of 390 of the same thing, that's impossible. Even worse if it's reduced because you'd have to reduce it, scan it, enter the reason and the new price and, assuming the reduction is enough, get a supervisor to authorise it.
This week, they've decided we have to refer to our customers by name. This brings up two issues. Firstly, it's creepy and stupid. I hate it when customers call me by my name, which why I'm glad my name badge is currently broken. I can't imagine how freaky it would be to be a customer and get called by their name.
The second problem is that a lot of customers are Polish or Asian. This means they have...difficult names. It ranges from not wanting to offend by mispronouncing it, to it having no vowels at all and it no longer being a matter of pronouncing it, but actually trying to figure out how to begin to say Tzzzrkhtgtzyl.
Sorry, Mr Tzzzrkhtgtzl.
Another thing they want us to say is to ask customers whether they enjoyed their trip or got everything they wanted. That's basically being asked to get punched in the face. Seriously, what good could possibly come from asking if they've got everything they want? Either they did or they didn't and if they didn't they'll hold the queue up either whining about it or asking me to help them get a hold of it.
Not worth the grief.
The rest of work was pretty mundane. Tomorrow should be much of the same.
When I got home, I finished off the pizza I ordered yesterday as well as a few other choice cuts and watched TV. I decided I couldn't be bothered to do the last of the drawings, so I'll just let the topic purge. I would have liked to play some Guitar Hero too, but I kept decided "after this one...after this one" and so on and so forth.
Tomorrow I finish the fight.
My surname is French. Other than that, the title has nothing to do with anything I did today, so if you're expecting me to have learnt a kagebunshin or something, you'll be disappointed.
I really should have thought of these titles in advance.
Sunday mornings are boring. Nothing is updated and there's rarely any anime, so I decided to have my shower in the morning. When I finally decided to get out of bed at about ten past nine, I decided I probably wouldn't have enough time.
After checking the house had still not been burgled, I went to work. The fog this morning was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Seriously, two feet of visibility. Plus it was icy, so I had to sort of shuffle the entire way to work. In my younger days I may have slid down the hill to work, instead I shuffled and prayed I wouldn't fall on my ass.
I eventually arrived fifteen minutes late, immediately offering to stay late. Again, I was on the door.
Despite being just two days before Christmas, it was still really quiet. I had heard from customers about it being packed shoulder to shoulder in the more popular supermarkets, but we were relatively uninspiring.
When Donna arrived I got a chocolate with pop rocks inside it. It was turning into a good day.
I caught a customer yesterday who hadn't been charged for two packets of crisps. He seemed annoyed that I had spotted it, but not the Tomtom that he had paid for at the B2B (business to business) counter and hadn't shown me the receipt for. I would have pointed out that unless he had broken into the cage in the back of the warehouse where we keep the Tomtoms, he couldn't have gotten it any other way, but in reality I hadn't noticed it.
I also caught another customer yesterday, but I forget the details.
Anyhow, I mention this because the big thing that happened today was that I got another prize at work. In my short seven month tenure at Makro, I've "won" four prizes. In three and a half years at Sainsbury's, I won nothing.
The prize today was a box of chocolates, which I immediately cracked open and handed out to my fellow colleagues on the checkouts. They were nice, but a bit rich. I had about eight or so left when I had finished.
Work otherwise wasn't really very interesting. I didn't have a single grumpy customer and if I did, they seemed to cheer up when I wished them a merry Christmas. I had some reservations about doing so, because of political correctedness, but I thought "**** it, it's not like I'm religious". No one kicked up a fuss. I just think people are blowing this whole 'people getting offended by Christmas' thing out of proportion.
Anyhow, it was a good day.
When I finished, late, I decided to call my dad and see if he wanted anything from work. I figured, since I worked at Makro, I could pick something up that they couldn't get anywhere else like a box of pic 'n' mix or Twirls or something.
He wanted mixed nuts and a stollen.
Meh, I got them anyhow. I also had a huge craving for Chinese food on the way home, so I dialed up my local and ordered a big meal, which I've almost finished four hours later.
My evening should have been relaxing a little, cleaning the house and getting to bed by eleven, but it's ten to and my house is still a tip. I'll just sleep on the train tomorrow; it'll be fine.
Tomorrow, I return home for the penultimate battle.
Two modes of transportEdit
I decided that I needed to be up by about 7am. To do this, I don't think going to sleep at four was the smartest option.
It wasn't my fault! There was good stuff on TV most of the night and I couldn't find selotape. I mean, I went through everyone's room trying to find some so I could wrap my mum's present. Camila and Kate didn't even have any in their underwear drawer and I damn well triple checked.
Ha ha, man, it's a good thing they're no way near as paranoid as I am.
Anyhow. I overslept, unsurprisingly. I eventually woke a little before nine, which put me in a bind since my train was at 10:12. I dressed pretty sharpishly and did everything I needed to do before I left.
I almost remembered to do them all. I watered the plants, fed the fish with a pyramid, put my uniform out to dry so I can wear it for next weekend, turned the heater down, unplugged everything (although as I type this, I've just remembered that I think I may have left the TV and stuff in the living room plugged in) and got out by half nine.
