clo_again: (monkton - where are we going)
I am supposedly a tennis fan but it took a throwaway comment on a tennis blog for me to find out that Andy Murray had shingles back in February. Thanks, endless rounds of news coverage, professional tennis commentary, and tweets about tennis I've seen/heard since then. That kind of information is useful when one oh, is writing RPF about the personage in question.

It also makes me feel better about his generally appalling level of play this year, because the consensus seems to be that he made himself ill through overwork, overtraining, and stress, all of which is fixable (I've concluded that my six-week-long tussle with bronchitis that absolutely floored me for all of January 2016 was the cumulative effect of doing a full-time Masters for a year while working sixteen hours a week, then starting a new full-time job immediately after handing my dissertation in and working flat out until I inevitably keeled over three months later. I made it worse by pretending I wasn't ill and it briefly resurfaced two months later and the only thing that fixed it was taking some time to chill). Murray's played solid for the last three or four months of last year, trained solid for five weeks over Christmas, then made himself ill and tried to keep playing despite his body going WHAT ARE YOU DOING PUT DOWN THE RACQUET OR WE WILL CATCH SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOUR FINGERS FALL OFF.

Which is of course terribly frustrating and concerning for him, but works great for fic. Thanks for being an idiot, Muzz. Now maybe take a vacation.

-

Talking of writing, the thing I'm writing now (which is not the thing I am supposed to be writing, other than this blog post which I am extra not supposed to be writing instead of fic) is a bit strange, and sad, and I keep reading bits and wondering why I'm writing something that I find so disconcerting.

I was trying to write down a scene last night in bed and I kept falling asleep mid-sentence and waking myself up when my iPod hit me in the face, at which point I kept writing until I fell asleep again. In the end I had to summarise how the scene ended and give up. I don't even know if it's any good, or if I'm good enough to write it* but I want it written to get the disconcerting sadness out of my head and onto the paper- er, virtual paper.


* It's really hard on the internet to differentiate between honestly not feeling very good at something but believing the endless peppy tumblr posts about 'everyone feels like this! You're great!', and actually knowing something isn't very good. I wish I could win the lottery and go sit in a quiet empty house for six months to write without having to worry about going to work and being a functional human being and having to wear something that isn't pyjamas so I couldn't procrastinate out of just writing without it mattering, until I feel like I know what I'm doing.

Yesterday in work, the new interim manager told me that being smarter than ninety-five percent of the population was something I'd have to learn how to deal with and I immediately felt under incredible pressure to maintain my appearance of being smart at all times, because clearly I had somehow fooled him and apparently all the other managers into believing I was super capable. I do not understand how I give this impression when I spend some percentage of a work day playing Pokemon Go or, like today, wheat googling Serbian prison systems and Andy's Murray's medical conditions for fic. If that counts as super capable, what is everyone else doing?

I really should stop procrastinating by worrying about writing and just go write something.
clo_again: (Propeller - Screweth thou)
I can't tell if I'm genuinely tired or if my brain is just procrastinating about keeping my eyelids open. Self, finish writing this thing. I've wanted to do it all day and now I'm finally home from work, I'm too tired. There appears to be a design flaw in this thing called adulting.
clo_again: (emilia - aimless)
I really need to get back in the habit of doing this. I mean, I'm procrastinating from writing to do this but when did I ever post to LJ when I wasn't procrastinating from writing? (tip: I was always procrastinating from writing).

I mean, writing is going pretty well at the moment. For me, anyway; I've posted something within the last week which is a rare enough occurrence to rate as 'pretty well', and the thing I wrote when I had writer's block on the other thing is 2k plus and climbing, so I figure I'll get that done pretty soon before I work on the next chapter of before you come to evening. And I reread 10k of reaction-fic I wrote after Novak lost Wimbledon last year, which I'd relegated to my Dead Letter Box folder (for fic I have no intention of finishing) because I hated it and thought it was boring, but today I enjoyed it and was sad to hit the end of what I'd written, and frustrated. What were you thinking past self? I don't understand; you were on a roll. Quit quitting stuff.

I don't know if I'll finish it. Elements of it surfaced in the coming of the fall which I wrote a couple of months after, but all the set-up is done; the sticking point is that the scene I didn't write was The Scene That Was the Entire Point and Reason which are always the worst. But this one had snuggling. Maybe when Wimbledon rolls around again I'll be reinspired, or I'll post it undone over at [personal profile] clofic maybe, or maybe it'll be my writer's block fic for the next chapter of before. I guess [personal profile] clofic is going to be my work-in-progress dump over here, since all finished stuff is now going on AO3. If you want free snippets, or wips, or fic fanmixes or whatever, follow over there.

The other weird thought that occurred after rereading the Wimbledon Reject Fic; I've spent almost ten months now musing on The Fall of Novak Djokovic in one way or another, and I'm still no closer to having a grip on it or why I care. I've never liked Novak the way I like Roger, or Roddick or Muzz, not in the simple and uncomplicated way of wanting them to win everything they touch and being happy when they do. Novak's disingenuous and desperate for attention; I never quite believe him when he says the sky is blue and grass is green (like when he falls and hurts himself only to win the match, when he says he's injured, when he says he isn't, when he says he's fine when he's clearly losing weight, about to burst into genuine pained tears in the US Open final, when he falls and hits his head so hard in Qatar that Muzz came across the court to check on him), but I'm so used to resenting him for beating Roger and begging for attention and being gloriously untouchable, having him broken and off-colour is disconcerting. I know what I think happened after the French last year but Becker's gone and Jelena's pregnant again because we all know having a second kid when things are miserable is a surefire way to fix life's problems (except for all the ways it isn't) and Novak's still this weird echo of himself.

I don't like worrying about goddamn Novak Djokovic but apparently I am, anyway.

At least Roger is back on glorious GOAT form this year and is doing me a solid by skipping the clay season which I can never watch because it's on when I'm in work. Work is a whole 'nother kettle of fish (mostly not awful, but complicated).

The housing situation is at the opposite end of the extreme and is all kinds of ongoing disaster but I've procrastinated all my time away and anyway, there's not much I can say about it that isn't a complaint. Basically it's stressful and come June (our contract here ends July 3rd) I'm going to be a lot less chill about it than I am right now. Get back to me in a month.
clo_again: (monkton - where are we going)
Really gotta start working on posting regularly again, rather than meandering on Twitter for aimless hours. All the shenanigans LJ's pulled with the new TOS are finally giving me the impetus to boot it and move operations over here (or er, restart them over here since they've fallen off the Procrastination Cliff of late).

I don't know if I can bring myself to delete all the posts over there, even when they're backed up here; I certainly can't make myself delete the entire journal. For one, that's over a decade of my history. For two, I still use the Scrapbook because it's easier than sourcing image space anywhere else. Once LJ goes down for good (because let's face it; this kerfuffle is causing a final exodus that can't end well) then I guess I'll need to look into it but until then I'm thinking maybe I'll just private everything except a post directing traffic this way.

