freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
I seem to be vanishing into myself in strange and alarming ways just at present, so herewith a Resolution to resume the meeping into the void which constitutes my blogging activities: perhaps, if I write, I will persuade myself that I exist. I do not like the twilight limbo occasioned by my continuing, repulsed and miserable desire to flee my job, and by the identity-crisis-induced helpless inaction which that desire generates in the absence of any immediately obvious alternatives. It's a shadowy, liminal hellscape, and I'm a shadow in it. On the other hand, I lost myself in my own ten-year-old blog posts for half an hour a few days ago, looking for a book reference, and it made me feel more real than I have in months. Words, it turns out, when they are my words and I have wrought them to my will, flood the shadow space with light: they give me a sense of identity. Thus blogging again. Go, little words! construct me!

Also, the blog dive reminded me of the Bunny. Remember the Bunny, and the anvil doom which ended his miserable twee existence? I remember it fondly.

I have, in the last few months, negotiated two massive and prolongued doses of 'flu, with added sinus infection and glandular wossname, and am still very tired, which may be implicated in the sense of vanishing. I am also stressed, because my small Jyn kitty picked up an abscess while I was away last weekend but one, and I didn't find the Suspicious Lump until Tuesday night. I made a vet appointment the next morning, but by the time I took her in on Wednesday afternoon, the horrible thing had ballooned to about three times its size, and had to be lanced, mere antibiotics no longer being sufficient. She has a giant shaved patch and interesting drains and things (man, feline healing is weirdly fast, and occasions strange workarounds) and has been bleeding gently on pale surfaces for the last week. She recovered very quickly after the op, and was almost immediately full of beans again, to an extent which made me realise how horrible she must have been feeling; I'd put the subdued affect down to Feline Displeasure at my absence. But I used to suffer from recurrent abscesses as a kid, I know only too well the enormous, incredible relief of having the damned thing dealt with, both in reduction of pain and pressure, and in the recovery from the general nausea and an infection causes. I feel her. Poor Jinian. Also, being me, I feel horribly guilty that I didn't pick it up immediately, before it got to the point of needing lancing. Cat owner fail.

Pandora is being quite kind to her, which is nice. Proof of a photographic nature (Jyn's wound is on her neck behind her right ear, and thus allows a pleasing illusion of wholeness):


In parenthesis: it is my almost invariable habit to sign all of my emails, other than the most absolutely formal ones to Big Cheeses, "jt" - my initials, in lower case. I've done this for years, at least as long as I've had this job. It occurs to me, in the context of vanishing, that this is a self-minimising technique. Little lower case me. Unassuming, and unlikely to infringe on anyone's space. It figures.
freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
For once I have remembered to note that it's my blog's birthday. I first posted on 31st January 2005. That's nine years of blogging. 1 657 entries, counting this one. That's one every 1.98 days, if the weather hasn't robbed me of my tiny vestiges of mathematical ability. People have posted 10 732 comments. The longest hiatus in posting has been the ten days or so in July 2011 while I was in hospital with my feet exploded. I think it's fair to assume that I quite like writing stuff, for some reason. Or am actually addicted to words. Or uncommonly cussed. Probably all three.

Cape Town is having heatwaves. I think it's almost allowed to, usually they come in February and that's ... in a few hours, now. (Alas January. I'm sure there was something else I was planning to do with you, but oh well). Be that as it may, today was ungodly, stinking, improbable hot. This is something of a continuing theme: this weekend the foot pedal on my sewing machine inconveniently burst into smoke and melted plastic in the middle of a skirt reconstruction, so possibly Hell is closer to the surface than usual. I spent the only tolerable hour or two this afternoon sitting in the living room (in the middle of a power cut, for some reason - Capetonians, turn off your aircon. It isn't fair that you have it when I don't) with my feet in a bucket of water and ice. Turns out this reduces my swollen ankles immediately and dramatically, which is useful, as the combination of heat and running round conducting orientation for four days gives me puffy feet like whoa and dammit. I can't even blame the DVT, they used to do this while I was running roleplaying cons and SCA events, years before my leg inconveniently exploded on the way to Australia. I don't like this weather. Have you noticed?

Fortunately, given the heat, the Revenge of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Army of Reconstruction has finished the remodelling of the front wall and departed for points unknown, which means we don't have to deal with dust as well as heat in that sort of misguided fake Western movie fashion. They have left behind a rather spanky carport and pristine section of new wall in addition to the traditional blasted heath which always attends their efforts. Viz.:


I thumb my nose in the general direction of the hadeda aerial bombardment of my car, now frustrated. Hah!

I know "I'll stop the world" from Nouvelle Vague, for whom I have a somewhat unbecoming passion quite apart from their bossa nova version of this song, which has an insidiously beautiful lyric line. I do vaguely know the Modern English original (quite a fun music video, despite o lord the 80s), but it's not a patch on the cover.
freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
Bugger, I forgot to go back and do the May attribution thing. Excelsior!

  • 2nd May, "it's not about what you love, it's about how you love it". Quoting Wil Wheaton on being a geek, from a response at a Q&A (linked from that post). The man is very sane.
  • 5th May, "the same old painted lady". The Mandatory David Bowie Quote, this one from "Song for Bob Dylan", slightly mis-applied because I was talking about wearing make-up. You know, I'd never realised until I looked properly at those lyrics how involuted the imagery is. "Here she comes again / The same old painted lady / From the brow of a super brain..." The image is actually Athena (wisdom) emerging from the brain of Zeus, but the song snarls up the ideas so you're not sure if the painted lady is actually Dylan's wisdom, or if she's some sort of harpy-like figure to be vanquished by his songs. Typical Bowie flow--of-consciousness, in fact.
  • 8th May, "I'd much rather have a mansion in the hills". Crowded House, "A mansion in the slums". Somewhere round the third verse they stop trying to differentiate between a caravan in the hills and a mansion in the slums, and decide they'd rather have it all. Word.
  • 13th May, "the stars look very different today". Bonus Mandatory David Bowie Quote, this time clearly from "Space Oddity", appropriately enough since I was talking about Chris Hadfield covering "Space Oddity" from the International Space Station, and yes, it bloody still makes me weepy.
  • 24th May, "you may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air". T.S. Eliot, "Macavity, the Mystery Cat", from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. You should have recognised that one. And not because of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
  • 28th May, "one day will flash and send you crashing through the ceiling". From "Thank heavens for little girls", jolly old Lerner and Loewe, originating in Gigi, but I think I probably know the Perry Como version, FSM knows from what source. The aether, perhaps.
  • 30th May, "what she says is all right by me, I kinda like that style". Talking Heads, "The lady don't mind", and if you're anything like me the mere reading of this sentence will have infallibly ear-wormed you with the song in question, which will resist all exorcism for upwards of a week. Catchy little bugger.
This should be the last ever Giant Attribution Post, on account of how I've started footnoting posts with an attribution for the subject line, just because. It's remotely possible that my academia may be showing.

