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OH CAPTAIN BEEFHEART SINGING 'HER EYES ARE A BLUE MILLION MILES' WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MY ENTIRE LIFE?  Er, other than in my parents' record collection, that is. It's slightly galling to admit that one's parents are far cooler than one will ever be. This is why I'm giving into total geekdom and becoming a librarian. And, in aid of this venture,  my life is currently revolving around the insane packing and repacking of  bags and cardboard boxes - I'm  blowing this popsicle stand for the pretty city of Glasgow 40 minutes down the road.  I'm still greatly amused by the Glasgow/Edinburgh divide known as the Irn Bru Curtain. This will possibly never get old. I have yet to find somewhere to live, but my Library Sciences course at the University of Strathclyde begins at the end of the month. I should probably stop listening to 70s psychedelic WTF rock and get cracking on living arrangments and men with vans, right?

How are all of you? *hugs*
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Man, today was stuck in Chumpsville. Here's hoping the rest of the week picks up sharpish.

AWOL Alert

Aug. 15th, 2010 03:10 am
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Actor Girl has arrived from Toronto!! We're off to do festival-y things and drink lots of coffee and get lots of writing done in between and around my new job (starts on Monday, temp contract with the local authorities, should be full-time work for at least two months, which is a-ok in my book),...So - probably won't be around too much over the next couple of weeks, but hope everyone's August turns out to be looooovely, and take care,
fox_in_the_library: (writing)
Oh dear. Brace yourselves. I'm up late writing bad poetry. Heartened to find that two previously unconnected poems are actually much more connected that I thought they were.
fox_in_the_library: (trixie)

Just to reiterate my latest Tumblr post -  WHY DOES THIS WEEK SUCK SO MUCH? BECAUSE THIS WEEK DOES SUCK.  ACROSS THE BOARD. FOR PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE I KNOW.  It sucks like a hoover about to blow its fan belt, like a really big fucking mosquito who I just want to swat out of existence, like a really, really, really bad simile.  Seriously, was there some sort of god-placating cermony that we all totally missed out on?  I live in Scotland; maybe I should have been spending my week building a Wicker Man instead of being polite to library patrons with entitlement issues.  And then we could have burnt them all with fire!!!!  And toasted marshmallows while we were at it.....The one bright spot of my week was actually my awesome co-worker randomly buying everyone Mars Bars on his break, because he's that nice of a guy. So, that did not suck.  BUT EVERYTHING ELSE DID. 

Ah fuck it, I'm going to bed now. Wake me up when it's the weekend.

fox_in_the_library: (trixie)
So. There is flat drama. Much of which isn't about to be gone into, but, very rapidly - this is my current situation.

As of October 1st, we will all be moving. I will either be going a) to Glasgow to commence a Master's in Library Science at the University of Strathclyde, or b) to go hang out on my parents couch in Ontario while I apply to various library schools and employment sectors in Canada. My parents don't know this yet. They're still in blissful ignorance on holiday in the reception-less South Shore of Nova Scotia. However, I don't think they'll be too fussed if it ends up being the latter option that pans out. My grandparents are actually really thrilled at the thought that I might be coming back to Canada; my grandfather has even said that I can sleep in the basement. (It's furnished.) He also volunteered my aunt's basement. I said that he may wish to ask my aunt before moving me and my books in...

I love Edinburgh. I do, it's a great city. The only problem is that the economy is rubbish, and temp work is only just paying the bills. It's not letting me save anything for the future, or actually have a life outside of work due to limited funds and unpredictable hours. I've reached a point where I can't really live like this anymore, and as awesome and supportive as my flatmates are, we all ultimately (by mutual agreement over dinner and wine) have decided that we all need to be selfish and put ourselves and our respective situations first and act accordingly.

Plan A, in an ideal world, is to get into Strathclyde. This would be really excellent. My application's almost done. I only have to finish the personal statement and get copies of my transcripts.

Plan B (the Contingency Plan of Extremis): Go through all of my stuff. Pack up all of my stuff. Ship all of my stuff. Ship myself back to my parents. Apply to the University of Western Ontario for either a January or a May entrance; apply to Toronto and McGill for September entrances. In the meantime, pick up work over the holiday rush (possibilities: retail at Limeridge Mall, coffee-making at The Second Cup, or hopefully My Dog Joe, which is a nice studenty cafe; see what sort of admin/library/assistant posts come up at Mac). Hamilton's possibilities are highly, highly limited, but, if my aunt was up for it, I could actually live in her basement and hopefully find work in Toronto...