I guess I'll need to shift clofic over here as well. All the fic is backed up at Insanejournal (still don't think it's worth the editing it'd need for AO3) but I'd like to hang onto the comments. I should really get moving on that this weekend before LJ shut down the ability for external sites to import stuff which is what I saw predicted on one analysis of the new TOS.

As much as LJ's been the internet equivalent of a sad oldtimer dive bar for years now, I regret not owning any LJ merchandise from back in the day. This thing ran my life for eight-to-ten years; at the very least I'd like a hoodie. Hell, a keyring. I saw a Nirvana t-shirt in Topshop yesterday and for a minute it felt as if I was fourteen again. I wonder if retro LJ merchandise - or Frank the Goat merchandise to be Ultimate Hipster about it - will ever circle back to coolness? I hope so, especially if we can do it without giving actual Russia-owned-modern-LJ a penny for it.

So I don't know; maybe I'll be around more while I shift things over here, curse trying to set up a new DW for clofic, etc. In between those fun things, I'll be attempting to finish the latest fic I posted to AO3 because I thought it'd be a good idea to post another WiP as a motivational move. The jury is out on whether or not this was a spectacularly terrible idea yet, mostly because I had the first two and a half chapters written already so it hasn't become an issue yet (it will. I'm working on it though!).

It's the hooker!Andy Murray fic, because LJ may be circling the drain but some things never change. You can find the first two chapters over on AO3: before you come to evening, e, Murray/Djokovic AU, the one where Andy ended up a prostitute instead of a tennis player through a series of accidents and bad decisions, and Novak's mostly trying not to screw up his life.

*

Life stuff is also happening but it's of the tiresome, housing-is-stressful-and-I-have-not-yet-won-the-lottery-to-sort-it kind, so it can wait until I'm not half asleep and well past a sensible you're-in-work-tomorrow bedtime for someone who's trying to pretend to be an adult. It's fine; I'm not living in a box under the canal bridge yet so hopefully we can take that as an optimistic sign.
clo_again: (pigs might fly)
I had such great plans for the last ten days that I've spent mostly vegged in pyjamas, eating Christmas chocolate. I was going to record everything I want to keep off my Sky box before I move! (I haven't). I was going to sort my wardrobe out before I move! (I've thrown one bin bag of clothes with holes in away, all from my washing basket). I was going to write all the things! (I've written 6.6k of Rogue One fic, mostly from words I'd already handwritten before Christmas).

The writing thing is really the saddest lack of achievement for me because I'm still circling the pit of sadness from R1 and I want fix-it fic, but I don't want to read any until this one I'm writing is done because I don't know enough about the SW verse to always spot what's actual canon background and what's made up, and I'm not risking writing anything in by accident. So basically I'm stuck re-reading the same paragraphs I've written over and over, and on no less than four occasions this holiday I have considered setting them (metaphorically, because I love my laptop) on fire because it all just seems like a bunch of wrong words.

I find writing generally a slog anyway and Star Wars is extra hard, because it's so important that you don't want to Get It Wrong - and then you Google things like 'why are there no AI spaceships in Star Wars?' and get fandom doing a giant collective shrug of 'eh, whatevs' which is reassuring. But also - so does no one care? Does everyone just Not Do That Thing? HOW DOES THIS EVEN WORK. Sometimes it feels like I'm being influenced by the over-arcing attitude of the internet these days being You're Doing It Wrong and I need to remember that the thing can always be fixed as long as there's some thing written down to fix in the first place.

I also keep reminding myself of Neil Gaiman's comment saying that writing always feels like working in a mine and most days you've just got to keep chipping away. Keep flailing that metaphorical pickaxe, self.

*

In other news, as my last movie of a holiday season filled with movies, I watched The Book of Life. There were many, varied, meaningful, and worthy reasons for this decision, and if anyone mentions the fact that Diego Luna sings in it as a potential factor I'll deny forever knowing what you're talking about. Anyway it's beautiful and pretty funny and all about Mexican myths of the lands of the dead, and part of me is like, that would be so interesting to crossover with R1 -- except that would take such a tremendous amount of research that even the thought of it makes me want to cry.

So, hopefully someone more dedicated than me will write that. I can only swing one (okay, maybe two, three if I use my teeth) pickaxes at the same time.

*

Life news: we're signing on the new house to rent tomorrow. It's going to cut almost two hours out of my commute each day. My bedroom has a balcony (which I'm trading for my current ensuite, sad but necessary). I'm trying not to be too excited until we actually have the keys in hand (I first looked at a potential house for us to rent last February and it was a long year of disappointments).

But signs currently point to Actually Getting The Keys tomorrow on this one. Crossing everything.
clo_again: (tennant - keep calm and drink tea)
We're almost to 2017 everyone! Hang in there!

In the meantime, Merry Christmas/Blessed Yule and Io Saturnalia/happy holidays etc etc. I've spent most of mine attempting to write Rogue One fic without putting too many feet wrong in the thousands of years of history that is the SW universe. It's something that's involved much shouting at Wookieepedia, but also muttering fervent thanks to all the fans who have anticipated questions such as 'Do spaceships in Star Wars run on fuel?' and have kindly written entire essays describing what kinds of fuel, where it's made, who makes it, and who invented it in the first place.

It's really rather impressive. I don't think our actual history is documented this well.

As another note, there's been plenty of stirrings lately about LJ moving their servers to Russia and what this might mean. On top of that, I've seen comments and entries about people having technical issues (such as including links in posts, viewing their friends page etc) and I hit a few myself with the app refusing to load for a few days, the featured posts not loading etc.

All of it adds up to something of a worry that one day soon in a galaxy not so far away, LJ might wink out and that'll be it.

I do have backups - I know where else to find most of you (those who're still here) in the case of catastrophic LJ collapse - but the InsaneJournal I'd backed my posts up to a few years ago was deleted for inactivity and I've rambled occasionally since then anyway, so I've backed everything up on Dreamwidth (clo_again, since some damn person created Clo over on DW in 2009 and has NEVER UPDATED. No, I'm never going to quit being bitter about this).

So just fyi - in the case of the LJ apocalypse or just the general apocalypse given the way the world is going, you'll be able to find me here DW at clo_again, or from my profile here to other social media/AO3, for as long as the lights stay on.

I don't really know what to do with LJ - people are deleting/purging because hey, Russia, but this is a lot of history and I don't know if that's an overreaction. I'm more concerned about the fic, but that's all backed up over on Insanejournal anyway.

I'm so ready for 2016 to be over, y'all. It's been a hell of a year.
clo_again: (Roger/Mirka - So Hail to the King)
I was just reading (read: procrastinating from writing) Versaphile's post about importing old fic to AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/admin_posts/5644.

I'm massively anti-deleting fanfic - I feel that once something has been released to run wild on the internet, you have no idea really who's read it or what impact that had on them, even if it's yours, even if it has your name on it; once it's posted, it should stay available somewhere forever. On the flipside, I've always been firmly set on not importing my old fic to AO3 because most of it I feel needs more editing than I'm happy doing, or was written when I still had no clue what I was doing other than bashing out words in a vague succession of sense, or is frankly (imho) terrible. All my old stuff is sitting around on [livejournal.com profile] clofic or in a much neater indexed collection on Insanejournal and that's fine. It isn't as if I'm locking it in a drawer; if anyone wants it, my username is the same everywhere.

