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.