johncoxon: ([Me] Renovation)

Hello LiveJournal! Writing this on Monday morning at work, because I was too tired last night.

Monday and Tuesday were roleplay, as per usual: Pathfinder and Star Wars, respectively. It felt like we got through more roleplay on the Monday than we have been doing recently, although I don’t know whether that’s just my perception or not. I helped the GM solve a technical problem after we’d played, regarding the upcoming redesign of Physics for Idiots, a website that he and a couple of friends of ours constructed back in the day. It’s an exciting project, and I’m looking forward to seeing Physics for Idiots reborn in all its glory! Star Wars was fun, I’m still enjoying GMing and I’m having a blast coming up with ways to have the players’ explorations land them on the main plot by hook or by crook. I like the feeling that they can go and poke around and still wind up uncovering stuff that’s relevant, but it requires a lot of reworking and improvisation as a game progresses. It’s a rather terrifying experience, actually.

Wednesday was a bit weird for two reasons: firstly, it was the graduation ceremony for the College of Science and Engineering, so I was tasked with selling the Journal of Physics Special Topics to the graduates. It’s a compilation of some of the miniature papers that they write over the course of a year, and so they tend to get bought so that people can sign them, etc. I produce the book for the department each year, and each year I have to work out all the problems from scratch because I take terrible notes. Next year, I’ll be at my new post in Southampton and so I won’t be able to do it; as such, this year I took pretty good notes. I must blog them, really. In the evening of Wednesday, [livejournal.com profile] cmdrsuzdal and I went to Café Research, a monthly meeting of postgraduates to discuss postgraduate research throughout the University of Leicester. This month saw the launch of Frontier, a new magazine that also focuses on postgraduate research – I was the director of design for the inaugural issue, so I attended to see that happen. I have a couple of copies for my parents, etc., and it’s quite cool to see my designs in a semi-professional magazine!

I know we watched The 40-Year-Old Virgin at some stage this week and I think it was Wednesday night. I enjoyed it, it was silly and fun. We also started watching Orphan Black at some stage, which I am enjoying. And we really need to finish the series of Rick and Morty, which should really be getting a Hugo Award this time next year.

Thursday and Friday were much the same at work, but both involved barbecues afterwards. The Thursday saw a couple of my colleagues throw a barbecue leading into watching The Secret Life of Students, because the latest episode had my supervisor in it. España and I left before the communal watching so that we could watch it in bed, but it was fun to see the department and academics I know featured on the show. I’ve actually been rather enjoying the show generally, so it’s nice to keep up with it on the day it airs (especially given that it tends to get discussed at work). Friday, [livejournal.com profile] himedark decided to throw a barbecue, which was great fun. It was nice to hang out with Lianne, Liz, Hamish and Ian, and have España spend a bit more time with them. We ate way too much meat, which was also very fun!

Saturday, I went to the gym really early before España was properly awake, and we headed to Mrs Bridges Tearooms when she had gotten up so that we could get a spot of breakfast. I got some pork shoulder diced on the market for an experiment, and then we headed home to clean the flat. That evening was Chris’ birthday dinner at Buddies USA, so we got a lift with Liz and Hamish and met up with Alex, Lianne, Shannon, Andrew, Chris, Ash and Nicola at the restaurant. It was fun: España had a burger that came in two waffles instead of in a bun, with maple syrup. I had the Chewbacka, which is just bacon, cheese and mushrooms – also yummy. After the meal I headed back to Chris and Andrew’s to drink some prosecco, and then headed home to collapse into bed because knackered.

Sunday was a day on which my parents visited at 09:30 to drop some stuff off, so we got up stupid early. I made a banoffee pie and hung out with Chris, Andrew, Alex, and Lianne to play Eldritch Horror, which is jolly good fun. It’s similar to Arkham Horror in terms of the need to close gates and defeat monsters, but the actual lower-level mechanics are different enough that I think it’s worth playing both. I had a great time.

