localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Yesterday was my graduation for my MA. I wasn't really looking forward to it - it was a bit of a drive and I was panicking about finding our way there, about the dogs being okay until my Auntie got in early from work to take care of them back home, about Nanny being up to the walking, about finding where I needed to go etc. A cousin of mine graduated in PHD robes by accident for his MA, because the gown people mixed up the gowns so that was an added panic- he dealt with it with amused aplomb, my reaction in a similar situation would be Total Meltdown.

So it is just as well it didn't happen. The drive there was a bit fraught (and the one back much more so due to long queues on motorways and being baked alive in a hot car). But it was wonderfully well organised, there were plenty of places to sit- or park relatives to sit- and get drinks etc. I was robed (correctly) in some very nice robes of grey with blue trim and, quite frankly if they had tried to give me a PHD robe by accident I would definitely as noticed as the PHD recipients were few and resplendent in scarlet and gold. The ceremondy was decently brief, and the only slight downside was that they pronounced my surname wrong- in Lancaster for my undergraduate degree, someone had slipped to each of the students with unusal names before the ceremony and checked the spelling, writing out phonetically for the speaker. But still, it is a small thing and I am rather used to it (although I swear I felt my mother twitching in the aisle. She has never got over how much she hates it when our surname is mis-pronounced whereas I was quite bored of correcting people by the time I turned ten). In a suprise turn of affairs for me I was the only one graduating with my award. We were only a small group of distance learners so, for some, perhaps the distance was too far or else they did not finish their dissertations- the forum boad quickly deserted once we had begun that module. Still, it had the advantage that the photograph company got a good shot of me shaking the Chancellor's hand, so we bought copies for the family, as well as a couple of copies of me in the studio pose.

The weather was gloriously sunny, which helped make it very pleasant to sit under the marquees and people watch. How young some of the undergrads looked! It made me feel quite old...and yet somehow it could be in a few years time I might be doing this all again.

One of the University staff on the podium facing us looked the spit of someone from Lancaster, I am sure- but I don't think he was every my tutor and therefore I have totally forgotten his name. It could well be him: most of my Lancaster tutors and lecturers dispersed after cuts to the Arts led to them amalgamating the cultural studies staff with the sociology staff- a state of affairs that neither group was happy with. There is a thin blurry line between cultural studies and sociology, but there is a line nontheless.

Anyway on the whole a very good but tiring day. I have spent attempting to recoup my energy somewhat- and my hydration as I think I only ate a cake and a museli bar all day yesterday and drank very little.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Yesterday I had booked off originally to do work but then at the beginning of the week my Auntie Irene asked me to 'see if I could get the day off' to go and see the Giants at Liverpool.

The Giant Spectacular is an event that has run in Liverpool before in which these amazing marionette giants roam the city. This year they are comemmorating the centenery of the start of WW1.

The giants are amazing works of art, their faces seem incredibly expressive and they walk through the city with cranes and acrobats making them work.

pictures under the cut )

It was actually a really good day, the crowds of people were insane but in a good way, I particularly liked seeing everyone all joined together and looking so excited- there were kids hanging off the railings waving at the 'BFG's Nan'. Builders and their bosses stopped work on the scaffolding to watch, children climbed up the Chinese Arch to see, teenagers climbed up the bigger trees and I even saw one girl in her teens had shinned barefoot up a traffic pole (the roads were shut, they kind of had to be!).

It was a spectacular in the truest sense of the word. The story finishes on Sunday, which of course I can't go to as I've got Mass, but I'm sure I'll get to see it on the news. It seems very rarely do we get this kind of cultural excitement and enthusiasm.

In other news about a month ago I did a little job for one of my relations and they gave me a £10 national booktoken as a thank you. I subsequently discovered that these days one can redeem them online at a place called Hive, which was even better. (National Booktokens promote shopping at your local independent booksellers, which would be brilliant and admirable if not for the fact that there are no local independent booksellers in this town which means a bit of an out-of-the-way journey just to BROWSE.) Anyway I treated myself, feeling absolutely decadently guilty, to copies of the two books I get most out of the library. 84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff and On Writing by Stephen King. I have already re-read (again) 84 Charing Cross Road doing that delicious thing where on the one hand I can't help but devour it, but on the other hand wish to go slowly and savour it. This edition, as with the library's edition, comes with The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street alongside it which I was very relieved by. Now one of these days I'll be able to get hold of Q's Legacy and my life will be complete!

I have however found time to work on the Dissertation of Doom. Today I locked myself away and have worked very hard on my drafting. I'm about half way through the initial amendments I noted for myself, but I need to keep ploughing on because I know when I reach the end of this one, I will have to go back again for the technicals. But it is hot, and I itch because the horrible flies have remembered that they like the taste of my ankles so I am Having A Pause.