In other news:

I write like
Ray Bradbury

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

I am deeply flattered.

Cat Valente, on the other hand, writes always and only like Cat Valente. The Shoot-Out at Burnt Corn Ranch Over the Bride of the World is a sort of weird mythic western thing which causes me love and despair and illuminating pain, like a crowbar inserted to the head and twisted. Read it and weep. (My subject line is her penultimate sentence, which I steal because, in its precise moment and context, it's perfect in the way that Mozart is perfect).
freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
This month is inching along at maddened inchworm speeds, now, given the date, with added fireworks. I am horribly behind in The Department of Intellectual Debt Acknowledgement. Before I do that, however, a brief service announcement.

LJ has experienced a completely ridiculous upsurge in spam levels in the last week or so. I am thoroughly bored by having to delete all these stupid, illiterate ads for far-fetched and unlikely products, although the essentially random re-introduction to all my own deathless prose over about eight years is ... illuminating. A quick survey of the comments stats for the blog reveals that very few actual real live humans post anonymously to this blog, and when they do, a good proportion of them are people who actually do have logins and are simply not using them in the interests of hassle-reduction. I am thus, out of concern for my own sanity and the desire to avoid the inevitable karmic backlash from all the Evil Thoughts I keep having about spammers, going to switch the blog to login-only commenting. With apologies for those of you for whom it's a pain. If someone finds a spray repellent or handy orbital nuke that actually eradicates spam-cockroaches, I'll open the comments up again as a gesture of solidarity for the anonymous.

Right, October! A month of weeks.

  • 1st: simply panders to my random love for the thoroughly wonderful phrase "in hock", which is slang for being in debt or, more specifically, having all one's belongings in pawn. It's such a lovely word, hock. Solid and faintly unlikely. The OED seems to think it's from the Dutch hok, "hovel, hutch or prison", and it has lovely resonances with card games, specifically faro, staking everything on the turn of a card and losing.
  • 2nd: Wordsworth, "Tintern Abbey". The Lake District appears to have colonised me good and proper with mad Romantic yens.
  • 3rd: not a quote. I am contractually obligated to occasionally be original in subject lines. It's in the Blogger's Code.
  • 7th: Douglas Adams. A quote from actual Vogon poetry, by Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz. I blush to admit a careless misattribution in a previous month: the poetic collection My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles by Grunthos the Flatulent (referenced on 11th September) is not, of course, Vogon poetry, but was the work of the poetmaster of the Azgoths of Kria, perpetrators of the second worst poetry in the universe. I apologise for this unaccountable slip, while remaining staunch in my belief that being hooptiously drangled with crinkly bindlewurdles is really the only description which adequately expresses the pain and despair occasioned by the particular batch of essays I was marking.
  • 11th: as any phule kno, "arkle" is the noise of faint concern made by baby gargoyles, circa Sandman, "Preludes and Nocturnes", the bit with Cain and Abel.
  • 12th: a phrase from Avengers slashfic by scifigr147, specifically Clint trying to negotiate with a sentient toaster which hates sesame seeds and is refusing to toast him a bagel.
  • 15th: the second line of "Me and Bobby McGee". If this mention puts that wretched song back on my brain again I may actually give up this attribution thing entirely, because good grief.
  • 17th: more Hitch-Hiker's Guide, here Arthur Dent. The quote about never being able to get the hang of Thursdays was on a Wednesday post in which I was complaining about thinking it was Tuesday. It seemed appropriate.
  • 18th: I must cop to quoting that sappy and irritating Coke jingle from way back in my childhood. I have, for some reason, very vivid memories of hearing that song on the radio practically endlessly, both in its jingle incarnation and in the subsequent actual chart-topping version. Even given the delay in things hitting rural Zimbabwe and its probable subsequent media lifespan this is quite an impressive feat of memory, I was two years old when the song charted.
  • 23rd: the deliriously apposite I-hate-work title of the song by Belle & Sebastian.
  • 25th: I am, of course, quoting the hero of Canton, the man they called Jayne, from the episode "Jaynestown". He's wrangling with Mal about the statue.
  • 27th: Velvet Underground.

intellectual hock

Monday, 1 October 2012 06:25 pm
freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
'Tis the first of the month. The regularity with which that happens, month after month, is simply distressing. Or reassuring. One or the other. Possibly both. I've been teaching seminars on vampires and gothic and marginal indeterminacy all afternoon (it's alive! it's dead! it's attractive! it's repulsive! it's real! it's not!), and may consequently be a little more vague than usual. While conversely being thoroughly buzzed from teaching, of course. (To a rather reduced class: warning, there seems to be a nasty gastric bug doing the rounds, at least four of my students were missing, following plaintive emails on the how Laid Low they were. Concerned citizens may wish to refrain from breathing for a bit.)

October is possibly allowed because it's the month in which Catherynne Valente's second Fairyland novel is released (hooray)! (You can catch the first five chapters on, and I suggest you do). Be that as it may, the month is definitely here and I should pay my intellectual debts. In the merry month of September I have unceremoniously nicked quotes for subject lines as follows:

