localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)


Yesterday I had a hellishly stressful day in work, going on leave is never easy but knowing that when I go back on Wednesday my feet will not touch the floor with the amount of things I'll have to do and meetings I'll have to go to makes it far worse. I got in ready for my tea (as the sun had set) and to dash out to Poetry Group when I got a phonecall from my friend Anna. Due to illness, there was a sudden availably ticket and would I be able to come to see Rocky Horror at the theatre in a few hours?

OH YES.

It was awesome we had terrific fun. It is currently the 40th Anniversay of Rocky Horror. Anna and I first went to see Rocky Horror, at the same theatre, for the 30th Anniversary. The performance was really terrific, everyone danced the Time Warp and there were some amazing singers. OUTSTANDING.

We got out at 10pm, but there are no trains to our town between 9pm until the last train at 11.30pm so we found a quiet pub and caught up on news before going home. It was a wonderful, wonderful suprise!

Today I was unconcious until 9am when Mum called up the stairs and said she would be back from Mass in an hour and I was to be ready to go to dog sit at Nanny's whilst they went out. Fern and I spent a quiet day, I read a little, did some university work and took Fern out on a suprise walk, which she found quite exhausting. After they'd returned we came home and I did some Uni work and submitted my task responses and did a little writing. I've also had notification that the book I reserved has come into the Library, Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. I might leave it till Monday to take it out though, as I'm not likely to be reading it before then.
localfreak: Willo the Wisp (Willo the Wisp)
In 2012 I read 40 books and watched 44 films

This is (once again) a decline in books (last year I read 45) but an increase in films (last year I watched 37).

Books
I think I could attribute some of my drop in the books both to reading some rather hefty tomes and also a lot of Uni reading. (and fic, always the fic).

Best Book I Read for the First Time in 2012 was:

I kind of want to say one of the Temeraire books I read, but the problem is I can't actually remember what happened in which book. So probably Robbie Ross: Oscar Wilde's True Love by J. Fryer

The Worst Book I Read in 2012 was:

Becoming Jane Eyre by S Kohler it had random pointless obsessions with sex and sex parts early on which (figuratively at least) dropped off but the book never really recovered.

The Funniest Book was:

Wow, again, I don't read many funny books do I? Was probably The Masters of Sitcom from Hancock to Steptoe by C Stephens it's non-fiction but included a lot of extracts from scripts.

The most poignant/moving book:

The Book Thief by M Zusak

Favourite Re-read/Old Favourite:

I re-read What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge which is one of my absolute favourites. I also however re-read On Writing by Steven King which I (again) couldn't bear to put down.

Full list of my books of 2012: http://listography.com/localfreak/books/books_of_2012

Films

I don't usually do New Year's Resolution. But last year I privately resolved that, now my home town has a cinema, I would Go To The Pictures More, even if it meant going on my own. By my reckoning I saw 14 films at the cinema, just over 1 per month which I am very pleased about.

The Best Film I Watched in 2012:

I watched A LOT of awesome films. At the pictures I particularly loved Avengers Assemble but I also loved The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Rise of the Guardians quite a lot.

Also following the Avengers I then watched A LOT of superhero films this year and fell madly for Iron Man and Iron Man 2 (BLACK WIDOW!). I watched a lot of seriously cool stuff this year.

The Worst Film I watched in 2012:

The worst film I watched at the cinema was undoubtedly We Bought a Zoo which was (in turns) dull, predictable, tripey, lacking in animals and ever so slightly culturally insensitive (Fine so you took a RL story based in the UK and set it in the USA? That's fine. What isn't fine is then having the Zoo's Grand Opening on 7/7. It just felt like...seriously lost in translation here. And it was boring.

The worst film I watched all year however has to be A Christmas Carol the Musical which happened to be the only Christmassy thing on telly the Saturday before Christmas, when I was putting up the tree. WORDS FAIL to fully explain the mawkish, badly acted, badly directed schmaltz that totally lacked any of the sublteties that provide the needed tension in the story. Fail. Bad film. If it was a choice again between that or Jeremy Kyle...okay so it would still win but I would not be so quick to make that call.