I don't know, guys, I'm trying not to feel too low or stressed out, but being almost thirty (okay, still in my late 20s) and having to go home and live with your parents because you can't get a freaking job is pretty damn depressing.  I'm holding onto the fact that it's really, really not just me - one of my coworker's daughters, with a doctorate in chemical engineering, (an employable field if ever there was one, you'd think) has been unemployed since she graduated. That was a year ago. She's moved back in with her parents.  And every single day at work I have conversations with customers who have been made redundant and who have been unemployed for three months or four, or six, or nine, and who are trying and trying to find themselves something, anything, and who are in the same position as me. There are simply no jobs. The last reception position I applied for had 360 other applicants.  Everyone I know is reading oral and/or economic histories of the 1930s, trying to find methods of coping.  I, personally, am taking comfort in the fact that John Steinbeck only got through the Depression because his father owned a small cottage on the Californian coast which he lent to his son, rent-free. Which is how I'm attempting to view the prospect of moving home. I know plenty of people who were still living at home in their mid-late twenties because they simply couldn't/can't afford to move out, so why should my predicament be any different?  In fact, Actor Girl, who is coming to visit me in less than two weeks (\o/\o/\o/\o/!!!!!!), still lives with her mother, because Toronto rents are through the ever-lovin' roof.

So, in the best case scenario, I get into Strathclyde with a bit of funding, but, in the good old-fashioned spirit of keeping one's chin up, and In an effort to forestall the serotonin level drop which is surely about to occur, I hereby bring you the Pros of Plan B

1. I'd get to see my parents on (an all too regular) basis.
2. I'd get to see friends who I normally only see once a year, if that, on a much more regular basis.
3. I'd be able to attend my cousin's wedding next spring without it being the financial hassle that it otherwise could be.
4. The British contingent are already making plans for the Great Canadian Road Trip, and one would hate to disappoint them.
5. ...I'm sure that I had a fifth point earlier, but I can't think what it was now.

The other thing about Plan B is the following: As much as I love Great Britain, the older I get, the more I do think about returning to Canada. Mostly  this is because I am an only child and my parents aren't getting any younger. So, going back to Canada was always sort of on the cards at some point, I just hadn't thought it would be quite as soon as this.  

My grandparents have actually been pretty awesome over the last couple of conversations I've had with them (they're my de facto canvassing audience since my parents are out of town), and we talked a lot about their emigrations and childhoods and growing up with limited options due to a terrible economy. They're also helpful for reminding me that I have a safety net when so many people don't. I might have to go home, but I have a home, I have multiple homes, with people who love me and who are supportive and practical in equal measures, to go to.  This helps. A lot.

Right. Now I have to stop being maudlin and go finish that application and email my references, and  have a trawl through Western's requirements...

Hope everyone else's week is going considerably better than mine, and take care.
fox_in_the_library: (writing)
I have to get up for work in approximately five hours. And here I am. Up after midnight. Writing. Again. It appears to be 'Take Inspiration from Tragic Shakespearean Heroines' month here at the Comely Flat.  Over the course of a short story and a poem I find that  I've managed to namecheck Juliet and Ophelia. Lavinia might be next; I've always had a soft spot for her.
fox_in_the_library: (writing)
Current writing mini- project can be found beneath the cut - was thinking about pitching it to BUST or something similar...Don't know - it's not really a  music review, is it? Con-crit is, as ever, massively welcome! Hope you enjoy.
Why Every Girl Should Own a Carolyn Mark Album )
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How sweet is this music video?  The influences of retro jazz + French New Wave + Woody Allen are all conspiring to make me schmoopy.



fox_in_the_library: (writing)
I stayed up last night working on a short story (location: Toronto on Christmas Eve; what is it about the heights of summer that makes me want to write about the depths of winter?), and, sometime around two o'clock, I realised that I essentially write the same characters over and over again in different guises. *headdesk*
Poll time:  Am I:
                   a)  exceedingly limited in my imagination?
                   b) a genius auteur?
                   c) a slightly less than genius auteur?
                   d) oh, look! fanfic!

Also, today's terrible joke, courtesy of my father:

                   HIM: Have you seen Stevie Wonder's new piano?
                   HIM: That's okay, neither has he.