That and the mother wants me to google retractable clothes lines to get the best deal as the one she bought today from B&M is both too short and the retraction mechanism is broken.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Just in time for when I should be trawling my way through epic amounts of academic texts, The Gadget Show is back.

The annoying thing is I should find it purely pleasurable to read this stuff- and I do, genuinely, find it all fascinating (even if sometimes Sinfield and I disagree on certain major points to do with interpretation and appropriation of our own believed past). But I'm finding it hard, mostly because of lack of an actual workspace to clear away all other cluttery stuff from and because of the copying out laboriously in long-hand. BUT I know that the copying out laboriously in longhand method works for me, so well. Without it I would not recall enough to write.

So my poor aching wrist will just have to lump it.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Mrs M. came this weekend, as did the Radiator Man, so we now have all rooms that needed new radiators have them, and all rooms that needed wallpaper in, wallpapered. With that and the blinds which went in this week everything is starting to take shape a bit more. The only hard thing is the fact that somehow there always seems more to do. The next priorities are:


- cutting and installing picture rails (previous owners had removed them, mum says is ridiculous)

- finding out what we need to do about the pipe in the utility room (it needs..moving or something. I barely understand these things)

these are the key things now and we can start slowly bringing things in. I suggested to mum if we empty one of the bookshelves and take that in and put on it the books I'm unlikely to need urgently (so none of my study books) that would make a sizable dent in the amount of heavy things that need to be transported. After that I have to start working on things like broadband connections and sorting out the energy supply (prepaid meter is all very well when there is no one living there but it is economically unsound. I dislike things that are economically wobbly. Aside from that every time we turn the hot wate on I start thinking about money trickling away with the water I'm washing the dishes with, which is just unpleasant).

So yes. Stuff is moving. Life is crazy. I have so many commitments coming up I can't BREATHE and OH YAY DISSERTATION STUFF IS STARTED so I spent some hours this afternoon wading through my newest Sinfield. It's interesting but I'd forgotten quite how slow going reading-with-a-view-to-dissertation-stuffs can be. Every sentence is scrutinised and many copied out long hand and meticulously on the chance I will need to come back to it in a flurry of crazy-eyed inspiration. I am trying so hard to narrow my topic down but it's like an unstoppable force. I go to myself, you will focus on effeminiacy and then the little bit of me goes oh yes, yes, yes, fabe, fantabulosa, Jules and Sand, Graham Norton, Wilde, the fashion parade, oh and of course by definition resistance, hyper-masculinity bear culture and didn't you read an interesting book about queer culture around emasculation and its relation to colonial opression to non-white-british queers and you should probably include that and i wonder if these stereotypes die or just sink a bit you should talk about the 'gay best friend' on sale in tesco's and gok wan and how does that juxtapose with the matt of bromley types of previous voyages and is meterosexual man really dead in the water and what is a hipster anyway cybercultures and identity construction has this had an affect on queaniniess. should we celebrate it as our history and becoming as dyer thinks or sinfield kind of thinks we should bury it dead but at the same time theatre and luvvies and don't forget to talk about ian mckellen and derek jacobi and that new thing on itv where the camp has reverted to theatrical queen and and and ...'



( -quote from Kennedy in The Fitz - "are they big bendy rainbows? -/quote- )

So somehow after I read a bit of some pretty Wildean things I came downstairs watched Disney's Hercules for the first time ever (conclusion: I wasn't really missing much) and iced some ghost-shaped fairy cakes I made yesterday which went a bit wrong.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Had a super productive morning in work, I've still got mountains to do but you know that lovely feeling when you tick things off and can visibly see yourself actually meeting the deadlines? It's coming back (thank God!). Had a much less productive afternoon following Team Brief, no one could really settle and stuff just kind of came up which threw me off-plan.

My readings for uni this week are hilarious- half of them are ANALYSING ADVERTISEMENT IMAGES. I'm hunting for my study on "Nature Valley Granola Crunch" bars to remind me of things. I still can't actually look at that product on the shelves in the supermarket without announcing their name in a horrendous faux-accent. That's what you get for analysing an ad campaign of something edible, I suppose. The reading today focussed a lot on cigarette ads in print- something which I only have passing aquaintance with, I can understand a coupe focussing on the phallic but OH MY WORD the amount of fellatio in those ads was bizarre. "Hi yes, let's advertise the cigarette next to a cucumber with dew on it, a lollipop, a woman's lips, smeared with lipstick a spoon" ?!??!?

