Gormenghast, Fuschia
To me, today hasn't so much been Halloween as The Day In Which It's Nearly November But Not Quite. As such, I've made plans and visited the NaNoWriMo website and am going to inadvisedly attempt to write a story of over 50 000 words over the course of a month. For my attempt at a novel this year, I want to write something fantasy-based and silly and imaginative and fun, and so I'm going to write about a city of werewolves and magicians battling industrialised interlopers for control of the magical artifact at the centre of their chessboard map - and shifting the playing board to their advantage. Within this setting, two teenagers will bridge the divide between them... *

Anyhow, because I want this to be an exercise in writing for fun, I think I'll post it up in installments here instead of hoarding the writing on any kind of 'I might want to sell it for money and fame' basis. So, WATCH THIS SPACE! There will be writing and probably also sketches and illustrations. And just for the record, if you want to give me editorial advice or pick out typoes or give me insightful feedback on my writings, these are always welcome no matter whether or not they're criticisms! Just so long as you bear in mind that I'm trying to write a lot of words a day and that the NaNo mantra is WRITE NOW PROOFREAD LATER! :D

* (Mostly by accident, though, and they won't necessarily fall deeply in love)

So, this is Nikki, setting out on an epic writing quest! Wish me luck, and I send any fellow NaNoWriMo challengers much luck of their own ;D

Apparently, iPhone apps now come in super-offensive forms :(
FLCL, Haruko
AFAIK this was first brought to light here and in the second bullet-point in this post. Apple, known for being as proprietary a platform as you can get, has seen fit to approve the addition to its iPhone stores an application called "PeekABooTranny". What this seems to do is add alarming caricatures of trans women to any photographs you take. Hilarious.

[info]solarbird, so I don't know but who sounds pretty awesome, reacted thus:

I have phoned Apple and had a long conversation with a nice woman in media relations, expressing my anger, and wondering whether they would similarly approve "PeekABooN*****" featuring "fierce d****** in hilarious poses" and promising "a watermelon-sucking co** in every shot." I've also told them that, as someone co-running a small ISP that is an Apple/Linux house, and as someone talking to them via my iPhone, that I would junk every piece of Apple hardware I have and never buy another one if this isn't fixed.

I want to make something clear: I wouldn't be upset at Apple about this were this an open platform. I'd be upset at the company who wrote it, and the transphobic and sexist bastards behind that company, and the stinking wastes of flesh who buy it - but not the neutral, open platform.

In the morning, if they haven't taken the thing down, I might hunt down a phone number and be astounded and offended at them myself. Let's hope they will have, though.

(no subject)
Gormenghast, Fuschia
I keep telling myself to update this more, because I made this journal in order to make some kind of a record of my mental processes and interests and worries and fears and enthusiasms about life. So far, I've failed at that, I think because I have the idea it's only worth writing long things and little notes are a waste of time.

Has anyone got advice about that kinda thing? Other than "get an actual diary and don't spew your interests over the internet", because, well, I like reading other people's blogs even (maybe especially) when they're trivial, so I'm going to assume that's true for at least some other people and that some of those might one day end up reading this.

In other news, I'm fretting about what to do after leaving uni at the end of the coming academic year. Things I feel potentially interested in are:

-doing more academic learnings: publishing? studying languages?
-doing the kind of Serious Academic Learning that could turn me into a career academic: there is a 6-year course in Comparative Literatures at Yale that makes me feel gleeful at the prospect of lectures because it sounds just that awesome.
-getting a job in a bookshop.
-working to earn money doing something practical.
-teaching TEFL
-doing art or creative writing, either as a taught subject at a college somewhere.

And various others. Thinking seriously about such things is scary but also enthusiasm-inspiring, because I love elements of the course I'm doing at Cambridge but I've felt a lot of stress and claustrophobia in that university.

In which Nikki holidayed!
Gormenghast, Fuschia
I have just got back from holidaying with my lovely Cambridge neighbours - we went to the Lake District, and played cards and made brownies and admired the pleasingly named and very pretty surroundings, and walked and picnicked and read books and did crosswords and generally had an excellent time! Also, importantly, the only time it rained was when we were already indoors and not planning to go out. We had amazing weather when we went away together last year, too, it's kinda uncanny!

My family was mostly absent when I got back; my brother was the only one nominally at home, but he's been off at work two out of three days. Still, the day he was home he actually did housework without complaining, so I almost forgive him for having left an empty milk bottle in the sun without washing it out (I dunno how long it'd been there, but it was clearly too long).

In other news, I decided to reward myself for spending all almost all my pay from my summer job by buying an ebook reader, because, well, I'm a Linux-using Internet-dwelling kind of a geek as well as the kind who's gone to university to study Lots Of Old Books, and the prospect of being able to combine these two loves is intriguing. Especially when it offers the prospect of collect everything out of copyright for free via the internet. So once I'd noticed the new generation Amazon reader ebook reader was rather shiny-looking and just over £100, and that the proprietary format Amazon sells its ebooks in wasn't the only thing it supported, and that indeed there was a shiny piece of software that could convert almost anything into an ebook, I decided to preorder one...

It arrived yesterday, and I'm pleased. It's light and the screen's a good size to read from, and the fancy non-back-lit screen does make reading more like reading printed pages than reading something on a computer. Putting things on is as simple as clicking and dragging, and all the .pdfs I've converted into the ebook .mobi format have come out with their formatting reasonably intact and their fonts changed to the right size for the reader.

