March 24th, 2001

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I didn't update last night coz I didn't think I'd done anything interesting enough to talk about. Life seems fairly dull at the moment as all I do is sit in front of the computer and either work or spod. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and one good thing is not having to get up at 6am to leave the house for the trip to work. And I get to spod all day ... but it's still getting a bit tedious. I don't think it's the 'not going to work' bit that's the actual problem, it's more that as I feel I have to work I don't get to go out or to do anything interesting while I'm in front of the computer. I'd love it if I didn't have to work. There're so many things I could do. I could get to grips with html and do myself a webpage - I need to think of more content, but equally now I have this journal (and once I can pay for it, iBill is being shitty) I can put that in for the 'about me' stuff, and I can put stuff about my PhD project, and stuff about things I'm interested in. I could learn to code, I started to learn C while jobhunting about 5 years ago, but that's been on the backburner for a while (ie I've not done anything since I got a job coz I have the commute which tires me out). I'd love to write a sort of ALife simulation - little organisms that evolve, I'm very interested in evolution and things like that so that'd be really fun. There're so many theories and things I could try and code into it. Like game theory for the interactions, like the Red Queen hypothesis for why sex evolved, like stuff that mimics all Richard Dawkins stuff with his computer generated 'organisms' (can't remember what they're called offhand). I sometimes regret choosing to specialise in biochemistry coz I really do like the theory in areas like behavioural studies and evolution. But I can't handle the practical work for behaviour - I'm really bad at being able to deal with animals. I find it difficult to actually touch them, pick them up, handle them at all ... it's weird, but I've always been like that, I had a hamster when I was a kid, and I loved it lots but I still couldn't deal with letting it run over me, it made me shudder. Biochemistry is fun too, don't get me wrong, and if I'd been in any other field I'd feel the same at this point about that field. It's thesis-writing blues I guess ;)
  • Current Music
    Porcupine Tree "Lightbulb Sun"
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That last entry went off on a bit of a tangent so I thought I'd do a seperate one about what I've actually been doing :)

Didn't get to bed till 1am last night and we had to go to the bank today so we dragged ourselves out of bed at 0930. And promptly went and spodded for half an hour or so like the junkies we are ;)

Having got into town before the bank shut we sorted out our stuff. Isn't it amazing how much less irritating ineptitude is when it comes with a genuine desire to be helpful? Yeah, so we had to point out a few things on the computer interface that shoulda been blindingly obvious, but she was a nice woman who wanted to sort the stuff out and seemed to enjoy dealing with customers. It'd've been even better if she'd been a bit brighter and a bit more clued up, but I didn't end up pissed off with her like I do if the inept person is also surly and pissed off at having to do their job and talk to a customer.

Bought J a PS2 game - the new star wars one that's just come out over here. I was buying it coz everything on the credit card bill we just got was mine (I just have a second card on J's), and it came to about the same amount as the game so J decided that'd be a good way to repay it ;)

J bought me a present too *beam* He got me Terminator on DVD. It's one of the few films I like and would like to see more than once. All the films I like are actiony type things - I don't like chick flicks and 'humourous' films and TV programs tends to leave me cold or make me cringe. Terminator is pretty much the first film I remember enjoying. Didn't see it at the cinema as I was too young at the time (I think) - saw it first in school when one of the art teachers played it us in the last lesson or two before xmas when I was in lower sixth. And I saw it again on TV when ITV did a Schwarzenegger season 8 or so years ago. And I watched it on video a couple of times when I was with my ex-boyfriend. I think it's the film I've seen most of all, infact. Well except Star Wars (episode 4, I mean) coz that was on every xmas when I was a kid. But it's been years since I saw it last, so I look forward to watching it. I just have to be in the right mood to watch a film first - I still prefer books to films, whatever the film is.

I also bought a book today - I was just standing in Waterstones waiting for J to show up (we pretty much always go to seperate shops on our Sat afternoon shopping trips coz he spends hours in the record shops which bores me silly and I can spend hours just pottering around looking at cosmetics and clothes (closet girliness coming out here ;) ) which bores him silly). And before I knew it 50 minutes had passed and I was a third of the way through this book and completely hooked. More about it in another entry (to be next, and about books :) ).

