Friday, July 30, 2004

"Isn't she loooovely..."

Been doing a spot of work on Ms. Psycho Beauty Queen. At the risk of lapsing into toxic perfectionism, I decided that her outfit (whilst perfectly splendid in its own way) was more "Housewife Goes Mental" than "Psycho Beauty Queen." So I got her a new dress, and did a little grooming too.



What's that, Ms. Psycho Beauty Queen? You like your new dress? I'm so pleased. You look so pretty too. Will you stop haunting my nightmares now? You will? No more getting up and trying to gouge my eyeballs out with your comb? Thank you, Ms. Psycho Beauty Queen! Oh, thank you! Thank you! Of course I'll buy you some new shoes! Anything!
I see dead camera straps... flapping around like regular camera straps.

I also see daft bidders... walking aroundlike regular bidders... they don't know they're daft...

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Reeling, writhing and fainting in coils.

Today I bit the bullet and bought my first textbook for my course.  Woo.  The full reading list would set me back about €200, so I'm having to be a bit selective.  They don't tell you that you have to buy all, or indeed any, of the books, just that you'll get more out of the course if you buy some of them.

This has been good for my head.  Ever since I signed up I've had way more oomph than recently.  I'm the sort of person that deals pretty well with unemployment, but after more than a year of it I think anyone would flag a little.  This was just what I needed.  Now I have some hope that I might one day get out of the kind of shitty employment I've been stuck in (or no employment, ha ha.)

On the theremin front:  The ultra-simple kiddie science fair circuit is sort of working (most of the time) so I guess I'll start refining it soon.  Still looking for cheap kits.

On the doll front:  Dug out the Beauty Queen and did some more work on her.  Repainted her eyes, which previously I'd just scraped off and filled in with red paint.  Now I've given her a squint and a sneer.  Got round the severed arm falling out of the handbag problem by making some dolly-size barbed wire out of bell-wire and wrapping it round the bag over the invisible string that ties it shut.  She looks a bit better now.  If I made her a case or something to sit in I think she might fetch more.

I'm also working on another fake Barbie doll, nothing special, just replaced its head with an epoxy model.  Sort of horse/lizard face thing.  Mixed up too much Milliput like always, so I made her a sort of grub critter to live in her handbag.  Infant or pet?  Whatever. 
The art shop had a special on papier-mache puppet-heads so I got a couple to paint.  Finished one, a sort of horrible deformed dog who I put in Goth makeup.  Now I'm looking for a suitable body.  Ideally this would be from an existing toy, something some kid has chewed up and chucked out.

Pix as I get to 'em.

I just like to say "Harpoon guns."

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I'm on a roooll... this time...

I'm evil. But I'm happy.

Juicy Sweeeeeeet!

(In which Lurid is mocked unmercifully.)

So a few days ago me, Lurid Archive and our friend A. were in this restauraunt in Barceloneta*, see? It's my favourite eatery for a numbert of reasons. One, it has really awesome food at about half what you'd pay on the main tourist drag round the corner: tasty, perfectly cooked and lots of it. Two, it is one of the grooviest-looking places in town, being done out with footie pix, images of tiny fluffy kittens, a fishing net on the ceiling with little witch dollies hung off it, a huge red meat-locker of WINE ect. Three: the orujo there is fabulous.

So anyway, there we all were. The menĂº that day consisted of various starters followed by the main attraction: choice of paella or arroz negro. (Arroz negro, my children, is rice cooked with nummy bits of dead seabeast and cuttlefish ink, hence the being black. In the touristy restauraunts they also add shedloads of food dye, so it looks more like it was cooked in engine oil. )

I am now back on the seabeast, but I plumped for a salad and a selection of tapas. Lurid and A. go for a menĂº with a huge heap of mussles to kick off and the black rice for a main.

This, as I have said, was not a touristy restaurauraunt. The Arroz arrives, and it looks so very good I almost** regret my salad'n'tapas. Unlike most places, which rely on the exoticism of the whole "Look! BLACK FOOD!" thing to carry the day, they had not stinted on the bits of actual fish. The whole was more sepia than actually black.

All of which threw Lurid, who called the chef back to check that this was the arroz negro and not the paella.

I don't think I've ever heard a chef growl before.

My Castilliano isn't good enough to properly render the stream of ire that followed, but here's the gist: "What? What? Of course it's the arroz negro! What's wrong with it? I cooked it myself! My arroz negro is the best! It's the best in Barcelona!" He shouted some things about cuttlefish ink, then he stormed off into the kitchen for a breather.

