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Wacky Fun

Whew!

Unfortunately I'm writing with a muddled mind, which I can't help but think is a bad idea.

By and large, there's not a huge amount to report, yet... sort of is. I don't know. It feels like there's some magic underlining and underpinning everything these days, as though events are concertedly trying to create as many opportunities for me as possible. Given the state of one's dry spell, you can interpret it as you may.

Largely, things remain the same. Rumblecorn can't decide if she's off the menu or not, so we barely speak. Bull is still good company, yet also simultaneously infuriating and given to bragging and doing all manner of deeply stupid shit that he somehow gets away with, which would be annoying were it not for all the times he doesn't get away with it. It's still pedantically difficult to get through to him about the simplest of things. Five attempts the other week to drum it into him that yes, that's my pizza order you've eaten half of while I'm repeatedly telling you why it doesn't taste like your usual order which you've instead given to me.

Hahaha! It's actually comical. I feel like part of me would've lost my temper but... I dunno. I'm old, children. The benefit of that is that little stuff like that just barely registers any more. This happens as you age, and I actually quite like it.

Anyway, I could go on and on about who's doing what these days, and admittedly it's all interesting stuff - my friendship circle has been introduced to a new bar in town I accidentally discovered and now it's one of our new favourite places, alongside our existing favourite places... friendships remain strong, times remain good, although socialising can prove oh so expensive from time to time. Food and evenings out, I've tabulated, are my major expenses these days. I'm quite fortunate insofar as I've got the majority of my cash flow pretty much under control, with extremely healthy income based off my part-time office writing job that makes a great bedrock for my rolling freelance magazine contract to dutifully top up.

I've also downloaded an inexpensive visual novel creator engine, which I'm yet to fully tinker with, but I'm massively excited for being able to really make something with it. Make my own visual novel games, thus bridge the gap between my writing, my art and just my love of gaming, you know? Make a product and possibly sell it.

That's a big idea. The biggest and most exciting creative idea I've had for... I don't even know how long. It makes sense, given I've put the whole novel writing thing to one side and just plain never got around to trying ebooks. But visual novels? A videogame that uses my doodles and my writing to make a nice interactive narrative? I can get behind that, and it's a genre that seems to be on the uptake on the gaming indie scene. Intriguing times.

The intrigue stretches to potential candidates as well. Or candi-dates, if you want to be crass about the whole thing. People on the scene I've realised I could start dating, basically. It's part of that 'new magic' stuff I alluded to. Crazy, isn't it? I don't really want to be... I dunno, objectifying? I dunno. I don't really want to be that guy who just blogs about girls all the time any more. But that said, it's all interesting, how these dynamics play out. The whole thing is intriguingly synchronised with my own shifting beliefs and feelings, which I'll go into as I advance.

While I was in London for Hyper Japan, I was really pleased with noticing how I was gaining a few little looks, like quite pronouncedly interested looks and remarks from persons of the female persuasion, persons I'd normally assume wouldn't be interested in me. They say it all kicks off when you're yourself and don't try though, so as much as I hate that sentiment and don't actually think it's the answer as such, I daresay it plays into things a little.

Anyway, although Rumblecorn's fallen off the map, which is likely for the best, a fair few things have coalesced since August began. Firstly, I had a suspicion that a girl at work likes me, and now I'm pretty much certain she does. She does a lot of staring, and has started emailing me using the work email system asking questions about things that actually aren't anything to do with me because we work in different departments. Seems innocuous enough, but we've never formally spoken, so why email me? Felt like an excuse. I wouldn't even normally flatter myself in calling it that were it not for the dreamy stares she constantly throws at me during morning team meetings.

I'm not attracted to this individual, however. So that's something that can't really progress. Also, a really attractive new girl has started, replacing the really attractive girl who was already there who's now leaving. Also, one of the writer girls seems a lot more fond of me all of a sudden. And she is very attractive.

I dunno. Could be something, could be nothing - I don't mind either way, which is sort of the point, as I've resigned myself to just enjoying the experience day by day by day by day and seeing what happens.

The other element in this thick and heady intrigue-soup is the fact that I've essentially finally admitted to myself that I've got feelings for Inara.

Not deep, screaming, abyssal, urgent and in-love feelings. But definitely feelings, a fondness, an attraction that I just decided to... stop pretending I could so readily dismiss. It makes sense. I'm always writing about her and my exasperation at her flighty nature could only be born out of a desire for her to... I dunno, stand still and make good on all the intrigue she's lacing about, you know? I'm not saying the feelings make sense, because they definitely don't. I'm just saying they're there and I'm stopping the whole... blocking them out thing, or trying to talk them away.

A few things triggered this all to bubble to the surface. Firstly, she's back in town. Secondly, she responded to some of my social media stuff. I don't recall specifically as to how or why or even what I'd said, but there it was. All florid and snarky, but not maliciously so. I give as good as I get in that regard.

But I sort of realised that that's not doing anyone any favours, and I let those emotions I've harboured for Inara foam about me for a while. Let go of the notion of me being uppity and unreasonable about it. We've got lives. We're leading them. But she also dropped yet another hint, much as I felt it'd never get acted upon. She said she was definitely up for joint Pokemon hunting some time. As in the app, you know?

So that was a heck of a thing. It's not the first time she's basically loosely mentioned that good things might happen if I ask her out. And for a few days, maybe half a week, I went a bit doolally and was being all cute on Facebook like NOTICE ME SENPAI and I don't think that really helped. Also, if you call someone who thinks they're better than you better than you they'll take that ball and run with it like you don't even know.

So as circumstances played out and I got all confused, contemplating who out of all these intriguing people in my life I should give my time to, something happened. My favourite place in town is hosting a gin night at the end of the month, and that involved invitations that could have a plus-one thing going on. I feel like you know where I'm going with this.

So I got my invitation from my good friend Benz, and I thought to myself... OK. This invitation here is like the Wonka Ticket. I only get one, I only get to invite one person. Nobody's going to mind if I go to the gin tasting night on my onesies, but why should I do that when I've got like all these intriguing potential dates? And when was the last time I asked anyone out anyway?

So, I asked Inara out over messenger. Because nobody talks face to face about stuff like that any more.

And, surprising precisely nobody, she saw the message and nothing happened.


So I was like... screw it. I've admitted I feel something for this girl but it felt apparent to me that it was one-sided, so I didn't want to waste any more time. I was a bit pissed off, but also grateful because it meant I could just cleanse what seemingly were unhealthy forms of emotional attachment and get on with things. Plus, my invite, my golden ticket, still remained. Maybe I could ask out the writer girl at work. Maybe I could ask out the new girl at work. Maybe I'd wake up tomorrow and randomly meet someone to ask out for it. I set myself the challenge of finding a date for this thing by the time of the event, which is at the end of the month. I felt like that was a reasonable challenge that, as long as I approached it in a way that treated it as a fun game that didn't hurt anyone, myself included, could work out.

And then, out of nowhere, Inara messaged me back and said that she'd love to join me.


Yes.

Really.

After all this hassle, all I had to do was just ask Inara out. And she said yes.

I would say it meant no more games and hint dropping, but there's still elements of that from her side. I can't tell if she's just disinterested or if she's being cautious. It always takes at least a day before she messages me back, but she actually does so now I'm not going to get excited over breadcrumbs, because that way madness lies and unhealthy attachments get formed, but it's an improvement. Her words are full and cheeky and charming. I don't really go for charisma any more because I seldom trust it, but... I dunno. No matter how I try to downplay this, I'm happy. I'm keeping it mostly to myself, apart from this whole blogging thing. But I'm happy.

I've dropped loose hints of meeting up with Inara before the event for this or that - mostly board game nights, which is a whole other story I don't want to go into now - but there's been no dice. I'm staying... healthily detached? Is that was this is? Like, if she finally gets back to me and says no, I'm like... OK, no problem. And not in a spited slighted way, just... I dunno. You've got your life, go do your thing. Thank you for confirming you're my plus one for the gin thing.

Part of me thinks she'll duck out of that, but at the same time.. why should she? The only thing I can think of is that she'd get a better offer. I can appreciate she'd likely have lots of interested suitors to consider. I daresay she enjoys it. Point is, I'm not hurting, I'm not yearning, anything like that. This is a nice feeling I'd like to enjoy. I don't even know if I'd want a full relationship with Inara and I'm purposefully not giving that any attention. I might not even take her out if she ducks out, after all. Alternatively, she and I could meet and hit it off properly. We just don't know, kids.