But then- reading Versaphile talk about archiving fandom history and how important it is made me think that's irresponsible. Likewise the level of outrage I went through listening to a podcast discussing tennis slash last year, with a panel of four tennis ficcers who flat out stated that tennis slash "started around 2007 with Nadal/Federer" (hahahahaha I guess we all hallucinated all that Roddick/Federer fic that happened 2004-onwards, or that there was at least one person writing Roddick/Ferrero before that which no longer exists because the original tennis fic comm got deleted) implies that maybe fandom history is already getting fuzzy. Like all the teenies on tumblr who keep LOLing at oldtimers for including disclaimers on fic and then can't believe it when the oldtimers turn around and tell them The Epic Saga of Anne Rice's Lawyers.

So I don't know. Maybe I should see how much editing some of the longer things would need so I can post them with only moderate-to-crippling shame.

-

(Also, HEY, HEY I'M STILL HERE, HAI LJ. It's my fourteenth LJ anniversay on October 8th. Every year I say I should do something and every year I wake up in November and go "...ah shit, maybe next year.")
clo_again: (Pigs Might Fly)
I'm afraid I've got terribly addicted to Pokemon Go, even though my Windows phone tried to protect me by being too rubbish to install it. Instead it's on my iPod which needs a wifi connection to play and, occasionally at weekends when I can borrow it, my mother's phone. So far I've resisted dropping £120 on a new phone JUST TO PLAY POKEMON GO. (I've still made it to level fifteen and caught 51 Pokemon. This either proves there's a flaw in the game's 'you must walk around to catch stuff' directive, or that where I work was incredibly foolish to install free unlimited wifi).

Today I finally saw a Pikachu silhouette when I was wandering around the local park. While walking around trying to find it, in an incredibly weird meta moment, a kid holding an actual oversized Pikachu plush ran past me.

It's possible I was hallucinating. I probably need to stop playing this game.
clo_again: (Andy/Roger - Pieces)
Man, having one of those days where I feel like I'm writing into the void and getting words down is like trying to claw them into a tree trunk with my teeth.
clo_again: (Andy/Roger - Pieces)
I'm supposed to be writing but instead I'm coughing with the Hideous Cold of Doom and trawling tumblr, so have a stolen-from-tumblr meme to get me back in the mood.

Rules: go to page 7 of your WIP*, skip to the 7th line, share 7 sentences, and tag 7 more writers to continue the challenge.

There's going to have to be a few mods, because I have at least three (four? five?) what might be classed as wips at the moment, and I don't think there's 7 writers left around LJ to challenge. So instead, have the seven-sentences-from-the-seventh-line of what I'm currently writing:

lines )


Things I have learned from this exercise; I run my sentences on way too long. Also, I have too many WiPs. These are only the ones I have typed and actually started, although the last one needs major rewrites so that won't be the seven sentences after the seventh forever. Still.

Life continues on. I've caught the Dreaded Lurgy this week but motored through it by going to work, which led to me sitting at my desk wrapped in my scarf like a blanket yesterday and croaking when anyone asked me a question. I'm feeling somewhat better tonight but I thought I was feeling better Wednesday night, and Thursday night, and then I felt like death from 4am Friday onwards, so I'm not getting my hopes up just yet.

Otherwise, everything is fine. New Job is still fine, although I have to organise an inspection for something I'm responsible for in March, and the previous job's incumbent left only scrappy notes on what she'd done towards the action plan for it, so that'll be fun. I keep thinking I should know everything because that's how everyone acts and then I realise I've only been doing the job for barely four months and I've got shit done in that time. It'll be fine. *touch wood*

In conclusion: still aten't ded, despite the best efforts of the common cold. I should be writing but I'm avoiding it. Nothing particularly exciting is going on right now. Except The Voice is back tonight so I get Ricky Wilson's face on the tellybox again for a bit, yay.

So, you know. As you were.


*I somehow completely missed that I was supposed to do this from page seven and not just the seventh line, and now I'm too lazy to redo it. So. Whatevs.
clo_again: (Roger/Mirka - So Hail to the King)
you and me (we are one and the same) - Tennis RPF, Andy Murray/Novak Djokovic, rated M. Vampire AU. 8,275 words.

“I am fine,” Novak says immediately, as if he isn't obviously being held upright by the wall alone, as if he doesn't look like he just got served up as dinner for a pack of wolves. His voice still rasps a little. “Andy, it is okay. I need just a moment and I will leave, it is not so bad as it looks.”

It takes a second for Andy to find his voice, a second more to breathe through the rising edge of panic he'd tried so hard to leave behind in Australia. “It looks pretty bad,” he says and has to pause to swallow when his tone pitches too far into shrill. “What the hell happened?”


Or, the one where Novak is a vampire and Andy should really know better by now.


---

Yes, I finished the vampire!Novak fic I started about five years ago because it's not as if I have plenty of other things to write right now. Oh wait, no. Scratch that. Reverse it.

Wow, LJ is running really slow for me right now; typing is taking a good five seconds or so to catch up. Unless those million updates Windows installed have done something which would be pretty annoying.

Life continues to be fair, y'all. Not won the lottery yet but soldiering on. About to embark on a serious Lie to Me marathon so, I'll let you know how that goes.
clo_again: (Maneki Neko - Year of the Cow)
Hahahaha 'post more often'. Yep. So, moving on!

Hello, I am not yet dead or giving up on LJ or- actually no, everything else is pretty much what you'd expect; work is boring yada yada, life continues much unchanged yada yada...well I suppose that's not technically true. There's been recent work dramallamas in the continuing saga of Why Must Everyone I Work With Be So Relentlessly Stupid and it all kicked off with an official complaint by another admin girl last Monday, but I've had phone conversations since (I was off Wednesday - Friday) that implies it's all sorted and we are in fact in good nick with the management who think we're doing a great job. I guess I'll see tomorrow. The whole stupidity has really crystalised the fact to me that I don't want to work for that place long-term even though I don't mind the job itself, because stupid dramallama stuff that should've been avoided with a little common sense happens all the time. It's reminded me that I need to actually focus on saving money towards an eventual Masters, preferably in Cardiff, so I can flee the place.

This resolution to save started most excellently well as I almost immediately went off on a three-day shopping trip to Cardiff. In justification it's been planned since April, I did actually desperately need new shoes/jeans, and it's like getting it all out of my system before I go cold turkey on spending, right?

(It made more sense when I was using it as an excuse to buy things, really.)


This building never fails to make me happy. <3


The trip was so lovely - I think I definitely needed just to get out of dodge for a few days because I'd been getting more and more stressed with everything at work and actually just leaving the county (and the country, given that I went back to Wales!) was good timing, and I felt better about life, the universe and everything just by the time I got to London Euston.

