Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Price

G'day all! I've written a short story. Just trying to get back into the swing of writing. Man it's been hard since I got a full time job... Anyway, I hope you all enjoy it.

The Price.
“What do we have?”

“John Doe. Male, in his early forties I’m guessing. Identification from dental records is impossible, frankly. Multiple contusions, severe fractures, lacerations, third-degree burns to nearly all of his body… The list of what this guy died from is longer that what’s left of his arm there.” The medical examiner pointed to the mangled stump of a limb closest to Detective Courtney. She glanced down at the glossy mess, and then quickly averted her eyes again.

“So no personal effects at all?” she asked thickly. In her time as a beat cop, she’d seen plenty of grisly sights, but this? Her cornflakes seemed to want to enter the Olympics for tumbling.

“Nothing. Well, nothing yet. I still have to sort through - at least I think it’s an arm - to look for a ring.” The examiner gestured to a separate pile of what appeared to be ground meat mixed with gravel. Courtney looked up at the ceiling.

“All right, well, call me if you find anything.”

“Will do detective,” said the examiner as she peered closer at the body.

Courtney hastened from the room. She caught the lift doors and stepped inside, hitting the button for the second floor. She shivered and concentrated on the tinny muzak emanating from the lift’s speakers, trying to drown out the memory of the sounds of minced body parts under the medical examiner’s hands. She sighed and got out as the lift doors opened again. Nearly all of the cubicles up here were empty now. Dusty golden sunbeams streamed in through the blinds in her boss’s office. Courtney headed down the well worn path to her cubicle at the end. She gathered up her things and tapped her keyboard. Her ancient computer screen flickered to life again, revealing the article she’d been perusing while the ME had been doing her cursory examination. The media hounds had gotten to this one incredibly quickly and the captain had wanted to shut the lid on it and find out who was at fault as soon as possible.


A head-on collision between a school-bus and an SUV on the highway this morning has left one adult dead, three adults and eighteen children hospitalized and a further twelve children under observation at the nearby St James. This gruesome scene is the result of a night of drinking…

Courtney scrolled down past the image of the blackened bus and cars – after the initial collision a separate sedan had plowed into the bus, toppling it onto its side. Shattered glass spread out from the scene like a creeping frost.

It was a miracle that only one person died in this horrific crash. Somehow, all victims had been safely removed from the blaze by the time the fire department arrived to douse the flames. What caused this hellish crash is still unknown-

“You coming out tonight, Court?”

Courtney jumped and looked around.

“Hi Jake. I’ve told you to quit creeping up on me like that. You know you walk like a cat…”

“And you grumble like a badger.” Jake cocked his head and grinned. Courtney rolled her eyes.

“Not tonight Jake. Don’t think I’d be able to stomach a beer after what I’ve seen down the morgue today.”

Jake’s eyes slid to her screen.

“Ah. I see. I heard about the man who died. Poor guy,” he said. The ivory smile receded and he shook his head slightly. “Well, maybe on the weekend then.”

“Sounds good,” said Courtney. She shut the computer down and turned back to Jake.

“Walk you out?” he asked, grin flashing again mockingly as he held his elbow out to her. She shoved him away, a smile curling at the corner of her mouth.

“So how’s that lovely nurse going?” she asked as they headed towards the lift.

“Oh she’s wonderful. I barely see her because of the hours she works, but you know what they say – absence makes the heart grow fonder,” he said.

“It’s so refreshing to know that there are still men like you in this world. Guys who are just good,” Courtney said as the doors pinged open. “Some men I know would just not want to support a woman who works those crazy on-call hours she does.”

Jake gasped in mock surprise. “Detective Tate? A compliment? From you?”

Courtney punched him again. He groaned and rubbed his arm.

“Yeah, I dunno. I just feel… after today… Anyone who just goes out of their way to help others is a hero to me.”

Jake smiled. “Yeah, she’s a bit of a badass my Janey.”

