31 December 2015

December update/New Year blah blah

Well let's see - not a bad year, definitely a lot better than the last two years. Here's hoping 2016 is even better.

I got back into running at the nearby track again around May, that was good; managed to keep it all the way up to now, with a break in August and November. It got really difficult to keep eating the equivalent in sugar of a pack of biscuits a night every night so I eventually stopped that as well and lost half a stone. I'm the heaviest I've ever been but still fairly lean thanks to the 4km running 2-3 times a week (moving toward 5km per jog in January). Reducing my sugar intake and now taking up weightlifting with a bar for the first time (thanks Secret Santa Aidu!) should help a lot too. The goal is to be healthy and to try and conquer this body image problem I've had for years and years and years.

Not too many activities to mention this year but Call of Cthulhu on Sundays got me through the week. My Richard Nixon-esque character died in a towering inferno of the Shoggoth variety but messed up the enemies' plans for a while. My new character loves investigating as much as I do but is somewhat hampered by his huge stature and horribly scarred face. I am really enjoying playing in a smaller group; GC and DK are great players in very different ways and my brother is a great GM so it all works out. I'm definitely  much better player while my DM'ing skills have languished since my peak 2008-2011. I ran my own games once of twice during the year but they weren't that great but all right. I'm a weird perfectionist; either it's perfect or it's not and if it's not I sabotage it a bit. Royce and his ex were playing in the game via Skype all the way from Munster so that was something new! I managed to sate the GM'ing bug I get every few months but I can feel it building up again, will have to run something small in the New Year.

Games this year, more of the same with Civilization 4 (and sometimes 2) sneaking in as most played games; bought Age of Empires 2 HD a few months ago and tore that up for a while. LA Noire is great fun to replay; I started playing Star Ocean 2: The Second Story on PSX again there very recently and it's still good - must have played through a dozen times. I also replayed Majora's Mask on an emulator earlier in the year and it just wasn't as good s playing on that horrible old N64 controller. Still probably my fave Zelda game even if it's followed closely by Ocarina (which I 100% completed earlier in year too for the first time) and Link to the Past (afraid to play again, have played twice and always difficult yet rewarding). Soul Calibur II I also 100% completed, having remained at 95% since like 2006. Got the Lizardman and now just play the multi or single every once in a while for a decent fighting game experience! I also bought Minecraft at last, not as fun as playing the older versions in Finland 2011-12.

No luck at all on the job front: other than two days on set in Belfast and five days at the Races I got nothing else. I almost got 20 extra days on set but I missed the call by a few hours. That was over a grand in sterling that I didn't get so Christmas was harder this year but thankfully C was working for a few months and that knowledge that Theo would get loads from everybody in addition to us eased the burden a lot. Trying really hard to get a job now; I've applied to 12 jobs in the last two weeks and will apply for 3 more later. I've expanded the search to Shannon, Ennis, Dublin and Cork in desperation. The situation is not desperate but it sucks not having any real money. I did an accounting course earlier in the year and that was fine and I'm doing a creative writing course in January 2016 so hopefully now. I know creative writing is not an IT course but it's something I've wanted to do secretly for years yet have always resisted; time to go for it.

It's been a lot easier to live here this year; having Theo to ourselves full time sans creche early in the year was really good, running again helped a lot mental health wise and going out a few times was good for happiness sake. Meeting up with some old friends and being in good form for that was fantastic, here's hoping for more of that. Montessori from September onward coupled with some fantastic developments that same month really opened things up for me. I started going out in the city more and discovered that some of old things that I was afraid of were hilariously, stupendously not that scary at all. Some of these old things are actually more afraid of me than I am of them, which is always cathartic. I also got a new niece and goddaughter, always a lovely gift!

So in the New Year I'm looking forward to starting a new course, continuing my exercise regime, hopefully curbing my sugary diet, visiting Cork a few times early in the year, travelling abroad again hopefully and many more happy memories with my loved ones, friends and family. A nice election in Spring would do nicely as well. It's also hard to believe that 100 years ago the Allies were retreating from Gallipoli and the Germans were pushing the Russians out of Poland and Lithuania. The latter I didn't even need to look up, the former I had to. Anyway that's about 40 minutes of rambling/typing, time to give the lord a bath then put him to bed.

Happy New Year!

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