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Our awful twat of a neighbour got his way, anyway. Despite my dad telling our nice neighbours that if they had right of way there was nothing the guy could do, he cut down his bushes, demolished his wall, and got his motorhome on his newly built driveway in the back, leading out into the cul-de-sac. Our nice neighbours had to pave over their front lawn so one of them could park on it, instead of parking in the corner as she'd done for about 15 years. But my dad took some pictures of this guy literally selling cars from the front of his house - and they think that's what he's planning to do on the back, that he's going to move the motorhome in a few months - so they're hoping he gets done for that. It can't be legal, in a house in a residential area. But anyway. It's a real shame.

It's the summer holidays as well, which means my ON has slept over every night since the weekend, when my mum was working a bunch of shifts. Apparently anything with a screen is pretty much broken in his house, so he gets pretty bored in there on his own. I wouldn't mind, but he literally comes down and just plays online Minecraft multiplayer all day. Which I don't think is good for his health or his mind, frankly, but also I think it really fucks with my internet. I obviously can't play online games of my own when he's doing that, but I've also been having issues with videos stopping and starting, and my connection just going weird, even when he's not here. Last night I was trying to check if I could indeed play online games - there was one I was trying to use, and just couldn't connect to a server - so I asked him to come off for a bit, tried a different one, and got into it. I played a few games and then stopped, because I wasn't really that interested in it, and after that my internet was perfect. I get that my cache is a problem, and I'm having to empty that out really often at the moment, but even so it seems like something else is happening. It's not a very technical assessment, and maybe I'm just imagining it. But it's still really irritating.

I also think I'm going to have to get a new phone. I haven't been able to use mine much for a bit, because I had no credit. I called to put some more credit on it at work the other day, and it died in the middle of the call. So I thought 'okay', brought it home, put it to charge overnight. I took it off the charger yesterday, still switched off, I hadn't switched it back on since the battery died. I took it out of my bag yesterday, switched it on, called to put more credit on it, and it died in the middle of the call. So I think the battery's kaput. And I'll have to get a new one.
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I know my petition sites are really sad about the potential mass death of the bees, but it does just look like they want to rip bees.
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I started It yesterday. It might not have been a great idea to read a book that literally starts with a 6 year-old dying, given that I have a 6 year-old nephew, but I powered through it. And it is amazing. Stephen King is such a good writer, like, I struggle with reading a little bit these days, because of the OCD. I often feel like I have to go back and read things again, because I haven't 'gotten them' properly, which interrupts the story. But Stephen King's writing just flows. I still do that a little bit, but mostly I don't care whether I've gotten a bit properly or not, because I want to know what happens next. It's weird that people put down his writing sometimes. It's also weird when you think maybe you're just not doing well with books at the moment, but it turns out you just need better books.

On a vaguely related note, talking point: do you think George RR Martin is who's ruined stories for us all right now? The reason why people are so happy to just enjoy a story for what they think is going to happen, rather than what is actually happening? And put up with stories that just go on and on and on with no end in sight?

In other news, I can't believe the new Confederate show they're going to let the guys behind TV Game of Thrones make (the guys behind TV Game of Thrones). Wow.

This has been a slightly odd weekend so far - I was looking forward to it all week, because I was working, and now it's here and I don't know what to do with it. I finished Wolfenstein. That's a game I was playing, about an alternate universe where the Nazis got magic technology and won the second world war. The best part of it was when you were in a museum, and there was an exhibit about how the Nazis had put a man on the moon, and the main character said "fuck you, moon". It's very tongue in cheek like that. The sequel's out in October, and it looks wicked, so I wanted to finish it to be ready for that.

There's a new Lord of the Rings video game coming out as well. They've made Shelob a woman. A sexy woman. I feel - I don't know. Blank-minded, about that decision? Like why would they do that? But I always sort of liked Shelob, with my limited knowledge of Tolkien, so I'm vaguely interested in a story that gives her a talking role anyway.

