We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be...
Aug. 14th, 2014
10:14 pm - Mini update (pending real update)
The age of miracles is not dead!
Or, if you prefer, I seem finally to have gotten my brain back. I have actually managed to do some school-job related work today, as well as doing some (much more enjoyable) translation work and a bit of stuff to make the flat less of a state.
On the downside, I didn't manage to leave the house today, even to buy a paper, and I still have to have a bath and do a workout, but I do seem to be more or less back in business. Who knows, maybe I'll even manage a proper update for the last six weeks or so sometime soon-ish?!
Jul. 5th, 2014
In other words, I finally got myself a new phone, and this time it's a smartphone.
I have managed to figure out calls, texts, the camera app and getting LJ and my personal email. Work email will have to wait, as there is a separate app for gmail and sorting out any other kind looks much more complicated.
For someone as technophobic as me, this pretty much counts as a triumph, especially considering that the 'quick start' guide tells you bog all of any use and the full manual is hidden on the internet rather than provided with the phone. ;)
Of course, there's a lot more stuff I need to do when I am feeling braver/less busy/less knackered. So far I have not attempted to download any apps (I definitely want Shazam, for identification of interesting new music, and the TFL 'when is the bus coming?' app) or a new ringtone - the ones it comes with are truly appalling. Oh yeah, and at some point I need to work out how to get actual photos of people onto my contacts list, as it currently has weird graphics which mean that all my friends look like identikit cousins of Tintin. Weird...
Jun. 28th, 2014
12:25 am - Back to normality(?)
[Well, for certain values of the word 'normal', at least...]
It's been a while since I've managed to post. As I think I predicted in my last post, it's been crazy-busy. Thankfully I am well and truly into the home stretch of the busy.( Cut for length - work related stuff and squeeing about a filmCollapse )
And one more random thing, for the benefit of those very few people who are likely to try to contact me on my mobile rather than by email or PM: it's been playing silly buggers even more than usual recently (days at a time of displaying an 'emergency calls only' message; goes straight to voicemail if you try to call it; no clue whether or not it's receiving/displaying texts). Now that the budget is looking a bit less screwed, I should be able to add a bit of my own money to the parental birthday money and replace it...but I need A to come and hold my hand in the scary-technology-shop, and he's busy at work with a change of shows this week and next week. So, even more now than usually, if you need to get hold of me, email or home phone are better than mobile.
Jun. 8th, 2014
Thankfully, I seem to have perked up a bit today, and have actually managed to deal with most of the e-mails and half of the minute-writing which got backlogged from the School 1 job while I've been getting up at the crack of stupid to earn a few pennies doing invigilation. It probably helped that a) the weather was much nicer today; b) a cheque from School 1 for my most recent invoice showed up this morning, so I finally can be not-overdrawn again from whenever I can actually get to a bank in opening hours; and c) I won a tenner on the Lottery this evening.
Cinema-related side-note: A and I managed to get to the late showing of X-Men: Days of Future Past last night. If you like action movies, it's pretty decent, being much like any other Marvel movie, only with added timey-wimeyness (copyright Doctor Who). Happily, you don't have to remember too much complicated detail from all the previous X-Men movies to follow what's going on. If you know (and care) who Wolverine, Professor Xavier, Magneto and Mystique are, you're pretty much good to go.
Jun. 6th, 2014
11:17 am - A novel experience
I've just been looking at the BBC news website. It feels quite odd to be in the position of being glad of a Tory election victory...
12:01 am - Awooga! Awooga! Cliche alert!
In the spirit of more regular updating, work stuff is a little better this week. Yesterday I had the first day at school-invigilation where it all went reasonably smoothly and nobody did anything particularly stupid. Oh, and my second reference for New Job from Hideous Old Job has finally arrived, I'm told, only about seven weeks after it was originally requested.
But this post is mainly because of my newest governor. The vicar of St. (Redacted)'s is automatically a member of School 1's governing body, so I sent the vicar-designate a welcome email yesterday, addressed fairly formally, as you do for people you've yet even to meet IRL, to Rev Dr (surname).