Finally on Sunday, I went to see Monty Python with my friend Josh. It was really great fun, but the introduction of a few new jokes in places didn’t work very well. Honestly the best bits were when they were corpsing or forgetting their lines on stage. John Cleese, particularly, seemed to be having difficulty with lines and whatnot. I was pleased to see Graham Chapman appear on the monitor quite prominently. All in all, a good evening (and about 3.5 hours long at the cinema, which was worth the money!).

Until next time, LiveJournalers!

johncoxon: (Hellblazer #215)
On Saturday, my half-brother David and his girlfriend Beccy came over to stay the weekend. This was good, as I hadn't seen David for absolutely yonks and I've never met Beccy, but did have the unfortunate side-effect that I had to miss the ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha committee meeting that was scheduled for the same day (sorry guys...).

David, Beccy, Mum and I all went into town for different reasons - I wanted to get my copy of the Serenity RPG Game Master's Screen from the shop in Rivergate, David and Beccy wanted to explore the city (it didn't take them very long but I'm pretty sure all they did was wander around the cathedral for a while before heading to a coffee shop) and Mum wanted to meet up with a friend of hers (George wanted mum to buy him paint from the dreaded Games Workshop, which she very kindly agreed to do).

Eventually, after we'd all done what we wanted to do, we met up with mum in a coffee shop with her friend and after that we drifted home. It was quite a fun morning/afternoon activity. I told David about my obsession with The Mighty Boosh and as Beccy had watched bits of it she suggested we sit down and watch a couple of episodes in the afternoon, to which David and I agreed. We watched some, and David seemed to quite enjoy it (he has a similar sense of humour to mine).

That evening we went out for dinner, to the pub (I can't remember what it's called but it's on the way from Stamford to Peterborough). I had a very nice set of barbecued pork ribs with a couple of pints of some very nice beer, followed up by a very nice pudding (I have a feeling it was something like dark chocolate torte but I can't quite remember!). It was great fun.

The next day we went to Burghley Sculpture Park, which led to several extremely amusing videos of David on my phone and some amusing videos and pictures of the sculptures too. It was great fun and I enjoyed myself a great deal. Unfortunately, too soon after that, it was time for David and Beccy to vamoose, and so they left us to our own devices. It was nice to see him again though!


Monday and Tuesday were almost entirely uneventful. There was nothing much that happened and there's nothing much to say about them.


Wednesday was the day that Jess [livejournal.com profile] xxjccjccxx arrived again, and also the day of a driving lesson (we did emergency stops and it was fun). Jess and I went to a gig at the Met Lounge in the evening, which featured Pure (the band for which Tom [livejournal.com profile] manicguitarist plays bass guitar). We were lucky that they were on first, as although they are an excellent band the other bands playing really, really aren't. We saw Jason [livejournal.com profile] jimmyalbon and Benedict there and after the Pure part of the gig, we left with them to go to Pizza House, to eat garlic bread, drink beer and be merry. This proved to be a successful and wise move, as we really enjoyed ourselves before Dad picked Jess and me up.


Thursday was the day of the trip to London! Jess, Mum, George and I piled onto a train heading to London (WAGN are now FirstCapitalConnect, which is a really stupid name) and we arrived at London King's Cross station at 1005 before catching the tube to Camden Town - so we probably got to Camden by around 1030. What we unfortunately didn't realise is that with the exception of the food stalls and a fair few of the regular stalls, about half of the stalls don't actually bother to open until midday, meaning that some of the stuff we could have looked at was shut. Having said that, Jess and I found plenty of stalls to keep us occupied for an hour and a half, including my purchase of a very nice necklace (it's a cross carved out of stone on a black stringy type thing, and I like it a lot). Jess and I bought tacos, Moroccan food, donuts and Chinese food before we all got onto the tube to go to the Hammersmith (via King's Cross).

