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2010/12/26 / Sullen Cindy

Stick Figure Dr Who Christmas Special!!


Welcome back patrons of this humble blog. My profuse apologies for the protracted absence – the thesis demanded to be finished, and I was but a servant to its will. Thankfully that dastardly thesis is out of my now clawed and beleaguered hands – which means it’s back to business as usual here at Sullen Cindy. And to begin with, it’s the Dr Who Xmas Special!! I don’t know about you guys, but I loved Saturday night’s special. One of my favourite episodes ever, definitely. Of course, I’m still pretty new to the whole Dr Who universe, so that might not be saying much!

Okay, enough with the chit-chat! On to the longest-ever Stick Figure Dr Who cartoon!

Panel 1

I am the most crotchety man ever. Srsly.

We are totally useless at saving ourselves.

Wheee! We're in the past!

Still totally useless.

I want to ride on a flying shark.

Singing always prevents spaceliners from crashing. It's a fact.

La la la la la la la.

Hmmm. A carnivorous moon sounds like the perfect honeymoon spot...

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2010/08/24 / Sullen Cindy

Anniversary (or eight things I hate about London)


Okay, so last week was officially my four-year anniversary of moving to the UK. Looking back on these past four years, I can definitely say that I am glad that I made the move to London to pursue my education, first a master’s degree, now a PhD; however, it must be said that I am a far angrier person than I was four years ago, if that is humanly possible. (I’ve always been a reasonably grumpy person.) I believe I can directly attribute this increase in anger to a few significant things:

1) Public Transport. Okay, seriously, I love that I don’t need a car here in London and that I can pretty much get to wherever I need to go using the tube or by train, however, that doesn’t make it the happy-happy-joy-joy experience that I think it ought to be. Everyone who lives in/around London can sympathise with me here and collectively say that, for the most part, public transport could definitely use some improving – especially during the summer when the blasted tubes are so damn hot you can barely breathe and what little air you do manage to force into your lungs is tainted with the stench of unwashed Londoners. Now don’t forget about winter – the tubes are fairly comfortable then, if a bit hot, but being sequestered in a stale carriage with a few hundred of your bestest buddies ever, all of whom are coughing and sneezing directly on you, is not exactly the most pleasant thing ever. Oh, and btw, there’s no way in hell I’d ever drive in this country – people here are insane.

2) Prams. The bane of my existence after cauliflower and bunnies. So I know you need to take your 12, non-walking children with you clothes shopping, along with your bestie and her 12 non-walking children, all of which are either crying or trying to escape, but come on people. All I bloody need is a pint of milk and I don’t want to have to duck and dive around your squalling brood, whose gigantic prams with the 50 some-odd shopping bags hanging from the handles block all possible access to the dairy aisle at my local M&S. (I love you M&S – don’t ever leave me!)

3)Wheelie bags. I understand the need for your wheelie bag. Seriously, I do. When I’m going on vacation or taking a trip, luggage that rolls is an obvious boon. However, there is no need, especially in a very busy station, for you to wander around like a zombie (one of the slow ones, mind you), dragging your bag a good 3-6 feet behind you (1-2 meters), inevitably tripping me and delaying the rest of the mass exodus heading for a train home.

4)The black lung. So while I don’t mind walking absolutely everywhere, I will say that traveling around London on foot can have some unpleasant after effects, especially while having to walk adjacent to traffic the entire time, inhaling all the delicious car pollution London has to offer. All I’ll say is yay for wheezing and blackened handkerchiefs.

5)Lots of other things. Lots. Especially the crushing crowds absolutely everywhere. It’s enough to turn one into a shut-in.

6) No butter on movie theatre popcorn. Nuff said.

7) Climate control = Fail.

8 ) No half sized shoes. Apparently, this is too much to ask for.

Okay, so that this isn’t a total hate on London, which I do love despite the anger, here are some things I like:

-Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

-M&S and John Lewis – the most perfect stores ever. If only there were Targets over here, my life would be complete.

-Most British food, except for the foul black pudding and christmas pudding. Sorry, they’re just gross.

-Magpies. And random sweet moggies everywhere.

-And most of all, the NHS. I love you free health care!!

UPDATE*

I also love Abeno (the best Okonomiyaki ever), Forbidden Planet and the hidden alleyways and secret passages all throughout London.

2010/08/13 / Sullen Cindy

Are cats better than reading?


