* * *

Jun. 13th, 2012 01:50 am
taelle: (Default)
Today: so not my day.
From losing twenty minutes because I realized I forgot my wallet and had to go back to feeling vaguely achy and sniffly because of an extremely wet-almost-rainy day, to being unable to open LJ (I blame Putin). Also, started to read Jeremy Paxton's "The English" which my father gave me, and it feels vaguely annoying, but not quite enough to throw it away - but I still can't put my finger on the reason for annoyance.

Don't want to move. Want to spend tomorrow in bed with a bucket of tea and an engrossing book.

* * *

Feb. 29th, 2012 01:59 am
taelle: (Default)
I have just two questions for the universe:

1) why is it that you hold on just fine while working, but as soon as you have a day off, headaches, colds, upset stomach, you name it, it's here?

2) why are shoes with a 3-5 cm heel so hard to find? (I have such an inconvenient style, apparently - I don't want Doc Martens or whatchamacallit, but I don't want stiletto heels, lacquer and sharp toes either)

* * *

Feb. 24th, 2012 02:34 am
taelle: (Rylance Prospero)
I am trying to work, and for relaxation (my mother's favourite idea: "Tired of working? Go iron some linens" etc.) I am reorganizing my English history shelf. It is a big shelf for two rows of books, but I am out of space anyway, and I don't have spare shelves. And I wish I had a separate Shakespeare shelf - I don't have that much, yes, but... I don't have much YET. So I am weeding out not-so-necessary stuff in order to put it away (xeroxed stuff, for example! I used to xerox tons of stuff from British Council books, for example. That was ten years ago).

In that vein, I was reminded of the Ricardians today. Funny people: maybe the English and/or USAian ones are different, but here, though I am kind of in favour of their theories, I got very tired of the Ricardians themselves. Two main reasons: (a) Shakespeare hate (also, Shakespeare as a Tudor hireling paid to besmirch Richard's reputation kind of breaks my brain), and (b) total unwillingness to acquaint themselves with actual modern history studies outside of their set list (and with history in general - the idea of historians being dead set against Richard because they' hate to rewrite the generally accepted view of history kind of breaks my brain too. A lot).

* * *

Jan. 28th, 2012 03:24 am
taelle: (Leningrad)
I was reading a blog of a fannish not-quite-acquaintance and, looking at the blogger herself and her commenters, realized suddenly that there's a lot of people who buy fannish stuff online on impulse and then when it comes, they're not so enthusiastic and don't know what to do with it - and still do it next time, just for the thrill of "want => have". ... now, I suspect there's people who do this not only in fandom circles and with fandom stuff, but I feel like fannish shopping is more relevant to my life (also, I don't buy stuff like clothes and makeup etc online). Especially with Takarazuka as my new hobby, as it's rather shopping-heavy. But still... this is a sin I do not commit - I am the reverse, I plan a lot, and I get my thrills by buying after a long time of planning. Double thrills: (a) I have this cool stuff, and (b) my plans were realized.

Otherwise, a slow day at home, mostly working. I am still kind of cold, and have my period, and a lot of work. And between work I am still watching the Takarazuka Anna Karenina bit by bit. I spent some time wondering why they cast such a young actress as Karenin, and then I stopped seeing her as book-Karenin and decided to view her character as a rather young man, who found himself in a high position and tries to compensate for his youth for being extra serious. ... this way it was far more sensible. Also, I enjoy a lot how they do emotional scenes through dancing, very lovely - and the race scene is a dance too. Fun; though I am not up to finishing it now, I still have half an hour of the show left.

Also, today - well, yesterday, the 27th - was 65th anniversary of the end of Blockade. I did not go to the Piskarevka memorial - I don't do it every year, and it's _cold_ - but it's not as if I can forget. Not as if anyone can forget these graves, marked with the year only. My great-great-grandfather is there somewhere... maybe. He was an old man already, so he did not survive the winter of 1941/42. And I still cry every time I read things about Blockade.

The past is still here, hidden under the present of the city.







... the first photo is very close to where I live. It was a heavily bombed area. The second is Nevsky Prospect, the main street.

