Crystal Wings

Things change, time flies. And so do I.

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Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

About me. Well, I COULD lie and make things interesting, or I COULD tell you the truth and let you decide, but i'd rather you just form your own opinions.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Snake eyes

Thanks to a rather hearty breakfast of nutella on bread, today felt like i've been fasting for weeks. That is to say, it went by very easily. Maybe it's also compounded by the fact that I had no work for the day. Either way, i'm not complaining.

That being said, I do have other reasons to whine and/or otherwise bitch about. My chief source of aggravation today has been plaguing me for several weeks now - bad die rolls. More to the point, bad die rolls in the highly competitive games of Dreamblade i've been playing.

Dreamblade is a collectible strategy game of sorts from the same people who came up with Magic: The Gathering. In it, one is tasked with capturing scoring cells on a board comprising of grids. To do that, you'd first have to spawn creatures, then move them across the board against your opponent. While the strategic elements of the game are based solely on the skill of the player, spawning and battles make exclusive use of dice, and therein lies the problem. You see, the reason i'm having trouble playing the game is the fact that my die rolls are well below average. I often find myself 1 point short of doing anything useful, or rolling 'misses' altogether. It's like having an army of scary, but inept minions who trip over each other in battle.

Now, bad die rolls alone I can handle but as I mentioned before, Dreamblade is a competitive game. Every Wednesday and Thursday I participate in 'Edge' tournaments for extra figures and points. The figures boost my selection choice and the points increase my overall ranking as well as serve as currency to redeem useful items during higher level tournaments.

In this aspect, Tina seems to be my antithesis. Her rolls are uniformly good across the board, her army build solid and her strategy well played. Needless to say, she has a string of Edge wins under her belt and despite being the only girl player she remains a force to be reckoned with. I could say that at least one of us wins consistently, but I can't deny that I want it to be me.

I've played 4 practice matches with her today.
I've won none.
What I do get, however is some very good feedback.
In all honesty, i'd prefer to win right now.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ramadan

Once again I return to the page full of things to say but not nearly bothered enough to say them haha. It's been by far the most interesting few months of my stay here in Australia. Verily, it was an adventure fraught with peril, danger, and perilous danger. Well maybe I exaggerate. But STILL!

Today marks the first day of Ramadan. For the next 4 weeks or so I will be detailing the trials and tribulations of fasting as the weather heats up here in Sydney. The plan is simple, i've set myself some targets to meet. Some are practical, such as spending less money, others not so, such as improving my hand-eye coordination so I can best Tina at air hockey. I've even got a few comical ones, but let's not go there.

The day was easy enough. I missed getting up early to eat so instead I fixed myself a lovely meal of water. Bad start, but 10am I was already feeling hungry hehe. Fortunately, i'm a seasoned fasting veteran and even though the first day is always the hardest, I got through it easily. What was most difficult was explaining the various deals around the store on a parched throat. To customers enjoying ice cream :P That's the way it goes. Thanks to bad shifts I won't have to deal with it until next Friday. Speaking of which, I find my hours at work dwindling at the moment. I hope it picks up soon.

Anyway, enough hypocrisy, i'm going to bed.
Good night.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lefty Flip

Ben Elton was good. Ben Elton was very good. He was so good I was worried the stitches on my lip would come undone from too much laughter! More importantly, he also had a good point, which was something neither I nor Tina expected. Speaking of Tina, she looked absolutely stunning that evening and I was hard pressed to pay even the vaunted Ben Elton much attention with her arm resting easy on mine. I could go on and on about it, but I had better not.

Cue obvious topic change!

In other news, the Doctor has pronounced my healing to be on track, and i'm slated to remove my stitches tomorrow. I've gotten my results from the past semesters exams and they were pretty decent. I didn't fail Systems Modelling, which was a relief. I'd hate to have to sit through that class again. I still don't know how my application for a course transfer is going and i'm only going to find out in the morning. That's going to be fun for sure.

Work has also become bareable since I enabled the 'Lefty Flip' option in Guitar Hero. The setting inverts strumming and notation, confusing right-handed people who pick the guitar up to have a bash. Such comic relief during work hours is worth its weight in gold! If it stops people from buying the game? Meh!

And now, we return to our original program.

Tina and myself have been spending a lot of time together lately. While i'm certainly not complaining, I worry sometimes if we're growing to be too dependant on each other for company. Sure, I have work and she has her friends at TAFE, but when I get off and she's done, it's back together we go.

And i'm making that sound like it's a bad thing. Hell no.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Art of War

So, someone has finally decided to put money where his mouth is and made good on all those idle threats he's been giving me. I can't recall the last time i've been struck and looking back now, i'm somewhat disappointed. I think Jack would have done more damage to me if he sat his considerable weight down on me. As it turns out he hits pretty soft for a boy (yes, boy) his size. The meat on his fists probably cushioned the blows. Don't get me wrong, I felt his punches and I have 5 stitches to prove it, but they just didn't hurt. I remember standing right back up after the barrage and giving him a bloody (literally) smile whilst having a good laugh.

After the scuffle, I got myself patched up by a rather a sleepy doctor at the UTS Health and Medical Services. Tina stuck with me throughout and i'm more than grateful for her company. I chose not to retaliate when Jack hit me, but if he laid a finger on her I would have thrown his wobbly body into rush hour traffic. After recieving my stitches, we went back to TAFE to lodge a security complaint. The matter was escalated to the local police and we pretty much spent our day hanging around the station waiting to give statements.

