The Homemade Wedding Album

Its something of a work in progress but while we continue to try and get everyone else’s photos so that we can do something interesting with them, I’ve been taking a kind of scrap-booking approach to the book that we had everyone sign on the day. In between the various messages of congratulations, goodwill and downright whimsy, I’ve been pasting copies of the readings, photographs of people and other items connected to the whole event.

The Invitation
The Invitation, and some wedding favours

As a result, something quite odd and yet very…us… is coming into being. Its full of lovely snippets and memories, and the texts of things like ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, which was our first reading – but then I’ve also been drawing all over it, which as anyone who’s known me for any length of time knows means that there’s some pretty surreal imagery floating around in there. Not that there’s anything inappropriate – this is our book of memories of the day, after all – but this homemade wedding album is turning into something of a labour of love that I can keep working on in small increments through the weeks as new bits and pieces present themselves.

Pictures from before the wedding, and mention of the stag night
Scenes Before A Wedding

I’m also making sure to leave plenty of space for the honeymoon – whenever we manage to get round to that – so airplane stubs will no doubt get put in it at some point.

There’s a card from the Stag-Night-That-Wasn’t-Really-A-Stag-Night-Honest-Its-A-Birthday-Party Party, and shots of the Bride and Groom with appropriate attendants before the event itself (as seen to the left here), and an incredible amount of gold, silver and white pigment ink all across the black heavy grain paper pages. We’ve started threatening to bring it round to people so they can see it evolve, but I suspect this is very much going to keep growing and changing for quite some time.

The Meanings of Flowers and the Bridesmaids Assembled
The Meanings of Flowers and the Bridesmaids Assembled

And I think that’s a good thing, because it reflects the ongoing dance and evolution of our relationship and life. We’ve never really managed to do things in a traditional manner, what with living in different countries for a while and adopting a lifestyle that in some ways could be seen as a reversal of many of the gender stereotypes. Jo is currently the major breadwinner in our household, while I stay at home, cook, clean and earn some pin money with the writing while forcing myself to keep an eye on the endgame of getting the book finished and published – and for preference to start training for a counselling diploma. For now though, we have a homemade and evolving wedding album, to match the homemade and evolving marriage, and the symmetry of that pleases me.

EVE: Lessons Learned In Closing A Corp

So far, the exodus from Masalle to Lonetrek has been relatively painless, and its given me a chance to get to grips with some of the peculiarities of shutting a corp down – something that you don’t tend to hear much about. By and large its quite simple, a matter of reminding people to remove their roles and kicking your own inactive alts, but I did have one minor hiccup

One of the things that the system does warn you about when you go to resign as a CEO is that any of your stuff held in offices is likely to be lost – sold on at no profit to you, so I dutifully made sure to deliver everything in the hangars to appropriate personal hangars and made sure all manufacturing and research queues were cleared. Being sure I’d cleared the decks I resigned, closing the corp…

…and noticed about sixty corp open orders selling things on the markets which were now essentially useless. In a blind moment of panic I then cancelled those orders, hoping the unsold materials would end up back in deliveries or something – but no, all lost to the ether…

Damn.

In the grand scale of things, it could have been worse – it was ‘only’ about twenty million isk of saleable items, being all tier 1 supply basics for starters that I’d put out there to test the market, but even so it was a definite “oh bugger” moment that I’ve learned from. I have to admit the sting was reduced somewhat by learning that our new CEO in the Nocxium Dogs had that morning lost about a billion isk when his afk Orca got ganked so I’m feeling that somehow I’ve not done so badly out of the move.

The Old Ludd Portrait
The Old Ludd Portrait

In other news, I was wandering around the forums when I noticed that someone had been taking a look at the difference between the old EVE character portraits and the ones you can now generate with the Carbon engine, and had whipped up a small app to allow you to compare your characters side by side. For those who fancy a cheap laugh, here’s the link to the app so you can go and check for

The New Ludd Portrait
The New Ludd Portrait

yourselves; go look up your own character; and of course the current and previous portraits are recreated here for your more general amusement if you don’t want to go gallivanting off anywhere else.

