Ooh, hello.

I remembered how to log in on here. Gosh, dredging up the past is like using one of those snakes to get the gunk out of the bathtub. Apparently I have gotten old enough to not know how to edit information on here, but to those of who you don't communicate to me in other places but still use this site - I'm now in Athens, Georgia.

I feel a bit lonely and I've having slight concerns about my welfare with this heat forcing me to stay indoors as much as possible. Once we get past the summer and back to tolerable weather, I'll enjoy getting to explore the city more and hopefully making some more friends. But now, right now, it's cheap living and keeping cool.

So, who's still around here?


This came up while playing FIFA 12. A bit of NBA Elite-style Jesus-posin'! This is also me posting it into LJ to see if I can find a workaround to upload this to Youtube or somewhere else...

Très simple


You know what? I used to write a load of stuff in here. It was only when a family member from back in England asked how long it's been since I got out to America that I used LJ to check.

Coming up to six years. And I was a pretentious little shit all that time ago. It's as if I wanted to confuse any readers with the kinds of words usually reserved for thesauruses, definitely not the kind of language a person would rationally utter.

I miss writing but I don't miss making the time for writing. I suppose I miss parts of England but I don't miss England. I refer to it as home as I've lived more of my life there than I have here in the US, but it doesn't feel like home any more. Just a place my family lives and where delicious snack foods keep out of reach for me to indulge in.

But, for two weeks, I will gorge. I will be filled with Twiglets and saveloys and Ribena and Peperamis and steak crisps and shandy. I will want to implode and then I will remember that once I leave, once I shove all the spare food I can into the suitcases, that this is jolly well it for my indulgences, for my childhood delicacies, for my comfort food, for another few years or so. A fifty pound suitcase may well be filled with snacks. For the cost of a second suitcase ($25? $50?) it's cheaper than air mail.

Between now and arriving I have apparently $300 of digital content I could buy. I need a mobile phone, I want a snooker video game, I'd like some DVDs of dark comedies and dramas that might never make it over here. A part of me is disgusted at being excited by so much stuff that is basically information pressed onto a disc, a lazy tangible product, but the other part is very happy and just having some more British stuff.

It's odd. Can I say I'm an Anglophile but without a feeling of identity for the country I was born and raised in? Does that make sense?

Time To Pack The Shirts Away

I have been consistently getting Sundays and Tuesdays off at work. I hadn't realised how it felt to get into a set schedule. I like knowing my days are consistent, although I feel if I'm going to let myself get into the virtues of a monotonous schedule I should try to get two days off in a row. I feel like this is myself getting on the greedy side, however.

One of the saddest changes in our corporation was the addition of a uniform - which can be defined as a shirt you expect to see being worn in movie theatres. That polyester kind of clothing that does nothing to impress and everything to homogenize. Options for these shirts were black with white trim or red with black trim. I chose the red option, due to the colour scheme making me think of Manchester United. When Stephanie and I moved into our current apartment, I would still wear a buttoned, collared shirt and a smart pair of pants to work. My only excuse to wear these shirts now are on my days off. I must have a dozen shirts, and can honestly say that two-thirds of them are not shirts I'm going to want to wear on a day off. You know, they're too functional and not personal enough to warrant being worn consistently.

I, instead, am spending a good chunk of cash on geeky t-shirts. The kind of gaming t-shirts that will be understood by the right people, or just look interesting to others. It's cheaper than a good shirt and tie and it is more personal, so. I also want to make some shirts up of my own. Absolutely have to get on with some of these concepts. You know, I'm sure if I go back through those posts from years ago, I talked of all the things I wanted to make. Did I make any of them? Of course not. The cost of getting someone to make the shirt is more than buying someone's more impressive shirt. Uniqueness be damned, I can take the easy way out and get less paint over the cat.

I think I'm going to take those collared shirts off of the hangers in our closet. I'm going to put some of the t-shirts up. Buy some more hangers, possibly, and get a lot more things on display. The bold colours for my clothing will be more interesting to look at. I should look into donating the clothing I'm not going to wear any more. Tomorrow seems like a good day to do a good deed. The local Salvation Army is about a mile up the street, so I'm not inclined to give myself a hernia to get rid of clothing, but it might be cathartic to get rid of some of the things I don't even remember owning, let alone want to wear again.

I miss a display area for my quirky trinkets. Right now they sit in a giant egg, the kind you get in Kinder Surprises, except this egg used to house a giant Jack Skellington made of a Lego-style design. Anyway, this egg holds a whole load of random stuff and I should get some of the items in there on display. No use letting all these things go to waste.

