* * *

Apr. 16th, 2013 04:42 pm
taelle: (Default)
I think I spent almost two minutes in establishing that Aldous LJ is not a blog (whose - Huxley's?) but a judge. My brain is actually very regular - every 7th day if it doesn't get a day off work, it starts slowing down. Even despite the fact that I only returned from vacation a week ago.
taelle: (Default)
I may be getting prudish in my old age, but I really, really can't understand why an article about an amazing woman and her achievements should be written in the style of "and then she wrote a letter to the editor ... bitchslapping the everloving fuck out of a sexist ballsack of an article" (Nellie Bly, in case anyone's interested). Does it make her cooler, or what? It does make _me_ a bit uncomfortable.

Our mail decided to act and gave up a whole bunch of Christmas mail it held hostage. It also proved that it doesn't know the difference between Austria and Australia, because I was notified that I had a package from Austria - which surprised me a lot, until I started to suspect what they meant. [identity profile] calanthe_b.livejournal.com, thanks! I did not own it, no, and now I am kind of thinking about a reread...

Meanwhile I have two jobs to do at once, and being rather slow at both - oh well, I always start slow.

* * *

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?
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. 17th, 2011 07:50 pm
taelle: (books)
I finally finished the job and earned a day off. ... I hate that state at the end of a big/difficult job, when you are often neither resting nor working at full strength, and feel you could finish it sooner if only you pushed harder... which you can't.

Returned to War and Peace, and Andrei at war. I still don't like him - and feel him slightly ridiculous in his inner musings. Probably all of us have momentary flashes of 'hey, I did such a great job, they're going to give me a medal', but it feels a bit childish to me to be offended at not being taken to see the emperor immediately with his depeche; and I'm not even talking about his "I need to go back to save our army" - not "do my bit", but to save everyone. Then again, he's a fan of Napoleon at that stage. Maybe Tolstoy really meant to show him as idiotic, I dunno. Tolstoy as a writer has such a lack of mercy towards people.

Also finished 'A Madness of Angels' by Kate Griffin, a fantasy novel abou urban magicians in London (thanks, [profile] calanthe_b). I did not love any of the characters here, but I loved the idea, the description of urban sorcery, and London seen through the eyes of someone for whom it's a source of magic. And also it was interesting to puzzle out what actually happened to Matthew.

* * *

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. 8th, 2011 02:56 am
taelle: (Default)
Will this job ever end? ... at the speed I am working now, it probably won't. I'm not sure whether I'm writing today, though I have another silly drabble idea.

BTW, Yuletide time soon. Maybe it'll be saner not to participate. It'd be sad - I participated in each one since the first one, and I do love me some personal tradition, but. I don't even know what I want (except for Takarazuka, and no one's writing that). Oh hell, maybe I should offer War and Peace, if I finish it by then... Do _I_ want a War and Peace fic? I think I want a Fforde crossover, and the things people do write for Russian classics for Yuletide tend to be slash.  No, seriously, I googled War and Peace fanfics and found some slash. Which is awesome - I love other people's squee and I love that someone's excited enough to write fic for that - but that particular pairing leaves me cold.

I am so confused. And tired.

* * *

Oct. 7th, 2011 04:53 am
taelle: (Default)
I think I am all out of one-shot drabble ideas. Time to plan - it feels like something longer than a page needs planning. Also it feels like I forgot how to plan stories. At all. Too tired from work, I guess - and work goes too slowly because I am tired.

In an attempt to feel productive I decided to start on the shawl I long ago bookmarked for knitting. Or, well, tried to. Perhaps I am not sensible in trying this -  I am not a good knitter, and I never knitted anything by pattern before. Especially an English-language pattern. Though the problem here is not with translation as such - it's just that I suspect I was taught the basic knit and purl in a manner which is not quite the accepted one, so videos and too detailed pictures give me headaches and I can't really connect them with what I'm doing. Describing the idea of what I have to do works much better.

Anyway, I redid the very beginning two times but the sixth row still doesn't work. I figured out the idea of SSK even if I'm not yet sure I adapted it correctly, but I can't even find a description of a double YO, and what I'm doing clearly isn't working. ... I'm still doing that shawl, so there. Though I might provide all the dolls with scarves on the side just for the sake of completing something.

With Tolstoy, I am at the war already. I just remembered that we're not actually supposed to like Andrei. I think. I mean, Tolstoy tells us straight ahead that he's only nice and approachable to people who think him special and expect great things from him etc. ... I found the Bolkonsky family life rather interesting, btw - so Andrei loves his sister and his father. How nice. Me, I don't like his sister - her saintliness feels a bit too much, and I feel like she's as haughty as her father and her brother, in her own way.

... and it's funny to compare the 'war' bits to Heyer's Infamous Army - the hero was an aide-de-camp too, after all. Though less special than Andrei.

I think I started noticing how Tolstoy is doing what he's doing - seems like defamiliarization is his favourite trick: describing something with no kind of shorthand, like he - and us with him - sees an action  (he's mostly using it for actions and facial expressions, I think) for the first time ever. Possibly for the first time in history. It works - I think that's why everyone and everything is so alive, like we're really seeing everything; but at the same time I feel like it leads to a kind of estrangement, at least for me - we look at those people with such lack of familiarity that they keep being a bit alien, and there's little chance to feel sympathy with their everyday lives.

