Sunday, 31 January 2016

Games and Ideas

Got a call from one of my housemates parents saying they were 40 minutes away and expected the house to be tidy. We took one look around and noticed it was a total mess everywhere, we did a royal job of tidying up though - all the stops were pulled and we managed to get the house looking respectful again in just under an hour.

Worked a little bit on my grad project again, slowly spitballing ideas for episodes and characters - now I have just about got something I'm truely happy with. To celebrate, I played a bit of Left 4 Dead with Rebecca, Mark and Daniel, AKA the dream team. Playing games with Rebecca is always a ton if fun and with the usual suspects as well its just a blast!

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Frustration and Determination

Spent a large portion of my day finishing up a final ending for Undertale I have yet to experience. In doing so I experienced something I hadn't felt in a rather long time - the determination in wanting to beat an especially hard boss. I am facing off against a horrendously difficult final boss which I have easily spend close to an hour trying to beat him and still ain't come close yet.

It reminded me of a time in first year when Mark and I spent a long old time trying to beat the hardest level in the new Mario game. We swore, sweated and nearly bled in an effort to complete it, and by golly it felt amazing when we finally did! This feeling will be even better when I defeat this clown!

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Recovery Burgers

After a raukus 'dissertation hand in' party last night, Rebecca and I decided to chill out/recover today. Slotted in Spirited Away along with some more of my home-made burgers which are getting better than ever, mostly thanks to a bit of bacon gracefully put atop each burger as it cooks.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Well Deserved Day Off

Had a well-deserved lie-in today. In fact, the whole day was a bit of an easy one as I sincerely thought I deserved one! Spent most of the day playing Star Wars: Battlefront which was a ton of fun. I did feel a little bit empty without something to write, so I begun drafting up my long-over due 'Best Games of 2015' list - hit a small snag though when I realised that I couldn't actually name 10 new games I bought last year! In the meantime I'll try and think of one more and continue relaxing and taking it easy for just a little bit longer.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Dissertation Hand In

My dissertation has officially been handed in. I went down to the library with my housemates to get it all printed and bound, we then took the obligatory 'dissertation is done' photo - to spice it up we tried (and succeeded) to look like a boy band.

We all went home to cook up a celebratory steak dinner which was brilliant, a fitting end to my food porn dissertation.

Monday, 25 January 2016

10,000 Words

The main body of the dissertation is currently sitting proudly at bang on 10,000 words. I have since read it all back, out loud to catch any inconsistencies or weird bits and combed through the whole thing. Only bits left to do now its finish off my references and formatting and then its good to print and submit. If all goes to plan, I will be handing mine over tomorrow afternoon along with my other housemates. This may well be the only essay that I have handed in days before the final submission date.

I'm getting outragiously excited by the prospect of being able to have a lazy one. But no slacking until everything is 100% perfect with dissertation! I'm gonna do it right tomorrow and make it look bang tidy before submission, then and only then will I be able to play games again.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

More Writers Block

Once again, I have found myself with a degree of writers block when it comes to writing my lit review. Just everything I write looks like a real bodge in comparison to my actual arguement chapters. I guess its just inherently in the style of a lit review though, it just isn't designed to be flowery or uniquely interesting, but rather something just to explain your thought process. I am close though, got about 500 more words to write and then I have that little bit done.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Heart wasn't in the Writing

Bit of a weird one today in terms of writing. I had a lot of motivation this morning to just go in a smash the work I had to do. As soon as I got to uni though, I just couldn't write anything. And that's not to say I was procrastinating or dawdling, I just stared to the page all day and nothing came to mind. I squeezed a few words out after lunch, but for whatever reason I just couldn't commit to writing much today.

Not all hope was lost though! As Rebecca and I went through my references and some other dissertation bits and bobs that are easy, but just time consuming. Referencing alone has taken me about 2 hours, and I'm only 2/3rds of the way done! Not as productive as I would have liked today, but at least I'm getting around the annoying bits around the edge now.

