quinara: Profile shot of Olivier from FMA:B, mostly of her hair. (Olivier profile)
But I thought I should check in again! Thanks for all the birthday wishes last weekend. Life continues, and I have got into jogging and (bizarrely) Beauty (at least in terms of spending ages browsing shit and then buying nail varnish) as ways of destressing.

But on a shopping trip today I also bought this album, which made me very happy:

Electronic 80s 2 from the Ministry of Sound's Anthems series

I don't know what crap they had on the first version - this just keeps giving. I didn't even realise when I bought it that New Order's True Faith was on it, nor White Wedding!

I also have some Deep House Euphoria and a Maison Kitsune compilation of 'new faces'. But those are to think about later!

I also bought fruit. *is anticipating the nectarine season*
quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
Sorry; should have said that ages ago. Suffice to say the second of half of term was very busy and various things were/continue to be quite stressful. Currently I'm dealing with it via profligate online spending... :/ But given we live in times of miniscule interest rates and moderate inflation there's naff all point saving anyway, right? And my job hunt for next October might be successful...

Not much news otherwise. Main bit of spending was on a beautiful new work laptop, because my old one was held together by sellotape and tended to crash all the time anyway. Technically it was mostly bought with the money I earnt teaching this term, though I sort of went over-budget after getting seduced beyond my means... Also, I didn't factor in that in the last three years Microsoft have changed their licensing on Office to make them all single-use unless you already have Office365. Since my PC just has normal Office 2013 I also had to put up another hundred quid for that. :( But I'm writing on it now and it's lovely!! I continue to be the only person in the world who actually likes Windows 8, and now I've got to grips with SkyDrive, I quite like that too.

I have also decided I'm going to try growing the dye out of my hair (which has been henna'd red for at least the last seven years and with a box before that), because I decided the red was making my face look even redder. I'm hoping with age and experience what I remember as mousey brown might read as ash blonde this time around, or else I might help it along a bit anyway. The plan is to look pale and interesting, rather than an angsty teenager, which the red reminds me of being. We shall see.

My fandom output has been minimal, continuing to be limited to javascript web doodles for [livejournal.com profile] sb_fag_ends - but do make sure to check out our advent calendar! Especially tomorrow, if you get a chance, or before the end of December. Such javascript plotting is indeed relevant for something else [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch and I are working on, but that's still officially unannounced, so don't watch this space.

Finally, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] curiouswombat and [livejournal.com profile] speakr2customrs for the Christmas card! It did indeed manage to traverse the far reaches of space and time; I was very impressed. Merry Christmas to you (glad to hear everyone's OK) and extra merry Christmasses to everyone who wants one!
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: Owl from Meg and Mog driving: 'Who let the owl drive?' (Meg and Mog Owl drive)
^ BBC headline right now. About pregnant!Kate pics.

... Er, gang, we're still in 2013, right? Watching Supersizers Eat The Fifties didn't actually send me back in time, did it? o.O

(Also watched the Supersizers do the Eighties. When did I start being charmed so much by the 80s? Why won't it stop?)

(I really, really don't want to go back to the library tomorrow. Even though I have Responsibilities To Undergrads I Have Been Shirking. My mum was right. I've hit the wall of my particular PhD marathon. In sport/bizarre craft projects this is usually where I give up. And my head is tender still. :( )
quinara: Illyria looking serious in bright light. (Illyria shine)
So, I am on my new computer! The shiny, it is beautiful. Windows 8 is weird and a bit cumbersome, but I think I can see myself enjoying it when I get to grips with it. Office 2013 seems fine, but I do NOT like the DESIGN CHOICE that MENU HEADINGS should be in CAPITALS. Ugly and hard to read at a glance. :( But I'm sure I'll get used to it.

The real sea change, though, is my monitor. Ever since I saw [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch's old HP laptop (even with its heating issues...), I have coveted an HP screen and the same depth of colour intensity. At last the dream has been realised in 23 inches of glory! (Because there were bigger screens on the market, I, er, thought it was going to be smaller than it was...) Watching HD on it earlier just makes me want to watch things all the time. And design things. And watch more things. Even if I'll probably stick to fic for the moment (and trying to remember how things used to be on my old Firefox).
quinara: Profile shot of Cassie from Skins, with lots of hair and a hat. (Cassie hat)
Many thanks to whomever nominated me at [livejournal.com profile] absence_oflight! I have my suspicions who it was, but I shall keep quiet - it's very much appreciated!!

