Month: September 2014

Surprise Gift.

A courier arrived at my house today, bearing a large box. It was a surprise gift! From Charlie. A silver bag with a ribbon, containing an assortment of very luxurious food items. A beautifully-wrapped box of chocolates. Crackers. Chutney. Elderflower presse. More chocolates. Florentines. Macaroons. It is all absolutely delightful. That’s dinner taken care of. All we need is a nice piece of cheese and we are good to go.

Isn’t that sweet. Bless him. Who doesn’t like presents?

gift foods

In other news, Socrates was a blazing sun of virility, as ever, and I went to the dentist again, scoring another Health point. This Friday I am having my teeth BLEACHED so expect two days of complaining of sudden pain. The results were more than worth it the last time TLYW had its teeth bleached, a couple of years ago, or whenever it was, so I am willing to endure it.

1 Health point, and we don’t collect Achievement points for receiving gifts and having one’s brains fucked out, but such things are a bonus and a welcome reward.

In which I decide to stop taking drugs.

Right, that’s it. I’ve had enough of the happy pills now. I cut down to 20mg as of yesterday and I will cut down to zero in the next 4-6 weeks.

Points for the happy pills:

  • They very quickly relieved me of an enormous amount of anxiety that I didn’t know I had.
  • I eventually felt less depressed.

Reasons why it is time to stop now:

  • The immediate causes of my extreme anxiety are no longer quite so immediate. Life is less traumatising than it was in April and May. Also less depressing.
  • I am tired of being sedated. It is good to be free from anxiety but you can have too much of a good thing. I have no physical energy and I really, really struggle with the motivation to do anything. I do not think I am going to return to normal levels of productivity until I get some nervous energy back. I don’t want to sit on my arse all day long, feeling dopey, I’m tired of it. I missed the whole summer. Because I’m not moving around, I’m steadily gaining weight. I’m 150 pounds today and that is way, way too much, considering how much effort it took me to lose weight the last time. I want to go back to the gym and I need to get my butt off my chair to be able to do that.
  • Unwanted and persistent side effects: headaches, muscle tension in the jaw and neck. Had enough of it now. Is becoming a quality of life issue.
  • The artificially manufactured happiness isn’t quite happy enough to make it worth it. If I were a lot happier, like really noticeably happy, I would endure the headaches, weight gain and sedation as an acceptable trade-off. But it’s not really all that impressive a drug. I think there is a reason why this particular product isn’t being sold on the black market. People would complain.
  • I would like to be able to start having orgasms normally again. Also a more normal sex drive would be good.

It’s almost October, isn’t it, and I promised myself that we would have a TLYW Oktoberfest, so that’s what we’ll try to do and hopefully I’ll rack up lots of Achievement points. Speaking of which, I’ve done reasonably well over the last couple of days. I have done 3 walks, 1 visit to the dentist and I even did one evening of Chinese, with a bit of encouragement from Charlie. So that’s 5 points all together.

Things are still going well with Charlie and also I am seeing Socrates tomorrow, which will be lovely, so I am well provided for.

France was Nice.

Sorry not to have posted for so long, everyone. France was quite challenging work-wise, and we have also been busy since I returned. News in brief.

– The house fly problem is under control but now there are moths as well so the new fierce hoover is getting some exercise.

– I am shockingly chunky and need to get back in the gym asap.

– Charlie and I are still getting on well, we’ve been dating for just over a month, if memory serves. There are plans to finally leave the house and go see some art, which will be good as you get TLYW Achievement points for that.

I haven’t finished sorting out all my photos from France but it occurs to me that that’s no reason to keep all of them from you, so here are some.

Nice is on the French Riviera and it is like stepping on to a film set from the late 1950s or early 1960s, where a romantic film is being shot about rich people who are on holiday. That blonde lady in the blouse and skirt is perfectly attired for the surroundings.

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The cooking was amazing of course and all the food was gorgeously presented, this is why I did not lose any weight:

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Lots of nice Art Deco architecture, like we saw when TLYW went to Miami a couple of years ago.

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Sculpture. I like public art. The one with the human head topped by a big cube marks the location of the library.

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I didn’t get to go to the beach because business reasons but I would most definitely consider the South of France for a late summer holiday another year, since they seem to have nice, hot summer weather well into September when all the kids are back at school and hence it won’t be overrun with families.

More pictures soon. As I sat on a roof terrace cafe one day, eating lunch next to the rooftop swimming pool, they played this song. It’s not particularly French but I liked it anyway. Tomorrow is the third anniversary of the day I met the Head Honcho. I only miss him deep in my soul some of the time.

Cash Cash ft. Bebe Rexha: Take Me Home (2013)

Flypaper

I am home. I’ve been in France. It was Nice, in both senses of the word. Photos coming up shortly.

When I came home, I rushed for the following items:

  • Coffee, the way I like it. I am not saying the French don’t know how to make coffee, far from it, but apparently I have American taste where coffee is concerned and need it to come in pints with loads of milk and sugar. I know I shouldn’t be drinking coffee at all because teeth but I was desperate.
  • Bacon and egg sandwich.
  • World of Warcraft. I had no gaming for 5 days.