Yes, I went to Cardiff via London. Yes, there was an excellent reason for this; I arranged the entire trip around going to the Hampstead Theatre to see Propeller (I may have mentioned them before. At length. In the previous post. I really like Propeller) perform their Twelfth Night again. I love the play so much, I couldn't bear the thought of not seeing it again and despite fretting the entire way down that I'd miss it (due to engineering works I had to catch a train to Manchester, wait an hour for my next train to London, then catch a couple of Tubes and find the theatre by 2:00pm) I got there in plenty of time. I did a post about it over in the Propeller comm, so I won't repeat myself but it was wonderful. In the interval I tweeted "My idea of heaven is sitting in a dark theatre and watching Propeller perform this play over and over", and I meant it. If it hadn't finished touring yesterday I'd say to go see it; as it is they're touring Midsummer Night's Dream/Comedy of Errors starting in November and everyone should go see at least one of them. I am. Multiple times. (No, I really am.)

Then, after catch-up sushi and mocking the Tie Rack workers at Paddington station with [livejournal.com profile] kindoftrouble and A, it was a packed train and then Cardiff. I love Cardiff. I may have mentioned this before. And this time it was mid-week so the shops weren't too busy (apart from flocks of graduates in robes that bizarrely kept congregating everywhere), everywhere had great sales, the weather was hot but not humid at all, and everywhere I went people had Welsh accents (a girl standing behind me in Schuh exclaimed over a pair of Converse "Oh those are lush!"). It was lovely. I shopped all day Thursday, ate down at a packed Cardiff Bay full of people enjoying the sunshine and workmen turning Roald Dahl Plass into a beach, complete with helter-skelter.



It's going to be a beach for all of August, complete with sand, a water play area, and traditional seaside amusements. I wish I could go back to see it because I think it'll be amazing.

I also saw Pacific Rim on Thursday night which was so delightfully, uncompromisingly ridiculous that I loved every second of it. I think it demands a suspension of disbelief from the very first line and how much you enjoy it depends totally on how far you're willing to simply shrug and roll with it, but if you do it rewards you by being a lot of fun. Even if every time someone said 'jaegar', I couldn't stop myself mentally adding 'meister' onto the end.

Friday was more shopping, and gbk and then an endless six hour trip home which definitely increased my stress levels again but an entire weekend of dedication lounging has fixed that. I'm sad that I have to go back to work tomorrow and that I don't have any more time off until October, but Cardiff remains fabulous. I wish I could win the lottery so I could just buy my penthouse flat on the Bay and stay there.

~

Other Things:

- [livejournal.com profile] jesse_kips is a rockstar and got us tickets to see Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus after Christmas. I want to say how awesome this is but I don't think words that awesome have been invented yet. It's entirely possible one or both of us will end up with restraining orders against us but given the general insanity of Hiddleston's fans we'll probably just blend right in.

Incidentally, that'll make it five times that I've been to the theatre this year. That's pretty good. Next year I'm thinking that I'll aim to make it six.

- Andy Murray won Wimbledon! This made me utterly delighted, (especially since they can now stop repeating that awful interview from 2012 when he was crying too much to speak oh my god BBC seriously, STOP SHOWING IT). I wrote 5000 words of post-final Murray/Djokovic in a fit of inspiration that was killed by work stress and shopping. It's so close to being finished, I should actually just suck it up and do it. Argh.

- In general, writing is going- well, I don't want to say 'not well' but 'distinctly average'. Must try harder.

- The sun came out in Britain about two weeks ago and hasn't gone back in yet. Everyone enjoyed it for about a day and then old people started dropping like flies, doctors started screaming about skin cancer and all the salt marshes on my train ride to work have dried up. Dear Britain, the next person to complain about the rain will be taken out and shot, understood?

- Still haven't won the lottery, despite multiple attempts. Sigh.

- I promised to post about Peter and Alice, didn't I. That's not a question. I know I've failed, even though I have it all written down. It was fantastic and made me cry like a baby, and I think that may be as far as I get in forming coherent thoughts. Sorry. :(

- I had another point, and then I thought of Ben Whishaw and promptly forgot it. Er. It probably wasn't important.

- This is probably it for another two months but I do check LJ every day so if you do want to check I haven't fallen off the face of the planet, leave a comment & I will get it & reply. Keep posting. For all its failings, it makes me sad that LJ is slowly dying. I'll miss it if - when - it finally gives up the ghost (plus I've forgotten my Dreamwidth password again. Typical).
clo_again: (Jellybaby <3)
Oh my god, my brother has a touchscreen Sony Vaio which I am typing this from right now and I want one so much. SO MUCH.

Also, currently surrounded by five dogs all trying to see what I'm typing. It's hard to see even a touchscreen with Pippen's face in front of it. Yes, I love you too please stop licking my face.

In conclusion, MY BROTHER'S MENAGERIE IS INSANE. But he has the world's most amazing laptop aaahhh.
clo_again: (Tennant - keep calm and drink tea)
So Twitter isn't working and I cannot share my every pointless whim with the entire world (or at least the unfortunate part of it that follows me). Curses!

And yet it made my open an LJ entry box which I've been meaning to do for about two four some months now. Maybe Twitter needs to break every day. For about an hour at 7pm GMT would usually work for me Twitter bird, thanks. I think the world would manage not to spontaneously combust with missing an hour of pointless celebrity death hoaxes every day.*

Sadly, this is not a proper entry. It's not a proper entry even though I have an epic Avengers Weekend DVD Marathon entry With [livejournal.com profile] jesse_kips that I should've made about three weeks ago (with pictures!) entry sitting half-written in a private draft post, or a I Hate My Job So Much Because The Stupidity of People Makes Me Want To Smash All The Things entry sitting half-written in my head, or a Here Is Amazing Avengers Fic That You Must READ READ READ IMMEDIATELY Rec entry that is sort of in the vague planning stages of non-existence-procrastination. It's a Twitter Is Broken And I Had Five Minutes to Say I Aten't Ded Before I Wash My Hair in Time to Watch Robot Chicken Star Wars (On the SyFy Channel @ 9pm FYI) entry.

I aten't ded. I will post something - anything, dear god anything - soon. I'm still reading every day! I love you all. In a totally non-creepy non-zombie-brain-eating way, I promise.

Now go and read some amazing Avengers fic so I can wash my hair.**



*Disclaimer: I love Twitter but seriously people, y'all need to stop fake!killing celebrities. Coming back from the dead probably generates a lot of paperwork. Think of the trees!