* * *

Jan. 27th, 2012 07:08 am
taelle: (books)
I am picky about weather, some people might say: I don't like having above-zero temperatures in winter, it's bad for the nature and makes me suspect spring will be late; and at the same time -14, as it was this morning, is too cold for me. Too cold is when you have to dress for warmth specifically and not for nice clothes. And especially when it's too cold for skirts.

And even without being cold, this was a complicated and not too productive day: I've been staying up late to work and then sleeping late, but this morning I had to meet a friend's train and then spent half of the day with her - after which I fell down to sleep, since I had less than two hours of sleep at night. Which, naturally, led to staying up late again. And trying to do two jobs at once.

Not reading much, mostly watching Takarazuka shows bit by bit in pauses between work. Now I am watching Anna Karenina, and Takarazuka adaptations of Russian classics tend to amuse me (but also I like this Anna - she's more believable to me than many Annas in the ordinary films). I think I should reread Anna Karenina - but I probably should finish War and Peace first.

* * *

Jan. 26th, 2012 05:23 am
taelle: (crafty)
Today was a terribly sleepy and slow day, with nothing in particular achieved. Well, some work. And some answering letters and comments - why do I keep delaying answering? Sometimes it feels like such a burden...

Oh, important goal reached: my father and I put up a set of my 'seasonal' cross-stitches. We've only been working towards that for about a year - that's how long they've been framed and a place has been chosen for them. Oh well, now I have a couple cross-stitchings that need to be framed - I wonder how long it will take (what with framing being expensive). But, well, I have decided that for a cross-stitcher's room mine is too bare of the fruits of my labour.

Speaking of the fruit of my labour, finished a sweater for a doll. Made from a sock, and not particularly delicate work and all, but - a result! How inspiring. And I need practice: I have a couple more blouses planned for this doll, and then I should move on to the other ones.

Reading Liz Williams's Precious Dragon and enjoying it very much, though today I made a detour for a Sharpe/Temeraire crossover - great work (and great dragons).

* * *

Jan. 24th, 2012 03:15 am
taelle: (sad)
So, I did give myself a day off today. Though I slept half of that day, and, as such things tend to go, had a headache for most of the rest of the day. Did not do much - though went out to shop, and enjoy the prettiness of winter city. No overabundance of snow this winter, just crisp whiteness and frosty air and watercolour-like evening sky. I like evenings like that, even though were I to go farther than the shop at the other end of the block, my nose would probably start to object (it's 11 below zero).

In less than enjoyable news, looks like Yavlinsky wouldn't be admitted as a candidate for the presidential elections - he did bring the required two million signatures, but they're all set to find a lot of those irregular and unsuitable for admittance. Not that I didn't expect it - I think Yavlinsky himself must have expected it too... And not that I believed even for a moment that he'd gather much vote if he were a candidate. I just wanted the option of voting for someone I can respect and not inventing new and interesting ways to say "Go to hell everyone" with my voting bulletin.

Other things-to-do-on-your-day-off included continuing my reread of Bulgakov's Master and Margarita - still a very fun read, for all that I was never fond of the Jerusalem chapters - and planning a doll wardrobe (no, I can't sew, but I do sew anyway. Sometimes. Dolls, luckily, can't object). Oh, and I am still watching Seirei no Moribito and enjoying both life details and philosophical moments.

* * *

Jan. 20th, 2012 03:47 am
taelle: (books)
The current job is so mind-numbing that I started reorganizing stuff on the shelves under the ceiling.

And now my online dictionary won't open: perhaps I did enough for today.

Finished Huntingtower, am reading Castle Gay, but it's slower to get into, because there's very little McCunn, and the elections and rugby are kind of bewildering.

Funny thing: this is the first winter with the new governor, and the streets are suddenly passable in winter. Even with snow. Maybe she's the Snow Queen? Although, why would the Snow Queen look so repulsive?

* * *

Nov. 25th, 2011 05:08 am
taelle: (rain)
My back still kind of hurts, even after yesterday's massage; and today's running about for chores did not make it better. I rather think it's the weather - we still aren't at winter, there was some ice for a night once, but mostly it's above zero, and today also rainy.

