Saturday, December 29, 2007

You ain't seen me, right?*

This week I have been mostly absent. I have, as you can tell, perhaps, been watching Fast Show dvds, eating incredible amounts, drinking more than I ever drink, and getting books. I hope our plants will be alive when we get hom tomorrow, and hope we have something in the house to cheer me up.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007


It is Boxing Day, but for my purposes I am celebrating Christmas today. So Merry.

I am full of food and have armfuls of loot. Family is nice too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I'm leaving for home tomorrow, am stressed, am feeling awful, and am just generally a waste of space just now. Go rent the Muppets Christmas Carol. I'm going to read, and try to come up with a gift for the spouse.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Trust me on this on

Well, that last bit led me to a whole series of really and truly hilarious links. My face kind of hurts from laughing so hard. Anyway, as a follow up to that last piece, and to my repeated defendings of Potter fanfic, I feel I should link to a the most cheering collection of bad writing and bad ideas that I have seen in a good long while. Non-squicky, I think. For those of you who don't know what squicky means, follow the link and wonder how you got through life before you knew that there was a single word for being appalled by the thought of certain activities and...combinations.

Monday, December 17, 2007

For a friend of mine, who is appalled at my obsession with things Potter

I'll have you know, that I took this quiz, and am not, in fact, obsessed. Not that it would be a problem if I were, mind you. Yes, somewhere deep inside I wish I had robes. This is is not because of Potter. It is because I have a deep desire for cloaks, and robes, and pointy sleeves and pointy shoes. Also, as I am watching The Order of the Phoenix (again), can I point out that there is something very disturbing about Dan Radcliffe Though somebody really needs to talk to him about his taste in (off-screen) clothing. I don't know which is creepier, finding him sexy or seeing him weakly impersonating a dodgy lawyer.

And while you're thinking Potter, you will want to check out this entry - it is where Voldemort and Steve Jobs meet.



Saturday, December 15, 2007


I just came across something so fantastically cool that it kind of makes my eyes water. It is a blog, just when I was thinking, ooh, I fancy a new and exciting blog to read. It is a blog about words, and you know, Romans, friends, countrymen, that I does love wordses! The best part, my darlings, is this: it is a blog about words that people have randomly invented on their blogs. Well, actually that is not the best part. The best part is that I actually found this blog while idly patrolling the internets for references to my own, entirely insignificant blog. Yes, my dears, it is true: I have earned an entry, somehow, obscurely.

It's good to see that my college dream of making it into the dictionary is alive and doing well, and being encouraged by a linguist-like entity.

Seriously though, this blog is so amusing it is making me drool a little. I wish I had come up with the idea. Think of the possibilities! Think of all the times you wish you had known words like "incestiness", "insta-pond" and "done-to-the-deathitude"!

Oh, and if you follow the link from his name, it leads to some stuff containing the adjective "dictionary-licking". Mark Peters, whoever you are, I love you.

Tedium and cruelty

Tedium is a lovely word, a caress of a word for something ugly. In honour of its aesthetic value, I will restyle it to mean the following: time spent doing repetitive, manual tasks. That is close enough to its usual meaning, but keep in mind that both The Artist's Way and the voluntary simplicity people hold that repetitive, slow tasks have their place, and often free up much-needed mindspace. I am not claiming that either entity, particularly the former, has a monopoly on truth, but it is a good pointer.

My job, that unpredictable beast, involves some tedium; as does my own time, on a good day. I clean, catalogue, update, download at various times and in various places, and I notice that this time is valuable to me. By the time I get home, or get done, I often have whole posts/letters/stories/issues sorted out in my head, and all I have to do is show them out. While I love adrenaline-filled crazy days, these slow days of catching up are part and parcel of my set of needs. I like myself better on days when I'm creative in some way or other.

It occurs to me that Julia Cameron reminds me of Sybil Trelawny. I know I'm obsessed with HP, but really, wouldn't you agree? The thick fog of new-agey, fuzzy, touchy-feely self-affirmation in Cameron's book almost convinces you that she must be a fraud, but in spite of herself she has flashes of real insight.

Dit echter geheel terzijde. Sorry, had to say that in Dutch. It means something like "however" or "this entirely aside".
"So" in Northern Irish English.