When I checked my school email today, I had a reply in which he said it was 'lovely' to hear from me, invited me to call him Steve, and signed off 'Peace'. I'm now dying to meet him and see if he's actually a full-on Trendy Vicar. Bless...
[Edited for incorrect technical term, albeit that only one of my regular readers would have been likely to notice/care]
Jun. 2nd, 2014
12:58 am - A pretty good day
Like the header says, today's been pretty good.( Cut for shopping, cabaret, comedy and ironyCollapse )
And it's now approaching 1am, which means (assuming he managed to catch his scheduled train from whichever godforsaken town he dropped angusabranson and the hire van off in after Games Expo), A will be home from his travels pretty soon.
May. 30th, 2014
08:30 pm - A brief interlude
I've had a few weeks of being really busy, and I'm set to be having a few more once half term is over, but this week has been quieter, so now seems a good time for a bit of an update.
( Cut for tales of work-related stupidity etcCollapse )
Anyway, as I said, things have been all kinds of busy, but it's been slightly calmer this week. I actually managed to read a few more chapters of the book I started in Whitby week, Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, which is (unsurprisingly) very good. A and I also got to the cinema last weekend to see Godzilla, which was decent enough, but not as good as I'd been hoping given the involvement of Gareth Edwards, known for his excellent work on Monsters. (I see that IMDB disagrees with me and gives Godzilla the higher score. i can only assume that the voters of IMDB finds explosions and mass destruction more impressive than I do, as there was much less of interest character-wise in this new film.) Oh, and I finally managed to find a free day where the weather wasn't horrid or scheduled to be horrid and did the second coat of paint on the garden shed - it's only been about a year since the first coat!
A is away at a games convention (I did know the name, but it escapes me temporarily) until Sunday night, so I have the place to myself - which means TV to catch up on when he gets back and more time for reading now.
At the moment, my plans for the weekend include a bit of bargain hunting at the Alternative Bring and Buy Sale, and something called Liberté, Égalité, Cabaret on Sunday night. Lots of acts, at least one of which I know is rather good, at the bargain price of a tenner, for a good cause. What's not to like? :)
May. 23rd, 2014
07:14 am - Gah!
I woke up before my alarm went off, probably because A disturbed me coming to bed late even for him. I looked over at the clock and realised that it was due to go off any minute, so switched alarm off and got up. Did all the usual sorting-self out things and settled down to eat breakfast and look at the net to see the electon results (my area has yet to declare, but the national picture seems to be much as expected). And then looked to see how much longer I had before I had to leave for horrid early start for today's invigilation (now at local-ish school, not local-ish uni; tales of stupidity will follow at some point when I am properly awake) and discovered that I actually got up at 5.15, not 6.15.
May. 5th, 2014
12:32 pm - Busy busy busy
Well, for once I'm managing to update without it taking over a month. :)
Whitby week was pretty good overall. The 'appartment' (actually a three-bed maisonette) we ended up with at short notice because our pre-booked place was suddenly sold the week before WGW was really nice and very conveniently located. The gig nights were good, in that the acts we wanted to see (Cold in Berlin, Jordan Reyne and New Model Army) were every bit as good as expected, and the ones we hadn't been bothered about were OK, with nobody turning in a performance as appalling as Alien Sex Fiend did last time around.
I also managed to sell a couple of old corsets and a pair of boots at the Bring n Buy, meaning that, along with the my takings from the last London Alt BnB, I had a fair amount of money to spend on stuff. As is often the way, I found more that I liked at the Bring n Buy and in the charity shops than I did at the main stalls. That left me with enough for buying a couple of summer dresses from Brent Cross this weekend, one for work and one for casual wear. Hurrah!
