Apologia I haven't been posting a lot here lately. I'm not sure why. I suppose it's feeling a bit tired, and I'm overly conscious of all the script errors I don't know how to fix, the popups, and the fact that my subject matter has been dull lately. Also, my sitemeter has told me that my my hits are at an almost all-time low. They're about half of what they were a month or so ago, and I wonder why that is. I'm rendered stupefying by my desire to entertain, and the stuff I need to write about is the stuff I'm sure no-one wants to read.
I've made the move to Livejournal. It might just be a holiday. I might come crawling back when something about the system drives me crazy. While I was writing my Flâneur and the Internet essay, which became mostly about community online, I realised that I rather admire the elegance of community on Livejournal, and the factors that I disliked about the system would be distinct advantages if I were a member. So now I'm in with the in-crowd. Please visit.
Last night while I was studying, my mother made me dinner. She brought me an egg roll at my desk, and when I'd finished that she brought me steamed green beans (which I love) and those little potato smiles, with a glass of juice. And this morning I had to get up at six thirty to make sure I'd make it to my exam on time. It was 7°C. She made me cinnamon porridge to have with my cup of tea, and it warmed me up and kept me full of essay-writing energy till lunchtime. My mum rocks.
The article I read last night was rather helpful. It was the subject of one of the essay questions, so I was able to regurgitate the notes I had made and it ended up being quite a good essay, touch wood. For a second, I rewrote my tutorial paper about the public and private roles of Roman women in the period, and added in some stuff about Livia and Octavia. The third was a bit crap, stuff about Augustan monuments and what they meant to the Republican culture. But considering I expected to have next to nothing to write for all three, I'm doing pretty well. This leaves but one assessment to go, my Linguistics take-home due on Friday. I'll start that tomorrow, since I'm going out with Andrew tonight.
I just got home from work, and I've done something terrible to my back. It hurts just under my right shoulderblade. It hurts too much to breathe deeply. And I have my Ancient History exam tomorrow morning. This is all very bad indeed. Worse, perhaps, is the fact that I've scarcely studied for it and it's in twelve hours. Time to panic, do you think? Perhaps I should skip the panic part, and just study in a tokenistic manner. I'll look over my lecture notes and make lists of points to regurgitate in exam, ordered by topic. This could be okay. In any case, after tomorrow there's just the heinous Linguistic take-home to do, and then I'm free. Freee!
I finished Order of the Phoenix about an hour ago. I would have finished it a lot earlier, had I not had to work for twelve hours and sleep for seven between the release and now. Now, I wasn't expecting a happy book. Had it been a happy book, I would have been most disappointed. But I wasn't expecting the level of angst that I had at work today, after reading up to halfway through chapter 36. It couldn't have helped that I forgot to eat. Until dinner tonight, I'd only eaten a roll of mentos all day. I also drank a bottle of Coke. I think if there were some hard drugs involved, I might be living the fashion model lifestyle. Alas, the pay was not commensurate.
Spoilerfree Jamping I got the essay in. It ended up being two thousand words on the significance of the country bumpkin in medieval political poetry as formative of an identity for the newly literate merchant classes in London. Just goes to show, I can write two thousand words on anything.
I was going to write yesterday about how excited I was about Order of the Phoenix, and about the fact that I'd been reading Goblet of Fire to warm myself up for it. I couldn't get back online, though, because Abby had pinched the computer and I knew I'd have to get up at 6:30 to get to the release, so I didn't.
The release was wonderful. We went to Galaxy which turned out to be a good choice, since we got a hefty discount and there were no queues, and (gasp!) no little kids. Not that I dislike little kids, simply that I didn't want to have to wade through crowds of them. I managed to read the first 110 pages before I had to be at work at midday. I've read more, this evening, and I'm going to go to bed and stay up quite late reading it. It's rather different from how I'd imagined, but I love it. I wasn't reading the books when Goblet of Fire came out, so it's strange being at the forefront here. Abby is mildly jampy and rapidly becoming irritated with my 'Aha!'s and giggles. Mum finally caved and started reading Philosopher's Stone today. It had to happen. Now she's in with the in-crowd.