Given it's Benz's event, I had to RSVP my invitation. I told her it was me plus one, then refused to say who the plus one was when Benz asked me, then finally admitted it was Inara. Benz and Honkers - the latter of whom was present and, for whatever reason, has got out of her constantly-hugging-me phase - both gasped in delight, and Honker began jokingly talking about kids and marriage and blossoming love and how much I deserved to be happy. Even levelheaded Benz got into it a little.

I talk it all down though. I'm happy this is a thing but I'm not 100% there's mutual interest.
I just tell Benz and Honkers that I'm content spending a good afternoon with good friends and a smart and pretty lady. I've very intentionally mentioned none of this to Bull, because he's not been invited to gin night, I don't want him invited to gin night and I don't want him knowing that Inara's my plus one for the evening because he'll start insisting I try to sleep with her because apparently that's how you solve everything.

You ever tried sleeping with someone? It's kinda tricky, you guys. Kinda tricky.

Anyway, that's not my notion. I'm not committing to Inara, but I'm pleased I can find an avenue for my fondness. In the interim, I will continue exploring the possibility space with writer girl, office girl, any other girl. Maybe that sounds dastardly to you, but it's not where I'm going with this. I just want to enjoy myself and help others enjoy themselves.

That's actually pretty much all I've ever been about.

Everything's Shiny Captain, Not To Fret

Oh my. Genuinely didn't intend to leave this for a month. But there it is - and now I've a fair amount to catch up on. Let's see if I can get any of these ducks into anything even remotely approximating a row right here.

Always seems to go this way, doesn't it? Updating far later than intended. This has actually been quite a big month, full of all sorts of shenanigans, but let's see if we can get shit done.

Oh, and don't you know that I'm an amiibo™ now?



I'll explain in a little while.

Anyway, wasn't there talk of Rumblecorn? Of course there was talk of Rumblecorn. Also quite a fair bit of talking with Rumblecorn, through texting and such. The reason we met so frequently was because she's been back in town with a summer job between studies, and part of that's entailed call centre work. She used to work somewhere in which our morning commutes intersected, which was a good way for us to dance circles around one another. She then shifted jobs and those mornings vanished, but we have met up once, a few weeks ago. Was it a date? I don't know. I've a mind to call it a date to break the monotony, but I don't know if - given my intentions - it's wise.

Anyway, you can stop giving me that look because it seems said intentions are unlikely to manifest, because life doesn't like letting me do those kinds of things, even when it's apparently fine for everyone else. In earnest though, I've not exactly been doggedly pursuing the whole thing, so I can't be that keen. I mean, she's vanished periodically for ages every so often and I've not really noticed. She's probably found other ways to express her carnal interests. She does that. I knew that. Full confession, I like dropped the ball on that one. I don't like dropping balls like that, not least since it leaves me with a couple of others of a more blue persuasion. Oh me, oh my, but the humidity has rendered dry spells elsewhere you can't possibly imagine.

You know how they say that when it looks like everyone else has someone, it's all in your head?

OK, that's fine... but what do you do when that's irrefutably what's actually happening?
They don't cover that in Bullshit Inspirational By The Way We're All Meant To Be Independent And Shun Everyone School, do they? And straight up, all my friends are in wholesome (Ish) relationships or engaging in new ones and thewir all smoochy and canoodly and it's just, I mean... it's complex because they're my friends so I can't reach for flamethrowers or stuff like that.

It doesn't bother me overly I guess - I mean, it makes me phenomenally angry, but... in a different way to usual. It just feels like broken promises and a year of waiting and... you know? I feel like life's had me leap through one hoop too many, and now here I am.

As an amiibo™.



So yes, the whole Rumblecorn issue is... it's half on the map and half not? I feel like I'm adrift between ports right now - one day I'll have people approaching me all the time, introducing themselves, keen to say hello, and others I'm almost invisible. It's all invalidation training or something, I guess... I mean, nothing too bothersome.

Isn't it weird how I always write during Hungry Week? It's OK this month though, because I made a lot of money and... all of the spending that's taken place has been of my own design, so I'm not really cross or suffering too much. I've had it a lot worse than this, but it's really rather uncomfortable. not long lasting though, and like I said - did it to myself this time, with full awareness.

The freelance work is slow, and I'm no longer teaching my Italian friend any English due to her financial concerns, but luckily my office job is... I mean, I guess it's going OK? Nobody's yelling at me, so I guess it's OK. I've slowed my productivity there drastically though. I genuinely sit and scroll through TV Tropes while all the attractive women who work there stir up reasons to get stressed and have children and such, I don't even know.

Anyway. Let's talk about this pal of mine - I used to address him as the true name I call him, but let's give some bloggy anonymity right here because... well, basically, I'm going to bitch about him a lot.

Who, me? On this blog? I know, right?

Anyway, this guy and I have been close firneds for a year now. He's an Aries, very gung ho, very... I mean, he frequently courts controversy. He's the one with the girlfriend who everyone used to hate who then suddenly turned out not rude and pretty OK and even sometimes quite sexy and stuff, not that I'd pursue that line of enquiry because she also spends a lot of time bitching about her boyfriend to me, but that's OK because everybody bitches about this guy to me and I spend even more time bitching about him to everyone else because as much as he's charming and likeable he's just... utterly insufferable.

In any case, I'm nicknaming him Bull, not only because he's full of it (saying to my face after a night out he's going home while simultaneously texting a girl he's not dating who he used to geschmoink, asking if she's still out, anyone?), and not only because he constantly steers situations to his advantage and totally overblows his capabilities (Fixing a computer game by manually replacing a missing sound file that was causing it to crash IS NOT HACKING, IMBECILIC MAN), but also because, much like Dragon Age's Iron Bull after whom I'm naming this big lug, [Spoiler (click to open)]he would, I've no doubt, utterly betray me and everything we've been through together if there was something 100% in his best interests running in contrast to me. Hell, I wouldn't - and never have - trust him around anyone I'm dating.



Anyway, look, my buddy Bull is basically the poster boy for Narcissistic Personality Disorder - yes, more than me, and remember, I'm trying to fix what it's done to me, whereas he's embracing it. So if you need a crash course in his personality, go read up on that malady. I'm past the minor annoyances - the fact that he instantly loses respect for any man who's 'more alpha' than him, that he instantly loses respect for any woman who actually sees through him and calls him out for his objectifying them, all that jolly nonsense porridge. That's all water under the goose.

What gets me now is two things - the fact he instantly forgets anything I'm doing that doesn't directly involve him, the fact that his penchant for treating me as a sidekick in his life's adventure is getting worse, and - OK, THREE things - the fact that he's constantly hassling me to do shit.

Oh, and he'll drop out of things he's been invited to without explanation if it suits his immediate interests. Four things.

Not like... errands or stuff, although it borders on it. It's more just... OK, examples. Say I'm visiting my sister, who lives out of town. Say that's happening on a Saturday, as it did last Saturday. Say I've told him this, very clearly, in English, in little, teensy-tiny words.

Five things. Everything he wants has to happen immediately and the world needs to bend over to give it to him, and if I'm involved I have to do it immediately.

Sorry. Anyway. So I've told him I'm visiting my sister. Less than twenty minutes later, he'll get an idea of this 'great way to spend time together', and to his credit he's gregarious and generous company and has helped me out many a time. But he'll just turn around and say, "Hey, let's do this on Saturday."

And I'll have to remind him I'm out of town. On a particularly bad run, I'll then get messages from him on that Saturday I'm out of town asking if I'm in the city to hang out.

Come over! I've cooked! We can play games! Let's spend all your money on Steam games again that I've no intention of playing with you unless they immediately gratify me, and don't even think about reading any dialogue or getting into any plot!

Ugh. I'm a lot more cross than I let myself realise. But yeah, these are little annoyances, but they're constant, like waves nipping at the shore, wearing it down, bit by bit. And yes, on an almost daily basis he messages me. Can't he get distracted by some blonde girl again? So much peace and quiet.

In any case, yes. The friendship is bordering on the poisonous, if not journeying therein. I'm aware of this and controlling my exposure accordingly. I'll throw down a couple more examples that segue into my other news for the last few weeks.