  • 3rd September: bittersweet leaving gestures from the Magnetic Fields, from "Sunset City", off The Charm of the Highway Strip, which I always think is my least favourite album of theirs until I actually listen to it again. I should also add for posterity that the song's wherever-I-lay-my-hat creed is absolutely antithetical to my personal philosophy, lifestyle choices and the depth of my Cape Town rootedness, and any coincidence was purely temporary and the result of maddened academic globe-trotting.
  • 5th September: as any fule kno, I am quoting T.S. Eliot, specifically The Waste Land, in a rare and futile gesture towards academic street cred. (I'm actually extremely enamoured of the poem, which is weird and elliptical and full to the brim with dodgy Grail imagery and also imprinted me extremely firmly in first-year English classes).
  • 8th September: this has passed into the proverbial, in a slightly cynical and world-weary usage I associate, for some reason, with the 1940s. Google has no idea. Sigh.
  • 11th September: Vogon poetry. The title of the multiple-book epic by Grunthos the Flatulent, who was, IIRC, the one whose own lower intestine strangled him rather than hear him recite.
  • 19th September: Tennyson, "Mariana", the lady who sits in her rotting moated grange with bats and tears and what have you, and bewails the non-arrival of someone or other, and which is quite one of the most self-consciously Goth effusions of all time. It's incidentally also probably an extremely valid and literal depiction of depression. Also, I seem to be having a very poetic quote month.
  • 25th September: a lame pun for which I decline to apologise.
  • 26th September: the Bee Gees. Again, without shame.
  • 28th September: a lame pun on the title of the Everly Brothers song. If it's any consolation, I thereby thoroughly earwormed myself with the damned thing, which is still circling aimlessly through my cerebellum in an incomplete and fragmented state.
So now you know.
freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
I seem to be going through a stage of oh-god-I'm-tired-and-I-hate-work. The important thing with this, I've realised, is the focus on "going through a stage". This is a phase. It too shall pass: the brain chemistry or the hormones or the sleep cycle will re-synch, motivation will wake up from its cave, and life will be liveable again. It will probably pass more quickly if I eat chocolate, hit a lot of niskaru very hard with a prismire sword (yup, replaying Amalur), and browse the internet for interesting kipple.

But I've also realised that the nub, the locus, the emblematic pivot of the state is my bloody inbox. The email inbox is the curse of the modern age. It's particularly pernicious, because in the abstract I rather like words, I write with a great deal of facility, I'm murderously fast touch-typing on a computer keyboard, and at base I rather enjoy the sense of achievement that comes from answering all a student's possible questions ever and spreading sweetness and light in three short, pointed sentences and a link. But the damned things keep coming. The end of term is in sight, and I'm seeing probably fifteen or twenty queries a day about admissions, incoming exam angst, course-dropping and the generalised existential panic which is the default state of the student under stress. No matter how torrid my love affair with words and how boundless my sympathy for the common or garden student in its natural habitat, there comes a point where typing another sentence is not something into which I spring with glad cries.

My backlog of unanswered mail goes back three weeks. It'll take a day of intense focus to clear them all. And clearing a backlog is not without its own horrors, mostly due to my dual overabundance of empathy and guilt, as a result of which I read a month-old plaintive plea for help and immediately feel like the Worst Person Evah for not having answered immediately to put this poor fellow creature out of their pain. Because the reality is that, while to me the individual mail is merely one of a shoal of its fellows which circle my hapless form nibbling like goldfish (some of which are piranha because it's All My Fault), to the writer it's a huge chunk of concern and fear which occupies their personal horizon like a stormcloud of doom. I have the power to make it go away. I haven't exercised that power because I'm tired, or busy, or overwhelmed, or cruising the internet, or they asked me to "kindly" answer at once. I am a Bad Person. There will be coal in my stocking.

This is thus, like the majority of blog posts in the history of ever, not a post so much as it's an avoidance, a bizarrely counter-intuitive retreat from text into text as I try to reassert my ownership of, and investment in, the process of writing. In this act I insist that writing is not always about someone else: sometimes it's about me. I wave my tiny flag defiantly. It's been scribbled on extensively. It's distracting me from my bloody inbox.

I also bring you the results of the aforementioned internet-cruising. I stumbled across this old but kick-butt series of posts on The Awl, about women and power in the images of geekdom and sf. Bits that struck me: killer robots are women, or, perhaps, women are killer robots. "They're servants that won't serve, beings that we let into our homes because we thought they'd regard us as their superiors, whose compliance we took for granted until it vanished." It does explain the backlash. Also, a love song to Ripley and Buffy and River Tam, women who fight back. And feminist utopias: "Speculative fiction is sociology's dream journal; nerds want a place to belong; on the Enterprise, nobody cares if you're into space travel." That last statement made me strangely happy.
freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
Hooray! I am back in the familiar embrace of Winona, with all my logins automatic, instead of having to type the wretched things in manually on my mother's computer. I miss my own virtual space. I am also much in favour of Virgin trains, which are currently trundling me happily towards Euston with a power point and a table for Winona and easily-accessible internets, with no greater drawbacks than occasional fainting fits in the wireless connection, and a slight tendency to double-type when we go over a bump. Ain't the future wonderful.

I had a truly lovely week in Sedbergh with my lovely mother, and have now sadly left her to her pre-term preparations for the 71 teenage girls who descend on Wednesday. My mental image is of her manning the bunkers wearing an army helmet and an expression of grim determination. She does, however, send love to any of you lot who are acquainted with her.

It is also the start of another month, which is (a) terrifying on account of how the year is doing that acceleration thing, (b) means I missed [ profile] wolverine_nun's spanky birthday party on Saturday, woe, and (c) obligated me to pay my intellectual debts. Unsuspecting sources from whom my subject lines have ruthlessly nicked euphonious words over the month of August are as follows:

  • 1st August: one of the more crescendo-to-silly bits of the Arithmetic Song from the Doctor Seuss Song Book, a copy of which I joyously possess. It's actually surprisingly atonal and tricky music to play, but the inherent insanity of the lyrics makes me very happy.
  • 6th August: the Obligatory David Bowie quote, here, of course, from "Life on Mars" in rather nicely layered commentary on Curiosity's perfect landing. The ineffable satisfaction with which a quote clicks into place on several levels simultaneously is... well, ineffable.
  • 10th August: Charles Dickens, the opening Chancery bit from Bleak House, in which he is sustainedly and beautifully rude about lawyers.
  • 14th August: you should have spotted this one - pretty much my statement of weather-related creed from "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head", which was written for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid by one of the world's great song-writing duos, Burt Baccharach and Hal David. Those guys wrote great music, particularly for piano rendition. Hal David, by an unpleasant co-incidence, died a couple of days ago.
  • 19th August: a somewhat prescient reference to The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, since, while I have neither seen nor read the work concerned, I have spent the last week rather dementedly catching up on my YA girly literature from the library in the boarding house. This has involved a slightly gruesome amount of paranormal romance in addition to teen fantasy and a bucketload of Meg Cabot. Meg Cabot is fun - funny, acute and surprisingly well written. As a bonus, scientific experimentation suggests I can whack through a Cabot novel in about an hour and a half, which means that the total number of books I've read in the last week is... *counts on fingers* ... somewhere slightly in excess of fifteen. I feel much more frivolous now.
  • 20th August: a horrible pun mashing up the conference venue with the sort of agony-column state I was in after completely screwing up that first conference paper. My second paper is much shorter and more ruthlessly shaped, and I am poised to watch myself like a hawk for unnecessary elaboration.
  • 23rd August: dear Bilbo, slightly drunkenly at his birthday party, quoted in mitigation of the slightly drunken ability of a select cohort of academics to correctly remember the quote at the after-party.
  • 30th August: William Wordsworth, naturally, from "The Prelude". Sticking a pin randomly into "The Prelude" at almost any point will yield a quote useful for heading posts about sight-seeing in the Lake District.
I'm in London for a couple of days, crashing with [ profile] egadfly, and lunching with various peoples who are being very kind about my feeble flutterings at the idea of navigating London with a giant suitcase in tow. I go through to Kingston for the conference on Wednesday, and then head back to CT on Sunday. I feel very globe-trottery.
freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
There's been a big red ABSA poster up in my corridor for two weeks, advertising some sort of graduate development programme. It has a little mathematical conundrum on it, which reads as follows:


This bugged me for a couple of days, as I dashed madly past it in Hellweek flurries, and eventually I stopped and looked at it properly. 9+7 in this context probably equals 144, but I'm curious - is this a strange and random ABSA pattern-recognition game, or some sort of recognised mathematical procedure with a label of its own? I'm thinking the former, mainly because it apparently works with my vaguely organic pattern-recognition brain. Structuralist study of narrative does weird things to the pattern recognition.

Apparently the cosmic reward of being determinedly and successfully nice to students all last week (only one slight slip-up in the last few hours of Friday) is that I'm grumpy as hell this week. Then again, this week they're trying to do stupid, illegal things which show they haven't read the notices. I am becoming progressively more crone-like and codgerish about non-notice-reading gazelles.

And, in other news, it's August! aargh! I still have to finish two papers in less than three weeks, although I do pretty much know what I want to say and how I want to say it, which helps. However, a new month also means the monthly assault on another prevalent vice, namely unmarked quotation.

  • 4th July: I am quoting, of course, "As time goes by", which will now proceed to ear-worm me for a couple of days and give me a random, rootless desire to re-watch Casablanca. Than which, I suppose, there are worse things. I woke up this morning with A-ha's "Take on me" on the brain, for no adequately defined reason, so I should count my blessings. Anyway, it was also an egregious but slightly lateral pun on both the passage of time and fundamental particles, since I was burbling about the Higgs boson at the time. (Absolutely the best and most definitive response to the Higgs boson is, of course, from Scenes from a Multiverse. Of course they're conspiring. With cigarettes dangling out the corners of their mouths.)
  • 9th July. As any fule kno, this is a quote from the Mutant Enemy zombie logo at the end of Joss Whedon productions, and anyone who didn't recognise it should be properly ashamed. Ashamed, I say! *waves unreasonable geeky fangirl flag with unrepentant chauvinism*
  • 13th July. I have no idea what I was doing here, other than conflating Joss Whedon randomly with incense. Why, I can't say. I don't like incense.
  • 15th July. I wish I could say I was quoting Walt Whitman, but in fact I'm quoting Robin Williams in, of course, Dead Poet's Society, and once more I cannot say why, I can't stand the film. While being, of course, one hundred percent behind the idea of captains. Notwithstanding which, there seems to be a certain level of masochism in this month's subject line choices.
  • 18th July. This one was for [ profile] wolverine_nun, who knows as well as I do that this comes from Flanders and Swann, "The Gasman Cometh", and I have no doubt that a select but gratifying number of you also recognised it. I couldn't give tuppence for all of the rest.
  • 23rd July. We used to play and sing this in guitar club at school - mountain folk song about the miner's life, which is insanely catchy and which I suspect I've quoted before. Both the Tennessee Ernie Ford and the Johnny Cash versions are jauntier than I remember it being, we tended to sing it a bit more like a dirge. Well, obviously. "Another day older and deeper in debt", after all.
  • 25th July. Oh, dear. I am quoting Bobby McFerrin. I seem to do insane amounts of research for these subject line glosses, and this batch has revealed that the 1988 hit version is actually completely a capella, which I never realised before and which makes me very happy indeed.
  • 26th July. My contractually obligated David Bowie quote. I was ridiculously proud of the thematic fit in this one, given that post was about Tom Cruise and the lyrics are from "I'm Deranged", and at various points insist that not only is it funny how secrets travel, but "It's the angel-man" and "Cruise me babe".
  • 29th July. Omar Khayyám, who has, as evinced by outbreaks of bloggery in November and December 2005, has a quote for absolutely everything.

This week's quotation round-up brought to you courtesy of hopeless inconsequentiality, and a headache. Now I go to fend students off with a crowbar and meet my Deanly-requested teaching and learning report-construction doom.
freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
Today is the first time I've ever wished I was in a different faculty. Various flavours of science department must be all bouncy and gleeful today about the Higgs boson confirmation, but Humanities trundles on obliviously. I keep having to restrain myself from babbling about it enthusiastically to confused History professors. Sigh. Also, I am a sad geek. This photo of Professor Higgs all vindicated and overcome with emotion made me weepy.

I seem to have allowed the start of the month to slide past without acknowledging my intellectual debts. Horrors! (Although not as much of the month as I thought, given that I've resolutely and erroneously dated all the forms I've signed today for the 6th July). Nonetheless, herewith.

  • 1st June. Goon Show, The Moon Show, which is magnificently silly and which I did, for once, actually mention in the post.
  • 4th June. Not actually a quote. Apparently I am too capable of originality.
  • 8th June. Ernest Bramah, The Wallet of Kai Lung, via, as a commenter perspicaciously pointed out, Dorothy Sayers. (Lord Peter was another very early girlhood crush. But did lead me to Kai Lung, who I likewise adore on the Master Li principle).
  • 13th June. Mordin Solus from Mass Effect 2. The beautiful and inevitable logic of making Salarians sing Gilbert and Sullivan patter-song makes me extremely happy. Also, the rhymes in the filk are clever.
  • 15th June. I am quoting Toto. In a post linking to Toto covers and confessing an enjoyment of "Africa". So sue me.
  • 16th June. Isaac Watts, although I am still heartily kicking myself that I didn't construct the post more intelligently and use the Lewis Carroll crocodile instead.
  • 22nd June. I am rectifying the Lewis Carroll omission by quoting the White Knight's Song, quite one of my favourite pieces of dreamy nonsense poetry.
  • 23rd June. Only a quote if you consider me to be quoting myself on previous birthdays. I think I may adopt this as an official birthday tradition.
  • 26th June. Oh, dear. I am guilty of using as a subject line the title of one of the Call of Cthulhu modules I wrote with Bumpycat. This is possibly unduly narcissistic. Sorry.
  • 27th June. Title of a work I've always liked by a French artist, and thus linked to the post on umpteen levels, including using the actual work as an illustration.
  • 28th June. Egregious and unnecessary pun on a proverbial phrase.
Alas, no David Bowie. They may have to revoke my fan licence.

a year of months

Friday, 1 June 2012 01:14 pm
freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
I have no idea why the notion of it being June should inspire me with helpless Goon Show quotation, but there you go. Being as I am not in posession of a legit poetic licence, I shall simply have to tell you from whence I nicked all my subject lines over the merry month of May.