I think the cucumber was definitely the silliest. O.o

I'm cacking around online this evening because I'm waiting for people to pay me on ebay, I've sold a pile of bits- well, actually, I've sold a pile of old cross-stitch kits and a Wolverine action figure in box. I PUT UP for sale a lot of comics, DVDs (still sealed!) etc but of course none of them have sold. I am seriously thinking they're going to have to go in the recycling, it breaks my heart but I've been trying to sell these guys for years now some of them, just doubles or issues for series' I don't collect, and I ask a pittance for them. One day in the future someone is going to be looking desperately for X-Factor Giant Size Annual Issues 1 and 2 from the eighties and THEY WILL BE SORRY they didn't bloody buy them off me when they had the chance (if anyone on here by the way DOES know someone who would like them LET ME KNOW. I want them to go to somewhere they will be appreciated, and if they'd pay me something for postage and stuff I wouldn't be bothered about profit). It's just so frustrating when people seem delighted to have little tiny sampler kits that I acquired over the years but for various reasons didn't use and yet awesome things like Election on DVD (I love that film!), or Wolverine comics you can't even give them away.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Work is being a bit of a stressbag at the moment, but it always is on the leadup to what is known as Changeover, even though February is like the mini-me version compared to the Epic Hell of August. Nontheless, Changover is tomorrow and it looms evil and ominous in my general direction. I am comforted, somewhat, however, by the fact that next week I have a couple of days off. I am probably going to spend the fourteenth either going to do a lot of pressing errands (going to the bank, arranging to meet up with people etc) or else working on the hovel, which has got somewhat worse due to a combination of Christmas, bad weather and the fact that towards the end of last year the Tip was closed for two months.

I am currently reading Brown Owl's Guide To Life in between an extract from Malinowski's work on the Trobriand Islanders. I dug out some of my old English Language folders today and am amused to find that some of the handouts I kept from there may potentially come in handy on this module.Of course I have to decipher my 17-year-old-self's handwriting first, which is no mean feat. I do get a lot of practice at deciphering scrawl at work though so I should manage with time (and possibly a magnifying glass, I had a tinywords phase somewhere in those two years.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
This evening I am mostly having a fit of artistic temprement, which in my house is termed for "Being A Melodramatic Ranting Wanker". But it's all rotten and I can't write. I'm desperate, dying, deranged to write something, anything, a smutty limeric, a tiny bit of verse, a drabble, a flash fiction ANYTHING that I can write and think "That's okay." But I haven't managed one completed thing all month. I spend more time staring lost into space thinking of nothing to say, or writing down bits of words that never seem to gel together. I have IDEAS but nothing seems to formulate correctly. Which then makes me feel like a failure. Which is unpleasant.

Maybe I'm coming down with something, my throat is sore; if in doubt, blame the body rather than admit to fears of a dullard's soul.

In mildly brighter news I have submitted both my essay and virtual presentation on Monday. So that is good. My next module is Research Methods, which originally I was not looking forward to but after feeling like a dunce for the last few months feels like a breath of air. My readings for week one are IMMENSE so I made a small start yesterday, as I finished both my fiction library books (Gerald's Game by Stephen King and The Godfather by Owen Whittaker ) rather quicker than expected. The first reading is one of those late 30s social anthropologists, always fun and at least never too dry it's all "It was on the corner of forty-second street I first encountered Ronnie. He was a good boy, rought like they all were, but he must have thought there was some merit in what I was trying to do. Pretty soon Mama and Papa deVola were having me round the table for supper at least once a week like one of the family so when Joey, the youngest, got into some trouble at the local gambling dens, of course he came to find me, as did the guys he'd annoyed." Shades of....oh damn, what was that black and white Film Noir where the camera was restricted to the view of the main protagonist? My google-fu is not working tongiht.

Study Day!

Jan. 21st, 2013 05:19 pm
localfreak: (carryon)
Off work today, of which I am glad because of the snow, despite it not being too deep it has been melting quite a lot all afternoon and the long walk to the car park would have been exceedingly wet and horrible.

