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This post contains no Michael Jackson

Hello world. Long time, no communicate. I've been up to my arse in rubble and emulsion paint. As a lifestyle I do not recommend it.

Since we last talked I have knackered my computer -- unstable node B failure or some such bollocks -- and bought another one. It was this terrible toss-up: computer or a bed? I couldn't afford to buy both. You can tell what won.

My car was hit by a tosspot who smacked the side so hard that the back tyre practically exploded and the wing mirror and its casing were smashed to smithereens. (Smithereens is a good word.) When I tried to jack it up to replace the tyre, the jack punched through the frame of the car. My neighbour got his bottle jack out at hitched up the car, which lifted off the floor and then crashed back down again as the frame was holed again. Swearing sotto voce to myself, the consonants a gentle fricative rain in the London drizzle, I put my hand under the car ... and peeled away a segment of the undercarriage like wet leaves off a pavement. It was rusted to buggery. So now I have a new car. It is blue, and small, and goes from A to B like the clappers and plays music and Radio 4. This is all I care about.

My house is mine once more but it needs painting from top to bottom -- two mist coats and a top coat, ceilings and walls, every room. This is not going as swiftly as it might, but on the other hand, it's not costing me as much as it would to get it painted by professionals. The bathroom, which is finished bar the gloss paint, looks sort of fabulous. I have three scary metal fish offa Greenwich market to put on the walls, in the manner of Hilda Ogden's murial.

I have a smart new fireplace and wooden floors and a kitchen which is gorgeous. I have burned through my money, I have little furniture and am sleeping on the floor on a 9cm foam Ikea mattress pad but it turns out that this is really great for my back. I sort of hate work at the moment but at least I have some. Could be much, much worse.

Things I have learned while not posting on LJ:

(1) Do not pull the first piece of flaked paint off the woodwork. Even if it is all sticky-outy and begging to be pulled. NO. STOP IT. DON'T. If you start, the next think you know it will be 1am and you will be surrounded by mucky white flakes of paint like the dandruff of a diseased giant, your door will be denuded and you will have to paint and sand the bugger.

(2) If you write stuff and publish it online, and someone reviews it without slathering you in the sweet honey of unmitigated praise, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you get defensive and utter any variant on "interrogating the text from the wrong perspective"; "you do not understand that I did that ON PURPOSE, stupid reader", "kindly remove your rec from the internet, you philistine" or "writers get no respect". Resist your grand toys-out-the-pram moment, grit your teeth, smile and say thank you for reading -- because at least they did read it, even if they are wrong, wrong, wrongity-wrong. To do otherwise makes you look very very silly. Also pompous and ungrateful and generally delusional.

(See also "feedback is my coin and you're not paying me, so why should I produce?" To which the only possible answer is "you shouldn't. TEH INTERNETZ HAZ SPOKUN" )

(3) I see that as it is WTF o'clock, fandom is doing the warnings debate yet again, in -- SURPRISE! IT'S FANDOM! -- a fairly obnoxious way. I genuinely, genuinely do not get this.

Dear writer who will not warn,

If someone says politely, "please could you let me know in advance whether there might be something in here which will make me and others like me ill" then why wouldn't you do that?

Back in the old days, when we typed uphill both ways in the snow, with frostbite, and slash was the edgiest thing in the land, there was a problem: everything was in text files and you couldn't even italicise words, never mind hide a warning. I could understand a bit of pissing and moaning about having to spoil your own cunningly laid surprises then.

These days you young whippersnappers don't even know you're born. There's whiteout text, LJ-cuts to other posts ... good lord, you could even make a YouTube video in which you sing about your story's oh-so-dark sensibility, dubcon, violence, goats, excessive featuring of capri pants and other crimes against fashion. I'd watch it. I'd even sing along if it were catchy enough. [Handy hint: goats rhymes with boats, floats, moats and groats, so if you're writing an AU set in the age of sail you are WELL IN THERE. :::two thumbs up:::]

You could always throw some theatrical shapes by going on about your artistic integrity being compromised but it makes you look a bit daft. You could also say that books and movies don't warn people -- which isn't strictly true. Someone who wishes to avoid material which might make them ill -- not a bit sick, actually ill -- can look up warnings on the BBFC website or read film/book reviews.

Even if it's true that artistic endeavours in the wider world do not warn for potentially damaging material, shouldn't this world, this self-constructed fannish would-be utopia, at least *aim* to be better than that? To be more courteous and more thoughtful about people who have to deal with problems enough without being kipper-slapped in a forum they thought was safe-ish? Surely, a simple 'here be dragons, email me if you need details'-type warning is not too much to ask.

Also, may we dispatch the argument "well, I can't warn for everything! What if someone has nightmares about baked beans or trumpets or squirrels"? You can warn for things you might reasonably expect to cause readers difficulty. Everything else you judge on a case-by-case basis. If someone takes issue with you over not warning them for something and you think it's unreasonable, it's entirely possible that they're wrong. They might even be self-righteous and obnoxious about it. Or you might be. You won't know until you've thought about it. Yes, it's unpleasant to be attacked but so what?

To quote your own argument back at you: it's a big, bad world out there. It's no one's job to protect you from the horrifying emotional toll of someone being angry and rude about your fanfic.

In conclusion: Donna Noble pwns you all (though if fandom could stop with the incessant babyfic I would be so grateful given my compulsion to read everything on the Daily), gloss paint is vile stuff, who scratched my fucking floor, and -- given that I am fortunate enough to support the fourth most shit team in the premiership and therefore we did not get relegated -- when does the football season start again?

Lots of love,


( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 29th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
Jun. 29th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
Jun. 29th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
New house (on the inside)! New car! New computer! That's a lot of new.