In other news, I bought some new plant pots and will be attempting to grow/maintain basil plant number three. Don't know why I bothered buying more coriander; may not bother with it and just grow mint instead. Yum, mint. Have moved my jade plant into this hideous blingy mosaic glass ball thing (meant for candles and presumably the ugly nineties spa look?), but as I hoped the soil tones down the blingy glass and leaves it a nice-ish textured pot that goes with the living room. (It was the right size, basically, and everything else was horrible too. This was so ugly it charmed me...)

Generally, I am in complete love with this song - ish. It's the best off the album (which isn't that great, but nice enough), and the original was one of my favourites off the original album. It's definitely better than the original, but I feel like something's supposed to happen after the first two minutes that never does. :(

quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
I'm very behind on the internet at the moment - sorry about that. That time I took off for my arm caught up with me and I spent last weekend working... Term time comes with too many seminars + semi compulsory socialising, which I had forgotten.

Anyway, this series of The Thick of It has been a bit strange. Read more... )
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
Helloo!!! I've got used to being as pithy as possible, so this is a little strange, but I am writing from a USB keyboard balanced on my lap, attached to my laptop on a high table. The keyboard was meant for the library, but I might have to keep it here and see how I get on with it, since my attempts to find an office chair were a complete failure and I'm not sure it would really have worked anyway. I have quite long arms, so I think the keyboard needs to be on my lap to write in the natural position... But it's strange how even changing that habit is making it feel very unnatural to be typing instead of talking. I feel like I'm dictating or something.

Never mind; also have one wrist support on my right wrist. Definitely need another (hadn't realised what a difference it would make, and fifteen quid seemed excessive for a tube of neoprene with some velcro - cheers, Boots), if only to wear them at home. I think it helps with typing position too.

In other I-went-shopping-today news, I have decided that Siouxsie and the Banshees' The Lord's Prayer is the only appropriate soundtrack for bra shopping. Nothing else conveys the sense of abject misery, hopelessness and profound ugliness that lingerie departments inspire. Never may you need to search for a plain black t-shirt bra. I ended up in Primark, just out of desperation, and should not have been surprised to find you can indeed get something for £2.50 that fits at least as well as the other basic options elsewhere (sitting between £16-£20 - or you can get 2 for £20, if you want some foul white/tan version to go with the black, which I don't). Bleck.

Watched Sleeper this evening. I think I must watch far too much comedy and reality stuff these days, because I couldn't get over how dark the whole episode watch, literally speaking with the light. I was looking for the 'increase brightness' button on my flicker, the way I reach for the volume when something's too quiet.

My inbox is a state. Forgive me if I'm really slow at answering everything. Don't want to blow things just because it turns out Saturday night TV is dramatically more boring than weekday afternoons. But hello again!
quinara: Buffy's sad-looking profile from Villains. (Buffy profile)
Blimey, they've jazzed up the previouslies and next-weeks on the Bake Off, haven't they? I was getting Apprentice vibes tonight... It was brilliant!!

In other news, one of the important light bulbs in my house has just gone (ie. the one that lights half the downstairs... To be fair, we don't have many lights, so they're all pretty important. This one is particularly annoying right now). But I have also finished that fic I mentioned the other day! I should have realised this with [community profile] seasonal_spuffy, but my ability to obsess over a fic I'm posting has reached quite horrific levels in recent times, so the only way through the continuous re-thinking and over-reading and editing is to buckle down and get the whole thing out in one. And yet I try so hard to be normal. :(

Anyway, if it matters to you, dear reader, could you please, please tell me if you will only look at this if I post it out over on this journal as well as [livejournal.com profile] sb_ashtray, because I can never tell if re-posting's worth bothering about. Basically, I worry sometimes that I'm spamming/doing some sort of equivalent flist-shouting about myself to post things in multiple places, and I happen to be the sort of person that will happily wander down links wherever they take me. But I'm extremely happy to bring anything over here if you want to see it in my home environment/on Dreamwidth/whatever! The fic's still only a click away. Sometimes I feel like I should do a poll...

Otherwise, this story is ~16,000 words long, rated R (reasonably strongly-ish?), written to the prompt 'burnt out'. It needs none of the AO3-standard warnings and is a standalone you can nonetheless read in the context of my generally vignette-based series about Spike and Buffy's telephone contact during+after Angel S5, and then their merry life together in London. It's angsty, but I'm quite fond of it! (Though I would say that.)

.

What it is to Burn.
After three years in a long distance relationship, Buffy’s the one who cracks first.

[one] [two] [three] [four]

.

ETA: Oh, but you can read it on the AO3 now too.
quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
I had a weird mind-wander as I was getting ready today where I thought about what I would do if I won the lottery, as in actually what I would do from the first moment of getting the cheque onwards. It was odd. I ended up deciding that I would find a massive influx of money very stressful and confusing, because at heart I rely too much on being part of an (academic) institution to want that much financial independence. But at the same time I am and will always be a magpie, so I really wouldn't mind some posher clothes and posher food in my life, as well as a new computer and a decent electric whisk (my Asda Basics eight quid one has just broken). And I still really want to do the whole Trans-Siberian Railway one day. But maybe when I'm retired. And have learned Russian and Chinese.