I have completed and submitted both my Essay and Virtual Presentation. This means The Module of Doom is OVER. Free, free, free! Of course this now means I need to make good on promises I made in my head (that when I no longer had the essays looming, I would arrange a catch up with one of my relatives who I see very rarely these days and should try harder to keep in touch with). I've submitted them now anyway so that's a relief, I spent all that drafting, redrafting, cursing, cursing some more, redrafting, finding other words for "arguably" (which is one of my tic words for essays. Every sentence, arguably, requires an 'arguably' in it.) apart from a quick trot around the block after dinner to get a bit of fresh air (very fresh!). I also finished reading Gerald's Game by Stephen King, which I started last night. I had picked it up at work on Saturday because the last time I'd been in shelving a whole load of new copies of Kings I had read the blurb on the back and thought it quite interesting. I wanted to know how he managed to sustain a book with what would undoubtedly be a very limited viewpoint in a very confined parameter, but I was very nervous. Apart from one aborted attempt at Tommyknockers when I was about fourteen, I've never read any Stephen King fiction. My friend K LOVED them as a teenager, she always had one in her bag at school, and I remember catching a glimpse at some random passage in Misery once and just thinking "I don't really have the stomach for this." Scary books are harder than scary films, because with scary films you can look away from the screen, look at the light streaming in from outside, or look at your friend watching with you or even go and hide on the stairs until the really vile bit is over, with Scary Books you can close the book all you like but if you want to go on you have to GO BACK AND READ THROUGH IT. I found that out at a very young age, maybe sixish, with the part where the soldiers are in Giant Country in The BFG and any moment the giants might wake up and squash them all, and it still holds true. But this book I think I quite liked. It was clever (and a little bit grisly) rather than downright scary, which perhaps explains why there seem to be a lot of negative reviews on goodreads from people who otherwise love his writing- maybe this is an exception to the rule? Who knows. I thought it was pretty decent anyway.

Currently waiting for it to be time to cook the peas to go with the cottage pie in the oven for our tea, pondering the universe. I only wish it would ponder me some inspiration- I've got at least three writing competitions I wanted to enter and it's all just desert dry in my head, or else, with the poetry, crippled by self doubt and lack of rhythm.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
A day off today for essay writing purposes. I am happy to announce that I have completed: A First Draft. For possibly one of the first times in my life I am under the wordcount (if I include the bibliography at the moment I'm still within the 10% marker, without the bibliography...well. I have a little more work to do. Ahahah) however I am immensley pleased to at least be this far along. I have another Study Day on Monday so my aim is that by next week I will have completed both the essay and the redraft of my presentation submission in plenty of time to quadruple-check and submit. I just have to be focussed for a little while longer *tries very hard*

Yesterday was a write-off in work anyway because we had team meeting and then I was doing an IT drop-in-and-let-me-teach-you session so I got very little of my own work done, which was frustrating. I also had some sort of melt down on the way home: I locked up with the others, tramped the long walk to my car, de-iced my car, half way through the commuter crawl to get home I realised I had the master key, which they would need today to lock up with, so I turned around drove back, bombed it into the building, put the key somewhere hidden and then realised that I didn't have what I call my 'double set' - a set of keys that will only open the front door and one office door- in order to get out, so I had to get the master again, go and borrow someone else's 'double set' from their desk and lock all the way up again and drive home all whilst...wait for it...DEVELOPING A MIGRAINE. Because that's what anybody can't do without for an evening. So I took the pills and lay down in the dark for the rest of the evening. Damned wasted time. I blame our team meeting which began with the beautiful sentence "Welcome to our monthly team meeting, we have these meetings once a month for the team." I AM NOT EVEN JOKING. I had to bite my pen and not look at anyone for ages. Actually I think that sentence encapsulates everything we dread about meeting days.

Anyway, migraines, yargh. Topped off by a horrible horrible nightmare last night involving people I love commiting suicide and me getting into a fight with a yob.

So today was okay! (Apart from the 'I woke up at five with a bad dream' bit). Mum went out and I have pretty much worked consistently today on the essay, with only one break for dinner until around three. At which point I cleaned the bathroom, because I promised myself I would.

THE DRAFT is printed off ready for my Red Pen of Doom all over it, and hopefully I can think of something to plough out an extra couple of hundred words about. But I'm having a pause for now and making posh coffee (posh as in it doesn't come in a jar that says 'Nescafe' in a foreign language, although it did still come from B&M...). What I really want to do with my break is write either a poem or a flash fiction piece just to get my brain going again but I'm running short on patience. And high on procrastination.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
And on the twelfth day, he slept.

I think there is something wrong with me. Went out for my haircut this morning and then insisted that I needed to get home quickly to do some work. This was at first derailed with exciting information within the family that necessitated phone calls to relevant persons, and the arrival of The Uncanny X-Men #268 which flashes between X-Men days (running into Black Widow) and 1941 in which Captain America and Wolverine meet The Black Widow (as an ADORABLE CHILD) to rescue her after being kidnapped by The Hand. Yayayayayay.

I might put something on the avengers meme- I would so like a story in which Steve remembers a pretty little red-headed girl he helped rescue once upon a time.


