Saturday, December 21, 2002

Mummy's Curse unravells in a big pile of manky bandages if you check the figures, says BMJ

Yes, that's right. Someone has sat down and conducted a statistical analysis of Tutankhamen's supposed curse. I love people like this.

(Via Neil Gaiman's journal.)
Runic Hands

Further to the events detailed here and mixmage's comments thereon, I decided to look into a runic interpretation of the minor injury to my right pinky. For those of you who've not come across mixmage's Runic Hands concept, here's some edited highlights:

Elder Futhark = 24 runes = 3 groups [aettir] of 8 runes.

human hands = 8 fingers = 8 groups [digits] of 3 sections [phalanges] = 24 sections...

*Use location of short-term injuries/blemishes [minor burns/scratches/etc] as runic divination. Itching in digit section as "HEADS UP" early warning.
Use Location of permanent scars [eventmemoryloop?] for "life-path" divination/history examination.

An illustration can be found here.

Using mm's layout, the injury would relate to Laguz. My runcraft is rusty enough to inflict tetanus-- I had a bit of a falling out with the associated pantheon a few years back and sort of let it slip, plus I don't use tools for my divinatory stuff that much these days (unless you count Google). However, I took a quick shufti round various rune sites. Superficially at least, this site seemed the most resonant (relevant?).

From here:

Letter : L
Meaning : Water
Element : Water
Deity : Njord, Baldur, Nerthus
Galdr-sound : llllllll

From various other places: Well, the rune Laguz is associated with Water so most of the sites went on about renewal, rebirth, Age of Aquarius, alla that sloppy stuff; the flipside of course being floods, the dangerous ocean that must be braved in order to gain sustenance, life, new territories.

It's also associated with leeks. Stop laughing! Look, the whole onion family is very important in herbal medicine and it's not funny! There was this thing where if a warrior had an abdominal wound you fed him garlic and... oh, why do I bother?

Friday, December 20, 2002

Cream crackered.

Today sucked. Every other customer that came in seemed to be soused to the eyeballs. I swear, I think I actually got slightly tipsy just breathing in the fumes. The manager is off so everything was all arse-about-tit. And some bloke said my labret was stupid and there was a humungous delivery and cleaning and I had to make up a huge stack of rolls and that made me have to stay late and my feet hurt and rghghghghghh. (Mad props to Fotamecus for speeding the day up. Long may he kick Chronos' backside.)

Anyhow. It's over for a couple of weeks. I get to go to London, see my mates, kick back. I still haven't seen Donnie Darko, y'know.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

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I'm going to regret this in the morning...

..but then I regret everything in the morning. That's what mornings are for.

Okay, so here's the thing: You know the whole magick deal, yeah? Then possibly you know how you can be a fully-functioning magicko without even a smidge of innate psychic ability. You may also know how I always said I fell into that particular category.

I was fibbing. A bit. Nearer the truth would be to say that I am horribly horribly suggestable, and have therefore been studiously ignoring any and all psychic sensations in case I happened to be deluding myself. There was always the thing with the tarot: when I read tarot for someone, I get flashes of their future. I also get hugely tired, which is why I only read tarot once in a blue moon these days.

Just lately I've been getting these flashes: tactile and visual sensations relating to individuals of my aquaintance. They've been strong enough for me to make cautious enquiries of the "this might not mean anything to you, bu-u-u-t..." variety, and every single time I've been right.

This is new, and disturbing. Maybe it'll wear off, or maybe it's a case of a blind squirrel turning up a few nuts. Just thought I'd mention it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Ultralove Ninja

You have to watch this or I won't be your friend, ever.

(From the 'Lith, natch.)
In which the diarist goes postal.

Mordant Carnival's eyes narrowed. From her vantage point on a hill of snow, she saw a rotund white figure approaching. Her heart beat a little faster-- the quarry was in sight. She took careful aim with the shotgun and fired, both barrels. There was a small, localized blizzard. As the flakes settled on the ground, corncob-pipe, button nose and eyes made out of coal dropped on top of the sad little heap.

Mordant smiled grimly. It would take more than the magic in that ol' silk hat to bring Frosty back now-- assuming they could ever find it.

The noise had attracted some unwanted attention, however. A group of diminutive blue creatures were scurrying up the hill. Mordant dropped to her belly behind a snowdrift, waiting.

"What the smurf was that?"
"I don't know, but it was smurfing loud!"
"I don't like this. One minute we were smurfing in our winter wonderland, the next--"

Mordant stood up. The shotgun again? Nah. This was a job for the M16. Pieces of rubbery blue flesh spattered across the pristine whitness of the snowfield. Mordant paused, scanning the hillside. Had she got them all? No! A single survivour was wheezing his way up the hill, oblivious to the fate of his fellows. The lone gunwoman waited until she could see the white of Papa Smurf's beard. Their eyes locked.

"Oh, smurf--" was the last thing the evil blue geriatric said before a short burst of automatic gunfire turned him into a stain on the ground.

By now it was growing dark. Drawing her PVC trenchcoat more tightly around her she strained her eyes, trying to see if anyone else was coming. Out of the dark sky, a single spark of red appeared. Mordant pulled an antique Derringer from her stocking top and aimed a couple of inches above the light. There was a satifying thud as the reindeer plummeted to the ground. Santa would just have to get foglights, she reflected.

A satisfied smirk flickered across Mordant's face. The night was young, and she hadn't even broken out the grenades yet. She cocked her Smith & Wesson and waited for the red, red robin to come bob, bob, bobbing along.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

61 hours.

That's how long I'll have worked between my last day off (Thursday) and the first day of my hols. Only three more ten-hour shifts to go. Yeah, I'm going on about work a lot lately. Yeah, I know your job sucks too. Hard cheddar.

I'm tired, tired in a strange, distant kind of way. The world looks cold and glittery and odd, unreal. The days sort of blur into one another; it's getting harder to differentiate between stuff that happened this morning and stuff that happened last week. I know what I had for breakfast today, but only because I've had the same thing for the last few days: a marmite sandwich. Brown bread. I get paid the minimum wage: six Euros and thirty-five cents an hour (in English money that's about four pounds ten. One Euro is roughly the same as one American dollar, I think).

Bottle of coke, bleep. Loaf of bread, bleep. Chocolate bar, bleep. After a while the world is just one big barcode. When there's no customers around I clean, or stock shelves. Walking home, I feel robotic, corroded.

Yet I'm still writing. By the end of the day I'm dog-tired, freezing cold and hungry as a hunter, but I spend that last interminable half-hour dreaming not of a hot meal or a cosy bed but of popping open one or other of the documents I'm working on, the various novel fragments, an article, anything. When I get indoors I don't fire up the microwave, I fire up the PC.

I think I may be losing my mind.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Ooh, get her.

Betty Woo's got a new weblog, and very nice it is too: Or.Kill.Me

I had an eight till one shift yesterday (Sunday), right? And I was all tired and hungover and generally out of it. During the course of the morning a couple of people seperately told me that I'd given them the wrong change, that they'd given me a note of x denimination and had recieved change for a note of y denomination, with x being less than y. They were shirty and aggressive about it; there was much irritable brandishing of change and a general suggestion that yours truly was a little reduced in the hat department. So I gave them the damn money.

I gave them the damn money because they acted like they should have it. I gave them the damn money because they leaned in over the counter, because they barged and pushed and held up the queue, because they talked to me like an idiot and that made me feel like an idiot so I assumed that they were right and I was wrong.

You'd think I'd never seen a David Mamet film, wouldn't you?

This morning, my supervisor told me that the till from yesterday was short. We looked everywhere, but there was no sign of the money. Which means that those guys from yesterday pulled a scam. Ordinarily it wouldn't have worked-- ordinarity I'd have rung for the supervisorand had her come and check my till to see if it was over what it should be. Ordinarily. But it was Sunday, I hadn't had enough sleep, the shop was busy, and I fell for it.

Now, I don't know if you know this but when you pull a scam like that, the loss is not painlessly absorbed by the Corporate Entity that you have so boldy robbed. The money comes out of the member of staff's wages. In this case, mine.

I don't know who I'm more fucked off with, the con-artists or myself. The moral of this story, kiddies? Never let anyone intimidate you into doing anything. Trust your own judgement.

(Oh, and never rip off a mage with a foul temper...)

Saturday, December 14, 2002


Never been, never gonna go now, never really felt the need. However, I feel that I just had to say WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE PLAYING AT, YOU BUNCH OF HOMOPHOBIC PILLOCKS? I mean to say, even if you don't approve of the concept... what was the point? Hey, look, there's nothing going on in Safe London except a child murder or several, let's go and close down a club in case gay people have sex in it.


I leave the last word to bengali/plums/umeboshi:

People, poor innocent people, who manage to accidentally find their way to places that are never advertised, then along dark alleys, down three flights of stairs, past alert security, and suddenly, mysteriously find themselves surrounded by perverts.

Fuck Off.



Right. I'm going to Spain in a few months. Another move, another starting over. However, this time I will be prepared...

"We must be nothing less than fabulous."