I'm going to have a bit of a Michael Keaton-fest, based on how much I loved him in Spiderman Homecoming. I have Beetlejuice and The Other Guys. I feel good about both of them as film choices.
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I finished the Communist Manifesto today. Well, I actually finished it a few weeks ago - it randomly ended about halfway through my book. The rest turned out to be the many prefaces Marx and Engels had written over the years, as it got republished. Which was interesting, because they briefly covered all the political/socialist changes that happened over the decades after it was written, including some revisions to their theory - a revolution in France in the 1800s showed that 'the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made State machinery, and wield it for its own purposes', apparently. And it was also slightly sad, because it covered the years after Marx died, and Engels had to go on writing the prefaces alone. And then the last part of the book was an essay Marx wrote after the election of someone in France that people clearly did not like and were shocked by, following some of their socialist uprisings, and frankly it was like reading something about Trump. Although I know I only draw that conclusion because Trump is happening now, and that's the closest example I have to compare it to. It also, on the other hand, contained this charming phrase:

"A nation and a woman are not forgiven for the unguarded hour in which the first available adventurer is able to violate them."

Calm down there, Marx.

It was interesting though, partly because I never realised a large part of Communist theory was that socialism was the ultimate outcome of capitalism - that in the same way that the progress society made by organising into feudalism essentially led to capitalism, and commoners overthrowing nobility, the progress made by capitalism would inevitably lead to socialism. Which is a weirdly dynamic and completely undynamic belief - at what point does/can revolution happen? Slowly, over time, I suppose. Again, I find it's heavy overreliance on the idea of revolution, on the idea that violence and only doing things violently can really achieve anything a bit much, plus casually ignoring women and racism outside of 'competition between countries' obviously. But it's still an interesting read, and worth doing, given the current political state of things.

I just let my mum go round to the shop to get some chocolate for me. I feel a bit bad, but I did lend her some of my supply the other day when she had none.
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Sometimes I forget how much puritans suck. Then I remember.

I tried to pay off my tax credits overpayment yesterday. It was a massive pain, because first the letter told me to call a number to speak to HMRC about it, which was not a free number, then a bit later in the letter it said there was also a website I could go to; the website said I could pay it off by cheque at my bank or building society, using the payslip they'd sent me, but I only had the letter and no payslip; I went to my bank on Saturday with a cheque and the letter, but they said they couldn't do it because they didn't have a sort code or account number to pay the cheque into (which was probably on the payslip); so I got the sort code and account number from the website, where it told you how to pay things off using telephone or online banking, and I went into my bank again yesterday, and they said that sort code and account number weren't for a Barclays account, so they couldn't pay it in. However, using the letter and sort code and account number and the cheque I'd written, they could pay the money as a transfer, using the payment reference on my letter as a transaction reference. So I hope that worked, and HMRC don't still think I owe them £1028.94. I could probably find out. By calling the non-free number.

I've decided to try to read Stephen King's It, since that trailer suggests it's a pretty powerful story. I went into Waterstones today, and I was going up in their lift I saw some Stephen King books on the ground floor. I was looking for something else too, but then I went down, with little time to spare till I had to go to work. There were only three books on the shelf, because it was the Stephen King part of the crime section. I went to 'Fiction K'. No Stephen King. I assume his books were in the horror section upstairs, but I had to leave. I searched for 'Stephen King It' on Amazon. The first result was 'The Stand'. Then 'Mr Mercedes'. Then 'The Shining'. I don't know why the world doesn't want me to have that book.
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I'm not really a fan of hot hot heat. But I do really like the way everything looks in the sunshine, and the way smells carry further, and the way everyone smells like skin and suntan lotion, and you can hear flip-flops every now and then throughout the day.

I find it much weirder that the Doctor's never been a non-white man than that he's never been a woman. But eh.
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I watched one trailer for the new It film yesterday, and I had dreams/nightmares all last night about It.

Stephen King must be some kind of sorceror.
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Difficult stuff )

I went to see Spiderman again today, because Michael Keaton is amazing. I still spent a lot of it wishing someone would slit Tony Stark's throat, but the bits with Adrian Toomes were amazing.
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I won that fight. I'm the greatest.
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I picked up an issue of a new comic yesterday called 'Sacred Creatures', and from the varied and interesting-looking group on the front I assumed it was about gods living in modern times, and what they do. Turned out that it was - but it was mostly about some random dude, with a beautiful girlfriend he just couldn't let down, and what his experiences with them were.