  • 5th: a mad outbreak of madrigal, in this case William Byrd, who is one of the several perpetrators of the crack about "the merry month of May".
  • 9th: Wondermark, for a wonder actually glossed in the text of the entry.
  • 13th: anyone who didn't immediately recognise the Firefly quote kindly shoot themselves in the knees now. Good grief. In a post about a Joss movie, and everything.
  • 16th: William Blake, for no adequately defined reason, although the version wandering around my brain at the time was the hymn tune. Of course, since I was actually in Scotland it had no damned relevance anyway, and I'm probably lucky I wasn't savaged to death by Scots for conflating England and Scotland, even mentally and by random association.
  • 17th: Magnetic Fields, from "The Dreaming Moon". Magnetic Fields are really into the moon, there are three songs on Get Lost alone with "moon" in the title. Presumably they do have a poetic licence. ("Ah, moon. You are like a melody-type tune. You are so clever, you can rhyme with Goon. Oh what a boon is the moon in June to boon." I'll stop now).
  • 19th: proverbial phrase invested with a sort of postmodern CLAW-style linguistic spin, à la "I saw Goody X with the divvil!" In other, more alarming news, that post was a featured link on the Christian Book Barn, of all bizarre things, for 19th May, which is why I've suddenly and belatedly friends-locked it, just in case any fellow conference-goers stumble across it and a) realise that it's me, and/or (b) think I'm being too personal.
  • 20th: Ursula Le Guin, fragment from "The Creation of Ea", because I love it, and I was talking both about hawks and empty skies.
  • 23rd: mutated proverbial. I spent a happy 20 minutes wandering the internets trying to work out where the phrase originated, but no dice.
  • 25th: cute Danny Kaye songs about inchworms from his film Hans Christian Andersen, which I am amazed to realise I have actually seen at some stage in early youth. It was, iirc, rather weird. I know the song from the Muppet Show, and can attest to its ability to ear- as well as inchworm.
  • 28th: other than swiping "reannual" from Terry Pratchett, I totally made the incendiary karma ferrets all up my very own self.
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Yesterday was Star Wars day, which means, ye gods, it's May. You can tell by the weather, which is still pleasingly damp and becoming bloody cold with proper wintery gravitas, and my state of fret. I give a conference keynote in less than two weeks, and the paper currently consists of about six pages of notes with "aargh" written at intervals, and a giant pile of books on the school story, through which I propose to wade this weekend.

You must forgive my lack of blogging: my moments of free time, of which there have been significantly few owing to an insane rash of meetings interspersed with angsty students, have been pretty evenly divided between finding succinct and creative ways to be rude about the Hogwarts idea of education, and retreating from same into a re-play of the first Mass Effect. (Because I played so badly first time around. My skills and tactics were horrible - I realise, post the Mass Effect 2 experience, that I managed to play the first game entirely without using cover, which does explain the wear and tear on the medi-gel. This time round I am pwning it slightly more handily, as well as picking up all the bits I missed).

It also means it's a new month, and time to acknowledge my debts. (This is becoming easier given that my blograte is so far down. This is a temporary state of things, I promise.) Reading chronologically, April has nicked bits thusly:
  • 2nd. I actually have no idea where I dredged this up, it's one of those phrases which has passed into the proverbial lore of the slightly pretentiously gothic. It's actually Falstaff, from Henry IV Part II, a play I have never actually read. (Although I studied Henry V for A-Level, and am rife with opinions about it). The correct quote is "We have heard the chimes at midnight". I vaguely associate it with Thurber, although I suspect that's just the slighly ponderous gait of the phrase.
  • 3rd. A quote from a rather amusingly sadistic nursery rhyme sort of thing, in which there were three in the bed and the little one said "roll over", so they all rolled over... etc. In retrospect, it's rather dodgy. You start out with a veritable orgy of ten in the bed, and whittle them down until the little one ends up splendidly alone and going to sleep. I remember my mother singing this to us, I have absolutely no idea where it originates. It does resonate rather well with my sleeping habits, though.
  • 10th. A fragment of Magnetic Fields in marginally depressive mode. The song is "Infinitely late at night", off their album I; the flavour of the tune is sort of languidly-swaying French-ballady, a mode I associate with the fake-Frenchy elements of "Those Canaan Days" from Joseph. (News from the front: I can still recite all the colours of Joseph's bloody technicolour dreamcoat).
  • 17th. "Jade Lady" is the name given to Phyrne Fisher by her luscious Chinese lover Lin. It refers to her tendency to look like a Manchu princess apart from the bright green eyes.
  • 20th. The obligatory David Bowie quote, here from "Cat People", which is a song I seem to mine fairly regularly for quotes, it being strangely congruent with my interests.
  • 22nd. Quote and song title from Postal Service, one I've actually used before, but it's such a lovely image. (Although the song is apparently about nuclear war, it has an odd balance of apocalyptic and sappy: "I've got a cupboard with cans of food, filtered water, and pictures of you/ and I'm not coming out until this is all over...")
  • 28th. I actually referenced this one: Joss Whedon on cats.
  • 30th. Quite one of my favourite quotes from The Avengers, entailing probably my two favourite characters in the film, and deploying the nicely Whedonesque balance of reference, fan service and tongue-in-cheek, ironic reinterpretation. Postmodern, in fact. Damn, I must write that review. Maybe tomorrow, if I conquer the school story theory.
Allons-y! Dissing Dumbledore waits for no man, although it may actually wait until I've finished Virmire. Dammit. My self-discipline is not only a small, fluffy, reluctant thing lurking on a rock somewhere, it's lurking on a rock while hunched manically over a computer game and refusing to be distracted. Sigh.

in like a lion

Thursday, 1 March 2012 11:00 am
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Hello, March! Was I alone in feeling a strange pleasure in writing the date of 29th February? Such an odd, interstitial moment, intermittent enough to feel not quite real. And I wrote it a lot yesterday, given that I was processing 45 orientation leader payments, entailing two separate forms, each of which had to be signed and dated twice. There's a reason why my signature has degenerated, over the last five or six years of signing curriculum forms, into a sort of snarled and loopy scrawl. In which, I may add, it rather beautifully reflects the frequently snarling, snarled and loopy existence of the writer.

