Seb's Ignored corner

Monday, March 13, 2006

It's been a while

I'm not sure if excuses are necessary or not. I don't even know if anyone visits here anymore as it's entirely possible people have assumed I've unceremoniously moved on after a month of silence and so this could just be going out to various the various passing strangers looking for 'Woodhouse'(I would check statcounter but can't for reasons that will become apparent). It was never my intention to neglect my blog for a month but let us say I've been locked out.

My laptop has died. Maybe it hasn't and is just temporarily sick but either way it's out of commission. I could go into a long winded explanation of what happened and what it could be but frankly just thinking about it too much makes me feel tired. Basically it played up after a software update and refused to boot up after the restart. All the various different booting methods have been attempted and all have met with the same error. It's either a horrendous hardware failure or some software screwup and I tend to fluctuate between the two from day to day. I've run various diagnostic hardware tests that tell me all is well but I remain unconvinced as it bares hallmarks of several different hardware-related deaths such as a dying HD or a dodgy logic board. I'm becoming vaguely technical again and I said I wouldn't. To summarise, I eventually got a Firewire cable and was able to get crucial things off my old harddisk onto Callisto and apparently the HD is fine so I have the option of either taking my laptop to a specialist and paying a load to have it simply looked at or eventually building up the courage to format the harddrive, reinstall and hope it's not a hardware problem.

The reason all this is relevant is because I had become terribly negligent in regards to passwords etc. I was overly reliant on my stored cookies for many things Mand I couldn't quite fathom how to retrieve the raw data from the harddisk. Of course most of these accounts offered a forgotten password service but many of these were registered to an old email account which (again) I couldn't remember the password for and my hypersensitivity to security questions meant I couldn't bloody remember the answers to those either. My old physical logging of passwords and the like had become lost in all the moving so I was thoroughly screwed. It was only a matter of luck that I eventually found my old blogspot password written on some random document and thus allowing me to get in here. Many of the older things are just going to have to be left to die. My old Livejournal for instance is completely off limits to me as are some IM names and Messageboards. So as I re-register at various places, make new SNs and the like, I have to be careful I'm logging everything down carefully.

These things aside, I've been busy anyway. It is the last push afterall and graduation is not that far away. My sleeping patterns are all screwed beyond recognition. I seem to have been naively optimistic to hope that a good alarm clock was all I needed to get me back in the rhythm I had back in 2005. The problem seems to be something else. I find I can go to bed at midnight tired but will still not sleep until 4AM. Other times I will go to bed quite early and wake up at 2PM and feel incredibly guilty.

I've fallen behind with certain bits of work enough to make me panic as to whether I will get it done. Of course I am going to have to so worrying doesn't really get me anywhere. Ironically enough in typing this I realise I'm putting off working on a perplexing Hobhouse presentation for tomorrow so I should draw to a hasty close. In conclusion, Dr Wright, I am still alive and active even if not very productively. It's not nice being the new guy in a room of strangers again either...I'd forgotten what that was like.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Updates

Today I received a letter from the English department demanding to know why I've not been attending a particular seminar (having now missed the first two seminars!) and threatening me with angry retribution if I don't explain myself pronto. It's rue that I haven't been going but I do have an explanation ready. It goes something like this:

BECAUSE I NEVER ENROLLED FOR THAT MODULE, YA FECKIN' MORON!


I may tweak it a bit to make it a little less adversarial or I may add a few bits. There's the fact that it's a second year module for instance and I'm a third year which a very cursory glance over my records would (I hope) show to be obvious. A glimpse at my records may have also revealed that I'd taken that module before a year ago and got a 2:1 (so why would I take it again a year later?). Had they acknowledged that there may possibly have been an administrative blunder then I probably wouldn't be too irritated however the stern tone of the letter which threatens to kick me out of University for generally being a little contemptible pile of mouse crap has irritated me adequately to want to do some stomping.

In other news I got the pleasure of being the individual who was able to break the news of the Official (that is until its delayed again) American release date for Advent Children on the Citadel main page. It's been a long time coming and I was particularly grateful that I happened to hit refresh on the Square-Enix Press release page when I did as it meant the Citadel got it out particularly quickly. I'm now keeping close eyes on the official North American site which is seemingly undergoing a long awaited overhaul (no content as yet but cover art for the DVD and an upgrade to the flash requirements have occurred menaing updates are probably not too far away and maybe even a few english dubbed trailers to let us know what it will sound like.

Bookwise I've been enjoying or at least getting through Last Orders. I've been told the film is good and with Ray Winston, Bob Hoskins and Michael Caine in it, I must say it sounds like the acting would be of a high standard. Sadly the University Library doesn't have it as I'd hoped they would so short of hoping that it's screened on TV (highly unlikely), I'd have to go and buy it as it's too obscure to rent I imagine. I don't think I will. I've started reading Schumpeter for MSC and it's highly tedious thus far. However because of it, I did decide to buy the Communist Manifesto. I suppose it's shaeful that as a history student, I hadn't read it. Yes, most of it has been widely debunked but at 60 or so pages long, theres not much excuse not to read this undeniably influential historical document if only for curiosity. I think it's old enough now not to have gotten me flagged up on any secret databases anyway.