I do this monthly board games night at my favourite coffee shop bar in the Verse, right? You know this. Bull is a frequent guest, as are many other folks who have grown to love the strange little event I do in which Benz is good enough to play my weird yet lovely Spotify music over the establishment's speakers. I bring board games and funny hats and we all have a grand time.

This month, after some delays and mishaps due to the bar being refitted, we got the event going. Lots of people who claimed an interest in turning up ducked out at the last minute, but OK, whatevs. Oh, and Inara didn't come, because she moved out of town and then recently moved back to Sweden and now constantly Facebooks doodles - great ones, actually - as well as passively-aggressively mumbling things about doing things on her own all the time. Genuinely don't know/care if that's her preference or not any more.



The point is, Games Night was going well and Bull was there. It was a quiet one, which I didn't like, but we were muddling through. It's the most mediocre such event I've hosted, which really sat badly with me for a day or two after... especially when Bull fuckin' abruptly stood up, said they were off to get food not even a couple of hours into the event, and took half my attendees with him.

What the abject fuck is wrong with you? Shall I do that at one of your tabletop RPG nights and see just how well that goes down?

Ugh. Man, I am ranting much today.



Shall I explain about the amiibo thing? OK then. Basically, this year i went to Hyper Japan with my good buddy... um... did we give her a bloggy nickname? Man, I got really bad at this. Um. Anyway, yes, that gal. The one who used to live with a big nose on legs and now has everyone after her and I kinda thought about it but now it's apparent she and this other dude have a thing going - didn't I tell you everyone has someone? Distinctly told you everyone has someone - and... where was I going with this?



Anyway.

That female friend and -- oh! Scorpilolita. Had the chance to spend time with her and her fella a few times this month. Sometimes it was even her idea, ain't that nice? They're doing well. That pleases me somehow.

Sorry. Yes. This female friend and I have been spending a lot of time doing wacky summer things, and Bull, being he and being incapable of addressing any woman without evaluating her sexual potential, noted my initial attraction when, oh, let's call her Gumdrops, got single. So she and I visited Hyper Japan in London recently, where Nintendo was also holding a stage show, hence my amiibo posing. It was a really fun event and it was great to get out of town, and I'd budgeted smartly and everything so I had plenty to throw around that day, even if I was stupidly generous in getting lots of things for friends. Guess I'm like that. Got some nice bits for me too though, but I was happy at how smartly I spent that day. Gumdrops and I had a grand time. Nintendo demoed the new Zelda to a rapt audience, and then they held a quiz for a game I'd only played once, but they were desperate for participants, so I got up on stage in front of like ten whole people and answered questions with comically inept answers, gaining 0 out of 20 points in front of the public.



Turns out answering the 'guess which monster in our game makes this big nasty roar' round in front of everyone with the name of the unpopular new British Prime Minister makes the host in the pink shirt fall over laughing and incapable of doing his job for a good five minutes.

They gave me a hat for being funny, even though I lost the quiz. That's good. I like the hat.

You know who was at the gorram event that day though? Freakin' ex! Viper Von Dogmeat. All colourful with her new boyfriend, whom I'm already aware of and... honestly, hand on heart, I'm cool with that part. He's a good looking guy, and he's Asian so she's going to be totally into that. He was buying Gundam models though. Nerrrrrrrd.

Sorry. Seriously. Seeing her again... I mean, if she did notice me she never let on, which is good, but... it just annoyed me, not because of feels or the like, but more... this event runs three days, and she has to go the same day as me? She has to converge in the capital, a massively statistically strange and unlikely thing to happen considering it's miles from Norwich, on that same day?! What the hell?!

It shook me a little. It tested my healing and had me on edge in case she saw me and started some very unwelcome drama. But, I talked to myself, stayed brave, even when she and boyfriendface were twenty feet away... I dunno. I felt proud, I felt like progress has been made over this last year. She can show up wherever she rutting likes. I'm confident. I won't be shaken or intimidated by that curious creature any more. I also didn't let on to Gumdrops it had happened - well, I mentioned an ex had been present, but after the event, and didn't specify who, because Dogmeat is essentially irrelevant now.

That's nice. Shiny.

But, curveball! This leads me back to my rant! Because Bull, he sees all the time I've been spending with Gumdrops. So he makes his own conclusions. And not, I never told him, or anyone, about seeing Dogmeat again. I'm not talking about irrelevant people to people in my present life.

But yes, once Gumdrops and I are back in town after London - at the same Games Night he half fucked up for me, actually - he goes and says, right to her face, that she and I are a couple.

On the basis of no facts or evidence, bar us spending time together.
Hell, I realdy know that if I did pursue Gumdrops it'd not be on a permanent basis, because I've known her a good five years and, for all her prettiness, wit and merits, she's self-interested and self-motivated. That's no bad thing. It's just that she is her own top priority, and that's always been apparent. She's not hostile about it, it's just very apparent, maybe more than she knows... and that's why I'd not settle down with her if it were even possible. I can't, and won't, keep going for people who can only render themselves a priority.

But yeah, what Bull said about us being a couple didn't go down too well. What a wanker.

Hey, so did you see that Pokemon GO came out in an unannounced and remarkably shambolic launch process that's simultaneously transformed the very bedrock of modern society overnight?



I could go on about it at great length - my fun experiences, captures, underhanded Gym captures and general Black Ops playstyle where I try to conceal myself among more obvious players, how it's transformed my city, how fun it was in London, the positives and negatives, the way you can use it to meet people (it's a great icebreaker for nerdy girls!)... I could even break down the player archetypes, the trios of fat bearded men in shorts you see staggering around strapped to battery packs, the two guys and a girl combo that's always amusing because you're wondering which of them is the third wheel because we all know the girl's boning one of them... the way couples use it for walking dates now, which I love and also fucking hate because the world's constantly rubbing all the dating everyone but me gets, quite literally everyone, I don't even know a single single person right now, and don't you know I got the game early and I'm on Team Valor and it's made my friends gamers even if they weren't and everyone seems to message me as their gamer friend with their progress like I'm their professor...?

...Anyway, no, you already know all this stuff, it's all very pervasive in the media. Just know I'm playing it and enjoying it, and that - of course - Bull has found ways to piss me off about it.

Like comparing our levels. We're on the same team, but he wants to beat me on levels. For no fucking reason other than his own meaningless and laughable machismo. He always asks what level I am, tells me I play ti too much for being ahead of him (which isn't the case, I just began earlier), and then grins and says he's catching me up, then shows me pictures of his critters in the same way he shows me pictures of blonde girls he insists are flirting with him, and I react with the same passively feined interest.

But most annoying of all, until I coldly nipped it in the bud, would be his constant texting about the gym near his apartment, and him sending multiple texts in capital letters whining for help if it was under attack by another team.

SEND HELP

REINFORCEMENTS NEEDED

WHEN ARE YOU GETTING HERE

...Ugh.

I just reminded him that I live on the other side of town, in a neighbourhood I have to defend alone, and that I also have work to do. Boy loves hassling me when I've work to do. Ugh.

...Anyway. That's that. In better news, I treated myself to a cheap, for a collectible, edition of my third favourite game ever, Skies of Arcadia for the Dreamcast after my last paycheque. I've had to sell off so much of my childhood and gaming collection to make it this far, so it nicely marked a turning of fortunes.

Also. Sky pirates.

And I deserve nice things.







...Ok. I get it. It's good to have friends now,. I have amazing friends, a strong nakama of awesomeness.

But literally as I finish writing this, Bull messages me asking if I'm up for McDonalds and Pokemon catching.

IT'S NEARLY MIDNIGHT

MCDONALDS WILL BE CLOSED

HIPSTERS WILL BE VAPING ALL OVER THE POKEMON

DID WE MENTION IT'S NEARLY MIDNIGHT

DID WE MENTION I'VE GOT TONS OF WORK TO DO THAT I'M PUTTING OFF SPECIFICALLY SO I DON'T HAVE TO SPEND SO MUCH GODDAMN TIME WITH YOU AND I'M TELLING YOU DAILY HOW BUSY I AM

GO AWAY NEEDY MAN

GO AWAY

MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL AND CAPTURE SOME GYMS, YOU SLAPDASH EMBARRASSMENT


"See you tomorrow?" he offered plaintively.

...UGH.