I find this inexplicably cheering.
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Just stayed up far too late watching the remake of The Wolfman.  It's gleefully cheesy and Hammer Horroresque, to the point of pastiche.
Hugo Weaving got all of the best lines, and had all of the best reaction shots while  Anthony Hopkins phoned his performance in from the depths of the Welsh mountains, and then presumably went back to his painting. Benicio Del Toro was suitably tortured and brooding, and, incidentally, head-deskingly dull.  Emily Blunt wept until the Library Goddess and I  threw popcorn and screamed with bloodthirsty enthusiasm, "RIP GWEN'S HEAD OFF!"  The puddle that was Gwen's character did nothing to detract from the fact that Emily Blunt looks fantastic in period clothing; someone should pass a bylaw which proscribes her from going out wearing anything post 1900. 
Some neat shots and camera work, but I think that rather than thinking of it as a remake of the Lon Chaney original, it might be better to think of it as the sort of product that Hammer would have turned out if they'd had just a little bit more of a budget. Impossible to take seriously on any level, and full of gore and sillyness (the London sequence had a particularly nice balance between pacing and tongue in cheek humor). One to watch with popcorn and friends who will provide a Mystery Science Theatre running commentary.  And now to bed.
Night night.

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Dear Neville Quinlan,
For your mean songwriting skills, your raspy voice, your sense of humor, and your vaguely atrocious collection of Western shirts, I would happily marry you.
That's all.
*heart heart heart heart heart* (everyone go listen to N.Q. Arbuckle now; I reccomend Youtubing 'Officer Down' (with Carolyn Mark), 'X O K',  and 'I Liked You Right From the Start'.)

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So much to post about, so little time! Longer letter later, folks, I'm currently trying to get my life sorted out (but it's all practicalities ala moving house and job-searching rather than mental wibbling, so it's all good :-)  )  Really just dropping a quick line to say hi to all, and although I've been lousy at commenting lately, I have been reading with as much enjoyment as ever!  Please keep up the lively, engaging, thoughtful posts o flist!
xo me

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I've just spent forty-five minutes practising Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron's suggestions of free writing/morning pages. I feel clearer, calmer, more alert, energized, and happier. It's official: writing regularly makes me a better person in all senses of the word.  It also makes me very hungry.  Fried egg sandwich with mustard, anyone?

Exhibit A

May. 29th, 2010 02:34 pm
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Do we need any further proof that Natalie Merchant is the most expressive person in pop today? I don't think that we do.

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Oh my God how much do I love this fanvid? It gives me the same feeling I get on the best days of summer. Fred Astaire should always and only dance with Judy Garland because that chemistry fairly blazes off the screen. They don't make 'em like that anymore.


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I have far too many prospective writing projects on the go. Behold an excerpt from my steampunk Western:

"Should reach New Abilene by nightfall." said Theo, stirring rice.

"Mm-hmm." Jane leaned back against the knobbly tree trunk and let her eyes unfocus until the horizon became a swirl of blue and green and gold. She dug the telegram out of her pocket (her fingers had begun to smudge it), and unfolded it.

Marshall, she read, Van Fleet and Crusoes on warpath Stop.Could use backup Stop


She looked up from it to find Theo smirking at her. His long nose was suited to it. "It say anything different this time around?"

She smirked back. "Yeah. Starbuck says to tell Jones he can go way back and sit down."

Theo spat out a small stone from a mouthful of rice.. "Starbuck wouldn’t pay to say all that."

"Doubt he’d pay anyways."

"Damn One O’Clockers and their expenses. Somethin’ ain’t right there. Why can we never file expenses, Jane?"

They ate in amicable silence. When Jane could feel herself drifting into an afternoon food and sun stupor, she reached over and tugged gently on Theo’s tail. "C’mon Jonesy, let’s shake some dust."

"Pull my tail again, and Marshall or no, I will plug you."

"Big talk from a guy with short ears."

"My ears are not short!" Theo patted at them protectively.

"Short ears," she said, and reached over and flicked his ears inside out, and bounced to her feet before he could whomp her.

"Rodeo ass." he said indignantly.

She burst out laughing. "Rodeo ass? What does that even mean?"

"I don’t know. It sounded better in my head."

They packed and mounted and rode out into the afternoon.

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I've become addicted to Joan Osborne's most recent album, Little Wild One.  I think she's the only singer I've ever heard who can make yodelling sound sexy. Seriously. She's hotter than Texas in August and this album is made of vast amounts of country/rock/pop win.  There's a couple of songs I skip over (er, not so big on 'Cathedrals' as a song in general), but I think that much of this album is going to be the soundtrack to the summer. Especially if the weather stays like this. Today was sunny. Today was scorchingly hot. This is not normal for Britain. The end is nigh. At least there's good music.

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Overheard at a politics end of term party at a university which shall remain nameless:

Lecturer: So you have to strategically pull out blocks without dismantling the whole system...  It's fascinating. it's like a visual representation of East German economics.
Grad Student:...Actually, Patrick, I think it might just be Jenga.
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