To come back to the issue of creativity, I've been wondering about whether I should write fanfic. Since I'm obsessed anyway, I might as well make a virtue of necessity. Or whatever you might call obsessive compulsion. I'm not sure that I am brave/well-versed/good enough to actually do so, and the prospect is hopelessly intimidating for some reason, and it would require deeper cover on the internets (another alias...but I like mine). Hmmm. I figure that writing fanfic might displace my covert desire to write romances; so much fanfic is romantic anyway - surely the skills are transferable. Rather than writing about muscular sea-captains one can borrow some more interesting folks from Madam Rowley. Hmmm.

The other thing that I was thinking of today is that one of the truly baffling things in my life is people's behaviour towards the Spouse. My husband is the sweetest, sincerest, silliest person I know. He is also incredibly intelligent. For some reason entirely unknown to me this results in people treating him much worse than he deserves. It is infinitely aggravating to me when people are rude, or worse, off-hand, to him for no better reason than that he is too nice to retaliate. You have no idea how many people I would tell off, refuse to talk to, insult, punch, and generally abuse if it were not for the Spouse's insistence that I should not. I really sometimes feel like the dragon at the gate, being much more direct and on the offensive; and because being mean to him is like kicking the proverbial puppy, I am much more aggressive on my behalf than on my own. Oh the people who treat as a dismissable nice guy. They make my hands itch, even when they're my friends. Grrr.
All right, I'll be good; but I will never understand why so few people really see what a great human being he is.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happiness is a small corner

People have lived on a small scale for a long time - family, village, community. It's only recently that we've started seeing the bigger picture. There's this idea out there that more travel, more knowledge makes you a happier, better person (am I just inventing this?) - I disagree. It makes you a more interesting person perhaps; a better one on a good day. I don't believe, however, that the bigger picture makes anyone happy. Maybe I am too influenced by the Simple Living ideas, but I feel like, while there is no reason for me personally to be unhappy, I do feel terribly guilty about all sorts of global things. People wasting resources we're going to miss in ten years time; conflicts abroad; inhuman conditions in sweatshops. Whatever crosses my mind on a given day. Guilt is a wonderful tool, as the protestants always knew, it'll keep you on your best behaviour. It makes me more conscientious, more careful. My guilt is almost like a better self. Only guilt and happiness don't mix so well, and while my being unhappy doesn't serve the planet especially well, it is hard to be both happy and open-eyed in a complex, huge world forever at your door. When I read about the Rwandan genocide, I feel guilty, because as a Belgian I am implicated by proxy, culturally. Driving around I feel guilty, guilty about all the homeless people I drive past, guilty for driving when I could take the bus. But what does it do, this guilt?

Somebody I know used to say that rabbits prefer hutches to the open field - because the hutch is safe. I think today in the west it is hard not to try to build a hutch for yourself, barricade yourself from the world behind a world of TV, yoga retreats, stress management training and new kitchen appliances. Maybe I should rephrase: I don't mind the idea of enclosing your section of the world; but it is not as simple as it was. Knowledge brings responsibility, and requires judgement. So before anyone builds and enclosure, it is good to make sure that you're not building it on someone else's land, that you do not damage what does not belong to you. Living simply comes into focus again...and the choices that come with it.

This is not easy. Maybe my sense of impending doom is too strong; but it is hard to feel like I - any of us - deserve happiness these days. The truth is that a good hutch is hard to find these days, and that every moment of happiness has to be disentagled from the darkness around it, though some of like to pretend that it's not dark out there. No wonder Harry Potter is so popular. I'm sure we'd all like to believe that if only we could defeat this one force, everything would be ok - but even Harry Potter isn't that simple. No wonder Snape is so popular. We know broken things too well (though not all of them are so wonderfully snide about it)

I woke up with that most guilty song of all - George Michael's "Praying for Time":

... The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure

If we have too much

But we'll take our chances

'Cause God's stopped keeping score

I guess somewhere along the way

He must have let us all out to play
Turned his back and all God's children

Crept out the back door

And it's hard to love, there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope

When there is no hope to speak of

And the wounded skies above say it's much, much too late

Well maybe we should all be praying for time

So you scream from behind your door
Say what's mine is mine and not yours

I may have too much but I'll take my chances
'Cause God's stopped keeping score

And you cling to the things they sold you

Did you cover your eyes when they told you

That he can't come back
Cause he has no children to come back for...