I also did the girly type shopping. I don't think of myself as being a particularly girly-girl but I was thinking about it earlier this evening and that side does come out more often than I really realise. So I just went to Boots, but I went and bought perfume. The perfume I always wear (Wings by Giorgio Beverly Hills) had been discontinued a while ago and my bottle is beginning to run low. So I smelt a few and finally bought the smallest bottle of 'Ghost' (can't remember the maker and I've flung out the packaging) and 'Hot Couture' which is a new one by Givenchy. So I'm gonna try wearing them alternately or something for a bit and see which I like best then start buying decent sized bottles of my favourite to just wear everday.

I also got the new razor for women that Gillete have out - being the ultimate consumer and all that ;) It's the 'feminine' equivalent of the Mach 3 one they did for chaps a while ago which J has. And it supposedly cuts you less and irritates the skin less - and certainly that seems to be the case for J. But all that's just justification - it looks funky and I just felt like buying it ;)

Painted my nails again once I'd finished the book I bought. J was doing updates to this machine so I was at a little bit of a loose end as I didn't want to start another book till I'd let this 'settle'. Found a purple nail polish I'd forgotten I owned. I love the colour purple and this is a really funky deep purple that's very shiny once it's dried. I think next week for the meet I'm going to do my nails purple and green (alternating, so one nail purple, next nail green). It's been ages since I did anything but one colour, and this purple will go really well with the dark green I wore for my wedding. Just hope not too many of my nails break during the next week as they're getting quite long and just right for being painted and displayed :)
  • Current Music
    Porcupine Tree "Lightbulb Sun"
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Books!

Ok, as promised - books. I originally intended to try and write a review for everything I read, but that's fallen by the wayside coz I can't always think of something interesting to say about everything I read. So as the point was for me to keep track of what I read and not to entertain you all per se I'm just gonna list what I've read and a few thoughts about each, starting with all that I've read since the last review which was a while ago. Be warned that there may be medium-ish spoilers for the plots, if that sort of thing bothers you.

"Second Wind" by Dick Francis.
I picked this up at Norwich station as I was on my way home and had messed up the connections so had an hours wait before the train. Nice piece of fluff like all Dick Francis books - thriller, as always, this time the hero is a weather man for the BBC who does forecasts for horse racing types. He and his somewhat less than stable friend get a chance to fly through the eye of a hurricane, but get involved in a world wide conspiracy.

"The War God's Own" by David Weber.
Got to buy this one sometime! It's a fantasy story, with the 'traditional' kit of races of man plus some extras ie Dwarfs, Elves, Halflings etc. The hero is a member of one of the extras, he is a Hradani, who are in general considered to be ferocious barbarians. Which is pretty much true, certainly in the past. He has been chosen by the War God to be a Champion and this tale deals with the problems associated with that - the difficulties the other races have coming to terms with it. And also partly deals with the changes within the hradani race.

"The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction" edited by Edward L Ferman and Gordon Van Gelder.
This is a collection of short stories which were published in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine, it is a celebration of their 50th Anniversary (1999). Some good stories, some that left me cold. Covered a wide range from fairly hard sf to pretty light a fluffy fantasy.

"Mad Merlin" by J Robert King.
Yep, it's an Arthur story. I normally like these, but not sure I'll bother reading this one again. A different take on the whole thing, with Merlin being Jupiter cast down to earth and made mortal when people quit believing in him. Not sure why, but I wasn't that keen on it.

"Transformation" by Carol Berg.
This is the book I bought in Waterstones this afternoon. It's fantasy, the hero is a slave captured in war 16 years ago who is being sold to the prince of the empire that conquered and killed his people. The prince is an arrogant bastard with a temper like nothing on earth. But there are flashes of redeeming qualities. The slave comes from a race that devote their lives to casting out demons and thus when he senses situation developing he both wants to intervene as his training taught him and wants to stand back due to his years of bitterness as a badly treated slave. During the book both the hero and the prince go through a lot of change, overcoming the effects of captivity in one case and growing up in the other. I really liked this, and it's the author's first book so things should get better :) It's the first in a series, but there's enough closure at the end of the book to be a satisfying read on its own (just as well coz it was only published in the UK this year so the next won't be out for a while).
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Just tweaked my LJ settings and now I have a funky purple journal :) Bit dark possibly so I'll have another play some other time.

Got a paid journal now :) Thanks to J for sorting that out :)