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Huh, it's been a while, hasn't it?

So, what's been happening in my life since I neglected my LJ? I finished at Oxford, and I was pretty sad to leave. I really should have blogged a bit more about working there because it was absolutely fantastic. I never did write up the tour I gave to a group of scouts.

Got my official results back from uni; I've been awarded an MSc with merit, which is equivilent to a 2:1. I am now officially MASTER of SCIENCE. Just need a doctorate now and then I can sound like a proper supervillian.

My time has been mainly spent on trying to get a full-time job. It's proving a lot harder than I anticipated; I'm not getting hired because I lack experience, and I can't get the experience without being hired. To be honest I've been tempted to apply for a PhD, but I'd much rather prefer to spend a few years working first. So it's a case of keep trying to get my foot in the door. I'll manage it.

It's annoying because my life is literally put on hold. With a full-time job I can move out and marry Stuart. In theory I could live on Stuart's wages, but there's no way in Hell I'd want to do that; I want to earn my own keep. It's just a case of keep applying and do my best.

Not much else to say at present. I'll have to update this thing more often!

Ayacon 2009

Finally, here it is: the writeup for Ayacon 2009! With an awful lot of photos too!

Friday: The shape of things to comeCollapse )

Saturday: Going to prison, brbCollapse )

Sunday: Epic wins and fails. Also, ChairCollapse )

Aug. 17th, 2009

Back from Ayacon! Best con I've been to in a long time. Got a stack of photos and stories to share, so they'll be coming soon!
Huh, been a while.

This weekend it's Ayacon. After the disappointment that was Amecon last year, I'm quite looking forward to it; the previous Ayacons have always been a blast, so hopefully the weekend should be great.

Wouldn't be a con without cosplay drama though. Scarlett and I were planning on doing a rather ambitious joint cosplay. All the details were worked out and we made a start on it, but struggled to find a certain coloured fabric. Since we needed a lot of it we didn't want to risk dying it (plus finding a dye that worked on it was tough). Then I moved to Oxford for this placement and it all fell through. Well, maybe next year, since we've already put work into it.

So, not fancying wearing one of my old cosplays, I whipped up a reasonably quick one. I'm going as this guy:

It's BJ the Reaper from The World Ends With You!

And true to form I'm finishing it the night before the con. You'd think after nearly a decade now I'd have learnt my lesson.

I know a few people on my friends list are going, so see you all there!

Dinosaurs are awesome.

Last night I went to see Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular.

'Holy shit this is fucking awesome' is probably the best way to describe it.

I'd actually heard about it a few years ago, when I found the following video on youtube. Have a watch, it's totally worth your time:

You're sitting there thinking 'huh, people painting models', but when you see the dinosaurs start to move, it's simply amazing. I want a raptor suit for the sole purpose of scaring small children at halloween. The dinosaurs were made for a roadshow in Australia, so I figured I'd never get to see them in action. But Stuart's mother, since she regularly goes to see shows in Nottingham, got a preview leaflet last year on upcoming shows. And what was in it? Walking With Dinosaurs, that's what. I snapped up tickets like a hungry Baryonyx in a fishmongers.

We had really good seats, by the side of the stage and higher up to see the action. The number of kids wearing dinosaur tshirts was staggering (I myself may have been wearing one, along with dinosaur socks, ahem). The narrator was a palaeontologist named Huxley (a sly little injoke that made me smile). The show went through the Mesozoic, showing dinosaurs (plus one pterosaur) from each period. My favourite part was in the Jurassic, when a baby Brachiosaurus got separated from the herd and was attacked by an Allosaurus, only to be saved by a simply enormous adult. How they changed the scenery too, through lights, inflatable plants, and even having 'butterflies'. was brilliantly done too.

Judging by the audiences' reaction, the highlight at the show was at the end, in the Cretaceous. After the Torosaurus and the Ankylosaurus were introduced, Huxley asked what creature could possibly pose a threat to such massive animals. The music starts to build to a crescendo, and Huxley announces "TYRANNOSAURUS REX!!"...and then the baby T. rex runs on stage and does a pathetic little roar. Hee. The baby starts harassing the herbivores, who eventually corner it. It starts crying for help, and then the big finale enters the stage- momma T. rex!