All in all, I think I want to learn more languages. And have decided that thinking about the future is strange.
quinara: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
It wasn't shit. I actually liked it a lot! There were many delights to be had and I might actually go and watch it again now (at least the first bit, not the parade, nor the goo later, though that was pleasant enough at midnight). Macca ruined it at the end, as is his way, but the first section was very clever - I've been made to sing Jerusalem in school in my time and it was quite something to see it played out against the irony of history. With Branagh!Brunel and The Tempest, no less!

And I liked the bouncy beds and the GOSH children's stories. And all the music!! It was so nice to feel like there were people at the helm in the Boyle-Underworld team who knew where to go for a recent history of British music. I'm not even a big fan of Dizzee Rascal, but you can't really have a house party without him (and help me for recognising Tinie Tempah too). There nothing like the Pretty Vacant riff as a siren call...

And I thought the 7/7 memorial firey section was very well done (Emeli Sandé has a lovely voice), and I loooved the cycling birds. (Especially to the sound of the Arctic Monkeys! Not who I expect to pop up at an event like this, and so refreshing. Take note, you bookers of Gary effing Barlow.)

They had some very nice picks on the flag carriers. Shami Chakrabarti looked like she couldn't believe she'd been asked, and I couldn't quite either, but, yeah, she's who you want carrying a flag!

And someone somewhere made some excellent choices about how to do the whole torch-to-cauldron bit. Not least on the copper (best metal). ;)

(Still not going to watch any of the sport.)

ETA: Seriously, I cannot stop re-watching the Isles of Wonder/Pandaemonium opening segment. I'm not sure what other national pageants I've ever seen for the UK, but this is so captivating. That molten steel running down the shape of the Thames; the pantomime-monster-sized industrial looms. Maybe I'm just easily bought by slick and ironic literary references, but this is spectacle.

.

10 May 2012 22:40
quinara: Little cartoon girl from the Devics' Distant Radio EP cover. (Devics Distant Radio)
Grandma's House was like dreams on toast tonight. So, so good.

In other news, I really want to finish the draft of my [community profile] seasonal_spuffy fic by the end of the weekend, so I can edit the first half for posting next Friday (in consultation with the [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch splitting it between my posting day and the free-for-all seems like the most sensible idea, rather than spamming the hell out of people). Given my rough estimate puts me at 16,000 words still to go, things could get interesting. Hopefully I'll hit the downhill slope at some point...

Lalala, fun times. I think I've discovered interesting, nay Good (TM) things about the text I'm working on, so PhD endeavours are looking up. (The answer, my friends, lies in Propertius 3.1 and 3.3, oh yes. This is why we are on a boat. /random)

Maybe there should be more stuff here...
quinara: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
I think I may be giving up on my Shakespeare thing. :(

I know, it's only been a week, I hear you cry, but I found myself at the point where I was really going to be putting off the inevitable if I didn't just give up - and the idea of all the complicated going backwards and forwards was getting me down. Also, looking at the amount of money I owe British Gas and thinking about how much money I'm spending on train tickets.

As usual, it's my lack of attention to detail/practicality that's really been the bugger. In theory, I love the idea of a multi-lingual Shakespeare festival, and I have been enjoying the actual plays as objects. The problem is that the actual experience has not been play-play-Shakespeare-joy so much as feeling constantly tired, cold, distracted and lonely - which I should have remembered from the last time I studied in the British Library. It is something of a flaw of mine that I am rarely/never 'transported' by art of whatever form; if I'm cold and wet and have sore feet, then adding a play to the whole experience just means that I'm cold and wet and watching a play. It's slightly more pleasant than not having a play at all, but it doesn't cancel things out. On top of that, I really, really can't do much more than one thing at once, and even though the work I've been getting done hasn't been so bad, relatively speaking, I've been constantly feeling like I need to change gear and have to go so I can get to the next thing on time. Yesterday was my first 'day off' and realising how much if felt like a day off today made me realise that this probably wasn't going so well...

It's a bit sad that it turns out I really am one of those sad PhD students who gets twitchy if they're out of the library too long, but I miss cycling in and being able to just slump in my seat with my laptop and my stack of bits I've been keeping on the window sill. Going into London with a rucksack full of stuff everyday doesn't make me feel like anything that involved is happening.

