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C. wants a meme



1. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own?

Teenage Fanclub T-shirt from 1992, when I met the band in the bar, said I couldn't afford to go see them and Norman Blake, the *sweetheart*, put me on the guest list.

Mind, I've bought every album since I started work so they got repaid *g*

2. Do you own any LPs? What's the oldest one of those? Extra point for Bob Denver.

Longest in my posession? Abba - The Album
Oldest album? Roxy Music album with Virginia Plain on it, which I bought second-hand

3. What's the first book you remember reading that isn't a picture book?

A big old child's treasury that belonged to my aunts originally (my aunts are in their seventies)

4. Did you have a favorite writer in 4th grade? If so, who was it?

I'm pretty sure that I was a ho for Enid Blyton at this age

5. If you watched tv as a child, what's the earliest tv show you remember watching?

Chorlton and the Wheelies. Which was made by the people who did Dangermouse and was about a dozy dragon. And Blue Peter.

6. What's the name of your first best friend and why aren't you still best friends?

Kirsten Payne. She lived next door. We're not friends because she moved away when I was 11. I should get in touch really, she works as a hospital administrator in Hackney, and that's five miles away from where I live at most.

7. When (and why, if you remember) did you know you wanted to write stories?

I've always written things. Scarcely ever finished any of them. I think I see the pattern *g*

So, I am writing through this thing, which is like half-revising, half-rewriting. And it's getting *longer* 266K now. Good grief. (It was longer on the first count, only I found a duplicate section)

I've been enjoying it though.

Downstairs, a nice man is fitting a new boiler, which means that from Thursday I will have hot water again, thank goodness. Having to boil 11 pans of water to get a bath gets tedious very quickly, as does getting a shower at the gym or work.

I am paying the nice man in cash, so he doesn't have to put it through the books and pay tax on it. This whole under-the-counter business is very unsettling since you have to rely on your instincts about people and I think my instincts aren't necessarily the best. I think this chap is okay though. Much less dodgy than Wideboy Eddie (who I like despite his rampant dodginess.)

Soon I can start decorating. Then when that's done I can buy furniture. Soon after that, I can sit in the living room on my new furniture for the next six months because I am so in debt that I am never going anywhere again *g*

* * *

I suppose I should say something about the XF finale, since the show has informed so much of my online life for so long but what is there to say? I look forward to watching the full thing, as opposed to the clips I downloaded. I am glad it is over because it's good to see the whole shape of the narrative.

I feel like an archaeologist who has just brushed the last grit and dust off an intriguing find. Now it's unearthed and I can look at the whole object I see that it's not as promising as it once appeared when we were uncovering the middle section, and the end has some damage to it, but it's still beautiful. It can still tell me important things if I look closely.

I have enjoyed this experience but I would never want to do it again. I will watch other shows and probably participate in lists but I never want to care that much about something so wholly out of my control.

When the powers that be do something I find appalling it's like watching my football team get relegated -- there's all this fruitless pain, and it's petty, I know it's petty, but it smarts, dammit, and I want to take the manager and the star players aside and say "what were you *thinking*? I put my heart and soul into this and I didn't even get paid for it! You did, you made millions. What is *wrong* with you people?" and they say "Hey, what's wrong with you, it's just a game" *g*

And the powers that be will always do something that appalls you, because they are not making the show solely for you.

So I am not doing that any more. I will never again find myself in my living room, gurning at the TV, shouting "Are you on crack? That was fucking *woeful*"

Unless it's football of course. Speaking of which...

It is the World Cup from Friday. I give you fair warning. I may have to speak of it here. I love international football with the fire of a thousand suns. When England beat Germany 5-1 at home I feared I would levitate through joy.

England are going to go out in the group stages, I fear. I daren't hope that they will do better because every time, every single bloody time they do well, they play like lions against some country we have won a war against, and then go out of the competition over something stupid, like penalties, or someone getting sent off.

I have Senegal in the office sweepstake. I don't think I'm going to win the 40 quid pot, do you? *g*



Went up to see my parents this weekend, which was marvellous aside from the traditional three-hour time window in which I quarrelled with my dad. Or rather, he said something awful to my mother and instead of comforting her as I normally do while he lounges in front of the TV looking sulky, I just laughed at him and told him he was talking shite.

He went a violent colour, spat expletives, and acted like he was going to hit me, then stormed off into his study. I felt deeply triumphant for about five minutes because Jesus wept, it has needed saying for a long time, then felt bad because it wasn't doing his blood pressure any good.

His anger and frustration at being ill does not give him the right to take out his rage on everyone else. One of the reasons I WILL NEVER LIVE AT MY PARENTS' HOUSE AGAIN is that its internal weather has always been determined by his mood, and he's a capricious bugger even when he's not fed-up and ill.

My mother was crying in the kitchen saying "this family is *so* dysfunctional! You'll never want to come home again!", the dog was hiding under the stairs (sensible dog), my dad was banging and flinging somewhere in the background. This is usual for my family. And I smiled because sometimes, just sometimes, it's good to say what you've longed to say for about 15 years.