I am ultimately an out of sight, out of mind kind of person. I buy a lot of things to forget what they are or why I have them. I also want to go through my DVD collection and throw some of this stuff to some local place, because Netflix does the job just as well and I have less physical stuff to move around for the next big move-around.

Seattle is not my home, and it definitely isn't Stephanie's. Again, another thing where I could say the plans to get out stopped and I haven't done enough to get the moving attempt back into motion. I don't know. We have a cat to look after that I don't want to move with, he's moved a lot and gone through a lot of trauma already. I want to see more of this side of the world. The move would likely take us away from the west coast, it's too expensive to live in most of the nice spots in California, for example. I wonder how many other excuses I could put together if I really wanted to. Don't tempt me to make a list.

For someone that doesn't want to move, I make myself very comfortable here. The nice little luxuries like the television that wouldn't make the move with us, the extra clothes that'll take up prime real estate in our suitcases. The bed. The games systems! Oh, goodness, moving those things around sounds frightening in itself. On the whole, if it's something technologically inclined, I probably want to keep it if we were to move again. I'm quite a tragic case as far as that goes. I hoard too much, yet look at what I have right now and feel I've definitely hoarded a lot less than "the good ol' days". But one day I'll decide to look into the suitcases at the non-clothing stuff I still possess and feel quite embarrassed to make such a statement. That will be an emotion not conveyed online when it happens.

Right. Doing the nodding head stuff. Oh yes. Got to get into bed proper. Tomorrow will be constructive and I'll have a few less pounds of junk by the end of it if it goes well. If it doesn't, I'll have probably just begun playing too much Football Manager and stuffing my face full of white-choc pretzels.
Barcode Simplicity

Permanent Account // Junk food for my soul.

Sometimes I think about money too much. There's fiscally frugal and there's fiscally irrational, and I want to pretend I'm more the former but am probably closer to the latter. I irrationally spend money, but accepted it in my head that people do that. Also, why did I determine it to be irrational? So I'm impulsively shopping for extra seasonal gifts, treats to get through the bleak winter days, the stupidity, the monotony, the blurring of days from the constant work. However, here I am listing reasons of why I'm doing it. That's slightly more rational, then! I can just as easily look back and see how I've irrationally tried to find ways to earn extra money, or save money.

I considered selling this "permanent account" and leaving livejournal behind a while ago, just because, why not? I put a lot of money into this journal and wasn't getting much out of it these days. I don't make icons like I used to, even though I enjoyed making silly little icons because I don't have much space to work with - less of an area to mess up, basically. It was a creative outlet. But I use the video games I keep buying to make levels, because that's where technology has gotten to these days. Why would someone look into the details, into a lengthy entry like this, if it can be done more succinctly? With things like Facebook and Twitter appearing, people lose the capacity - or attention span - to write more than 140 characters. I daresay some of us have lives so busy, 140 characters is just about all we'd want to read about a person from the other side of the country you followed via a mutual interest as well.

Honest truth, maybe I wasn't letting myself get the chance to type and get thoughts out. I've been told consistently that I censor myself online - I don't know what would be written if I didn't use the delete or backspace keys. If I want to talk about things that I might feel uncomfortable putting online, well, I'll talk to someone personally because most of those uncomfortable subjects need further dialogue, questions and responses that come across as misinterpreted at worst, and stinted and incomplete at best online. What's wrong with talking to Steph and writing stuff on here too? Well, redundancy is something I am not fond of, partially because of my very own obsessive-compulsive streaks forcing me to check and double-check certain things I do on a regular basis, and partially because I feel a conversation or a moment might hold less personal value when it's available for public perusal and evaluation. On the other hand, I have a tragically selective memory, and if I write about anything worthwhile that stands out amongst the monotony, maybe I'll feel better about myself and what I am doing with my life in regards to the work I do and the company I keep. I don't want life to just blend together like some kind of turgid, festering oatmeal.

So, the actual big news, that might be worth putting in a post.

Steph wants to travel overseas somewhere for a lengthy period of time, maybe flat out move. We'll just save up the money, give up the jobs and spend some time having fun. I sold my video game systems and my games when I left Europe. I like the idea of travel, realistically, because I think I might be unable to get this promotion with my current district manager, and why not enjoy myself and use the time to work out what else I can do. However, I don't want to go through with the moving overseas again, especially not back to Enfield. Maybe it's the knowledge that I think England, as a country, needs a generation to live through the sudden migration of Europeans to smooth out what I feel is acute xenophobia - small circles causing large ripples - and maybe it's because I prefer being in a country where people like my accent.