**Ahahahahaha in going to find the link, I accidentally closed the tab with this post in it. If not for LJ's save drafts feature, I'd be the one needing Back From the Dead paperwork because I wouldn't have posted again for six months (or until Twitter broke again) in frustration and y'all would have had it officially declared.

edit the thingy: Months of not posting and I still remember how to fuck up my html. It's like riding a bike, I swear.

edit the other thingy: Oh god I went back to fix a typo and it lost my edit and my extra tags and I CAN'T CONCENTRATE FOR MORE THAN 140 CHARACTERS NOW APPARENTLY WHAT. Epic fail, zombiefood brain.
clo_again: (Propeller - Screweth Thou)
I've just noticed that [livejournal.com profile] scoobydumblonde has gifted me a pair of dragons and my face went :D , which is pretty amazing for a Sunday night. <3 Thank you! :D

Secondly, I am not dead. I've been meaning to make an LJ post for- er, yes, not actually going to count the days because that's depressing but some time!

In that time I have: bought a blu-ray player; played an awful lot (around 45 hours so far apparently) of Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, most of it spent flapping around Skyloft on my giant red bird BECAUSE I CAN; got a new job (but in the same hospital); left my old job (by walking across the road to a different building); spent far too much money; decided not to do Wimbledon this year as I can't afford it after spending all my money; bought a piano-sized keyboard; failed to play anything recognisable on piano-sized keyboard; watched a lot of Suits; read of a lot of fic (mostly Suits); saw a spectacular production of Henry V with [livejournal.com profile] jesse_kips; read at least two fairly average books; watched the entire first season of Sabrina the Teenage Witch for the first time in years; thought a lot about how I should make an LJ post with all my Suits fic recs; started making this post, which will include at least one Suits rec.

That pretty much sums it up.

~

The Henry V production we went to was by the fabulous Propeller who I've seen do The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night, and who have pretty much ruined Shakespeare done by anyone else for me forever. You can see a nifty trailer for their Henry V here and for The Winter's Tale production they're touring with it here. Their Winter's Tale even comes recommended by Stephen Fry! They're in New Zealand right now but they're touring the UK until August; I'm going to see Winter's Tale in London in July and honestly, if you even remotely like Shakespeare or theatre, go. Propeller are so amazing. I still mourn that they don't do DVDs so I'll never see their beautiful Twelfth Night again (see post title: the way Simon Scardifield delivered it was heartbreaking. Him not being in Henry this time was the only thing wrong with it.)

Did have the weird realisation halfway through Henry V that Dugald Bruce-Lockhart who plays Henry has been in all three of the Propeller productions I've seen (Petruccio in Shrew, Olivia in Twelfth), making him the only stage actor I've seen on three separate occasions.

When I confessed this, [livejournal.com profile] jesse_kips accused me of stalking. Then I also confessed that I'd slashed him with Simon Scardifield after watching Shrew (they kissed on stage, the entire play is basically them having epic emotional battles since they were Petruccio and Katherine respectively, what was I supposed to do?)

And then I remembered I even had a LJ icon of Dugald (see: this post's icon) and gave up on anyone hope of arguing that I wasn't a stalker. In my defence it's been mostly incidental; he is in a rather fabulous Shakespeare company.

I'm in the front row when I go to see Winter's Tale. Er. Maybe I'll keep my head down.

~

I started this an hour ago as an escape from tidying my wardrobe a brief update and there's still boxes all over my bed (woe), so wrapping it up with an incredible Suits/Avengers fic rec:

Sidekick by Closer, (who wrote the amazing Mike/Harvey Pizza verse.

Sidekick was written on the kinkmeme for the prompt 'Harvey Specter wasn't the rich renegade badass that plucked Mike from his potential life of crime. Tony Stark was.' It's well-thought out and hilarious and Mike's grandmother forces Tony to eat regular dinner and all the other Avengers show up (Mike teaches Thor yo mamma< jokes omg) and it's all so ridiculously in-character that it's almost unbelievable. Oh and if nothing else, SPIDER-MAN HAS A CAMEO. All of Closer's Suits fic is brilliant but I wouldn't be too sad to see her take time off to write more for Iron Man/The Avengers too because her Tony is amazing.

My one weird thing with it was that's Tony/Mike- and done awesomely - so even though Harvey shows up (as Tony's lawyer) it's obvs not going to have the same Mike/Harvey relationship. I felt a little sorry for Harvey missing out - Mike works for Iron Man; he's not missing out on anything - BUT I have just noticed that she's added a bunch of codas and there was the promise of a Harvey/Mike/Tony threesome so I'm just going to check that out.

Tidying? Pfft. Go read fic!
clo_again: (Pegg/Wright- Boy Kissage)
Yeah okay so I was kind of ambivalent towards the whole idea of Suits at first (despite /report insisting repeatedly that it was amazing and slashy and ridiculous and MUST BE WATCHED) but I caught the first episode on Dave the other night and, almost by accident, found myself on the right channel just in time for the second episode yesterday. And I've since spent two nights reading Suits fic and alright, I'm sitting here wondering how I'll wait six days for episode three. It really is kind of amazing and ridiculous and MUST BE WATCHED. Seriously, I bet Dave's repeating it a lot. Go catch up.

It's also super super slashy. I'm linking anything good I find on LJ under my 'Fic Recs: Suits' tag in my Memories but this one was on AO3 and I just had to:

Grande Soy Triple Dirty Chai by friskaz, Mike/Harvey AU along a believable-almost hypothesis of 'Mike became a barista instead of a fake!lawyer and he's the only one who makes Harvey's coffee exactly right', except there's baseball and pie and messages scribbled on coffee cups, and a whole lot of beautiful flirting over 38301 words. It's like sinking into your sofa under a fluffy blanket comfort-fic.

Plus it has 248 kudos which may actually be the most kudos I have ever seen a fic garner on AO3. If my word's not enough, trust the masses on this one.

~

I actually have to go to bed now (should've been there an hour ago but hey, fic called). Stupidly stressful day today and tomorrow looks set to be similar, but it's looking like I pretty much have a agreed job offer there for the next year. Different department but that could be a good thing. Honestly, right now? I will take a guarantee for fulltime work for twelve months over a lot of things; suddenly a trip to Venice for my birthday in October doesn't seem like such a ridiculous notion.

Anyway, bed. Tomorrow should bring my shiny new copy of the Stargate: Atlantis fic anthology that I put together. Expect more pictures.
clo_again: (Monkton - Where are we going?)
This post was originally going to be a Merry Christmas and then Happy New Year and then that New Year meme that does the rounds every December/January...

...and then I thought it'd got a bit past all that and I'd talk about getting fanfiction printed into bound books instead. (And then I left this post sitting half-written for about two weeks and I'm finally posting it in a rush just to get the damn thing off my to-do list.)

So on New Years Eve I was being somewhat sad and stuck at home with family + guests and, as I seem to end up doing quite often around Christmas and NYE for reasons of a nostalgic nature, I was idly re-reading some of the fanfiction that I've loved almost longer than any other fic: BagEnders. (For those of you yet to encounter the wonders of BagEnders, it essentially follows the premise of 'Let's make the original Fellowship from Lord of the Rings immortal, assume they've all lived through history, and stick them together in a three-bedroom house in the year 2000, with all the ensuing psychological, social and lack-of-personal-space issues you'd expect from being several millenia old and still having to live with Gandalf. It's rough and typo-filled and ridiculous, and still one of the best things I've ever read on the internet). It was written way back in internet terms - around 2001 - and it's been gradually disappearing from the internet over the years; the website crashed back in 2004ish and some stuff got put back up, but only the first series is really accessible on there these days. Various efforts have been made to save it but there's a general feeling that one day in the not-to-distant-future, it's going to vanish.