Two more assessments to go. I read an article yesterday in preparation for my Tuesday exam, but I'm not reading anything tonight. I'm tired. I want to rest. And I want to read. Fingers crossed that I find my motivation. I think I left it tucked in this book... maybe a few more chapters in.
I've reached a point where I can write two thousand words on any subject. Any at all. Right now, I'm kittening up my motivation to write an essay on medieval political poetry. It's due tomorrow. I'm going to write about the utopian vision in Gamelyn and London Lickpenny. Or maybe something else. I'll figure it out soon.
I spent most of today with Andrew. Both of us have lots to do, so it was hard to justify taking time out from all those essays for some us-time. We always forget that we work much better when we're not pining. < /slush >
I submitted my Internet Flânerie essay. It might be hokey bullshit but if so, it's really fucking interesting hokey bullshit. I like it enough to consider tinkering with it and putting it up here. That's really saying something. And it was written without distress. I didn't start writing it till last night, and I always expect the despair to kick in when I'm writing things the night before, but instead I just got on and did it. And Julie, who must get her own blog, called me up and we talked for an hour and a half because that's what we do. She's nearly finished all her uni stuff and is plotting to call me up and squee about OotP because I'll have a copy in my hot little hands (two of them, it's a 768-page hardback) but be unable to read it due to exams while she'll be doing nothing but. She's mean like that.
So now I just have to write my Medieval English essay and hand it in on Friday, and then there's the Ancient History exam on Tuesday, and then my Linguistics take-home is due on Friday. The end is in sight. Tonight, Andrew is taking me to the movies. I wanted to wear my new skirt so I got all dressed up. I look like I'm a member of an orchestra, since I'm wearing a black velvet skirt with white shirt and black coat. I found my old mary janes in the back of my wardrobe. They're delightfully soft and flat, but the right one is digging into my instep a bit. They make very girly noises when I walk. This pleases me no end.
I was looking forward to spending the day at home tomorrow writing my essay. Then I remembered that I have a Linguistics test then. This is not good. Although I don't care too much how I do in it, I'm dreading just sitting there with no idea what to write, how to complete the problem. It probably won't be anything like as bad as that, but I'm anxious regardless. And I'm not going to study, because that will make me aware of how very little I know, and then I'll get stressed out and do badly. Instead, I'll read over some of my notes tonight and on the bus in the morning. I'm also going to expand upon my notes for my essay before then, perhaps start fleshing out an opening paragraph. I can't wait for this semester to be over.
On Saturday morning I woke up full of joy, all over the fact that at that time next week I would have a copy of Order of the Phoenix. I have an order in. I've made plans to meet up with a friend half an hour before the book is released (at 9:01am here) to kick all the small children out of the way. I'm working from midday that day, so I can't linger too long. This is unfortunate.
Linguistics assignment over. Appalling, but over. Still never going to do any more Linguistics, aside from tokenistic attempts at the test on Tuesday and the final Phonology set. This is great.
I worked for eight hours today. It was only supposed to be six, and I hate working six hours because it's such a long time, so when they asked me to stay back for two hours I felt like crying. But the peak of tiredness comes after about five hours of standing, and from there on it's all easy. I actually felt less tired when I was leaving after eight hours than when I was wandering about after six, wishing I could go home. It helps that I'm part-time so things like that are at overtime rates (I think). So I came home and collapsed into an armchair and wondered where the day went. I was planning to get something (anything!) down on paper for my English essay, the one on the flâneur and the internet. I should also read a chapter of my Rome book, and have another look at the questions for the Medieval Literature essay.
So now I've opened up my range of topics to uni and work. Oh joy. If anything else was going on in my life, I might write about that.
I have come to a conclusion. It hurts, but I suck at Linguistics. For the three semesters I've done it, I've really enjoyed learning it but got shit marks, because it turned out at the end of semester that I just didn't get something that everyone else understood without difficulty. It also doesn't help that they're hoity bitches, and seem to prefer to scorn you for having missed a few classes than help you catch up or understand. This is most frustrating. I'm digging my way through my final Phonology set, and it's shitting me to tears. My answers suck. I really mean it. They blow goats. So, I'm going to do a bit more and then go to bed. And then I refuse to care about it any longer. Instead, I shall hope that my exemplary Phonetics take home test marks make up for it. I also plan to do better on the Linguistics test on Tuesday and the take-home test due the week after, but English has to be a higher priority, and I have essays for that due on Wednesday and Friday. I am dearly longing for a time when I can write about something other than the horrors of study. I'll get there soon. I have six weeks of holidays coming to me soon.