Things I approached with considerable trepidation: my laundry room. OK, so right before I was leaving for France, just as the taxi was outside, waiting to take me to the airport, I opened the laundry room door and was rather dismayed to discover at least 3 if not 4 house flies circulating around in there. I don’t know where they came from. I did not have time to clear out the laundry room, identify the source of the problem and kill the flies. My car was waiting to leave. I couldn’t miss my plane. I had to firmly shut the laundry room door, go to the airport and hope for the best. While I was away I wondered what hell I was going to come home to and what they were eating. I imagined that when I got home I would open the laundry room door and find something like that Damien Hirst exhibit which is a disgusting glass cube, full of flies, with rotting meat.

On arriving home, I was so scared to look in there. I couldn’t face it last night. Today I went out and bought about 6 kinds of flypaper and a new vacuum cleaner because my old one is at least 10 years old and hardly works. I wanted something with super powerful suction. Also the old vacuum cleaner was actually inside the room with the flies and I wanted a functioning weapon before I opened that door, because I fully expected thousands of flies to swarm out as soon as I touched it. I cracked open the laundry room door and cautiously stuck the nozzle of the new vacuum cleaner inside before daring to take a look.

It was okay, though. A couple of flies were in there, and a couple seemed to have escaped into the hall but otherwise it was okay. I can’t tell you how relieved I am. At least now I have a better vacuum cleaner, which I needed, so that should help keep the house clean.

Now I’ve bored you with that story, let’s have another story, introduced by Roald Dahl, which is equally horrible and not boring at all. This is an episode of Tales of the Unexpected, which aired on British TV in the early 1980s. I remember this when it was broadcast. I was only a child at the time and it scared the living daylights out of me. Enjoy. French news to follow.

Tales of the Unexpected: The Flypaper

Gaming News: Sims 4, Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Sims 4 has just been released. Here’s an official trailer demonstrating gameplay:

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I loved the Sims franchise and have played it since Sims 1. I think this is the point where I quit, though. I’m not going to invest in Sims 4. There’s a good review and quite intelligent, well-informed discussion here on Reddit:

Having read this, and it is, unfortunately, totally in line with what one has come to expect from EA, I am going to stop consuming now. Salient points in my opinion:

  • Sims 2 was in many ways the best of the bunch, it had the best memory-recording system and was quite raunchy. So for example, a sim might be enjoying a naked jacuzzi with his boyfriend in the front garden at three in the afternoon while waiting for the kids to come home from school, but then if his wife caught him, she would remember catching him in flagrante delicto even if they later repaired their relationship.
  • Sims 3 added the open-world element, which is hard to give up once you’ve got used to not having to look at a loading screen every time you want to travel to another lot. This important element of functionality is dispensed with in Sims 4, the town map that’s linked to from the reddit thread looks ridiculous and it does resemble a mobile or tablet game. Compared to Sims 2, though, the loss of a worthwhile memory-recording system in Sims 3 took some getting used to and the game wanted to record a memory of every time your sim stubbed his toe but he would have no lasting feelings about the time his wife had a baby with someone else.
  • I’ve just learned from the Reddit discussion that there’s a mod for Sims 3 that lets you alter the way memories are recorded so that you only record the important stuff.
  • It is probably the case that newcomers to the Sims (are there any? I guess so) will find Sims 4 much less demanding to run than previous versions. It’s a game that’s made notoriously heavy demands on the user and their PC. Not everyone has a top of the range machine.
  • But I am a PC gamer anyway so that’s why I’m not going to give EA any money for the privilege of having them transition me over to a light-weight, more mobile, less content-rich Sims. I need a good PC anyway because I also play Warcraft and Skyrim and blah blah blah. So that’s why I’m going to upgrade my PC to something really robust and then install that mod and play a bit more of Sims 3, until I remember that it is full of bugs. And that, in turn, will remind me why I play Warcraft, which hosts millions of players simultaneously in a live, real-time environment and is almost bug-free. Speaking of which …

The next expansion pack for World of Warcraft is Warlords of Draenor, it should be released by Christmas and you can read about it here:

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/warlords-of-draenor/

Trailer:

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I fucking love Blizzard. I am a pretty satisfied Warcraft customer and have been playing not for all of its 10 year history, but since 2007, so nearly. I most definitely invested in a pre-purchase of Warlords of Draenor because it is a given that I will be playing it. Points to note:

  • Story-wise, this is like a prequel, a return to more primitive times when it was Orcs versus Humans.
  • Location-wise it looks like they are going to mash up the lands of the Burning Crusade. It is jolly lucky that I’ve just about got my Pandaren monk to level 69. It’s very exciting, actually. The map looks very different.
  • Pre-purchase benefits include a character level boost to 90; I am going to use this on my Blood Elf paladin once she gets to 60 (she is currently 50 and loitering in Winterspring, awaiting more levelling). If you get your character to 60 before boosting, then you get all your trade skills levelled up to 600, blah blah useful stuff. Also this will neatly boost her past those Outlands levels. 
  • New player character models – smoother artwork. Warcraft does become more colourful and cartoony by the second, but frankly that can be easy on the eye if, like me, you play a lot of Skyrim. Skyrim resembles a remote and mountainous area of Finland and it is nearly always dark and raining, or if it is not raining, it is snowing. It has noticeably worse weather than London. At least Warcraft has jungles and beaches, so much lovely coast line, so many lovely places to see the sun rise and set in real-tme, over the holiday-brochure blue sea. Skyrim sea is grey, like the North Sea. Warcraft is a bit more like the Pacific.
  • New types of gameplay to do with garrisons or something that I will probably care about when it happens.

And that’s all tonight’s gaming news.