The Art of Video Games

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing my usual of roaming around the internet, and I stumbled across this. As a more or less life long gamer who can remember playing a lot of the titles on the polls, this really did hit my interests.

I mentioned it to a couple of people, people I thought might be up for organizing something along the lines of a soujourn to the states next summer, to Washington DC, staying in a youth hostel and looking at this amazing sounding exhibition. A lot of my friends enjoy gaming, but there were only a few who I thought might be interested enough in the concept of games as art to spend the money on a trip to the USA.

Unfortunately, the main person I thought might be interested in going with me made arrangements to go with other people. Maybe I didn’t make myself clear enough that I wanted to go – maybe he thought I was just mentioning it to him because it would be relevent to his interests.

Whatever it may be, I’m now without someone to go with. Is anyone interested in planning that far ahead for a (potentially quite expensive) trip to America for a few days with me, to asuage my desire to see an art exhibition that includes Pac-Man as an exhibit? Get back to me and we can sort something out.


The Common Cold

You’d think that, after thousands of hours of lost productivity, many millions of pounds spent on lemsip and going to the doctor, and billions of trees worth of tissues used every year, there would be at least something you could do about the common cold.

I’ve recently come down with a belter of a cold. Headache, sore throat, horrible chesty cough, sneezing, aching body, this one really does have all the accessories and there is nothing I can do aside from alleviate the symptoms slightly.

However, even that can backfire. I woke up this morning and my sinuses had decided to take all the snot and phlegm that my poor little body could produce, and throw a party with loud bass and flashing lights. My only coherent thought was ‘must…get…co-codamol’. I’d bought it from the pharmacy not long ago, because I suffer with excruciating toothache, but the pain in my head let me know that ordinary paracetamol just wasn’t going to cut it.

Now, I don’t know how many of you have ever seen co-codamol tablets, but they are flat round discs about a centimeter in diameter. At the best of times I find them difficult to swallow and need to snap them in half to make it a bit easier, but when it feels like there’s scarcely enough space in my throat to drink some water, swallowing four half circles becomes significantly more daunting.

After struggling them down into my throat with water and forcing them down even further with weetabix kindly provided by Itxi, I did start to feel a bit better. My headache lifted quite quickly but my voice is still pretty much a no-show for the day. I can talk, I just don’t sound anything like myself.

It would all be slightly less annoying if I didn’t feel like I should be immune to colds this year. I get an annual flu jab because as an asthmatic I’m in an ‘at-risk’ group, and they always give me a misplaced sense of immunity to a great deal of illnesses that I remain just as susceptible to. There’s a case of the measles doing the rounds? No problems, my doctor rammed a needle into my arm and vaccinated me against the whole world! Oh no wait, that was just the flu jab…

So, if you find my posts somewhat lacking in structure over the next few days, cut me some slack because I am recovering from what must be one of the most prolific of pests, the cold.

Just as a final aside, I am aware of the actual biological reasons pertaining ro continual mutation that makes a cure or a vaccine for the common cold quite impossible with our current medical technology. I just like to bitch and moan.

It makes me angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry.

Sometimes, I see something that genuinely angers me. Most of you reading this journal will know me fairly well, and will know that I don’t really do ‘being angry’. But, believe it or not, it does occasionally happen.  The most recent thing to agitate me is this website:

Now, I consider myself to be  a very tolerant person. I accept that different people have different religious beliefs and that sure, a Christian may well believe that I will go to hell for having pre-marital sex and not going to church on Sundays. What I find it very difficult to accept, and the main thing that has me so riled up is the sheer close-mindedness of some of these ‘fundies’ (religious fundamentalists). Not only close mindedness but also sheer stupidity. Take this for an example.

"Are… are you now disputing the existance of DNA???"

Yes. DNA can never be proven. Evolutionists are obsessed with it because they always say ”chimps share 97% DNA with modern man” etc. That’s great, however you would then need to prove DNA is real.

This, surely, is bordering on nihilistic philosophy – "’How do you prove the chair you’re sitting on is real?’ ‘What chair?’". I, as a semi-educated and vaguely intelligent individual cannot begin to fathom how a person can reject the existence of DNA, ignore all the evidence that they are wrong, and obstinately use it as a basis to argue against evolution as a fundamental process. 

Let’s take another example from the website.

Josef Stalin, Mao Tse-Dung, Adolph Hitler and Pol Pot are all tyrannical megalomaniacs who together killed more than 100 MILLION human beings in less than 50 years.
All have one thing in common besides breathing air:
They held EVOLUTION to be a fact

Anyone with even a modicum of common sense can see the huge logical fallacy here, or is it just me? How can this person even consider drawing a cause-effect relationship here? Two completely unrelated things cannot be said to be linked in this way!

I could go on, but I imagine that you will all come to very similar conclusions as I have. It scares me very much that people like this exist in our world. I don’t mind their beliefs, it’s the blinkers and stubbornness that worries me, their complete lack of respect for anyone else’s views and beliefs. I want to put a message here about how tolerance is so important, but I’m too angry to articulate a positive sentence so I’ll leave it at that.

Cold Showers and Kisses





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 So, it’s the time of year where we get our ‘Summer before Summer’. I don’t understand why people are always so shocked – we get a week or two of gorgeous weather in May/June, then more rain and cold wind until September, where it becomes ‘unseasonably’ warm. It’s an annual process – the last time I had sun on my birthday (25th August) was about three years ago.


The strange foibles of British summertime aside, I love this kind of weather. Yes, it’s too hot, I get sticky and uncomfortable and find it harder to breathe than normal, and working in a kitchen is like hell, but I love this kind of weather.


I love having cold showers. It is definitely one of life’s greatest small pleasures. Get up from a hot night’s sleep and get that bit of shopping done, or that urgent letter sent, or just wander into the crowded, sunny town centre. An hour later, you’re tired, hot and sticky with sweat. In this scenario, there is nothing better than getting home and throwing off your clothes (as summery and light as they may be) and turning that dial down to the blue section.  You feel cool, clean and refreshed afterwards, and you can feel good for helping the environment a bit by not using the energy to heat the water up!


Everyone smiles more when the weather is nice. People have more fun. The world becomes a more cheerful place, full of bright colours and happy faces. I love this about the sunny weather. There are BBQs, walks in the park, late night laughs, and beautiful sunsets of the deepest orange. It makes me more optimistic that the world isn’t going to fade to black after all.


I’ve been in an interesting situation recently. Some of you might remember my entry from a few months ago, alluding to a ‘crush’ on a certain person. Despite my best efforts, this has failed time and again to get beyond the level of friendship. I get along with the person in question and find him attractive and funny, but I can’t force people into feelings that I’d like them to have.


Consequently, in an effort to forget about the ill-placed crush, I looked to other people that I know for comfort of a physical variety. As short lived as that was, I did realise that there’re more than just one guy in the world, and that I’m young and can do what I want. Keeping one eye on the particular guy, the other went roaming.


Contrary to (apparent) popular belief, I am not an attractive or interesting person. I am shy and uninteresting and always have trouble in social situations. But I am nothing if not determined. I looked everywhere I know for a potential spark. I found nothing.


I have recently rediscovered a social group that I was a part of last year – Roc Soc (Lancaster Uni Rock Music Society). The people in this group are wonderful – interesting and quirky and above all, accepting of my long absence from the group and welcoming upon my return. In light of this, I’ve been spending some more time with them recently outside of society socials. This has been wonderfully refreshing.


And in amongst this group of people is a particular guy, someone I’ve been friends with since I moved to Lancaster, someone who teases me mercilessly, someone who does the same course as my ex-boyfriend (freaky coincidence – there are three people in that year on that course and I know them all for different reasons), someone who is double my weight and a foot taller than me. Someone I had a sex-dream about in my first term of university. Someone I never expected.


We talked, laughed, flirted and kissed. It was a fabulous weekend. I am hopeful, in my naivety, that this might go somewhere. I am very aware of the fact that he is graduating very soon, and that his remaining in Lancaster rests on him finding a job and a place to live for next year (I understand that jobs relating to theoretical physics and maths are a scarce commodity in Lancaster). A long-distance relationship is unthinkable to me – I am too much of a fan of physical proximity and comfort for that, especially in my relatively unbalanced mental state.


I think it’s up to me to make this become something more than the occasional kiss in the dark at the club, the shy, short lived grasp of hands as we walk with people. And that’s a big challenge – I don’t trust myself with relationships, especially with ‘normal’ people like Chris. Will he be able to cope when I have a Very Bad Day? Will he understand my insecurities? This remains to be seen.


Speaking of my ‘relatively unbalanced mental state’, I received some texts on Saturday, the content of which would have greatly upset me had they come from any other person. As it is, the texts in question came from Promethean (aka Keen, Eager, New, Hobbit) Dan, someone who I have attempted to reach out to because they are a lonely and confused adolescent. I was always a firm believer that everyone can change with a little kindness and acceptance, but apparently I was mistaken.


Some excerpts from the messages I received (when he was in the same club as me, no less)


the only thing you have to deal with is how to walk into a convenient relationship’

‘You have everything better than me’

‘You’ve never had to fight for your relationships’

‘why should you get it so easy?’

‘All I get for my supposed friendship is threats’

‘Believe me, I’ve had more threats than you’ve had hot dinners’


I know not a lot of you know my character background, but those of you with some idea will be aware of how much I really don’t ‘have everything better’ than him. This kind of thing is incredibly frustrating to me. I want to be kind and supportive to everyone, but Dan has literally thrown it all back in my face. I tried so hard to make him understand that I have my own, very big problems (ie Depression, Anxiety etc) but he was never interested in anything else other than his own lack of a girlfriend. He claimed that he wanted to be friends with me, but ignored everything I ever told him about myself.


So this is me officially Giving Up On Someone. It doesn’t happen often, but he has pushed me too far.


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get hot and sweaty in the sun (and love every second). I’ll leave you with this, which always makes me smile.