* * *

Oct. 26th, 2011 06:55 am
taelle: (diary)
Apparently my characters are going to have a row. Good for them; not sure whether it's good for me, and whether I will manage to finish this story. I'm surely going to try, though.

Anyway, even though I am up at a not-sensible time, I've been mostly sensible, and finished work fairly early, and did some cross-stitching while listening to the Victorian lectures. The end of that corner of sky is in sight; and I have only one lecture left - I probably will try listening to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone next, since I'm in such a rereading mood. As for lectures, I'm still rather blah about them - I did need some blank places filled in my knowledge of Victorian England, but I feel like this particular lecture course is a bit too popular, and rehashing a bit too many popular myths. I'll have to find something more serious (also, I want a biography of Gladstone. He's interesting)

In other news, I finally solved the problem of making screencaps, which led to my rewatching random bits of Dream Trail concert and taking caps. I was sort-of-sensible and haven't started to rewatch it all. I love Dream Trail: both pretty and joyful. I am in the need of joy.

* * *

Oct. 10th, 2011 03:36 am
taelle: (diary)
So, an impromptu holiday was a good idea: I swear I did more today than on Friday, and in less time. Self, when will you learn?

And the autumn is truly golden and beautiful - and I took photos of some pretty cabbage-type things on a street flowerbed; they're unexpected but look good. Now I hope I'll find time to deal with photos - I think the mushroom-picking ones are still in my camera. Of course I might be delaying the process because I am still afraid of Photoshop (I can distinguish bad photos in need of work - now, choosing the processes for making them good is more complicated).

I think I'm pausing on Tolstoy because I was reading him too thoughtfully and got tired or frightened that I can't keep up with myself. I do tend to do that - one of the reasons I work myself into a writing block. BTW, haven't written today - but started planning and thinking about untangling that half-written LBB story. Like, almost literally untangling. Go me. Though some training-writing still needs to be happening.

Meanwhile I am reading about George Eliot - and also listening to Patrick Allitt's lectures on Victorian Britain. Fascinating, even though the lectures are a bit too surface stuff in places - then again, my knowledge on Victorian Britain is too unsystematic. But it's such an interesting time in terms of social change. Seeing the seeds of the present in the past (though the history of medicine keeps being scary despite being interesting). And with George Eliot bio I love most of all seeing the network of people working at intellectual pursuit, overlapping circles of friends and acquaintances involved in literature and science and stuff (that's why I also like Camden and the rest of the antiquarian gang - that sense of interconnectedness).

And in the kitchen my mother keeps watching Columbo. I come and go and see bits of it and it creates a curious impression of the continuing world in which Columbo moves with that simplicity of his, both artificial and real, but even his artifice looks more real than everyone else.

Artsy me

Oct. 3rd, 2011 03:41 am
taelle: (tea)
Today I have been listening to music.

I don't do it that often, actually. I did listen to music a lot as a teenager. And in my twenties I even slept with my radio turned on, music 24 hours a day except for news (I started doing less of it once I started dreaming of Bill Clinton et al. Nowadays I most often listen to music as I walk, and that's mostly 'walking' music, one with a pleasing rhythm. Well, and there's also musicals, but I sort of treat them separately, more as theatre perhaps.

Nevertheless, I've been listening to Brian Crain - I saw a video on YouTube and thought I had to have more of that. Nothing special, perhaps - new-agey piano music, but he has an album called A Change of Seasons and apparently it was just what I needed at this time of the year and life.


Also, I went back to listening to Patrick Allitt's lectures on Victorian Britain, and today I listened to the ones about arts and science (I spent a lot of time in public transport today). And I kept thinking how fandom-type people tend to like pre-raphaelites a lot - and I don't. Then I thought that I don't really know them well enough to dislike them (there was a quote by, I keep thinking, C.S. Lewis that I can't find any more, which went something like 'You can (say you) like classics without knowing much about them, but if you say you dislike them, you need to have good arguments for that'). And I don't really dislike them - I just... am not particularly fond of them. At this stage I like other things more - like really-realistic scenes capturing moments of life. I started liking portraits a lot - I didn't use to like them... Ah, uneducated me. The more I read (or listen to), the more I realize how much I don't know.

About my plan for writing in October - I did write today! About 300 words at best, I think (I was writing by hand), and it's a perfectly useless ficlet, but I need practice, and I need to fall back into the habit of writing. So - go me (and the tag to remind myself of it. I think I need some more/other writing tags, but I'll have to think about it some more).

* * *

Sep. 22nd, 2011 11:16 am
taelle: (Default)
I think the most interesting thing for me in this George Eliot bio is, well, the social details. Just what opportunities women had, what happened to marriages, what were the consequences of living with a man without marrying him and so on. I just hope this bio is accurate - it looks to be pretty definitive.

I wonder if I should try Middlemarch again. "Family" novels for some reason get me nervous and on edge as much as thrillers do - maybe more; there is so much more potential for nasty stuff happening. (and I alway knew my tastes in reading matters were pretty philistine - I like mysteries and biographies because they are sort of orderly and ordered).

* * *

Sep. 12th, 2011 03:32 am
taelle: (Default)
Cough, I still have it. Running nose, I still have it. I did some thinking (hard stuff, when your head is woolly) and called off my tomorrow massage session. Which is a pity.

So, I spent today in bed, reading, or at my desk being stupid online. Online is a great place to be stupid, except that it's more fun when there are people to be stupid with. There were, but not all the time. I also read someone's blog back to the very beginning. I do that sometimes (and then feel weird thinking that the person noticed and now expects me to subscribe).

Also, had some mustard plasters. (I really hate it when you're ill and everybody starts examining you: "Are you doing this and that? Are you taking your medicines?", and if they're family members, they're almost bound to tell you that if you're still ill, you're not doing enough, not working enough on treating your illness). Mustard places, though, they're good. Now, pity no one invented brain plaster: I suddenly have to do some work tonight. Not hard work. But it's hard to concentrate. (I think I've been losing my ability to concentrate lately anyway. Is it age? Or just general feeble-mindedness?)

I haven't watched anything, and haven't cross-stitched anything (what with the coughing and the sniffling, it feels kind of anti-sanitary), but I did do a useful thing today: solved my Kindle problem. A while ago my Kindle for PC decided it was unable to actually download the archived/bought books. I wrote to Kindle support twice, and they couldn't help me and wanted me to call them so that they could work with this real-time. I did not want to. I mean, why the insistence on phoning? Do people with bad hearing not deserve technical support? They could have a chat or something. I don't exactly have bad hearing, but I don't always hear everything on the phone, and to do it across the world and in a language not mine... No, thanks. Anyway, today I managed to find a way to read the books in my browser. Good enough for now, and I'll see later what I can do with Kindle itself.

I was reading 'Harry Potter and history', and made a pause because of Kindle problem, but a discussion about Hogwarts education in that blog I was reading backwards reminded me of it. Even though I'm still on the first part of that book, and all this stuff about magic in our world's history and the use of languages in spells is... either it's general knowledge or I just know it. I can't always tell. (I've been also listening to a lecture course on Victorian Britain, and it's geared towards US students, I guess, and it's really weird in terms of background knowledge - the professor makes a detour to explain the 16th century church stuff - all these basic things with Henry VIII's divorce, dissolution of monasteries etc. Really weird: I mean, doesn't a person taking a course on Victorian Britain, which doesn't seem to be school level, already know all this?)

I'm tired of being ill. One of my favourite seasons is outside, waiting for me.

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