Saturday, August 31, 2002

The Deluge Device has slowed down a little, but he's still at it.

Go Ja-son! Go Ja-son! Go Ja-son!


Bugger that. That last post was super-weak. I blame the cocktail of 'flu remedies.

I will let it stand, but I am not quitting. Even if you are all against me. I don't care. You can all bite me, coz I'm staying here.

And I'm staying hateful.

No proper updates over the last few days. The bug I came down with on Tuesday turned out to be a bit more serious than I thought. I went into work on Wednesday, which was really clever, because the next day I was even worse. I'm starting to pull out of it now. (I hope.)

What all this means, of course, is that I'm only going to get a single day's pay for the whole of last week: about thirty-five quid. Yippee skip.

I'm sick of this. I'm really sick of this. I'm sick of the fact that after I've worked and fought to make something of myself I'm still here, in this lousy job, in this lousy life. I'm sick of being stuck here and watching the bastards that sail past me with all the rewards, everything I've never had, everything I'll never get.

I mean, there has to be a reason I'm still in this mess, right? You have a little talent, you work hard, you make it. Or you get something, anything. So it must be me. It must be. I'm not good enough, or persistant enough, or whatever.

I finished another story a couple of nights back. I've been trying to get enough enthusiasm together to send it off and I can't. I just don't care anymore. I mean, what was I thinking? People like me, we don't make it. Nobody's interested in what a half-bright chick with a demi-education and a comedy medical condition has to say.

Friday, August 30, 2002

Arm Wrestling Freud

Does what it says on the tin.

(From B3TA)

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Go here! The Deluge Device is a blog owned by Jason Louv. Saith he, on the Barbelith Underground:

I've been going into hyper blog-mode, posting every couple of hours with masses of spontaneously generated theory and commentary, trying to arrive at some kind of Statement of My Generation.

Go check it out, and check it out, and check it out again! My aim is to do the digital version of Harlan Ellison writing a story in a shop window and continually sticking typewritten pages up on the glass.

Stream-of-conciousness rocks.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Potential babies.

My friend R. had a miscarriage awhile back. She told me something about it. I asked if I could tell you guys. She said yes.

R. was in the third month of her pregnancy when an ultrasound scan revealed that the fetus was dead. It was about two months old, meaning that she had been carrying a dead baby inside her for a month.

Like a lot of pregnancies it was unplanned, but not unwanted. R is in a relationship and her circumstances are such that a baby would cause radical upheaval, but not disaster. She adjusted to the idea and announced her pregnancy, the news being greeted with approval and enthusiasm by her family and peers. She described to me a sense of having attained something important in the eyes of society, of having passed through a vital rite of passage. She was to become A Mother.

When she miscarried, the support somehow dried up.

Miscarriage is so common that the medical profession generally doesn't investigate the cause until the woman has lost her third baby. The most conservative estimates have about one in every five Western women miscarrying at some point in their reproductive lives, whilst others suggest that one in four might be nearer the mark. Superficially the figures suggest a rise in recent years, but any number of factors might affect the number of reported miscarriages, most notably the increased availability and accuracy of pregnancy testing.

Some miscarriages are heralded by bleeding or other symptoms, while some occur so early in the pregnacy that they might be mistaken for a heavy period. The fetus may have been dead for a considerable amount of time. Sometimes there's a discernable cause, but mostly there isn't; the embryo may not be viable, or it might not have implanted properly in the womb lining. It's complicated, and there is more myth floating around than there is truth. Society at present tends to blame the woman: there's an assumption that she must have dome something wrong. There seems to be an ever-expanding list of things that an expectant mother can do wrong.

The experience can be devastating, whatever the mother's age, however many children she already has. For R., the whole thing was compounded by the lack of empathy shown by many of the people who she turned to for emotional support. The way she tells it, she saw the miscarriage as a lost child but her friends saw it as a non-event. What was she grieving for, exactly?

I think this is partly down to the fact that a lot of women from R.'s generation (which is also mine) take a strangely black-and-white view of pregnancy. If we're okay with the concept of a woman aborting a three-month fetus, why should we respond to a miscarriage occuring at a similar stage in pregnancy as the loss of a baby?

Intent, my friends. It's all about intent. R. intended that her pregnancy should go to term. She intended to have a baby, to become a mother, that her potential baby should become actual.