First impressions are where it's at. I've always relied on my silver-tongued charm to sway an audience. That will no longer be possible when I am Incomprehensible ExPat Woman. Ergo self-expression by other means, mostly sartorial. I can't afford to buy tons of cool clothes but I did bring quite a lot of clothes-making gear. Time to get creative.

Bod-mod is my buddy. I must and shall invest in more peircings/tatts. I want to depart for Barca with lugholes like shower-curtains.

Confidence building is a must. Coz I'm such a shrinking violet, me.

Strengths, playing to. In the abscence of academic quals, a good portfolio of work seems like a plan. Much writing, painting, drawing and sundry noisemaking shall ensue.

General skill brushing-upping. You never know what's going to come in handy.

Other stuff as and when I think of it.

(And if all else fails, there's always this... The I Can Eat Glass Project)
Tired and Emotional

I'm starting to get used to the fact that I'm probably not going to do half the things I planned to do while I'm in Ireland.

I was going to hang around on windswept cliffs and let my Titian locks blow about my porcelian complexion while I waited for inspiration to strike. However, my busy schedual and the fact that I don't actually have a porcelain complexion and Titian locks, or indeed any sort of locks, militates against this. And my face gets all chapped when it's windy. And it hasn't really stopped raining here for weeks. So that's out.

I'm supposed to be learing Spanish, but my Spanish For Dummies book is gathering dust on the shelf because I'm so tired when I get in from work I can't think straight. Ditto writing, singing, painting and everything else. Well, I mean obviously I'm writing. I can't stop. It's like sneezing or something, it just happens. However, I'm not really producing anything you could call coherent, nothing I can send off to a publisher.

And I'm stuck with this job. See, after Christmas, there's only going to be another couple of months or so during which I can reasonably be working full-time, ten weeks at the outside. Which means I can't really get another job, because by the time I start I'll be about ready to stop again. I wouldn't mind really but when I get to Barca I'm going to have to get a job in a bar or something, which will be more of the same. It's unlikely I'll get anything particularly good out in Spain because I don't speak the language and I don't have a degree.

Which is a bit depressing, really. If I'm realistic, it's starting to look like I'm going to be doing this kind of work for... well, for ever. Certainly I can write, certainly there are things I could be doing to improve my situation, but when am I going to find the time or the energy? People keep giving me breezy encouraging suggestions, but when I remind them that-- HELLO! I don't have a degree! And I'm going to be living in a country where I don't speak the native language! For a year and a half! And I'm not a kid anymore, I'm 29!-- they go sort of quiet.

I know my situation could be much worse, I really do. Counting blessings like nobody's business over here. It's just that the thought of wearing a name-tag for the rest of my life has a rather limited appeal.

Yeah, I know what you (or some of you, anyway) are thinking. "Oh, but she's got a male pard'ner who's working! What's she worried about?"

Well, where to start? First off, I'm an independant sort. I don't like the thought of needing to rely on anyone for anything, because in my experience that never ends well. Secondly and hugely more importantly: I signed up to be a life partener, not a fucking bracket fungus. I don't see any particular reason why a guy should support me just because he's a guy. (I know that in general the situation is not that simple, that there are all kinds of socioeconomic factors swooshing around and complicating every little thing. I'm not in general. I'm me.) I'm a Feminist with a great big hairy capital F, and I reckon that if I'm going to stamp around demanding my Rights I should show a little Responsibility. Which is how come I'm doing these sucktastic jobs instead of whining at my boyf to get himself a job in a bank. True, he does earn more than me, but I think I work longer hours. Plus he's got a career doing something he loves and is good at, while I have... a name tag.

Large or small coffee? *simpers*

Friday, December 13, 2002

Fuck work.

Found out today that I'm going to be working another solid week. Every day they can squeeze out of me between now and my flight date is being squoze.

I'm going to be looking even harder for a better job come the New Year. This bites. I'm working seven days on, two days off and I can't stand it. I want a nice job in a nice shop. There's a shop down the road that sells swords. Really big swords. I want to go and work for the sword-selling shop.


Wednesday, December 11, 2002


So much for shopping. Today I was surfing the crimson wave, singing the Ketchup Song, entertaining Aunt Flo, whatever your fave euphemism happens to be, which sort of put me out of action. The week-long overture to the main theme isn't so bad: wanting to kill things most of the time has a certain rough charm once you get used to it. But the cramps? Neh. You can keep the cramps.
You've heard of Realdoll. But haven't you always yearned for a REALHAMSTER?

No? Really? Uhh... I mean, me neither.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Day off.

Or to be precise, two-- tomoz and Thursday. Oh joy unconfined. Me and last week's wages have a date with the Goth shops-- I've worked bastard hard and the Universe owes me a hoody top with an amusing evil-related slogan.

Plus, I'm gonna stock up on spell ingredients. I have most of the bits I need for my Job spell but my glamour is getting a bit threadbare. I want a big chunk of rose quartz to use as the focus for a new one. It's not the most original choice, I know, but I just love rose quartz.

And I must re-shave my head. I let it grow back for a few weeks because it was cold and raining and there were floods and I wanted a job. Now I have all this brown fuzz sticking up from my head at random angles: I have the Bad Hair of Winter Job-Hunting and I don't look like me.

I reckon if I wear a scarf to work, I won't get the sack. If I do then... well, pfft, frankly. With and option on thssszzsszzzppp.

Monday, December 09, 2002


The most exciting thing that happened to me today was the moment I sliced open my little finger with a breadknife while cutting a baguette at the deli counter.

Experienced, in no particular order: The moment of disbelief. The cutting sensation an instant before the pain kicked in. The pain itself. My own gasp of shock. The blood welling between my own skin and the polythene glove.

I couldn't see at first how bad it was. I went up to the washroom, tugging off the gloves as I went. I stuck my cut hand under the cold tap, flexing it gingerly to see how bad the damage was. The cut was small but deep, just under the joint. It lipped open as I moved the digit, bleeding freely. I watched it, a narrow little mouth, speaking to me of some essential part of myself that I had somehow mislaid, a shock of the real in the bright desert of a weary ten-hour shift.

Red swirls shaded to pink against the porcelain, faded, were gone. I pressed the cut closed and went kitchenette where the first-aid box was kept, the pain still a low thrum, pulsing. Sliced, I was alive again.

And I got to wear one of those special blue plasters, too. Kewl.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

My brain is turning into potato salad...

...and my next day off isn't until Wednesday. I'm down for the eight till one shift at the Local Shop tomorrow morning, which is a bit of a bugger coz I'm going out tonight. I've got to take it, though. My place likes to have a week's notice if you're not going to be available and there's no chance of pulling a sickie. Neeeever mind. I got that thing in UpsideClone, so I spent today feeling like a writahh, dahhlings, instead of a till-jockey. Hope it's quieter than today. Today was pure murder: every single person in the county was out Christmas shopping and they all converged on the Local Shop for ciggies and parking permits. And Vodaphone top-ups. And my till broke. And they shouted at the Chinese girl I work with and that pissed me off because she's really nice and she tries so hard and everyone's so bloody horrible to her. And rghghghghh.

I figure it's like this: I can either let this job and its attendant cruddyness grind and crumple me until I'm concertina-ed into a little cuboid of skinless misery, or I can focus on the small pleasures and treat it as a learning experience, all grist to the writaahh'hs mill, dahhlings, and so on and so forth.

Anyhow, in a couple of weeks I'll be winging my way back to the Smoke for Chrimbo, followed by New Year at my folks'. Jet-setter, me. Yerrr.
upsideclone [The Face of The Future]

By moi, again.

Friday, December 06, 2002

My turn.

Now it is my B-day. Rah. I'm 29, if anyone's counting.

I got my first pay-packet for my new job today. Came home from work to a home-cooked meal and discovered that L.A. had got Morrowind for us to play together. So, yay. I'm not going to go out tonight-- we did a whole pub-and-posh-restauraunt-and-pub-again thing last night and two of my mates are chucking an engagement party tomorrow. I need to recharge my batteries a bit.

Still haven't sorted out my TEFL course for next year. I really need to get that fixed up, or I shan't have a place. There's also the whole Reiki thing: I've decided to go for it, probably in the new year. I've sort of accepted that I'll never work as an engineer now. After years of being turned down for jobs because I was too young or too female or because dumbshit personnel officers think epilepsy stops you using a frigging VDU, it's now too late for me to aquire the relevant experience (plus the whole fucking industry seems to be going down the tubes. %I can't think why%). Instead, I'm going to concentrate more on the artistic applications of my electronic knowledge.

My primary ambition remains to make my living as a writer. However, that's hardly going to happen overnight so lining up a productive and ethical sideline/day-job is a priority. The teaching english thang looks good but to work at a recognized school you need a degree, which in my case I have not got. Working as a healer, on the other hand, doesn't seem to require much in the way of formal academic quals and would be ethically groovy. I'll look into it.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Happy Birthday, Lurid Archive!

Yes, it's my fella's B-day. No, I'm not telling you how old he is. (I doubt he's very sensitive about his age but I'll leave it up to him to break the news.) No, he doesn't know I'm doing this and yes, he'll probably be royally embarrassed when he finds out. Bwhahahaha.

(Mine's tomorrow, BTW. I'll be sure and rant about it.)