The Funniest Film Was: probably either Avengers Assemble or Rise of the Guardians. Or My Best Friend Is A Vampire

The Most Uplifting Film Was: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Because it was WONDERFUL.

Favourite Re-Watch:

Either Passport to Pimlico which is one of my all-time-absolute favourite films or Basil, the Great Mouse Detective

Full list of my films for 2012: http://listography.com/localfreak/movies/films_of_2012
localfreak: (Kutner's Blog)
A good day today, all things considered. After a brief conversation with the Uni yesterday we have settled that yes, I am doing international history but I have also made sure that they are aware that I do feel concerned about my ability to cope with the module. I am actually hoping that, once I get going with it, it will magically be revealed that my incapability is mostly neurotic. I'm not fooling myself in the sense that yes, there does appear to be a section on Empire and one on The Cold War (topics of which I know absolutely nothing about) you see history and I have a very twisted backstory here. On the one hand I am convinced I am shit at History I like it, always did, but am shit about it. I don't particularly read 'Historical Novels' for the most part, my Mum is nuts over History which is why I find it interesting but somewhere in my brain there is a little goblin reminding me that I am shit at history. Point the fact: When Lycoris, Mum and I played Trivial Pursuits on holiday History was always my most evil of triangles to get.

In actual fact I took history up to GCSE Level. We did The History of Medicine (which I loved, even though Galen and it was really hard to remember whether it was him who did the Pig Thing or someone else, and which person did the first sucessful transfusion recorded ete) The Economic Situation In Germany between World Wars and The Vietnam War. It was interesting. I sat next to a guy who used to spend the whole time quoting episodes from Blackadder under his breath.

I remember all of this, cramming trying to remember before the exam to get the right names in the right places, remembering who did the survey of the streets and discovered that Typhoid carried in water and so on and, for coursework, wrote about the factors leading to, and the political climate of The Vietnam War, hampered only a little by the fact the school, in its wisdom, had recently installed a Safe-Search internet wall that for some reason decided that 'Vietnam' was a banned word for a while. I worked really hard at that coursework and I got a B.

When I got my GCSE results (I was already a bit of a mess that year to be honest) I gave them only vague glances and I told myself I would not do history at A-Level as it was obvious I just wasn't good enough. I'd got a B(!) and that meant I should gracefully sit back and say 'Okay it was fun, I'm just not good enough'.

I applied to University with my GCSE scores saying I had a B in History. In fact it was only years later when I dug out my transcripts for some job interview or other I found out that actually I'd got an A overall in GCSE history. My crippling disappointment at the B, with critical commentary, over my Vietnam piece had completely blinded me to Reality.

So maybe I'm shit at history, but also maybe my brain is having a bit of a barking mad moment. Time (and cramming) will tell.

I got four books out of the library today, anyway, three of which are about History- I couldn't find anything that said 'The Cold War For Dummies' but I got an overview of the British Empire, Andrew Marr's History of Britain from 1945-2000 (It won't due hugely well I know in terms of the international aspect but there was a bit of a dearth of material in the local library) and a book about the Berlin Wall.

I also caved and took out Stephen King's 'On Writing' again, which is a terrible temptress of a paperback. Every time I go in on Floor 1 I start convincing myself to re-read it. So I am.