With some widespread Googling and much c&ping, I collected the last few chapters on series III on NYE, and sat back with a glow of contentment. Now it'll be mine forever! I'll always have BagEnders!

Until a snide little thought said, my computer breaks. Until they're no longer on the internet and replaceable. Then what?

Side-track: when I went backpacking around Australia a few years ago, I invaded the house of [livejournal.com profile] chickybee32, a long-term (maybe my longest actually!) internet friend. We met a long long time ago because of an epic-length fic she'd written called Bitter Wine and, while I was staying with her, she showed me a paperback book - Bitter Wine, neatly formatted and printed into an actual bound paperback by another mutual friend as a present. It was fic! In a book! With chapters and actual pages and collected stories in the same 'verse at the back!

In short? It was super cool. Fic in an actual book format. I can't be alone in thinking that's pretty nifty.

Ever since I've sort of hovered around the vague idea of getting my favourite fics printed into books because honestly, I re-read all the time. I read new books constantly too but if I'm cleaning my teeth or stirring the pasta or just want something to occupy my brain for half an hour without having to process anything beyond letters on a page, I pick up old books. I open them to random pages, I re-read paragraphs and lines or entire chapters, in pieces and snatched minutes. I've re-read my entire Tamora Pierce collection dozens of times and constantly have at least one of them on the go; I'm currently heading towards the end of Squire for the umpteenth time, after reading odd paragraphs while cleaning my teeth for two weeks.

I would love to do this with fic, but. It is tricky impossible to do this with a laptop. For a while I clung to the idea of getting a Kindle and filling it full of fic but that's hardly a safe thing to have near a running tap in the bathroom and I quickly realised it wouldn't be any sort of assurance of safety for much-loved fic in the long run; a Kindle is, basically, just a mini-computer and we all know what computers do in the end - break. Usually at the most inconvenient moments ie, when you've lost your backup/s.

So I'd been sitting on this idea of fic-books for a long time, without really ever getting around to researching it. I thought it'd be expensive, maybe, or there'd be copyright issues if the company noticed what they were printing (not that I'd have any intention of selling fic-books to anyone other than myself because hey, no and also not mine to sell and did I mention no? - but it kind of bugged me. So, I'd left it.

But with the thought of BagEnders graually vanishing, and it being the start of a shiny new year and also fic-books would be really really cool, I Googled for printing services. First option up was Lulu.com and, after browing for a few reviews on the service, I thought it looked promising. I spent about a day trying to format my BagEnders chapters into something approaching consistent - Lulu asks for .pdf files with all fonts embedded etc. which is super-easy to do with OpenOffice (on Writer, just go File -> Export as .pdf and hit save. Lulu has a step-by-step gide, although you may have to open an account with the site to read it - accounts are free and easy though!) but it's way more important for a book to be consistently formatted than a collection of chapters posted on separate webpages - chapter titles had to stand out, Author Notes to be italicised, footnotes etc.

Towards the end I was sick of staring at the thing and I figured I'd save what I had - which was almost a completely-formatted version of series I and II complete with all the comic strips originally drawn for the fic by Calima that are still available on the website - and upload it to Lulu just to see. I wasn't intending to print it yet - I still wasn't sure it was a great idea - but I wanted to test the Lulu process and so, I hit publish and followed the steps and I'd designed a cover to fit the A5 format using another one of Calima's illustrations and-

-and yeah, I got to the final step and it was there looking at me in all it's shiny temptingness - and I clicked publish.

(Aside: Lulu claims that you are "publishing" these books and will go some way to make it seem official, offering you the option of an ISBN and prcntages of sales etc., but during the creating process they offer you three options: publish outright and make available to buy, complete with ISBN; publish privately for only you to view/purchase; and another option that I've forgotten and probably isn't that important since the other two are the ones we want. For fic-books, I'm pretty sure the option will always be "PUBLISH JUST FOR ME" because you get royalties or some such if other people buy something you've 'published' and even if it's your own fic, that's getting into pretty sketchy territory legally. I can't stop you doing it, but I recommend you don't. Seriously. Don't.)

So I'd published the damn thing, formatting errors and all, and when it took me to the private-to-me book page after, I ordered a copy. With series I and II included plus illustrations (I didn't think I could fit III into Lulu's 740-page limit), it came to 612 pages for an A5 paperback which cost £10.34, plus £2.99 p&p. If you order multiple items - as far as I've tested anyway - p&p goes up by £1 per item; there may be a limit on this or there may not. For 612 pages though, I figured that was pretty good.

Three days later, it arrived (image heavy) )

A few days after BagEnders arrived, I got twitchy with the knowledge that I could create fic books. This time I wanted to test things I'd learned from BagEnders (smaller font size, margin sizes etc.) but I didn't want to spend another entire day formatting, so I looked for a fic that was already formatted pretty perfectly and that would c&p as such. Plus, it had to be something I'd re-read enough to justify the money, and long enough to justify the book. With all that in mind I went for The Student Prince, a modern-day Merlin AU by FayJay. I re-read it fairly regularly, it's a proper book-length at 147,000 words, plus it wasn't too NC-17-rated (I'm still not entirely comfortable sending anything too dubious off to some company somewhere to print because hey, they might not read anything they're sent but then again, they have to check the printing and such; I didn't want to risk them banning me before I've even got started) and it had the nice bonus of, on the surface, looking like just another King Arthur story that anyone could've written without reference to the TV show. Formatting was mostly a simple matter of c&p, making sure the chapters started on a new page, and finding a cover design. Published it all up, ordered - £8.51 + £2.99 p&p; it came in at 525 pages of US trade paperback size, which is larger in surface area than A5 so they probably charge by page count instead - and ordered. In the same thee-day turnaround, it was dispatched and arrived.


The Student Prince by Fay Jay )

So, that's Lulu.com and fic books. I like Lulu a lot; the step-by-step process is easy, and the print inside the book is sharp and perfect. Even the comic strips have printed beautifully. Aside from a few hiccups like the cover type and margin size - which I guess is why they recommend you order proof copies of everything you 'publish' - I have no issues with the two books. I love them and I'm going to keep them for a long time; I've already formatted several other of my favourite fics into .pdf files waiting to be printed, along with an anthology of all my favourite Stargate: Atlantis fic because it all seems to be around the novella-length instead of novel. Someday in the future I'll have a bookcase full of my favourite fic, bound and shiny and free from the threat of computer malfunctions.

~

Other stuff is happening. Today I went to a wonderfully unexpected old-fashioned Penny Arcade in Southport; I lovedlovedloved the third episode of Sherlock; Silent Witness is hopefully going to be on again next month which I'm super-excited about; I'm still working at the hospital a a temp, although I'm feeling like that may not last too much longer; I've read many wonderful non-fic books; I'm going with [livejournal.com profile] jesse_kips to see the marvellous Propeller perform Henry V in February and I can't wait.

