Thursday, 29 January 2015

A Mind Healing Bender

I've had the best week that I remember having in ages. It made me really remember my student days and the months I spent in Australia as well as my time spent doing fuck all productive as a feckless teenager. Needless to say I really miss it. I'm happiest when I'm surrounded by people and doing fun things, which I've kind of forgotten lately. It's hard to get yourself to do things, especially when you have no money and you feel like you should be staying in and job searching every single day, but it is important to try and keep yourself happy as well, which is something I haven't been bothering with in a very long time. But my mental health weekend away in Colchester extended itself into a mental health week away and I feel better, even though I had to come back to the same shitty situation. I'm going to try harder to enjoy things again, though, because I'm not getting any fucking younger, ha.

I've made a start by signing up to take a TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Somebody sent me the link to an amazing discount on Groupon, it ended up being something like 85% off, going from somewhere over £250 to £49. I can use it to teach classes or individual sessions in pretty much any country, apparently, and it doesn't take too long to take the course. I'll be registering and all of that official stuff tomorrow, aw yeah.

I also managed to book tickets to the Game of Thrones Exhibition on February the 15th at the O2! They're free if you're a Sky TV customer, and you get two tickets per customer. I was surprised I managed it, I thought they'd sell out within ten minutes but their servers were utterly inadequate for the sheer amount of people trying to log in and buy tickets at the same time and it took about two hours of refreshing to get to the booking page. Thank fuck for Sky being unprepared, and for people less geekily determined than me who gave up clicking and made space for me to book. Nighty night.

Friday, 23 January 2015

My Ebay Basket #1

1:  Thigh High Boots
2:  Necklaces
3:  Sparkly Flats
4:  Lace-Up Boots
I always end up with a million things sitting in my Ebay basket for months and months before they eventually sell out in my size. But I need a pair of flat shoes so I'm going to actually buy myself something, yay. Now I can stop borrowing my mum's trainers all the time. Plus my favourite old knee-high lace up boots have become almost like boot-shaped legwarmers, the soles are so close to just completely separating. I got those from Ebay too, the best boots ever for twenty quid, although they only lasted me around a year and a bit.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Review: The Magicians Trilogy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read through the whole trilogy in about a week, it was great. It was like Narnia for adults; all the crudeness I usually enjoy but that is usually absent from fantasy was present. These magicians get sloshed and have sex with each other, they're realistic young adults who have sexualities and flaws, and at times, flawed sexualities. The world building was often very self aware and tongue-in-cheek; overplayed tropes within the genre of fantasy were presented as such, and the characters often point out these things themselves in ways that a reader would. The examples that aren't piss-takes, however, are unique, original and utterly charming. I just loved reading this series and I'd definitely recommend it.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Review: Sleek Matte Me

Here's one of my favourite lip products. I absolutely love it, it's so long lasting and the colour is perfect for my prison pallor. You just swipe it on, one layer does the trick as it's really highly pigmented, and then it dries and stays in place for hours. The only problem is that I'm prone to dry flakey lips, and this kind of matte product can really exacerbate it. That's through no fault of this particular product, though, as it's the same with any matte lipstick, and this one is no worse than the usual, you just have to use it on less dry days.. The shade is "Petal", and below is the colour swatch. I got mine for £4.99 in Superdrug.

Left: with flash - Right: Without

Review: Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

I got given a Boots gift card by my uncle for Christmas and thought I'd buy a new foundation seeing as I lost my most precious favourite Estee Lauder Double Wear in Australia. I'm still convinced that somebody nicked it, but oh well. Definitely can't afford another of those at the moment, and I'd had it since I was sixteen... This stuff is pretty nice though. The only thing I'm a bit annoyed about is that I accidentally bought it in a shade that's a little too dark for me, as you can see by the swatches on my blindingly white hand. It isn't that bad on my face, as I generally only use foundation in place of concealer and my face isn't quite as pale as my hands. The shade is called "True Ivory" which is pretty inaccurate, but I guess it's my own fault for going shopping without my glasses. Maybe I'll just keep it as my summer foundation.