Okay, so I guess the last post was a bit of a fail for me (i.e. not a lot of hits), but I will reiterate that the book was really quite good and totally worth a read. Anyway, in response, this post is a bit of an anti-last post, as it features very little text and lots of pictures of cats – most of which involve ice cream. Also, Sullen Cindy now has a brand-new improved look, comprised of at least 50% more cats! Please enjoy the awesomeness.

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So guys, which format do you prefer? Little text and lots of pics or lots of expertly written text and few pics? Please let me know in the comments so I can continue to make Sullen Cindy the best thing ever since the invention of the cat. Which we all know was manufactured by elves.

2010/08/09 / Sullen Cindy

Book Review: The Passage


Alright, so I’m a filthy liar – I promised this posting ages ago, and here we are, nearly two weeks later and it’s finally here. What can I say? I’m a lazy bastard and this is how I roll. Also, saying I’m going to post twice a week – more lies. I’ll be damn lucky if I can be bothered to do even one a week – and even then I’m thinking I ought start doing what everyone else does and just post random pics of cats up. I was considering doing a series of posts called ‘confused cats eating ice cream’, but I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see if I can get off my lazy ass and do something. Meh.

Anyway, I’m mixing up the format a bit today here on Sullen Cindy – it’s book review day! So, I’ll start this off by saying I read a lot. And by a lot, I mean I average about 3 or 4 books a week, occasionally a book a day, depending. Despite this, I’ve never written a book review before, so you all are going to have to bear with me here. I can guarantee that there will probably be some spoilers, just so you know, but I’ll try and keep them to a minimum.

Book: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Book details: UK release 24 June 2010; 784 pages; ISBN 0752897845

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 severed viral heads.

Uber brief summary of plot: The book is divided into two main sections, the last few years before the viral infection and about a hundred years afterwards, in the First Colony. While there are numerous perspectives given throughout the book,  first section primarily follows two characters: Amy, a six year old little girl and Agent Wolgast, an FBI agent tasked with recruiting subjects for a secret military facility in Colorado. The story begins in South America, where a team of researchers and military personnel are in search some sort of neat-o super secret archaeological site; as you can probably guess, horrible things happen to them, but one makes is out alive – yet infected with some sort of virus. Fast forward some years later and the government is experimenting with this virus on prison inmates; the virus turns them into these weird bat-like nightmarish creatures, who feed on little fluffy bunnies (yay!). Anywho, Agent Wolgast is in Texas recruiting another inmate for the project when he’s instructed to take a detour and head off to Tennessee and recover another subject – little Amy. Shennanigans ensue, but eventually Amy ends up at the facility and is injected with a new form of the virus… As one might suspect, escape for the subjects at the facility is eminent and when it finally does happen, all hell breaks loose across the continent, with nearly the entire population of the US either transformed by the virus into ‘Virals’ or eaten by them – very few survive.

Part two begins nearly 100 years later and follows the story of Peter, a member of the First Colony, a small group of survivors living off the land – and on borrowed technology from the past. The world outside the walls of the colony is treacherous, with virals covering the landscape around them, ready to take anyone who strays, detered only by the sun/bright light and their own deaths. Life inside the Colony is often peaceful, but their lifestyle goes awry when a visitor from the past arrives and the Colony is threatened. Peter, the visitor, and a few others leave the group in search of answers and a way to save their friends and families.

Things you can expect from this book: Action, Adventure, Virals! An epic story packed full of action, a bit of romance and a whole lot of suspense.

Verdict: Can’t wait for the next one. The manner in which the author writes really draws you into the character’s lives and I often found myself daydreaming about the other adventures they might have had, before and even during the events of the book. What I found particularly interesting is how the author mixes up the format, which definitely kept my interest up; he switches seamlessly between archaeological documents, journal entries, emails and narrative storytelling – super cool. The only reason I didn’t give the book 5 stars is that, on occasion, the book gets a tad too religious for me, but the overall quality and uniqueness of the story won me over. Don’t be put off by the size of the book! It’s an easy read and the story flows beautifully. Highly reminiscent of The Stand by Stephen King – except with more vampires.

Fan art:

Other books I’ve read recently:

  • The entire Dresden Files series (12 books – new one out in Feb!!) – these books are a great deal of fun and I devoured all twelve in about 2 weeks. Highly recommended.
  • Discord’s Apple by Carrie Vaughn (author of the Kitty Norville series). Pretty good, with a unique storyline; I just wish that she would have left out most of the ‘comic book’ thread that follows along with the main story. I think the book would have been stronger without it.
  • Ice Cold by Tess Gerritson (A Rizzoli and Isles book). A bit on the bland side for me – definitely not the strongest book in the series. Too many loose ends and a kinda unsatisfying overall.
  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi: Awesome book, with a definite nod to Joe Hadleman’s Forever War. A great hard sci-fi novel, one I would definitely recommend
  • Ghost Brigade by John Scalzi (the follow up to Old Man’s War)
  • Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi – Hilarious!!!