I'm getting people into KPop though. Well, they're listening to it and talking with me about it. At work, and at my favourite bar. This pleases my face. This is actually a really positive month - he's just the poisoned chalice on the plinth in the centre. Dripping on my goddamn carpet.

UGH.
Sometimes I feel like I'll run out of Firefly quotes to blog titles, and then I realise that's remarkably unlikely - at least for the foreseeable future.

As always, I'm writing far later than expected, both in terms of how far into this calendar month we are as much as the lateness of the hour to which I'm applying myself to the keys. Never mind the fact I've been writing half this week straight. Good job I actually rather enjoy it all, right?

My brain's massively scattershot of late, so let's try and get this in some form of order. The whole relationship remains the elephant in the room. People I hang out with... it's like it's what they don't say, they seem to talk about some nonexistent person I'm dating as though she's abjectly real and we all subconsciously haven't fully twigged that none of us have met her yet, and then of course you have that whole thing where I've done nothing but meet my type over and over again over the last few weeks. Perky goths and manic pixie dream girls and creative pensive types and that adorable girl in the Chinese takeaway who barely speaks English but you can't help but find her endearing as she just babbles noises she's been told to say with, you can tell, only the loosest of comprehensions of what they actually mean.

Hey, and did you see that new Zelda footage from E3? Freakin' blew my mind is all! They've completely rebuilt what the game even is, it's astonishing and massive and unbelievable. I wasn't even that excited for it in my old cynicism until I saw it. I also had a brief crush on one of the members of the Nintendo Treehouse team (I told you all my 'types' keep emerging all around me lately) - a raven-haired comedic genius who paired her Zelda tee shirt with black lace gloves - oh my! - and her other-days live-streaming ensembles in... well... really quite a lot of black.



I've loosely worked with Nintendo PR teams before, and they're pretty strict on what can and can't be said, but either the US terms are different, the policies have changed, or this woman plain didn't care. From declaring that every theme park on Earth would be better if it had more explosions, to glaring at onscreen enemies and sweetly lilting, "Hey, you're still alive... THAT'S NOT OKAY." - and don't forget the part where she advised the kids at home to 'not jump off cliffs' because 'you may die', she was quite the sensation. Oooh. I got all fluttery. I didn't think I got fluttery any more.

In any event, I'll probably be getting the new Zelda for the forthcoming Nintendo machine, because I sold my Wii U.

Yep. It's a big thing for a Nintendo fanboy like me, yet at the same time not quite that big a deal... I dunno. Like anything, it's all a case of perspective. I mean, yes - the Wii U had my Wii in it. All those games and memories that my family and I enjoyed over the last decade. Even my Animal Crossing town - alackaday, sweet Norridge. We had some wonderful times.

But as finances grew dire and I took stock of my resources - seriously, I was super careful with my money this month and it ran out faster than any other month this year, what's that about?! - I realised that the Wii U itself held a lot of bad memories. Arguments and bickering from the Tagalongs and worse, and with all their stupid fucking Mii profiles grinning gormlessly at me, impossible to delete, from within the machine. They got more use out of it than I ever did - hell, don't you know Wolfy Boy unboxed it? Who the hell unboxes someone else's machine? Bastards.

Do I want that bad juju clogging up my home-house? Of ruttin' course I don't. So I boxed up that baby, took the hit in realising that the good memories sealed in the hard drive I subsequently formatted represent a chapter of my life, innocent and peculiar, that I'm never getting back, and took it to the big chain trade in place across town.

Or at least, that was the plan. I changed my mind halfway and headed to the independent store who buys all my retro stuff - and not only did he give me a better price without knowing, but he tested it in less than five minutes instead of the bullshit 'take a ticket and join our massive queues again in half an hour' policy the other frellniks employ, and even congratulated me for formatting the hard drive to protect my privacy. Made a tidy sum, which of course has by now evaporated, but I dunno... I mean, it's surprising the things you just don't miss.

Anyway. On the social front, things remain strong. Sometimes my brain cooks up bullshit reasons as to why it thinks secretly everyone actually dislikes me, and those reasons are never, ever true. My monthly board game nights continue to get a good response, both from the guys who run my favourite cafe, and the people who join in. Inara and her troupe didn't attend this month's, but a few of my buddies came in her stead, and so did Scorpilolita. I guess I've been a bit shitty about the fact she has this amazing life I play almost no part in now, but at the same time I'm quite happy for her and don't have to force or reason myself into doing so so... yeah. This is probably what it's like to selflessly like other people or something.

I also got that copywriting job that I was interviewed for recently, which is a part time gig, and so I now have two jobs. On top of that, I also continue to make money teaching my Italian friend English, and one of my buddies - a social media mogul and writer - paid me upfront to proof his new self-published books. They're actually very good books - he just needs a hand with a lot of punctuation and the occasional spelling and stuff. I've definitely seen worse in that respect - like that geek clique girl from last year who never actually paid for the proofreading I did for her. Oh, I remember these things.

I remember a lot of things, which is what makes the presence of certain people in life these days interesting.
People have been hinting at Celtio within the last week or two as well, in a sort of vague gosh-what-a-little-event-that-was way, and I'm just... put it this way. I met up with someone recently I'd not seen in ages and she congratulated me for having a girlfriend because she didn't know I now don't and I had to think really hard because I'd entirely forgotten the whole thing happened.

Seriously, I'm such a motormouth and a fast-paced little thinker these days I can barely recollect one day from another. But yeah, Celtio is irrelevant. Sorry, but she is. And don't you know most of my new coworkers are female and my type? Sure, why not? Most of them are engaged and whatever of course, but even so. Statistically, it's all a bit odd, because I've had a lot of jobs over the last 18 months and most of those had no prospects whatsoever, both in terms of vocation in and of themselves as much as dating potential. I also have a friend I've always kind of liked who finally became single this year after ten years of dating some strange kind of nose on legs, but she's busy being courted by five different suitors apparently so fuck her is exactly what I won't be doing

Ahem. Anyway. The new job is decent, and I'm waiting for that first paycheque in squeaky hope that it finally, finally sorts everything out. Or at least helps. Because poverty is boring now, I've mastered how to survive it so, from a sort of ethereal life-lessons perspective it doesn't actually serve any purpose in being part of my life any more. Apparently I'm doing OK as part of this new writing team and it's all very laid-back and start-up-ish so I'm relaxing into it, while trying not to think about how often start-ups fail. We'll cross that egg when we omelette it.

In any event, my morning commute that I partake in three times a week now entails my crossing paths with a certain someone to whom I've today ascribed the bloggy nickname of Rumblecorn. That nickname alone just makes me very happy in general, but the reason I've given her this nickname is because it comes from a combination of her zodiac sign and the idea of a Rumble Pak, the first way in which gamers got controllers that vibrated when stuff happened onscreen.

Why is this important? I shall elucidate. I shall give you a moment to look up what 'elucidate' means. I'll then do the thing. Basically, you know how they say someone who sleeps around is the village bike? Well, that analogy is both unfair and vulgar - and also erroneous in this instance. Essentially, Rumblecorn is like that console that kid had at school and sooner or later everyone got around to coming over and having a go on the games it had, but sometimes it took a while. Console. Rumble Pak. Rumblecorn. Question not my perfect logic.

The analogy sticks though. All the boys get a go, and Rumblecorn, when she first bumped into me that first morning of my first day at my not-first writing job, she was all smiles and jubilation. Good to see you, how have you been, I'm back in town now, I don't like my job but it's nice you've got yours, we should go for coffee.

Don't get me wrong - any woman who says that I should have any amount of coffee at any given juncture, irrespective of their presence at such time as it is consumed, is immediately gaining my respect. Or at least my appreciation. Heck, that American girl at work today made me a coffee, made me a coffee, and I was so appreciative of it that I didn't even mind when she called the thing that hot water comes out of a 'faucet', to my face.

She was all gothed up today too. There's a lot of it about. There's one I keep seeing around town too. It's frightening and exciting.