This is the part of the story which I quite like, since it involves Deeply Cool Stuff happening. We went to the Lyric Hammersmith theatre to see the matinee performance of The Wolves In The Walls, which is based upon the children's novel written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean. Neil's been involved in the production since it was first suggested and so it has had a lot of input by him over the course of its preparation. I thought it was alright. It is aimed at small children - "Anybody over the age of seven who's not a scaredy-cat" - and although it tries to have something in there for everyone it is better for small children than big children like me, I think. Some parts were extremely cleverly done and I did laugh out loud a couple of times but the story was extremely simple (to be expected, I suppose) which I felt detracted from the production, but doubtless made it better to those small children I mentioned earlier.

After the performance Neil was in a seperate part of the theatre doing a Q&A which started around ten minutes after the end of the "musical pandemonium" (as the production is billed). It was very cool to see him, as Jess and I were on the front row having gone straight there, and it was interesting to see his responses to the questions (he is very suspicious of allegory in books, as he feels that good writing should have more than one meaning and not be tied to just one theme, for example). This was really cool and things, but afterwards he sat at a small table in the foyer-cum-cafe-cum-shop outside the theatre and started signing books, at which point I managed to get his autograph, a picture taken with him and asked him a question (I asked him what he thought of the current comic adaptation of his book, Neverwhere. He said that it wasn't how he would have done it, but he wasn't doing it, so that was OK). This was undoubtedly the best part of the whole day.

After we'd been to the Lyric, we took the tube back to King's Cross then got the train back to Peterborough, where we ordered in pizza to fill the niggling little holes in our stomachs.


Friday was Good Friday, as you should all know by looking at your calendars! Mum, Dad, Jess and I went into Stamford to have a look at the market there - we went to a coffee shop and ordered hot chocolate. After that, we went to Tesco, where I bought Mario Kart DS (it's very good) and persuaded my parents to buy Ben & Jerry's icecream before we then went home and ate lunch. Jess had to go early that afternoon, which was a shame as I enjoy being with her, her being my girlfriend and all. After she'd gone home, my aunts and grandparents (on Dad's side) arrived to stay over Easter and I had to go to work.


Then, today, on Easter Saturday, members of my extended family and I went into town. We all went in for different reasons, and only I went to purchase The Sandman: Season Of Mists, which is bloody brilliant. I also have a copy of Howard The Duck and a comic book collector's box waiting for me next time I go in to town. After coming back from town we ate lunch. At 1915 sharp I went to the sitting room to watch the latest episode of Doctor Who, the first in the second of the new series. I was actually slightly disappointed, the whole thing was slightly anti-climatic IMHO and I felt that the whole Cassandra/there's something sinister happening! could have been cleverly set up amid suspense and scarifying rather than just "hi! It's me again!" The Doctor would have worked out it wasn't Rose the moment she kissed him rather than until she wasn't caring about the people in the testing facility, also, and the voice he would not have put down to high jinks. He should've noticed something before hitting intensive care, especially since she suddenly seemed to have a grand knowledge of computers in the year 5000023. These are minor gripes, but since The Christmas Invasion was so good, I was expecting the next episode to be just as good. I am really, really looking forward to the Torchwood spinoff, since I love the episodes set in a military-Earth context, for some reason. After Doctor Who, we then went to a Chinese restaurant for tea which was also very nice.


I hope you're all enjoying your Easter Holidays, and I might post one more holiday post before the end of the holidays, maybe.
johncoxon: (Default)
I went to see the Mighty Boosh last night at the Broadway theatre, in Peterborough, with my friend Lawrence.

It was fucking awesome.

The Mighty Boosh, and reasons why... )

Another thing which happened recently was me purchasing, reading, and finishing Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It was absolutely superb. I think it's better than American Gods, I guess because it's a more British book (being set in London, and all) and the lead character Richard, as opposed to Shadow (lead character in AG), is much more likeable. I just liked the whole thing slightly better, and I would definitely recommend it, available here.


Also, I bought a new phone! Yes, the Nokia 3410 has finally retired, and I am proud to introduce my new Samsung D500. It is currently called Harold, but I am considering renaming it Albert. In fact, I think I will rename it Albert.


One more thing...

...this piece of artwork is officially the best thing EVAR. And is, coincidentally, my new phone's wallpaper. :-)


That is all. England prevails, gentlemen.

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