During the lull I explained to Lurid about the food dye and the abscence thereof and A. giggled. Then the chef re-emerged with his dudgeon unabated. By this time he'd abandoned reason in favour of English. "Black, black, what is black? It's a stupid colour! A colour for tourists who don't know better!"

Lurid by this time was practically prostrating himself in apology, but the chef was having none of it. He continued to tear strips off Lurid for awhile, then rounded on the table behind us. "What about you, eh?" he demanded of the terrified and boggling diners. "Is your food all right? Any complaints?"

They squeaked their approval of the food. Unmollified, the chef stalked round the room, glowering and snarling (and when I say snarling, I mean it literally; he was making a noise which can best be rendered as "SNHGGGRRRRRR!"). Then he put the football on, with much noisemaking to the effect that if the patrons didn't like it we could lump it.

I didn't stop giggling till well into desert. I have to say that my tarta Santiago was just a smidgen on the dry side, but was I going to complain?

Best. Seafood restauraunt. Ever.

*Barceloneta: former fishing village, now part of Barcelona proper, where you go for to eat tasty fishes.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Ice Cream.

Last night I went to Gracia with Lurid and our friend A., who is visiting. Ate far too much Lebanese food, then had ice-cream from this little place on the Placa Sol. They do the very best ice-cream ever, especially the dark chocolate. I usually have that and one other flavour, like mint or tiramisu. It's wicked stuff.

After that, we all piled into the Verdi and watched the new David Mamet film, Spartan. Very good but sad. Then brewskis, then nightbus. Got home around 3.

Couple of things to do today. I've got to pick up supplies for my course, lined pads and white-board markers and so on, but I also want to get doll-vandalising supplies. Last night I dreamed I was in this fantastic art shop with loads of amazing stuff, really cheap. I was super-pissed when I woke up. Man, I hate dreams like that. I get them all the time these days.

I've updated my other blogs, including an entry in my fiction Lj. Now stop nagging me.

Thursday, July 22, 2004


I got on the course after all. I start in a couple of weeks.

One of my sex robot stories got rejected again. Dammit, why don't people want to read about headless amputee sex robots? What's wrong with them? I hate it when those get rejected. I feel all embarassed, even when the same publication has poems about fisting and stuff.

Had an idea a couple of days ago: being eaten by your furniture porn. There must be people who want to read about that, surely.

Anyhow I'm bored now and I'm going swimming.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Argh shit.

Y'know I was worried about various people back in the UK? Turns out I was right to worry. One of the people I was concerned about has suffered a major health disaster that could put hir in a wheelchair. I'm horrified and, as usual, completely bloody unable to help.

So I'm still--still!--not sure if I'm going to be doing my course next month. Lurid is getting an extra 6 months from his boss here so that's all sorted, but there's still the money. We need a bank loan, and there's no guarantee that it will go through before my place is given to someone else. Meh. It's cool, really, because I know this is just a postponement, but I can't say I'm huuuugely thrilled at the thought of another couple of months' fruitless jobhunting.

The Kelly in town is doing free telemarketing courses. I'm going for it. Fucking hate telemarketing but I haven't worked in a year and a half, and am beginning to fear I may never work again. "Stressful" doesn't cover it. "Adrenal glands being squeezed like the udders of a small and highly strung cow and their contents left to sour in my viens until I sweat anxiety" might be nearer the mark.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

War Crimes

You can read a transcription of Seymour Hersh's ACLU Keynote Speech here. 
The only way to look at this is as war crimes. What happened are war crimes. I’m not saying it’s there yet. It’s not there yet. But that’s where it has to go. We have to stop looking at it as some sort of academic debate about Geneva Conventions and really begin to look at it in terms of: Who did what? Who died? Why did he die? Are there people missing? Are we doing what the Brazilians and Argentineans did back two or three decades ago and actually into this decade? Are we disappearing people? Are there people being tortured knowingly in advance that the torture was going to put their lives in peril and is nothing being done to relieve their suffering to the point that they die?...
...What they did at Abu Ghraib and other places was, the people they would get, they would torture... And the purpose of it, of course, is to generate information. So what do you get? You get people that know nothing... So you take these people, you expose them to the ridicule and physical torture that you can, and they end up telling you. Yes, they'll give you the names of people in their neighborhood that are al Qaeda, or terrorists, insurgency, and they give you names. And of course they're just names, they're just doing it, and then you arrest those people, and bring them in, and you start the process. And the circle gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger....
...Some of the worst things that happened that you don’t know about. OK? Videos. There are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men... saying please come and kill me because of what’s happened. And basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children, in cases that have been [video] recorded, the boys were sodomized, with the cameras rolling, and the worst above all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking. That your government has, and they’re in total terror it’s going to come out.