The only ways it's annoyed me so far have been that it's sometimes slow to bring up the "Home" screen that displays all the files you've got on the device - it can take about twenty seconds to bring up a page that's only got about twelve filenames on, which is kinda worrying given I've got 60 books on there already and I've had it less than 24 hours... That, and that trying to connect it to our house's wireless network it threw up ambiguous and unhelpful errors until as a last-ditch attempt I took the thing downstairs and right next to our router. Apparently a low signal had been the problem, but from the "could not connect" message that wasn't at all obvious.

Still, it's a very nice toy, and it's extremely cool to be able to put essays from the internet and fanfiction alongside Official Classical Literature. Not that I don't love solid printed books (and I definitely don't think I'll be giving up second-hand bookshops any time soon), but I'm psyched about ebook readers and what they could mean for "amateur" writers. It'll be very cool to see how they work out! (And I'm be eagerly looking out for places to find ebooks or .pdfs or interesting writing-y things in general other than Amazon's store, so if anyone has cool links for me I shall be pleased)

In which: nothing of interest.
Gormenghast, Fuschia
... But, for anyone who might be interested, here's some stuff I read on the internet regularly. I like finding new webcomics, so I'll put this out here in the hopes of repaying favours I owe to the internet... I read xkcd and Girl Genius, but I'm assuming anyone likely to like those knows of their existence already. Here are a couple of other things:

Inhuman is science fiction webcomic that I've been following for about three years, during which its art's changed massively. The art's hugely detailed - it's drawn in ink, markers and watercolour, and the detail in every page shows - but despite that it's updated once a week ever since I've been reading. The setting's a Star Wars-esque alien-populated future in which humans dominate a social philosophy-cum-religion that forms the winning side of a civil war, and the plot revolves around medic on the side of the Resistance against that, her alcoholic (but more reasonable) brother, and a human kidnapped by the resistance. It's a good read, and admittedly while the early art seems clumsy compared to the current style, it's awesome to see the author develop their visual style.

Gunnerkrig Court is better known, but if you haven't come across it, it's the kind of thing you'd see described as a modern fairytale: centring on a girl named Antimony Carver and the strange boarding school she lives in, the comic is separated into story arcs that for the most part are self-contained; they gradually reveal more about the characters and the setting but form short stories in themselves. There's mythology, stuffed toys, clockwork robots, a very odd curriculum, and a whole host of hidden details in the art-work. Oh, and in one of the newest story arcs, there are laser cows.

In which Nikki very nearly didn't update
Gormenghast, Fuschia
... My 5000word dissertation, it is printed and READY TO HAND IN. As the Original Composition stuff also due in tomorrow morning now is.

That's 1/7th of the stuff I'm getting graded on for the last two years, so, yay. And long may I not have to think about 1833->modern day workstuff. That is all.

In which... Hang on, it's midnight?
FLCL, Haruko
Well, shit! It's two minutes past twelve as I start writing this, so I've failed my update-every-day plan already. Oops.

Aw well, in some time-zone I'm sure I'm still okay. Anyhow, the happy thing of today - I found some userpics! This here's Haruko from FLCL, because she's unapologetically crazy, pretty much like the anime as a whole. This isn't that uncharacteristic for Studio Gainax anime - they're responsible for Evangelion - but the pretty animation and the constant peering around the forth wall: "those slow motion scenes are really tough, huh?" "yeah, you have to hold your breath until they cut..." "--what?! I thought it was a special effect! you're doing the slow motion?"

this is... animated manga. literally.

the soundtrack" is awesome. - the aforementioned slow motion.

... link to the first half of the first episode >_>. I, err, may have just spent the last half hour watching this stuff.

in which a bright new start happens.
Gormenghast, Fuschia
'kay, middle of the night isn't normally a good time for new starts, but this is my resolution for the day.

it's my birthday in three and a bit weeks, it's the end of my second-year exams in six and a bit weeks. I'm going to post something on this LiveJournal account every day until then and it's not going to be something complainy more than half the time. random revision-found trivia, something about something we cooked, something about finding a cool plant or seeing someone weird and interesting and awesome, something I read or liked or wasted time happily on, that kind of thing. every day. I've been meaning to use this more and to write the kinds of things I want to read, not just the kind of things I want to get out of my system, and starting from now I'm going to just go for it. hey, if I could do NaNoWriMo in term-time then I can write one measly entry a day on a blogging site.


Also, I need more than one icon. Anyone reading, what are the sentiments you most often find you need an icon to express over the internet?

in which it is spring! :)
Gormenghast, Fuschia
Rarely has this actually happened to me before, but over in Cambridge, the first of March coincided with an amazingly nice day, and so despite my Monday 1st March being full of deadlines, it had redeeming features for me. As most people likely to be reading this probably know, Cambridge is little but pretty well-endowed with green spaces, and this week, clusters of crocuses have come out all over the place there. It makes me happy. Term's coming to an end, and so's the winter.

in which there is ire...
Gormenghast, Fuschia
So, I went to my 11:00 supervision with The Guy Who Doesn't Answer Emails. I got there a few minutes early and waited. At 11, I buzzed the buzzer to his room. No answer. I waited. At 5mins past 11, Matilda The Frequently Late, my rarely punctual supervision partner, showed up. We waited. It snowed, in a pretty half-assed sleety but nonetheless cold way.

He continued not to answer his buzzer. We asked passersby if they could open the door for us. He didn't show up or start noticing that we wanted access to his room. We discussed leaving. Still no Dr. Pattison. At quarter past, we left.

It snowed on me. When I got back, to check my emails... "Sorry to have missed you this morning -- could you come back at 2.00 this afternoon?"

FUUUUUUU---. I have a supervision at 3. On the other side of town. WHY CAN YOU NOT AT LEAST EXPLAIN YOUR FAIL, SUPERVISORMAN?

IN other news, wispy haired frowny guy disapproves of these shenanigansCollapse )


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