Courtney found herself shielding her eyes, even with the dark wraparounds she’d donned that morning. She’d told Jake she hadn’t wanted to go out, but he’d wheedled and whined and she’d given in. She’d gone heavier than usual on the vodka, just trying to drown out a few of the memories.

“Okay, I get your point,” she mumbled, holding her head which currently felt like it was committing suicide by ice pick.

“Good morning detective!”

Courtney winced as she stepped out of the elevator.

“Whoever said it was good?” she mumbled.

“What was that?”

“I said morning, Captain James,” she said, flipping her hair back from her face and trying to look as though the morning glare wasn’t making her head ache.

The captain raised one bushy brow at her and then turned back to his desk. Courtney ducked her head again and hurried to her cubicle. She switched on her computer and checked her emails. Lily the medical examiner had left one telling Courtney that she’d found something. Courtney headed for the lifts.

“I’ve been working here for three years. Every time I come down here, I forget it’s like walking into the arctic,” said the detective.

“And every time you mention the temperature, I tell you that it’s not the living who need it down here,” Lily said, pointing a blue gloved hand at her. Courtney rolled her eyes.

“You said you had something?”

Lily screwed up her face, her lips – they were a vibrant shade of purple today – pursed.

“Sort of. It’s what I don’t have is the interesting thing.”

“What you don’t have?”

Lily walked over and pulled open one of the storage units along the wall. Mr. Mincemeat John Doe slid out. Courtney sighed heavily and walked over.

“I went through everything, but we do not actually have all of Five Star here.”

“Five star?”

“Mince quality. You don’t cook much, do you detective?”

“Chinese takeout mostly. It’s got vegetables. It’s healthy. Beside the point. What do you mean you don’t have all of him?”

“Well, I sorted out that pile of arm that they brought in. Not all of it is there. We have an assortment of radius, humerus and ulna fragments, but none of the carpals, metacarpals or finger bones. It’s like the whole lower arm is just missing. Including any ring if there is one.”

“So… what? I’ve got to go looking for a missing left hand?”

“Unless you can come up with a better way to identify the poor soul?”

Courtney groaned and put her head in her hands.

“Oh come on. It won’t be that hard.”

“No it’s not the case. I went out drinking with Jake last night.”

Lily raised her pretty red eyebrows.

“You know he has a girlfriend Lily,” Courtney snapped. Lily pursed her lips again and turned away.

Courtney groaned and stomped out of the morgue.

The contents of the evidence box lay spread from one end of her diminutive desk to the other. Crime scene photographs always threw such a harsh light on everything.

“What are you looking for?” Jake was peering over the wall of her cubicle, eyes bright and catlike in his curiosity.

“A missing hand apparently,” said Courtney.

“Sounds like fun,” said Jake, giving her a deadpan look.


Jake scratched his nose. “I hear that the parents of fourteen of the kids are taking the city to court over this. Unsafe highways or something.”

“Whereas the driver of the SUV is attempting to sue the bus driver,” Courtney said, shuffling through more photographs.



“What a world we live in now. They should really all just be thanking their lucky stars they all got out of it relatively unscathed. Janey was there when the kids were all brought in for observation. She had seen the crash on the news and was expecting… She said it was a miracle that they were all okay.”

Courtney frowned and looked closer at one of the photographs.

“Tell me again where they keep the wrecked cars during an investigation?”

“There’s a yard down on Gull Road that stores them all.”

The girl at the counter must have been cold in those cut off shorts. She let Courtney through to the yard when the detective had flashed her badge. Courtney made a beeline for the sedan that had added to the pileup. The whole front of the car was crumpled and blackened. The interior wasn’t much better. Completely black and nearly unrecognizable. With considerable effort, Courtney cracked open the driver’s side door. Snapping on a glove, she pawed through the blackened upholstery. Finally she hit upon what she’d seen in the photographs and smiled.

“Well, that definitely explains why he didn’t seem to have a lower left arm,” said Lily as Courtney plonked the prosthetic hand down on the examination table. Lily picked it up and looked inside the cuff.

“And luckily, this will also help us to identify our mystery man,” she said. She turned to her computer, pulling up a database.