Anyway, what I'm trying to get at here with this whole Rumblecorn thing is that

1) she is very plainly demonstrating a desire to get some of the TW D, and

B. I don't really like her very much.


Oh gosh, and that just presents oceans and bellies and knapsacks of questions, doesn't it? For one thing, why dislike the girl? OK, well. There are two of my relationships in which she has directly interfered, and one of those also included her boyfriend putting his hands all over my then-girlfriend right in front of me. Granted, that then-girlfriend was Viper Von Dogmeat, so if I'm going to get angry with people overtly touching her body in front of me and she doing nothing to prevent them doing it and instead lapping it up with mildly aroused smiles, I'll pretty much have to hate half of Norwich - which in earnest, I'm pretty sure I do. THIS IS ANOTHER CROSSING OF THE EGGS WITH THE OMELETTES THAT WE WILL GET TO WHEN I HAVE TIME WHICH INCIDENTALLY I REALLY DON'T RIGHT NOW OH MY ACTUAL GOD ON BUTTERED CRUMPETS THOUGH.

Anyway, that and a combination of other factors basically means I've little respect or appreciation for the wench, but here she is, struttin' my streets all la di da and making excuses to talk to me in passing each morning, giving the winks and the big hugs that basically consist of her smashing her breasts against my ribcage like look, look, I have these.

However, that said, I'm not really in the mood nor position to do my usual aloof well, it's not the perfect situation so I'm not going to do anything about it schtick, not least since that doesn't really get me anywhere and believing the promises whispered on the wind is all manner of tiresome, so I'm doing things you might think me dastardly before and I'm encouraging the strongly hinted commencement of liasons, although nothing solid has come up yet (stop giggling). Partly it's a selfish id--OK, it's entirely a selfish iodea, but it's made up of two halves. Firstly, I want to get over my functional incapacity to be attracted to people I've zero respect for. It seems OK and reasonable on the surface, but sometimes we meet people who we don't respect fully until later down the line, and that means all ym attraction matrices are slow burners. Yes, this is all part of that re-evaluation of who and how I find attractive that I've been doing. Time to put that theory into practice.

The other half? Oh, that's just the notion - though I won't be cut up if it never comes to pass - of some good old fashioned revenge-boning. It's not noble or ideal, but if she's spreading herself like margarine on a cracker then I might as well have some breakfast. I mean, I'm not sure if she's still dating that ponytailed bag of hot kitten dicks of a boyfriend she had when this whole little inner campaign of hatred first surfaced, but they say that she and he are an open relationship anyway - hence the constant slutty behaviour they both employed and were renowned with scorn for in the geek clique and Tagalongs alike, two communities I'm happy I've left behind. Of course, if bumface the boyfriend is into the open schtick he won't much care if I do anything salacious with his fair lady anyway - and did we mention she compeltes the recent patterns by being a perky goth girl? - but it'd certainly make me feel better about most of everything, and to be honest feeling better about everything is pretty much the only proven way to feel better about everything, when all is said and done.

So yeah. Triumphs and sordid scheming are afoot, no doubt - and on top of that, my financial situation teeters from abundant to starving, but the promise of stability is achingly close. hold together, keep going... this year will flatten out into the golden goodness I've been promised sooner or later.

Anyway, I should sleep or something for my early work start tomorrow, I dunno.

Good Myth

Made it! Alive. Contented. Not eating altogether brilliantly, but more than anything I think it's because I plain just don't like eating that much.

In the last few weeks we've re-entered that fine period in which folks are oh so nice to me, including celebrations and niceties. Inara remains a constant teeter from attentive and charming to barely existing on the same plane as me, and friends are arcing around in their own little worlds of relationship dramas and cheerful salubrious events. Socially, I'm quite busy, and I've been interviewed for a strange new job position that could run concurrent to my present writing commitments. I'm still concerned about money, but there's a growing complement of people keen to give it to me, which is nice.

I feel like there's so much, specifically, I could get into - yet I find myself disinclined to do so. Strange. But rest assured - these are golden days, and much is well with my world.

I Think We Should Call It Your Grave!

I'm hungry and I'm thirsty and I've got blisters and I'm tired and nothing I'm doing right now makes any of that go away.

But I'm making it through the big fight of another Hungry Week™. Slowly.

Out Of Gas

Has it really only been a week since I blogged? Feels like longer. A lot longer, actually. This goes some way towards describing the activeness of the week.

Fortunately, good friends continue to be, well, good friends - and I'm continuously bewildered by their support and generosity. The cavalcade of breakups I predicted has not ensued to the extent I foresaw - complications, changes of plan and so forth, many layers of secrecy and intrigue... and don't you know one of my friends is basically an arbiter of narcissistic abuse? Not to me, thankfully, but in relationships. He positions the pieces of the metaphorical chessboard with daring precision. He also gets away with notably less than he thinks and a lot of my friends flat out dislike him, which is odd, since he's also the guy with the girlfriend I disliked who I now do actually see good qualities in, and because I'm aware of the kind of relationship dynamics she's enduring it sort of makes sense why she acts out. The whole thing's somewhat unhealthy in fits and starts, but I'm fortunate that I can at least recognise that now.

Talking of which, we need to talk about Honkers. Yes, that's her bloggy nickname, and yes, it's probably for the reason you're thinking. Don't look at me like that - she cheerfully volunteers her own opinion of her buxom nature.

Honkers works weekends at the most excellent bar and coffee shop I frequent, that evergreen centrifuge of my social circle, and she went to school with Benz, with whom a strong accord is shared. Over the last month or two, Honkers has become quite fond of me, to the extent that she engages in a lot of physical attention in my direction whenever I'm around.

Nothing sinister. She just suddenly got extremely huggy one day and hasn't really stopped. If anything, it's a gesture of appreciation, since she seems to recognise that she can let her guard down around me, and this happens ever more often. Last weekend, Benz flat out suggested, away from Honkers' knowledge, that she and I start dating. Benz is very sweet in her perpetual desire to see me paired off with someone.

This is all nice stuff. Hell, I've contemplated asking Honkers out myself. And I've decided against doing so, simply because I now recognise the elements of her persona - a very nice persona! - that are indicative of incompatibilities. Most specifically, she remarked in conversation how she shuts down her emotions when people get too close to her and freezes them out as a consequence - and where have I heard that before? Frell, where haven't I heard that before?

Categorically not interested in getting close to someone capable of doing that. I like Honkers, I admire and respect her, she is smart and fun but she's also tremendously angry, and as much as I go for such quietly angry hearts I've learned there's simply no benefit to doing so, because the closer you get the more that anger gets taken out on you. Projection and the like, you know?

So, we shall continue - Honkers and I can continue as friends and she can continue being bewilderingly tactile, and come to think of it, isn't this whole suddenly-I-like-you thing a hallmark of the kind of individuals I used to go for? Oh ho ho, sweet life of mine - you can dress them up however you wish. I'll not align with an imposter of a lover again.

Anyway, anger has been my own as well this week, albeit distilled into quiet progress. Through no fault of her own, my friend's Italian girlfriend had to cancel the week's English lessons, meaning I was £35.00 down in a week that I really couldn't afford to be £35.00 down, you guys. Concurrent to that, my money absolutely ran out, because it seems that's what happens when half of the inhabitants of the universe suddenly decide you need to give them £200 each, preferably yesterday, and it's all very disgruntling to me because May was my biggest pay so far for the writing job I'm so fortunate to have. It's evaporated faster than last month's pay. Does that seem right to you?

Anyway, I saw this coming and became a bit indolent and sulky rather than proactive, so eventually, yes, it all vanished. My biggest mitigation contributor was stocking up on supplies. The problem with that is that I'm eating the supplies, which is exactly that sort of biological counterlogical necessity I could really do without right now. It's a long way to the end of the month, so I needed to calculate how to get anywhere in particular.

I still don't have a long term plan, except the part where I sort of do, by means of shoring up funds to eradicate the seething mass of entirely unnecessary bank charges due to leave my account in a few days. If I don't clear that amount, it basically throws me into more debt and secures even more bank charges next month, a fate I'm keen to avoid because I'm too busy scratching my head at why exactly my credit cards are insisting on adding massive charges immediately after I pay for them. Peculiarities.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, shoring up has involved a lot of multi-layered multi-day strategies,. The first one, set up over the weekend, was to ensure there was money for food. I don't require a lot of this, because I can shop shrewdly if I choose to, although circumstances have forced me to eat a lot less, and oh my oh my am I feeling it. It also means if I do ever eat anything my stomach gets excited and generates even greater hunger pangs, which defeats the whole process. I hate eating and hunger and its bullshit satisfaction system, which in my experience is intrinsically broken.

