Rose Tattoo – Dropkick Murphys

I’ve always loved the Dropkick Murphys, but they fell off my radar the last year or so because I didn’t have time to catch up with my bands. Thankfully, as all music lovers (of many genres) will know, love for bands comes in ebbs and tides, but never really leaves you. Well DKM, I’m back, baby and now I really want a DKM tattoo.

Fun fact: The song we played at our wedding ceremony was Peg O’ My Heart by Dropkicks with some The Boss featured. Suited us to a T.

I ran across this song last night (totally missed the new album, fail) when looking for new music, and lo’, a whole new album at my disposal! Additionally, the song Rose Tattoo spoke to me, man, like, fucking SPOKE to me.

As some/all/none may know, I have been a tattoo fiend since I was 10 years old. Always wanted them, always drew on myself, and to the chagrin of my parents, got tattoos as soon as I was legally able. My tattoos represent my life, my story, my past, my personality, my heartbreak and my success. I was thinking about doing a series on my tattoos on this blog, and now I definitely need to.

I present, Rose Tattoo annotated with a couple of my tattoos here and there to show relevance. Can’t describe it all though.

The pictures tell the story
This life has many shades
I’d wake up every morning and before I’d start each day
I’d take a drag from last nights cigarette
That smoldered in it’s tray
Down a little something and then be on my way
I traveled far and wide
And laid this head in many ports
I was guided by a compass
I saw beauty to the north
I drew the tales of many lives
And wore the faces of my own
I had these memories all around me
So I wouldn’t be alone

Some may be from showing up
Others are from growing up
Sometimes I was so messed up and didn’t have a clue
I ain’t winning no one over
I wear it just for you
I’ve got your name written here
In a rose tattoo

This ones for the mighty sea

Mischief, gold and piracy

This ones for the man that raised me
Taught me sacrifice and braverypatronusThis ones for our favorite game
Black and gold, we wave the flag
This ones for my family name
With pride I wear it to the gravefamily_crest

Some may be from showing up
Others are from growing up
Sometimes I was so messed up and didn’t have a clue
I ain’t winning no one over
I wear it just for you
I’ve got your name written here
In a rose tattoo


This one means the most to me

Stays here for eternity

A ship that always stays the course
An anchor for my every choice
A rose that shines down from above
I signed and sealed these words in blood
I heard them once, sung in a song
It played again and we sang along

You’ll always be there with me
Even if you’re gonephoenixYou’ll always have my love
Our memory will live on

Some may be from showing up
Others are from growing up
Sometimes I was so messed up and didn’t have a clue
I ain’t winning no one over
I wear it just for you
I’ve got your name written here

In a rose tattoo

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5 Things Challenge

I always tell myself to blog more, but can never find time, which I guess is the difference between a good blogger and a bad blogger, but whatever. Anyway, I stumbled on my friend’s blog From the Crow’s Beak where she had this 5 Things Challenge which was fun to read and a great way to catch up since we have not spoken in so long. Anyway, without further ado, here’s mine:

5 Things I Need Every Day

  1. Noise. Usually in the form of music or background television. I do not function well or concentrate in silence. Gods bless Netflix autoplay and portable music devices and headphones. Genius.
  2. My husband. He always makes me laugh; not just puts up, but loves me for my emotions; makes me wonderful food and supports me as an extension of himself.
    Troy-Community-EmotionsHe’s also pretty much the love-child of Philip J Fry and Ron Swanson. Think about that for a second.
  3. Food. I love food. All food.
  4. A laugh. Again, my emotions are strong ones, and a good laugh can cure most ills.
  5. A good pub. I don’t need to sit in one every day, I just need to know it is there waiting for me.