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

No-Close Blues

Finally got my act together and shelled out the dough to rid my personal message-board of pop-ups and sundry annoyances. Should take effect in a few days time.

To be honest, I've been pretty close to giving Thee Big Acidic Mudshow a decent burial several times now. There are plentee of decent places to hang out on the net and I wasn't sure that I had anything fresh to contribute. However, there's been just enough interest for me to keep the thing open, and I'm starting to think that maybe something good could come out of it. 'Course, now I've gone and spent money on the sucker I'm going to have to start posting there myself.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002


You read the blog. You know the rules. The next time-- the very next time-- you use the phrase "D'you want fries with that?" or any other crap-job-related cliche to humiliate someone in my presence, you're getting hexed. Flipping burgers will look like a weekend in the Bahamas. I mean it.
Rite On.

I like the LBPR, but I can't get on with it these days. It's a bit too monotheistic for me. Not that monotheism is a bad thing or anything, I just find it a wee bit uncomfortable. And I can't find anything else that's as simple, clean, useful and newbie-friendly. I often use the Vortex Rite, but that's very chaos-specific. So I've decided to write a more general version, something that retains the integrity of the original rite but does not demand a monotheistic approach.

This may take some time.

However. I am a writer. Even if I'm stuck behind a counter eight hours out of every 24, I remain a writer. Writing isn't just about making stuff up, selling pretty lies to publishers, making a fast buck. Writing is creation. If I write a story, it'll get get read and people will like it. If I write a ritual, it might live for decades.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Where credit is due...

Looks like I might be getting a reward for busting this guy who tried to buy 100 Euros worth of Vodaphone time with a nicked credit card. I'm gonna have to go halfsies with another lass who was on tills with me at the time because she phoned the bank while I stalled the guy, but it's still about thirty euros (twenty quid-ish). He was a complete wanker about it, by the way, shoving people out of the queue, implying that I'd tampered with the card and generally being a pillock. He even reached over the till and tried to snatch the card back, with me squealing "No!" and slapping his hand away. I mean, why? He can't use the damn card again anyway! It's been cancelled! You're busted, dude-- now shut up and be busted quietly! Come back when you've nicked a new card so's I can get another reward off the bank.


"Neither am I."

I've finally started to make some headway with one of my putative novels. I've been working on it pretty hard, and I've now got a serious chunk of the sucker under my belt. I had the idea for it months back and I'd started it about a dozen times but it just never gelled. Then last week I started writing some random dialogue, and the whole thing just fell into place. If I can keep the pace up, I should have a first draft by the time I get to Barca. Which would be a Good Thing.

Also, I'm planning a big working soon to get a better job. I've outlined the basic ritual and I'll be getting the stuff together sometime in the next week or so. I'll keep you posted, my minions.

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Small Pleasures

Popping the thick plastic wrapping that holds the cans of soup when they're delivered. It's strangely satisfying, like trushing through a big pile of leaves.

Watching a customer knock over the Tic-Tac display. This was cool, because there were about fifty boxes of Tic-Tacs and they made this brilliant noise, and the customer went a lovely shade of pink. And I was able to make light of the situation so the poor bloke didn't feel too foolish, which in turn made me feel good.

Chopping big juicy red tomatoes for the deli counter, on a clean white chopping board.

Helping little kids work out how many fifteen-cent jellies they can buy with their change.

(However, if I have to listen the the fucking bloody Smurfs singing "Smurfing in a Winter Wonderland" one more sodding time, I won't be responsible for my actions.)

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Eight hours of cornershoppyness (with added Christmas music!) later...

Brains... must... eat... braiiins

(Inducted into the world of the living dead by Barbelith and luminocity.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

If my employment situation does not improve, I'm going to hurt someone.

Okay. I've reached the point where, if I don't get out of doing cruddy minimum-wage jobs in the next two months, I swear I will commit some form of physical assault. Yes folks, it has finally happened: the unending hopless drudgery, the lousy pay, the condescision, the titters, the fact that people who know damn well the kind of work I am forced to do for a fucking living and who profess to be my friends will still use the concept of "works for minimum wage" as an indication of someone's stupidity in front of me and yes I did get all those little sidelong glances my quondam buddy oh yes I did, have finally got the better of me.

I know I won't have to do this job forever. In fact, I'd probably only have to do this job for another four months, because I'm leaving town. That's not the point. The point is that the crunch has come, the camel's back is broken, the end of the tether has been reached. It's over. Either I get a better job, or someone gets hurt.

Pain is an ugly thing. I'd like to avert this if I could, but it's just the way things have to be. We'd all like to belive that this person deserved what's coming to them. We'd like to imagine that the person who will find themselves on the business end of the monkey-wrench is and abusive parent, or that the individual who cops a facefull of oven cleaner works in advertising. But life's just not that simple. Bad things happen to good people every day and in two month's time, if I don't find some non-insane making form of employment, it might be a completely blameless soul that ends up in a crumpled bleeding heap, dragging in gurgling lungfulls of cold night air as the sirens wail. You don't know. You just don't know.

Controlled explosion.

Ever feel like you've lost yourself? There's all these the layers of performance, the filters that you put between yourself and the world to stop yourself from getting arrested, sectioned, or glassed in the face, or just to protect other people from the corrosive absurdity sloshing around inside your cranium because you know without even having to ask that they really don't need it. First you have to learn to put them in place, but after a while it becomes second nature. Then you see some of the toxic crud that other people are spewing out in all directions, and you see them lauded for it. You realise that hey, some of the stuff you're filtering out is actually not that terrible (provided you express it very carefully). In fact, in a certain light and a certain angle, it could be mistaken for art or enlightenment or revelation. All you have to do is get yourself into a secure area where you won't disturb the locals, and




One by one. Carefully. In case you leak out too fast and become a lake of molten goo, poisonous magma that could spill over and engulf a city.

And what happens? Nothing. Nothing happens at all. No matter how hard you try to strip away those layers, that Russian doll container you've voluntarily bolted yourself into, you can't. You tear off one, and there's another underneath. Why? Because as fast as you whip off the filters with one hand, you're replacing them with the other.

You can't say this. You can't do that. Do something more like you saw that other guy do. Just put a bit of gloss on it so it looks new. You turn round, catch yourself doing it, swear you're going to stop doing that right NOW! and never do it again, but then you turn round again and oh, look, what a lovely painting of some elves and a rainbow and a birdie.

I'm in here somewhere. I know I saw me recently.

Errr. Yuck.

(From B3TA.)

Sunday, November 24, 2002


Started my new job Saturday morning, as planned. Well, I didn't really start start: there was just a couple of hours of induction-type stuff. But it was boring and uncomfortable and I'm going to get paid for it, so you might as well call it work.

One of the two hours was taken up by sitting in a freezing cold room and watching a training video. I kid you not. An hour-long training video, for a job in a cornershop. It had all sorts of helpful advice and useful tips, like "Don't put the six kilo bag of spuds in on top of the eggs", "Don't sell absinthe, cigars and lighter-fluid to twelve-year-olds", and "Don't piss on your hands before handling the raw meat".

So anyway, there's a uniform. Which is okay, because you don't want to get urine and steak juice on your own clothes. The uniform is a top with the chain's logo on it, worn over a white shirt and black trews. Now, whilst I do in fact possess black trousers, the buckles and other bits and bobs on them might not go down to well. Which meant that I had to go out this afternoon and aquire some.

"You shop like a man," my boyfreind told me later. Cheapo department store, work clothes, for the buying of! Quick march! White shirts, two, pair of horrible cheap black trousers, one! Cash register! By the right, quick march! Hup, two three four! Hup, two three four! Well, buying work clothes isn't fun and you know exactly what you have to get. Why drag it out, right?

Okay. You're ahead of me here, I can tell.

Thing is, a few days previous, there was a jeans incident. I really needed a new pair of narrow-fit black jeans, found some going cheap, bought the next size up from my usual size because, y'know, moving, busy, junk food. Damn things always shrink in the wash anyway.

A couple of days later I tried them on. They did actually do up, eventually. What you do is, you lie flat on your back on the bed, wriggle like a landed fish and swear a lot. They were a bit on the tight side but after a while I broke them in. There was a bit more room once my kidneys popped out of my ears.

Therefore it seemed prudent to buy trousers two sizes up from my usual size. Can always take them in once the old tummy goes back down, right?

So I get this kit home and try it on. The shirts are my usual size and they fit okay, although they have three-quarter length sleeves, something I didn't notice when I bought them. Then I put on the trousers.

They're a tad on the generous side.

Not only can I pull the waistband about four inches out from my waist, but the damn things flop around my feet as though I'm wearing a skirt round each knee. I waddle awkwardly into the bedroom and check out the effect in the full-length mirror. My sleeves stop just below my elbows. My trousers billow out arount me like something in full sail.

Behold. Bozo the Clerk. Look on my works, ye mighty, and use the fitting rooms.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Plan B

The electronics firm hasn't called. Which means that tomorrow I shall be starting work in the cornershop, as planned.

Yes, tomorrow morning I will commence a nice, safe, steady job, in a building well-frequented by the public. Maybe my life is finally becoming a little more normal. Nice, normal job in nice normal shop for nice normal Carnival aaand I'm fooling nobody but myself here. There will be suckitude and annoyance and weirdness.