I find myself with nothing to say.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Well, that passed.

Sort of pulling out of it yesterday, I did some packing/cleaning, then went to see Spiderman 2. Lots of fun. "Oh, look, I'll just start up this massive fusion reaction in the middle of a big empty place with no secruity or containment around me whilst this minute and seriously fragile-looking chip prevents my huge independantly intelligent robot arms from taking over my brain. What could possibly go wrong?"

Today I am going to bother my agencies, then de-gut an old radio alarm for parts. I've been looking at theremin sites and pictures of undead dollies, and I'm feeling inspired.

Chew on this.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


You would never belive how fucking ill I am right now.

Monday, July 12, 2004


...woundupandfedup and sort of bored, and a bit tired.

Don't know if I should do this course or not. I have to make a decision pretty much NOW.

Pros: Would mean better jobs in the future, paying for itself in the medium-to-long term (6 months to a year); doing it now would help me to evade the higher costs and more stringent entry requirements of a course in the UK.

Cons: Factoring in books, travel, ect, and I'm looking at about €1500, which is a lot to spend, especially if the job sitch is up in the air. Also, I should really spend the time packing, cleaning, sorting out transport/storage/sale/destruction of stuff.

Fuck it, I don't know. I'll give it another day or two and then decide.

And there's all this other stuff, offline stuff, lots of it, which I can't write about because it involves other people who aren't me and who don't deserve to have their lives cannibalised for blog-fodder, but which is eating up a large chunk of my attention and energy.

But 'twas ever thus. Just when you think you've got all the plates spinning and all the balls in the air, Fate throws you a chainsaw.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

I am morose.

It's bastarding raining. I wanted to go to Sitges. Why does it always rain when I want to go to Sitges? Not only that, but the pool is shut. Look, it's still hot. So what if it's raining? It's a pool. People are already wet.


More theremin links I want to keep handy...

RS Theremin
EPA article

Ought to sidebar this stuff really.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

The Fear.

I slept poorly last night. I had the Fear over for a slumber party. Stupid Fear. All friendly and nice when you're sitting up eating pizza in your jammies and laughing at Real True Ouija Stories on the web, and then as soon as the lights go out, HORRIBLOSITY.

"You are not properly Of Magicks," says the Fear.

"Yes I am," I respond. "Shut up, the Fear, or I shall not let you have any of the leftover pizza."

"You do not do Proper Magicks," insists the Fear. "You do not have a big hat or a cloak; also, you do not have £1050-worth of Grimoires you bought on eBay. How can you be Of Magicks when you possess naught but a bunch of PDFs? Also, you have no wand anymore. You need a big wand, but it must be made of gold and some jewels and you must bleed on the gold and jewels."

"I said shut up, the Fear, or I shall put anchovies in your shoes! I have a wand."

"Nuh-uh. It smashed the last time you tried to use it."

"Oh yeah." That's the last time I make a wand out of melty plastic picnic forks. "But I am still Of Magicks."

There is silence for a while. I start to think that the Fear has gone to sleep.

"Hey, Mordant."

"What now?"

"You are not Of Magicks--you are too LINEAR. If you were properly Of Magicks you would own a plushy Cthluhu and you would make plushy Cthluhu his own Livejournal. And you would have lots of entries here that said lAAAAYEEEiamFLYYYYYIIINGGGGG!!!1! and would talk about smoking dope a very lot."

I get up and put jalapenos in the Fear's pants.

Friday, July 09, 2004


The heck with today. Screw today right in the spleen. Dunno if I caught too much sun yesterday or what, but I could hardly get out of bed today. Felt slightly better after a nap and half a mug of espresso, but got nothing much done except a little writing and a tarot spread. I'd better be okay by tomorrow. I want to go to the Al Campo for ant traps and red ginseng absinthe.

One of the cool things about being Of Magicks is that when your body decides to go on the blink, it's easier for you to go somewhere else than it is for you poor pitiful Mundanes. I spent some of the time in a light trance, jogging through pleasant scenery or mayhap practicing my front crawl. It's important to at least do pretend imaginary excercise when you're out of action--keeps your muscles in the mood for the real thing. I'm going to go and lift some pretend weights for a bit.

Anyhow. I have a question: I found this fake food. What is it for? Why would one want to spend fifty-five bucks on a pretend vodka tonic? Please explain.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Late again.