We live in an age where a lot of absolutes, a lot of distinctions, are disappearing. Uncertainty and moral confusion are the order of the day, and nowhere do we see this more clearly than in the matter of pregnancy. Technology has advanced to the point where one can abort a fetus almost as old as the youngest viable premature baby. We have to stop looking to the external for all our definitions, and start to create our own. We have to realise that we can support a woman who ends her pregnancy by choice, and yet still have a place for the grief felt by R.

Saturday, August 24, 2002

Back on form.

Been a bit shaky recently, but I had a great time last night writing a little yarn on the laptop; one of those times when you're in the zone and everything just falls into place. I hope to finish it today or tomorrow, and then punt it out this coming week. So, yeah. Good. And my breathing/throat problems seem to be lifting, so I will be able to start singing again. w00t! Time to dig out the 4-track!

Also I've decided to become a superhero. I'm going to develop psionic powers and do cool stuff with 'em.

What Was Your PastLife?

A NUN?! Was I bollocks.

I'm going to the TG tonight! And some of my friends are coming! And I'm going to go and buy accessories, or make accessories, or something! Yayyyy!

The theme appears to be medical. Hmmm....
From Betty Woo (currently woozilla!)'s LiveJournal

"I think the Gothic Short Bus stopped here tonight."

I have got to remember that one.

Friday, August 23, 2002

Can you see my sidebar?

Apparently some folk with Netscape 6 are having probs viewing this page. If it looks odd to you, would you be a love and email me? Ta.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Oh, yeah...

For those of you messed up in the head enough to care: my putative novel is a fantasy yarn, but with this, like, rilly rilly feminist angle, yeah? It's got this rilly rilly strong female lead. She won't let you touch her tits with your claw unless you give her a magic sword first. So there.

I just like to say "prison style".
The oncoming train

I have got to stop messing about and get some serious writing done. Partly this is due to the fact that if I don't I'm going to rupture something, but I have to confess that a lot of my current drive is down to the fact that I cannot carry on in my current existance much longer before I start wearing my knickers on my head and talking to a luminous orange pixie called Mildred.

I know, I know-- I shouldn't complain so much. It could be (and has been) a hell of a lot worse. But, dear morons, I spent seven-and-three-quarter hours today in an underventilated work space with not enough chairs, putting bloody silver pendants onto bloody plastic cards. I must have done about five thousand of those suckers. And then there's the flat; I like it here, but the place is falling down around my ears. The latest disaster is the bathroom ceiling: it's riddled with dry rot and will need to be ripped out and replaced. I mean, there is scaffolding in my bathroom that is holding up the ceiling.

This unnerves me somewhat.

Typical of these Victorian terraces-- oh, sure, they look picturesque, but the renovation is a nightmare. My landlord is a great bloke but he gets all the repairs done on the cheap, which means that nothing ever stays repaired for long. I don't know what the hell's going to happen if me and Mandy have to vacate while the work's being done. I'm just sick to death of the cheap rented places that I've lived in ever since I left home. I'm sick of the insecurity, I'm sick of the half-baked repair work, I'm sick of it all.

It's time I got myself dug in behind the keyboard to get some serious work done. I'm still tweaking a couple of articles that have, to all intents and purposes, been finished for weeks-- I just can't bear to stop fiddling with them and punt them out. That kind of thing has to stop. On the plus side, I finally bit the bullet and started work on a novel that I've been laying groundwork for over the last few months. It's going to be hard work, but potentially it is a very strong story.

Since all my other avenues have been cut off, I must get my writing career underway. I must get out of this life, or at least have some hope that I might get out of it one day. I need a to see a light at the end of this tunnel. Even an orange one called Mildred.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Blode 5: Toad Turmoil!

Blode and the toads. Rock.
Figgy Rolls.

21st Century Fig Fest

So you like figgy rolls, yes? But deep within your being you sense that there may be unexplored regions of figgyness, hitherto undreampt of combinations of pastry and fig? Wonder no more, for the good folk of have sought out new figilizations, and boldly gone where no interweb site has gone before (well, France anyway ). Figtastic!

Asda! Sainsbury's! Jacobs! Figolu! Newton! Crawfords! Figgy rolls, head to head. Who shall triumph as the most figolicious?