Subsisting on noodles, caffeine and prayers, I've since taken the unfortunate decision to pawn my 3DS and Wii U, two consoles I barely use but would be loathe to lose, not least since there's much data on each I adore. My 3DS alone is one of my favourite things ever, irrespective of the frequency of its use, and my Wii U has all my Wii data all the way back to 2006 - so yeah, ten years of gaming data. Most importantly, my poor sweet Animal Crossing town.

I know these things aren't important and I know that pawning them will cost me more in the long run but goddamn it, I want to clear these bullshit charges. Oh, and there's been the usual selling off my PlayStation game collection, but given this occurs any time I try to rebuild it nowadays I think that's pretty much a given. It's like some bullshit monthly ritual.

The food money preceding today's shenanigans, which have involved indeed my running around fitfully to pawn off and sell and make all this happen, and even that wasn't without its setbacks, were preceded by my strategically setting up Pokemon card eBay listings, although I can only do as many of those as I have stamps. Their success has directly contributed to my capacity to eat over the last few days, and one in particular sold extremely well, although I got an email about the other today saying apparently it was bent on arrival, all a bit passive aggressive.

I'm offering free postage to guarantee sales and have had no other complaints to this end, so fuck that guy complaining because his picture of a fairy in a dress on a shiny foil background was bent on arrival because fuck him for paying £2.20 for a rare shiny full art card and thinking he's got any basis in reality whatsoever to complain. The other dude paid £7+ for his card - if he had complained I'd have been more inclined to listen because I just can't help but respect people who give me more than seven pounds sterling for pieces of cardboard.

Anyway, it's all a rickety strategy, is what I'm getting at, but I'm calmly and somehow cheerfully put it all together while balancing food, drink and electricity costs to the best of my ability, which has been a nightmare because my biology gets aches and pains and insists on me putting things in my mouth, and it's very irksome.

Anyway. There should be an English lesson on Friday, which will give me money to live on, and that's ideal because I've scraped literally everything I own and pawned off things to make this damn money and get past this damn hurdle and I'm still going to get chased around by phone calls I'm not keen to answer while I wait, wait, wait for the end of the month as ever. Work's going well, the English lessons are difficult yet enjoyable, and there's lots going on socially that I'm really in no financial position to participate in, but I'll find a way through. Benz is consistently cheerful about how well my board game nights go at her venue and has booked one for the end of this month, to avoid clashes with other events booked for its usual early-month slot. Uptake is already good. Already dreading seeing Inara.

This is a hassle I could do without. Liking and disliking someone concurrently. Usually I least get to date someone before that starts happening.

How about some candidates without the fucked up attraction dynamics for a change? I had lots of nice dates with lots of nice people towards the start of the year, when did I sign up for that to change?

...Apart from me constantly whining about how transient that process was, I mean. Oops.

They Fall Right Out Of The Sky

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the newly announced Pokemon starters? Most specifically, Litten, the black and red fire breathing kitten. Granted, cats are evil, pointless, loathesome things, best used for arousing psychopathic tendencies in lonely women and trawling around making a mess of your neighbourhood, but who can say no to a black and red fire-cat? Certainly not me. Much excitement!

Genuinely thing it's a candidate for my favourite Pokemon ever, actually. It has all the things i like - colour, fire element, deadpan glower. Makes me happy.

Life continues at a cheery pace, with much conviviality. There was a picnic last weekend, replete with all my friends from one of my favourite places on Earth, in which we all capered around a riverside retreat out of town. I even tried making something for the picnic, before remembering I can't cook, but I managed to conjure up three batches of rice krispie cupcake things, variations of which were held together with chocolate sauce stuff, peanut butter, and angry hope. This did not stop the creations dismantling themselves at the earliest opportunity, and one batch was so chaotically wrong I had to throw it out (it turns out that bad things happen if you microwave margarine, cereal, peanut butter and chocolate in one bowl to see what will happen).

Anyway, people were gracious enough to eat them and it was all jolly nice. Preceding that was my nephews' birthdays, and the Friday before that was my board games event, which began quietly but ended up as the most successful one so far, not least since a) my egomaniacal friend wasn't there trying to conquer and flirt with everything, 2) my other friend wasn't there hogging the attention of everyone I was interested in, and Pi) Inara and her friends arrived en masse and actually made it pretty damn awesome.

Can you believe that? Everyone got on sensationally, Inara got over her sass enough to reiterate how much she adored my music and even at one point called me amazing for no discernible reason, aaaaaaaand since that night has reiterated her habit of entirely ignoring any attempts at communication I make. Who saw that coming? It's such a tiresome cycle. Perhaps she'll miss my attention when she know longer receives it. I'm looking forward to being stolen - although opportunities to that effect are pedantically dried up of late.

I try not to let it annoy me, because apparently you're not allowed to be annoyed about things and we're all fine exactly as we are so of course there's no reason for there to be over seven billion of us because fuck actually making genuine connections to people, apparently.

Other than that, things are slow and easy - usual financial and bureaucratic concerns, pocked with episodes of nonhappenstance and strangely active weekends. Part of me delights in the ease and conviviality of my life - while part of me longs for so much more nicety. More money and more romance would be nice. And no, having a loose female friend suddenly getting incredibly tactile doesn't count.
Oooooo, look at ME, I'm INAAAAARA, I get to flounce around dancing in and out of your lifestream on a whim declaring myself intriguing and sassy and then vanishing like smoke when you try to consolidate it into anything approximating a meaningful conneeeeection.

Sorry. I just wanted to see how the other side lived. See, it's my monthly board game night thingy at my favourite ever coffee and bar venue this coming weekend, and Inara's just giving me Facebook sass.

Don't get me wrong, that part's fun, but it's just... ugh. we're both this irksome mutually thorny mass of seething blackstuff smashing against one another, and not in the good way. A bit of cheeky vitriol, sure, that's fine. Geez, Scorpilolita an I constructed an entire friendship on that basis not so long ago, and even that was a long drawn out cavalcade of will they won't they nonsense.

Anyway, enough about that. People keep suggesting I've a partnership pending, but the active players flit the game long before it's played. The new French girl and I aren't really going anywhere, it seems to have been decided, in some silent mutuality that I'm not actually even angry about. It's just a brief flight of fancy. and hey, at least I saw that emotion through without insisting we tie our lives into a knot and then commanding that we immediately undo it.

Whew!

Anyway. Big weekend just gone, which is especially weird after such a quiet week preceding it. Actually was quite a tedious week. But the weekend was massive, with truly wonderful parties celebrating two separate birthdays of two most excellent friends of mine, followed by a surprise catch-up with my friend and local Youtube channel mogul kinda gal amigo person, and then today's mellow hang-out - oh, and the geek event replete with exes and... Okay, look, it's all a bit of a twisted and seething mass of stuff, really. Let's try and break things down.

Okay! Birthday events, at that place I'm always at because it's such a wonderful beating heart of the community. Basically, without getting into specifics and names and things, at least three couples I know at the moment - all of whom involving good friends of mine - are locked in concurrent conflict. I know a good few couples cheerfully bubbling along of their own accord too, of course. but those couples in trouble are causing trouble, for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, people entrust me with all manner of deep dark secrets
, even when I'm not pulling them out of folks without either of us knowing I'm doing so. So I'm hearing two sides of the story from lots of different couples. That's fine. That's dandy. One such slighted bloke got so inebriated that he sinsited on taking me to a variety of places to buy me drinks as the night wore on, though. He also took me to a strip club and bought me a lapdance.

Yes, really. And yes, you can stop giving me that look. People sometimes forget, due to my quirks, that I'm a 29-year-old heterosexual male with certain primal urges.

Not that those manifest in a straightforward manner, of course.
Stay with me on this. Look, point is, it's pretty safe to say that wasn't my first lapdance, but that despite my inebriation, I actually found the entire few-minutes ordeal quite strange and intrusive. Certain elements was momentarily pleasurable, but the... what's the correct term? Performer? Administrator of Tactile Affairs? Vice President of Negotiable Affections? Well, whoever she was, there was at least three occasions during this strange ordeal this boyfriend of my friend's had paid for that said lapdancer basically ran her hand over my crotch.

Clothes, of course, but even so. I know it's supposed to be exciting and all this nonsense, but that part seemed incredibly intrusive and unnecessary. There's not a job in the 'Verse I could have that would entail my slathering my palm across the crotch of numerous female strangers, so why is it OK, even for an individual employed in the sex industry, to do that to me? Did I say that was OK? No, my turning up made it presumed that therefore I'd want that to happen. I wouldn't mind, but the whole thing was so utterly unnecessary that it didn't actually do anything for me anyway.