... and of course one of my today's chores was buying a humidifier. Because my room is definitely too dry and the plants are more vulnerable to this than I am. But still, buying a humidifier in the rain is kind of funny.

I am watching another episode of Foyle's War and am not sure whether I will finish it. It's not that it's bad - it's good, and full of things I feel interesting and likeable. Maybe it's that the episodes are long, or maybe this is not unreal enough for me. I am worrying about the characters and I don't want to. ... Michael Kitchen is very good, though.

* * *

Nov. 20th, 2011 07:40 am
taelle: (rain)
I am trying to learn to take intervals between work - the non-computer intervals. Not so good for now - some cross-stitching, half an episode of Sasameki Koto, and then I turned to websurfing again. But it's a start. I think.

I also went and joined Yuletide; I spent a lot of time choosing offers that I am not just able to write, but would find it fun to write. And yet... I am feeling strange. I've been writing and posting fic for more than ten years now, I did all the Yuletides and many other ficathons. So why am I suddenly all like "but my fic will be boring and unworthy and I should not even try"? This is, I think, related to my bouts of misanthropy, but still not totally clear. However, it does not stop me from writing and planning stuff, merely from being social about it.

Speaking of planning and writing stuff, I made too long a pause in writing. Need to get back to it - but not today, I think. Too tired, and it's too late already.

* * *

Nov. 15th, 2011 04:34 am
taelle: (Default)
I need to go to the bank. Only... I came to the office today, and it had bunches of people and no one paying attention to me and I couldn't figure whether their electronic queueing system worked or not. So I turned and went back. Can I be a bear and live in a cave? (with a computer. But I might be ready to deal without Internet, bear that I am)

Still watching Sasameki Koto: o wonder of wonders, I am not even annoyed by SD, and my embarrassment squick seems less severe than ever. This anime is way too sweet.

I also need to push my sleep cycles towards actually getting up in the morning. So why am I still up?

* * *

Nov. 9th, 2011 04:23 am
taelle: (Default)
I did not feel like updating this blog.
I still don't. But since I don't feel like anything, except for possibly playing mahjong and, definitely, hiding under the blankets, I may as well do the least difficult routine thing - that is, update the blog.

Also, for some reason I am reading a book called Tim Gunn's Golden Rules. All I know about Tim Gunn is that he does something in some reality show about fashion. The book is rather entertaining, though - I like to read such chatty stuff when I have no brain. Like now. *thinks how to tag this kind of books*

* * *

Nov. 7th, 2011 12:14 am
taelle: (London)
Weird day: doing nothing in particular, still feeling tired. Though it's a nice feeling when you realize that something you plod through just for the process, not expecting any results worth announcing, does start giving at least some results...

Otherwise - spent a couple of hours playing butterfly mahjong or whatever it's called - I am a prey to simple and repetitive games. Rewatched the Dancing Heroes encore ten times, and now I have the Kiseki song stuck in my head. Started watching the BBC Twelfth Night, but though I usually like these 1980s BBC Shakespeares, this failed to grab me - Felicity Kendal as Viola kept reminding me of a type of a female clerk with difficult life popular in Soviet melodrama films. And everything felt too stodgy. So I gave up and went to see Takarazuka Twelfth Night, curious how they managed the crossdressing problem. ...For now I am satisfied with their Viola and the way she works it, Orsino is ridiculously young and cute, Sir Toby is less comic and more scheming than usual, but I like the Toby-Andrew-Maria dynamics. This is much more fun - I do believe that Twelfth Night should be a young and merry play.

I'd like less headache, still. Took out my backup glasses - maybe they will make things better? Perhaps I should go to sleep, but I'd like to write a bit today.

* * *

Nov. 3rd, 2011 04:05 am
taelle: (crafty)
I am having a spontaneous weekend/holiday in the middle of the week (I started early? We're to have that Ridiculous Holiday on Friday). I think I needed that.

... watched Criminal Minds 7.02. Or tried to - skipping bits and turning away in parts. I do not like the theme of injuries to eyes. And acid. *shudders* The episode itself was good, though, mostly all about the victim's family. With lovely grim Hotch. And a cute scene at Rossi's in the end.