There will be, on past experience, at least two of the following:

Byzantine workplace feuds which, whilst having absolutely nothing to do with me, will somehow make everything take six times as long as it needs to and will generally fuck up my working day.

The I Pay Your Wages You Know type of customer who expects to get a pound's change out of fifty bloody pence and holds up the queue so that all the other customers get fed up and stroppy.

Pissed guys who smell and bring their freinds. Who are invisible.

Male co-workers who move me out of the way by my hips instead of saying "'Scuse me".

Poltergeist activity.

And there's also food-handling so I'm supposed to take out my nose-ring, which at the time of writing has failed to budge. I'm going to be up till 3am with a pair of pliers and a can of WD40 at this rate.
Less work.

And so I have the interview and they seem interested and they say they'll phone this afternoon and then they don't and I couln't reach them on the phone and I'm supposed to be starting properly at the shop on Saturday and if I'm not gonna be avaliable when I said I was gonna be avaliable then I really should let them know but I don't know if I've got this other job or not and rghghghghghghhh.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

More work.

And on the heels of the shop job, an electronics firm is making encouraging noises over the phone. Yes, you read that right. Electronics. I was just bracing myself for the inevitable rejection letter addressed to Mr. Colin, but instead I'm being offered the chance of a job. A job. By an electronics firm. And they didn't call me Colin, either! Yay! I've to pop round in the morning for form-filling and so forth, but it looks like the thing is in the bag.

I need a job. I'm bored. This lady-of-leisure thing looks good on paper, but it gets old realllly fast.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Squash: a sociopolitical overview.

As well as offering one the opportunity to buy soda-bread in the shop instead of having to make it or move back in with my Mum, the munificent retail outlets of Cork have also introduced me to MiWadi. Despite tasting a lot like other sorts of squash, Mi Wadi has Mi Wadi on the label instead of Kia Ora or Robinsons. It offers the discerning squash-drinker all the delights of squash without the embarrassment of fake tennis playing associations associated with Robinsons, or the slightly possibly a bit racist and actually rather disturbing thing that Kia Ora has going on.

They don't have Mi Wadi back home, you know. But we do have more flavours of supermarket own brand squash than in Cork so Nyahh.

Found stuck to Barbelith with a fridgemagnet

Looks like I've finally got a job. The cornershop wants me to start tomorrow morning. Which is, y'know, good and all. Yay.

However, it sort of brought home to that if I'm not careful everything could still grind to a halt, move or no move. The way forward is not to reapeat past mistakes, or to dwell on them, but to learn from them. People have to play to their strengths. The TEFL course will be a good start, and there's a Reiki practitoner nearby who sometimes runs courses. Whilst I'm committed to a writing career, it would be foolish not to explore possible sidelines. Healing might prove suitable.

Sunday, November 17, 2002


A lot's been happening. Had a friend visiting the area over the weekend so we did friend things involving days out and fun and theatre and BEER.

I've also decided to write down more of my aura/visiony-type experiences, following another episode on Saturday. I won't necessarily be posting them here (although I'm damned if I know what else to do with the damn things, so this is where they'll end up). Apparently the fit-thread-thing and some other aura-inspired writings have pissed off quite a few people-- "too personal, showing off, just being self-indulgent, chiz moan drone"-- so they must be pretty damn good.

People only call stuff "self indulgent if:

a) they don't understand it and therefore they feel inadequate, or
b) it's better than their stuff and therefore they feel inadequate.

Either works for me.

For a long time I've fought shy of writing about the odd stuff that my neurological malfunctions throw up. Partly this is because they're very subjective and it's not easy to decide whether a reader is going to gain anything from them. Secondly, De Nile isn't just a river in Egypt; writing about this makes it all seem a lot more real and that means accepting that, yes, you have this condition, it's not going to go away, something that's not easy to do.

But... fuck, colours that sing, shadows turning into blue fire, the sensation of being a waveform passing through the nonspace of the Divine... that's not just a weekend in Margate. If something new can be derived from these experiences, then maybe it'll all be worth it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Support UK firefighters! 40K FAIR PAY!

Website of the Fire Brigades Union

Monday, November 11, 2002


I hate it when I get like this. There's just enough of me left to know that the rest of me is away with the fairies. Rational, rationale.

So here's what happened this time: a sort of synesthesic overload. Red, I was looking at red satin fabric and the colour swallowed me. It was like the sensation of someone sucking on your finger, only all over and all at once. Not sure I liked it. In the end I had to turn the light off.

This is both better and worse than the very extreme perceptual shifts. There's worse things than being God for half an hour and then waking up to find you've dribbled all down your front and bitten your tongue, but it's definately up there.

I get confused sometimes. Time goes out of whack. Memories, voices, things that happened years and years ago, people, all crowd in at once. (Please form an orderly queue. And if you don't have anything nice to say at least keep your goddamn voices down. I said I was sorry.) Memories ought to be better behaved.

I didn't go out today.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

"I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing..."

(Or: Dere Dairy, Toda I wented to see sum aminals.)

I have had a bloody brilliant day today.

I'd been thinking for a while that the whole travel thing would be a bit pointless if all I do is run around trying to create an analogue of my London life, doing exactly the same things I did there (pubbing and clubbing, mostly) and not trying anything different. So today, me and the Bearded One did something very much out of the ordinary: we took a train to FOTA.

FOTA is a big ol' wildlife park not far outside Cork. All the critters are either totally free-range or in good-sized enclosures; not like in some places where the animals look sad and stressed out. This was a serious sanctuary, involved in breeding and re-introduction programmes.

We saw ring-tailed lemurs and spider monkeys and three sorts of gibbons and dozens of different waterfowl and these weird little rabbit-dog dudes that I don't know what they were but they looked like Eohippus and pelicans and mandrills and cheetahs and seals and oryx and giraffes and zebras and wallabies and colobus monkeys and flamingoes and pelicans and capybaras and a white-tailed sea-eagle and lion-tailed macaques and tapirs and all kinds of beasties! Oh, man-- it was fantastic. The monkeys alone could have kept you enthralled for hours.

The little colony of spider-monkeys was just amazing. They were playing on their climbing frame, nibbling handfulls of grass, carrying infants on their backs, and generally mucking around. Some of the monkeys got a bit mopey when it started to rain, but they had all these little shelters to curl up in. I think we made one of the gibbons feel a bit harrassed when we stood and peered in his window for ages. The boyf got into a staring contest with a rea and neither of them would back down for ages (eventually the bird won; rea and ostriches are well intimidating close up). I found out what sort of noise a tapir makes, a rather surprising dolphinesque squeal. S'pose you always expect something like that to grunt.

It was great. Definately going back there, if only to see the red panda which must have been hiding from the rain.

After we got back into Cork, we swung by the Palace Theatre and bought a couple of tickets for Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife. I've only ever been to the theatre three times in my life before. We grabbed a takeaway curry on the way home, and chilled out for a couple of hours before heading back out to the theatre.

The play was a lot of fun, if a bit heavy-handed in places. The cast were good, especially the leading lady. We both really enjoyed it and we're planning another trip again soon, though I want to go to the opera next weekend.

Hey, look-- I'm turning into a culture-vulture!

(Although last night we ended up at the new Harry Potter, so probably not that cultural.)
First, there was the Hello Kitty vibrator. Then the Hello Kitty Warhammer toys. Now there's... well, no-one's sure, exactly, but I think I saw it move.
Remember, kids-- November 30th is Buy Nothing Day!
Another boring medication related post.

I've been reading quite a lot about this new drug, Provigil. It's an anti-tiredness med, originally developed to treat narcolepsy, and apparently it's the bee's knees: very effective, with few side-effects. I'm going to see if I can put my hand on some, because if I could find something to counteract the effects of all the Carbamazipine I'm taking my life would improve dramatically.

I know some of you will be reading this crap at work with matchsticks propping open your red and watery eyes because you've dragged yourself out of bed at some ungodly hour to do the utterly sucktasitc job that Fate has thrust upon you and are biting back a stroppy comment e'en now. I know there's also the issue of the existance of drugs like this being used to cover up the effects of overwork. ("Sick? Take a Contac and keep working. Stressed? Take a Valium and keep working. Eighteen hour days every day for the last week? Take a Pro-Plus and keep working! If you don't we'll find someone who will!")

But seriously, the stuff I'm taking for my epilepsy is just evil. I'm tired pretty much all the time. I still get stuff done (work hard, play hard, blah blah blah) but I'm constantly working round the side-effects; it's alarming how much of my day I spend wishing I was back in bed. There's things you can do to limit the impact of the meds: regular meals, exercize, vitamin supplements and so on, but it's hard to work out when all you want to do is keel over on the sofa and give it zeds.

And this, my friends and droogies, is coming from somebody on a relatively lightweight 1200mg of Carbie. I'm one of the lucky ones. How the hell people on higher doses or more than one kind of medication cope is a complete mystery to me.

