chairman_wow: Sign from the game Portal 2: GLaDOS EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN and CAKE DISPENSARY (seems legit)

Mudsplattered: the new professionalism.

This wouldn't be a problem if Surrey was cool enough to have proper footpaths in its villages.

Yus, I've finally got some work, and the balance on my bank account is steadily moving into positive numbers! The job's only part time, but it's still been pretty draining. I hope I'll get used to the change in pace soon, though. Co-operate, brainssss.

I've been making some very vague plans for the future, too. After a discussion with my mum last week I decided that, depending on how things go health-wise, I'll probably do some study at the Open University next year to ease myself back into academia. I'd love to get some more economics and sociology knowledge under my belt especially. Plus more background knowledge on European archaeology/history. Give me every social science, I want them all!

OU is apparently restructuring it's social science department at the moment, though, so we'll see how that goes.

I'd been putting off writing a post because I was hoping to include a video I've been editing, but with work being so tiring for now, that might not get finished for another week or two. I did make a blog on tumblr for my insect photos & videos, though, if you wanna have a look at those! Eventually I'll build up a queue over there, too, and then there'll be more regular posts.


chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (longcat)
screenshot of Word, zoomed out to show all 56 pages of my dissertation
cut for images )

I have thoughts about the past year and plans for what I will do next, but for now I am gonna grab my book and read in bed.
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Default)

Tim got me a little whiteboard and it calms my troubled mind.

I decided the other day that when I've handed in my dissertation, we're going to Hay-on-Wye for a weekend in celebration. Yeah, this place. It's going to be amazing.

I also finally saved up enough to buy my own 3DS, and this awesome decal so we can distinguish between the two that exist in this flat:

(I had this gif here, but looking at it makes my head hurt.)

Just one bossfight away from beating Ocarina of Time! And then I'm going to get A Link To The Past Link's Awakening (EDIT: I can't be expected to remember names at 1am after a day of dissertationing) from the download store, and I won't stop until I have all the Zeldas.
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Model)
Didn't do hourly comics today. I was too busy reading about Bronze Age trade, something I could probably do all day long. ♥ Oh yeah, too cool for school.

I made a LibraryThing accont last month to keep track of the (pitifully small number of) books I read this year. Are any of you guys on there? We should be friends!

At the moment I'm reading The Knife of Never Letting Go which is incredibly addictive, holy shit. I had to leave it at home today because yesterday I took it with me to read on the tube and got absolutely no work done all day.

I have a 9am lecture tomorrow, so it's probably about time I went to bed. I still have a bunch of draft posts I haven't finished (I predict my thoughts on Tron: Legacy will be posted around the time it comes out on DVD.) but this will have to do for now. Slightly more alive on the Twitter, as usual. See you guys later.
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Harmless)
Do you know how much I love you?

I've had a post with half a review of volume 1 of Ōoku sitting in my drafts since the halcyon days of December 4th. It's a little end of term crunch-time-y around here at the moment, so I'll finish and post it when I've handed in my essay on the 16th. Short version: OMG I AM IN LOVE WITH EVERYTHING. Why are my copies of volume 2 - 4 not here yet, Amazon?

I also took the JLPT N4 on the 5th. It was pretty easy, actually, considering that I haven't studied that much in the last month. Unless of course I did terribly and don't realise it. :P

Oh, and the government hates students. Great. I considered going to the demo, but decided in favour of essay work and tutor meetings in the end. At least I didn't get hit in the head with a horse this way. :/
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Harmless)
I went to the Science Library at one point today to get a book out of the Anthropology section, and I found this written inside it:

Anonymous library book graffitier, I know your pain.

If you believe some of theorists you need to be a trained philosopher to make any kind of valid archaeological conclusions. Not that there's much concern with actually making conclusions in most of the things I've read, they're too busy calling each other stupid. It's like a flamewar collided with an introductory philosophy course. Serves me right for choosing the essay topic on polemics, really.