After the library I tried on some things as I require outfitting for the Staff Christmas Party which is a masquerade and then went and got my hair done to stop it before I could no longer see my face. I sat with Nanny's and drank tea whilst she showed that, with Auntie Irene and Fern off visiting Auntie Maura, she had sewed four purificaters, three lavabo cloths and a corporal. Then I went home and read until now, when the noise of the TV (and the flickering lights, mostly the flickering lights to be honest, I am very used to TV and radio noise although it does sometimes drive me up the wall) have driven me out of the room. I love my computer chair but somehow it isn't Right for curling up with a book. As a kid, I would oven lie on the floor- here or on the lino in the kitchen, bruising my elbows- but it is cold down there and I am an old fogey now I suppose- I can't quite get comfortable and besides I take up too much space.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I have finished reading The Chalice by Phil Rickman. I love that book. It takes me time to go through but just...woah. Right now I'm sitting back and just digesting it, breathing, taking it all in. I love many Phil Rickman books because they are historical and magical, clever and creepy and somehow Things Seem To Happen when one reads them- strange co-incidences which, as comes up several time in this book, coincidences seem to happen an awful lot when the spiritual gets involved.

I'm trying to fix in my mind, too, my holiday experiences. I managed it last time with the last trip to Spain so that I can conjure it up and remember as close and real as I can the smells, the sounds and also the atmosphere. I want to keep that with this holiday too- everything from tramping up the road putting the fear into tractors and standing on gates to get a better look at the Tor warmingly pleasant in the distance- even the sound of cows making brontosaurus noises!

Work is incredibly stressful, and really not helped by problems with my course and e-enrolment for this term. All very frustrating.

I am serving at St John Fisher tomorrow night, they're doing some kind of Novena thing- I volunteered but I have to admit there are political reasonings that are not particularly high-minded involved. Nanny went (in the downpour!) yesterday to the one at St Bede's and she said it was a wash out (ha) and nothing like a proper Novena service-thing. Not that I've ever been to one, anyway so I suppose I won't know much different. I would like to say I will spend it as a time of spiritual musing and peaceful prayer but I've never served at St JF's before and, as I said, everything like this these days is a political minefield. Ah, parish politics.
localfreak: (Chef!Wilson)
At the moment I am on that most queenish of things: A Diet. Sick to death of always been told I am overweight by electronic calculators (which I know are often flawed because they're based on 'average' perons etc but it still stinks a bit when even your bloody Wii is saying you're too heavy). I don't need to lose much to be in a 'good' BMI (according to my Wii) and I reckon that I can probably achieve a lot by just eating better and actually paying attention to things like that. And also not letting Work tempt me by teaching me what Krispy Kreme doughnuts taste like, or providing leftover danish pastries, or by acquiring biscuits and enormous boxes of ferero rochers. So in an experiment I also set up a spreadsheet to record what I eat. I've never liked doing it before but by having to write things down I find it helps me not just much my way through four packets of crisps whilst reading. A bit.

Anyway long story blah blah blah Today Mum was going to teach me how to make home-made beefburgers. We had lean mince and onion and things to use and so I set to work. However, due to some drastic underestimations regarding the mix we managed to make THE BIGGEST BURGERS IN THE WORLD EVER. Neither of us could finish our tea, and we'd even made fruit salad for afterwards which is currently sitting untouched in the 'fridge. They were nice but just TOO HUGE FOR LIFE. THey're the kind of burger I imagine Thor would eat.

Owing to the fact we have absolutely no idea what the BURGERS OF DOOM weighed or anything therefore, today's spreadsheet if 'offline'. I have absolutely no idea. Theoretically it might not have been as ginormous calorie wise as it felt- it was very lean and apart from being sealed in the frying pan got oven cooked, and besides was full of onions and stuff. Ah well. This one is going to be a mystery day anyway.

Speaking of losing weight- proof it is working- I had to go shopping for new trousers today. When I discovered that without the belt I didn't have to unbutton my work trousers to take them off I decided it was time. Woohoo! I am currently around the size I was when I was at Uni, (and therefore before dole, stress eating and sedentary office work combined with doughnuts began) which is pretty damn good.


In other news my project to clear some bookcase space has had good inroads on it today. I have filled a box and created a list. I have promised first-dibs to [personal profile] still_lycoris but after which I'm going to email some people and maybe put the list up here for people to take a pick if they'd like (although if anyone does but live far away I will have to find a way to arrange payment of postage costs I think. Not sure how to do that.)