Also, some writing. It's really easier once you open a page and tell yourself "Now write". Two pages. Good (for me), and I think I have some ideas for tomorrow.

And I finished that damn bit of sky on the Suzdal cross-stitch. Now only backstitch and all will be ready. I like backstitch.

Since it's better to watch stuff with some mindless bit of needlework, which backstitch isn't, I started a scarf. Very basic knitting, knit-knit-knit all the way, but fancy yarn. I like fancy yarn, it's sort of kind to inexperienced knitters. I still have plans for that shawl, though. Once I grow some brain back (do I ever?)
taelle: (sad)
I hate everybody - especially myself - and feel like a stupid failure. Nothing special, just a bunch of little things (and a headache).

Got an answer to my CV which I don't know how to answer. I mean, really, if your ad is for freelance translators working from home, preferably not from Moscow, why are you writing to people who sent you a CV "We have a vacancy, please come to an interview"? And why would you need to interview a translator anyway? I'm not after an office job, you just have to test my skills. Also, no e-mail, only a phone number - and their company site says it's being rebuilt and has no contact details. And I hate talking business by phone, I don't have the best hearing. And it's all kind of fishy. Maybe I'll just ignore it.

Spent half of the day putting away summer clothes and taking out the winter ones. Or, actually, looking at winter clothes and deciding I am really not up to wearing those and would really like a couple of new sweaters. So I have almost nowhere to put summer clothes. ... I really, really need a skill of throwing out unneeded things. I tried to be good and found three things I am ready to give away/throw out. This is a lot for me. I think I am going to stop at this and pull out some more things next week so as not to stress out. And how stupid it is to be stressed by such things?

Maybe I should go add some stuff to the story I am writing. It does have people who could do with the mood I'm in. Except that today people are starting NaNoWriMo, and I also feel a failure because I am not up for this, and possibly won't ever be up to finish a long story, my stupid fear of writing and all. I keep thinking that I just need to get myself together and do things, only it doesn't quite happen. *ponders the possibility of a character growling and hitting her head against the wall instead of having a talk she needs to have*

... this entry probably has mangled English, too.

* * *

Oct. 31st, 2011 04:19 am
taelle: (diary)
Weird, perhaps, but I both believe in myself/life with the childish sense of "nothing really bad can happen to me" and disbelieve that I can reach any goal and amount to anything. Combined, these two convictions leave me in a rather weird place...

Meanwhile I am less rushed towards the end of a job than usual, but I still suck at pacing myself and haven't much brain for anything besides spacing out and dumb websurfing. I did some thinking about the current story, though - I think I need to change POVs. I believe I got everything that the protagonist could give me right now - let a friend of hers tell me how it looks from outside. Maybe. I am not sure I know what I'm doing.

* * *

Oct. 11th, 2011 04:36 am
taelle: (rain)
I am still unable to follow the normal schedule of work and rest: either I can't concentrate and am neither working nor resting, or I'm working until I am overtired and need too much rest (and my back's too bad for that kind of thing). Still, maybe the end of this job is in sight - even though I had to take a nap to be able to concentrate (I still wonder whether a nap is a good thing for me. It throws my schedule into a mess, but then it's already a mess).

Also, I took photos of my room with the aim of posting them but then couldn't find strength or time to do it today. Bad me, no biscuits. And went to the bank - in vain. Why 2/3 of bank visits end with the need to redo some paperwork?

Still, I did some writing yesterday, on my most self-indulgent and clicheed drabble series. And that after some planning work for longer fics. I don't think I'm up to planning today, though I hope to write some. Except wait, I did do some planning, just not in writing - I've been thinking about that long story I kept teasing some friends with. The trouble with it, I know how it begins but I don't know how it should end. Still, since I know that in the center is the interaction of the two main characters, and I know one of those characters fairly well (I think), perhaps I should ponder some more on the other one and then do a Bujold thing on the two of them? We'll see: the main thing is to keep the story (and not just the characters) interesting to me.