In any case, that's all just a bit weird and candid, but the whole point I'm trying to make is that this female friend's boyfriend who'd taken me out was basically... drunkenly acting out instead of dealing with the fact that he and his girlfriend are upset with each other. Add two more couples upset with one another as part of your social circle and you're starting to get the picture - and then compound that with the fact that a lot of them are trying to form new relationships with other ones of them while already in said dysfunctional relationships and... well.

Seems my days of a drama-free social circle are temporarily over, but at least the drama doesn't directly involve me. That's a huge benefit of being single. although at the tabletop gaming event in town at the weekend, I did have to elude two exes. The event coincided with a cosplay meet, meaning that a slew of irksome individuals dressed as cartoon characters were fawning about in my city, so my hackles were very much raised all throughout the visit I'd promised to the friend of mine who was running a stand at the tabletop event, who is the guy who got me my current writing gig, so I'm super nice to him and he was kind enough to give me the first copy of the magazine I now writer for in which my articles have been printed.

Feels good to be back in print. Bumped into some friends at the event, and avoided a roster more frenemies besides, including, of course, Viper Von Dogmeat, who was there with whoever she's managed to blunder her way into dating this week. I don't really follow the narrative and the guy himself seemed kinda cool, so it wasn't such a problem. That's the thing. I thought I'd be awash with Core Shame™ seeing her again, for the first time since September - and what bliss that's been! - but actually I didn't really feel anything.. Aside, perhaps, from the general sense of distaste you'd naturally get from sharing a room with someone you actively dislike.

Purposefully or not, she kept slurking about the place wherever I happened to be, lingering just behind my troupe of friends and I, holding hands but not being showy or anything petty with that guy, whoever he is. Vaguely recognise him. Think he took her picture at another event while she and I were still dating, ironically enough.

I left to avoid her, don't get me wrong, and I'll never know if she saw me or not or if she cared or not and the brilliant thing is I genuinely am disinterested either way. I mean not even the rebellious I DON'T CAAAAARE thing people do when they secretly really do - I mean, literally, I'm wholly independent of her now, I feel advanced, some things about me are the same and some are different, some things about her are the same and some are different, and... I dunno. We're just two people leading two separate lives, and I'm happier that's the case.

That said, I'm still rebuilding a lot of the damage left over from the devastation left in her wake and I certainly don't regard it as fair that she gets to saunter about doing whatever and indeed whoever she wants without ramification nor repercussion, so rest assured I'm sorting that side of things out.



Hmm? You didn't think I'd forgotten amid the revelry, had you?

In any event, I also had the unexpected pleasure of dodging Celtio and her ex on Sunday, both of whom were sat on a bench in the cathedral grounds that I walk through whenever making my way into town. Why would you do that?! Why sit there, she and I dated, she knows I pass by that spot! Perhaps she doesn't and forgot, given how actively she's able to do that. Oh, Cluster B Personality Disorders.

I could've tried to do the nice thing and go say hi to them both as I passed, but don't we remember last time I did the nice thing? Why does Celtio deserve my niceties? And actually, how is her ex with whom she's sitting, for they are still friends, going to feel if I trot over? Oh hey, it's Tony, that guy my ex-girlfriend semi-left me for to go and rebound-date.

and if they got back together, what does that mean? That Celtio enacted a little break so she could go fool around with yours truly? I mean, Jesus, what do I say in that situation? "Hey buddy! Good to see you both getting along and how nice it all is that this conversation is in no way awkward. Soooooo... what was sleeping with her actually like? Only apparently you didn't really like it very much but she was quite adamant that she and I were going to have a whale of a time, but with one thing another, ahahahahahahahaHAAAAAHAHAHAAHA, we never got around to it.

"Though she constantly professed an urgent desire to perform acts of oral gratuity on me, if that helps. Oh, it doesn't? Why are you both glaring?"


And you can stop giving me that look, because I didn't say any of those things and I didn't even vandalise her bike when I chanced upon it locked close to her work in town the other day, even though everything inside of me urgently wanted to buy some superglue to slather onto her saddle

See? I'm a paragon of niceties. How fair and reasonable it is that lots of people get to walk up and down on my emotions, taking the good affections that they please before trotting off to do someonething else. How unreasonable it would be of me to enact anything contrary to such individuals' best interests.

Anyway, all this drama and such has been exhausting, but I hope my friends all make it out of it OK. They won't, of course, and you'll be counting more breakups than five of your favourite soap operas before the next three months are through, I'd wager - but there's always hope, right?
Things seem to have settled since I last posted. There isn't that much to impart - I've spoken sporadically with the quirky French barista who looks a bit like a more cheeky Candice Cooper, and nothing's really progressed because I've not pressed and issues because I've not really regarded them as needing pressing. I was out of town last weekend to visit my sister and accompany her and her boys to Legoland Windsor, which was an amazing if occassionally stressful time. Made me wonder if I'd ever be ready for kids, because having a child is basically abdicating your life, and I'm knocking now on thirty's door having barely asserted my own life... and don't you know it's directionless?

It is. It's completely directionless - I've been drifting without a single ambition this entire year, which we're near on halfway through. not that the advent of summer stopped it snowing on my city. Briefly, but it happened.

Hmm? Oh, no no, having a directionless life isn't actually a bad thing. Few years ago I'd have balked at the very notion, but just... subsisting, existing... it's all good. Hell, I'm back on the poverty line again and I've no damn notion as to why but it still has me blundering through. Health has been a bit patchy and my energy levels have been low for as long as I remember. I've no idea why I'm always so tired. work is slow and sporadic and barely there. My days are long, languid and rich with leisure. It's only my pretending to have self discipline that prevents me from vanishing into the PlayStation forever.

Inara and her friend are more actively interested in the upcoming monthly board game event on social media now, although Inara herself remains cold and distant. I don't try to engage her in conversation, and vice-versa. I don't actually think anything is going anywhere and find the whole dance of intrigue the most frightful bore.

They say that Scorpios are ripe for sweeping romantic grandiosity at this time of the year - and my friend Carpio's recent foray into an established relationship is both intriguing evidence and a very, very celebratory movement overall. Me? I don't know. I'm feeling less needy, which is good, and it'd seem that whole emotional flailing I was doing really was just my inner sphere tying itself closed again after having a conduit.

...In other words, because I had a girlfriend abruptly then didn't just as abruptly, I was left with some floundering emotions that I couldn't tidy as promptly as I liked.
Human affection is actually a kind of drug as far as brain functions go, and what does any brain do when in withdrawal? Seek the hit elsewhere! Hence my floundering. I guess. I don't know. I feel like my rightful self again though, at least.

As usual, I'm bobbing about the place waiting for payday, although that whole endeavour has been massively expedited by my teaching English to my friend's Italian girlfriend, who just to clarify, is not the same individual as Belleza (who like most women from the opening months of 2016, now only speaks to me sporadically at best - that this is such a theme across so many people of either gender in my life right now has me thinking I've undergone some form of paradigm shift and simply not known it). Teaching English teeters from easy to incredibly challenging in a good way, and the fact that it means that I'm getting paid once or twice a week is good. The only issue is juggling it with my freelance magazine writing commitments, which for the most part entail the undertaking of telephone interviews, which are my least favourite part about the whole thing.

Other news? I haven't really any - events are happy, contented, yet cyclical. Wealth to squalor, celebrated to background player, attractive to nonexistent - same old, same old. It's not a bad thing, but I can taste a new beginning on the horizon, and I'm curious as to what it will entail.

Just Believe It

I like it when I encounter people who dress in black and red, particularly when that also entails big coats with big shiny buttons. What can I say? I'm that kind of guy.

I used to splay myself upon such notions as being grand synchronistic coincidences indicative of future alignments, of course, but the Verse don't work that way. Most notably, we've all got our own paths to follow, so it doesn't much matter if folk go around dressed as Zennacrans. I'm all the Zennacean I need.

Well.

Fifty percent.