I ate a little, toddled upstairs armed with books, papers and pages of notes for Further Research. And nodded off. Woke up twenty minutes later, moved around, picked up the notebooks, read about a page and nodded off again. The third time I dropped off I slept for an hour at which point I thought 'hang it' and picked up a poetry book and came downstairs for tea.

This is ridiculous! I go to bed reasonably on time, even if I am up before the sun and yet I can't stop flaming sleeping. I'm twenty-six going on sixty-two.

It could just be stress with work and such, and then the essay is also really not my thing with many of the books I'm using incredibly dull but if this doesn't stop soon I shall have to Take Steps.

Short of hyping up on over the RDA caffienated fizzy drinks I'm not sure what steps. But STEPS WILL BE TAKEN.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I took the day off work today, after being back in for two days. This I think was actually quite a good move. The main reason was because we have New People starting on Monday, one of whom I will have to train (and now the Temp has left I will need to do this whilst totally manning both her new job and my old one. OMGDIEZ etc) and so I couldn't book anything off next week, and I have an essay to write for the end of the month. I also found an added bonus: after actually not doing huge amounts of computery stuff (well compared to a normal working day) my eyes were shot and I was all exhausted and achey from the lack of movement.

Admittedly I didn't move much today but I did manage to read a lot of the research I'd collected and make a LOAD of notes. Then I had to stop because I was very tied of Irish History and Tudors and Home Rule and things and it was ceasing to sink in. But I did do a lot so that's good and once it does sink in tomorrow I will do more! Then I will PLAN DRAFT 1.

I also made dinner and cooked the tea (it feels too much to say I cooked dinner- I heated soup and cut bread, added herbs and served) and just enjoyed the feeling of actually having time to do stuff like that, I even dug mum's coffee percolator out and made us coffee around three when I needed the boost.

Oh! And also my comic came today. I forgot to blog about it but basically Mum bought me this:

For Christmas, which is one of those books that tries (haha) to make a coherent storyline about Wolverine's life. (ahahaha comics ahahahaha).

And It mentioned some comics that I just had to have - Uncanny X-Men #268 and Flashback: Wolverine #-1. So I er bought them. Well, one of them I'm bidding for on ebay but the comic market is minute (as I know well from selling the buggers) unless they've been licked by Stan Lee or signed by Hugh Jackman or Patrick Stewart etc so I'm the only bidder unlikely to miss it. The other was on buy it now. AND IT CAME TODAY

And here is a picture of Stan Lee, cameoing and NARRATING (and doesn't he look a bit like Howard Stark in this? Just a weird creepy thought there). Don't get me wrong it was TOTAL froth, Amnesiac Wolverine with James and Heather Hudson going to visit someone who might be able to help him, only to be followed by: Hydra, Sabretooth (who tests to see whether the amnesia is real by making a lot of not so much veiled as very near stark naked references to things that comic fans know ('birthday boy' mentioning how he killed Silver Fox etc) and also acting like a Real Cowboy , Black Widow (who is still working for the Soviets at this point) and then run into Nick Fury and Carol Danvers who are being badass and James Bond-y except that Nick doesn't realise Wolverine doesn't know who he is because he and Danvers think that Wolverine is deep undercover until RIGHT at the end. And of course, Nick Fury being Nick Fury decides not to run after him and give the poor boy some answers because 'maybe he'll have some peace for once' not knowing. What? With HYDRA, SABRETOOTH AND THE SOVIETS ALL TRYING TO CAPTURE HIM? Oh Nick Fury (and it is totally the Nick Fury from The Scorpio Connection in those panels. TOTALLY.) But yes: Frothy and also awesome. Yay.

I'm looking forward to winning the X-Men one though- Wolverine, Captain America and Natasha Romanoff, 1941.

localfreak: (Mr Toad in Rehearsals Cosgrove Hall)
If I had one this entry would have [personal profile] still_lycoris's tag "I has a social life". I am exhausted


Friday was our work's Christmas do at a Masquerade Party at Knowsley Hall. We got out of work a little early with those who weren't coming minding the office to have time to tittivate etc. However on Friday the entire area was also plunged into thick fog from about 8.30am FOR THE REST OF THE DAY. What the hell?

Okay the party. It was a bit cramped but the show was exceptionally awesome to watch the singers were terrific and there were different dances and stuff and that was awesome.

Two out of the Three Courses were very good. The waiting staff were excellent and incredibly well organised to serve about 2000 people in one go.

The DJ was someone from Radio City. I didn't like him because he was vulgar and talked too much over the songs.