Conclusion in the Bag

If I spoke like my East London housemate, I would be saying 'Yeah Bruv!' I have just finished up the conclusion for the dissertation and now working back on re-writing my literature review. Previously I thought I had about 1,400 words done in that section, but upon a re-read its a bit weak so I am gonna remaster it into something that really sells the piece. However, today marks a point where the effectivly difficult bits of the dissertation are over! I don't need to worry about coming up with abstract theories or comment on quotes or any of that nonsense, I just need to explain what theories I'm looking at and how I applied them. It's just a big tick box now.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Concluding the Conclusion

My second chapter is now also more or less finished! I have a few referencing things to double check, but the content is all written which is brilliant! I started up the final conclusion for the project too today and I reckon I've got my final statement sorted, I end it on a really deep theory about human nature and how we are inherently disappointed with our existence and all that - its great! Aiming on finishing that conclusion midday tomorrow so I can crack on with my lit review again, now that I have looked at it again I am a little anxious that it doesn't quite fit the criteria just yet but its easy enough to re-write.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Just Falling Short

Very nearly hit my desired writing goal today. I got my into section sussed and it reads like magic, problem was I just ran out of steam after writing it to do my chapter conclusion which I have planned but not fully written. That said, I now have an excellent point to raise for the ultimate conclusion of the dissertation which I cannot wait to put on paper.

In between writing today, I also enjoyed playing a few games with Mark this evening, don't normally see him on the scene but it's always a gas when we play. He's now got a few extra PC doo-dads like myself that let him play on his computer in the living room and he's been telling me all about his experience doing that and its just cool to enthuse about games. As I'm writing this, dan is trying to sort out a server for our next gaming sesh which I cannot wait to take part in.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Chaper 1 Done!

Smashed my first chapter today. I'm all-in-all very please with how it looks and reads and I can even say that entire chink of the dissertation is about 100% complete. Tomorrow I hope to grant the same fate to another chapter, all I have to do is add a intro and a conclusion to my section and then that's another section all sorted. It's starting to look up now, the whole thing is gradually coming together very well and I'll be over the moon if I hit my goal tomorrow too.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Dissertaion Phoenix

Mission accomplished. I set out to demolish my old chapter for the sake of re-writing it and its just so much better than it was yesterday. I started it off with a focused core that I followed through-out the chapter and it just flows a lot nicer. Big thanks are due to Rebecca who read every single draft I threw her way, bless her, I think she's looked at it more than I have now.

With 2,200 words in this chapter, I just need to round it off with another 300 so I can put it to bed and look at a different area. Truth be told, I'm actually excited to get off this one topic so I can do some more enjoyable writing, as of tomorrow I think I'll be flying.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Chapter Re-jig

Committed myself into a long old library session today to crack on with more work and while I got a bit done, I felt like I was chasing the true point of my argument. So I had a little chat with Rebecca about my woes and she gave me some really awesome pointers to go on. Basically we both acknowledge that the points are good and valid, but don't really have anywhere to live in the house that is my chapter. So I'm gonna be doing a real splicing job after I go back to the drawing board on how to re-order everything. I actually just had a quick go at having a re-jig of everything and I am already feeling better about this redux chapter. Like a phoenix from the ashes, this chapter will be reborn into something spectacular.

Friday, 15 January 2016

No More Mr Nice Guy

Had a day working at home with my housemate Simon. I thought it would be nice for a little change in scenery as the library just made me feel claustrophobic at times. I may have not written as much as some other days today, but I did find the common thread that ties all my points together which is invaluable.

Tomorrow begins the real crack-down period - in the distance I expect 'No more Mr Nice Guy' to be playing on loop somewhere while I work to make me feel like a badass. A badass writing a bout food porn... but I'll take it.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Grad Film Prep

Tutorial meeting was A-ok. We basically dissected my orange film and talk about what worked and what didn't work so well about it. Consensus was that I wrote a good and funny film, but the camera work could have been a bit more professional and my direction could have been more ambitious. I've taken these points onboard properly now and even got myself one of the best camera blokes on our course to film my grad project which I am actually really excited about.