But all that will be another post, because I should've been in bed an hour ago. :)


eta: Oh dear god that was an epic amount of html!fail to fix. NOW I AM GOING TO BED.
clo_again: (Pigs Might Fly)
When I was about eleven, I decided that I wanted to be a writer. I handwrote a seven-page story about me and my friends finding a kitten called Smudge in the local church; it took about three nights after school and I was as proud of it as if I'd written a seven-hundred-page novel. After that I went through the usual learning-how-to-write-while-being-a-crazy-teenager process; I wrote stories based on books I'd read, I wrote stories about my friends, I created ridiculous female characters who Obi-Wan Kenobi and Legolas immediately fell in love with (and I'll never stop being glad that I learned what a Mary-Sue was before those had a chance to make it onto the shiny new thing called the Internet).

But in and around those things, I read. I read everything. I worked through the children's/teen section of my local library and picked up books at school, stole books that my brother had for birthdays and scavenged anything literary around the house that looked like I might possibly be able to read. And one night - I don't know if I'd run out of books at the library but I know I was searching for anything to read - I went to the pile of sci-fi/fantasy novels that my mother collected haphazardly and went over them with sticky book-wanting fingers. Based on nothing more than a liking for the cover art, I picked out The White Dragon and took it downstairs to the sofa where I promptly got the side-eye from my mother who was sitting across the room.

"Why are you reading that?" she asked.

I shrugged and said, "It looked interesting."

She hmmmed a bit. "It's probably not the best place to get into the series. You should start with the first book."

I shrugged again and said "I like the look of this one," already several pages in, and she left it.

It's never really occurred to me before but there are very few authors or book series that I can clearly remember picking up for the first time. Tamora Pierce (Alanna: the First Adventure at a high school book fair, the kind that had metal boxes that opened outwards into shelves of books), Neil Gaiman (American Gods from Waterstone's in Cardiff, just before a long train journey home that I entirely spent reading). Jasper Fforde (The Eyre Affair, when he came to do a talk at my university). And, earlier than any of those, Anne McCaffrey's The White Dragon.

I quickly realised my mother was right and it was a terrible place to begin the series, but I finished the book, liked it, was intrigued. When careful perusal of the book list in the front revealed that Dragonflight was the recommended place to start - and an irritated rummage through the McCaffrey books we owned proved that it wasn't among them - I bought it. Immediately when I finished, I was delighted to discover Dragonquest on our bookshelf and my school library had Dragonsinger, while the local library had The Crystal Singer and I found Freedom's Landing forgotten in a cupboard and slowly, over a few years, I worked my way through the Talent and Ship series' and argued with a schoolfriend over whether McCaffrey stole the title for Power Play from a Sweet Valley High book or vice versa (no, seriously).

When it came time to pick somewhere we wanted to go for work experience, I knew exactly what I wanted to do; I wanted to spend time with a writer. I sat down and, in wobbly teenage writing on my best paper with a horse's head on the corner, I wrote to Anne McCaffrey to ask if I could gatecrash her house for a week so she could teach me everything I needed to know to write fabulous dragon books.

Of course it was a ridiculous request. Looking back, I can't believe I actually sincerely and utterly believed I'd get a "Yes! Come to Ireland immediately!" response back by return post but I did. I posted it and waited a couple of days alternating between panic - what if it got lost? how was I even supposed to get to Ireland, from Wales? Swim? - and excitement, and back to panic etc. For a few days and then a few more, nothing.

And then maybe a week later, two at most, I got a letter back. Typed on paper headed 'DRAGONHOLD-UNDERHILL', it said - very politely - that she didn't think my family would like me to go running away to Ireland to live with a complete stranger, regardless if she was old enough to be my grandmother. But, it said, where you live isn't such a small town and a newspaper or a bookshop would be invaluable work experience for an aspiring writer. And read she said, read everything - "so you know what has been said as well as how it has been said."

It concluded "Good luck" and was hand-signed, in blue biro.

I know this after all this time, because that letter is in my hand right now.

I'm so glad that I'm a massive hoarder who never throws anything away; my only regret is that it's not dated, although I could pretty easily work out which year I went for work experience (in the end, at a newspaper. It was invaluable; it taught me that I never want to be a newsaper journalist). I was disappointed by the 'no' but at the same time, I had a letter from an author. The name on the front of the book was a person, sitting in front of a computer screen somewhere under a hill in Ireland and taking the time to reply to a teenage fangirl (the letter in no way reads like it was typed by an assistant and then merely signed; I believed then and I believe now she typed every word herself). Authors existed, as people.

In the years after that I discovered the internet. Some time in those years, I found out that the internet had a generally low opinion of Anne McCaffrey. She'd said some silly things, her books had issues. She hated fanfiction. Being a McCaffrey fan was something you 'grew out of'. More and more, I left her books on the shelf while I re-read Pierce and Jacques and Wynne Jones. I picked up The Crystal Singer again last year and was surprised that I found Killashandra irritating and stuck-up. 'Grown out of it' I thought, and packed all my McCaffrey in stacked layers on the bookshelf out in the hallway while books I re-read and loved more stayed in my room.

And then on Tuesday, after a lovely day of tennis at the O2, I turned on my netbook for a quick check of Twitter and was surprised to see 'Anne McCaffrey' trending. Because she'd died, aged 85.

I was sad; it's been a rough year already with losing Diana Wynne Jones, but I wasn't really sure how I felt. I'd grown out of McCaffrey a long time ago. Hadn't I? She said those dumb things, she wasn't really something you named among your loves as a serious adult fantasy fan.

But in the last day or so, I've read a lot of tributes. Everyone says the same: she was wonderful. 'She made me believe in female heroes', 'in girl characters not backing down from a fight', 'in dragons'. And I started to think about the number of comments I've read over the years along the lines of "I started with the Dragons of Pern books when I was a teenager" and you know, I realised there's been a lot.

A lot of people in fandom today have an Anne McCaffrey story. I bet even more people outside of fandom do. No matter what she said or believed throughout a career that spanned decades and won pretty much every fantasy award going, there are countless people out there in the world who can say "I started loving dragons/fantasy/female heroes/etc when I first read Anne McCaffrey at age x."

I think that counts for a lot more than anything else.

RIP Anne. I bet your queen dragon in the afterlife is amazing.

(I'm re-reading The Crystal Singer again and you know what? Killashandra is irritable and arrogant... and she doesn't take shit from anyone.

I remember why I love her, now.)
clo_again: (Roger/Mirka - So Hail to the King)
Oh dear, why has LJ made my default font when typing an entry into the posting box, so terrible? Didn't it used to be Verdana or Arial or something you know, that didn't hurt your eyes to read? My browser default font is still Verdana. This is most perplexing and I do not approve. I'm typing on the Rich text option just to make the font readable but I know from experience that I tend to forget and put my own HTML tags in and that confuses it terribly. Hhmm.