So yes overall it was a good night and not too pricey for what it was (ignore the prices on the website link- this was a night specifically discounted th public sector workers so the vast majority attending were from hospitals in the area. It was worth the price we paid, not sure it would be worth the full whack.


Went with Nanny and Mum to see The Lion King at the Palace in Manchester.

We had a bit of issues at first: we didn't know that Everton were playing Man City so the trains were packed, although people very chivalrously gave up a seat for Nanny so that wasn't too bad.

When I booked the tickets it didn't say restricted leg room, it said restricted view. To be honest even if it had said leg room I probably would have got them because I bought them in August before the show's run extended (it's now in into the new year) and they were the last set of three seats together, and also Nanny's legs weren't as bad. Lately she's been having problems with her knee and, aside from the fact the steps to our seats were insanely steep she was in pain at the beginning and we ended up going out with her. Luckily, the usherettes were very nice and after getting Nanny a drink to take her tablets with they let her stand for the performance at the back, which Nanny said she wanted to do because she was enjoying the show so much. Still I will remember this in future!

The show itself was AWESOME. BREATHTAKINGLY BLOODY AWESOME. Timon was just beautifully played, absolutely beautiful (Timon has always been my favourite) and the acting was great, Rafiki was brill and just all the puppetry and costumes-! Wonderful, absolutely marvellous.

Weirdly too, Saturday was the 1st December. When the Lion King came out we went to see it for my best friend's eighth birthday, which was on the 2nd December so it was kind of odd-awesome to be going to see it the weekend of his twenty-sixth! I sent him a message to that effect and he just replied saying that he still knew all the words to it :D. I'm not suprised we were mad for the Lion King. I had a little Pride Rock with plastic toys inside and also a cuddly Timon with grub. The first sheet music I ever bought was The Lion King and P and I played it constantly with all the songs, parts and all.

So yes, Lion King was overall awesome. We got back in the dark and went for fish 'n' chips at the chippy by Nanny's which was also scrummy.

On Sunday I suddenly realised I'd got out of synch with my Uni weeks and instead of needing to post my presentation before next Monday I needed to post it NOW Right Now As Soon As Possible. So most of Sunday was spent hammering it all out in a word document with references and pictures because I'd left the powerpoint slides I intended to used saved on my computer at work. So guess what I did instead of having a lunchbreak today?


I'm in work until gone seven p.m. tomorrow night too which is a bit stressy. Our poetry group have a visiting poet coming...I hope it is next Wednesday and not this Wednesday as he's going to look at our work and I have NOTHING NEW TO GIVE.

And now I need to go and put a wardrobe together.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Today I dropped my car in for a Winter Service Check and then Mum and I picked up [personal profile] still_lycoris and we went to Lady Heyes to while away a few hours present shopping and looking at the pretty things. Because of my stupidly booking my car in we couldn't have dinner there which was a shame as their food is scrummy and I do look forward to that part- especially as it's always freezing! But it was good fun. I got a present for a friend for Christmas and some very nice ale for me and I was very strong and resisted the books. Actually, there weren't many I was too tempted by- I am trying to improve my mindset that as I work in the library I should really read more from there if I'm tempted by unknowns anyway, but also the pruning has continued and I currently have a box to go so we have room to set up my new wardrobe which should arrive next week(!).

Lady Heyes is always fun because there's so much Random Stuff to look at, ranging from incredibly pretty or cool (like a Captain Scarlet Annual from 1968, a rocking chair, a set of silverware engraved as a wedding present for a couple in 1888) to the grotesque (old furs and a taxidermied Fox and Badger to hang on the wall of one's hunting lodge, teeth bared into snarls) to the downright UGLY

Behold! One of the BIGGEST and UGLIEST table lamps I have ever seen outside of Harrods.

Tomorrow I have to not do anything but studying after church I think. I worked so hard to do all my readings this week but I haven't got any good responses and the pressure is on because I think my virtual presentation is due soon as well, just to make things difficult- it's the staff night out this Friday and then I'm going to the theatre on Saturday so I WILL BE DEAD next weekend. Dead, I tell you!
localfreak: (Avada Kedavra!)
I need to get some perspective I think. I signed up to nano whilst telling myself firmly it would have to be at the bottom of my priority list and, quite frankly, that there was a distinct possibility of failure. No plot, no problem is all very well but: Exhausted, Overwired, Going To Fall Over is somewhere more of a problem. I'm quite a bit behind now but I've actually attempted my readings for this week's lectures now which I think really is probably more important (read is a bit of a strong descriptor though, there truly is nothing more irritating than an author who keeps going "this is an interesting concept" "this is an interesting supposition" when actually it's so terribly, terribly dry that following the thread of the thing becomes nigh-impossible. I read about twenty-five pages and I think the only things that have stuck from the reading is there are some...structural theories about states, that there was a Chancellor called Bismarck who was fired by Kaiser Willhelm in 1890 and his successors led to WW1...somehow/somwhat. And that the 'domino effect' was fundamentally flawed because the natural movements of states leans more towards a 'checkerboard'. None of this, I fear, will help me answer this week's tasks which are:

To understand war as explained through an ‘international systems’ approach and the importance of human agency in the decision-making process.