Right, back to transporting ships between regions and trying to set my own industrial chains back up in a new area…

EVE: All change

I think my daughter thought I’d lost my mind last night when I asked her what she thought about moving to a new Corp, but there was a method to my madness for a change. I originally set up my one-man-band Corp to give me a chance to play with the game mechanics as well as give me the use of multiple hangars and wallets for organising the industrial side of things. Having Lottie join me in-game gave me experience in configuring Corp roles and permissions while also giving her a boost up in terms of access to cheap basic gear and ships.
Recently though I’ve been back in touch with a guy who used to tabletop game with a bunch of us about 20 years ago and he mentioned he was getting back into EVE and looking to set up a new Corp – was I interested?
I’d originally dropped out of doing most EVE Corp stuff due to the demands of the real world but with things being more stable now, and hearing a lot of good practice talked I thought “why not?” The only sticking point was not wanting to leave my daughter hanging.
Now online gaming can be a minefield at the best of times, and EVE can be a veritable scorpion pit, but I think she’s mature and confident enough to handle adolescent smack talk and the insanity of Corp chat channels, and thrive with the new game opportunities. So the three of us had a conversation and no one shrivelled up and died. As a result I’m winding up my little Corp and we’re relocating from Gallente hi-sec to Lonetrek to hook up with this new bunch. Looking forward to it.

Ahead of the Game

it makes me able to do the thing-where-I-do-the-words-in-sentences-thing
There may, in fact, actually be too much blood in my caffeine stream

So I seem to actually have managed to get ahead of myself for a brief moment, and this is obviously something to be cheered and admired and put up on pedestals for the viewing and adulation of the roaring crowds – especially given how stressed out I’ve been with some articles earlier this week that I may or may not have thought were going to give me an aneurism because they were on the topic of something that I have very little interest or experience of…

And….breathe…

I may indeed also have to do some apologising to Jo when she gets home for being a grumpy git and being up until half-past stupid last night finishing for a deadline. Such are the joys of being a writer and working from home. On the plus side it looks like I’ve got a bit of a break now that I’ve rampaged through today’s short stack of emergency items so I’m going to enjoy some of that there sunlight I can see outside my window and go get a fresh loaf of bread and some salad to go with the quiche we’re having for supper tonight.

That’s the plan, anyway…

Oh – in other news I’m in the middle of going through some of the amazing blogs I currently follow to add them to the blogroll of links to the right of this page – have fun exploring them, you might even find your own there.

Musings

I’ve been feeling a little melancholy and a little stressed the last few days – not for any great reason that I can put a pin in, but there it is. There’s lots of little things – any one of which is easily brushed aside, but its days like this where they all add up that are a little more difficult to keep on top of.

Jo’s not been well – a migraine that’s basically lasted nearly a week on-and-off and my hand continues to occasionally feel like there’s broken glass scrunching around inside it (though not often enough that I’m rushing down to see the doctor – for now I’m making sure that I’m sitting properly at my keyboard when I’m here.)

Maybe its the grey weather, or the faint worries about money that always float around when one or the other of us are near the end of a contract. Even though I know we’re in a better position even than we were this time last year, there’s still those teeth-grinding moments where we wonder about rent and utilities and food. The irritating thing about that of course, is that there’s not actually anything that can be done right now that isn’t already being done. We’re being frugal to build up a reserve to tide us over, job hunting continues a-pace with Jo getting plenty of interviews for all sorts of interesting roles, and of course we’ve still got a couple of paychecks to go before its even really an issue.

Its just that insidious and slightly corrosive worry about things that might be happening as opposed to just getting on with what needs to be done now – in some ways its like a reverse-procrastination, getting busy and worked up about things that can’t be done yet. Maybe that’s what’s irritating me – that awareness that I’m winding myself up about things I can’t yet do anything about because of the effect I can see its having on Jo.If there's a zombie outbreak in Vegas, does it stay in Vegas?

Its daft – and I’m hoping that writing it down and getting it out of my system is more useful – if only so I can look back on it in the near future and wonder what I was getting so worked up about?

I do wonder if part of this is the come-down from the adrenaline rush of getting prepared for the wedding – an event which has pretty much dominated everything for the last couple of years. From budgeting and planning to the contingencies and last-minute flaps, it took pretty much every spare moment and every spare scrap of cash to pull off – and before anyone jumps up and down I don’t regret or begrudge a moment of it. We somehow also in the middle of all that managed to clear all our personal debts and make huge personal leaps in career and confidence – but as I look now at the pile of envelopes ready for posting out with all the thank yous and copies of photos on CD included, I think its starting to dawn that this phase is done.

I think its also enlightening that as people ask us how married life is, many of them are looking quite confused when we say “oh same as usual” – many of them forgetting that we lived together as flatmates before we moved in together, so unlike some couples there isn’t that weird patch of suddenly finding out all the bits people often hide from each other.

