Archive for October, 2013

Becoming A Grownup: Failures

October 28, 2013 Leave a comment

So, Becoming A Grownup isn’t off to the best start. I made a lot of dramatic statements about wanting to be a grownup and wanting to be amazing, but instead I’ve spent much of that time lounging around playing video games and watching episodes of QI on YouTube.

This isn’t what a successful grownup does, is it? Oh no it isn’t. An irregular blog update is also not a thing that grownups do. I would say I deserve a spanking, but saying that on the Internet leads to horrendous misinterpretations far out of the reach of the wholesome, childlike image I am trying to portray for myself.

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Sunday Roundup – 20th October 2013

October 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Hello! Welcome to the Sunday Roundup, where I share the kind of things I’ve been watching, reading or otherwise enjoying this past week, and cover the things I’ve been talking about.

So, this week, I merely posted a mission statement for what I’m going to do with Mondays. I did write something for Gaming Wednesday, but it kind of got a bit lost and directionless and I didn’t know what to do with it, and I couldn’t think of a good news story to cover on the Friday, so nothing got written for that unfortunately.

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Time To Become An Adult!

October 15, 2013 Leave a comment

So, I am on a mission to become an adult! This is my goal, and this is what I will achieve, and this is what you will be reading here on The Cheap Ferret every Monday (give or take).

But why? Surely, at age twenty-something, I should already be an adult. After all, I can legally drive and drink and get married and all the other wonderful things that come with being an adult. Except I honestly still feel like a teenager seeking to understand the world better. I still feel under-confident in some aspects of my life. I am also painfully socially awkward and wish to overcome this.

And what better way to get better than to share it with the world and attempt to make it entertaining and interesting and funny and possibly poignant (possibly)?

I’m not going to sit here and go through the reasons for my social awkwardness. I’m not here to dwell on the past and where I could have made better efforts to overcome things in the past, because that achieves nothing. NO! I am here to examine where I am, and how I can progress, and be positive and forward and open about my own personal awkwardness and confidence issues. By doing this, I aim to stop feeling like a lost child and become, once and for all, A FULLY-FUNCTIONING ADULT!

I have no real plan for this, however. I’m just going to make attempts to do things that spook me and make more efforts to be talkative. Sounds pretty good, yeah?

I will then report all this back to you, my lovely readers, where I will describe the efforts of battling the feelings of self-doubt and poor confidence with good humour and a CAN-DO attitude (the caps are important). However, I’m not going to sit here and write platitudes or giving off “think positive” vibes or anything like that. Instead, the aim is to say “yeah, being an adult is hard but do it anyway”.

There are some rules I am going to lay down for my posts though:

RULE NUMBER ONE: I am not allowed to describe things in the most mundane terms. This is a public blog, and as such, I need to consider the audience. This is not a diary, it’s a way of channelling something personal into a form of entertainment.

RULE NUMBER TWO: Do not be a sad sack. People do not like sad sacks. Yes, there will be times where I will feel self-doubt rather strongly and wanna sit around and play video games instead of writing or doing anything else, but I am not allowed to complain about it. Complaining about it is what I have done in the past and it’s never got me anywhere. Plus you guys don’t want to read sad sack things.

RULE NUMBER THREE: Even though the fundamental aim is to be more adult and responsible, I am not allowed to lose good childlike qualities like wonder and imagination and the desire to run around and be silly. These are all GOOD THINGS and all adults need to retain these features in order to be interesting human beings.

I may add to these rules as I go along. But those are the most important. Yes, it’s only three, but they are an important three. One and Two may seem similar, but they’re not. One is about making sure this is entertaining, and Two is about remaining in good humour at all times, even if I don’t feel like it by default. Because due to the age old rules of “fake it til you make it” I feel if I try and be funny and silly often enough, it will become default. Of course.

So them’s the basics. I’m not going to discuss much more beyond that rght now, but rest assured I will have some stories to share starting next week. Hopefully.

Categories: Uncategorized

Gaming Wednesday: Beyond Two Souls Impressions

October 9, 2013 1 comment

The reviews of Beyond Two Souls have started to come out, and it’s not looking good. The Ellen Page fronted interactive movie from French developer Quantic Dream is proving to be a bit of a mixed bag with critics. I’m hearing a lot about how poor it is as a game, and also how poor it is as a piece of storytelling.

Not one to take the critics’ word as gospel, I decided to download the demo and make up my own impressions.

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Sunday Roundup: October 6, 2013

October 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Hello! Welcome to the very first Sunday Roundup, where I round up stuff I’ve been doing this week and share some cool stuff I’ve come across for your enjoyment.

First of all, a quick roundup of this week’s topics here on The Cheap Ferret. I talked about my new plans for the blog, excitedly told you all about my new favourite video game character and shared my theory on the Daily Mail after recent events. Next week I’ll be providing an introduction into why I feel I need to work harder a being an adult, and I’m not sure what I’m doing for the Wednesday and Friday posts yet, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

Meanwhile, over on SvTM, I reviewed Sunrise, a highly-acclaimed silent romantic movie, and The Last Battle, an early Luc Besson film a million shades weirder than his more well-known Leon: The Professional. I’m not going to reveal next week’s movies, but I will give you clues.

Both movies involve criminals, and both of them have colours as a central theme. Only one of them is reasonably well-known. Actor initials for Tuesday’s movie are TC and SP, while Thursday’s are HK and TR, and the director initials are SK and QT respectively. And that’s all you’re getting for now!