To consider the nature and impact of The Great War – on society and the international community.


I have also written ONE WORD of Nano in the past 24 hours. ONE WORD. It does hurt...
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)

I made a notes-and-essay nest on my brand new floor. Unfortunately, much later, I still am not happy with my redraft and there's at least two examples (the prevalance of cultural understanding around the term '9/11' despite the fact that, for example in the UK, we would call things '11/9' - and if I can fit it the way that 7/7 just hasn't caught on in the same way, as evidenced in the film We Bought A Zoo in which they decided that was the Great Date for an opening, wheras if they'd decided on 11th September that would have undoubtedly been vetoed as culturally insensitive and also the recent stories about the girl who got shot for going to school etc) and I NEED to put something of them in, I need to because otherwise the essay is LACKING FUNDAMENTALLY.

Brain is cabbaging so will have to return to this ball-ache after my tea. I have to be nearly done after today because I'm meeting friends tomorrow and need to NOT be an essay-panic-deadline bore!
localfreak: (BAH!)

See this is why, unlike the very awesome skabaggie I could never do a photo blog. It would be constant shots of books, cups of tea (in this case coffee because I NEEDED SUGAR and sugar in tea is an abomination of which we will not speak) and my scribble. Every single bloody day.

So I booked today off work to work on my essay. I started at just after eight a.m and barring a break to eat half a cheese-topped baguette and drink something I have been working on it pretty much continuously. I have a first draft. I hate it. I hate it SO MUCH because I think my conclusion is fundamentally lacking, the structure is probably incredibly poor and I am crippled by confusion because writing about things like the formation of the UN, google's advertising revenue etc are all things I HAVE NOT KNOWN OR CARED TO KNOW ABOUT BEFORE TODAY whilst employing google-fu to seek out helpful examples. This makes me feel academically on very shaky ground.

I can't look at it right now though- I've literally just printed the sodding draft after cursing away at my brain trying in vain to find any sort of interesting conclusion (or anything to say...) so I've decided I need to step away now. If I get my week five comments onto the Uni's messageboards now then tomorrow I can print off the next lot of that task and then work towards a serious redraft on Saturday.

Right now, feeling an intense desire to smash sometihing...my frog mug is looking worried.
localfreak: (BAH!)

Mum and I were going to go the pictures this evening to see Ruby Sparks but when I got in she'd forgotten about it and had already started cooking tea. So I finished my Nationalism work instead and now my wrist is killing and my hands have lost most of their circulation (so forgive any excessive typos). I'm thinking we might go tomorrow or Friday and I was going to treat her to a meal. The only issue with going on Friday is that our meals are limited now that the Church has gone back to specifying the old Fish Rule. There is a Frankie and Bennys, A Carvery and a Nandos near to the pictures - I haven't been in either Frankie and Bennys or a Nandos but I thoroughly expect a great deal of meat-based items on the menu.

I wanted to treat her because Parish Politics went mental in the last couple of weeks and she is now giving up volunteeing and doing the Newsletter and the Mass Intention Lists and everything. I'm not going to go into huge amounts of detail why because it is long, complicated and probably very boring for anyone not directly involved but basically it comes down to the fact that Ole Punch is a wanker, and was rude and horrible and quite frankly people should know better than to be evil and hurtful to people who volunteer to help you. The past week has been a huge faith-test really (actually the faith in God isn't the problem, just in people particularly those who should be fucking better representatives). I've had this before with the odd priest and it really isn't new in that sense (when I was about ten or eleven one old lady who didn't approve of the way one of the priests spoke to his servers- me included- told me her Mum had said to her 'if you can't like the man then dislike the man, respect the cloth' and I take that as some comfort. This is the first time that any priest though has every actually caused hurt to One of Mine. Me? Yeah I'm a wimp, I've had a few moments in the past- even with Ole Punch himself once or twice now, but my mum? No way. So I'm still very very angry about it, and obviously she's upset still so I want to try take her mind off it. Doesn't help of course that between people dying and now this means that her social calendar's going a bit bare and I'm going to have to be creative I think in coming up way to help fix this.

