quinara: Buffy standing at the back of her house, looking grumpy by a tree. (Buffy Flooded)
The weather has resolved from scorching into a rather perfect (if elusive) British summertime, where it isn't so hot you feel uncomfortable just sitting in a room without air conditioning, but you can wear a t-shirt and jeans and have the windows open and just generally enjoy a light breeze the whole time. Well done, weather.

In less good news, my monitor decided it didn't want to receive an HDMI signal anymore, so I'm currently on my telly (which is a bit rubbish at rendering text and far too bright), until HP send me a replacement next week. Although I'm not sure that's not going to fail in three months time either, but I live in hope.

In other news entirely, I wrote some fic for the first time in ages. After a run-in at a nightclub, Buffy laments getting old...

Running Up that Hill.

Oh, and I seem to be getting into coconut water?
quinara: Profile shot of Cassie from Skins, with lots of hair and a hat. (Cassie hat)
Go, go, go: [livejournal.com profile] moriwen1's What is This, a Joke?

Spike and Aslan walk into a bar. Or, more exactly, Spike's on the hunt for his soul and ends up with a bloody terrifying lead. Cue a breezy-fresh short story with solid metaphysical credentials nonetheless. And chapter one has a twist that keeps on giving. [livejournal.com profile] brutti_ma_buoni already linked it, but I'm linking it again, because I don't want you lot to miss it!

In other news, which should probably get its own post so as not to sour the proceedings, I've been sucked back into The Voice? I think it must say something for the rejigging of the format, because it was about this time last year that I abandoned it. It's just a fact, though, that neither Danny wotsisarrogantface nor Tom Jones have any clue about production, which is such a shame, because Jessie J and will.i.am's people are the only ones who end up giving proper thought-through performances.

Everyone's clear favourite, as it should be, is Leah... Because this is just aces! I can't bear pop, but modern covers of disco I apparently like. Also, the vast heaps of sarcasm she pours over the lyrics are great.



But I also like Leanne, who got kicked off. I think she dreams of being Christina Aguilera, but she really needs to be on the dance circuit. That icy high register of hers is dying out for pounding electronics. As they started getting to with this:



Soz; I iz proper hyper on curry and Hotel Chocolat chocolate wot I couldn't resist on the way home.
quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
As I polish off my bowl of boeuf bourguignon soup ([livejournal.com profile] bogwitch will be pleased to note that Housemate and I have defected from Asda to Sainsbury's online shopping, generally to escape the permarain and the inability to bring back more than 4-8 loo rolls at a time on our bikes), it strikes me that foreign cuisine has only really made it in the UK these days once it's been successfully turned into a type of sandwich, crisps and/or soup. Where would we be without the wraps of the world (currently discovering: chipotle'n'chicken), the ubiquitous Thai sweet chilli crisp (and my current favourite thing of Warburton's naan chips) and the supermarkets' competition with Covent Garden and Glorious! soups to make the bestest flavour? I fear we are all taste-hounds who can't be arsed to cook. I blame Rick Stein.
quinara: Spike drinking from a blood bag. (Spike blood bag)
I'm going to some sort of Food Hell for this, but Hellman's mayonnaise-with-a-hint-of-wasabi is possibly the best thing on (salty) chips ever. Also on a spoon. But there's more competition there.

Which saying, if you ever buy a tub of Philadelphia-with-Cadbury's, it basically tastes like chocolate spread on toast. But! On a spoon, consumed as a chocolatey snack, it becomes something quite awesome to behold (and eat).
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: Lorne holding up a sea breeze, looking enigmatic. (Lorne Player)
Never set a scene in KFC, especially if you haven't had any breakfast. It will lead to you wanting KFC. And then finding out that the only one in your city just so happens to be about three minutes from your front door. You then be mired with indecision about whether to go and get some for lunch, and will probably give in...

Related to this scene however, how much is KFC in the States? Could you feed two people with ten dollars back in 2002? What drinks do they serve? I remember it being Pepsi, but you don't want to drink Pepsi cola (obviously) so the option over here is (obvs) Tango, but I'm not sure that gets around much in the States. Do Pepsi places do Mountain Dew? Would people drink Mountain Dew with KFC? What does it even taste of? 7Up is my back up option, but it's quite a boring choice.