I've also been endeavouring to make myself organised. I've been sleeping late the past few weeks, in some cases extremely late. I've never liked getting up in the morning but somehow managed it in the past. I've decided that the reason, or possible reason, is that I'm relying on a shitty alarm clock on my phone after my other mysteriously vanished. The phone clock is all to easy to shut up. I've been experimenting therefore. There are plenty of alarm clocks for the Mac which can be configured to play a variety of iTunes playlists or podcasts and radio shows and some are capable of waking the computer up from sleep to be able to perform such tasks and hence not needlessly waste anergy. I tried it this morning and overslept. I cursed the alarm clock until I realised that it was my own fault. Audio comes through the monitor speakers and last night I turned the monitor off >_>.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

meh-mah-moo

I've been wondering whether I should write this for a few quite a while now seeing as it's been something I've been wrapped up in for a few weeks.

It would appear that my parents are going to divorce. It would appear that way. Already I'm hesitant to say it with such certainty as to a certain extent they're slipping into that quiet stage once more where the furious arguments stop and prolonged 'talks' begin. They've appeared to be on the brink of separation countless times and yet will end up calming down after a while. I suppose I could say its just a cycle the pair have developed after 30+ years of marriage with phases of intense argument followed by prolonged periods of relative calm. However it seems to me at least that these phases have been getting worse for some time now. The arguments are more intense and more frequent even though I spend a fraction of the time at home that I used to. There were furious rows over the summer and again at Christmas. The problem between the two is a somewhat tedious tale of ancient infidelity, a boy who cried wolf situation and a decent helping of suspicious paranoia for good measure. The problem is that there is never resolution and to be frank there cannot be because neither side can do what the other needs for things to be resolved. Is one side more stubborn than the other, one side more devoid of logic? Absolutely, but this doesn't mean that its merely a matter of that one side seeing the light. It's not happened in 30 years and I can't see how it ever will.

I have of course various worries about a separation. There would be the minor inconveniences for me, caught between two parents unable to split amicably and various other things, some financial but I'm not therefore rooting for them to stay together. I've urged my mother to leave him many times. Crap, I don't know. I fear they will simply stay in this perpetual cycle simply for convenience, because to split would be too much hassle too late in their lives.

Still, the more I write, the more this feels like something that should be hidden behind a password of some description regardless of whether I've wanted to talk about it or not. Blogger doesn't allow password protection so there is little point.

With things as they are at home, I've been throwing myself into distractions as much as possible. I did my bit as mediator. Work is picking up in this final stretch of my studies which helps and I've also found other things to occupy me. I finished The French Lietenant's Woman last week and am now half way through Last Orders. Contemporary Literature is promising to be one of the more interesting English modules I've gotten involved in. Fowles's book was certainly something I enjoyed quite a bit as it plays with the narrator figure. If fiction is to give the reader that illusion of escapism where the world they read is one they can lose themselves in (certainly something you encounter in 19th century romantic literature which Fowles emulates) then the narrator is always a somewhat awkward figure. The narrator can know too much and the more the narrator knows about the many characters, their histories, actions and inner thoughts, the greater the risk that the reader begins to see it is all constructed. So the author tries to justify their narrators knowledge by suggesting some tentative link to the story or limiting their complete insight by making them only know one or two characters. Fowles doesn't do this at all, there are almost no limitations to what the narrator knows. The narrator intrudes into the novel, admits the characters never existed, gives you multiple endings and infuriatingly leads you down the garden path. The narrator becomes a complete narcissist and the reader doesn't really get any freedom.

Beyond reading this and other books, I've been finishing Starcraft again. I just did the last Protoss level and may soon have another crack at Brood Wars. I also found that the Student Union stocks Pocky strangely and so have been trying that out. Not sure whether strawberry or chocolate is my favourite just yet.

One thing that has been passing through my head these past few months is what to do come graduation, now only a few months away. I don't really have any immediate plans, I don't have a career plan or even vague notion really. A tutor suggested charity work overseas which I contemplated for all of 15 minutes. It must be the generic personal tutor suggestion to all these graduates that still don't know what they want to do. I had been planning that immediately after graduation i would move back home and find what I wanted to do from there. Now I'm less sure though what with things seeming less certain anyway, I have been contemplating staying in Leeds somehow. Finding a job and place to live quickly and then...I don't know. It's probably just a sudden aversion to going back home again and this feeling I'd end up in an atmosphere I loathe. Any nostalgic sentiments I had been putting together these past few months about home have ultimately shown themselves to be false. Why live in Leeds though? There isn't much to keep me here really, only the fact I know the place.

I don't know what to do.