* * *

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.

* * *

Oct. 9th, 2011 05:07 am
taelle: (sad)
Today my body seems to have decided that I'm having a holiday, and that's it: I got up and worked for less than an hour, and then I climbed back into bed and couldn't get out of it until maybe 4 PM.

After which my evening plans, earlier discarded because of some people being unavailable, suddenly reinstated themselves, and I went to visit some friends, mostly for Takarazuka-themed chatting and much watching of photobooks and oohing and aahing. Well, at least from my side: I firmly approach this fandom from the position of "there are no actresses I dislike, there are just actresses I don't really know". It's more fun for me that way; unfortunately that also makes me a bit tired after a contact with someone who doesn't share this approach.

That is not to say that I didn't have a nice evening; I did. (also, I finally got some DVDs that took their time in coming to me) I am just having a... seasonal increase in introvertedness? Or something. A prolonged contact with the majority of human population leaves me rather tired. Trouble is, I grew into a habit of needing that contact; ten years ago I was rather happy as a fandom lurker, with my books, my music, my fics, etc. I don't think I could return to this - looks like I grew rather too socialized, and it troubles me. I don't like to be dependent on people.

And I did write today, after missing a day. Go me! I'm not sure it will go somewhere, as it's an exploration of the motivations of a character in a long story I'm not even sure I'm writing (and which has no plot, only a group of characters and some basic events they were involved in).

No Tolstoy today, but some of the George Eliot bio. Two things strike me in what I read today (finishing the chapter on Adam Bede): the way people reacted emotionally to a novel - waiting for it excitedly, being unable to leave it, writing letters to the author... rather fannish reaction in a way. And another fandom-related thing - the way George Eliot was sensitive to criticism. It feels like a page out of a discussion on fandom criticism - "you were so harsh to so-and-so's fic, she's thinking about never writing again".

It's raining outside; I'm sorry it's a bit too cold to sleep with an open window - I like the sound of rain.
taelle: (sad)
I feel too tired to do a proper workload, and this troubles me greatly. Perhaps I should go back to taking vitamins - I can never quite believe in their effectiveness, but I must do _something_. ... but I did manage the minimum work I had to do today. Oh well.

I have this habit of making work pauses to read Internet discussions, since they're much less engrossing than any other type of break I might take (the downside is, of course, that I don't rest properly - I'm still at the computer).Today (and yesterday) I was entertaining myself with people arguing whether it was ethical and/or legal to do print-on-demand editions of fanfics. I can't quite imagine why it would be less legal than posting fanfiction online, since the fanficcer still gets no profit, but apparently a lot of people feel that an actual book done by an actual publisher makes all the difference (I suppose they feel the fanficcer in this case puts herself on an equal footing with the author of canon. Or something). Oh well, you learn something every day.

Had to mail some documents, so I walked to the 20-minutes-from-us post office, instead of the one on our street - like I started doing recently. I still marvel at how two post offices can be so different. No queues, a nice walk and  postal employees who do not feel sending mail or packages a panic-inducing task - so very refreshing. Though our post office was also surprisingly nice today - for some reason they delivered a package to our apartment instead of bringing a notice for me to go get it. I can't figure out their rules. ... also, the walk to the farther p.o. is through one of my favourite places in the city, especially now, with golden autumn practically at its best. I do love it here.

I continue reading Tolstoy for secondary characters, but I can't help wondering about Pierre. He's so childish... I had an argument with my mother today, about how peculiarly he was brought up, neither as a man of society nor as someone who'd have to work for a living. If his father planned to legitimize him and presumably have him as a heir, why did he leave Pierre so poorly socialized?

... also I suddenly thought that in a way Sonya is Fanny Price, only without a lucky ending - refusing the suitor she did not want and not getting neither the one she wanted nor any respect.


Also, I felt too tired to write but I know myself and I went and wrote a tiny sketch of a Preposterous AU Crossover (another one) - however, this one requires planning before writing anything sensible. Am I up to planning? There's a lot of writing stuff that I should be planning, from this AU to my LBB fic, but I am terribly bad at this. Oh well, guess I'll have to learn.

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