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I went to the gym the other day and took advantage of a special deal that gets me a free one-off session with a personal trainer. We did various strength-training exercise and he listened to what I wanted to do regarding muscle-building. I won't be able to afford weekly sessions for another three months, but that would be something worth doing in the future, I think.

On the job front, the good news is that I passed a preliminary telephone interview. The bad news is that the job doesn't exist (yet).

I saw both Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises in the cinema the other day. I enjoyed them both, probably equally. Yeah, I know. One thing I was disappointed in with TDKR is that they included two key scenes from the movie in the trailer. I knew what would happen as soon as I saw the football pitch. Why would you do that?

And, of course, there was the Olympics Opening Ceremony. I'd been sceptical about it, and it didn't start off very well, with the camera meandering up the River Thames and disturbing twee little animals. But then it started for real and it was stunning and engaging from start to finish, celebrating things that really are unique and worthwhile about Britain. No, not the rain, that's just what we tell everyone else. :)

Unfortunately, Americans didn't get to see it because the media told them they wouldn't understand it without editing, ads, and a Michael Phelps interview inserted, which meant that indeed many of them didn't get it because it was edited, had ads added, and had a Michael Phelps interview inserted. The quote of the day seems to be: "Our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience. It’s a tribute to [producer] Danny Boyle that it required so little editing."

On Saturday, I got to see The Crüxshadows live in London! They were amazing! They sung one of my favourite songs ever, Winterborn, and I got to talk to Rogue and he said it was his favourite too. Maybe he says that to everyone, regardless of their favourite song, but he signed a photograph of the band and then hugged me. Definitely one of my favourite bands.

We got to hear Sleepless, which will be on their next album (As The Dark Against My Halo), which was awesome too.

Finally, since J and I were in London, we went to London Zoo. There are forty photographs behind the cut, divided into rough groups so you don't have to look at snakes and bugs if you don't want to.

Regent's Park (4) and birds (3). )

Lizards (7) and a tortoise (1). )

A snake (1). )

A giraffe (3) and some monkeys (2). )

Butterflies (4). )

A caterpillar (1) and a locust (1). )

Pelicans (1), servals (2) and a llama (1). )

Underwater worlds, mostly coral and clams (9). )
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I have just returned from a creative retreat in Yorkshire that involved meditation, Qi Gong, crafting sessions and afternoon tea.

Of course, that isn't quite the whole truth, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I hope the name doesn't give away anything.

These are the photographs with no people in them, because everyone's a little shy. I'll try to figure out how to put the rest of the photos under a Squee Fest-only friendslock later

Click on any photo to see a bigger version in a new tab.

Squee Fest 2012 Photographs )
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Links:

Comics:
Alan Scott (Pre-Reboot as a Gay Superhero) Goes To A Gay Bar
Comics: Northstar's Gay Wedding
Photography: Reach For The Star
Space: Compilation of the Best Photos of Venus Transiting the Sun Venus Transit would be an awesome name for a band.
Tech: Naming The iMac
Webcomics: SMBC: Stand-off ...Whoa.
Weiss Side B: [personal profile] fishlove is doing an awesome series of comics in MSPaint summarising Weiss Side B. Cover // Summary // Back In Time // End Of Volume Two // Let's Stop This Fight To Talk About My Feelings // Around The World End Of Volume Three

It was only last week that I finished reading "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Ray Bradbury, who recently passed away. It was a beautiful poetic book about an evil carnival that had some breath-taking turns of phrase in it. I thought the "solution" at the end was a bit trite, but the rest makes up for it. Thoroughly recommended.

I'm now in Oxfordshire. With the influence of the Jubilee, most towns have gone somewhat Wicker Man and this place is no exception. You'll be walking along and there'll be Morris dancers and three-legged races and the whole street surrounding the church will be strewn with bunting. Street parties are mandatory because we have to be ordered to sit down with our neighbours and have a party. For Queen and Country, you know.

We're now living in a 200 year old listed building with a thatched roof in small village that requires that you pay a toll of 5p (8 cents/6 yen) to cross the bridge in a car to reach it. Buses and trucks cost extra, sometimes as much as 10p.

I went to see Prometheus a few days ago. It really is an epic story, with one of the most horrific scenes I've seen in film. It's rated 15, because they don't swear. Probably one of the biggest questions is how much of a connection there is to the Alien franchise. Answer Behind The Cut. Prometheus Spoilers, obviously. )
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Links:

Earthquake: 6757 Aftershocks In Japan Since 3/11 The Japan Quake Map will give you more info, should you require it.
My Little Pony: NYTimes Correction And The Story Behind It
Tokyo: First Yamanote Line Station In Forty Years To Be Built [Japanese] It will be between Tamachi and Shinagawa.
UK: Leeds Guide

Here are some reviews of various media I've seen lately.

All of the new Doctor Who

I'm finally up-to-date with Doctor Who -- I figured I should be before I got back to the UK.

Anyway, I liked it (although I prefer the Russell T Davies seasons) and I guess the eleventh doctor isn't so bad, although David Tennant is my preferred doctor of the recent three.

Doctor Who observations, mainly spoilers )

First four or so episodes of Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei.

This is really patchy. Sometimes funny, sometimes horrible and predictable. Love the anime style though. I don't know if I'll keep watching this, what with My Little Pony and Sherlock currently airing.

Speaking of which...

First episode of Sherlock 2012

I don't like this as much as the previous Sherlock series, but I don't know why. Maybe it's because it doesn't have as much interaction between Sherlock and Watson? I still liked it though.

Tintin

There was a curious mixture of ultra-realism and complete bullshittery. Tintin spoilers )

I'm now applying for jobs in Britain. Does anyone have an address they could lend me as I don't have a flat yet? You'll almost certainly never get anything in the post, but I can't put my Tokyo address on there. Thanks if you can help.

Finally, I think I might need a new mod or co-mod for Weiss Day. It's almost certain I will get a flat and internet as soon as I arrive in Britain, but... maybe not, you know? Let me know.

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