As money-pit as a house appears to be, I long for a money-pit of my own. Someday! Someday! (Partly because I like ordering and fixing my own space, and so totally recognize the peeling-the-paint problem.)
Jun. 29th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
It is too much expensive new. But still, I am lucky that it all worked out.

It is lovely to have one's own moneypit -- may you have your own soon -- and particularly lovely not to have to get up at 7.30am to let in workmen who will pull your moneypit to small dusty chunks and then charge you for it.
Jun. 29th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
you've been quite busy, I see.

Isn't a new car lovely?
Jun. 29th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
It is. I am trying to keep this one clean in the hopes that it will last ten years. I shall be paying for it for approximately that long
Jun. 29th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Hi miss K! Sounds like things are chugging along, with the usual setbacks and junk. Ah, life. Good to see you!
Jun. 29th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
Hello! How is life?
(no subject) - ropo - Jun. 29th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Do not pull the first piece of flaked paint off the woodwork.

Related rule: do not pull off the first bit of cracked top plaster on your an old plaster wall. You will end up with a large unplastered blobulous shape under your front window that you can try to pretend is some kind of modern art, but no one is fooled.

Just sayin'.

Good to see you back. I have also noticed that when one thing breaks, many things break, so yay shiny new car/house/puter.
Jun. 29th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
goes for skin off a blister--DO NOT PULL. Also ancient wallpaper.
(no subject) - infinitemonkeys - Jun. 29th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 29th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
The thing that's struck me as odd is the number of people who I usually agree with who've come down on the side of "no warnings for delicate flowers!" People who would normally never belittle someone else that way. I think this may be down to them being old school fans burned out on previous fannish fighting, and who got blindsided into not taking this one seriously.

I just got the DVD of Black Books out of the shed. It is the first DVD I liberated and I am so glad. Bernard! Manny! Fran! I love you!
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 29th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
! Strangely, I was just thinking today that you hadn't posted in a while. And here you are.

Smithereens is a good word, but a bad thing to happen to one's car. I hope you enjoy the new one? Yay blue cars and new computers.

>Do not pull the first piece of flaked paint off the woodwork. Even if it is all sticky-outy and begging to be pulled. NO. STOP IT. DON'T.<

Ha ha, you speak as if the temptation were resistible? No.
Jun. 29th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
You are perhaps correct. There is only so much temptation a human can stand. Perhaps I need to buy some PVA glue, paint it on my hand and wait until it dries so I can peel off a perfect palm print. This displacement activity would save the doors from my meddling.
Jun. 29th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC)
Ahahaha. I love you and your eminently reasonable opinions.
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC)
The weird thing is how many people I usually agree with are people I do not agree with on this issue. It is odd.
Jun. 29th, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)
Welcome back and it's so good and fun to hear from you! Sorry about your car, but hooray for a new one and a new computer and really, furniture is overrated for it just needs dusting, reupholstering, cleaning, etc.

Jun. 29th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
Hello! I like your attitude to furniture. After all, I have an Ikea chair to watch telly on, and a table to eat from, and if guests have to sit on the floor, then surely that is merely an interesting quirk! *g*
Jun. 29th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC)
excessive featuring of capri pants

A million sadfaces.
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - se_parsons - Jun. 30th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
Wow, you've been busy! Glad to hear from you.

It's no one's job to protect you from the horrifying emotional toll of someone being angry and rude about your fanfic.

God bless you.

Take Care
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
lilydale told me of your horrible time lately. I'm so sorry to hear about it. It's miserable to be exiled and I hope you're trouble-free and home with no more messing about soon.
Jun. 29th, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
To do otherwise makes you look very very silly.

So Very True. (Nice to see you're keeping up. *g*)

I have a drafted email to you sitting in my drafts folder, and throw roses at you for failing to reply in a timely manner.

I miss the days when the worst we thought to expect from fandom was Babyfic. We should be so lucky, you know?

So the biggest question is: have you named the car or the computer, and if so, what?

I look forward to seeing the lovely new kitchen at some point! Sadly, the current employers have no interest in sending me to London, so I shall have to figure that out on my own... *g*
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
a) I am keeping up, a.k.a. reading links off your LJ *g*

b) You can still send the email! It does not have to be finished!

c) I have not named things for years, save for iPods which require names. Maybe I should ponder. I named my parents' first ever car, which was called Moon And Stars.

No, I don't know either.

d) Your employers are spoilsports.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Hello. It's going to be nice when it's all painted, which is about ten weekends' worth of work distant. But it is lovely to have doors that don't fall off in your hand.
Jun. 29th, 2009 07:45 am (UTC)
She has returned, and the LJ Universe is in balance once again.

Glad to see it's all worked itself out, albeit expensively. We have surmised that everything is worth throwing at least SOME momey at, and the theory is that if you are going to be indebt until death, it may as well be via things you need and enjoy.

I'd love to see pictures of your place when it's finished, especially the fish.

Oh, if it was me I'd be sleeping on the floor as well. I did that right the way through my second pregnancy and you're right about the back benefits.
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
HELLO! It's all working out all right so far. There's some snagging left but the major things seem to be working: the kitchen and bathroom.

How are you doing? I like the exuberant icon.
Jun. 29th, 2009 09:04 am (UTC)
Do not pull the first piece of flaked paint off the woodwork.

This also applies to dado rails... You might want it off the wall but when you find out that large sections of plaster are coming off with it then you should STOP.

Know any good plasters?? lol
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
I know a couple, but they're not cheap. What's your tolerance for teeth-sucking, sadface and the words "it's gonna cost yer?"
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