Anyhoo, there's lots to talk about. What was happening last time? Oh yeah, bitter loneliness. Yeah, that's still a thing sometimes, but it's bearable, and I'm finding an increasing number of people abjectly unbearable. My God. It's actually a bit disheartening, because one of those individuals is someone I had much admiration for, whom I now find an insufferable ego maniac. Genuinely, everything this woman says absolutely irritates me, flouncing around like some massive special snowflake. Know what snowflakes are? Directionless, carried by the wind, ultimately going nowhere. Know where they end up? Right on the ground with the rest of us.

Given I'm pretty narcissistic myself, I'm unsure why it's got my hackles raised so. But then, raising my hackles seems to be the theme of the month - not confrontationally, but in very specific and intriguing ways. Not the good kind of intriguing, mind you.

Last week ended nicely, with acoustic gigs and time spent with my brilliant new social circle exploring a massive house-turned-hotel from the 1800s. We had a truly delicious meal, laughed and talked and explored the house, and I got driven around with Benz in the back of her boyfriend's van (don't ask). A truly agreeable day indeed.

However, the culmination of last week was also what is rapidly becoming my monthly board game event at my favourite coffee shop in the Verse, for which the turnout was once again good. My buddy with his rampant ego ended up taking things over until a friend of mine distracted him with chess -- God, I'm genuinely struggling to keep an even temper with this guy. He's positioned as my best friend and I can't deny he's done a lot for me, but because he has narcissistic personality disorder of the more... demanding variety, in such a fashion as he has yet conjured the means by which to self-perpetuate, he has to be central in everything.

And playing even simple card games with him becomes a chore. He lost one of my new games through simple impetuous stupidly and insisted that we all had to reshuffle and restart the entire game.


There's a dozen people over two floors collectively playing this game, which is to say the social metagame Pretense, which everyone greatly enjoyed that night. We are not giving everyone a new role in a game everyone took a little while figuring out from me how to explain because YOU fucked up, buckwheat.

Ugh.

...Anyway, point is, board game night went well, despite strange dynamics and me dropping the ball as regards to pacing, structure, etc. -- I think I just need to take command a little more. Authority, you know?

And then it all got really freakin' weird because Inara and her friend showed up. Why is it that as soon as I stop my dalliances with Celtio her forebear-candidates re-emerge from the woodwork? Unresolved lessons and/or excuses to flaunt rejection from all sides in my face for inexplicable cosmic reasons, I shouldn't wonder.

God. I'm really grouchy in my heartbox lately. There's reasons for that which I'm currently in the process of tabulating.

But yes, you might recall Inara as being the piercingly pretty Spanish-Swedish girl with big fluffy curls, enigmatic chocolate eyes, sharp wit, musical and artsy talents, a penchant for wearing red... oh, and we recently recorded the fact that she can basically subconsciously sense and/or draw Starlet. You might means that makes her tick all the boxes, but she's missing the big shiny one saying A Bit Of Fucking Consistency, Because I'm So Done With Everyone's Hot-Cold Bullshit.

Ahem. Anyway. Inara and her chum shows up, turns out one of my friends knows them both through one of his friends, so everything gets all... he just fawns all over them for attention, basically, which this particular friend of mine... I'd not seen him for months and he'd arrived just to join in my board games night, which was amazing, but then he got all girl-addled and showing off and it just bugged me. Do I really need you constantly trying to outshine me so they give you attention? Because we both know you're good at capturing it and not keeping it.

Guess it's nice to have that in common, I guess.

Look. My very cranky point is this. I'd Facebookvited Inara and her friend to my board game event, and in their usual oblivious fashion they'd not responded. That much is fine.

But now, suddenly, she's here, in my favourite place of all time, big with surprised eyes again and intrigued body language and tentatively stepping towards me asking me how I am.


So we spoke a little, and I was quite frosty, and she was buying her mocha and she didn't want to pay a service charge by paying with card because she had no cash. So before I could even do anything else, I just flatly told her that her coffee was going on my tab. She was all startled eyes again, a veritable deer of a woman, and that was that.

I have no idea why I did that. Why the hell would I buy her a drink?

Then my friend took them to the games room and they learned of games night and we all played a Pokemon board game and enjoyed my multicultural Spotify playlist on the cafe-bar's sound system, and she said I ought send it to her and she took a massive group selfie of us all at the end of the evening, and everything she said and did was come hither, come hither peppered with a detached you Don't Know Me That Well thing, a truly irksome catchphrase she keeps breaking out as if to taunt me at the arm's length she keeps me at.

Oh ho ho, but jolly japes to entice me, you might say. No. Not at all. I find that entire notion tiresome.

Nonetheless, her charm and my charm - such as it is - intermingled delightfully that night, and I sent her the images that she requested and notified her of one of the songs on my playlist she had liked.



There are some, of course, who ship Inara with Benz's brother, whom she insisted on hugging in the flimsiest excuse for such a thing I've ever seen. So yes, there are some who ship that. I am not one of those people.

But I don't really ship she and I either, because for all my cheery messages I got two sentences of messagedom mentioning it was a brilliant night - not thanking me, not saying we should hang out more despite the prevalent hints at that being exactly what she wants, no followup of those intrigued little eyes and the excuses to start conversations... ugh. and it really angers me because she gets under my skin particularly easily, and that is partly because my brief fling with Celtio - as everyone now calls it because we're all sheepishly admitting she is a bit of a nob - has rendered me tremendously emotionally open. To the extent that I can feel myself floundering about urgently trying to connect with people - and that openness made it easier for Inara to come crawling about my feelsscape until I got a bit cross about the whole thing and decided she's a twat.



Yes, I'm drawing again. Yes, it feels amazing. No, nobody actually cares.

Bit sad that, isn't it? Sort of reminds me why I stopped. I won't, though - because it's not really for anyone except me.

But anyway, yeah, that's my weird transient quasi-impromptu-board-game-night not-date with Inara, and a fat lot of fuck-all it got me.

Celtio messaged me either that night or the next, I forget which. Something about closure. I just told her I wasn't angry or feeling hostile and that I know how she feels and why she did the things she did. Celtio ran out of drama as a consequence and went to manufacture her own and I ignored it, and today - to make the peace and 'do the right thing', which we all know is a load of dren, because basically my emotional openness is something I can't switch off and I'm pathetically urgent for all forms of attention now - I went to see Celtio at her coffee shop job, which was phenomenally awkward. She messaged me a few hours after, saying nothing, but perpetuating a meaningless avenue of contact.

God. I did not deserve for all that to get so utterly fucked up. She's an amazing human being, but she's also a colossal and self-absorbed imbecile - a trait I'm finding far too common in the women I'm attracting lately, and something I'm urgent to stop attracting into my life.

See, one of my newest and finest friends has this amazing, gorgeous, funny, smart girlfriend who constantly sings his praises. Why's that such a big ask? Is it because we are on a planet of bastards?

Wow, I'm really grumpy, aren't I? Oh God, and that Librarian Thing Celtio tried to hook me up with at the start of this year before she ass-pulled her own emotions out of nowhere last month instead was there in the place Celtio works at today. She looked at me, and I glimpsed at her, and that was that. Fucking trot around saying you've got no chemistry with me - don't you know Celtio is now talking about you behind your back, Library Thing?

Look at the laughing stocks our arrogances renders us as, and I daresay I'm included in that. Hell, look at this whole entry. It's me lambasting the arrogance and haughty nature of people - traits I possess, assuredly, yet... I dunno. It's different to the means by which it seems to be being shone at me. What's that about?

Work progresses well, and socialising temains hugely enjoyable. One of my friends has an Italian girlfriend, and today - out of nowhere - they've approached me based on my writing career to ask me to teach her better English. I have no idea how to teach English but agreed to do so anyway, and when they offered to pay me I just made up some number and they seemed fine with it.

I think I'm a specialist freelancer of English now, guys.



Mon dieu, mon dieu, les moulins de mon couer.

Hmm? Oh. French girl.

No, no - OTHER French girl. Barista. Bobcut.
Like, BIG shaggy bobcut. Sense of humour, genuine coffee passion, looks a bit like Candice Cooper with more slinky eyes and an aquiline nose. Don't even know her name. But she's cute and funny and she at least knows who I am and likes making conversation with me - like, more than her job, you know?

I don't know. There's lots going on. It's my birthday in November and Benz is making a big public event at my favourite cafe bar ever about it, with a black and red dress code.

Isn't it wonderful to feel so loved? Yet because it's public, lots of fuckwits I don't want to see are inviting themselves to it.
Ugh. That I do not want.

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