What do I want? I would like to visit a new state this year, try to write more on here, try to write more in general - but not to force myself to any schedule because I will become lazy and write incredibly dull things into here if I, say, forced myself to write for at least twenty minutes into here every day. That one always stays in my mind as a potential resolution, but I always see the concept (something for self-improvement, yet written for the interest of other people, who can choose to scroll through and ignore the whole sordid affair, which results in zero responses, or worse, pity responses from people close to me which are nothing more but elaborate "Keep It Up!" messages, despite whatever I may have written being as charming as a hairball) as lacking. I could make more icons, or I could be creative in more interesting and unique ways. Stephanie made a bucket list book using standard paper, intricate weaving to hold the pages together, and a cigarette carton for the cover. While I do not envy the concept of putting pressure on yourself to do things you'd enjoy - it makes something that might be ordinarily whimsically fun into an achievement, my analytical mind will see it as a ticked box, a statistic, a fraction towards a goal - I did envy her pretty book made using a cigarette carton as a cover. I mean, I'd want to have five grand extra in my bank account through hard work, but what does that do in terms of making more time for people? Looking after myself? Do I put myself at risk long-term by trying to walk off any injury or illness I get short-term? This year I will invite more people over for group gatherings, and worry about the money situations when I don't have enough to get what I need from life, and hope that will be enough to continue my adventures with Steph, who really means the world to me.

She asked me to read a book recently. I blitzed through it. I can't even remember what book it was now, but if she told me the title of it I'd remember some of it, maybe. I should read more. Whether that means I will do or not is down to how much it hurts my ego to know I'm pretty much a simpleton when it comes to books, the training wheels never came off the bicycle, I've only gravitated towards British comedians doing silly things to show the charm of strangers and the beauty of travel, when life is temporarily about a pointless objective - dragging a fridge around Ireland, perhaps - but begins to discuss the people they meet as the more enlightening aspect of the endeavour.

I've never watched The Godfather or Citizen Kane, nor have I listened to what are probably considered classic American albums. I can't claim myself to be an aficionado of anything aside from particular genres of video games and possibly, questionably, fonts. Would it be good to broaden my horizons and be able to discuss books, or classic movies, or fonts? Honestly, at this point in time, probably not. Not so specifically like that, no.

Steph told me the title of the book. Yeah, I do remember some of it, though it's a book that's just someone rambling on, a journal on football that he was able to sell and people have read and respected for its honesty in its harshness sometimes. That'd be a trait I'd like to have, but you probably can't have a profession involving friendly customer service while being frankly honest. There's a definite game face (pun not intended) a person in retail has to put on, to handle the most stressful of complications and yet also handle the lowest common denominators - the abject stupidity on display from gormless patrons. Then there's the co-workers, and the worries that I may taint these people. Do I feel I ever show any of my co-workers the real me? Maybe, but only once the store is closed and I'm rambling away while counting the registers. Do I feel that might be a bad thing if I invite them over constantly? Probably not. Maybe.

So. What started as a post where I would write something about it being a kind of resolution to write on here every day became a talk about how I wouldn't dream of flooding your friends' pages with floral blatherings, especially because if I do intend to find any kind of spark that keeps me writing, I won't find it by forcing myself into writing for twenty minutes a day, glowering face glowing against monitor, clicking for inspiration from thesaurus.com for more complex words, to improve my vocabulary. I might be able to go for a while without the constant editing, though I'd find myself selectively editing what I'd write about work - I'm technically not even meant to review games, per se, because my opinion is not the opinion of the corporation I work for, but because of the essence of a corporate identity, my writing could be misconstrued by people who arguably wouldn't know what misconstrued meant. Maybe I should stick a couple of fingers up at that and write about something I like, because that would unquestionably be a good subject to go on about, although the amount of people already online doing such things makes that, somewhat ironically, one of the most redundant things I could do with an online journal.

So surmise what was meant to be my last paragraph, I still don't know, in general, what to do with this journal - or with myself. Maybe my problem isn't thinking about money too much, but thinking too much in general. I should find some things I enjoy doing, simple pleasures, and document them for myself - perhaps by audio or by video to prevent editing - and if you guys like it as well, that's good too.


Have got back into Football Manager 2008 to some extent. Spent a large chunk of time customising a Seattle team together based upon the players I can find in the database and tweaking a few statistics. Some players were set in the database without positions, and I gave each of the players a few statistics based upon what the coach says about them - if he says they're pacy and determined midfielders, I give those stats a bit of a bump.

This does remind me of my favourite game of FM, where I put myself into the game with good attributes, potential 130 or so, and let the game play for 10 years to see where I'd end up. Was playing for Championship level Aston Villa, who'd just got relegated despite having a European Footballer of the Year in their team. I remember selling him on for £25m or so and throwing a new defence into the team, and I had some all star Andorran defender that was the linchpin of the club. Most cheerful moment was recruiting myself and finding out I was a damned good defensive coach. And some regen Belgian wunderkind whose name I can't remember but it was slightly offensive sounding.