Thursday, December 13, 2007


It occurs to me that I should have a label that says "poetry", rather than just the poet's name. Here's some, in Dutch, which I read in college, and rather love. With clumsy translation:

Mooi is een kooitje
Met een kanarie erin

Heel mooi ook een kooitje
Met een parkiet erin

Met een merel erin, met een kolibri erin,
Een slavink erin, een bos wortelen erin,
Blokjes marmer erin, een glas water erin

Maar het mooiste is eigenlijk
Een kooitje met niets erin
Cage (little cage, literally)
Pretty is a cage
With a canary in it
Very pretty also a cage
With a parakeet in it
With a sparrow in it, with a hummingbird in it,
Buffalo wings in it, some carrots in it,
Cubes of marble in it, a glas of water in it
But the prettiest thing is really
A cage with nothing in it
Poetry is a lovely thing, and while a colleague tells me that sugar is the most addictive substance known to man, I beg to differ; literature is worse; reading is.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You can't be serious

After talking to Allen Ginsberg for a spell, time to get back to the much more important topic of Snape. I just finished re-reading The Half-Blood Prince and it was an illuminating experience. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it is great to re-read the story (sort of backwards, actually) and discover all the clues. It is also more heart-wrenching for me as a Snape fan, because all the stuff you kind of knew at the time about Snape being a good guy and protecting Harry is now crystal clear, and you end up just wanting to beat the boy about the head while yelling "don't you see, you obnoxious brat?"

I'm also listening to Snapecast, the episode before the last, final (regularly scheduled) episode. It is fabulous. Have I mentioned that Snapecast is splendid to the point of magnificence? Intelligent, funny, and much more openly emotional than the man himself, which suits me just fine, and I am still sad that they are stopping their regular broadcasts.

So there is a lot of Snape today. Moreover, there is a rather good piece about him over on Sigune's blog. All of it is making me feel rather obsessive and sad. Or maybe I'm just sad because the Spouse is leaving tomorrow, and I'm being escapist about it. Who knows. Maybe I'm sad because I really want to go to Snapefest but really can't afford the Portus registration - frankly I can't afford anything just now. It's ok. I'll live.

I have to say that after some time of being immersed in fandom, I am still gobsmacked by its depth. I know I keep saying this, but truly it is amazing to see how the portion of it that I am familiar with really does have its wits about it. I feel kind of sad that I am not actually part of it; after a lifetime of being too proud to be a herd animal, I find myself rather fond of this herd of individualists. A troupe of dark, silly, wildly unlikely folk. You see, I love the Harry Potter series, but it's hardly the best or more compelling thing I've ever read. Pretty compelling, yes, but no more so than Lord of the Rings which I also adore; not as well-written as Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea trilogy. No, I have no illusions about it: my fixation with Snape is as much about the fandom as about the books. The fandom writes so well, you see, it saves me the time of making these things up myself.

The truth is I always thought fandom was kind of sad. All the dressing up and fawning over Take That/Patrick Stewart/Alan's just a little sad. I'm not saying I wouldn't happily throw bouquets of roses at Patrick Stewart or Alan Rickman on any given day, but I just feel too old for drooling groupie behaviour. It took me longer than it should have to realise that Alan Rickman is a mere lovely incidental when it comes to Snape fandom, and that while candle-light vigils still make me cringe, I respect all its manifold creative ways of expressing itself. Even if that includes candle-light vigils.

Oh and Take That? I'll throw roses at them too, if they want.


So you haven't heard from me and really, that's probably for the best. It is Monday and to be completely honest with you, the next few weeks are a complete mystery to me.

America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.

Allen, it is like you read my mind and then wrote a poem about a completely different, much more lofty topic, which still somehow resonates with me. Allen, it's a shame that you are dead, and one of many unfortunately deceased people. I wish you were around, like Billy Bragg, who though he is in England, I think, is still remotely reassuring: he exists, I draw comfort from that fact. Maybe someday he will do a gig here; that would be good. The point is, even though I may never see another Billy Bragg show - and I hope I do - the possibility always exists. Not so with Allen, who is so irrevocably dead that call him Allen, like I call Oscar Wilde Oscar.

