quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
It is my birthday! It is also magnificently sunny, which is a strange phenomenon indeed. Thanks everyone for the good wishes and [livejournal.com profile] green_maia for the virtual gift!!

I didn't have a very exciting morning, because I had an appointment at the hospital about what will be my new hearing aids, which we did all the testing and calibrating for. I held my nerve and asked about the exciting transparent dark blue ones I'd seen on the internet, but they only had beige in, so they're going to have to send them to me when they've ordered some and programmed them up. But! I had the test ones on for a little while and they seemed to do enough to make me think I'm not wasting everyone's time about wanting to try them, though apparently it's going to take getting used to them before the world stops sounding like a bathroom. I hope they'll be OK; with both them and my glasses round my ears I felt remarkably cyborg-like, but you can't really see the tubes in my ear.

Because I am a creature of routine, I then went into the library, but thankfully found a few of friends at lunchtime with the presence of mind to tell me I should fuck off and go shopping. Also that there was more than enough time to rally at least the lit. people together for a drink this evening, so we will be off for Nando's and cocktails later! I really wanted to organise something with all the various disparate groups of friends I have, but I didn't get my act together at all... But I did have pizza with some other people last night, and was presented with four bottles of Jelly Belly soda (!!!! - Cyber Candy FTW)! Haven't tried them yet, but am looking forward to it. Maybe I should have one when I've finished my Coke...

I also had some cash from my family, so I did indeed fuck off for the afternoon and go shopping. The only problem is that, with the weather as it is, I'm feeling remarkably lacking in anything remotely spring like or slouchy-cool. This is partly because the two vaguely slouchy-cool tops I own need a wash and I'm stuck otherwise with tight t-shirts (all of which are getting really old). I didn't really solve this problem, but I did buy the palest jumper I've owned in a long time/ever(?). I also found a Whistles slouchy jumper dress reduced to £35 in John Lewis, which was a bit of a result. It's not really spring like in any respect, but it is burgundy and 100% merino wool, so I don't see how this can be in any way bad. It needs some leggings and boots, but then it will be joy!
quinara: Cartoon Giles cleaning his glasses. (Giles cartoon)
is back on. I had a feeling it was going to be slightly tough after the summer, but it wasn't too bad, all told, especially since I was reading French. The afternoon was mostly a wash-out of me fighting sleep and feeling cold despite my massive library-cold-staving-off jumper, but I got up and out on time this morning, stayed for a non-too-shabby day, and think I did something worthwhile. Although, if I've lost this much stamina with reading, I'm slightly worried about how my stamina-stamina is going to hold up when football starts again...

Hopefully, also, this was exacerbated by my post-syringing ears, which seem to have got some fairly stubborn water bubbles stuck in them, so every time I talk to someone it sounds like we're underwater (a bit). Fingers crossed they'll have cleared up tomorrow for my ear test.

The only other amusing titbit I have is that my mum has been making noises about me getting my bike serviced before the winter, with the comment that it's really expensive in our only (not so) local bike shop, but it'll probably be cheaper out here in Bikeland, and worth doing just to make sure everything's OK. Of course, how it turns out that things are actually done here is that I go to a bike shop, get told to bring my bike in, then have a five minute chat with the bike mechanic (who looks disconcertingly like one of my cousins when he was about eighteen) about how the wheels and brakes are doing and how it otherwise looks fine for everyday use. And then I'm sent on my way, with instructions on how to properly tighten up brakes and the comment 'yeah, obviously if you pump up the tyres a few times and they keep going flat, you've got a puncture'. I was rather tickled by the way there was absolutely no attempt to rope me into buying/paying for anything at all, but I'm assuming this is because they have far too many on-going bike repairs to waste everybody's time with vanity services for panicky non-locals still getting used to having a bike as an everyday, all-purpose vehicle...
quinara: 'You may be silent, but this will shut you up,' says Andrew. (Andrew ninja)
On the baking front I have discovered

- the oven in my new house runs at least ten if not twenty degrees higher than advertised.
- non-stick cake tins aren't actually non-stick; things will still stick, it just won't be as much of a disaster if you tried cooking without paper in a normal cake tin. You still need paper if you want your cake to come away clean from the bottom.
- hand whisks gathered second-hand from a friend of a friend are liable to break halfway through mixing your sponge batter, leaving you minutes of fun trying to get the sponge of them and trying to make sure that the butter is all unlumped.