5 Books I Recommend

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Thoughtful and timeless. Gothic elements and a Byronic hero. Need we ask for anything more?
  2. Bossypants by Tina Fey. I was lizzing myself in the pub reading this. Also great advice on being a woman in a male-dominated profession. Very real, very relate-able and very very funny. lizzing
  3. World War Z by Max Brooks. Do NOT see the film. This book is unbelievably smart and thoughtful, especially if you have read real historical accounts of war.
  4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It had been years since I was unable to put down a book and had to make time in my day to read it. Regardless of the rest of the trilogy, this first book is genius. It also gave me very weird dreams.
  5. The Iron King by Maurice Druon. Historical fiction and obvious (and confirmed) inspiration for Game of Thrones. Puts George RR Martin to shame. Must read.

5 Materialistic Wishes for Christmas

  1. No more student loans. Please? Someone clear them? Please?
  2. A voucher for unlimited tattoos. I’m long overdue for my next one and have the itch. Please?
  3. A full 88-key weighted digital keyboard. I miss playing the piano.
  4. A pint with Simon Pegg
  5. A vacation home with free travel in Glasgow. I miss it there so much. Glasgow, the Highlands and the Scottish people are so much in my soul and who I am.


    Clanadonia on Buchanan Street

…this makes it seem that Christmas will be really disappointing, but really I’m happy with a new video game!

5 Places I Want to Visit – I’m interpreting this as ‘never been’ and not ‘places I miss’

  1. Islay. I’m sad I never did a whisky round of Islay when I was so near.
  2. Tibet. Always has held a fascination for me and I would love to see it.
  3. New Zealand. I have a feeling I would love the people and culture.
  4. China. To see any remnants of ancient China.
  5. Japan. I would love to do a foodie exploration of Japan.ramen

5 Adjectives That Describe Me

  1. Happy
  2. Adventurous
  3. People-oriented
  4. Obsessive
  5. Quixotic

5 Things I Have To Say To People About Life

  1. The best thing I ever heard about marriage (or long-term romantic partnerships in general) which really stuck with me is that a partnership as such requires a balance three things: lust, laughter and loyalty. And in that order. A partnership can survive on loyalty alone, but eventually will require more, and you cannot get back to lust without laughter first. So many people attempt to ‘bring the romance back’ when things are tough, but really, just watch or do something you both find funny.

    Our favourite thing to watch when life gets too hard.

    Our favourite thing to watch when life gets too hard.

  2. Don’t be afraid. I am not saying there aren’t things that frighten me, but too much of life is spent fretting over how something will turn out. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Moving to Scotland, totally alone, was completely terrifying, but I made the leap, and it wasn’t easy, but I stuck through.
  3. Travelling the world is the best way to learn about yourself and where you fit in. It can be intimidating to enter a new culture, but if you really push for it, it will be completely worth it.
  4. Love yourself. I am working so hard to eliminate all destructive and negative thoughts about who I am and how I look. Just being conscious of your thoughts and how you talk about yourself can really make a difference.
  5. Laugh and dance more. Can’t hurt.


Tag! You’re it…

Hmm, will have to think about this. I usually just follow foodie blogs. Stay tuned.

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Star Trek Into Darkness Review – SPOILERS

Well, it’s finally out. I have restrained from posting this until the film was out in the United States, but it has been SO hard to keep from talking about it!

That said, spoilers are obviously going to follow.

Proceed with caution! You have been warned

Proceed with caution! You have been warned

Hopefully all who are left are ones who have seen it. Ready? Here we go.

When I first heard about this films and rumours started spreading that the villain was Khan, part of me was disappointed. I did not want to accept that. How could you dare remake Wrath of Khan?! It is pretty much one of the greatest science fiction films ever, and yes, I still cry at the ending, but I have an unhealthy devotion to Spock. So I felt that trying to remake this wonderful film would undo all of the reverence and respect and fun from the first outing of the new crew.

Oh, how wrong was I.

First of all, I was clearly blind to Benedict Cumberbatch being Khan. If you had to pick one actor to play a genetically altered superhuman, surely Benedict Cumberbatch fits the bill. Duh doi. [I should mention, I do not watch Sherlock and this is the first proper outing of Cumberbatch I’ve seen. I was impressed].