A thought I've been meaning to write down, courtesy of things I read for my essay that end up being only tangentially related:

It seems to me that people who emphasise environmental determinism put humans in a weird place where they react to ecology, but are not actually part of it, either for other humans or for the environment in general. Of course culture is an adaptation, but the environment someone is adapting to also includes all the other humans and all of the other humans from previous generations, and their culture and the things they made and made up. AND groups of people shape the environment around them, so there's a loop there. {And just because something is adaptive doesn't mean that it's 100% the optimal solution or that it can't survive past the time when it was useful.)

And those on the other side of the spectrum, who are more into particularism also sometimes separate humans out, in a weird free-will emphasising way that can smack slightly of religion. But I do agree with them about past people not being too stupid to understand why they do what they do to an extent and negotiating and altering the system and stuff.

This is degenerating into waffle because I am le tired. Here, have a Gundam Unicorn screenshot, I'm going to bed:

Maybe-Char, why have you got a pillow stuffed down the front of your coat.

Gundam Unicorn is so good.
I should start doing screenshot anime recaps again.
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Layton)
First things first; my new number one game I am looking forward to:

Level 5/Capcom OTP FOREVER.

Change of topic: UCL continues to be the best place in the world. Next week Shahina Farid, the site director of Çatalhöyük, is coming to our "Issues in the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East" seminar. Yeah you know you're jealous. I don't actually know that much detailed info about Çatalhöyük, though, so I'm going to have to do some reading up.

Last week I went to the first of a series of Seminars at the Institute of Classical Studies on the theme of "Religion and Cross-cultural Trade in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East". ♥__♥ I'd been looking forward to it all week, and it did not disappoint; it was really interesting and exciting. That sounds sycophantic, because my professor gave it, but it genuinely was. It's the kind of topic I want to study. I've always liked the intersections of different cultures and how they work, which I'm sure I can at least partly blame on my international/third culture kid* adolescence.

I've been hanging out with the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Soc and techSoc, and I'm thoroughly enjoying not being a recluse anymore. Social interaction: it's pretty great. Social interaction with geeks is even better. I may end up joining the Japan Society, as well. They have language lessons, you see, and I desperately need some speaking practice. I was talking to a girl at the last SFF Soc movie night, and it came up in conversation that I was learning Japanese, so she started talking to me in it. I could understand what she was saying pretty well, but I immediately forgot all words and my mouth wouldn't open. ぜんぜんできなかった。;_; もっと練習しなくちゃいけない。

Apart from that I've spent most of my time reading and slowly getting into a working routine. I'm going to start writing my first essay, soon, too. I get to cram the uses of the concept of 'objectivity' by processualists and post-processualists into a meagre 2000 words. I bet you all envy me for that, too. :| I've squeezed in a little bit of drawing (and I have a fair amount of art from the last few months that I haven't posted online yet), but scanning and editing is time consuming and frustrating, and I just can't be bothered. ¬__¬ I am plotting ways to get access to high-quality scanners, though (none of the UCl libraries/computer rooms have any, as far as I've been able to find out, but I do have access to a range of other London universities...), so it may yet happen.

*I feel slightly weird calling myself a third culture kid, even though I do identify with at least some of the things in that article, because after all I only grew up in three counties, as opposed to six or seven. (I get the feeling that very thought is an indicator of my third-culture-kid-itude.)

It also seems to be associated more with US-Americans of the previous generation, and all I know about it I learned from that wikipedia article, so there's that, too.
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Harmless)

Wednesday was enrolment day at UCL. I got what I'm pretty sure was superhumanly early (I shot out of bed the second my first alarm sounded at 7am because I was excited), and had registered, collected my ID card and picked up my email username and password by 9:30, leaving me with two hours to kill until anything was going on at the Institute of Archaeology. I am just ~*extra keen*~.

Read more... )

I've also registered my final module choices*:

Themes, Thought and Theory in World Archaeology: Foundations
Themes and Issues in the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East
Evolution of Palaeolithic and Neolithic Societies in the Near East
The Near East from Later Prehistory to the End of the Iron Age
Topics in Chinese Art and Archaeology

I'm pretty sure that China one was not in the booklet I had when I was looking at modules before, but I'm excited for it! :D I'm going to sit in on some undergrad modules on Chinese archaeology, as well, to get a bit of background knowledge.