I didn't get the dishes done or the rubbish taken out, but I'm the first one back on Friday, so who's gonna know?
Top tip: never catch the bus on Christmas Eve.
The first bus was packed and drove past. This caused all the people at my stop to disperse. Some, I assume decided to walk to town and some went to catch a different bus. Unfortunately, my bags were way too heavy and I was on something of a time limit. I decided to play the odds and called a taxi. Even if another bus came in time, it may not stop again, however if it did, it would be cheaper.
This taxi company is the one I had saved from when I worked at Sainsbury's. They suck, so I didn't feel too bad about getting on the bus when it arrived. In fairness, it only stopped because everyone else had gone and I was the only person there.
Still, it was heaving and I was pinned to the front behind the 'do not cross' line. I had my bag in one hand and a pole in the other, so when the taxi company called to tell me that they were here, I couldn't answer.
When we got to the first stop, the bus almost entirely emptied and I grabbed a seat and put my bags up for the last three minutes of the journey. I decided I should really call the company and tell them I caught the bus instead. He was not happy and said that they had been calling me. I lied and said that because I was on a bus, I couldn't feel the vibrations. I said I didn't want the taxi anymore and the guy hung up pretty hastily.
Serves them right for standing me up so many times this year.
After collecting my tickets and making my way to platform 4a, I sat down and bought a King size Twix. A short while later a woman and her child sat next to me and asked if they had gotten the right ticket. I looked it over and figured it was fine, but that they were heading to London and I was heading in the opposite direction. The time was the same, so I looked the monitor again.
I told them that they had the right one and I didn't. I panicked, but only a little. I still had five minutes and, fortunately, the platform I was actually after was almost a fifteen second walk. I decided to get a bottle of water and as I did, my train pulled up. I bought the bottle and foolishly hopped on without checking my ticket.
As I did, I realised my seat was A36. I looked around to see where I was. Carriage G.
I made it to about carriage C, before I gave up and took and unreserved seat. The train ride was comfortable enough and I called my dad to tell him to come pick me up. He wasn't too late when I got off at the other side either. He had also brought my brother with him, which was nice.
We eventually found a place to park and went our separate ways. We were going to meet back in two hours. I first visited the comic book store that had opened only a little while before I had come home the last time I was in Swindon. I hadn't planned on buying anything, but noticed a graphic novel I had had my eye on called Zombies!, so I decided to treat myself and bought it.
The main thing I needed to get in town was a nunchuck for my dad's Wii. It's his big present and a second nunchuck was the last thing we needed. I poked around a little and eventually found a stash of them in Game (EB in the US). Whilst I was waiting in the thirty strong queue, I noticed Tales of World: Radiant Mythology for the PSP. I had wanted this for a while, but decided against it for some reason or another. I figured since I was at home and I had only brought my PSP with me, to play Silent Hill: Origins, I would treat myself again.
An even nicer surprise was when it turned out to be £10 cheaper than marked, so result.
I called my mum to tell her I had gotten one who them informed me that my brother was also searching, so I called him too to tell him I had gotten one and we decided to meet up for some lunch for the last hour.
I haven't seen my brother since almost last Easter. He works in London and I have commitments in Reading with work and Uni, so we never get much of a chance to see each other. We both got a chicken and bacon panini and sat down. Apparently my brother, who is currently working at a design studio making business cards and logos and the such, has decided to join the metropolitan police force. He doesn't think he's good enough to get very far in design. That's not to say he's bad, but just middle-level good, which means he'll be stuck there for the rest of his life most likely. He's talked about joining the police force before, but I guess it's a pretty honourable profession. Better than joining the army, I suppose.
After we ate, we set off to the car where my dad was waiting and drove home. I welcomed my dog, Toby, with open arms and set about unpacking some of my stuff. After setting up my laptop and PSP on the bed, I wanted to play Tales of the World right away, but my battery was dead and I needed to upgrade my software before I could play it and it won't let you on a low battery. So I poked around online and read Zombies! It was pretty good.
Tales of the World is fun, sorta. I haven't played much and it's cool seeing characters from other games as well as being able to design your main, but mission based games usually put me off. Still, I haven't played enough to know whether it's good or bad yet, so I'll get back to you there.
Pritch came over around five. We were supposed to going to the pub for a Christmas drink with the lads from my secondary school. First, however, we needed to pick his sister up. Which I thought was odd, since I was pretty sure he had just dropped her off before coming to get me. Apparently she was at some hour-long after work party and we waited around for twenty minutes after getting in for her. We mostly talked about Guitar Hero.
We popped over to his house so he could change and I finally got a chance to play Guitar Hero 2. I was annoyed that there were even fewer songs that I knew on this game, but I tried one and did...moderately well on my first go. I blame it on the guitar. I like my fender. The Xplorer is weird.
Pritch can play on expert. He's not great, but he's definitely way better than me.
We set off, finally to the Shepherd's Rest. I hadn't been before, but I was optimistic. When I got there, there were four of my friends from school. And that was pretty much it until two more arrived about two hours later.