“Ah, here we go. Jason Gadreel. Interesting name. Forty-one. Many thanks to you detective we can now let his… zero next of kin know that he’s down here.” Lily face creased. “Poor guy.”

Courtney looked at the floor. “Ah well. Anything else come back on everyone? Blood toxicology?”

“The bus driver, sedan and SUV drivers were all clean. I thought I’d save the department some money and not worry about the kids’ blood. It’s doubtful that any of the six-year olds on the bus were intoxicated and driving the bus erratically.”

Courtney huffed out a laugh.

“One weird thing did come back though. Our friend Jason here has several strange blood markers. Apparently, he had cancer. Also, he was in the early stage of AIDS,” Lily said.

Courtney shook her head. “The world just didn’t want to give this guy a break, did it?”

Courtney groaned and let her head fall onto the desk. She hit it harder than she meant to and groaned again.

“What’s wrong, badger?”

“Go away Jake. I don’t need your annoying optimism right now.”

“Aw. Tell me. Maybe I can help. You know, fresh set of eyes and everything.”

Courtney let out a deep breath.

“I went by the hospital this morning to get the victims statements. None of this makes any sense anymore.”

“How so?” Jake cocked his head as Courtney looked up at him.

“The driver of the SUV swears black and blue that he was in his car alone, heading home from work.”


“Well, so does the sedan driver. She said she was also alone.”


“There was only two other cars in the crash apart from the bus. So unless our ground beef imitator, Mr. Gadreel, was on the bus, how did he sustain all those injuries?”

Jake frowned. “I see your problem.” He rubbed his forehead. “Have you-”

“Yes I’ve spoken with their doctors. They both say it’s unlikely that their injuries have resulted in head trauma, and thus resulted in memory loss. They were both incredibly fine after the accident.”

“What about-”

“The bus driver is still unconscious.”

Jake shut his mouth. Then he raised a finger. “What about all the kids? Surely you’ve taken their statements too?”

“The statements of twenty overexcited five-year olds is not going to help.”

“Well, what other avenues of investigation do you have?”

“You raise a fair point, detective Evans,” grumbled Courntey.

Courtney felt incredibly out of place walking into the children’s ward. Her parents had doted on her sisters two sons. She herself had never been comfortable around the two boys. Even her black, serious clothes seemed unwelcome here in the brightly lit and gaily colored hallway. She approached the reception desk.

“I’m here to see, uh…” She cleared her threat and pulled her notebook from her pocket. “Lukas Brown,” she said, reading the first name of twenty.

“You’re working on the case of that awful crash, aren’t you?” said the nurse behind the desk. Courtney nodded. The nurse gave Courtney a confidential grimace. “It’s about time. You need to put away whoever caused that dreadful accident. The harm that could have come to all of those kids - it really was a miracle…”

The nurse led her up the corridor and into a room. Five sets of parents, five beds, and five huge piles of get-well cards and flowers filled the room. She nodded to the heads that turned to her as the nurse led her to the far bed.

“Mr. and Mrs. Brown?”

The man and the woman stood up to shake her hand.

“I’m here to ask your son some questions, if that’s okay?”

The two looked at each other.

“Darling, do we need the lawyer present for this?”

Courtney resisted to the urge to roll her eyes.

As she’d suspected, basically all of the information the children could provide was useless. Only a handful of them had even been conscious when they’d been pulled from the wreckage. The closest she’d gotten to concrete information from any of them was a little boy who’d told her he remembered a tall man carrying him away from the crash. There had been speculation about how all the children had escaped the bus before it burst into flames. It seemed there was a good Samaritan somewhere out there.

“He had red stuff on him. And he smelled funny.”

Courtney sighed and pretended to write this down.

“Thank you Danny. But do you remember anything from before the bus crashed?

The boy scrunched up his face.

“It was really loud.”

Courtney knew she’d read somewhere that deep breathing was good for calming oneself. Heavy sighing probably didn’t come under that banner though.

“Thank you for your help Dan. I’ll be sure to give your mom and dad a call if I need anything else,” she said, gathering her jacket and getting up.