(I do read my other books too, but slowly. George Eliot's still writing Adam Bede, so I have ways to go with her bio).
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.
taelle: (tea)
I am inattentive: I did finish the first chapter of War and Peace, and many others - I just confused first chapter with first part, which I have yet to finish. And as at 16 or wherever I last read it, I still feel sorry for Vera. Oh yes, I do identify with her a bit, but still. An older daughter in a large family - probably the oldest child, as far as I can see - and an obviously unloved one, a younger - four years younger - sister preferred. It looks to me as if Vera seeks to be approved, noticed and praised for a thing she's temperamentally suited to - for being responsible, correct and polite. Which, of course, doesn't work. And she's a bit nasty to Sonya, of course, but also correct - the nice and kind Rostov family _would_ put an end to Sonya's love for Nikolai; Vera's just the only one who says so at once. (I feel sorry for Sonya too - I have this strange urge to either marry her to Denisov or to make her a Jurisfiction agent)

This, of course, is what I identify with - being a calm and reserved and quiet person with not much of a... social intuition in a family of charming and expansive and temperamental people. Also, it looks to me like Tolstoy does not trust calm and polite people. And keeps comparing women to animals. He's a great writer, but not a very pleasant person.

In other news, got back to getting massages, which I stopped when I fell ill. That was nice, though my back feels sort of surprised.  Tried to catch up with work in view of approaching deadline. Since I am not yet up to speed with work, I can't properly make plans for the weekend, which annoys me. I guess I'd better think that I'll be working till Monday - this way the only surprises I'm getting will be pleasant ones.

Wrote again, another silly drabble - crossover and possibly AU and most certainly not for posting, but yay me for writing three days straight and for not being afraid to write silly random ideas.

* * *

Oct. 2nd, 2011 03:31 am
taelle: (reading)
Today was itchy and unsettled. Maybe because I awoke to a friend's phone call about her family problems, and kept worrying about it - and checking up with her - all day. And then, maybe not only that - it feels like a transition time. Last year's October was really physically difficult - I had no strength and felt like sleeping all the time; now I only can't get rid of my cough and have a bit too much hair left on my comb each morning. Oh well, time for vitamin shopping, perhaps.

I should get myself together and concentrate more on work - deadline's looming somewhere nearby.

I continue having a complicated relationship with my sewing machine. I was told once that in order to learn and to progress I need to learn to do things badly first, and I swear this particular piece of equipment plans to teach me just that. Oh well, I'll have to figure it out by myself - I'm really bad at taking instruction (I hide when I am planning to try something new, because people _will_ explain and show me how to do things simply and easily).

Also, I've been planning for two years to reread War and Peace, and today I thought - all right, self, the TBR pile will _never_ clear up, and so I climbed onto the piano and took the first volume out of the shelf. ... my, but Tolstoy really does dislike women. Or, to be more precise, the only thing he seems to like women for is animal-type beauty - healthy youth. Then again, I don't know if he really likes _anybody_. But I am slow, I only came to Andrei's arrival - so we'll see (I read this first time at six, and last time... dunno, maybe 17?)

And I bought a tea strainer. I actually wanted to buy a smallish teapot, because I like tea mixes which nobody else in the family likes, so I wanted to be able to prepare them separately. But I could not find the perfect teapot, so I bought the strainer. And a tea mix I once liked in a giftbox and couldn't find by itself for a long time. And I wanted to buy some silly book for distraction but couldn't find any - but I found interesting postcards, a series with the portraits of Russian empresses, and another one combining an old photo and a new photo of various places in Saint Petersburg.

* * *

Sep. 15th, 2011 02:55 am
taelle: (Default)
Apparently reading things is still the most soothing occupation. Well, at the present. Doing 3-D wooden models is better, because it occupies my attention more completely, but I don't have any at present. Maybe I should go make a trip to buy some more, for an occastional bad day. The trouble with those models is that I have almost no space for them afterwards. (Cross-stitching, unfortunately, occupies very little of my attention)

Actually, what should occupy my attention is an agreement form for some company to buy some stuff. Or to sell some stuff. Doesn't much matter for the purposes of blogging. But I find it hard to work when I feel really unhappy, and don't have surefire methods of becoming not-unhappy (the worse I feel, the less methods are available to me). BTW, the reasons for my unhappiness are partly unclear even to me and partly too stupid to say aloud. Which, of course, makes it worse.

Perhaps I should rename this blog into something like "Reading notes". Though it doesn't really matter.

Anyway, Oldington's biography of Wellington. In a really bad Russian translation. I still like Wellington (not sure about Oldington, though). And, after some thought, I added as a second book (I do tend to read two books at once) Georgette Heyer's Infamous Army. Which did go some ways towards making me feel better (oh Charles. Oh Barbara. Oh their courtship), until some people said some things and, well... too stupid to say aloud. Perhaps I should also finish Harry Potter and History, but I felt rather bored by the first chapters - too general-knowledge, and, well, too much of 'did you know our real world also has a history of magic' and too little of the analysis of all this in connection with the HP magic and history. Or it may be just me. And I am still too obsessive-compulsive or something to just skip ahead to look for more interesting stuff.

Also, still coughing.

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