Had the interview. Did my usual thing of leaving the house just a shade too late and missing the train, but I managed to make it a whisker ahead of my appointed time. (Note to self: STOP DOING THAT! No, another cup of tea is not of such paramount importance that time stands still. No, the train is not going to magically get in 15 minutes ahead of schedual. If you leave late you will be late. Foolish human female.)

Interview went well. Did not drool, mumble, or scream "STOP TOUCHING MEEE!" when required to shake hands. Maintained Normal Person facade for full 15 mins, a personal best. Of course this is all irrelevent because I can't take up the place. Bah, sulkies. Still, at least I know I could get on a CELTA if I wanted to, which is a boost.

Also in the Land of w00t!, I find there is a theremin dealer right here in Barcelona. Will swing by and see if they have any books or anything. Maybe they will even have kits! Am a happy Mordant.

Edit: No, they didn't have kits or how-to books or anything. However, the guy I spoke to was really cool and gave me his card, told me he knows this other guy who's a top theremin player ect. And I might still be on for the TEFL but I have to wait till next week, when I may know more about the future. So my net amount of happiness remains unchanged.

The electronics shop was shut, so I didn't get my breadboard or my inductors. Meh.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


Well, today was sort of crap. I mean, not completely, because in the morning I went and picked up our Amazon delivery from the post office, Thomas Covenant (Lurid's) and the first of David Gemmell's John Shannow books. But after that it was all downhill. My euphemism was giving me cramps, and nothing I took seemed to do more than take the edge off. This new herb tea I got the other day is supposed to have cohosh in it, but I dunno. Anyhow, I was pretty much immobilised for most of the afternoon. At least I had something to read.

I still don't have all my theremin parts. Started building the bits of the circuit that I do have the parts for, but rapidly got pissed off with old and knackered breadboards. I really ought to get a new one but I'm far too tight. I'm going into town tomorrow for my interview to get on a TEFL course, so I can buy the parts then.

I probably won't be able to take up the place on the course even if I get through the interview without calling the interviewer Belinda. Things are looking a bit shaky at the moment; not mega-shaky, but this isn't a good time to be spending a lot of money. No biggie. I'll still do the course eventually, I just don't know when.

On the plus side, it was very nice out and the hibiscuses are looking particularly smashing. I like hibiscuses.
Humping unicorns tee

*immature titter*

(Via BoingBoing)

Monday, July 05, 2004

Note to self...

Stop being such a sullen uncommunicative bastard before you alienate your half-dozen remaining friends. Snap out of it, woman.


Well, it's been pissing down on and off all day, so I blew off the trip to the shops till tomorrow. Made a start on the packing instead. Once I'd started, it was easy, almost comforting; I felt sad to be preparing to leave a place where I've been very happy and had hoped to stay, but at the same time very positive and optimistic. Here is what needs to be done at this time. Here I am, doing it. I'll do a couple more boxes and then start sticking epoxy tentacles on Fake Barbie's face.

I'll write about Marseilles in a couple of days. Not quite in the right headspace at the mo. However, a couple of notes: Whilst there I came upon a few playing cards in the streets, first the Ace of Spades, then the Queen of Diamonds. These I kept for future use. I also found the Seven of Spades, but it was too soggy to do anything with so I left it. Also I picked up a shard of blue glass. I was sitting outside a bar with Lurid, when a gust of wind blew a menu off a table, taking a blue glass ashtray with it. The ashtray shattered and I was very tempted to pick up one of the pieces, because I love blue glass. I decided not to because they were very sharp and taking one of them might look odd. A little later, there was an almighty CRASH! from behind me. I jumped out of my skin, but it was only one of the big sunshades. It had blown over, taking down another ashtray of the same colour. I took the hint, and saved a triangle of the glass. Lord knows what would have gone over next if I hadn't. I mean to incorporate it in some jewellery once I sort out the sharp edges.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

The hostage-to-fortunizing To Do list

(For Monday, July the 5th.)

1) Do some more packing/cleaning/sorting out. Mop revolting floor.
2) Go into town and get componants for theremin prototype, LEDs for torch hack, ect.
3) Make squid-head for Barbie knock-off.
4) Not less than one hour grammar revision; two would be better.

There's other stuff, but those are the biggies.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Hi honey, I'm home

Well, looky here--trawling through some old bookmarks, I've just found this. And my new Lj icons for the next ever.

(Page pretty much worksafe, but may cause wigginsization in suceptible individuals.)