Second, as soon as it was revealed that we were facing Khan, part of my brain was like ‘Oh shit, they’re going to try and do Khhhaaaaaaaaaan!’ and it’ll be awkward and horrible, because while Wrath of Khan started it, it’s surely one of the most parodied and mocked moments in film, ever. How on earth were they going to do it well? Again, my fears were unfounded, but more on that later.

The reveal of Harrison/Khan at the beginning of the film was fantastic, and it’s clear why the makers of this film put so much hype on who Cumberbatch was playing. They did this on purpose, because if they hadn’t, that moment when the man asks ‘Who are you?’ and they zoom in on Cumberbatch would have felt a bit flat and pointless, but I found myself involuntarily leaning towards the screen with anticipation only to be rejected.

Additionally, I was pleased to see all of the callbacks to the Original Series. Recognising Christine Chapel was a particularly proud moment for me. I loved the ‘new’ Klingons, with totally badass bat’leths and it was great seeing Uhura do some translating (love me some Klingonese).



  • The plot. Nice twists, cool characters and great villain(s)… seriously, skull crushing was amazing.
  • The cast. Great to see them all back and being their badass selves.
  • Leonard Nimoy cameo. Though they’re treading the line, if he’s in the next one, he has to be in ALL OF THEM
  • Khan as the villain. Said before, I was sceptical of how it would work. Totally did.
  • Chris Pine’s morph into Shatner. Seriously, how uncanny was it? Kudos for that extra little jowliness Mr Pine; it worked well.
  • The dialogue: “Wait, are you and Spock fighting? What is that even LIKE?”
  • The alternate universe switcheroo. Fantastic.
  • Everything. If I keep going, I will not get any work done today


  • Carol Marcus in her bra and pants. Totally threw me out of my happy Star Trek Universe with a resounding, What. The. Fuck?! It just was jarring.


9.9/10 – though I was always going to give it at least 7. I am just impressed with Khan and the alternate story line and the respect they continue to give to the Original Series.

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I’m a Voice Talent! [Magnetic Rose dub]

Those of you who know me, know that my dream job, of all time, ever, since I was 5 years old, is to be a voice talent/actor. How I went from that to being a researcher in Astrophysics, who knows.

Anyway, voice acting is still something that interests me and I decided to start auditioning for amateur roles after my PhD finished. Here’s my first proper role, enjoy!

This is a short film, Magnetic Rose, part of the Memories film which has not had an English dub (until now!). I play Eva. Full credits are given in the film so I will not replicate them here, but the experience was a joy.

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Review of Star Trek: The Game

Spoilers for the Star Trek game below. I don’t focus as much on the story, but there are some discussions. Avoid if you so mind.

A while back I posted about how excited I was to play the new Star Trek game. It was released a few weeks ago and my husband and I started playing it straight away!

Overall, a fun romp, shall we say? We have been looking for more co-op action games that aren’t strictly FPS, and throwing Star Trek in the mix makes it all the more enjoyable! However, this does make me slightly biased in the review.


  • The story. The Gorn make excellent villains, and nothing like this: gorn  They are sturdy, fast and powerful, and creepy at times. Fighting them in various environs is gripping and fun… leading me to:
  • The environments. Fighting on planets, base stations, star ships, etc. They are rarely repetitive and keep the game exciting
  • The co-operative gameplay, but this goes in both categories, so I’ll get to that later
  • The graphics. These were sharp and decent, with appropriate likeliness for each characters. I would give the graphics about 3.5/5, but I was pleased with it
  • The sound. Crisp, good soundtrack, adding but not detracting from the action. I never much pay attention to it, but I do notice it if it’s bad, which this wasn’t.
  • The difficulty settings. Many options and each were appropriate. I like the ‘Easy’ setting, because I’m not as seasoned of an action player and I want to enjoy the story without getting frustrated
  • The special achievements. As a Star Trek fan, these were great, like stunning and not killing possessed Vulcans, or finding an alternative route. It added a little extra difficulty and optional challenge to the game which was good fun


  • The co-op gameplay – will get to below
  • The constant action. Okay okay, I’m playing an action game, so fair dos, but the Enterprise and the other space stations were so cool I wanted to have a bit of time walking around and doing menial things, just to calm down and enjoy the game, but I’m an RPGer. There was some good stealth stuff on the Gorn planet which I did enjoy (I like my sniper rifles🙂 )
  • The space battles, but a lot of this was due to the co-op.