I've tried pretty much every over-the-counter remedy for tiredness (Pro-plus, Yeast-Vite, various herbal concoctions) but they're all a bit rubbish, really. There's pseudoephidrine, in the form of allergy treatments, but it makes me jangly and headachey. As to the various extralegal "remedies" avaliable out there, I either can't take them at all because they make the fits worse, like MDMA, or they're just too fucking unhealthy to take regularly, like amphetamines. I'm not claiming that I've ever been an angel when it comes to recreational pharmaceuticals, but I was sort of hoping to make it to fifty. 'Sides, I neither need nor want to spend my life on a permanent speed high. I mean, how much more of a paranoid narcissist do I really need to be?

Unfortunately my chances of actually getting prescribed anything like this are slim to none. I'm not even sure that Provigil has been licenced for use in Europe yet. Then there's the issue of GP charges here in Ireland-- apparently it costs twenty or thirty Euros to see a doctor. Added to that, all GPs are heinously overworked and spend their entire lives feeling like crap and being around proper sick people. It's understandable, therefore, that they tend to give you rather short shrift if you come to them and go "I'm tiiii-er-ed!"

I'll have to see about online suppliers, which is less than ideal but there you go. I'm planning to buy my meds-- the asthma ones as well as the epilepsy-- online for the next couple of years anyhooo. (Which reminds me: I must check and see if anyone sells Carbamazipine. I stocked up before leaving London, but it won't last forever.)

On the plus side, my asthma's got wayyy better since leaving the London flat and its funny funny dry-rot. I've started singing again! It's going to take a while to get back on form but in a couple of week's time... Killer soprano! Hide yourselves, bad people-- here comes the KILLER SOPRANO!

Thursday, November 07, 2002

ZoCher from Barbelith has pointed me towards this BBC site. For to learn Spanish.

Not much to tell you, so this'll be a short post. Found a couple of places that do TEFL courses, but they don't start till Jan/Feb. Finally found the library. Still no job, but things are looking up-- the folks at one of the agencies gave me a lead on a place that's hiring. I'm sure something'll come up.

Sunday, November 03, 2002


By moi.
"Drunk. Loved friends."

No updates since Thursday 'coz I was in London for the weekend. It was great, if a little bit fweakish: I was staying with my friend Marianne who has the flat upstairs from where I used to live and being back there did all sorts of strange things to my head. On Friday I went up the Princess Louise with Lurid Archive to see D. Corvidae, who is currently gracing the Smoke with her presence. It was excellent to meet her at last! Later we met up with Pacha and went to an all-woman event in Vauxhall-- quiet but cosy.

On Saturday there was a goodbye bash for Pacha. A whole crowd of well-wishers turned out to see her off-- was very cool to see so many people there. I did my usual thing of somehow getting stuck in a non-mingly corner so I didn't speak to all the people I'd have liked to. Maybe next time (whenever that may be). Felt briefly homesick and mushy and waah-wanna-be-in-Londony, but it didn't last long.

Then this morning I had to leave at bastarding five a.m. to catch my plane. Which was a nauseating end to anotherwise fantabulous few days.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Happy Halloween!

I hate you and I hope you all get fed spiked punch and wake up to find you've been Godnapped by the Jesus Army.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

This has to be one of the best T-shirt slogans I've seen for ages.

While you're there, check out the other bits and bobs. The slogans are more dyke-specific than I could carry off with the Bearded One on my arm, but they made me chuckle. Oh, and for those of you from Barbie's Undies-- this is Cholister's new enterprise. (Must get around to sorting out my own Cafepress thingamajig.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

"Aw Blah Erspanyol?"

Yes. I'm finally biting the bullet and learning Spanish. I've bookedmarked a ton of online courses but this looks like the most promising: Learn Spanish - Spanish for Beginners. I'm also going to get down the library in the morning and borrow a couple of tapes. My unilingual days are nearly at an end.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Creativity ground to a halt? Can't think of a rhyme for "death-knell" that scans, or just the right minor chord for that gawdawful dirge you're trying to churn out? Does your elven princess need a name ompounded out of two other words one of which is a plant and the other a weather condition only you don't know many plants and they don't have weather in your parent's cellar? Then stop being such a dull, unoriginal little prune and download I.M.P., the Ideaspace Mining Program. This stripey wee servitor will have you churning out new doom rock and derivative sword'n'sorcery in no time! Now all you need is a servitor that makes you actually finish shit!

(From here.)
It's "Finally get around to blogging GIRLS ARE PRETTY" day!

This is 'orrible, this site is. This is foul. Mean, painful, unlovely, cruel, and hideously, hideously funny. I'd have linked to it ages ago, but I couldn't decide whether the number of readers it would amuse would be exceeded by the number of people is would piss off.

I'm sure now. Enjoy. - Big Brother is watching: Not in 1984 but in 2002

Looks like I got out just in time...

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Shopping and fucking up.

Went out shopping yesterday. Checked out the English Market, then hooked up with a couple of folks (friends of Lurid The Bearded One's from when he was doing his Ph.d). They were in town for the jazz festival that's currently in progress. Had a couple of beers and a pleasant chat. After they went to catch their bus, we wandered around a bit more, ending up in the Paul Street shopping centre. It was pissing down, and all these dear little kindergoths had gathered just inside to hide from the rain. (Think we've found the local kindergoth nest.) Bought the New Scientist and a Laurel and Hardy video, and then met S. for coffee.

There's a couple of dinky little freak outlets in the shopping centre, one catering for the fishnets-and-pewter side of things, another for the funfur and dayglo type stuff. However, there's a larger shop round the corner with a better selection and, more importantly, flyers. We ajourned there to laugh at evil T-shirt slogans and sniff joss-sticks. The boyf got himself a new shirt, a simple Nepalese job in black linen with teeny-tiny brass buttons; haven't seen one quite like it before.

Then we got chatting to the staff. I mentioned that we were new in town and asked about pubs and clubs. They were very friendly, which is refreshing after London. (The scene in London can be a bit cliquey-- nah. That's not fair. The scene in London can be unbeliveably fucking cliquey, which is why I'd gone into semi-retirement even before we left.) We grabbed a couple of flyers for an event that was schedualed for the same night, and then went to score some new DMs for Lurid.

Later on, we got toffed up in our bestest goon rags and went in search of the event on the flyers. The locals in Cork seem very impressed with me. I think they've decided I'm the Second Coming-- everywhere I go, people scream "Jesus CHRIST!". S'pose they're a bit light on bald chicks with facial piercings in this neck of the woods.

We eventually tracked down the venue, only to discove that the "darkbeat/indie/alternative" event had metamorphosed into a drum'n'bass night. So we sulked for a bit and then buggered off home to play Neverwinter Nights.

I am undeterred, however. The shop folks gave me a couple of other leads, which I will be following up shortly. You can only substitute a high polygon count for socializing for so long.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

I could have done without this, frankly. It's vile and it distresses me. The only way to relieve my feelings is to inflict it on you:

George H. Bush and His Family Paper Dolls in Full Color

(From here.)


Fuck, I'm bored of not having a bloody social life. Much as I like the Bearded One's math-buddies (luvverly people that they are) hanging out with them socially tends to mean that I spend a lot of the time with a rabbit-in-the-headlights face on, waiting for the conversation to leave ninteen-dimensional spheres or what some guy I don't know said to some woman I don't know about something I don't understand anyway and get back to Buffy or Blake's 7. Now that I've got some of the teejus crap sorted out (PPS number in post, list of temp agencies in knapsack, etc etc) I'm going to start heading into the local alternoweird hang-outs.

Can you hear me, Goths of Cork? Stop yer grinnin' and drop yer linen-- I'm comin' for ya.

Trouble with this gig is, it's sort of travelling and sort of being stuck in one place. If you're travelling and you're going to be somewhere for, say, a couple of weeks, you can usually find a few bods who speak your lingo to knock around with. Six months, and you've got to sort out jobs, tax, banks... the claws of grey and dismal Reality sink deep into your flesh, while just beyond your reach fun is being had and BEER is being drunk.

One of the things I've promised myself while I'm here is a new tatt. I want something to remind myself of my stay here. Haven't decided what to get yet, but I'm leaning towards a design of hops.


And another thing: I think I'm in trouble, magickally speaking. I mentioned in a previous post that I'd been neglecting that area of my life of late.

Now, when this has happened in the past, I've been allowed to coast along without any hassle for months at a time. The magickal universe will stroll up and tap me on the shoulder when it wants me.

This time, it's different. I'm not going to be allowed to let things slide. Stuff is happening to me: I have dreams where I've lost something, dreams where I was supposed to do something important and I failed. And I'm getting lost. This is a tiny city compared to London, yet I'm still getting lost after two weeks. I can't seem to follow a map anymore. I just get turned around. The magick wants me back and it wants me back now. I don't know why it's become so bloody important all of a sudden. I think something big is going down soon.

The really annoying thing is, I'll probably never know what.

Still if we're playing hardball now...

You want me back, Magick? You want me to make with the chanting and the candles and the doodles and the running round like a looney and the stinky incense? You want moi to dedicate large chunks of this brief mortal life to mucking about with vous?

Fine. You've got it. But here's the deal: You want my life, you fix my bloody life.

You stop leaving me to rot in cruddy jobs that are so far below my skills level that I get vertigo just thinking about it. You know what I'm good at. Give me a living I can live with.