Oh well, it doesn't really matter. Just thought I'd share this new confirmation of things I should have already known about myself - will have to remember in future that my daft ideas aren't always so great. I think I'll still maybe go to some of them, though. I'll see how I feel.
quinara: Lorne holding up a sea breeze, looking enigmatic. (Lorne Player)
So, my Easter weekend can be summed up by easily boilable carbohydrate things, writing and computer games. Yep. Oh, and Tchaikovsky. A lot of Tchaikovsky.

I keep opening up this window trying to come up with something more to say about that, and a witty way of turning the anecdote about the group of classicists who decided to go into the library on Good Friday only to end up in the common room for most of the afternoon watching supergreatfriend's Let's Play: Deadly Premonition and my ensuing roller coaster ride through the videos over the next three days, but that's pretty much all there is to say.

Currently 44,000 words into what will hopefully be a completed longfic thing for [community profile] seasonal_spuffy and have hassled [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch with 30,000 words of it. At least that chunk makes a rough Part I that I could post if all else went wrong. Need to get the rest out, though.

Also: new things you learn everyday about US vs. UK idiom. Dish towels instead of tea towels? I think I knew this anyway, but that was annoying to have to Wiki when it sounded wrong in Buffy's voice. And I have always wondered what 'rappelling' is. Turns out it's just abseiling - who knew? Why can't I write for a British fandom...??
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: Echo from Dollhouse standing next to Wendy/Caroline (Echo purple)
a greetings card made to look like a fridge with alphabet magnets reading: it is like totally mothers day innit


(This is indeed the card my mother has received, with comment inside telling her that, aha, I didn't forget. It possibly only makes sense if you know that my mum is not terribly impressed when I drop Ts and say 'innit', but nonetheless will laugh when I use them to express a sense of 'duh'. And will use them back at me if I say something daft.

Also, it was either this or a card that made me sound like I was five years old, a card that implied my mother spent more time baking and cleaning than managing an office, or a card that reckoned Mum drank too much wine. So it wasn't much of a choice...)
quinara: Profile shot of Cassie from Skins, with lots of hair and a hat. (Cassie hat)
But I feel like I haven't posted in ages, so I am posting. Here is some stuff:

1) Just played Holst's The Planets in a concert. Venus was a shambles (at least for the viola section), but Jupiter was great. It's my favourite planet and my favourite movement and even though the big tune mostly sounds indulgent and overplayed whenever I hear it about the place, playing the viola part right in the middle of the suite is a wonderful and lovely feeling. Especially since our conductor was keen to have the first time through restrained and reflective - by the time we were in the upper register it was all sad and slightly hopeless, heading straight towards Saturn - before we were back in jollity again. Good stuff.

2) Am quite miffed that I can't yet watch the third episode of Melvyn Bragg's series on Class and Culture, which like The Tube series I mentioned last time(?) has become the closest thing to must-see TV I have at the moment. You may well ask when the last time I watched a drama series was, but I feel like documentaries that cover literary culture are so rare that I want to just gobble this one up (and all it's other culturey bits) with a big spoon.

3) Just signed up for [community profile] seasonal_spuffy, which means getting the third part of my alt S6 AtS crossover thing done in time. Even though it's apparently going to be long. But I'm looking forward to that; just need to write it.

4) Everyone should come and play Prompt Tag with us at [livejournal.com profile] sb_fag_ends, because bouncing off other people's ideas is highly amusing! I wrote a fic.
quinara: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
I've been feeling a bit grotty and non-communicative for the last few days, but I couldn't let the weekend pass without thanking people for my dragon v-gifts! Seeing them pop up really made me smile and I can only imagine them having fun dragony times as they hop about my profile page.

In other news, I tried the wasabi gingerbread again last week with extra wasabi, and think I've come to the conclusion that it actually mostly cooks off into nothing - all I'm getting is ginger. Back to the drawing board, I think!
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: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
I've got some shiny glass hearts - thanks, people! LJ almost didn't tell me, because it's mean.

ETA: And I must share this example of the most serendipitous text message conversation ever.

1715: [Friend] texts to say she, her sister and whoever's around will be in pub at 8/8.30, probably starting in The [10-15 minute cycle from my house].

2020: I get text message rather than failing as I usually do with same day texts. Say that I am on my way and will hopefully come to the right place.

2030: I am finally ready to go and leave the house, packing stuff into my bike and putting the lights on.

2031: I hear the sound of a text alert from my bag. They are at The [10-15 minute cycle from my house] but are possibly about to leave for The [2 minute cycle from my house].

2034: A phone call confirms that they are finishing up drinks and heading my way on foot; we are to meet at The [2 minute cycle from my house] at 9-ish.

And let's not forget that The [2 minute cycle from my house] is a very excellent pub. :D

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

July 2014

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