I always rather thought I would be afraid if I met Oscar Wilde in the flesh, being small, not particularly attractive, female, and generally unexeptional. Still, I'd take my chances.

Anyway, Allen, I blame my sister, I do. She introduced me to you when you were still alive, not in person, which is rather a shame, but on the page, and that was a joy too. And you didn't know it, but you stuck with me, I never could get you of my mind. Not like Walt Whitman, whom I read, and forgot in spite of greatness. Did you know, Allen, that when Oscar Wilde came to America, he sat on Walt Whitman's lap? I bet you knew that, it seems like the kind of story that would please you.

Allen, I have to go, because I have to give someone a ride, and I need to find some money to pay the guy whose mirror I demolished this morning (two dollars and twenty-seven cents indeed). It's nice listening to you, even if I'm too lazy to read a lot of your poetry. I read a little and it makes me feel better, Allen, like chocolate, like when Lupin gives chocolate to Harry Potter. Percy Shelley makes me feel better too, but I can't imagine talking to him; too earnest, though I bet he was a lovely man, a good one. I always felt more at ease with Byron, though I would certainly have been scared of him in real life. There's a lot of things I'm scared of, Allen, I wish I were a little more unabashed like you, though perhaps not quite as unabashed.

Well, take care.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Not keen

It is evening, and I am snuggled up with the Spouse on the couch. There is food in the oven, we're watching a Marx brothers movie, and it's snowing hard outside. I drove home in the snow, which is my accomplishment for the day. I will spend the rest of my evening, and energy, on eating and possibly reading.

I'm not keen on doing anything else.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Beowulf - the point

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Another one of those days

Where I have really fabulous ideas for posts but by the time I get home am too tired to actually write said posts.

Instead, I give you this strangely current piece of Thatcher-era puppet comedy.

Actually, to that I will add that I am reading Philip Gourevitch's We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families. It has lived on my bedside table for a month or two, and I finally convinced myself to read it last weekend. It's a book onto which much praise has been heaped. The praise is all justified; let me leave it at that. When all is said and done, it is likely to be the most depressing thing I will read all year. I think people must be relieved when they read a book like this, relieved that someone has captured some of the story, that someone has done something with the unspeakable trauma, relieving others of that duty. Genocide in 256 pages, discreet, closeable. Finite. Like a holocaust museum, with its reassuring implicit message that it houses and confines atrocity which is not found in the world outside it. Like a Greek tragedy, it'll bring the reader emotion, maybe guilt*; you cry, it ends, you go home.

Maybe you even tell yourself that some people got saved, or liberated, or whatever you choose to call it. I respect Gourevitch for not letting the reader feel like this is a closed chapter. Yeah, even now.

*"The Belgians issued racial identification cards to every Rwandan, giving preferential treatment to Tutsis for positions in education, politics and business." see Wikipedia on the subject

Saturday, December 01, 2007

We have suffered such a loss

Trust me to quote In the Bleak Midwinter on this gloomy day in November. Things are muted here, even as it is a brilliant blue day outside. Yesterday two people of considerable importance to the organisation I work for died; one after an illness, one very suddenly. I knew both of them only slightly; many people here did for decades. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see how much of a loss it must be. I try not to imagine losing someone close to me, to know that you've felt somebody's touch for the last time, that you will never look into their face again.

There's been too much death this year, so much loss. Maybe that is what growing up means: realising what a gaping hole a death leaves, like a crater, affecting everything around it. Mortality is a nasty beast.

I am taking refuge in superficiality, by which I mean I am getting a haircut tonight. I got the recommendation from my personal equivalent of Bike Helmet Girl, so I have high hopes.

Friday, November 30, 2007


Thomas Paine's Common Sense (small, red book) and Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods on tape.

Thomas Paine annoys me for the most part. He is terrible overstated. I guess it served the purpose at the time. Something to balance the British rhetoric and the colonies' doubt. Sure.

Bill Bryson on the other hand is surprisingly agreeable. I appreciate his normalcy. I like hearing about his trip, and with the audiobooks it is like listening to a compelling friend talk. Yes; very friendly. Very Good America, without being uncritical. He is the literary equivalent of muesli. The fact that it is on tape, rather than CD, is somehow comforting.