Oh, I iz hungry. I need a shower, but my housemate's having one and that will take time... I might just throw on some clothes and venture forth. For chicken, which I haven't had since I was about 17. (Strangely enough, KFCs relatively rare over here compared to McDonald's and Burger King. Or maybe this isn't strange?)

(Also, why am I trying to write something so long? It's going to send me mad...)

ETA: Well, that was fairly greasy and unpleasant. Tango's nice, though. I like how my chip bag is telling me 'crunchy, hot, delicious, tasty, delicious, golden' and even 'excite the senses', as a list of all the things its chips failed to achieve...
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
I've had a really nice day today, for several reasons. It started with [personal profile] snickfic leaving some massively juicy feedback on As Good as a Rest, which I hope she won't mind me linking to over here, as part of the More Feedback Week she's running. I don't know if Snick's up for debate or anything, but I do want to take the opportunity to say that if you ever want to talk to me about thematic stuff in my fic, you can do it any time of ever. I overthink most stuff I write, so I'll always have something to say back!

Otherwise, I spent the day actually reading the text that I'm working on (believe it or not, this rarely happens) trying to make sense of how I was going to talk about it in relation to all the other reading I've been doing, and actually managed to develop some ideas. All preliminary stuff, natch, because we're only halfway through term, but I now have a notebook page with sections and passage references and questions to be answered. This is not the level of achievement I usually expect to perceive!

Also went out for a lovely meal with friends (only slightly scuppered by my high-waisted skirt and remarkably poor digestive system, which for some reason turned a cheesy pizza into enough pain that I felt nauseous for the whole journey home and a little while afterwards, but let's ignore that).

And then I watched this interesting slideshow on the BBC website about the history of British housing. For some reason I'm often drawn to documentaries about housing, so I knew quite a lot of what was covered, but I still thought it was interesting.

So there you go. It's rare that I look back on a day and really think 'well, that was pleasant, wasn't it?', so I thought it deserved a post.

ETA: Although, also, side note, just because it appeared above my post on my DW reading page and I think it's probably my turn to mention it, but - Mark Watches? Are we all agreed he's basically given up anything even vaguely resembling review-writing now? I think I might have to keep reading just to see how the heck he manages to spin this out for another four seasons of material, but, otherwise, yeesh.
quinara: Spike from Sleeper, looking dismayed against a green background. (Spike green)
A white plate displaying brown squares of gingerbread, drizzled with white/pale green icing.
(The colours on my phone are really drab; sorry! I've tried to get things looking like they should...)
(Also: context.)


Well, I couldn't resist. Mostly because I've been looking for an excuse to go and get some miso paste from the Korean/Asian supermarket near me, and getting a few more ingredients made sense. I wouldn't say the wasabi in these is very strong at all, and I don't know if you could tell what was in them if you didn't already know, but they are nice and fragrant (+ sweet) and leave a certain warmness in your mouth after you've eaten one. They're absolutely nothing like wasabi peas and I'm sure Spike's palate would be quite bored by them, but they're a variation I'll make again! I might experiment with a touch more spices, because I wouldn't mind more flavour, though I think the ratio is right.

Recipe?! )
quinara: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
Have decided this proves I am an adult: the snow has come, and all I can think about is that it's going to make it really hard to get to the library on Monday.

Also I'm out of all food that isn't pie. And Coke! I'm out of Coke! I meant to go to Asda today, but I was playing FFXIII and then I was cleaning... Thankfully Housemate is still excited enough by snow to be willing to adventure out with me. Of course, the Saturday crowd means there probably isn't going to be everything I want left, but hopefully there'll be non-pie food and some flapjack ingredients. And Coke.
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: 'You may be silent, but this will shut you up,' says Andrew. (Andrew ninja)
I love Nigel Kennedy!!! (It's all about following a long, sombre partita with a swing version of an air called Das Pendel.)