The main low point of the week was that A and I managed to have our first massive row of the year on the Sunday, ending up with me not being in a fit state to go to Recollection, as planned. It mostly blew over in a day or two, but I'm starting to think we really do need to look into counselling or something, as a couple of these a year is a couple too many, and we don't seem to be able to figure out how to stop on our own. :(
Things have been fairly busy on the work front, too. School 1 (as I guess I will have to call it now that I have two clerking jobs) trundles on much as ever, with the addition of trying to sort out a panel to deal with a parental complaint. Over the school break and Whitby week, I translated about two thirds of a supplement to the RPG I translated last year/early this year. And, finally, I've done my first day of invigilation at nearby university. I wasn't surprised at how un-fun getting up to be in for an 08.15 start was. I was somewhat surprised by the number of students I had to accompany to the toilet during both exam sessions (I'm not sure it was allowed anywhere I ever studied), and by the number of students who couldn't/didn't follow basic instructions (such as 'Write the numbers of the questions you attempted in the box on the front of the answer booklet').
I have a bit more school-related work to do today, plus house-relaed stuff, but am hopeful that I will get a chance to fit in some more fun stuff, too, before I have proper work (did I mention I don't like 08.15am starts?) again tomorrow...
Apr. 23rd, 2014
03:35 am - Packing achievement unlocked
I f***ing hate packing. Even when I can find the previous year's list to start working from, as I have managed this year, it's a complete pain.
Having done it in three stages, interspersed with tonight's stuff off the Sky box, it is *finally* done. Which leaves me just over six hours before I have to be up in the morning to be sure to leave enough time to catch our train...
Apr. 22nd, 2014
10:14 pm - PPPPPP (as they say in the army)
Favourite boots collected from mender - check
Hair dyed suitable shade of magenta - check
Washing up done and bins emptied so house doesn't stink when we come home - check
Phone call to parents made so they don't call while we're away and wonder why they get no answer - check
Alarm set so we don't miss our train - check
Travel outfit hung in living room so I'm not trying to find bits of it in my wardrobe in the dark while A is still in bed - check
So far so good. Now I just have to actually start packing. ;)
Apr. 20th, 2014
I thought I'd try seeing if briefer, more frequent updates were a do-able thing. ;)
So, not a hell of a lot has happened since last enormous update, but things are going OK. I'm about half way through translating the supplement I've been working on for the game I translated last year/earlier this year. The social front has been pretty quiet, apart from joining the pub quiz crew for a couple of Thursday nights. As is pretty much traditional, we came second both times, although on the most recent occasion there were enough teams playing that placing second actually gained us some prize money.
A and I are just about to set off for his brother's new place (in Bishops Stortford) for an Easter lunch with the family. I foresee much chocolate in my future...
I may or may not manage another update in a reasonable timescale. We're off to Whitby next week, for WGW, and when I come back I'm scheduled to have a crazy month juggling all sorts of different work...
Apr. 14th, 2014
I am back to translation again, now that the school job has gone quiet for a bit. When a section of translation is relatively straightforward, my vocabulary outstrips my typing speed and I end up making mistakes. It's a good thing I usually go back and re-read what I've typed, or today's work would have me submitting a text describing a warrior/hunter god's "extraordinary clam (sic) and exemplary behaviour". *grins*
Apr. 11th, 2014
06:13 pm - Two cheers...
Update as promised:
The potential employer called this afternoon, and has offered me some work. Although...not quite as much work as originally advertised. They had been talking about two posts, 16 hours a week each in school term time, clerking for about four schools each. They liked everyone they interviewed yesterday, apparently, so they've decided to hire all of us on about four hours per week each from September, with a view to increasing our hours as they expand the service to more schools, which is in their plans.
Even should the hours not increase, it'll still be an extra few grand a year, which ought (with my existing freelance stuff) to finally push me over the line where 2014-15 earnings will exceed expenditure, so A and I are probably going to break out one of the recently acquired new-show bottles of bubbly tonight.
Oh, and funny thing of the day: I'd been giving my last two employers as references, as my contract with the school where I clerk makes a big deal about not describing them as an employer, but when new lot phoned and made the offer today they asked if I could provide my current Chair's details for a reference. I mailed her to ask if that was OK, and she said yes, but I might have to write it and she'd sign it off!
Apr. 10th, 2014
...which means it will be long.
So, the last couple of months have just kept on getting busier, and updating just hasn’t happened.