As you can see, the stuff is creamy and pretty highly pigmented. It blends on smoothly and stays put. You can't really go wrong, and it's pretty cheap too, at £8.99 in Boots. I'd definitely recommend. Of course, as soon as I look up the available shades on the internet, I find out that they've recently released a bunch of paler ones that aren't yet in all shops. Oh well.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Review: Elantris

 My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

I've been on a bit of a Brandon Sanderson binge lately. I couldn't put down the Mistborn series and spent about a week trying to find a PDF of the fourth book, The Alloy of Law, online. Eventually got to read it! So after I was done with that series I looked up more books to read by the same author, and ended up going for Elantris.

Surprisingly, after enjoying the Mistborn series so much, I was kind of annoyed whilst reading this one; I still enjoyed it and couldn't put it down, but I guess I started noticing things about Sanderson's style. His weak points became more obvious when they were repeated in more than one universe. Most notably his weird aversion to sex or crude language. He will describe gruesome battles in explicit detail but will just "fade to black" rather than show any real passion in any of his characters. This leaves his romances feeling very bland and two-dimensional and cuts out a huge driving force that would have helped greatly in making his characters more human and believable, and their internal thoughts less like blandly oblivious eunuchs.

What I do love about Sanderson's books, though, is his world-building. His systems of magic always feel more like areas of science than the usual "anything goes, especially deus-ex-machina", which I can't stand. When little is understood of the mythos of the universe in the story, fantasy novels so often come to rely on contrived and far too convenient last minute rescues of magical origin. What I like about Sanderson is that his magic is just another system, a system that makes sense. It's a good rule to follow for good writing; in order to avoid cliché in a genre that is absolutely riddled with it, you have to make the rules clear and then follow the shit out of them.

Friday, 2 January 2015

I need a Dollar

I had a meeting at the job centre today. There's nothing in the world that makes me feel more useless and shitty than walking into that place, but I just couldn't put it off any longer; my money is all gone and although I apply for a lot of jobs I'm finding it really difficult at the moment. I tried to avoid signing on for as long as possible but the fact that I spent three months in Australia recently means that I have zero in the bank, as of Christmas. Well, less than zero, I'm about £30 away from reaching my overdraft limit of £1000. I can't think about it without panicking, but I have one more year until they start charging me interest on that, apparently. If I haven't got a job by then then something is seriously up. 

So I guess that this is a review of sorts, of the Job Centre Plus in Wood Green. I know it's probably not their fault, as things get lost in the system all the time, but I have just had to drop them the same document for the third time in a month, and the fact that it officially hasn't been received at the Stratford Office (they send everything on over to them) means that my money is now over a month late. As they can't file my claim until they have everything they need, I've had to make three trips down there over a few weeks and each time was assured that the document would be filed and sent off, but I was still left without anything over the Christmas and had to borrow from my dad, which I absolutely hate having to do.

Hopefully it gets sorted soon before I have to resort to selling drugs or killing myself or something equally melodramatic. Even better would be if I could just get a fucking job so I don't have to deal with trying to squeeze pennies out of a lemon, or some other equally ridiculous and impossible thing. It would be very nice not to feel like a useless sponger, that's all I could ask for, really.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The best site ever

Lately I've been so skint that I've been looking at things on the internet, wanting and wishing rather than actually buying anything. However, Katie recently reminded me once again of the best site ever, So maybe sometime soon I might be able to actually purchase myself something without feeling ridiculously guilty! I've been needing some basic flat shoes, the only pair I have at the moment are ragged old ballerina shoes that absolutely freeze my toes in this weather. It might take me a while to decide as I'm so unused to making these kinds of decisions these days... 

I guess it's time I should start thinking about resolutions for this year. I know it's a day late, but I don't really expect to get much done on time these days, I didn't even fully realise that it was New Years Eve until about an hour before midnight, I can be a bit oblivious. So I guess I'll try to quit smoking again. I'm confident with my E-Lites, they served me well for a good few months before and it was only the fact that I was moving in to a house full of smokers that got me started again. Better stock up then, I guess! Once my current bag of tobacco runs out, of course.