icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Really?)
( Aug. 10th, 2016 08:16 pm)
My dad was listening to a playlist of TV theme songs on shuffle, which led to the mild cognitive dissonance of going from the delicate, haunting Twin Peaks theme straight to the Flintstones. Yabba dabba doo! Bwuh?

It then moved through Kojak to the Airwolf theme, which I admit made me rather pathetically happy for a few minutes there :)
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Electric Night)
( Jul. 30th, 2016 03:57 pm)
Somebody recommend me something eerie? I don't mean terrifying, necessarily, it's atmosphere I'm looking for, something like "Picnic at Hanging Rock" or "Mushishi" or Herzog's 70s remake of "Nosferatu". You know that slow, drifting, ambient sort of strangeness or horror? Things like that. Eerie. Anybody got any recs?
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Cloud Road)
( Jul. 9th, 2016 04:43 pm)
Things that are very soothing: Going up to the empty football pitches behind the hill on a wet and windy day and listening to the wind sighing through the big barrier nets around the field.
Lovely, fabulous, joyous coincidences: the morning you're trying to pull out of an absolute fucking whopper of a migraine, some lovely soul decides it's a great day to start strimming the neighbourhood grass. Fuck you, mister. Fuck you.

I managed to take painkillers and sleep through the bulk of it last night, barring waking up a few times and dreaming (?) about my face pulsing, but it was still hanging around today and just ... so lovely of that man. And, yes, it's a sunny Saturday, when else are you going to do the grass, I get it, but the noise ... let's just say rhythmic mechanical shredding noises DO NOT go well with migraine. At all. I woulda killed him if it didn't hurt to get out of bed.

I hate these things so much. There are times when I want to just chop the whole left side of my head off and have done. Not really, but you know. Every time I end up with one I keep thinking "If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out". Left eye, specifically. I'm not going to, I just vividly imagine it sometimes.

(Side note, this may help explain why I’ve been so irritable the past couple of days. I sometimes get like that in the run-up to these things).
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Help?)
( May. 22nd, 2016 10:09 pm)
Well, that was stupid. I haven’t done that since I was a kid. I’ve just managed to fall spectacularly and somehow smash open two of my toes. That’s … surprisingly messy. And painful. Ow. I’d forgotten how bad I am at pain.

To quote Daffy Duck: I’m not like other people. I can’t stand pain. It hurts me.

I have a lot of sympathy for that cartoon duck sometimes.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Mushishi)
( May. 12th, 2016 04:38 pm)
I'm more usually an autumn/spring sort of girl, I love the silver seasons, but I do have to say that for the first few days there's nothing quite like sunshine and heat and a good strong breeze to keep it light. Today is a day for flowers and water and trees and standing on hillsides to feel the wind in your hair and the sunshine on your face :)
Extremely suspect things you find yourself googling: "Short story taxidermist murder skins and wears victim".

For the record, I was looking for a short story I vaguely remembered reading in school, about a taxidermist who murders another, skins him and turns the skin into a person suit in a panic, masquerades as his victim for ages until the skin fuses with his and he can’t take it off, and then gets arrested for his own murder when they find his victim’s bones and think they’re his since the actual victim is still clearly alive and walking around. Since, you know, he’s wearing the man as a suit. So he ends up being done for his own murder, and finding an odd sort of satisfaction in it since it’s the man he killed that history will call the murderer.

As it turns out, I did not in fact dream this story up, as I’d half worried I had. It’s a story called either “Two In One” or “Two Into One”, it’s by Flann O'Brien, written in 1954, and it does in fact exist. And apparently we read it in school. Because why not.

You know, I’m really not surprised at this point that I turned out a little ghoulish in the end. Heh.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Fairytale)
( Apr. 6th, 2016 09:12 pm)
You ever end up rereading bits of things you wrote years ago, and thinking to yourself "You know what? I did good with that!"? I've no idea if I'm making 'progress' as a writer, I think I just go through ups and downs and some projects just turn out better than others, but sometimes I manage gems and I'll never not feel proud of that :)

(I'm rereading bits of The Wind At Midnight, the Bruce/Clark steampunk/space opera AU I wrote 8 years ago, because apparently Francois Schuiten makes me think of steampunk flying cities, and ... I know it's frowned on to enjoy your own work, but damn I did good with that one. Heh. One of the very few genuinely long, plotty fics that I ever finished, and I still think it's pretty darn good).
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Flight)
( Mar. 10th, 2016 05:39 pm)
Right, so. I didn't get the job. I've gone for a couple of positions run by the same people over the last couple of years, and I get the impression that I'm just not their kind of person (that or I really am just terminally shite at interviews).

I did, however, get 70% in the Irish Oral Exam. Which, for someone who hadn't spoken the language in literally a decade, was not too shabby at all, I think. Maybe the examiner enjoyed the conversation as much as I did :)
So today, for my birthday, I got: some lovely well wishes (thanks all!), a Harry Clarke colouring book (shush, I love his stuff), a slice of lemon cake, and, oh, a job interview and an Irish oral exam. Because.