I appear to have randomly remembered my undertaking to acknowledge my sources in my involuted subject line quotes. Thus, February! Reading in order from the top (or, if reading the blog's front page, from the bottom), I have referenced the following:
  1. Goats.
  2. Walt Whitman, by way of Ray Bradbury.
  3. Goats.
  4. The opening sentence to The Haunting of Hill House, which is eerily reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft on horror.
  5. A running gag on Pajiba, my favourite film review site, whose writers are frequently and beautifully rude and invariably refer to the actor Channing Tatum as Charming Potato, a sobriquet presumably aimed more at his acting ability than his appearance, although ymmv.
  6. Charlotte Bronte's introduction to the second edition of Jane Eyre, the one where she actually admitted authorship.
  7. The BeeGees, one of their more mournful early efforts. (Quiet in the peanut gallery, please).
  8. Goats, twice in a row.
  9. David Bowie. I appear to be contractually obligated to include a monthly Bowie quote. "TVC15", in this case.
The Goats quotation craze appears to be mercifully dying. Either that, or my life is less surreal at the moment. Hooray. I think.
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OMG it's February. On the upside, this means that the horrors of January are over; the worst of orientation was actually Wednesday. Orientation is like a giant, juggernaut mechanism that is at its most stressful in the preparation stages. You have to check it very carefully as you assemble it, because from the moment you press "Go" and it lurches into inexorable action, it's bloody impossible to either turn or stop. We count ourselves lucky if only a few bits fall off and no-one gets crushed.

If anyone gets crushed, it's usually me. When not being a giant inexorable juggernaut, the orientation/registration period is a volcano god, into whose smoking crater I am routinely and sacrificially flung on an annual basis. I have, however, changed my religion: this will be my last orientation. I have lined up in my corner a happy conglomeration of Deputy Deans and Faculty Managers and what have you, who are unanimous in their support of my waving flag which says "THIS DOESN'T WORK!" in giant, flaming capitals. Next year I will hopefully only be running registration advice, which is quite demanding enough on its own, thank you, and giving the odd orientation talk, which means that I can actually do the reg advice thing properly. The most stressful aspect of the whole juggernaut beast is that I'm an ineradicable control freak, and not being able to perfect the mechanism makes me mad. In both senses.

The whim has come upon me to instigate a monthly blog feature, namely a quick round-up of the sources for my subject lines. This has been inspired by [ profile] pumeza's confession that she never recognises any of them, which is sad, because their context and source is often worked quite carefully into the theme of the post. (Involuted subject lines are a personal vice. You'll just have to deal.) Also, I'm an academic, and should attribute sources. January's subject lines are easy, because, after starting strongly with Firefly (still haven't forgiven Joss for Wash) and the ubiquitous David Bowie ("It's no game"), I segued off into unrelieved Goats, with one lateral foray into Buffy on the post I friends-locked in the interests of slightly sensitive orientation subjects, and another into Roger Whittaker for no adequately defined reason. Hmmm. Repetitive Joss there. Warning: I don't think I yet have Goats out of my system.
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I'm seeing increasing amounts of spam on this account, several a day at the moment - mostly they're in Russian or, this morning, what appears to be Norwegian. LJ decorously informs me of them, and I delete them from the little dogbox corral of suspicion where it is wont to stash them until their bona fides are proven. In moments of extreme self-doubt, spam on my blog at least makes me feel needed.

What's weirding me out, though, is the posts they choose to spam. Most often it's this one, a generally uninspired little effusion in which I burble about my cats, with pictures. It doesn't seem to contain any commercial trigger words. It has attracted precisely three genuine comments. What is the secret of its apparently incredible allure to spammers? If they're not spamming there, they spam the Thor post, the one with the random bit of [ profile] wolverine_nun-upsetting doggerel in the subject line. Likewise an unexciting piece of prose, unless you have a desperate attraction to superheroes, fangirling or godlike abs, which to be perfectly fair your average spammer might well have.

Nonetheless. In terms of reaching anyone's attention other than mine with a delete key, spamming this journal at large, and those posts in particular, seems curiously pointless. I am clearly infested with dadaist spammers, hell-bent on making a peculiar artistic statement all of their own, one whose parameters embrace obscurity, futility and a masochistic and nihilistic flirtation with unvalidated existence. If spam falls on a year-old low-traffic blog post which no-one reads, does it actually exist? Also, after looking up the Monty Python sketch, the word "spam" has ceased to have any meaning and has become a collection of curiously alien shapes.

I'm back at work. It's frying my brain. Can you tell?
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As a by-product of the ongoing attempt by [ profile] tngr_spacecadet and cohorts to inculcate me into Lotro, I watched the Doctor Who Christmas special the other night. (It was in the Briefcase of Doom, the which contains the two portable hard drives [for a slightly Heath Robinson value of "portable"] which contain the Lotro install, that it may not cripple my bandwidth allowance. For which relief, much thanks. Also, nested parentheses.)

Anyway. The Doctor Who Christmas special was a happy discovery. I've been slightly disappointed in the Stephen Moffat incarnation this last season, it's been a bit whiffly and more than somewhat prone to the Russell Davies brand of giant galloping emotional excess in clumsy symbol form. Certainly nothing as good as "Blink" or "The Girl in the Fireplace". Clearly producing a series causes inherent disintegration of the plot-fibre.

But I loved "A Christmas Carol". It's vintage 11th Doctor - he really is quite endearingly off-the-wall, both in content and delivery, and manages to be madly quirky and individual while maintaining continuity with Tennant's version. (Thus, incidentally, making me realise that there really wasn't much continuity between Ecclestone's version of the Doctor and Tennant's). It also demonstrates the happy-making fact that Moffat fundamentally gets not only time travel, which we knew, but A Christmas Carol itself. I am a pervy Dickens-fondler at the best of times, and have also spent chunks of the last eight years or so teaching A Christmas Carol to second-year lit students on an annual basis, and I have considerable investment in the novel and more than the usual quotient of opinions.