When you see at dinosaur skeletons in museums they look big, but always look smaller than what the creature was in life, due to their lack of flesh. Seeing the full grown T. rex stalk on stage and let loose a devastating roar was absolutely mind-blowing. Even more so when it fought off the herbivores and saved the baby. We were then treated to a scene of momma prowling around the stage and nuzzling her baby. Another bit which raised a smile was when she leant over the audience and roared, and the baby copied, with much less success.

Of course, T. rex was one of the last of the dinosaurs, and the show ended with the meteorite impact. When it struck all of the lights in the arena flashed on in dazzling brightness, then fell dark. In the darkness the T. rex family left the stage, extinct, and Huxley told us not to mourn the dinosaurs, for they are still with us- the birds. During the applause, the baby T. rex came back on stage, bowed to the audience and, unbelievably, broke into a huge grin.

Needless to say, the show was absolutely fantastic. I thought the script was a bit simplified and it could have done with being longer, but it was still an amazing experience. The dinosaurs were incredibly realistic, and you could easily believe they were real creatures moving and fighting on stage. It truly is breathtaking, so if any of you can get tickets, go and see it!

After the show I bought what was advertised as a 'palaeontologist bag'. It blatantly isn't; there's no hook for your hammer and no room to store your beer ;) I was also incredibly tempted to buy one of the dinosaur tails which all the staff were wearing, but I figured, what use am I going to get out of that? So I settled for a rather nice panoramic poster instead.
Phew, it's been a while. Handed in my Masters dissertation on Thursday, so for the past few weeks I've been chained to the spot doing it. Well, it's in now (apart from the abstract which I need to email), so that's all good.

Still got a busy week ahead. Mon-Weds I'm on holiday, Friday Stuart's going zorbing (I bought him it for Christmas), Saturday I'm seeing Walking With Dinosaurs Live (WHOOOO) and on Sunday I'm moving to Oxford. The final bit of my course involves an 8 week placement in a museum, and I'm doing mine in Oxford, meaning I'm going to be living there for 2 months, but we have to find our own accomodation. Yeah, I have to pay for the privilege of doing a 40 hour week for free. Still, hopefully I can make some contacts or impress the right people so I can actually try and get a proper job as a natural history curator. Once the placement is over I've got to start making some big decisions; moving out, finding a job that can take me full time and basically morphing into a proper adult. Well, an adult that still gets into raging arguments about what season of Pokemon was the best.

Last time I was in Oxford I saw j3573r's twin. It looked so freakily like him I actually stopped in the middle of the street and turned round, thinking it really was Adam. On Friday I went back down to Oxford to go view some places to stay, and whilst sitting in a cafe, who walks by me but Adam's twin again! According to the book he ws carrying he's a physics student. If I see him again I'm tempted to go up and start chatting. Creepy, I know.

Old people are fun

Went to visit my Aunt Vera in hospital today. It's also her birthday, so we bought cards and presents. The woman in the next bed is a lady named Sylvia. Like my Aunt Vera she's in her 80s and they get along brilliantly. When we were chatting my mum bought up the time my grandad came to visit me in Portsmouth and I accidently sent him into a gay bar (he wanted to know where the nearest pub was, and I honestly had no idea it as a gay bar. Neither did he until halfway through his pint). Sylvia brought up the fact that one of the male nurses on the ward was gay and did her best impression of a mince. Then she came out with this absolute gem:

"I bet he must get really confused though about what to wear."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, when he's dressing up as a woman, and when he can't do it and all."
".....Cross-dressing and being gay are two different things."
"Really? You mean he doesn't wear women's clothes?"
"No. Gay men can dress as men, and straight men can pretend to be women."
"Ohhhh. I didn't know that!"

Bless. Old people are wonderful sometimes.
This is what I bought in Nottingham the other day:

I think I have a thing for mice with swords =/
So, uh, I was messing round with the stats dashboard on Photobucket. Turns out 430 people looked at my Pikachu skull, 252 (heh) looked at my EV record and 61 people saw the bit from Silk and Steel.

Oh man, seriously, what? Are loads of guests reading this? It says some views come from 'other' sites, but I have to pay to see where, bah.

Any lurkers out there, feel free to comment! I shan't bite~

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