And sure enough, three hours later, my dad calls up the stairs and we exchange our traditional non-apologetic apologies and eat pineapple while snarking at the TV. I creep upstairs and tell my mother not to worry, because we've made it up. I love them despite their flaws and mine.

I wish my dad would stop talking shite but I wouldn't exchange him for the world.

* * *

So I am thinking of a career change. Specifically, I just heard about a medical school that takes postgraduates in south London. Four-year course. BA (hons) in Politics and Modern History no barrier to enrolling.

I thought about doing medicine when I was at school, seriously looked into it, but I was convinced by others that my maths wasn't up to snuff and at our school the only way to study biology, chemistry and physics was to give up one language. I was good at languages so I didn't.

Also, I wanted to write for a living. That hasn't happened because I don't have the attributes necessary to do it. I don't have the endurance to be a creative writer and I am only adequate as a journalist. I can write well enough, but the writing is much less important than you would imagine. The job is about getting the story. The polish comes in the editing.

Doing the postgrad course of any kind would require big sacrifices, and more work than I have ever done in my life, since I basically coasted through school and university on a good memory and the ability to read really, really fast.

Here I am, at 30, finding myself in a career which is ultimately a dead end. Lucrative, interesting and easy if you keep your wits about you, but not the most fulfilling way of spending time. Like SEP, I'm tired of flailing around, doing something which just pays the bills, rather than something that's useful.

So a change must come. I have to get serious about the stuff of my life: either write *properly*, with heart and soul -- and obviously, work on something saleable -- or find something useful to do. I will investigate further.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
lilydale
May. 29th, 2002 05:14 am (UTC)
Go Senegal
Just wanted to say that I'm glad you had something to say about the XF finale even though you can sum up the end of the experience better than I could and I've even seen the Two Hour Series Finale Television Event and tried multiple times to talk coherently about it. *g* Archeology. Intriguing.

How is Moby's new album, by the way? All I've heard is the song about stars.

And while I'm on a music topic that really has little to do with the bulk of your entry, I must say that I have been chilling out to those three CDs and absolutely loving it. You deserve a giant transcontinental hug.
qowf
May. 29th, 2002 07:26 am (UTC)
Go for it. Go into medicine. Or at least, look in to it. It can't hurt and it just may turn out to be a good thing.

And HUZZAH for saying what you want to the dad. I did that to my mother a number of years ago. Now, when she's here in Chicago, she's fine. On her own turf, it's a different story, but here, she behaves now.

Yay for you.
lenadances
May. 29th, 2002 08:01 am (UTC)
Oh hell yes re: your dad. I completely understand about the emotional climate being ruled by one person: if my dad is cranky, the rest of the family would hide. It's been ebbing over the past five years or so, but damn, do I wish I had your guts. He picks on my mother all the time and pulls guilt trips on me and the only one who can fight properly with him is my sister, who is too much like him to put up with it. It would be GLORIOUS to tell him he was talking shite.

Hooray for you!
ex_dashenka
May. 29th, 2002 08:07 am (UTC)
Ooh, I think you'd made a fabulous doc, K! Sure it would be a sacrifice, but if it's something you really want to do, why the heck not? Although your writing is so damn good you should use it in some fashion. We need your words!
vonniek
May. 29th, 2002 08:46 am (UTC)
See, I got into medicine because I was good at math and physics and I thought my language was poor. From where I stand now, it seems now obvious that being a good writer and a communicator is loads more important in the job than being able to do calculus (which I cannot do now to save my life).

So, look into it by all means. It's freaking long and tough as hell, but you'll be going in with your eyes open and knowing that you want it enough to commit to it. There will be flailing there too, (there is always something to flail about), but then more often than not, times where you go "hot damn, this is some cool and important stuff!".

Good luck, in whatever you may choose to do.
cofax7
May. 29th, 2002 09:17 am (UTC)
I made a meme! *g*

266K? *falls over in amazement* Oh boy. And here I thought I was going to take a machete to the entire thing.

Um. Medicine. Ouch. OK, yes, good brain helpful -- particularly the ability to memorize shit. And help people too, yay. But my utterly selfish self is going "nooo! We'll never see her again! *sob*"

But you do what you must to live your life. And you know we'll all be cheering for you regardless.

Good on you for talking to your dad. And speak World Cup to me -- now that I have cable, there's a chance I can even see some of it. I'll set the Tivo up to tape: any recommendations for particular matches?
se_parsons
May. 29th, 2002 03:35 pm (UTC)
Another option about the writing/medicine thing.

You can write ABOUT medicine. And not in some cynical hospital promoting way like Jood, but like the folks who used to write R&D did about scientific discovery. Medical reporting for a good journal might also be the way to go. I really felt like I was doing something worthwhile when I worked there, and I wasn't even a reporter.

You could move to Peterborough.

I am also applying at a textbook company to maybe write History textbooks. I would rock at that. I used to have SRO history classes with kids skipping other people's sections to come to mine.n
infinitemonkeys
May. 30th, 2002 02:19 pm (UTC)
You are all very lovely.

Still not going to live in Peterborough *g*
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )