Raison d’etre

Sunday, April 25 2010 at 23:31 (Books, Games, Home, Music, Projects, School)

It’s a song, fool. You don’t know where from? Sucks to be you.

So after a weekend alone, I really can’t be arsed to do my Physics homework, so instead I’m using my time wisely, crafting a catacomb of textual device with which to muster a full force of emotional response from you, my dear, dear reader. Or I’ll just make cock jokes.

So three weeks ago it was Easter Sunday, two days into the Easter holidays. For a change, my family were NOT going anywhere this Easter, so I had the two week break to myself to sit back, relax, relapse and not subconsciously quote Panic[!] at the Disco. The Sunday of life and shit itself was fairly uneventful – a small bowl of foil-wrapped chocolate eggs and mandarin leaves awaited me when I went to get my breakfast, and after that I just wasted the days away playing Call of Duty. I had a lot of schoolwork to do over the holiday, but that could wait until after the actual Easter bit, right?

On Monday I went out on the Broads with my mother, who as you might recall (if you have a terrifyingly good memory) is a volunteer ranger there. This basically means that you drive around in a launch that can go at 20 knots and has a blue flashing light on top… except you have to abide by the speed limits (usually about 5mph) and volunteer’s can’t actually use the blue light. In fact, you can’t even technically tell people what to do, only advise them strongly.
It all seems a bit useless sometimes, but I did my best to remove myself from it by reading ‘The Last Olympian’, the final book in the Percy Jackson quintology. Having read the first two books in relatively quick succession, I had stopped reading the series and read another book to try to maximise my enjoyment of the series by not reading it too quickly. Unfortunately that other book was fairly drivelly, so after some time attempting to read it, I gave up and went back to good old PJ. Overall the series was pretty darn good. The first book was awesome, the second was better, the third was better still, the fourth had a little downtime in places but was still up to standard, and the fifth? Eh… it was pretty good. Its main issue was with the battles. Not the action itself, that was depicted extremely well, but the structure of battles: Fighting, winning, reinforcements from the other side, losing, reinforcements from our side, winning, their side, losing etcetera, etcetera. It goes on like that for half the bloody book. At least the ending was satisfying and conclusive, even if one character did receive a last-minute Snape-esque deus-ex-machina (I’m going for the hyphen record) redemption. Actually scrap that, NOTHING is as ridiculous as Snape’s redemption.

The rest of the week passed by with little in the way of excitement, but on the following Saturday Peter and Elliot came to my house for a bit of sweet-lovin’. Or possibly just video games. As I recall, probably inaccurately, much of our time was spent in my bedroom watching someone play something on my laptop. The games included MW2, Bioshock (Elliot had never played the opening sequence), Left 4 Dead 2 (possibly) and Unreal Tournament 3 with massively ridiculous mutators. That was probably the most fun part – can you spell ‘MMMMMMMMONSTER KILL!’ ? That’s right Lady Gaga, UT did it first.
We also played a bit of TvC, along with the obligatory friendly (unfriendly) Brawl match. During the day, Elliot said to me ‘So Ben, where’s your manga collection?’ I pointed grudgingly at a single volume of Tsubasa. That stung. Something would have to be done…

After that, I had just the Sunday before I began a six week journey.  A life without video games. So what did I do? A number of really stupid things. I read wistfully about the upcoming Left 4 Dead 2 DLC, I played the first hour or so of Half-Life 2: Episode One and in the hours nearing midnight I even played Mass Effect to the point when I was just about getting into it. When I woke up on Monday, the feeling SUCKED. Well, at least I’d be able to get that work done now, hm?

Three days and perhaps one Maths paper later, Thursday came. On Thursday the plan was epic – go into Ipswich with Max AND Chris, see Clash of the Titans then go into Ipswich and glare at everyone to assert our collective manliness. Of course it didn’t work out like that, what with Max being ill and not telling us, Clash of the Titans being overall quite cool but very ‘meh’ and being terrified of everyone in Ipswich. However, I did what I came to do… which was buy The Fame Monster. Buying it reminded me of buying Twilight – it was a leap into the unfamiliar contemporary for me and also made me feel that everyone would look at me or make comments as I bought it. As it happened, neither of those things happened on either occasion; the only funny looks and criticisms came from Chris and later Calum, who had been in Ipswich with his brand-new woman.
So after the comic book shop, CEX and all the usual suspects, Chris got on his train and flew away, leaving me to catch my train at quarter past… twenty past… twenty-five past… twenty-six… twenty-nine…
Trains fucking hate me. Srsly.