You stop making me spend a disgustingly large chunk of my paltry income on rent. I want a place that's cheap and not too grim. A fixer-upper will do. I want to buy a huge disused factory for a dollar, like in The Blair Witch II: Book of Shadows. Only without all the, y'know, death and blood and dead owls. And death.

And most importantly: I want to be here for other people. No making me be a bad friend. Got that?

Do we have a deal, Magick?

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

This just in:

Psst! C'm'ere. I need to tell you something. Come close. Closer. Closer still... RAGGGGH!

You're wrong, you morons--WRONG! You want to know why you're wrong? Because you never pay the slightest bit of attention to what's going on around you. I don't mean the big stuff like war, famine, death, and plague. I've given up trying to persuade you slack-jawed gawpers to watch the bloody NEWS with one ounce of the drooling, detail-hungry attention that you lavish unquestioningly on Eastenders. No, I'm talking about the stuff that's going on right under your noses.

I realise that the complex interplay of human relations can be a dauntingly complex thing, never moreso than in the nebulous text-based realms of Cyberspace™. However, I put it to you, dear reader, that if you OCCASIONALLY PAID ATTENTION to what's happening rather that percieving everything through a thick obtenebrating layer of UNINFORMED LAZY ASSUMPTIONS AND UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMOUR you might actually glean some tiny inkling of WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.

And no, making Bambi-eyes and saying "but what did happen? Please tell me so that I may understand!" doesn't count. Everyone's sick to death of you doing that. Everyone's very likely sick to death of the whole subject anyway so explaing what happened in minute and tedious detail really doesn't appeal. Either go and find out for yourself or stop shit-stirring. You're not making any friends here, bucko.

Or you could just swallow the sodden compost of lies, half-truths and self-pity that you're being fed by manipulative scumbunnies whose tiny minds (lazy and atrophied from lack of use as they may be) are somehow just that little bit more agile than yours. Go on. Cram it into your mouth, smear it on your lips and cheeks. Mmmm. Nummy compost.

(No, I don't have any particular event/sequence of events/person/people in mind. I wish I did. I wish that your compost-guzzling habits were not as widspread-- nay, universal-- as they seem to be. I'm not talking to you personally. You can take your hand out of your underwear now.)

I hate you all.


Sunday, October 20, 2002


Out bevvying properly last Friday-- the first time since arriving in Ireland. V. was celebrating a successful viva (yay her!). Had a great time, and no pesky nightbus home afterwards. At the party I met some cool peeps as well; it's high time I began constructing a social life. All this stewing indoors really doesn't suit me.

Apparently there's a good Akido class running nearby; myself and the Bearded One are planning to sign up. I've been meaning to take up a martial art for yonks, and now seems like a good time.

Ah, it's all change here. Change is good. I've been getting tired, bogged down. Need to shape up again, get some focus, some direction, some motivation. The trouble with this Renassaince Man/Scientist Mage/Art of Electronics shtick is that you end up spreading yourself too thin. If I've got just a dozen projects on the boil, I'm doing better than usual. Apart from the fact that I really and genuinely love all the things I'm into there's this: I get scared. I get scared that I'm going to miss something, scared that I'll fail at something and have no fallback position, scared that the finished article will be weighed in the balance and found wanting.

The move's over now; I don't have all that crap to worry about (hide behind?) anymore. I really need to shape up and start working seriously again.

So here's what I need to do at the moment...

1) Sort out my bank/tax stuff so I can get a job.

2) Get a job.

3) Sign up for a Teaching English as a Foriegn Language (TEFL) course.

4) Get my magick back on track. I've been a naughty little magicko lately-- haven't been doing my meditations, haven't been doing my chanting, haven't been keeping my dream diary. Slap wristies. You know what? I think I'll buy a drum.

These being accomplished, there are odds-and-ends that need to be completed. Little side projects for other people that got put on hold because of the move or whatever. I'll get to 'em. There's also my bass, which I haven't touched for months, and my painting. I've been being a bit peculiar lately. Staying in too much, slacking on my chores, that sort of thing; these problems must be adressed now before they get out of hand.

I've made a start by shaving my head properly instead of just using the clippers. There are no sockets for my electric shaver, so I treated myself to a long hot shower and a proper razor cut. Nice and smooth.

The bitch is back.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Help buy Tom Coates a new camera to replace the one that got nicked when his house was burgled.

I'm sure most of the people who'd be interested have already contributed, but I'm bunging the link here anyway just in case.

Monday, October 14, 2002

I trust I'm not alone in finding this sort of thing rather disturbing?

Seriously. It gives me 57 flavours of the creeps. I mean, babies, cute, yes. Babies rock cutedom, stinky nappies notwithstanding. Kids in animal costumes, yes. Many kids like animal costumes and will request or manufacture said costumes as part of creative play, free xpression, ect etc.

But this whole dressing babies up as stuff... it's just yuck.

My writing muscles seem to have gone into cramp. I'm hoping that this is only down to the relatively lengthy period of enforced non-writeyness while the computer was in transit and I was in The Land of Interminable Packing. Those of you who are waiting for emails, letters, diatribes, or slashtastic sitcom treatments: please be patient. I'll get to you eventually.

I'm more homesick than I expected. I miss my old haunts and my mates, especially Marianne. But I'll be popping back to London in a few weeks for Dolly Wilde's visit, so I'll be seeing everyone again soon.

I haven't really been out much, just the odd quiet pint with mates. Still finding my feet, you know how it is. I need to get set up with a temp job but I've found myself in one of those Catch 22 situations: to get a job I need a bank account in Euros, and for that I need proof that I'm living where I say I'm living, and for that I need some sort of official looking document. A bank statement or a payslip would do nicely, but for that I need... you get the picture. The landlord's going to give us a new rent book with both our names on it tomorrow (intead of just Mandy's), so all may yet be well.

I've spent my time mostly trying to unpack and exploring the city. Cork's great. I've never lived in an area with such a high pub density. There's scores of them, mostly offering live music too. Aside from pubs I'm about five minutes walk from two major breweries, a big ol' cinema and an opera house (and a rather yecchy-looking strip club, but you can't have everything). Next time I'll give you a few links to online stuff about the city, so you can feel all envious and resentful. Bwahahahaha.

Did a bit of shopping today; I bought myself a book to serve as a journal-cum-sketch pad. I want to keep a record of my general impressions while I'm living abroad so that I can refer back to them later on. I got a set of Chinese brushes for Christmas, but what with one thing and another I haven't done any painting for months. Now seems like an ideal time to get back into it. I usually paint in acrylics, but they're very bulky and I'm trying to travel light-- plus you can't really use acrylics with Chinese brushes. Can't wait to get started!

One good thing about the move is the way it's made me pare down my projects. One art medium. One musical instrument (bass guitar, if you really neeeed to know). One electronics project (yes, the laser harp). I almost left the electronics stuff behind: I'd got so cheesed off with the subject what with all the bollocks that my moribund degree course put me through. I was just going to shove the breadboard with my prototype circuit into a box bound for storage, and then suddenly I remembered how much fun all that stuff is when you're just doing it for the sake of doing it, rather than for someone to grade. So, the Laser-Driven Pokemon Autopsy Harp rides again! I won't be able to make the housing yet (too bulky to take to Barcelona when we go) but I can tinker with the guts.

Unpacking my leccy stuff at this end, I thought for one ghastly moment that I'd neglected to pack any linking wire. I felt... emasculated.

Friday, October 11, 2002

(Sorry for the paucity of updates, but-- what the hell am I talking about? I'm not even slightly sorry. I've been busy and you're not important. Deal with it. Here's some of what you missed while I was doing grownup things...)

The Flight

It was only a short journey. There were no hitches to speak of apart from my setting off the metal detector at Stanstead Airport. I was duly separated from the rest of the herd and frisked. "What's THIS?" demanded the security woman, minutely examining a bottle of black nail varnish which I'd had in my coat pocket.

"It's my nail varnish," I explained. She unscrewed the lid and peered inside, with a distrustful Hmmmph. The bottle seemed to be a source of some peturbation for her. Admittedly it was the right shape for a bomb, being spherical and black, but the lettering read "Spectacular Nail Varnish" rather than "BOMB" and the whole lacked the traditional fizzing fuse. (My silver mascara was also solemly opened up and inspected. I'm obviously going to have to invest in some non-scary cosmetics for the next time I travel.)

Anyhow, nothing else untoward happened and me and my suspicious toiletries were soon on our way to Cork.

My first ever night-flight rocked. Take-offs are one of my most favourite things in the world in space anyway, and when you add watching the city lights drop away beneath the plane you get an extra dose of super wrongly dark. The clouds were like long smudges of charcoal, the lights were twinkly orange like little embers, and sometimes the angle of the plane and a thick bank of cloud would conspire to create the illusion that there was a city in the sky. All the time I lived within her clutches London never looked pretty to me-- although she has some fine features, the overall look is ugglesome. Now at last I found her lovely, her flaws erased by darkness, distance, and water-vapour.

The flight got in five minutes ahead of time. When I finally dragged my luggage into the Arrivals lounge, Mandy was there waiting for me.