So, what do I have to share with you all? Well, this week I didn’t find much cool stuff and I need to make a better effort to find things next week. However, I do feel the need to share this first thing with you, even though I didn’t find it this week.

A while ago, I came across a rather awesome Gravity Rush mashup album. Gravity Rush, if you don’t know, is a game for the PlayStation Vita published by Sony, about a girl with the power to manipulate gravity. Well, some fellow from the Philippines decided to take the soundtrack to the game and mix it up with…well, whatever he could find. This was the result.

I downloaded the whole thing this week and I’ve been listening to it a lot. A lot of the samples are fairly obscure since many are taken from cult video games or anime or other fairly geeky sources, but there’s still plenty to enjoy there even if you’re not up on your Japanese pop culture.

One highlight is the remix of Douse Shinundakara, the theme song of Gravity Rush, which takes the near-gibberish vocals and sticks them to a disco mix of the Cantina Band music from Star Wars, and throws in the theme tune to Neon Genesis Evangelion for good measure.

Next week, I’ll search for a lot more. If you have any recommendations for cool stuff, let me know and I’ll take a look, and if I like it, I’ll give it some attention here. This includes your own stuff if you have something, so don’t be ashamed to self-promote!

And finally, here’s this week’s fiction excerpt. I’m currently on a later draft of a novel I’m working on, and this is somewhere around the middle, in chapter 9. I tried to pick a segment that could stand on its own, but if anyone needs some further explanation, I’m willing to answer questions.

I would love to know what people think of this segment, so leave your comments below, or even drop me an email ( if you wish to give more in-depth criticism or if you don’t know how to use the WordPress comments system.

So here’s the segment, and I’ll see you tomorrow with the Monday Ramblings!

Venus marched up to her apartment block, her face frozen in a frown. She’d had a feeling Ben was going to get like this. She’d witnessed his work while she was in uniform, and although he was a decent person at heart, there were times when he would let things get to him, leading him to be frustrated and irritable. While she felt it was admirable that he had such a strong dedication to his job, the short temper it gave him was inexcusable.

As she walked in the front door, a man in a trench coat walked past her, bumping into her shoulder and knocking her off-balance.

“Hey,” she said. “Watch where you’re going!”

The man said nothing and just carried on walking. Venus shook her head in disgust, then found herself watching the man walk away. Something was very odd about the way he was dressed, and his face had been obscured. She began to suspect that he’d bumped into her deliberately.

She sighed, realising that she was stressed out and overthinking things, and began to head up the stairs towards her flat.

She fumbled with the door, which for some reason was taking longer to fumble with than usual. Normally a specific flick of the wrist would wiggle the door open, but not this time. Looking at the handle, it looked vaguely warped, which concerned her a little. When she finally got it open, she walked in, throwing her keys onto the usual place. Only this time they fell behind the table onto the floor.

“That’s odd,” she said. Last she checked, the table was pressed close to the wall, with no room to let anything drop through. She’d arranged it that way specifically because of her key-throwing habit.

She closed her door then pulled the table away from the wall to retrieve her keys. Ducking behind it to reach for them, she found something else. Black feathers.

She jerked her hand back out of fright. Looking around the hallway, a great feeling of unease crept over her.

“Is anyone in here?” she shouted. She went to grab the cricket bat she kept for protection. It was gone. She scrambled to her feet, and immediately pushed open all of the doors in her flat. No sign of anyone. She hesitantly looked around all the corners and checked behind all the doors, but there was nothing.

Someone had been in her flat. The feathers, the missing cricket bat, the even more awkward than usual door. A cold chill ran over her, and she checked her bedroom to confirm her sudden suspicions.

Sure enough, a note had been tucked under her pillow, part of it sticking out enough for her to notice it. She pulled it out and read it:

Good evening detective
You’re getting closer
Sorry to hear about the fight you had with your friend
Perhaps you need a shoulder to cry on?
I’d be happy to provide

The Truth About The Daily Mail

October 5, 2013 1 comment

So, those wacky chaps at the Daily Mail are at it again. For no apparent reason, they’ve decided to launch an attack on Ralph Milliband, former writer and activist, and father to the current Labour leader, Ed Milliband. He also died in 1994, so any attack on his views seems a little late to the party and perhaps a little unfair. It’s all very odd.

The Mail claims that Ralph Milliband was a man that “hated Britain”, simply because he held socialist views and had often criticised certain British institutions and how they operated. As someone who also likes to criticise certain British institutions, I am here to announce that I too hate Britain. The Queen once looked at me funny in a pub and I’ve held a grudge ever since.

Or maybe that’s just nonsense. But then again, a few weeks back I came to the conclusion that the Daily Mail was steadily turning into a form of Onion-style satire, posting completely ludicrous stories that showed insane leaps of logic and obvious hypocrisy in an attempt to trick people into thinking it was real news.

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Gaming Wednesday: New Favourite Character

October 3, 2013 3 comments

I finally bought Ni No Kuni a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been playing a lot of it recently. For those who don’t know, it’s a collaboration between esteemed developers Level-5 (perhaps best known for the Professor Layton franchise) and the beloved animation studio, Studio Ghibli (best known for their movies Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke).

In the game, you play as Oliver, a small boy who gets sucked into a magical world following the death of his mother. Throughout the game, you learn magic, you capture familiars in a mechanic that isn’t at all a straight rip-off of Pokémon (how dare you suggest such a thing!), and generally travel a vast expansive world filled with weird and wonderful characters.

I bought it because of the Ghibli angle, and it was worth it, since it’s an easy to pick up, hard to master, adorably weird monster of a game that I want to play forever.

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