Currently reading: Horns by Joe Hill and Island in the Sea of Time by S.M. Stirling.

2010/07/27 / Sullen Cindy

Tales of Mothra


Apparently the moths are taking over. I’m reasonably convinced that they’re just biding their time, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike and crown themselves our mothy overlords.

So my flat is on the second storey (that’s the third floor for all you yanks) and the upper-most level in our block of flats; we have some sort of sinister roof overhanging going on outside our windows (perfect hiding places for fiendish moths and nests of wasps) and we are mere meters away from the tree line along the train tracks. Needless to say, we get a lot of birds, squirrels and insects wandering all over the place at eye-level. Pretty cool most of the time – until evening falls and the flying insect invasion begins. I don’t know about the rest of you living in/around London at the moment, but we have a serious moth problem – and not just those little mini guys that flutter around. Oh no, I’m talking of moths of epic proportions. I’m talking about Mothra.

Let me tell you about Mothra. For starters, he is about 50 times the size of your average moth – virtually human size. Seriously, just put a hat on him and you could walk him around town and no one would be the wiser. He also has a bit of a cheeky lip to him. TRUE STORY: There I am, sitting at my computer at home, minding my own business, ‘researching’ lol cats, when *poof*! there’s Mothra, chillaxin’ in the chair opposite me, holding a selection of my favourite t-shirts. He’s all ‘Hey, how you doin? Hope you don’t mind, but I’m totally going to lay some eggs in your clothes.’ and then I’m all ‘What the hell man? Get out of here before I kick your ass.’ Mothra just grins and says ‘Yeah, whatcha gonna do about it, hmm? I’m Mothra.’ And then I smile my sneaky smile and say ‘I’m gonna put you in a glass and toss you out the window.’ Mothra gets very still at this point and then slowly starts trying find a way out of the room. ‘ You know,’ says Mothra’ I’m pretty sure I was supposed to be somewhere about ten minutes ago. Gotta dash!’ And then I plopped a glass on him – and tossed him out the window. Just a note: moths hate being trapped in glasses – they just freak the f**k out.

Mothra is also a master of disguise and exceedingly clever at hiding in plain sight. He especially loves hanging out in my nice clean laundry (hanging in the doorway to dry), waiting until I come to grab a shirt for the day – and then he attacks, in a fluttery fury of wings. They always go for my hair, which is pretty much my kryptonite.

So last year, the moth problem wasn’t so bad. Partly due to the nightmarish ‘summer’ weather of ’09, but also because the moth’s natural enemy, the blue tit, was out in force, patrolling my windows. These adorable little birds are actually vicious killers – and moths are their favourite snack. They used to perch in our open windows and grab the moths off the side of the building. Occasionally, we’d here the plop of a moth attempting to escape, hitting the window ledge – there was gross green blood everywhere.

Okay peeps. Enough mothra action for today. Sorry for the protracted delay between the posts lately. I’ve been trying to rest my hands as much as possible and using my graphics tablet is about the damn most painful thing right now. However, I will persevere and gift you all with a Sullen Cindy post 2 times a week, probably Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The next posting will be a bit different format wise – I’m going to attempt to do a book review for ‘The Passage’. It’s almost ready, so keep a weather eye out for it later this week.

2010/07/09 / Sullen Cindy

Cheeseburger injuries


Still resting the hands, so just a quickie today. As some of you know, I study diseases of the jaw; that said, I found this article on the BBC (thank you Mr B) highly amusing. Damn you big burgers, damn you.

And now here’s a delightful cheeseburger-related picture for you:

また 来週!

2010/07/05 / Sullen Cindy

My hands


Word up peeps. Okay, so Sullen Cindy is going to take a bit of a break this week due to the absolutely agonizing hand pain that I am now having to deal with. It’s awesome, let me tell you. Anyway, my doctor suggested that I needed to take a bit of time off, to help my poor, poor hands recover and since I can’t take a break from my nightmarish thesis, I’m going to have to reduce the amount of blog postings/drawings. I get my fantabulous hand splints tomorrow (hopefully), so if all goes to plan and I don’t overdo it, Sullen Cindy should be back up full tilt next week. I have some random drawings that I may post over the next few days – like the one below – to keep you all mildly entertained.

Anyway, hope you all have a rockin’ week and I’ll be back with more awesomeness soon.

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