Indeed, as several people have noted, we’re rather more open and honest with each other than people expect – whether its in my continuing to banish Jo from the kitchen so I can cook, or discussions of the foul stench emanating from the bathroom after one or the other of us has used it, or even our battles for use of the consoles. Each of these and more make for fun conversations with friends and family, and I’d be lying if there wasn’t a mischevious element brought by both of us to these conversations with people when we see how far we can push the boundaries of belief.

Its all good fun, and its coming from the right place – one of trust and openness between us – and I guess its the best countermeasure to also sharing our doubts and fears with each other. Doesn’t make it any easier, but its a nice flip-side.

Ouch

I’ve noticed this week that there seems to be something wrong with my left hand – but its intermittent and I can’t for the life of me work out what it is with any degree of certainty. I’m hoping, given the amount of typing I’m doing, that its not a precursor to some form of repetitive strain injury. That would be more than a little annoying.

The pain itself only comes when I flatten my hand and seem to be in the palm just below my forefinger and middle finger, but nothing to do with  my thumb – oh, and my fingers also feel swollen at the joints, but only a little. Its very odd, and I think I’ll have to go see a doctor next week to see if we can work out if its being caused by work or just by getting older and things starting to break.

In other news – oh yes, its Easter, hope you’re all having a good one and having the treats appropriate. We’re taking turns playing Skyrim, SSX and Mass Effect, with a side order of visiting family members, going for walks and looking at the sky and wondering when its going to rain.

 

Some more wedding photos

My eyes feel like they’re going to leak out of my skull from the amount of resizing and copying of images both Jo and I have been doing – but on the other hand it does give us a few things to put up here as memories of the day.

Chocolate wedding cake in foreground with king and queen figures on top, a large rack of homemade muffins in the background
Behold, there was cake!

We’re in the middle of sending out CDs with selected images burned on them along with our various thank yous for the day and the gifts and help that we got from various people.

Fortunately we a) have a lot of spare diskspace on the laptop for compiling all the images and b) negotiated to have the copyright of the raw digital photography from the official photographer, so we’re not storing up problems with ourselves in how we’re using the images. There’s a homemade scrap-book styled wedding album that I’m in the middle of making, but I’m sure as finances settle that we’ll be seeing something a little more formal distributed to people.

What else has been going on? Well, the work has continued to flow in and flow out, with varying degrees of ease and the occasional day of feeling a bit shouty about clients writing instructions in vague or positively misleading ways.

The Bride and Groom in their First Dance
We were introduced by the DJ as Master Chief and Cortana.

I’m finding this is largely coming about when the clients don’t actually know what they really want – which when trying to beat a deadline for someone when the person with correct information is in a different timezone can be a little frustrating.

Oh well – at least in between the eye strain and possible repetitive strain injuries from tapping, typing, selecting and resizing alongside all the writing, we’ve got some amazing memories of the day to buoy us up. The Easter weekend is practically here, so we’ve family visiting and a chance to switch off for a couple of days too – so hopefully that will give us both a chance to recharge the batteries and launch into next week with a renewed sense of either enthusiasm or unbridled cynicism – either has to be better than this sense of being tired all the time.

Fiction Fragment

Somehow – in between writing blog posts about van solutions and click fraud detection and prevention – I’ve managed to scribble a few random passages down – so thought I’d share as they’re descriptive pieces that I’m not planning to develop any further:

Masked figures watched us as we passed, their blank demeanours highlighted and ornamented with gold and silver. Coloured lenses occluded their eyes and reflected the light of our torches.

For all that ours were the only light sources, these figures went about their business seemingly without pause. We saw ledgers being scribed, food being prepared in long trenchers and conversations apparently stilled at our approach, but all in total darkness. Very politely, they watched us pass, and then as the gloom returned they continued about their business.

I suspect I hadn’t been sleeping much when I wrote that. Then again, this doesn’t sound particularly rested either:

Cloth fragments twisted and curled in defiance of the prevailing winds. From moment to moment it formed faces, hearts and dancing figures.

Without visible support or restraint, the scraps flowed and twirled in constant motion. The iron framework around the opening stood in mute contrast. Its dull blankness unreflective of the gold, silver and white panels, tassels and cords that flexed and whipped in constant motion within its boundaries.

I sometimes wonder what my writing would be like if I ever wrote while under the influence of anything, but considering how trippy my images already are, I suspect the world can do well without that particular experiment…