Still, it was a good night. I got to hang with some of old friends, including Nikki, the only girl who I've ever possibly had a chance with, if I had maybe tried at all. I got to eat some classic fish and chips. We took part in a raffle which none of us won. We took part in a quiz which neither of our teams won (although our Reading University team did beat the Southampton University team).
Still, it dragged on. It was even worse when we went to the Plough. Ignoring the crazy driving of Webby, who pissed off home after Rob played with his breakdown lights, It was nosier, busier and hotter. We found our way to a table and uncomfortably found chairs and hunched around them. I could tell Pritch really didn't want to stay till midnight and, as my ride home, meant that I wouldn't be either, which was fine.
We talked and stuff, but in the end we shook hands, wished each other 'Merry Christmasses', hugged and skulked off.
I was going to see most of them again at Dave's 21st, who I had convinced earlier in the evening to do paintballing. I say convinced, I said "we should go paintballing for your 21st" and Dave said "Yeah!"
I wished Pritch and Jack the same 'Merry Christmasses' I had before and thank him for the trip and said I'd see them both for paintballing, yada-yada-yada.
Anyhow, here I am. I could have made this funnier, but I did so much stuff today, that typing it all has left me a little bored.
Tomorrow, is the final. Probably.
And a late blog entry on Boxing dayEdit
I did completely forget about this until I was just about to go to bed, but I'm sharing the spare room with my brother, so I couldn't just get my laptop out and start typing. That said, this title is much better than anything I could have probably thought of.
Ok, so, Christmas, eh?
Well, I woke up about nine, when my mum came and knocked on the door. My mum is probably the most excited at Christmas. I think it's because she buys the majority of mine and my brothers presents and, like me, loves to see the looks on our faces when we open them.
My brother is less than excited, but it's tradition that we open our presents together and then my dad opens his afterwards when he finally stumbles awake. So, I washed up and told me brother to get his ass out of bed because I want to play with my new toys.
I was a little irked that my brother had easily twice as many gifts as me, but a lot of mine were expensive and my brothers...well, not so much.
Game wise I got Mass Effect, Tomb Raider Anniversary, Silent Hill Origins and Call of Duty 4. I was sort of hoping to get Naruto too, but I'm not too worried about that. I might go pick it up in the January sales. Most of the rest of my presents were just little things or, failing that, money. One cool gift my mum got me which I hadn't asked for (and since I was about seventeen, almost never happens) was a box set of Salaryman Kintaro, which I had considered downloading for a while now.
My dad got a Wii.
I hadn't used a Wii before, but I'm a lot more technologically savvy than my dad.
After a little fumbling, and creating my dad's Mii, setting up his Internet and what-not, I showed him around the system. I like how Nintendo have done the Wii. It's simple enough for my dad to use, so long as he doesn't play any real games. I'm supposed to show him how to play GI Jockey later today, so I don't know how that will go.
He beat me at bowling and baseball, but I won at tennis. In fairness, we both sucked at baseball, but he would slug it and when he did hit it, got a home run.
We decided to stop since my nan and her friends had come over. We were going for Christmas Lunch with them at some restaurant. I had duck. We all agreed it was a lot of money and I reminisced about how one Christmas we went to a restaurant with a carvery and I just had a bit plate of meat, roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings with gravy. Beauty.
I also tried explaining various 4Chan memes like lolcat to my family.
Me and my dad played on the quiz machine too. We did quite well. We put £1 in each and ended up with £3 each, so we were both up. We would have played some more, but we needed to go.
When we got home, I played around online for a bit, before playing some more Wii with my dad. I beat him 2-1 at three rounds of golf. He would have done better, but he kept either accidentally hitting it before he took his swing, letting go of A right before he hit the ball causing his Mii to step back or just hitting it too hard.
His other problem was that he had trouble getting a hold of the concept that the side of the Wiimote was the side of the side of the club and not the front. Fortunately, my mum had been given a Wiisports add-on with a baseball bat, tennis rackets and golf club that we had neglected to use because we had to keep taking the rubber jackets off.
After beating both my dad and brother at Wii fitness, I went to my room to watch a little anime and the Ross Noble DVD my nan had gotten me.
About an hour and a half in, my brother came into the room saying he wanted to read his book. I would have used some headphones, but the only ones I have are for the PSP and they don't work on other things. My brother eventually decided he couldn't read his book and went to watch one of the pirate DVDs my dad had gotten for Christmas.
For some strange reason, my brother than decided at about eleven that he wanted to go bed. I had always assumed that he was a bit of a night owl, which he used to be, but apparently a steady job and bills to pay have caused him to get a bit sleepy a little before twelve. Of course my student going self had none of this, so I went to the living room where I played Tales of the World for about three hours, before quietly showing and going to bed.
I say quietly, I'm quite confident I woke everyone in the house up.
Including my dog.
And that's it. Today I'm going to see family and hopefully go and see I Am Legend with my family, which will probably be the first movie we've seen together at a cinema since Titanic.