All in all, I think this has produced the worst all-in-one Victoria sponges that I have made since I was nine years old. And I'm intending to serve it to [personal profile] stultiloquentia tomorrow when she visits... :( (To be fair, I think it will taste OK in the middle where it rose properly, but the edges are all flat and crispy. Sigh! I'm meant to be good at sponges. I should have got a new baking tray and made brownies...)

Otherwise, on the ears front, over the last few months I've been finding it more and more difficult to hear people in crowds. And understand French when I can't see lips moving. This possibly requires a slightly larger sigh than the cake!fail, though as a start I apparently need to get them syringed again, so I'm on olive oil until Monday, before I have that done and a proper hearing test on Wednesday. Considering the amount of deafness on my dad's side of the family and the fact that my ears have already proved themselves quite shit, I'm not holding out much hope for an all clear, but we shall see. And, hey, apparently NHS hearing aids come in funky colours these days...

Otherotherwise, in case it got lost, Stulti's coming to visit tomorrow!!! I am excited. If unlikely to impress with my baking skills.
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
I'm back at home in preparation for Things happening, and must must must reply to emails ASAP, but I thought I'd reappear vaguely pointedly, if only because going without the internet feels like dropping off the face of the earth.

On the riots - nothing much has been happening round my way, though my mum's work sent everyone home early yesterday (which was amusingly enough her first day in a new position - so much for settling in!). I hope everybody (and everybody everyone knows) and their possessions are safe! It's all quite appalling. (And yet I cannot help but be disgruntled by Nick Robinson on the news saying that Cazza will be keen to say that these aren't political actions against the government but apolitical attacks against the people. As far as I'm concerned, the business of government is managing the population so that society doesn't break down into violence and fear. How can this not be an attack against the government if our government is truly constituted by the people? And don't get me started on the petition to axe rioters' benefits. Of course what we need right now are violently disaffected people out in the streets with nowhere to live...)

Otherwise - my tinnitus is acting up and my glasses are still wonky from where I fell over a couple of weeks ago (not that I expect them to fix themselves, but one can dream). Add to that a letter from the Student Loans Company saying that I haven't told them anything about my situation (when I have, I bloody have) and they're going to fine me 150 quid if I don't declare what I'm doing and how I'm supporting myself within twenty-eight days, I'm a bit grumpy. Not to mention my laptop coming back from Dell with a new hard drive (yay? Only time will tell if it doesn't freeze anymore), but of course with all my settings undone, and me not realising how many accummulative tweaks I'd made. Like to the effing touchpad mouse, which is teeth-gratingly sensitive (and I can't find the bloody settings to change it).

However - college has decided to award me a prize (of money) for my MPhil thesis, strangely enough. This is nice. Reassuring, in fact, since it seems as though academia may still be the one area in which I'm not actually incompetent. And people say I should get out and find a real job...
quinara: Buffy's sad-looking profile from Villains. (Buffy profile)
It was my [livejournal.com profile] seasonal_spuffy day yesterday, which turned out to be a rather extreme output of my last few month's creative energies... But still, Remix and the Free For All day are on the horizon!! (And [livejournal.com profile] sb_fag_ends is still running...!)

First of all I had a fic - a post-DMP crossover with AtS just post-Loyalty, featuring a strung-out Wesley, an Angel doped up on baby-love and a long-suffering Lorne. ~25,000 words, rated R for reasonably explicit sex and quite a lot of swearing, AO3 warning free.

The More Things Stay the Same. (Also now on DW.)
Buffy goes to Wesley instead of Tara about the resurrection spell.

I also had a vid, which was an experiment with John Cage's 4'33''. I might as well re-embed it here...

I posted it with a brief sort-of introduction, because it was an experiment, but if you'd rather just see what it does on its own without my nattering, then skip this cut. )

TL;DR: This vid is strange, but you can hopefully still watch it with the sound off. It comes with a free poem...? Warnings for discrete flashes and a lot of juddery cutting. Otherwise it's fairly gloomy in mood, but with nothing more ratings-worthy than a rat. And those strangely made-up cuts on Spike's chest from Lessons. If you feel like it, I'd recommend watching with the lights off and in HD / having downloaded the file.

4'33'' )

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quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
Quinara

April 2014

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