( Cut for length. Content as per tags.Collapse )
Gosh, that did get long. Am off to pub quiz now. Will update on the job interview result tomorrow/Monday according to when I find out…
Feb. 4th, 2014
04:27 pm - General update
As ever, it’s been a while since I updated, so it’s about time for a catch-up.
Work continues to go reasonably well: my earnings in January actually came pretty close to my outgoings, which is the first time that’s happened since I went ‘freelance’. So far this month, carefully-unnamed-publisher has commissioned me to translate two more (slightly shorter) books and we’ve agreed a rate which is still well below standard professional rates, but is a 50% rise on the per word rate for the first book, which was quite flattering. The main reason for taking that work at such low rates is that I get to be pretty flexible about when it’s finished, as the school job obviously takes priority. Speaking of the school job, things got a bit interesting this week (she says, cryptically. There may be a locked update about that sometime in the next week or so). It was only by sheer luck that it didn’t all go completely tits-up: the office staff had either not been told I don’t check my school email every day, or didn’t have my phone number, and there was about 24 hours between the ‘this needs doing urgently’ email to me and the timing of the Very Important Thing about which they also didn’t think to contact the Chair of Governors directly.
Meanwhile, in ‘real life’, the standard gaming-in-the-week with one group (including another new player) and Sunday lunch with slightly overlapping group continue. I also had a good time at the recent Invocation night with nezumi_sama and saw Inside Llewyn Davis at the cinema with A. As a film about a not-very-successful artist who’s not-very-successful partly because he sticks to his principles and partly because he can be a bit of a thoughtless arse, it’s not always comfortable viewing, but it’s a Coen brothers film, so it’s all extremely well done, and there were some genuinely funny moments.
Preparation for Whitby continues. A and I have ended up buying full weekend tickets, as the Saturday-only tickets are already sold out. It turns out it’ll still probably only end up being three nights out, though, as Nostalgia and Recollection are apparently merging to create a single night, Restoration, on the Sunday.
I also managed to read five books in January. If I can keep up anything close to that pace, I may even have my bookpile down to a sensible size by the end of the year. Of course, the more I read, the less I get around to writing anything like reviews (I still haven’t done the ones form the end of 2013!). I guess I’m going to have to decide whether to do reviews at all in future…
Jan. 18th, 2014
I'm pretty knackered right now, as I was up a an ungodly hour for a training session for the school job this morning but, overall, the last week or so has been not at all bad.
( What I've been up to; cut for lengthCollapse )
At some point I must do a post about all the clubs I want to revisit/check out this year, to see who might want to come out and play. In the mean time, I shall just mention that, for my second clubbing experience of the year, I'm intending to go to Invocation next weekend. It's almost as trad-goth as it gets, and probably my favourite London club.
Jan. 10th, 2014
05:32 pm - We can haz heating :)
We have functioning central heating again! Hurrah!
The F***ing Massive Wrench mentioned in an earlier post was borrowed, but A discovered he still couldn't unhook the relevant bits, despite the application of copious quantities of WD40. He figured maybe he needed a second wrench, to hold one bit still while turning the other, so a second wrench was duly borrowed...and still the bloody thing wouldn't come undone.
And then A remembered that one of his gamer acquaintances used to be a plumber, and invited him round to have a look/a fight with it. And after more WD40 and a bit of 'impact management' (which is techie-speak for hitting the non-compliant object with a hammer and then asking if it fancies some more), the pump is changed, and our diagnosis appears to have been correct, as we now have radiators which are actually hot.
Jan. 6th, 2014
Just in time for twelfth night, as the decorations were coming down, this weekend's Sunday lunch with the guys was followed by the distribution of our not-very-Secret Santa. I got this rather fab knitting book. I'm quite tempted by the little voodoo doll, the zombie egg-cosies and the mini gravestones. Of course, right now, I don't have anywhere near the skills even for simple things like that. I'm coming to the end of my first ball of yarn (three squares complete, perhaps one more to go), so I may well make a start on trying to learn purl stitch quite soon, with the black glittery yarn. If I can manage that, plus increases and decreases, I may actually be able to start making something other than squares!
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