Saturday, August 17, 2002


FFS, Mordant, don't click on that link. You've just seen a lengthy quote from the site, and it's obviously going to more of the same homophobic, misogynistic, all-around-bigoted drooling from beginning to end.

Don't click on the link. You know the site is just going to piss you off, make your blood boil for hours afterwards. Go and look at B3TA, or something. They will have some funny kittens.

Don't click on the link.

Profitable Doctrines in God's Word.

GODDAMMIT! You clicked the link! Now you're going to be in a perfectly foul mood all day.
Oh, for God's sake.

Are you guys back again? How many times do I have to tell you: Stop reading this site. Stop it. Now. Point the mousey pointer at one of the links on the sidebar; a news resource, perhaps, or the New Scientist. For crying out loud, go anywhere-- just elevate your sights! Inform yourselves! I know, it's hard work at first: reading stuff that actually forces you to engage your brain, rather than allowing you to soak up the words without ever actually having to think too hard about what they mean, but it'll be worth it in the long run. Maybe you might actually learn something. Maybe you might just find yourself questioning some of those cherished prejudices that you clasp to your bosom like wrinkly grey goblin fetuses. Maybe you'll be inspired by new and mindbending concepts, your jaded soul refreshed by the glory and granduer of the Universe.

I notice you're still here.
BBC title sequences and theme tunes

Oh, joy! Much joy! nostalgia-a-go-go.

(Thankyou, plasticbag.)

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Godzilla v Davezilla: When Copywrite Holders Attack

(From the Barbelith Underground, via fridgemagnet, via Tony.)

Hence the temporary namechange, folks. Go now and do ye likewise.

Hey... what's that noise in the distance?
Uh, oh. Sounds like it's coming this way...
Sounds like...
Sounds like....


(Yeah, why not get the Blue Oyster Cult's lawyers on my case while I'm at it?)

ThinkGeek :: Shower Shock Caffeinated Soap

According to the blurb, this is "a gently envigorating soap" (sic). You absorb the caffine through your skin. It smells of peppermint, too.

Now you know what to buy me next Christmas, don't you?

Tuesday, August 13, 2002


Look, it's quite simple. I write this crap all the time anyway. For money, I will write more of it, only better. Then you get to put it in your paper/magazine. Then people read it.


Okay, the bad news is that I had a fit this morning and had to miss work. First time in ages that's happened. I don't think it's very significant-- I've come down with a rather nasty bug and my sleep patterns have been odd, which probably accounts for it. The good news is that I didn't lose the booking, which would have sucked.

Meant to finish polishing my housing article today, but I was too tired and out of it. I'll definately do it tomoz. Maybe google up the figures I need in the morning, make a few corrections over lunch, type the sucker up when I get home... Yeah, that sounds doable. Then I'll FINALLY have something meaty I can sling out to prospective employers.

Things have been a little dry on the story front for some reason. Well, actually I do know the reason, but I don't like fessing up to it: my creative side is suffering because I've been a bad wee chaoette, and I've been letting my magick homework pile up a bit. No psyballs for a few days, and I've been neglecting my dream diary. This must and shall be rectified.

I plan to start configuring a new sub-personality soon, a sort of hero figure. I'll be needing it over the next few months.
"Yes, we need a 'regime change' in this rogue state..."

(Via Plasticbag.)

Monday, August 12, 2002

Tales of the Plush Cthulhu

(Spirited away in the loathsome light of a gibbous moon from the blasphemous depths ofYou May Like This.)
Weblogger In "Having a Social Life" Shock

Had a fairly hectic weekend-- pubbing and clubbing on Fri. with a Mandy and a few of my mukkers, then boozing on Sun. at fridgemagnet's farewell bash, bitchiekittie having lured him Stateside with her feminine wiles. I wish them both well. (No, I'm not going soft-- I still hate you.)

I'd recovered enough to start my new temp booking today. I spent the entire day putting earrings in ickle pickle plakky bags, then put stickers on the front. All day. Earrings. Bags. Stickers. 9 to 5:30.

Still ain't got that regular column; an oversight, I'm sure, which will be rectified in due course. The Grauniad people must have been too busy scoring to contact me.

To those of you who've emailed me with tip-offs about writing gigs: Thanks. 'Preciated.

Everyone else: Gizza job?

Saturday, August 10, 2002

New weebl and bob thingy! w00t!