More soon.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Shut up whining and PRETEND

I meant the kind of tomorrow if we had a 48-hour day. I can do that if I want.

New flat's nice. It's smaller than the old gaff, but we've got nowhere near as much crud lying around so it doesn't matter. Cork's good, I'm good, and I'll do you a proper post when I get a mo.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002


I'm in Cork.

More tomorrow.

Saturday, October 05, 2002


Some of you may remember that I came across a site/message board run by my That Ex. (Everyone's got a That Ex. You know what I mean.) I was disturbed and upset and generally unhappy about the content.

Well, today, completely at random, I located a site related to my That Ex. But... it was all change, y'know? It was freshness, and maturity, and freedom; it was leaving behind the whole horrible mess that was his head when I was around.

It was beautiful. It gave me hope: not for me, because I've put all that behind me. Hope that this person might one day become the man I fell in love with. Not so I can fall in love with him again, but so he can be there for the love of his life.

See, that was the hardest part. I walked on knives for that man, and the only good thing I could take from it was that I'd never do it again. But now... it's like he's becoming secret hero he always wanted to be.

I hope so.


I can see myself reading Ladybird books to a great army of red-haired stepchildren, if I'm not careful.

Friday, October 04, 2002


This is it (well, almost). The removal people are coming tomorrow morning to cart away all the stuff that's going to Cork.
Bloody hell. It's really going to happen, isn't it? I'm really leaving. I'm really going to shuck this skin. Didn't feel real before.

I'm afraid.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Aces and Jacks.

Back once again. More comedy neurological malfunctioning. Out of sorts and anxious all day today, which is often one of the signs. But I put it down to the move. Then just now I was playing Demon Patience on the computer and picturing what to do next in my head, Eight of Hearts on the Nine which frees up that King so you can move the Queen, etcetera, etcetera. Eight or nine moves ahead, all lined nicely in my head, and then the pattern shattered. Like a wind springing up out of nowhere and blowing away the cards.

This isn't one of those euphoric jobs like last time. I don't know why they're different sometimes. So, sorry kids, it's not November the Fifth yet. And I probably won't stay online this time. Been there, done that. But this is my weblog and I get to be an exhibitionist. If you don't like it, read somthing else.

This is not a good one. I don't like this kind. My past catches up with me. Time breaks, slips, back and forth. And you're there, if only for an instant. Moments rising like blood from the tongue, thin, meaty, distasteful. I laid down some bad things back there, and year by year they seem to grow more sour. Why did I? Am I still there, her, the person who acted like that? Am I here? The immediacy gives the illusion that I could reach out, reach back, and change it. Fix it. That the shards of the cup will rise and become one. That really hurts, that instant where you think you're back and you can make it right, and then you realise you can't and you never will. Moving finger have writ or whatever.

And all the patterns wash away, watered down into nothing. All going down the drain, isn't it?


I am not good. Did I start out like this? Never quite able to make my peace with the damage I do, never quite able to stop doing damage. Corrosive. He says it doesn't matter-- but it might one day. You get a build-up. Maybe it looks worse from where I'm sitting, in a shower of fractured time. Aces and jacks.

They call it making good, when you fix everything back up after a repair or an alteration. To: One single-glazed window, re-glazing and making good. Can you make good? Churn it out like dough, like plaster, scoop it into the hollows and let it dry. Could I ever make enough good, or will the hollows always be there, under the smooth surface? Breeding insects, blooming with rot.

There was blue fire before. Now all the colours are shading into unity, lightless. The face cards accuse with their blankness. This deck never gets shabby, never gets frayed at the edges or grimy. You lay it down new each time. In real life the cards fray. Jack of Diamonds. Ace of Hearts. I heard the red ink was poisonous. Clubs are Wands. Spades are swords. Espada. The ace a death card, like a syringe. Kill or cure.

Who cares for you? You're nothing but a pack of cards.

The Peace Pumpkin Project

Pacifist Jack'o'lanterns. Neat!
"Show me the MONEY!"

Okay, so I've set up a CafePress account. However, their basic price for a T-shirt is $14.99! I'll have a bit of a Google and see if I can find anything less steep. Even worse, they only seem to do a white or grey shirt, which is just not acceptable. I mean, they should warn people before subjecting them to a full page of non-black clothing. I feel all dizzy now. I think I need a lie down.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

The dance of capitalist supremacy

I've decided not to reinvent myself as a motivational speaker after all. At least not yet. Instead, I shall flog T-shirts. I shall have the I-hate-you thing from my blog description on the front, and "Mordant Carnival Hates You" on the back. Or maybe the fit thread on the front, and "Mordant Carnival Hates You" on the back. Or both.

However, I cannot sort this out till I know where the cheques should be sent. Which is a bugger.

But it must and shall be done.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002 The inestimable Mr. Stewart has got a new website. He draws in some proper comics like Catwoman and stuff; he's a bit good.
Don't give up the day job

I've decided to re-invent myself as a motivational speaker.

Monday, September 30, 2002

D'you want angst with that?

People occasionally ask me why, if I'm this git'ard chaos magickan and all, my life is still arguably bitchaboutable (with sucktastic interludes). They suggest that if I really want to improve my lot I should git my 'ard on and sort it out, or admit that the whole magick thing is a flatulent bubble of methane gurgling up from the delusional mulch at the bottom of my brain. Why, if I can in theory get anything I want (within certain ill-defined boundaries), how come I've not got it yet?

Because unless I force myself to sit down and think really really hard about it, I don't rightly know what I'm after. See, my ideal, totally unrealistic, dream-on way of making a living wolud be to write sf/f/h&det/mys about prehistoric mammals and werewolf dryads who are accountants and things and stuff. I want to write about any damn thing that floats through my cranium and get paid for it, too.

Now, I understand that this ideal version of events is unlikely to transpire, barring some huge violation of the laws of probability. I accept that. However, having recognized that Scenario #1 is unlikely, I do not then substitute a more reasonable one. For example, a reasonable ambition would be to write books in my chosen genre puddle for a living. This would be time-consuming and I'd have to deal with-- dah dah DARRR!-- editors, but it's both workable and desirable. It's a reasonable compromise between my ideal and reality.

But I don't stop there. Oh, no. Before I can even properly observe the processes involved, I've mentally compromised myself down to writing the instruction manual for ZarggGlubYuth's Infant Adrenal Gland Extractor MkII (or teen romances, whatever comes first) and then I get all glum and have to get drunk and eat yoghurt raisins until I feel better.

I have got-- got-- got to stop this whole compromise ad absurdum stuff, and get some really realistic Plan.

When I have my Plan, I will do Stuff.

Fear me.
But enough about me...

Odd. I've been voted in as the subject for this week's Barbinterview. Given my relentless narcissism, I'm surprised there's anything about me that people didn't know. Still, there ya go...

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Heads up.

One from the inbox:

Dear supporter of's 9-11Peace campaign,

An American war against Iraq grows more likely with each passing day. But there is still something important you can do to help stop it.

President Bush needs the United Kingdom's support for a war, because your country is a member of the United Nations Security Council.

John Hodgson, a British citizen, recently proposed taking the message below to your national leaders. Please contact them at:

Prime Minister Tony Blair
020 7219 5676
or 01429 882202

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
020 7219 5070
or 01254 52317

M.P. Tam Dalyell
020 7219 3427
or 01506 834255

M.P. Chris Smith
020 7219 5119
or 020 7607 8373

Or try the main number for Parliament: 020 7219 3000

Make sure their offices know you're calling regarding the possible war on Iraq, and urge them to ensure that the U.K. opposes any U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing an attack on Iraq.

Your own words are always best, but you may find it helpful to use some of the arguments made below by John Hodgson.


No justification

Mr Blair:

You constantly speak of building a better Britain and a better world. But we cannot do that by illegal attacks on a sovereign state that has not attacked us and shows no plausible intention of doing so. It is clear that the US feels itself justified to engage in global bullying for economic interest, but our role is to show that there is a better
way to world peace. That way is by respecting the rule of law, the autonomy of other states, and the importance of the United Nations.

- John Hodgson, Higher Education (September 20, 2002; Bristol, United


Your voice really counts here. Please make these important calls today.

Also, please let us know you've called, by clicking here:
Keeping a count helps make this work more effective.

Thank you.

- Eli Pariser
International Campaigns Director,
Founder, 9-11Peace Campaign
September 26, 2002
Harassed Jordanian woman flips out!

Okay, I'm anti-violence and so forth, but this still made me grin a bit. Apparently three guys had got into the habit of bawling sexual obsceneties at this woman whenever they saw her around-- till the day she ripped off her cloak and her veil, and proceed to kick seven kinds of hell out of them. Apparently she'd been sitting on some serious martial arts skills.


(Snaffled from Sarcasmo's Corner)
Ananova - Edwina Currie reveals four-year affair with John Major

I'd just like to say "eeeeeewwwwwww".

I note that I am still getting upwards of seventy-eighty hits a day from Solonor's (good and colour changey and toyfilled) blog. This is fine; I always need fresh minions. However, every single one of these hits relates to Spiderman Will Make You Gay. I have a couple of things I really have to get off my chest about this:

1) S.W.M.Y.G. is not that funny.