My first lecture/seminar is tomorrow, in Themes, Thought, and Theory. Kinda wish I could take the contemporary issues version instead of the history of theory again, but I have become a lot fonder of theory since I figured out how and why it's actually relevant and important, so I'm still looking forward to it.

*Online! An awesome thing about UCL: they seem to be about 10 times more IT-savvy than Durham ever was. POP/IMAP aren't blocked on the email service, I can change all of my personal details online, and most importantly most of the required reading for the courses is available in pdf format!
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (My dick)

I fell asleep just as the children's programming was starting on Radio 7, which is around... 5 am? Wow, later than I thought. And I still woke up at 8:30, feeling perfectly awake. Idek.

I'm trying out a self-motivating tactic where you stop doing something when you're having fun and are still really motivated to keep going, so you'll be quicker to start the next day. It's working so far, but it's really hard! XD I can't stop in the middle of a math problem, it's just not right.

News bulletins:

The Evolution of Palaeolithic and Neolithic Societies in the Near East option at UCL isn't cancelled after all! ♥ You guys can't even believe how thrilled I am about this. It's the perfect module.

Oh, speaking of Archaeology stuff, look, an entire free volume of Human Biology! Which is not what it sounds like but actually (in this case) material form a Center for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity conference on demographics and dispersal and cultural evolution and incredibly sexy things like that. I've only read one article so far, though — I don't really like reading long PDFs on screens where I can't underline stuff and take notes in the margins, but whenever I've been at ACS to make use of their abundance in printer ink and paper the computers have been uncooperative.

I went to see Agora with my parents and Tim last week. It was good! Even better than I expected it to be! A lot deeper than your average period drama, with its depictions of religious conflict and doubt vs. certainty and so on. I really want to see it again to form a more detailed opinion (and because I just want to see it again), but it's only showing in the small cinema at Leicester Square, and the tickets are crazy expensive. Maybe I'll rent the DVD when it comes out.

I think the moral of the story was "science is totally hawt", but that might just have been me.

(You will also notice I am using an APPROPRIATE ASTRONOMY ICON.)

We put in an offer on a flat, but then we decided we couldn't really afford it after all so we had to take the offer back. Still lookin'.

Lastly, there's only 3 episodes of Durarara!! left now, and while I don't want it to end, I am so excited for the last few episodes. There is some kind of epic climax building. Seriously, you guys. Watch it. It's free! Legitimately!
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Default)
[So maybe I'll try cross-posting here? I do quite like DW.]

It's suddenly only a small number of months until I start at UCL! And just when I've just about figured out how not to let myself drown in a sea of ennui and depression when I have nothing to do. What a waste.

I got an email from the Institute of Archaeology (IoA?) this week asking me to tell them what options I'd like to do with my MA, so they can gauge interest. Unfortunately these two, which I really wanted to take, aren't running next year, so I spent forever deciding which of the alternatives to pick. I ended up with these:

The Near East from Later Prehistory to the End of the Iron Age
The Archaeology of Early Egypt and Sudan, c.10,000 to 2500 BC
Archaeology of Late Pleistocene and Holocene Hunter-Gatherers

And as second choices in case any of those are cancelled, The Mediterranean world in the Iron Age, Anthropological and Archaeological Genetics, and The Aegean from first farmers to Minoan states.

I wasn't sure whether I should put one of the Mediterranean ones in my preferred options list instead of the hunter-gatherers one, but in the end I went with hunter-gatherers because the professor co-ordinating it has the more interesting research interests. I think that's a legit reason.

Ffff guys, I am so excited.

Speaking of Archaeology, I've been reading about the MASS Project today. I heard about it vaguely just before I left Durham, but then I completely forgot about it until recently. It's a super-badass project that involves modelling prehistoric settlements to see how they interact with, affect, and react to their environments. I've not finished reading all the stuff on the website yet, but like I said, it sounds super badass.

In other news, my parents and I went to see Robin Hood yesterday, and it was... really, really lame. Magna Carta out of nowhere )

It doesn't feel right somehow to make a post without a single picture or drawing in it, so here's an animated gif of a cat that I found on the internets:

chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Holy Shit)


Pretty much done with Illustration askdhaskjlfhadskjfh;adskl. (More pictures at LJ, if you'd like.)
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