“Okay,” said Danny and proceeded to pick his nose.

Courtney looked at her list as she walked away. One name left.

“Olivia is it?”

The girl nodded. She was sat up in bed. Surprisingly she was the only one in this ward. The other beds were empty and she didn’t have two anxious parents hovering about.

“Where’s your mom and dad?”

The little girl smiled, revealing two missing teeth. “Mommy’s at work. She has to work a lot. I don’t have a daddy.”

Courtney shifted in her chair.

“Do you think your mommy would mind if I asked you some questions about the bus crash?”

Olivia’s tiny face creased. “No, I don’t think so.”

“Ah, good. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome!” said Olivia with a bright smile.

“Ah. Okay. Maybe we can start with the bus ride. What do you remember of the events leading up to the crash?”

Olivia crinkled her nose up. “Lea- leading up?”

“What do you remember of before the bus crashed. Before it fell over?”

“Oh! Lots and lots. I remember looking out the window at all the other cars. There were birds in the sky! I like birds.”

“Okay, we’re not talking about the birds. I need you to focus on the cars. Was there a white car?”


“What about a big blue car?”

“I remember a blue car. It was going very fast. I was watching it. It tried to go in front of the bus. Then the bus stopped really sud- suddenly,” said Olivia.

Courtney sat back. “The blue car, huh?”

“Yep. All the other cars were angry at it. Like ‘eeeeeeeEEE’-”

“They were honking?”


Courtney scribbled in her notebook. “Thank you Olivia. This is very helpful information.”

“Do you want to know about the man?”

Courtney looked up.

“The man?”

“The man who saved me. Who saved all of us. I remember him.”

Courtney fingered the paper in her notebook. Olivia looked out of the window. There was a serene smile on her little freckled face.

“I remember the bus crashing. My head was very very sore. Then the bus fell over even! The ground came up so fast – wham! And then there was all this white-ness. Like snow, but whiter.”

Olivia’s hands crept around her shoulders. Courtney swallowed.

“It was so warm there. I was floating. You know like when you go swimming and you dive down and you just float around a bit? And then the man was there. He picked me up and he put me on the side of the road. He was so red. It was blood I know. I’m pretty sure it was my blood.”

Courtney frowned.

“Your blood? But you had no injuries when you came in.”

“Yep. Because he took them away. He’s an angel, you know.”

Courtney gave an unconvinced smile.

“An angel huh? He certainly was a hero. I heard about him from the other kids,” she said. Olivia nodded enthusiastically. Courtney gathered her things quickly and stood up.

“Thank you again for this Olivia – you’ve actually been a really big help.”

“You’re welcome!” said Olivia again with another huge smile.

“So the SUV driver is taking the rap?”

“Yep. After we leant on him a bit, he confessed to distracted driving – was texting while changing lanes. Dumbass thing to do really.”

“Yay! Case solved then! Celebratory drinks!” Jake’s smile slid off his face when he saw that Courtney was still staring at the crime scene photos. “Or not?”

“It still doesn’t add up though. Yes, the SUV caused the crash. The sedan knocked the bus over. Fuel tanks on fire, blah, blah. But where does Jason Gadreel come into this? I mean, we know now he was obviously the one who rescued all the kids, but how did he go through a car crash, and not go through a car crash?”

“Was he on the road perhaps? Did the bus fall on him? Was he somehow hit by one of the cars?”

“His injuries aren’t consistent with it. And how did his prosthetic hand end up inside the sedan?”

Courtney continued staring at the pictures. A hand waved in front of her face.

“Earth to Detective C…”

“I – sorry Jake. This has just got me all confused.”

Jake grinned.

“That’s okay. I’ll leave you to it super sleuth. Got a date with Jane tonight anyway. Wish me luck.”

Courtney had already turned back to the photos, her bottom lip between her teeth

“Still there, Court?” Jake asked. She didn’t reply. Jake smiled again and shook his head as he walked away.