It's funny in a philosophically absurd sorta way (Concept: sexual orientation. Percept: watching Spiderman dance will permenantly change said orientation). One can entertain oneself by comparing and contrasting S.W.M.Y.G. and the attitudes of people who think that Clause 28 is all that protects our children from growing up to be bulldykes or nancyboys. It's funny because... well, Spiderman, dancing, you know, it's a thing. But it's not amazingly hugely terrifically funny. (Unlike, say, a troupe of plastic skeletons dancing to a cover of Y.M.C.A., which was that funny and still had some funny left over for a bag of chips.)

2) Am I the only person alive who doesn't find the word "gay" inherently funny?

Why is "gay" funny? It's not funny. It started out not funny and it got less funny from there. Here's a little known fact: Every time you say "gay" like it's funny, it gets less funny. Saying "gay" like it's funny is now so far into not-funnyness it's become a source of superdense not-funny. It is Weapons Grade not-funny. You could hurt someone with that. Terrorists could get hold of it.

Here's why "gay" seems funny from a certain angle: "Gay" has become a random derogatory term, as in "that game is gay", "your shoes are gay", "this Counterstrike map is gay". There is much absurdity to play with here and we're all about the absurdity. I understood that part. I also got the part where the randomly cruel and vile things that kids say to each other in the school playground are cripplingly funny, given a certain distance.

Here's why the "gay" thing isn't that funny after all: Pretend it's you. Instead of "gay", insert whatever you got or still get the piss mercilessly ripped out of you for. Then pretend that the prejudices against this thing, whatever it was, were hedged around by laws and rules and clauses. Pretend that many powerful individuals agreed that you were wrong and peculiar, and made laws accordingly. Pretend this trait could get you turned down for jobs, or even fired. Pretend that it seems as though it's okay for everyone to hate you.

Assuming that some or all of this is already true, add "being gay" to the mix and see if things would improve much. Still laughing?

Friday, September 27, 2002

Girl's night out: an open letter to female bloggers

Prompted by something kookymojo wrote recently, I've been hunting around for interesting blogs by women.

I've found the whole excercise really disturbing.

Apart from some notable exceptions (see Kooky's list and my sidebar), the writers seem so damn limited in what they'll allow themselves to think or to be. It's as if there's a tarot hand of possible identities that women bloggers feel forced to choose from: The Bitch, the Diva, The Mother, the Domestic Goddess, the Divinely Damaged Girl. At best, w.b.'s permit themselves to blend a couple of these flavours together: the Bitch who is also (ta DAH!) a Diva, the Damaged Girl who's also-- get this-- a Mother...

"Hey, bet you didn't see that one coming, didja? Bet you're shaken out of your complacent view of women by the fact that the writer has managed to combine TWO meaningless gender stereotypes in ONE handy blog. Look how complex and multilayered I am! I bet you're really impressed! Arencha? Arencha?"

Well... no, as it goes. Very no. You've enlarged your cage a little, but you're still locked up. I know that's ultimately true of all of us, but these are such tiny, tiny confines to write within. I'm beginning to suspect that one reason male bloggers are more prevalent or more widely read is that men are (very generally) less willing to buy into stereotypes, or at least less likely to occupy them full-time.

You are not a cartoon character. You contain worlds. Everyone does.


I swear. I get PMS that could strangle a sodding goat and d'you know what? I still find other things to talk about. If you're eighteen or under you might reasonably be forgiven for thinking that you're the first person since Marie Curie to combine oestragen and higher brain functions, but when you hit thirty it starts to look a bit daft. You have a voice, now stop trying to be an echo.

Chromosomally yours,


PS: And how come we've all ended up with the same sitemeter? That's... that's scary, that is.

PPs: No yodelling, either.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Optical illusion

Have a look at this-- it's a bit good.

(From (the same place I always get stuff like this).
Again you have failed me!

I give you wretched wretches the simplest task (winning me the Grauniad's bloody stupid weblog compo) and you FAIL ME! Do not try my patience, puny ones. I can always get new minions-- can you say the same for your internal organs?

*Feeds tidbits to pet mutant piranahgoatdonkeycat from gauntleted fingers*
If finding this funny makes me a bad person, I don't want to be good.

(Put it down-- you don't know where it's been.)

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Doctor Fish

Jesus H. Christ in an all-male jaccuzzi, but I am TIRED. I am a tired wee Gothling. Did I mention that I hate packing? I did? Repeatedly and at length? Good. Hope you're all really bored.

So, magick. Haven't written anything on the ol' magick for a while now.

I'm currently working on some health magick because what with evil stomach bugs and some other stuff, my health is not very healthy. I've been trying to re-jig my immune system (utilizing trance states and visualization) but that seems to have backfired; I'm still coming down with foul things and my allergies are raging out of control. Still, I will persevere. The fact that I'm seeing an effect, any effect... well, that's reason to continue, no?

What I've done is, I've adapted the visualizations to include some more specific "repair" scenes. I've constructed a mystic gunk-tank in mindspace, sort of like the bacta tank from The Empire Strikes Back only with purple goo and just generally cooler-looking. Tonight I'm going to add some luminous silvery fishy things whose job it will be to swim around in the purple goo and nibble away at any negative stuff, physical or otherwise, that might be messing with my health. (I got the idea from "doctor fish".) If this pattern works well, I'll improve on it so that I can be all like a superhero and stuff.

Oh, and I've decided to spend next week EVIL. (Strictly for research purposes, you understand.) Unless I get bored.
emergency.PARADIGM has some excellent photos by Dinnie Corvidae. They are B&W images of graffiti from New York. Check'em out!
Oh, please. Look, I know everyone wants to get a "haunted" item on Ebay these days but this is just silly: wanna buy a haunted crap paperback edition of Atlas Shrugged?

(From Cruel Site of The Day)
Real-Time Testing of Internet Filtering in China

I'm obviously not trying hard enough.

(Via just about everybody, really.)

The beginning of the end...

Just saw off the Bearded One, plus a huge suitcase, rucksack and laptop. I miss the little pervert already *sniffle*. He's going to our new flat in Cork, I'm staying here to pack, sulk, eat too much junk food, and recover from various farewell bashes. I shall be joining him in a couple of weeks if all goes to plan.

I haven't been doing much writing lately, not even posting here or on the messageboards that I haunt in my various guises. I have got to pull myself together and finish something new this week. S'just, at the moment, nothing's really pushing the old writey buttons. I don't have any short story ideas at present and my novel is well and truly stalled; here's hoping that moving will unstick something.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Obligatory random whinge

Oh, bloody hell-- just realised I haven't updated since Friday. Aughhh.

Okay. Life in boxes. Floor covered in crud and old copies of New Scientist. Many things I would rather not have to chuck out/leave behind will have to be chucked out/left behind. Hate moving. Gah.

Hugs to all those who made the big farewell bash last Sat., and to Luke who phoned in at 4:00 am Oz time and wished us happy trails. (Missed ya, dude. The sooner we get that website up and running, the better.) For those who couldn't be there: fret ye not, seperate arrangements will be made soon.

The bathroom ceiling is still in a state of romantic ruin. There are now even more holes in it, thanks to the surveyors. Stringy tendrils of fungus wave languidly in the draughts between the joists, and little showers of rust-coloured spores and perished plaster rattle down onto the heads of unwary bathers. I have visions of the whole building imploding a la Poltergiest just as the removal van pulls away from the curb.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Gaze upon the glory that is A Tribute to Ray Harryhausen! It-- it-- it's... wonderous!

(Snaffled fromLuke.)
The plot thickens...

Y'know I'm moving to Ireland, right? Well, a couple of days ago the folks up at Barcelona phoned up the Bearded One to offer him a job out there. So now we're going to be in Cork 'till April, then we're gonna do BARCAAAA!

I'm a bit nervous, for various reasons. Chief amongst these is that I don't speak Catalan, or even Spanish-- or any other languages, really, apart from this one. You've all heard the joke:

"What d'you call someone who speaks three languages?"
"What d'you call someone who speaks two languages?"
"What d'you call someone who speaks one language?"

I am that joke. I've no excuse, either; I do pick languages up fast, but I drop them again even quicker if I don't practice.

The recent paucity of updates is due largely to the mad packing and chucking frenzy currently eating up my life. I'm trying to condense a whole flatload of stuff into something that'll fit in the back of a garage. It's not easy. I'm going to really miss my books; I plan to offload or store everything except a few novels and some of my electronics textbooks. I shan't be able to buy any new ones for months, which is going to be a bit Arrrgh. Oh, well. If I want something to occupy me I'll just have to get writing, and hard.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Orange Monkey and pals frighten me. (B3ta.)
The Barbelith Underground is open for new members.

Actually, it's been open for new members for a while now, but I didn't tell you lot before because you're not cool enough to join. And anyway, secrets make me feel all warm in special places.

While I'm at it...

Decided to change the title to the non-mangled version of the Watchmen quote. Bit nastier, but I stopped short of all the stuff about burst stomachs.
New email addy!

Right, since hotmail won't cough up my password and I'm sick of their lousy non-functioning spam filters anyway, I will henceforth be using the far more appropriate Make a note.