Beyond that, I planned my last chapter or the dissertation and wrote just about half of it today so thats another 1,000 words in the bank. They are good words too, no need to chop and change these ones up too much and the general vibe of this chapter is rocking. 

Once again, Dissertation

Got back into the swing of work again today and actually started writing my overarching conclusion to the entire body of writing. I also started up reshaping my graduate film idea into something a little more feesable. I'm pitching it to my tutor tomorrow and hopefully he will have some extra bits of info for me in order to push me in the direction of getting a good grade.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


Did another big old session on the dissertation today which was a bit less fruitful than yesterday. I reached that horrible moment in any big project where you just have a period of doubt. I started wondering if there was any credence to my dissertation existing or if any of my points were valid, a few hours after I stopped writing for the day I was hit again with more confidence to go in tomorrow and smash it. Rebecca even went through my chapter and put in a whole bunch of notes on how to improve in general which I will take whole-heartedly.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Dissertation - Work Hard, Play Hard

Rebecca and I absolutely smashed out work goals today. Yesterday and today we have been heading to the silent study section of the uni library to smash out some words for our dissertations and over the past two days I cracked out a healthy 2,000 words on top of the stuff I'd already done. I'm aiming to finish up one of my chapter by tomorrow so I can hit the ground running on the next one. It's nice doing a whole load of work slightly ahead of schedule though as I work in the mornings/afternoon so I get the evening free to do whatever I want. Rebecca was feeling rather stressed about her workload and wanted to go on a beach walk this evening so that's exactly what we did. It was a lovely way to end a productive day... and there's a few more of those heading my way.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Unwatched Housemate

Library commitments for the dissertation begin tomorrow. I've been getting the odd bit done here and there but it's finally time to knuckle down and get in the silent section of the uni's library. Thankfully I won't be totally alone, as several of my coursemates will be in uni then too, just in a different room so I can chill with those guys during my lunch break.

Popped over to Rebecca's house to watch a film with her housemate who has notoriously not seen a lot of films. I did manage to tap into his area of preference through documentaries though and recommended Bowling for Columbine since no-one else had seen it either in Rebecca's house. It went down very well and it was nice to see a film with a fresh pair of eyes after having to study it intently during my time at 6th form.

Friday, 8 January 2016

The Exterminating Angel

Got around to watching another film of Luis Buñuel, and thankfully it was a lot more enjoyable and coherent than the others I'd see. The Exterminating Angel was another film that hooked me exclusively through its IMDB tagline:

'The guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave.'

Brilliant. I was afraid that the story would eventually shift into something more self indulgent, but it never betrays its simple premise. It's effectively a single location drama with a just enough mystery to keep you engaged throughout. Why are they kept in this room for so long is the big question and frankly, it doesn't need an answer, you just gotta roll with it, this is a big tip I've learnt for watching other films from Buñuel. But here its very easy to follow and smatters in some ideas about the high class society that must have been novel for the 1960's, and it still makes for an interesting watch today.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The Odd Bunch Graded

At last, I also got my grade for my short film and I was a little disheartened to see that I only got 62 (or a low 2.1) for it. Even after reading through my tutors comments, which were generally positive, I'm still not sure why I got such a low grade compared to the effort I put in. I'm seeing my tutor in a weeks time so hopefully I can get some info out of him then. As it stand though, I am still massively pleased with The Odd Bunch, and without sounding too 'hater's gonna hate' about things, I accomplished exactly what I set out to achieve with the film and the experience of making and showing it to people was a lot of fun. From here though, I will really have to pull my finger out it seems.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Semi-Pointless Seminar

Attended a seminar today which seemed to be more for the sake of getting us back into the swing of uni rather than trying to teach us anything. Which was a shame because I was having such a hard time getting out of bed today and I could have really used those few more hours in bed. Got a bit more work done and waved farewell to my housemate who is heading back home to do his dissertation, leaving me home alone once again. Rebecca came over to keep me company though and make mushroom burgers with me as a part of our unofficial new years resolution to eat more healthily. In the evening we watched Schindler's List and once again it blew me away with its quality and lasting power.