I think it went well? It went better than my last interview anyway. I was shitting bricks about the Irish, because I haven't used the language since school ten years ago basically, but the Irish examiner was incredibly friendly and he actually calmed me down not just for the Irish but for the job interview as well. We ended up talking the entire time about languages and quirks of language and Irish connections to Europe and the difference between colour words in different languages and dialects of Irish we've heard, all in rather pidgin Irish on my part with large sprinklings of English and the occasional bit of French when my brain short-circuited on me, but I think it went well. He told me I actually have a good base of Irish, it just really shows that I haven't spoken it in ten years and if I started using it more in everyday life that I could improve an awful lot. I have no idea if that's good enough to get me the job, but even if it doesn't I think I feel really good about myself for having done it, and it was genuinely a really fun conversation. If I see that man again, I'm giving him a go raibh míle, míle maith agat, because he seriously made the whole day better for me.

And then when we came out of the exam, he spent ten minutes talking to my mother (she'd given me a lift down) about knitting and Donegal and types of boats and how absolutely appalling some of the local accents are. By the time I made it into the actual job interview, I was calmed way, way down. Heh. He was a nice man.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Escherine)
( Feb. 18th, 2016 05:19 pm)
It’s more bloody work to get an interview than it is to do a sodding job. Ah well. It’s done now, and we’ll find out in a week or so.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Auryn)
( Jan. 10th, 2016 06:00 pm)
Are you ever writing, typing out in the first rush of creativity, and you need a word for the thing, and you look down and you’ve typed the word for the thing, but when you actually look at the word you don’t entirely recognise it? Like, you have to look it up quickly, just to make sure that it is in fact a word, that it’s a word you know, that it’s a word that means what apparently your subconscious thinks it does?

This happens to me a surprising amount. I’m mid-flow, and I look down, and for some reason I’ve typed ‘effulgence’, wanting a different word for 'radiance’, and I’m like … wait, what does effulgence mean? And I look it up, and yes, it does in fact mean radiance, and I’m all 'yay, go subconscious me!’.

I think part of it is that I’ve learned a whole bunch of my vocabulary from context, from reading a whole bunch of books since I was tiny. Some bit of my brain has a memory of reading a passage about radiance somewhere or other that had 'effulgence’ in it, and so coughed the word back up while I was in spate and running on instinct and needed something in that ballpark. I don’t know the word, in the sense of having formally learned it (or heard it) or being able to formally define it, but I remember from that distant context that it means something close to this thing.

I think I’ve always learned words mostly from books. I have a memory of being followed around the schoolyard by a (somewhat scary) crowd of kids asking me to define a bunch of words because I’d 'eaten the dictionary’, but I don’t remember reading dictionaries much. I mean, when I had to look up a specific word, yes, or check one, and I think I sometimes browsed thesauri, but most of the time I’m pretty sure I just read the word in a book and came away with a vague idea what it meant, which sometimes sharpened the more I came across it.

Heh. I don’t know. I think I just have a lot of random words that float up inside my head, like debris from the shipwrecks of books I read ages ago. Sometimes, when I’m writing, they even turn out to be useful :)
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Woman)
( Jan. 9th, 2016 05:23 pm)
It’s odd the things you remember around this time of year. My Mam bought a pot of blackcurrant jam today on a whim, which is very much a Gran & Granddad thing more than a Mam thing. At our house it’s usually strawberry or raspberry jam, apricot if we’re feeling really fancy. Blackcurrant was always a Gran & Granddad thing because Granddad had blackcurrant bushes down the bottom of his (town) garden, and Gran used to actually make the jam for us. (‘His’ garden, btw, because the fruit & vegetable section of their garden was Granddad’s, while the flowerbeds with the prized tulips were Gran’s). It’s been … a few years now since I’ve tasted blackcurrant jam, but it’s rather lovely.

It got me thinking, though, given the time of year that’s in it. An awful lot of my memories of my grandparents are related to food. Thinking of them, I remembered what used to be a post-Christmas tradition at their house. There was a supper, usually around New Year-ish, that consisted entirely of bread, butter, cold-cuts of meat, pickled silverskin onions, tomatoes, and any odds-and-ends that had survived the cupboards until the end of the old year, plus the remains of the Christmas cakes and puddings. A sort of 'use up the old year and prepare for the new’ kind of thing. I remember the pickled onions specifically, because that supper was one of the few times of year I ever saw the things, and Mam thinks that Gran used to invite us to the supper at least partially so Granddad wouldn’t be able to eat an entire jar of pickled onions by himself. I also remember the Christmas cake sandwiches, which were a thing Granddad dared me to eat one year at this supper when I was very young, and which became a kind of tradition afterwards (literally a slice of Christmas cake between two buttered slices of bread - they’re not bad). Gran and Granddad were the only ones I know who did that particular supper, and I’m surprised right now how much I miss it.