The office grew dark around her. Frustrated, Courtney threw down her pen and leant back in her chair. She raked her fingers through her hair and looked at her computer. With nothing else to turn to, she opened her web browser and typed in Jason Gadreel’s name. The first couple of results turned out to be news articles. The first one had a picture of Jason that she recognized from his DMV picture. Lord knew she couldn’t recognize him from his real face. It really was a unique name, she figured, to get a hit instantly. She scrolled through the piece.


Four teens have been pulled from a horrific t-bone at the intersection of Main and Drake on Monday night. Shockingly, only one has sustained serious injuries. The driver of the 1991 Ford has been summoned to appear in court under accusations of underage drinking and driving under the influence. Jason Gadreel is in a critical condition at the local hospital, but is expected to recover.

Courtney frowned. She navigated to the next article.


A horrible incident occurred last night when a speeding car clipped young Ms Demi Jackson and Mr Jason Gadreel. Authorities are still on the lookout for a black Cadillac. Both victims were taken to hospital. Despite witnesses saying that Ms Jackson seemed to have ‘disappeared under the wheels like roadkill’ she is miraculously unharmed. Mr Gadreel however is in intensive care and will most likely lose the most part of his left arm.

Courtney sat back again. After a moment, she shook her head. She turned off her computer and headed out.

“You figure out how poor Mr. Gadreel was killed yet?”

“No. Not yet. I have no idea what happened. I put an APB out on his car. Apparently it was found abandoned up there on the highway right near the accident. It ended up in a tow yard.”

“Oh? Was it smashed up too?”

“Nope. Not a scratch on it.”

Lily paused, scalpel in hand.

“Well, if you ever do figure it out, let me know. That way I can fill out the rest of his documentation.”

“Will do.”

“The poor sod is off to be buried by the state tomorrow. Mortician’s already come to pick him up. Left the personal effects behind by accident though. Would you be able to take them over?” Lily nodded to a box on the far end of the workbench.

“Sure.” Courtney went over and peered into the box. There wasn’t much. The man’s clothing and a few loose coins.

“I did have this one weird theory as to what might have happened,’ she said.

“Oh?” said Lily.

Courtney picked at the clothing and grimaced. Even after washing, they were never able to get all of the bloodstains out of crash victims’ effects.

“I thought… you know, never mind. It’s extremely stupid.”

“C’mon Court – you’re killing me here.”

“Nah, it was just something one of the kids said… You know what they’re like; they love to embellish stuff, or just plain make it up. It’s just…” Courtney trailed off. At the bottom of the box was a single feather. Pure and white. Courtney stared at it.

“Total nonsense…” she whispered.

Feeling: Much too sedentary. I need to do... something.
Wearing: PJ pants and my RvB Red Army tee.
Listening to: I See Fire by Ed Sheeran. Man, that song gives me shivers like you wouldn't believe.
Eating: I had cookies and coca-cola for breakfast. Then I ate a banana! I'm so healthy...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

An Update that's Not a Whole Year in the Making

Check it out! It’s only been like... two months?
Christmas was wonderful. We stopped work at midday on the 24th which was a bit of a drag. My brother picked me up that afternoon and we went to see Star Wars Episode VII! It was actually really fantastic! I loved all the references back to the original trilogy. I freaking love BB-8; he’s so cute! As for the new characters though, I kinda don’t really feel anything for them. Except Kylo Ren. I won't say why for spoilers, but what an asshat. I do like the theory though that Rey is a clone of Luke from the hand that he lost when Darth Vader cut it off.
So yeah, Christmas was good. Nearly all the family turned up! Even Aunty Kaylene. She’s not doing well at all. Her cancer came back a few months ago and... it’s been so tough. They told her that after this round of treatment if the cancer comes back again, there’s nothing they can do for her. It’s just... Mum says it’s an awfully disheartening thing for someone to hear that kind of prognosis. So I’m glad we were all together.
Mum finally conceded to me that she has no sense of style whatsoever, so she’s been hoarding all sorts of lovely Christmas decorations over the past couple of years. It was finally our turn to host again and I went all out on the decorating. The tree and the table looked like something out of a magazine. Everyone loved it.