[ETA: The video is no more, but it's on Radio 3 here for the moment: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b018hbkk]

In other iPlayer news - baking + baking history + baking science + reality-style competition + charming reality bods + Sue Perkins? Why did no one tell me The Great British Bake Off existed???
quinara: Anya drinking whiskey. (Anya whiskey)
Clermont won many points today (when did I start dealing with everything in life by a points system? I don't know), all for shopping, which went fairly well. Initially I had a few problems, because I went out towards the shopping centre thinking I'd find somewhere to eat along the way (seven-odd Euros for a posh salad, I was thinking; it's that sort of day - 27/8, apparently it's going to be 31 tomorrow; I might stay in), only to be faced with, well, cafes. Nice looking cafes, all with nice cafe price tags. I thought about eating in a dodgy cafe, but I tend to believe that with naff cafes you still end up paying 6E50 (why is there no Euro sign on my keyboard?) for a croque monsieur, while the ambience just makes you feel a bit like you're dying... So I went into the shopping centre, thinking there might be something interesting in there, but it turned out the only thing going was a PAUL, which I recognised from Marylebone station of all places, but that all looked a bit too much like having to make myself understood at a busy counter. On the first run through the shopping centre, I was also a bit put out by recognising most of the shops - although I'm not sure what I was expecting! Thankfully there wasn't an H&M or a United Colours of Benetton, which I tend to think of as the scourge of European shopping districts (I've never bought anything from UCoB, and usually find that H&M purchases have been a mistake), but there was Zara, naturally, and C&A, which just makes me think of the nineties, and a Habitat still going strong. And a LUSH, which will be handy if my Angels runs out while I'm here...

Rambley ramble. )
quinara: Vyvyan's car from The Young Ones: a yellow Ford Anglia with flames up the side.  And a leg attached to the bonnet. (Vyvyan car)
I couldn't be bothered to type, but my WiFi couldn't cope with being useful for enough time to upload a whole ramble, so here I am in selected tracks. And we've got a video! /Young Ones

Me on Clermont-Ferrand (and Subway).
Me on the course (and the video - see below).
Me on where I'm living (and the availability of Tyrell's Crisps).
Some fandomy sort of stuff (and the Jardin Lecoq...).

Video! As I say, sad but catchy.



(Please do still listen and talk to meeeeeee...!!)
quinara: Anya drinking whiskey. (Anya whiskey)
So when I volunteered to help at a conference, I thought it might be a pain. And it's true that I'll have to be in at 9.30 tomorrow morning - but I forgot that when the Classics Fac throws a party, what it actually throws is fuckloads of free wine. And cake in this instance (cake to take home!!). And lets me meet and make friends with a load of drunk randomers. It's times like this I remember why I don't want to leave.

Oh, and I wrote fic - here and here. I need to reply to LJ comments when it's not playing silly buggers. Spuffy phone convos: gloomy argument and phone sex. Free of content AO3 reckons needs a warning. I'm quite happy with them really, but then I spend most of my fic time pleasing myself. Though my email says that you, Bogalog, have been obtuse about something somewhere where I need to be sober to respond to the sarcasm properly.

Why didn't I bring home more free cake?
quinara: Sherlock Holmes thinks porn is boring. (Sherlock porn is boring)
1. Why does Sainsbury's use milk in their flapjacks? It's sickly and completely unnecessary.
2. Why am I so sensitive to the taste of milk in sweet things? This is like when college ruined baklava by lacing the whole lot with cream.
3. Why are ablative absolutes so inelegant in English? I don't think I should be penalised in a classics essay for clearly having read too much stuff that uses them.
4. Why doesn't anyone like gerunds? They only want to be free...
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
Srsly, REMIX MADNESS. You know you want to. (Why am I going out today? Damn you, Dvorak (or not, but whatevs). On that note, dear remixer, if you've popped in desperate to know WHERE I AM, I will be with you ASAP. Also, it's entirely possible I'm more excited about the remix I beta'd than the one I wrote. Which is possibly strange, but my remix feels old to me now. I need the excitement back! Hence Madness, funnily enough...)