Anyway so that's that. I met up with C from Uni at the weekend too and we went for a meal then at Patisserie Valerie in Liverpool, which was very nice and so I also think that maybe going out for a nice meal is just a generally good idea. We are not a family who often do this ever and I find I do actually quite enjoy it; it feels decadent and luxurious and hopefully other people will feel the same way.

Slowly I am coming to terms with my new phone- I definitely like being able to text people when I like without worrying about whether I've enough credit on which is a major plus, but it's just trying to work out different apps and things (any reccomendations on fun apps would be much appreciated by the way, hint hint) I took the above picture on instragram (provided it comes out when I click post) but I still am not 100% I get how it works so it's all very new. And All Tony Stark's Fault- don't forget.
localfreak: (BAH!)
I have been on annual leave since Wednesday this week and last night was the first time I have a. worn shoes and b. left the house since I got in from work on Tuesday.

I have been Essaying Like A Madaman. The area around my desk, currently strewn with biros, page-upon-page of handwritten notes, printouts, photocopied readings and articles and weighty textbooks will attest to this. I have managed to both complete Draft 2/3 of Essay 1 (Academic book review) and Draft 1 of Essay 2 (5000 words to do with the relationship between the image and the real). I have also since printed out Draft 1 of Essay 2 and attacked it with my vicious red pen (lots of "YOU HAVE USED THE SAME WORD THREE TIMES IN THIS PARAGRAPH MORON" and "WTF DOES THIS MEAN?" and "NO SENSE. CUT THE CRAP" - I am a very harsh proofreader when doing it to myself) decided to scrap certain examples (Voldemort Gif- you are amusing, but it is really neither time nor place) and planned out some provisional notes of extra things I wish to add instead. I also spent some of my time proofreading Prawn's disseration- although my comments are strictly much more positive and non-evil on his than they are on my own work.

Now I have Stepped Away and am partially through the process of making a banoffee pie, which, should the endeavour be successful, will be offered up for pudding after Sunday dinner tomorrow.

I am increasingly eager to have these essays done. In the run up to them, over the past month or so, all other endeavours (including, but not limited to, cleaning my computer desk, getting the old computer down from my room to wipe my docs off it so I can give it to my Auntie and Uncle, whose PC has just gone kaput, buying shoes and Tackling the Hovel) have been put on hold.

With regards to Tackling the Hovel, however, exciting developments may be afoot! We received a leaflet in the local rag yesterday that a cash-for-rags recycling branch is opening In Our Town!! A while ago, C-at-work informed me of a place like this based in the nearby town I work in and I informed my mother of the idea excitedly. 'This is great!' I enthused, 'No more sorting and ironing things to send to charity shops only for the hovel to swallow them before they reach there! We can just bag stuff and then take a big batch.'

The snag in that plan? Mum will not brave the town where I work on Saturdays, because traffic is dire, and its opening hours did not extend to late evenings, thus meaning I was stymied from taking them after work. This meant that although I could fill as many bags as would fit in my tiny bedroom, the actuall Taking them There was left to Mum and Nanny. Who...haven't got round to it. Because they never go to that town for anything there's no incentive to 'drop off en route' anywhere and then there's the whole 'getting things to the car' and 'it hasn't stopped raining in a month' etc etc.

So, at present, there are two binbags in Mum's room, and two in mine waiting to go and the only reason there aren't MORE bags is that there is nowhere to put anymore without risking some sort of major avalanche. BUT this new place, which opens on Monday, is where the old Help Romania shop used to be (a charity shop much beloved by me in earlier years because it was approximately 0.4 miles from our house, as opposed to 0.8 miles which, when travelling uphill and over bridges and carrying heavy bags of stuff is a noticable difference). Of course, for carrying these bags a car will be the better mode of transport but the point is that even though in the car the distance will be greater (one way system) than 0.8 miles it is far, FAR more local than the other end of a completely different, larger town.

I am exceedingly excited that this might mean when I get in from work on Monday FOUR MORE BAGS will be gone! *fingers crossed*
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Reasonably productive. I keep telling myself that today has been reasonably productive. I've got a lot of the research notes down for my second essay and re-drafted the first one so that all that is left is the final 'Stupid Typo' check before I count it as done.

I keep putting pressure on myself to do more though. I want to get a move on with things, for many reasons: because OMG Deadlines So Soon! but also because Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and the new Avengers film are out and I have FORBIDDEN MYSELF to go before I have got all the work done.

The only trouble is that with academic source-gathering sometimes one does need to step away and go and pace up and down in a darkened room for a while listening to one's brain fizzling into overload!

Have assuaged that somewhat today by finishing Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders by Gyles Brandreth once I stopped for food.
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.


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

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