So sparkly...

We had a blast playing all sorts of water sports. We set up a black plastic slide in the front yard and played human ten pin bowling – you could either take a run up and attempt to knock all the pins down, or hold on a rope pulley and your family team could haul you down the plastic. Then we played a relay race where you had to line up and throw water to each other in buckets. The first family to transfer enough water to their end bucket and cause it to drop was the winner. The last game was very broken. There were little basketball hoops on peoples’ heads. Instead of having them catch the little ping-pong balls that came with the game, we switched them out for water balloons. As soon as the blindfolded people started tossing balloons the hoops broke. Eventually there were too many balloons in each net and they broke from the weight. It dissolved into a water balloon fight from there. Throughout the whole day, everyone was blatantly cheating – of course ^_^.
Another star of Christmas was the awesome pinball machine that Dad cooked up. A virtual pinball machine in a custom made cabinet. It has something like 20 virtual tables in it now and I played the hell out of it the couple of weeks I was home. I really liked the Star Troopers and Star Wars tables. Those ones were fun and I was slowly starting to learn how to actually play them rather than just hitting the flippers and hoping the ball didn’t go down the hole. Me and Dad did a great job of decorating it all the day before Christmas too! I stockpiled leftover vinyl from work and we planned out a design and used his CNC routing device with a blade attached instead of a drill bit to cut out the shapes. It was a tough time sticking them all on without application tape. But we got there, and it looks fantastic.

*furiously mashes flapper buttons*
I spent most of my holidays playing ARK. I developed a grudge match with some dude on a PvP Primitive server. I was busy building up my base and trying to tame some dinos when this idiot began accusing me of killing his raptor. He was adamant. I tried to explain that I had done no such thing, but he just wouldn’t believe me. I had to start looking over my shoulder and even keep an eye on the skies. Several times he tried to snatch me up on a pteranadon, but I had been too encumbered at the time luckily. So, the eejit gets an idea. One day while I’m logged off, he goes around and puts his own stone foundations at the four points around my base, effectively blocking me off from expanding. We had a verbal sparring match after that. After I had shouted at him in all caps and realised that wasn’t going to work, I switched tactics and began pretending like he was some little kid, a low level newbie who was sad and lonely. I told him I would collect the white supply drops for him because he was obviously so helpless. This seemed to get on his nerves. He reinforced the foundations the day after that. So, I thought “Two can play at this game...” I made a foundation of my own and put it directly outside his front door. He was pissed... Around that time, I started chatting with a bloke on an online dating site. After a few dates, I introduced him to ARK. He was online one day and was ambushed by the guy. They killed my trike and pteranadon. We were fed up with this guy, so we switched servers. I did log in one last time however and used up all of my wooden signs to write “Fuck You” in front of his base eleven times. I logged in recently too and found much to my satisfaction that someone has raided his base. Hehehe...
So we moved servers. This one has elevated taming, XP and gathering so it’s much more fun to play on. We have a small menagerie. Unfortunately it’s an unofficial server so it’s down a lot. But that has helped me in a way to break the addiction a little bit.

I went back to work in January – for only three days XD. On the Thursday of that week, I flew down to Sydney for RTXAUS! I took the train from the airport to the hotel and when I had finished settling in, I immediately got on the train again and headed out to Circular Quay. It was getting super overcast and began to rain when I got there. I found a nice walkway undercover where I was able to get some snaps of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House in the gloom. I checked the rain radar on my phone and saw that a HUGE red and yellow patch was headed directly for me. I watched as the storm rolled in, lightning flashes over the bridge. It was really kind of cool!