So I had Friday and the weekend to finish all my work. It was okay, that was plenty of time; I could do it. What’s that? We’re going to be away for most of the weekend sailing and then at my grandparent’s house? Shhhhhhhit.
So sailing was sailing-y, and the grandparents weren’t as bad as I had imagined, with an extra really old dude who was one of those awesome old people who wear straw hats and could probably still knock a six at 90+, y’know? I also spent a lot of time sitting in the steel-lined ‘saferoom’ (which I didn’t know even existed) of my grandparent’s house looking through a bunch of assorted stuff. I found an old tape deck, an embossing press, a whole bunch of gold and jewel-encrusted necklaces, and wedged right in a dusty corner, so that you probably wouldn’t even notice it was there, my grandmother’s OBE (that’s like an Order of Merlin, Second Class). Not a showy-offy person, my grandmother.

Fortunately Monday was a PD day, so I had a last-ditch effort and actually got some work done. I’m as surprised as you are.

Back at school things are much the same as before, only with a slight edge of panic as the exams draw steadily nearer. It shows in the students and teachers, and it’s one of those malignant things that spreads and grows as time goes by. Did I mention that I think I’m screwed in Further Maths?

On Tuesday evening, having been absent-mindedly browsing Amazon, I compelled my mother into buying me this, which arrived last Thursday:


This, as you might have guessed, is only the beginning of my campaign against Elliot’s diminuitive and abrasive comment mentioned earlier on. Since Dark Horse (who publish a bunch of CLAMP manga) are in the business of releasing omnibuses lately, I plan on also getting the first CCS omnibus, the second Chobits omnibus and also perhaps Kobato volume 1 and 2. Maybe I’ll even find a damned copy of Tsubabsa volume 2. That’d be nice…

So yes, the Chobits manga is awesome and probably marginally better than the anime due to the further possibilities for style and tight storytelling. The last two chapters of this book are pretty heart-rending.

So this weekend I’ve been home alone. My parents went to Paris (I, apparently, am not important enough to go with them) and so I’ve been running the joint solo. The internet was down for most of Saturday and so I actually ended up mowing the lawn and doing a fair hunk of schoolwork… after I finished reading Chobits. I cooked Reggae-Reggae chicken and had a salad, and wanted to watch Spider-Man but can’t find our magical DVD case anywhere. Some niggling feeling tells me that my brother (currently in Australia, will be for some time) has it. If so, I is not happy. I settled for Tropic Thunder, which is awesome, but less so.

Today I washed my mother’s car and vacuumed the corridor, my lazy brain making the connection between completing all of the three allotted tasks left to me and ‘cher-ching’ noise followed by a shower of gloriously illustrated book pages. I milled around after that, made food, ate food and then foolishly decided to write a blog entry.

Mmm… I forgot to talk about driving lessons and Lady Gaga, but you don’t really give a shit, do you? Unlike most of my music, chances are that you’ve heard some Lady Gaga before and my experience with driving is not dissimilar to that of most learners.

Sleep now, little one.



  1. Chris said,

    Image = broken.
    I read Further as Fuhrer…. so don’t mention the war…

    I still don’t understand why you didn’t just point to your laptop with the manga collection… http://www.onemanga.com That is the manga collection….
    Maybe, your parents are trying to torment you… Knowing that you can’t play videogames, by leaving you alone for the weekend, you’re stuck to do nothing but house work and school work, slowly driving you insane!

    • joethearachnid said,

      Owning a hard copy is somehow much more satisfying. The experience is more tactile and the art is crisper. It also means that I have an excuse to terrify people on the bus with it.
      Fecking image.

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