I wonder if it’s odd how much I remember them through their food. Gran used to bake. All sorts of things, but her pavlova and her coffee cake were so renowned that the priest mentioned them at her funeral. Their garden was I think the only reason we ever ate anything 'picked fresh yourself’, because of the vegetables and the fruit. (That and berries out of hedges, because Granddad took us walking as kids and taught us which ones were safe provided you washed them. The sloe was appalling, though. My face about collapsed). Granddad did a mean fresh stewed rhubarb. He also had a tendency to combine a lot of random things when he ate, legacy I think of a lot of years essentially eating whatever was available regardless of what it was. Hence Christmas cake sandwiches, and cheese-and-raspberry-jam sandwiches, and cheese-dips (cheese dipped in yogurt in lieu of a spoon, so you can eat both at the same time and use up cheese that’s getting questionable), and sundry other random combinations. Hence too, I think, the whole 'use up the old year and welcome the new’ done in food. They had … a unique approach to food, at least in terms of my experience. It’s one of the things I remember most strongly about them.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the time of year combined with a sudden whim for blackcurrant jam. There’s just … a lot of memories that can be tied up in food, you know? I don’t think I realised quite how much so.
... My sister just introduced me to a game called geoguessr, where it plonks you down in a random Google Street View location and you try to guess where the hell you are. It is addictive. It really is. I'm getting much better at recognising Brazilian road signage. Canada is also reasonably distinct. Signs in general help a lot, really. Also languages. And vegetation/climate, for when the bloody thing lands on you on a random road in the back of beyond somewhere. Heh. I got within 5km of a suburb in Berlin. I also got within a few kilometres of a signpost in the middle of absolutely nowhere in Patagonia, because apparently Argentinian signposts are fairly exact.

For some reason, though, maybe it's just the night that's in it, the thing keeps sending me to Finland, Brazil, South Africa, random small towns in Europe (Brainville-sur-Meuse was my favourite), and occasionally Canada or Australia. Mostly the first three, though. Heh.

Seriously, though, it is addictive.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Auryn)
( Dec. 14th, 2015 09:15 pm)
I have to say, whatever else about this job, I am developing a liking for doing the records. There's just something fundamentally satisfying about handwriting information in a big, leatherbound book. One that has latin headings on the columns and everything. I just ... I like that. It just satisfies. It really does.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Really?)
( Nov. 9th, 2015 05:07 pm)
Okay, so apparently that interview went just fine. I got a call today. I have a part time job, 19.5 hours a week, starting next Monday. It'll only last a year, but it can go on my CV and I will have that little extra money and I will be working. I will be doing something. I got the job and passed an interview.

I am going to sit down and watch silly things for a while. Yes. I'm gonna go ... be happily in shock for a while. Heh.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Fairytale)
( Nov. 5th, 2015 01:37 pm)
Just had a job interview this morning. Less than a week after the 'this is why you fail at interviews' thing. Ugh. But, okay. Think I didn't do too badly? Hell, I've no idea.

I bought myself a pretty red dress afterwards. I think this is the first time in something like six or seven years where I've bought myself any sort of non-essential clothing. Heh. It was just there, and I like red a lot, and after the morning I've had I thought why not.

It is very pretty. I look good in red.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Escherine)
( Oct. 30th, 2015 04:42 pm)
How bad is it that I can spend three hours of a careers seminar in a ball of stress and nerves because we're talking (just talking) about interviews and interpersonal skills and how to present yourself TM, and then I can be presented with a surprise maths test and I relax completely? Well, basic arithmetic, really, it was the standard verbal/numerical/spatial abilities aptitude test. I could do those things all day, not a bother. I felt genuinely relaxed and happy for the first time in hours.

Just. Conversation and self-presentation: ALL THE STRESS. Sudden maths test: calm and happiness. This is why I keep failing interviews.

I'm not surprised, mind you. I know this is a problem for me. I'm great in a written medium, and I can answer direct questions and figure out concrete problems until the cows come home, but sit me down in front of an actual, physical person and I am ... not good. Introverted aspie hermit over here. I'm ... I'm working on it. Trying to. Ah, sod it.

It just struck me as a little funny, I guess. Surprise maths tests calm me down. I don't think it's meant to be that way around. Heh. Today was me in a nutshell, really.
icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Woman)
( Oct. 29th, 2015 01:27 am)
I’ve been watching the 2015 Gymnastic Worlds the past couple of nights. Why is the vault so terrifying to watch? It’s so fast, I keep expecting things to go horribly wrong. In other news, though, floor and parallel bars are still my favourites, with beam close behind them.


icarus_chained: lurid original bookcover for fantomas, cropped (Default)


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