Ah well. I only wish I could feel a bit less full as I was really looking forward to that fruit salad!
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
It is nearly done. Well- the scraping that is. Depite me being disgustingly adult and sensible and not going to see Batman last weekend but staying in to scrape walls there's just a little bit more to go still. After that I don't quite know what we do next- wash down the skirting boards and repaint? Or fill in the holes in the plaster? Or try and work out the cause of the Worringly Damp Bit above the boiler which may be caused by the gutter on the outside?

Now I've never been that keen on my bedroom. I didn't spend much time in it except when playing with my miniature dog collection as a child. I didn't like feeling closed off from what was going on downstairs and if I wanted room to play something else then it was just much nicer to pull down the ladder and climb up into the loft where my blackboard is. There was only really one think I liked about my room: my book case. Back then we didn't have any bookshelves downstairs so there was only this one book case for all my books (and the drawers under my bed, but they were mostly where I stored my video collection). What I didn't know- until we attempted to move it to get to the wall behind is that 1. it was screwed into the wall and 2. Nanny had cut it down specifically to fit that gap- without filtering in the skirting board. So when we attempted to move the bally thing it all went a bit wrong. So the bookshelf has been dismantled and is to go the tip.

I'm a little bit sad about it but not hugely so- after all I've been hoping to move anyway and it isn't like we don't now have bookshelves downstairs.

Except they've all got books on too. What this ultimately means is that at some point I am going to have to do another ruthless charity shopping/ebay selling cull of my books. It's quite hard, but the fact of the matter is that the majority that were in my room were ones I would not dream of parting with (the entire scripts of Blackadder, all the Vampire Chronicles, my oldest and most favourite poetry books, my favourite re-reads like What Katy Did, The Secret Garden, Harry and the Wrinklies and so on) which means that those downstairs which I keep but am not necessarily going to re-read too often may have to go. There are some that probably should- ones I bought but just haven't got round to reading and so on, but there are many others I am conflicted on. Take Breakfast With Scot which is a charming book about a gay couple attempting to raise a nephew who even at such an extremely young age is exhibiting behaviours that could imply the child is trans or otherwise on the genderqueer spectrum- on the one hand wanting to be good fathers and wanting to protect the child from bullies, on the same time knowing that they must tread carefully- is zie genderqueer or is it a young child merely acting out behaviours of his mother who has died? It's a lovely, sweet story...

But am I going to re-read it? Ever? And even trickier, it was bought in Foyles' Queer section- it's not as simple as getting rid of a book saying 'Well if I ever decide to read it again I can get it from the library', nor is it on ebook as far as a cursory google has shown.

*sigh* I foresee some tough decisions ahead. Work is about to be excruciatingly evil as Induction Begins Tomorrow DUN DUN DUUUH and goes on for weeks and weeks and weeks.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I was working at the library today. I promised myself: "No, Mike, you will bring back the two books you have finished but you will not borrow any more non-course related books."

I picked up The Cybercultures Reader when I was on floor one, but that was okay, as I think I will need it for this next essay.

Then I went to floor three. And borrowed Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik (the next Temeraire) and also Wolf Gift by Anne Rice had just come into shelving.

So I brought two books back and came home with three. Terrific. In addition to that abebooks sent me a money off voucher which I have used to order Baudrillard's Simulacrae (course related, so okay) and also Robbie Ross: Oscar Wilde's Devoted Friend and Rum, Sodomy and the Lash: Piracy, Sexuality and Masculinity. The latter two have arrived.

I have asked Mum to hide them on me for I fear when faced with books I have LONGED for quite some time over I would not be able to excercise my usual iron self-control.

Now I have an enormous pile of books to read, most of which I have forbidden myself from looking at until I plough through a pile of journal articles and other research for essay prep. Dammit.

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localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
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