The train station had an excellent view

The actual even was very good I thought. Not as good as the Austin one. There were a few teething problems. I felt that the RT people were kind of isolated. I didn’t ever seen them in the VIP room. The event center we were in had all of these cool catwalks, so they were always up there. The main hall was not naturally air conditioned either. There were tons of people who found it much too hot. I thought it was warm, but not overly uncomfortable – but I could see that on the stage under the lights, all the RT folk were sweating like crazy.
I waited all day Friday for some notification of the secret thing they’d teased. They were shooting an Immersion in Sydney that day and I was hoping they’d ask for extras. Unfortunately the way they notified us was through the Rooteeth Facebook page. I was kicking myself. It would have been cool to be a space invader on the shoot... especially with Ryan as a lab rat!
The Lazer Team premiere was AWESOME. I looked fantastic (except someone else at the premiere was wearing the same dress as me) – and my super high stunning white shoes didn’t even kill me that much!
Faaaaabulous darling!

I made a friend in the lobby as I was waiting to hail a taxi and we shared it there. There was some traffic so the driver told us it would be easier to walk the rest of the way. It began to rain and I was wearing heels walking uphill. Wanted to kill the cab driver. (Later on I found that it is actually harder to walk downhill in heels. Man is that hard.) We waited in the line and chatted and became good friends. Her name was Emily and she was from Adelaide ^_^. We milled around for an hour, and then another half an hour because the RT peeps were late – there’d been an accident where Lindsay had cut open her face during the Immersion shoot and she’d had to get stitches.
The movie itself was really, really good. It wasn’t the best movie ever, but I definitely enjoyed it and the humour and hard work and just everything that Roosterteeth poured into it. The twist at the end was fantastic, although I did sort of guess it a little. And it had Michael mooning the audience, which was amazing XD. All of the cameos were brilliant too.
When the movie was done, the cast and crew came out for a Q&A and, surprise, surprise, who turns up? Well, Mr. Michael Jones of course! I was so thrilled! That was one good part about not being an extra on the Immersion shoot I guess. He was a lab rat with Ryan lol.
The after party I thought was good, but a little bit of a shambles. All they had on the tab that was EXTREMELY short-lived was cheap champagne and beer. The venue was MUCH too small and there was a cordoned off area where the special guests could escape. Not saying it was a bad thing... but the Austin VIP party was MUCH cooler. There was nowhere they could ‘escape’ too. I talked to Chris Demaris for a little bit, which was fun and then me and Emily watched in dismay as the crowd around poor Ryan just would not disperse. His audience was like three people thick for several hours – and even when the party was winding down and he was trying to leave, they cornered him outside and it happened again. The poor thing was too polite to get away...

I really enjoyed my time in Sydney. It really is a beautiful city. It also helped that there was McDonalds directly outside my hotel, so I did not have to go without breakfast each day. I explored a bit on the Friday and found my way to a Max Brenner chocolate store, and all manner of shops and markets and stuff. I could seriously consider living there if I had to.
We met up with a lot of Roo Teeth people at King Pin Bowling on Circular Quay on the Sunday night. I had a blast beating all my new friends at air hockey and a game of bowling. We were getting drinks and thinking about leaving when who got in line behind us but Freddie Wong! We had a solid hour of chats where we taught him about the Aussie and Kiwi accents, our money, our education system and the State of Origin. He’s is a super funny dude! The day after he tweeted that he’d had a good time, so I replied to him and told him that if he needed any more special fifty cent pieces (he was fascinated by their shapes and the custom detail on the special editions one) that he knew who to talk to. He actually replied to me! It was super fun.

I made a new shirt for the convention. I did up a super cool vector art piece with Ryan in his GTAV face paint holding his skull mask. It’s kind of creepy. I painted it onto a lovely white shirt and wore it the second day of the con. I didn’t get to show it to him unfortunately.
Lots of black paint...