I really have no idea these days why people think anyone who wants to watch a show about GODS in modern times, actually, really, wants to watch a show about a bog-standard, fairly uninteresting human who just meets them. No.
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And 38 Degrees will not leave me alone with trying to get me to pitch in with their communal energy deal. I DO NOT HAVE A BOILER 38 DEGREES. I DO NOT OWN ONE OF MY OWN. I CANNOT DO IT.
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And just to join in the bastard party, the final fight in Trails of Cold Steel 2 is with a boss that can one-shot pretty much my whole party in one go, and my super attacks barely even hurt it, which doesn't matter anyway because when he one-shots them in one go they lose all their ability points anyway.

Fuck's sake.
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Fucking Crash Bandicoot is hard as fuck.
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Someone called me a cunt online because I criticised an amazing 'faggot' joke in Camp Camp.

I hate the internet.
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I went to see Spiderman Homecoming )

I came out of the cinema and almost immediately was expected to do some childcare, or y'know. My crazy mum, after two days working in a row, decided to have all three kids over even though she knew I would be out at the cinema, and my dad would be out all morning at a work thing, which he ended up having to come back late from. It was fine, the kids weren't too badly behaved, and we went up to an event up at the castle and watched Viking re-enactment fights for about half an hour. But we're going to be having the dog later today, and trying to get him to meet the cat and get him settled into the house. I'm hoping to have some rest this weekend.
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It remembered it was July too much, and then I never even got a thunderstorm out of it.
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My mum got a call on Sunday night from my sister's neighbours. My nephews were apparently in the garden yelling and throwing stones and throwing stones at cars that passed, and my sister was coming out occasionally to call them morons but not do much else. Apparently, my nephews have been doing plenty to these neighbours, such as weeing in a bottle and throwing it over their fence, and throwing stuff over the fence in general, and throwing large amounts of stuff from their bedroom windows into the garden, or into a gap between their garden fence and their conservatory. The woman who lives their used to teach my ON at his school, and they're very sympathetic to the kids and my sister, but they say they've been living in that house for 42 years, and now it's just like being in hell.

So that's nice.

The thing of it is, it's not even like the kids had been in all weekend and were going stir-crazy. My parents had my MN on Friday night, as they usually do, and he slept over, even though there was no football the next morning. Instead he had a presentation, and all of the kids went to that, even though my ON was a bit weird apparently. Then they came back to our house for a few hours. And on Sunday their dad had them, and took them out for the day. So what else can be done? Frankly?

Based on that, my sister/mother called a meeting with my sister's social worker, which went...okay, apparently. The neighbours, on my mother's advice, reported the kids to the police for anti-social behaviour, and now they're not sure how far that's going to go. But it sounded like there was stuff the social worker didn't know, like genuinely how often my parents have the kids. So maybe something will come of it? But who knows. At the moment we're mostly preparing to have their dog, Frank. I wish I was more excited, because I do want a dog, but again I wanted it to be my dog. And all I can think about is how this is going to disrupt things for the cat, if they never get familiar with each other, and how we can never have the doors open when it's hot in summer again, and we're going to have to have a walk schedule and someone's going to have to pick up after him, and etc. But apparently she's still forgetting to feed him, and she hasn't had his coat clipped in months, so I don't know if there's much else we can do. In good conscience. Other than call the RSPCA or send him to the pound. I'm sure it'll be lovely. He's a lovely dog. But it is basically just cleaning up after my sister, again.

I called the doctor's yesterday, to see about talking to someone about my mental health stuff. Apparently I can't book an appointment, because all the pre-booked ones are now taken until the middle of August. The best I can do is call them in the morning to try to get a same day appointment. Which means getting up to call them at 8am, just to see if I can get through, and if I can get a suitable appointment, and at the moment rushing around to change my routine at short notice isn't going to be good for my stress levels, to be honest. But it is the best shot I'm going to have apparently, so I'll probably try to do it later in the week, or next week or something. I also looked into one of the helplines my mother recommended, and it was closed down, but I told my mum and she said she'd just spoken to them a few days ago, and it turned out I had the name slightly wrong. So there's always that if things get bad.

But still. You've got to laugh, haven't you?
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The sky seems to have remembered it's July and gone sunny.