Skype or not to Skype?

Had my final dissertation tutorial today. I assumed it would have been a face to face session with my tutor as I put it in my calendar as such, it was only after I walked into uni through the rain that I got a message from her prompting a Skype call. So I ran back home so I didn't go over my allotted 30 minutes and luckily I had more than enough time for a chat.

We had a really good discussion about what my conclusion should be, my tutor thinks herself as a small expert in food porn and I think she was just eager to chat with someone else about that topic. Reguardless, more positive feedback was laid into me and I've got a clear direction for the body of my argument now.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Dissertation Loves Company

Had a good old stab at the dissertation again today. I basically just watched my advert I have to study over and over again while adding to an ever-expanding mind map and then writing my findings up in an academic form. Twas great fun! Rebecca popped in to check if I was still sane and we walked into uni to return some library books together. One of my housemates moved his stuff back in today too and we hung out for the last part of the evening with a few games and the like, its just nice being around other people sometimes. As much as I fancy living alone sometimes, I do enjoy the company of others too.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Back in B-Town in 2016

We braved the bitter weather today to get me back into the swing of student life. Mum very graciously bought me my first round of groceries and helped me do the last of the house tidying before she left. Since then I've been gently prodding my dissertation while re-organising my bedroom with all the new presents I got over Christmas. The 'sunny alarm clock' is in a prime location at the moment and I'm eager to see how well it wakes me up tomorrow morning. Otherwise, I've been loosely testing out the Steam Link on my home connection here and it works absolute wonders in my living room. Hopefully we can introduce some more splitscreen multiplayer games back into our house thanks to this baby.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Su-BEER Christ-SMASH Bros

Attended the second of our locally hosted Smash Bros tournaments, AKA: Su-BEER Smash Bros. Louis organized the whole event along with a pal and the whole thing ran like clockwork. We even had two set-ups this time around just so we could speed along the brackets and get closer to the finals. The singles tournament was fun, but the crew battles where the most hype, getting everyone involved in a big team was a gas and re-kindled the interest in the event as it moved forwards.

I walked away with the trophy for winning the singles games which was admittedly expected. I played against Louis in the finals, and that game was tense. Bit unfortunate that no-one else went against the Durrant Brothers in the finals, but I guess we are just the best there is within our friend group. The evening culminated with a evening party/get-together at Jamie's house with a lot of familiar faces. It was actually a really pleasant way to round off my time at home, seeing old friends with the intent of moving forward into the new year.

I'm moving back into Bournemouth tomorrow morning so I'll be finishing up my packing and then tripping down south after the long, Winter break which has gone by too quickly.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year 2016!

I'm back from Belgium and what a long weekend that was! We visited Gent, a swimming pool in Bruges and took a trip to the brewery local to the town we we staying in. When we weren't sightseeing we were either playing games or getting boozed, very often we did both things.

While we didn't ring in the new year away in Europe, I did do it with friends at a small get-together last night where I did my fist ever Auld Lang Syne dance as someone skillfully played it on piano. Rebecca and I got back a lot later than we originally planned, but we were tucked in bed at the ripe time of 4:15am - and I'm feeling the consequences now.

So now that I have had my recovery day, I have also charted the goals for myself within this new year - most immediately is to suss my dissertation and crack it like a walnut. Otherwise its again to have a good time and just appreciate my last few months at uni. Good times will soon come to an end, so I need to make sure I get the most out of my time 'studying.'

Here's to a very solid 2016!