Moffat nailed it. What the Dickens ghost trope is, first and foremost, is a time machine. The supernatural element in the novel is a plot device which allows him not only to access past and future with vivid immediacy, but to compress a lifetime's worth of experience, insight and emotional change into one night. It's not realistic for Scrooge to reform instantly unless something non-realistic is driving it, and the Tardis is a beautiful replacement for the Spirits, the more so because time-hopping is allowed literally to change history and memory, not just insight into them. The ice-stored people are a lovely embodiment of theme, both Dickens's and Moffat's: emotional stasis, cold-heartedness, refusal to change. And the fish, while a mite mundane for my taste, are beautifully weird and occasionally enchanting.

This episode made me giggle frequently and cry at least once, although that last void where prohibited by viewer not actually being a hopelessly over-emotional dingbat. I am inclined to be sanguine about the new season, which is providing cool and interesting trailer images, notably the Doctor playing up to a Stetson.

I will also be inclined to write about it frequently, for as long as LJ holds up, which isn't much, at the moment. The tendency of its servers to exist in a supine condition is beginning to get my goat. Please note that this blog is currently mirrored on WordPress, at, although with a fraction of its actual personality as I haven't been able to migrate the comments. If the urge to blog hits me while LJ is whups, fellover, I shall probably pop up over there instead, ultimately permanently if they don't bloody sort this out. Pshaw.
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I haven't forgotten about the Facebook/LJ cross-post twittishness and my resulting impulse to leap overboard from the Good Ship LJ: I have been Brooding on it, and sending my minions forth to find alternatives. I'm still a bit torn by the whole thing. I love LJ's community feel and its friends tool, it's been a happy home to me for nearly six years, but it's now taking that whole "network" thing to a point where it's being deeply silly and I don't really trust it any more.

As always, when doing hand-stands on the horns of the ol' trick-rider's dilemma, I resort to pollage. You are all net-sussed and intelligent people who will think of all sorts of things I haven't, and I shall use you heartlessly. As always, if you are going to gratify my whims by succumbing to the lure of ticky-boxes, please throw a sop to my inner teacher by supporting your argument/demonstrating your working in the comments.

[Poll #1619808]
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My last two days have rather bizarrely shadowed my experience in this job, insofar as (a) actually, when you get down to it I really don't enjoy taking minutes, but (b) I'm very good at it. This was a two-day workshop entailing the second instalment of discussions between a bunch of smallish departments in the Faculty plotting a merger into one giant, loosely thematically-linked department, for purposes variously of synergy, survival and structural clout. This boiled down to around 25 academics from social sciency disciplines, sitting in a room arguing intellectual overlaps and differences in tandem with organisational and political challenges. And me, taking notes. It's lucky I'm predisposed to polysyllables, is all I can say.

It's bloody tricky, the note-taking skill: simultaneously apprehending an argument, distilling it out of its sometimes wandering informality, and typing it up really, really fast, yay Winona attached to a proper keyboard. (Also, yay to a high school which gave me a formal touch-typing course in parallel to my A-levels). These are academics. The arguments were frequently very, very dense, but with the tendency to circularity, repetition and fumbling for clarity of any oral communication. It was an experience I'd imagine would be loosely approximated by sitting in a series of about seven lectures, one after the other, when the lecturer was interesting but not very good at logical structure, and absolutely everything was going to be in the exam. It's a seven-hour period of fixed attention, in which I can't afford to relax for an instant in case I miss something important; it adds new levels of bone-weariness to "completely exhausted". After two days of it, I feel as though someone's sucked two-thirds of my brain out through my ears before beating me cheerfully with rubber bludgeons. (This last because the chairs were seriously anti-ergonomic and I'm very stiff and have a very sore butt).

On the upside, nice restaurant setting (Wild Fig), excellent lunches, rave reviews from various academics on how good my notes are, and the Dean seriously owes me for this one. I'm useless for practical purposes today.

Quick public service announcement, incidentally: LiveJournal is doing this bloody silly thing where they've automated a one-click method of posting LJ comments to Facebook accounts. Including comments on friends-locked posts, with a link to the locked post, which can't be accessed by anyone not authorised to read it, but which now has its existence, and at least one comment on its content, revealed. (Very good discussion here on why this is a stupidly bad idea). More importantly, the quick-click nature of this feature, which you can't opt out of other than by hacking the CSS, makes it trivially easy to cross-post, thereby vastly increasing the amount of crossover between a Facebook and LJ account.

Now, here's the thing. I go by my real name on Facebook. I don't link that real name to LJ in any way that I can possibly detect and avoid, but a lot of people who know me here also know me in real life and are Facebook friends, which means that there's a real potential for a casual cross-post to reveal the existence of this journal to a real-life network, some of whom I may not wish to see reading the more relaxed and personal entries on my LJ. I am asking you nice witterers, please, as an interim courtesy, not to cross-post any comment you leave on this LJ to your Facebook, supposing any of you are remotely likely to do such a thing. This is interim because I am seriously considering migrating my meanderings off LJ, and quite probably myself off Facebook as well, I completely loathe the kind of cavalier attitude to privacy both these networks are developing. (As do many people. See poll on this latest stupidity).

Social networks are wonderful things, except when they ain't.