What I was originally going to say before LJ perplexed me so: did anyone else find Merlin somewhat pointless tonight? I was really looking forward to it and it started so interestingly with the pre-credits opening, only to fall into boredom. I spent most of the second half reflecting on how much my foot itched and it was frustrating that Casper was sitting on me so I couldn't reach to scratch it, which I suspect indicates the extent to which I was gripped by what was happening onscreen. I can't even be bothered to put a cut in because I have nothing really pressing to say about it that deserves spoiler-cutting. Just, oh Arthur. You are not this much of a prat anymore. Why do they keep feeling the need to hit the reset button every series and wipe out all the common sense you've spent the previous series learning?

I also spent much of the episode protesting that they were pronouncing 'Caerleon' wrong, because I've always pronounced it 'Cai-ar-lee-un' as in 'Caerdydd' (Cardiff in Welsh, which I've always heard pronounced as 'Cai-ar-dyth' as in the second pronounciation here) but a swift Google after it ended proved me wrong: according to this, it is actually pronounced Car-lee-un', similar to how Merlin had it (although Bradley James seemed to insist on saying it "Carleeon" or "Care-leeon" depending how much of a hurry he was in). I like it when Merlin proves that it's smarter than I've given it credit for, though it doesn't happen often.

The weekly shout-out to the slash-fans is getting a bit bizarre at this point though. Once or twice, fine. Every week, a bit odd. Seriously. We get it; y'all read the internets. Could you read the bits of the internets that want more of the knights please? Though at least they got lines this week. Oh wait, I realised something I need to spoiler-cut )

~

What else did I mean to mention (99.9% of my posts seem to be Merlin-related recently; I'm nothing if not obsessive). It was my birthday this last week for which I took two days off from work to have a four day weekend but I spent the day being stalked by a bad mood brought on by idiotic Parcelforce (this is a polite request to all of you: please, never use Parcelforce. They steal and lie and overcharge you, and generally need to be wiped from existence) and not getting a kitten and argh, I don't know. I like to do things on my birthday, go to new places or fun places or exciting places, but this year with work and general lack of money and the parental working on the day, I sat around at home feeling old and sorry for myself. It was a terrible plan. So, next year I'm going to have to do something pretty spectacular to make up for it I think.

But on Friday me and the parental went to Glasgow, somewhere I've heard many good things about re. shopping but I've never got around to going before. The shopping is most certainly excellent and we got lost in the five-floors of Debenhams and I mourned over the beautiful Desigual shop where I couldn't afford anything (£49 for a scarf!) and I braved the busy horror of Primark to stock up on long-sleeved tops which I desperately needed and generally, a good time was had. Not as good as if I'd actually got the kitten I wanted for my birthday but I finally found a pair of boots I liked enough to buy after looking for about five months. Minor victories! I spent a little more money than I should've but I got paid slightly more than I expected and I had birthday money and oh, it's only money. At some point I'll have enough of it to stop worrying about shopping overspends.

In conclusion have a picture of the Duke of Wellington with a traffic cone on his head (and some other things) )

~

I am going back to Tamora Pierce's Mastiff now. It's very good but there's something about it that's making me wonder if she's going to kill off characters I love before the end. Just a feeling. (I hope I'm wrong.)
clo_again: (Monkton - Where are we going?)
So I have Feelings about tonight's Merlin but they mostly take the form of incoherent squeaking sounds of mingled distress and joy, which is rather hard to type up (I liked it. I think. I'm not sure 'like' is the word for "Bradley James' sad!acting is making me want to leave the room so I don't have to watch the heartbreak anymore". It was certainly good, though I think it deserved to be a double parter really).

So instead of my Conflicted Feelings, have two most excellent Merlin-related things to watch!

First, Colin Morgan, Katie McGrath and Eoin Macken (WHO HAS CUT OFF HIS GWAINE HAIR, WHAT. THIS BRINGS MY DISAPPROVAL) were on the RTE Late Late Show yesterday (that's a link because I'm too tired to work out how to embed that vid. I hope it's watchable everywhere. They show up at about 1:11 in; the vid just let me to skip to that point wihout buffering which was...nice). Colin has an adorable cold-voice and Katie is stunning (I love her top so much) while talking about her massive crush on Han Solo, and they jointly mock Eoin for his modelling and ask THE MOST HILARIOUS QUESTION ABOUT ACTION LOL WHAT (I'm watching it as I type this, with pauses to flail madly at the air in joy that the internet exists to bring me these things. Stick around after the Merlin bit too because Tim Minchin sings a special RTE song! \o/ Clearly a GENIUS put together the line-up for this show.)

Eoin also (guiltily) lets slip that he and Rupert (Sir Leon) get to have a proper fight at some point which I can't quite form words of coherence over; I adore Leon and he still slightly gets lumped with the 'expendable' knights despite being there the longest and he needs more action. Especially with other pretty knights. ESPECIALLY. I can't wait for this episode (oh Merlin, why are Saturdays so far apart?)

Second thing to watch is the Gay Times shoot/interview with Rupert (Leon), Tom (Percival) and Eoin, which cuts between them prancing about being shirtless and giggly and exceedingly pretty and the three of them answering questions together in a hilarious bantering testosterone-filled way, with much mockage and Rupert trying to be sensible and Eoin not trying to be sensible at all and just, awesome. Also, I actually have the embed code for it yay!



(I have a shameful confession: after watching this interview, I walked into WH Smith's the next day with every intention of buying the Gay Times magazine. I made it as far as the magazine section, as the right shelf, and I was eyeing the cover admiringly - it dawned on me it was on the top shelf with the porn and I honestly could not bring myself to reach up there and take it to the till. I AM SO ASHAMED OF MY LACK OF COURAGE. AND CARING WHAT IMPRESSION I MAKE ON A CASHIER WHO WON'T EVEN REMEMBER ME. Fail, self. I've had knowing looks from male cashiers while buying chocolate and ibruprofen, which was actually a dumb move since he obviously suspected I was PMSing and should've been wary of being punched in the nose. I went to see the first Pokemon movie when I was in high school and we got laughed at by the ticket guy! Nothing should be embarrassing after that. But apparently, this is. Sigh.

I'm meeting [livejournal.com profile] jesse_kips for what should, it has just occurred to me, be a special joint-birthday dinner in a week so I may drag her along for moral support if the magazine is still there. Dammit, I will own my own shirtless!Knights of Camelot.)

~

And so this isn't just another yet-more-Merlin rambling in an LJ post-post, have some pictures from a walk over the fell today (I had a lot of fun finding interesting mushrooms, most of which I'm sure are massively poisonous but pretty! )

In conclusion: I am very tired now and wishing it wasn't already Sunday. Work is somewhat stressful right now (you have no idea. No, really) and I could do with a three day weekend. Someone, please sort that for me, thanks.

Alternatively, change the two numbers I got on the lottery ticket I hopefully bought today into seven and let me never have to get up to work a Monday morning ever again. This would also be lovely.
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