The Wednesday I got back, we had the Lazer Team Tugg screening at the Cairn City cinemas! My brother came along too and he loved the movie. We were sitting in the dark waiting for the movie to start, munching on out KFC, when I saw a pair of people across the aisle. They were older folks and the bloke was wearing a Lazer Team shirt. I stared at them for a while and eventually tapped my bro and said “I think that those are the Dunkelmans.” The Dunkelmans being Barbara Dunkelman from Roosterteeth's parents. They love to go to everything she does and support her. Brother was like “Nah... It can’t be.” I was positive. I had actually sat in the row behind them at the Sydney premiere and said hi after I’d seen the fella hugging Barbara down on the walkway! So I worked up the courage and went over and asked them. Sure enough, it was Larry and his wife! I asked them what on Earth they were doing up in Cairns. Turns out they were sightseeing. They thought if they were going to go to Australia that they would explore a bit at least. It was just so bizarre! It was like they were stalking me lol.
This is the photo Larry took! I'm way up the back.
The first date I went on with the new boy was absolutely wonderful. We met at Grill’d on the Esplanade for lunch and totally hit it off. I didn’t really want to leave. He was so lovely. He was 25, he was taller than me, he had an excellent job (he was going to start uni very soon, but still had tons of savings) and he was ripped as hell man. So, we hung out and continued to chat. We got frozen pine lime slushies from Maccas. We hung out more on the Esplanade itself, walking up and down and sitting on a bench. Eventually, he put his arms around me. It was lovely. As the sun was setting, he kissed me. It was funny; our glasses clashed. I was having a ball. We had dinner on the esplanade too; crepes. And then a few hours later, gelato for dessert. I think we ended our lunch date at 10:30pm!

Unfortunately, due to many different things after a few more dates he told me that he was sorry, but he had to break it off. He just wasn't ready for a full on relationship. He had a lot of valid reasons and... I dunno. I just feel really kind of lonely now. It's hard to get used ot being single again. I'm not alone - I have my friends and my family, but not having that special someone is just making me a bit lonely...

I watched Life on Mars. It was really good! The music was awesome and the concept was rather gripping. I’m a bit undecided about the ending, but it did seem fitting. I’m now watching Psycho Pass. You can blame the two on the Roosterteeth Anime Sponsor-cast.

Work has been okay. I felt a bit overburdened yesterday though. My colleague quickly took a few jobs off me and made it a little better. I’ve been slacking I guess. I’m always checking my phone or I’ve got my kindle out actually. It’s kind of stupid. I should really stop doing it. But I find that I sometimes just can’t concentrate and after a few minutes of it, I can get back to what I’m doing. I hope I don’t get called out for it. I would really hate to get a warning, or even lose my job. I hate warnings. I feel so terrified when people direct that kind of disappointment and anger at me. I think I would rather be injured than disappoint like that. I’ve begun taking record of all the duff ups that I make in an effort to improve. Mum keeps telling me to ask for a pay rise, what with the INORDINATE power bills I’ve been getting and the fact that my brother is no longer living here. He moved out just before Christmas when Mum and Dad could no longer afford to pay his rent because of Dad’s job loss. But, I haven’t had the nerve to ask for a pay rise. It’s just so regularly that I get reports back that I’ve made mistakes and whatnot. I don’t feel like I deserve a pay rise yet. I need one and I think I should have one. I have a bachelor and I’m approaching two years of experience now. I should be getting paid more than what pretty much amounts to minimum wage. But I just... keep making mistakes...

So overall, January has had its ups and downs. RTXAUS was great and I am so going again next year. Alan Rickman and David Bowie both died at 69 and of cancer. That was a real downer. Monty Oum’s anniversary just passed which was a harrowing reminder. I had a beautiful few weeks, and then a sudden crashing reality check with a guy.

It feels kind of nice that I have no obligations at the moment. Nothing to plan for, nothing to look forward to. Just the weekends, curled up in bed, reading or watching stuff. It feels nice to just drift a little – coast along and enjoy the fact that I do have a solid job, I do have a lovely home and I do have enough income to splurge sometimes. I am lucky and grateful. And now I’m hungry. Gonna go eat the rest of my taco mince.

Feeling: I have this weirdly sore elbow. It doesn't hurt to bend it or when I massage the skin, but just resting the tip of it on something - anything, will make it hurt.
Listening to: X Gon' Give it to Ya - The song from the Deadpool trailers. Frikin' Deadpool man... I saw it today and it was BALLS TO THE WALL AMAZING.
Wearing: My Deadpool shirt of course.