(Apparently the chap that does these has been hired to make animations for MTV, which is jolly nice.)
From B3ta: Little dogs in kimonos.

I fear them.

Friday, August 09, 2002


*****Major gross-out ahead.****** *****Major gross-out ahead.****** *****Major gross-out ahead.******

EURRRRRGHHHH! Jesus H. Christ in an all-male jaccuzi, what a revolting morning I've had. I got booked in to work a morning shift cleaning up at that bail hostel, right? And everything was going pretty smoothly, until I got to the bathrooms on the third floor.

Basically: Somebody had a bit of a dicky tummy last night and kind of Jackson Pollocked one of the loos. Then they... then they nothing.

They just left it.

To dry.

Into concrete.

I mean, I'm starting a nice clean packing job on Monday; somehow that made it worse.You know in actiony-military type films there's always this bit where the crack team of marines is mired deep in enemy territory, with aliens or robots or foriegn johnnies encroaching on all sides? And one bloke always goes off into one about how close he is to the end of his tour of duty? It was sort of like that. I'm standing there clutching a bog-brush in my rubber-gloved hands and sobbing: "Fourteen days and a wakeup, man! Fourteen days and a wakeup!"

It took me about a quarter of an hour and half a litre of Mr. Shifter to get rid of it. I'm going to start a campaign for cleaners to be issued with flamethrowers, or possibly tactical nukes.

Look, before you start: I know that there are worse jobs in Britain, okay? There are grosser jobs, there are more dangerous jobs, there are jobs that are more poorly paid. I acknowledge this. I plan to offset my whining soon by writing a post or two on the topic of Jobs That Suck Worse Than Mine.

But I still say I'm not getting paid enough to scrape diahrroea pebbledash off of toilets.
Metal Song Title Generator

(From Barbelith.)

Thursday, August 08, 2002

"As a dog returneth..."

I'm starting a new booking on Monday. An... ongoing booking. For me, an Ongoing Booking is like the Holy Grail. I call them permatemp jobs: technically temporary, but the boss is likely to need you for the foreseeable future and can't be bothered to recruit someone new. The cherry on the cake is that I know the client, a small but thriving jewellery importer in need of packers. I spent most of last summer with them and they're pretty cool. My agency told me that they asked for me by name, would you believe.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: Here's a company that wants somebody to stuff toerings in boxes all day, a job which has no requirements beyond a pair of opposable thumbs, and yet they ask for a specific person? If you're thinking that, then you'd suck at doing this job. First off: they need someone who won't assume that "boring" is the same as "unimportant." Second off: They need someone who understands that if you're on a production line, 9:00 am means 9:00 am and not any old time before lunch. Third off: they need someone who isn't stupid enough to try and half-inch the product.

I mean. Seriously.

Here's a simple maths quiz: you're packing cheap little mass-produced silver earring sets that cost about 3p a pair wholesale. You get paid £5 an hour. Given that you will be dismissed without references and very probably arrested if you try to nick anything, how is it ever going to be worth trying to smuggle a couple of earrings past the guy with the metal-detector? Choose one of the following:

A) It's not worth it, stupid. Now pass me another roll of barcode stickers.
b) I don't like this job much, but I'd rather just quit and look for something else than get fired over a few penn'orth of costume jewellery.
?%!) mE Am BizZarrO woRLd rONniE bIgGS! Me aM eAT pAinT! sEll sHIny eARiNgs! BuY moRe PaInT! paINt gOooOd!

So having established that I can do this look-ma-no-brains job without screwing it up, why doesn't the client just cut out the middleman and hire me directly, on a casual basis? Why go through the agency?

Because of the introduction fee. The introduction fee is a sum of money that the client is contractually obliged to pay the agency if they hire someone who's been sent to them by that agency, within a set amount of time (usually 2-3 years). The terms vary between agencies but generally a client is looking at some multiple of the temp's hourly rate. In many cases the minimum fee starts at around £1000 (even for opposable-thumboids like moi). One agency I worked for charged £2000, minimum. This fee means that no matter how hard you work for a client, they'll probably never hire you as a permanent member of staff.