Also! [community profile] asexual_fandom is revving up for Three Weeks for DW - check out all the amusing prompts! And post some! And answer them! And maybe find a certain Dawn-Andrew fic by yours truly. Plus, behold 101 Asexy Sex Scenes, for high amusement and trope-bending.

(Having cheese strings and Coke for breakfast was probably not a good idea. But now I'm hyper and well calciumated?)
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)
I was feeling Coke-deprived, and generally out of things to do before Being Human, so I pootled along to the Co-Op, the only shop open on a Sunday night, to buy some Coke (and bread and cake and squash), spent £3.75 on six cans (ie. waaaaay over the odds), came home and dumped my hoard on my bed. Then I checked my emails for a little bit, before returning to the bag to put things away - only to find that I'd managed (somehow) to burst an infinitesimal hole into the side of one of the cans and half of it had leaked everywhere. So now I only have five cans of Coke, about 200ml of flat Coke-flavoured liquid in a glass and a big stain on my quilt, the cover of which I only just cleaned the other day!

I feel like I'm being punished for not bothering to go to Sainsbury's this afternoon like I should have done...
quinara: Why Bird from Playdays with tea in front of the Whytech. (Why Bird tea and tech)
I was going to make a post about various bits of my day, including the invention of sausage au vin à la frying pan (in brief: you can taste it hasn't been in the oven and cohered properly - [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch, you were right); next attempt will involve a stock cube to hopefully offset this) and my trip to the newly opened, souped-up to 11 Post Office (the highlight of which was a free-roaming assistant(?!?) accosting me on my way in, asking if she could help with anything, and getting my response of 'Well, I was just looking for a post office, really - where I could buy an envelope and send a letter?') - but, alas, I iz tired and uncertain my powers of description are up to it, so suffice to say I have now applied for my PhD (if the post office wasn't in fact through a portal to Bizzaro World) and don't have to worry until the funding interview in March. Also, I cooked something purple.

However, since it only involves typing, I will share with you the particular quote that won today's research:

I haven't set out to offer a comprehensive survey, merely an open-ended investigation into what is out there, how it works, how one author's approach differs from another, and where the form seems to be headed. The foundation of this endeavour is rough and ready: I grabbed a bunch of poems. I offer a translation of each poem and give a broad idea of what its sense might be, along with minimal notes on any textual difficulties; and I develop a criticism which aims to mirror the shifting complexities of the reading experience. One thing I do not set out to do is close down signification within texts that (in my view) intentionally resist it. I'm not much of a deconstructionist, but I do take it as fairly evident that language is slippery in use, and anyone who reacts badly to the milder deconstructionist/postmodern ideas will probably not enjoy what follows. Also, some of the moves I make with material culture - in particular, the way I read the cheapness and nastiness of the Nikarkhos book fragments as something significant that we can work with, figuring out a model readership so to speak via the back door and maybe even politicising them - may not strike everybody as the proper way to do classics. Sorry. But I think classicists should spend more time with zinesters and webmonkeys before they write this sort of thing off.


-- Gideon Nisbet (2003), Greek Epigram in the Roman Empire: Martial's Forgotten Rivals, Oxford. xv-xvi.

;)
quinara: Why Bird from Playdays with tea in front of the Whytech. (Why Bird tea and tech)
People may or may not remember when I commented back in April that my mum's souvenir, when we went to Berlin, was a set of Ampelmännchen pastry cutters... Neither of us were entirely sure when they were going to get used, but today their time came!!

Proud Biscuit-Mum photos under cut... )

And they're very tasty too. Not that they're making me hyper, no no no.

AMPELMÄNNCHEN!!
quinara: Why Bird from Playdays with tea in front of the Whytech. (Why Bird tea and tech)
My soup refers to itself in the first person. The packaging isn't in any way cutesy, but it still phrases things like this warning under the microwave instructions:

OUCH! My pot can get a bit wobbly when it's hot, so stand me on a plate when you're reheating and stirring and mind your fingers when you pick me up.

No matter how gimmicky it is, this sort of copy (rather than the rude and patronising: CAUTION! GETS HOT WHEN HEATED or whatever) never fails to make me smile. Long may it continue!

:D

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Quinara

April 2014

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