Tuesday, 20 April 2010 12:08 pm
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  1. No, I am not referring to Mickey Rourke, although, why yes, Iron Man 2 arrives shortly, dignified girly SQUEEEEEE!
  2. I am apologising to anyone who dislocated their neck trying to read the blog yesterday afternoon and evening, during the course of which I changed the stylesheet about fifteen times. This was an absurd, quixotic quest aimed at getting my Twitter feed into the sidebar. It didn't work, at least not to any extent I'm happy with. Further bewildering change to follow. Also, construction of a pocket dimension containing the extra time necessary to teach myself CSS.
  3. I am also acknowledging my own dislocated neck. In a bizarre and completely left-field move which I absolutely did not see coming at all, the Faculty has randomly agreed to finance my attendance at this fairy-tale conference in Glasgow in August. Completely. Up to R25 000, here have a nice new research entity into which we can put all this money, please send through details of trip costs when you feel like it. I am feeling validated, confused and very, very suspicious. What happened to "fairy tale is not a serious study", then? are there no standards any more?
  4. Further to the whiplash theme, the Dean has gently pointed out that the rules on the university travel grant fund have just changed to allow admin as well as academic staff to apply. (I missed the last round of applications and the next round isn't in time for August, hence the Faculty intervention out of its own pocketses). This means that in future I could possibly charge up my nice new research entity annually and go jaunting off hell-bent on intellectual pleasure. I am quite ridiculously pleased by this possibility.
  5. In another head-turning manoeuvre, I took [ profile] smoczek's sage advice about the whole work-from-home thing, and managed to persuade my rather nice boss that I had serious reason to want to work Fridays from home for a bit. This was based on (a) my ongoing fight with chronic glandular fever and sinusitis, and an attempt at creative management of the exhaustion and fuzzy head, (b) the fact that I have piles of admin through which I need to plough reasonably uninterrupted by the gazelles, and (c) the stern suppression of my own Puritan work ethic, which is trying to bring on the guilt about it all. *Stuffs guilt guinea-pig into bag head-first, sits on it*. I have won the right to work at home on Fridays until at least the end of the semester, subject to review. The contemplation of the fact that the faculty apparently values my work sufficiently to allow me to get away with this, is giving me whiplash.
Things are apparently on the up, slightly deliriously. Also, [ profile] mac1235 brought me the second episode of the current Doctor Who, last night, causing further yay - shall break it out tonight. While I'm on a roll, does anyone have anything beyond episode 15 of Castle? Fangirls get impatient.
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Thought for the day: dear spammer, if your email has a subject line which reads "PLS OPEN YOUR ATTARCHMENT AND FEW YOUR WINNING PROCEDURE" it is so utterly doomed before it starts that it's causing me actual pain to contemplate the mere fact of your existence. Not that the existence of spammers is anything other than painful at the best of times, but I mean, really. If you're going to be a pestilential blot on the face of the modern internet community, can't you at least be competent at it? Incompetent evil gives me toothache.

Talking of which, I am still attempting to live down the fact that I inflicted G.I. Joe, now with added pointlessly inept bad guys, on jo&stv for our Friday night movie veg-out, on the grounds of (a) probable cute crash-boom special effects, for which I have a well-documented weakness, and (b) Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In the event we spent most of the movie wincing sympathetically on behalf of JGL and other unfortunate actors (Christopher Ecclestone? noooooo! Arnold Vosloo? shaaaaame!) clearly forced by incipient starvation to sign on the dotted line for the ginormous cheque. (Theory: JGL does this sort of thing to fund his next three indie movies of choice, and it is our duty to support him on the grounds that we might get another Brick.) G.I. Joe is a bloody stupid film. It has occasionally cute if somewhat predictable special effects. Channing Tatum is unexpectedly likeable if more or less mahogany all through - it's particularly interesting to see him doing the action thing given that I last saw him bopping around the show in Step Up, about which I decline to be embarrassed on the grounds that Jo gave it to me as a joke present.

Following the random association game, I have just scored a copy of Shaun Tan's The Lost Thing courtesy of Jo's birthday, since she received a duplicate present and passed on one to me. This is a weird, lateral, poignant, beautiful, delicate, intricate, heartbreaking and very, very odd piece of graphic art, and I'm more than slightly in love with it. Have a look.

I'm also slightly in love with the new version of Firefox, which has produced all sorts of minor innovations with things like new tab placement: it now all conforms much more closely to my personal logic, which either means (a) score, the design team think like I do, or (b) score, they've trained Firefox to read my mind so it thinks like I do. Not that I think much today, being still a little short on sleep after Jo's raucous party on Saturday night, with attendant booze levels, epic clean-up and more wine for dinner last night. I don't think I was hungover, but I'm a tad fragile still.

We also watched The Hangover on Friday night. I didn't expect to enjoy this nearly as much as I did. It looks as though it's going to be the usual horrible frat-boy dick-joke gross-out collection of misogynistic bullshit, and at every point in the film where it starts moving in that direction, it takes a sudden hard left turn and goes somewhere else instead. It was refreshingly unexpected. It's also more or less completely sold by its cast, who are superb, and by the pleasing levels of surreal generated by the flashback format. Drunken manly antics are much easier to deal with when they're all postmodern. Bonus tiger, Mike Tyson, Bradley Cooper giving a surprisingly good imitation of a total dick dead against type, and a completely inexplicable chicken.

I'm going to stop there, because this wayward puppy thing could get out of hand. Tomorrow I shall attempt to post about the house, which is almost finished and looking, while still inexpressibly grimy, rather excitingly new.
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I love blogging. Yesterday I post a deliriously happy-making video featuring Jane Austen movie parody and Darcy espousing the cause of free-style disco, and what happens? a flurry of comments based entirely on a throw-away footnote about tiles. The unpredictability of blog responses is curiously pleasing to me.

Today is the last day of Hell, in the sense of the most difficult month in my year, and I'm in that slightly reeling state of realisation: I survived, I didn't kill anyone, I haven't actually dislocated any limbs. (Yet). From here on, it can only improve. Yay! Of course, there's still a bunch of admin left, and I'm running late orientation tomorrow morning, but my sanity is slowly being restored by the fact that I can actually spend more than ten minutes at a time alone in my office, catching up, cruising the internet and otherwise recharging. While I enjoy interacting with students and making their lives better, it's also continuous and incredibly draining, and I am firmly an introvert in the sense that I need time alone to recover my energy.

The home front is also on the up: have resolved tile argument with EL1, the ADSL has miraculously started working again, and apparently the plumber installed the bath backwards for good and sufficient reason which makes actual practical sense. Also, I really like all the paint colours.

This weekend my Princely Hosts are buggering off to Knysna, leaving me to water the cats, pet the garden and play incredible quantities of Zelda, so score. Tonight I have supper with [ profile] wolverine_nun, which is another chance to see [ profile] starmadeshadow, so double score.

And, in the Department of Brass Bands Make Me Cry, the new OK Go music video is simply delightful. Notre Dame marching band. Silly uniforms. Trumpeters camouflaged in fields. The whole song recorded live in the open air while they were performing, which is rather impressive and gives it a particularly rough and plausible edge. (Context: OK Go were the people who did that amazing video with the treadmills).

Memo to self, must acquire some OK Go, the music is also muchly fun.

1 Well, we've agreed that glass-finished mosaic tiles in a much calmer colour than the bronzy green ones we're using for edging will work, since we are united in liking none of the varying shades of oatmeal offered by the larger stock. The EL has degenerated into threatening to choose tiles in electric blue, which usually signals that he's run out of viable arguments. Since habituation has granted me a +10 saving throw vs. Electric Blue Attack, I shrug and move on.


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