As it stands, right now Jack has been charged with assault and will have to bring his sorry ass to court. Fun. If i'm not mistaken, he'll probably be also be suspended from TAFE (Boo!), or better yet expelled (YAY!). If i'm not mistaken Tina also took out a restraining order on him for ME. Me! I'm not worried for me, I worry for her! Well if Jack has half a brain cell remaining in that vast cavernous and empty expanse I call his brain cavity, he should leave her alone. He's made his moves, he's fought on his terms.

Now I fight on mine.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Guitar Zero

It appears that the little store I call my workplace has become more of a daycare center. I wonder what possesses rational adults to leave their impressionable young in our care (and thus, by extension, in the care of video game consoles) for hours at a time to return later, smile sweetly at us and leave with their spawn. No doubt they believe that we, as the purveyors of distractions, are perfectly capable of educating children through the wonderful use of the Xbox 360 demo unit and Guitar Hero.

Speaking of which, if I hear Smoke On The Water again, i'm liable to smash the guitar controller into the TV and take a piss on it's smoldering, broken form. And smile. In front of the children. There's only so much rock a man can take before it drives him up the wall. As for the parents, I should start charging them if they're going to leave their children behind for more than 5 minutes at a time. I reckon it would make a rather lucrative side business. At least Tina came to rescue me from the drudgery over lunch. That, and Ben Elton's 'The First Casualty' provided me with an avenue with which I could channel my rising boredom into. I've heard a lot about the man behind Blackadder, and i'm pleased to have gotten tickets to see him perform stand up comedy at the Capitol Theater this Thursday night. Then I can see for myself if he's worth all the hype.

Over the past few days i've spent the majority of my spare time with Tina. Last Saturday marked the passing of our first month and there was much celebration. It included a ride on a ferris wheel and some walkie talkies. Beyond that I will say no more. Better to let you scratch your head in wonder. Or not. Suit yourself.

Me? I'm going to sleep and dream about a children free store with absolutely no rock music. Maybe the trick is to go Zen and filter out the rock. Funnily enough, I worry about these kids. Has the World gone so mad that parents are willing to leave their children in the company of total strangers? What could be so important to warrant something like that? Work? GROCERIES!? God knows I would like my brood to be independant but Heaven forbid me from doing what I see happen every day. I don't claim to know anything at all about parenting, but even I know how unsound that method is.

And if I ever need proof I need only look beyond the cashier counter onto the glazed eyes of a primary schooler playing Kameo over and over again.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Home is where the roof is

Ah, what a strange fortnight it has been. Well, maybe not strange, but certainly odd. Hmm...not even odd. More like AGGRAVATING. Tina returned from Brisbane early to keep me company over the first few days of my Grandfather's passing and i'm eternally grateful. Since then, she's managed to get several job interviews, and even landed an enviable piece of property at Dulwich Hill. Despite being only 18 her maturity and strength startles me continously. I do what I can to help her but by the looks of it she would be just fine either way. A lot more frazzled maybe, but certainly still fine.

I say aggravating mainly due to the fact that her ex, an obese, grotesque turd (Feel the love. HA!) has been making things difficult for her. This, by extension, means that he is making things difficult for me. At this point, he's already threatened to bash my head in with a blunt wooden instrument (baseball bat, anyone?) on two separate occassions. I'd like to see the little coward try, but i'm also getting tired of looking over my shoulder. Either way i'm pretty sure i'd come out of it the better. I haven't been throwing myself at the punching bags and my sparring partners for no reason.

On a more pleasant note, me and Tina will be celebrating our first month together this Saturday and i'm at a loss as to what we should do. I'll figure it out I guess. These past two weeks represented my first serious experience in cohabitation and after two years of living by myself, I must admit it's a good feeling. Now that she has her own place, mine feels emptier somehow. Still, i'm glad she's found herself a stable base of operations. Unlike my attic studio, her little flat is nicely segmented by walls. While sizewise our places are comparable, it would be nice for me not to sleep in the one room that is simultaneously my bedroom, lounge, study and kitchen.

Ah well, as i've mentioned many times before, beggars can't be choosers.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

On goes life

Another day has come and gone and i've somehow managed to get through this one relatively unscathed. My nasty cough is still annoying the living daylights out of me but c'est la vie, that's the way it goes. Nothing much to report today really. It was a pretty slow day at work but my individual sales wasn't too bad. By closing I sat pretty on about 2000 AUD worth of stuff which is a pretty good haul all things considered. After work I stopped by McDonalds to sample their monstrous Double Quarter Pounder (which, funnily enough would make it a 'Halfer Pounder', pun intended). I was not disappointed as it still sits heavily in my digestive tracts. On a whim I decided to purchase Titan Quest despite a rather dismal demo experience and for some reason, I seem to be enjoying it. Has my time at GW dulled my sense of good taste? It remains to be seen.

The biggest highlight of my day is the often silly, sometimes corny and very lovey MSN conversation I had with Tina upon my return. That girl somehow manages to put a smile on my face with almost every line, and I think my face might collapse from all this grinning. As we're still in the 'honeymoon' phase it's all well and good. Still she's far more mature than anyone her age I know and silly as our conversations maybe its almost akin to building a house, one brick at a time. Before she slept she sent me a beautiful text message. Beautiful because the message is simple. Beautiful because the message is true.