Anyway, now I'm looking into messing around with the database some more. I'm going to check the technicalities of it, but see if I can form some kind of national team in club team format. I tried something like this in the Danish league but the players would transfer between clubs, sullying everything. Apparently the Malaysian league doesn't allow anyone from outside their nation to play in their league. This might be the best way to fix something up.
A Few Days Ago

Rinse, repeat One Month On

Yeah, really. I noticed in the past I blogged things less when I was around Jamie. I blog a lot less with Stephanie around. Nothing I'm upset about, just an observation.

So, from last month: the throat is better, though Steph thinks it was more than me just hurting my throat with web videos, because she developed a really intense throat problem that meant she was struggling to breathe - her tonsils had swollen to the point that breathing hurt. Being helpless for Steph (and possibly a carrier of some crazy British throat disease) was pretty mortifying. Am glad she's better now.

After having the 360 break down and get returned to me, the laptop I own subsequently broke down. Again. It'd been on death's door for a while, with screen issues and all kinds of weird hang-ups, but it finally cracked. Was informed of the price to fix the system. Let's just say that will be the last repair on this guy. When Steph and I work out our future and where we intend to settle down at, we'll get ourselves a behemoth of a desktop.

Our TV is starting to fizzle and crack so I think if we give it a few more weeks, that might be another thing to keep some money aside for. Although that won't be a repair, we will definitely go nuts and buy a nice flat-screen hi-def TV. I think just for weight purposes those TVs are nice. A big block of television is damned heavy to lug around, that's for sure. Mind you, that kind of makes the desktop computer seem a little hypocritical.

Our major reason to assume we're moving a little bit around the Seattle area is that we want to get a cat back - Jamie used to have a cat called Schnitzel who she had to let go of due to her boyfriend being severely allergic to it. It was moved to friends in Tacoma who I don't think did a good job looking after him. I'm not saying I'm a whiz with pets, but I have the common knowledge to know that if you're struggling to pay for the low-ash food the pet needs, you don't go out and pick up two kittens. They might be moving by October, and we have to move into a more spacious apartment before they go, because Schnitzel cannot leave the state. I don't think he's got another trip in him. I was the one who had Schnitzel under my seat when we flew from New Jersey to Seattle. He was frightened and it took him a few weeks to get back to his usual self afterwards. Add a few years on and a few months of malnourishment and throw him on another trip and I think he might not make it.

But, to better news now - we got to take a vacation out to upstate New York, to visit Steph's family and to see friends Sarah and Ruth get married. Steph put a lot of the events up in detail in her journal. Again, photographs are still forthcoming. I can't say I was excited to leave on the trip, there was a slight worry that I wouldn't handle upstate "country life" because I'm used to being able to walk to all my conveniences, and that I expected muddy ramshackle buildings left, right and centre. I expected to have to bring the heavy Doc Martens with me to account for all the mud. But I had a really good time, and can't remember seeing a pile of mud around. Just a lot of lush greenery for miles and miles around. Houses with acres of backyard space, people having exchanged the busy life for a giant house they can work on themselves - you know, a fun do it yourself project that could last you years. Steph's mother has the entire first floor done and the second floor is still a work in progress, but it took a little while to adjust and remember that Steph's old bedroom was bigger than our studio.

It was a definite real vacation unlike the expedition of London, where I crammed a ridiculous amount of stuff into the time we had. Steph remarked I go into Holiday Mode when I'm travelling, where I have all these reserves of energy to keep me awake alongside an alarmingly useful body clock that adjusts without jetlag being an issue. I got on well with Steph's family, although she felt they were walking on eggshells around me, keeping on their best behaviour. I remember the freak out that occurred when Steph's mother got lost in midtown Seattle. It was expletive-fuelled pandemonium in our car. She was totally in her element in New York for our trip over there, and seemed a lot happier just to see Steph. Why have a reason to get wound up when your baby girl is back in town for a while?

Right, work soon. Got to get going. Projects for me over the next week include going through the programs on here and basically keeping this machine in better shape than it was. And then getting pictures uploaded. And then maybe working out what I'm going to do with a DSi our store won at work. My first plan of action appears to be getting Dr. Mario on it for Steph, though.

For Those Without An Attention Span, Myself Included.

  • 13:39 So. Many. Tourists. Two thirds of the people I've spoken to today don't use English as their first language. Reminds me of Enfield. #
  • 14:31 In other news: Steph and I should take a vacation in the fall. Not sure where to go though. #
  • 19:05 I've said to Steph that I love my job but in summer I feel like a real grump. The mixture of work and hot weather is not for me. #