The Co-operative Gameplay

Right, so one of the reasons we bought this game (and as I have mentioned many times) is that my husband and I are both gamers, but with a venn diagram of interests, with RPG and some action being in the middle. We are both massive Star Trek fans as well, so this was a perfect game for us. Here are some thoughts on the co-op:

  • The so-called ‘drop-in/drop-out’ co-op format. LIES!! During the space battle, we thought we would try doing one player (will mention below) so I ‘dropped out’ of the game. In short, it frakked everything up. For me to join again, we both had to leave the game, re-sign in to XBOX Live, and I had to join again. Basically, you have to start from the recent autosave, so if you try this, make sure you advance to the next chapter before quitting the game and restarting with two people or the point is lost. Also if you drop out of the game and join again, you lose all XP and upgrades and start from zero. That was a bit frustrating because we had been balancing our upgrades as we went and I had to start over
  • The Spock/Kirk difference. Really, there wasn’t much of a difference that we noticed, but you can upgrade your tricorder, etc in the manner of what you think your character would and provide a balance. However, there was one swimming portion which was incredibly frustrating as Spock has significantly better visuals then Kirk, who can barely see underwater and who died a few times.
  • The split-screen. We played this on the XBOX on a 32″ flat screen. The screen is split above and below, and generally there weren’t any issues, but the space-battle was nearly impossible as neither of us could see incoming missiles in time to defend. Again, this may have been down to a skill and would just take practise, but it was just a bit frustrating.
  • The actual co-operative moments. There are a few times in the game where you really do need to work co-operatively and these were incredibly enjoyable. Two off the top of my head were on the Gorn planet, one of us had to sneak around to extend the other side of the bridge and the other had to stand at the first side of the bridge and use the sniper rifle to aid your partner. The second was quick, but one person got injured and the other had to carry them to the medical table and fix their leg while the other had to fight off the incoming Gorn.
  • Another co-op moment which was more on the frustrating side was some of the hacking, but we eventually figured it out and it was okay to do


Played two-player on the XBOX 360 on a 32″ flatscreen TV

Rating: 8/10 – though consideration should be given that I am a total Star Trek fan so I was always going to give it at least 5/10

The co-op isn’t what they advertised, but it is rich and fun. I am not sure what it would be like to play one-player, but I think you would be missing out.

What did you all think?


Don’t get me wrong, love the new guys, but these two just fill me with happiness and nostalgia

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Welcome to Quarks!

My office needed a new sign, especially to identify it to my students, so this is what I made. Thankfully, I have awesome office-mates, and students should have no problem identifying my door now! Click to appreciate the full beauty:


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Anticipation of Star Trek (the game)

Just preordered Star Trek for XBOX 360, super excited! Got asked if my husband was looking forward to it, but I calmly said that we both are and then discussed the merits of Voyager and at what season DS9 gets awesome.

My gaming style is more RPG, turn-based, strategy, and the most actiony I play is Mass Effect. That of course does not count the years playing FPS such as Goldeneye and Halo 4 vs 4 in my friend’s basement on LAN connected CRT TVs, but these days I prefer more RPG-style games.

That said, I’m really looking forward to this game because I LOVE Star Trek*, hate MMOs and I can play it cooperatively with my husband. Of course he’ll be playing the stealthy Spock and I’ll be the action heavy Kirk. I wish I could play stealthy characters like rangers but since Dragon Age, I learned quickly I function a lot better as a warrior-style soldier.

Anyway, super excited about the game, assumptions about me not being the one excited about it notwithstanding (awkward sentence alert!) and you can bet I will be talking about it here next weekend.

*Saying I love Star Trek doesn’t even begin to describe the vast fields of love I feel for this wonderful franchise and all the happiness it has brought me.

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