HMRC wrote to me yesterday. Apparently the letter I got saying I owed them £750 was only from one part of the tax year, probably from when I was no longer eligible to receive the benefit at all. For the time before that, I owe them £250 of mony they overpaid me. So they want about £1000 from me in total. Which is...frustrating, considering I didn't really do anything wrong. If they had a date in mind when I was no longer eligible to receive a payment, I think I gave them that information, they could have easily kept track of it themselves and done a review when it ran out. And of the time before that, they just miscalculated I guess, or something, but it wasn't me. But it was just money they gave me, which I didn't spend, so I can pretty easily get it back out and give it to them. My parents are saying I should complain or say I don't have the money, and tell them to take it back out of my tax code or something - but I'd just end up paying the same amount to them anyway, just slower. I'd rather take it out in a lump sum and give it back and have done with it. I'm thinking about complaining about the way it was all handled though.

I've been going through my old CDs some more again. It's a little more irritating given that a lot of songs I thought I had saved to my computer haven't been saved, or have updated till I can't play them anymore, but it's still odd to go through a CD, realise you really like a lot of songs on it, but still feel no need to keep the CD. One of those songs is this one, which I think is one of my favourite ghost stories ever. I did not keep the CD.

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Today at work the two CEOs of my Facilities company were in, and then they said they had a meeting with someone from the new company that's bought out our bank. I can only assume they were discussing our contract with them, or something to do with our relationship with them. I asked vaguely about it, and my boss said they'd apparently talked about cost-cutting measures and our services - but it seemed very much like they were discussing both companies working out some cost-cutting measures, and they weren't just flat-out refusing the contract the previous company had with us. Which makes me feel a little bit better. Even though they could absolutely fail to work out cost-cutting measures and just decide to go with a different Facilities company, or do it all in-house. But as long as they aren't just outright getting rid of our company, they'll always need receptionists, and I'm already doing the job, so there's a good chance I'll stay. So it's a little selfish, considering they might cut down on any of our other staff, but it does make me feel a bit better.

Internet news is so stressful these days, but apparently Anita Sarkeesian stood up to a cunt, so that's much much more wonderful than what I was imagining when I heard she got harassed at vidcon.

The other day I was looking for that clip of Jimmy Carr wrangling kittens on 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and I found this lovely clip too:



Like a fool, I also looked up old Ben and Jerry's flavours the other day, and now I'm desperate for pear ice-cream and plum ice-cream, and none is very findable.

And if I had to recommend any Let's Play that the company I watch do, it would probably be this one where three of them put on Southern accents (even the Southern ones) and pretend to go out hunting Bigfoot, ala Mountain Monsters, a show one of them watches.

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I feel a lot better today than I did last night. I talked to my mum, and she sort of agreed that things were crazy and can't continue as they are. I honestly don't know if it's that, or if I just had a really bad day yesterday, or I was just really tired and dehydrated, but I do feel much better today. Mum's going to talk to my sister's social worker, ideally with my sister there, about how she feels and the effect all of this is having on our whole side of the family, in an attempt to explain that she needs to step back from it. Or get my sister to listen to what she has to say. One or the other. And she's suggested some form of counselling she has access to at work, which her family members can use, because it might not have as long a waiting list as they will probably have at most other places - because the stuff that's upsetting me is very much happening now. But I don't know if it will have a waiting list, and she said something about how she tried to use it once and it was somewhere very far away and hard to get to, so idk. We'll see.

My MN is back at school today, although only in the mornings - in the afternoons he can decide if he wants to stay on, or come home. But it should still take some of the pressure off at least.

They're cutting the canteen staff and reducing the stuff the canteen does at work, which doesn't bode well for future jobs going. But a receptionist and a cook aren't really the same things, and there's no point worrying unless we actually hear something about it.

I've started reading the Communist Manifesto, since I am a socialist, so it's probably a good idea to know what that means and where it comes from. I'm not very far into it, and it is interesting, but it's also weird how immature it is. Also racist and sexist, which surprised me but that not much when I thought about it. But they go on for a little while about how the lower levels of the bourgeois, the 'petty shopkeepers' and artisans, cannot be truly revolutionary, they're actually reactionary and just want to roll things back to how they used to be, while never seem to understand that the meaning of the word revolution is 'to roll things back'. Also their belief that the proletariat are completely uninfluenced by religion or culture or anything like that, are just suspicious of it because it's just a tool of the bourgeois. Okay Marx. It is interesting though, and makes a lot of interesting points.
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