At present, I don't care-- I'm not stopping here anyway, so this deal suits me just fine. When I first moved to London it was different; like many others I wanted nothing more than a permanent job. The phrase "good chance of going perm!" is dangled in front of temps' noses all the time. It's the mechanical hare that they chase after, the inducement to put up with all manner of lousy conditions and rotten behaviour. I'm here to tell you that nine times out of eight, "good chance of going perm!" is a great big lie. Get in early, leave late, take work home, work a twelve hour day for eight hour's pay, none of that matters. If your client can find someone to do what they think you do without coughing up an extra £1000, then they'll hire that person, not you. End of story.

Understand: I'm not saying all this like it's the worst thing that could ever happen to a person. I'm just saying. That's all.

That whole "Blogging = Revolution in Personal Publishing™" thing: Why it's tosh.

Revolution, my infected toenails. How is this a revolution? What exactly is being achieved here? Sure, there's now more opportunity for people to create quality reportage, but are you reading the Weblogs of Righteousness? Are you checking the blogs that have current events, insightful comment, charm, a desire to inform or at least entertain? Are you reading about a friend or family member? No, you're hanging round the grotty pits of weblogging, rubbernecking, waiting to see what the freaks'll do next. Yes, you are. Stop interrupting and face it.

Look! Will you look at this? I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to spring one of those horribly lucid oh-god-I'm-a-tiny-fragment-of-dirt-floating-in-a-void-of-futility moments on your sorry little mind.

You are reading the online journal of an asthmatic, sporadically-employed, shaven-headed, epileptic, Goth cleaner. Picture me wheezing round a gobfull of Monster Munch, picking flakes of black nail-varnish from my manky cuticles; picture me pouring another cheap vodka and generic orange squash to wash down the allergy meds; picture me guffawing at the latest Cruel Site of the Day. And then see yourself, actually sitting in front of your VDU, reading what that person has written.

You have contrived to be sadder than a Goth. You're like, ultra-sad. You're so sad that only dogs can hear it. They're going to harness your sadness as a weapon of mass-destruction.

No, you're not being clever and ironic. No, don't try and deconstruct it. You're not fooling anyone, least of all yourself. Just sit there and let the unutterable pointless lameness of what you're doing seep into your brain until you fall, sobbing and retching, to the floor.

Fotamecus: The Movie!

(Half-inched from betty woo.)

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

All right, then.

Here! Here's your damned update, you pack of ravening jackals! I hope it chokes you.

I've spent the last few days trying (and mostly failing) to find work. Got a qualification in electronics? You've got two choices: move to Germany or pick up a mop. God help me, I actually found myself reading ads for the Army in a receptive, speculative frame of mind.

In the two weeks since my last booking finished, I have had four (4) hours' work: cleaning, in a bail hostel. And if any of you middle-class superplonk socialists plan to start telling me how there's no shame in honest labour and quoting bits of Fight Club, you'd better have spent at least a few hours of your life scrubbing junkie c**p off of bog seats or batting away the flies as you scrape four inches of green hairy take-away food out of someone else's bin.

That they have had in their room.

Next to their bed.

For weeks on end.

In the middle of summer.

It's not that I don't appreciate the comparative advantages afforded by my decadent Western background, it's just that I'd quite like a job that didn't involve the continual suppression of my gag reflex.

Anyway... the agency have found me work for Monday. I don't know what it is, I don't know how much it pays, and I'm not sure of the hours. I didn't even ask; I just took it. Whatever. I mean, who cares, right? There's only one thing I'm okay at (electronics) and there's only one thing I'm really good at (writing); and apparently you can't get paid for those. Rent's due in a couple of weeks, so pass the bog-brush.

Friday, August 02, 2002

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Still jobless.

My agency had some litter-picking work going but you needed to supply your own steel toe-capped boots. I do not own any steel toe-capped boots, nor can I afford to buy any. (My boyfriend would like to imagine that I possess steel toe-capped boots, and indeed gets quite disappointed when I tell him that I don't.)

"Aha!" you cry. "But under current legislation, your employer must provide you with any necessary proctive gear! They must render unto you a pair of steel toe-capped boots, or face the consequences!"

But I am not an employee, am I? I'm a temp. According to my contract, which is a standard document that varies little from agency to agency, I am self-employed. Therefore all protective kit is my problem, not the client's. Oh, the joys of a flexible labour market!

DIRK, meanwhile, is a sort of auto-po-playing device, which I found on Interconnected. It explores the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, and is strangely soothing.