Life's not great right now. I have an incredibly difficult tone-based Phonology assignment due on Friday, two 2,000 word English essays and a test next week, and an exam and a take-home test due the week after. I'm working all weekend so I have no idea how I'm going to get those English essays done. In addition to all this, my computer is broken in ways I don't understand and certainly can't fix, and the stress seems to be making me ill. I can't wait for this semester to be over, but I don't know how I'm going to get that far without failing something. Linguistics is the most likely candidate - I don't know how I got this far, I seem to have missed something really vital that everyone else simply finds simple, and I can work my arse off over a problem set and still only just pass. I won't be doing any more Linguistics next semester. I'm doing the maximum course load possible, and I realise now that I was dealing well with it earlier because none of my subjects had much in the way of assessment during the semester, it's all happening now. If I can get through next week, I'll be okay. I'm only going to do three subjects next semester, since I'm going to have to come back for an extra semester to finish my degree, and I can do an extra subject then. This way, I get to keep my sanity, and possibly even do better than I would at full loading.
My Monster Name is Satyr Satyrs are horny goatmen who spend their entire lives drinking wine, playing music and chasing nymphs around; the lucky buggers. It’s best not to look for any literal truth to that summary. Satyrs are originally a Greek myth and has happens to most legends from ancient Greece they’ve been welcomed with open arms by the fantasy beastiary authors.
The Levenshtein distance between Heather and Satyr is 3.
Sartorial Fixations I spent an extraordinary amount of money today. I've been eyeing off a new coat in one of my favourite shops for some time. It's black wool and cashmere, knee-length, with a lovely cut. I even have a waist when I'm wearing it, which is fairly uncommon for coats. We received a message in the mail about an impending stocktake sale and so I headed in, hoping the coat would be on special. It was, but only 15% off. It's easily the most I've ever spent on a single item of clothing. I don't include shoes, mind you - my DMs cost $180 once.
While I was there, I saw a lovely black velvet skirt. It's a little bit stretchy, sits nicely on my hips and has the most gorgeous ruffle around the bottom and up a split. I tried it on and had to have it. It makes me feel delightfully flamenco, and I want to get all dressed up and wear that out with grown-up boots and my crisp white shirt. And possibly my tiger ears and black feather boa.
I had really hoped to find some new black trousers since my current pair was grievously wounded at work the other day. The one day I wore floral underwear, naturally, my pants caught on something when I bent over to scan some boxes on the bottom of a trolley. It was awful. I untucked my shirt at the back. Stupid co-workers mocked me. I've found another perfectly respectable pair in a drawer where they've lain abandoned since losing a button last year. I suppose this says that I have too many clothes and take care of them too little.
But the bounty of my wardrobe has served me well. For a while a few years back, whenever I had no clean jeans and a class to get to I'd reach into my drawer and find a new pair of op-shop jeans, clean and as yet unworn since I'd discovered that I was somehow unhappy with their cut. When a garment is outright unwearable, it's okay to cut them up to suit your preference. Usually they were tapered at the ankle, which I hate, so I just slit just in front of the side seam up to my ankle bone. I've actually been buying jeans that fit, lately. But a few days ago I was settling in for a few days at Andrew's. I had with me only the baggy black pants I was wearing, about which I was having some serious misgivings, and a few t-shirts. I dug around in my drawer at his house and found a pair of RM Williams jeans I'd bought months before in perfect condition with funky funky pockets, the only problem with which was that they were really very straight and almost tight. The effect was stovepipey and not altogether unpleasant. I wore them for two days, and when I got home I re-evaluated them. The almost-tightness was pleasant and rather flattering, but since they were overly long the fabric was bunching around my knees, making for a dubious line. I decided, and I cut them. Now they sit beautifully and are starting to fray at the split. This pleases me endlessly. I haven't felt truly rocking in ages. I'm not sure why. But the jeans help. I, Heather of the Apparent Disinterest in Fashion, have just written an extended diatribe on the pleasure of clothing. You heard it here first. (q.v. 1, 2)