It looks like I am taking a course in Classic United States stuff. I'll be reading Thoreau next if I don't watch out.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


*TDEC smiles happily, humming "Snape, Snape, Severus Snape"*

Barring major career changes, the TDEC will be working very hard next (early) July. She will be doing so in the gigantic expanse of Texas, as state 2500 times the size of her native land. This is perhaps good for her career, maybe even somewhat fun, but not...exciting as such.


She just found out that, not only is there going to be a Snape conference, but it is in July. In Dallas.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More interesting

I have a blogpost all ready to go, but it is really a boring blogpost, so instead I'm blogging about Beowulf, which I saw over Thanksgiving. To take my cue from Seamus Heaney's modern translation:
So, there's this famous epic poem that I sort of read many years ago, and now someone - including Famous Neil Gaiman - has made a movie of it. So when one of my friends asked if I wanted to go see it I said sure and off we went.

I didn't know that the movie was going to be this weird real/CGI combo. with Anthony Hopkins not quite as himself, and Angelina Jolie as herself, only covered in gold paint... I didn't like the crossover. It just weirded me out; kind of like watching a video game.

What about the story? The story is roughly the original story, kind of over the top. Lots of blood and singing. Sure; I can deal with that. Then Beowulf arrives, and takes off all his clothes, and does naked fighting. I am not sure, but I hope that the objects-conveniently-covering-genitalia thing is intentionally funny; because it is quite funny. I ended up feeling rather sorry for Grendel, really, who comes off as very blood-thirsty sensitive bloke.

Angelina Jolie. Covered in gold paint. With feet shaped like heels. What can I say? You either like that kind of thing or you don't. Seeing Anthony Hopkins' bottom, however, CGI or not, is definitely not on the list of things I want. Oh well - you pays your money...

So? It's a hoot, and the dragon is splendid, but not a very good movie. Oh and I impressed the Spouse by understanding Anglo-Saxon. Muhaha.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So I went to the theatre. The play in question was Hearts by Willie Holtzman; and it took a while to win me over. Centered on Donald Waldman, based the author's father, it describes his life as a Jewish World War II veteran trying to live life in St. Louis. The premise is a familiar one, but Holtzman's pace is high, and the actors do an amazingly energetic job, with everyone but the protagonist taking on other smaller parts as well as their basic parts as the friends Donny plays cards - Hearts - with. Because of the pace, it takes a while for the impact of Donny's experiences to hit the audience. The battlefield scenes are well done, with minimal drama. Perhaps that is why this is such a hard play to shake: because it relates an experience without sentiment; though no without emotion or a sense of humour.

It's hard to represent WWII successfully; and it is harder to represent the Holocaust. Shoah. Whatever you choose to call it. There is an ongoing debate as to what, if anything, should be represented; how, and who by; and all I can say is that I hope there never is a definitive answer to any of these questions. Claude Lanzmann's interviews with survivors ("is that all we are?" Donny says) in Shoah may be more direct than Hearts, or Maus; but somehow the play and the comic seem more real to me, all the while showing all of their flaws. If we can't use art to show what can't be said or written, then what is it for?


Growing up in Belgium, the World Wars and the Holocaust are closer to us than they are to most people in the US. We are better off for the collective trauma, for the school and personal tours of work and concentration camps, for walking through Flanders Fields, for reading and visiting the past imprinted on my small country and our small continent. When I walk across the Civil War battlefields - they're all around us, here - I learn to understand more about the US as it is now than I would in perhaps any other way. The World Wars matter to all of us, every day; it not a bad idea to do some hands-on learning.

Some stuff

On Thanksgiving:
I am going to be off tomorrow evening, to celebrate the glorious holiday of Thanksgiving. I am bringing part 1 of The Half-Blood Prince with me for the trip to get into the right sort of mindset.

And don't I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I will not bore you with the list of acknowledgements; just take my word for it. It is November 20th, and I feel like all I want to do is hum, and maybe do a little dance, since I am a terrible singer. So if you see someone in a beat-up car singing along loudly to KT Tunstall or Franz Ferdinand, it's probably me.

On theatre:
I'm going to the theatre tonight, my old paramour. It reminds me of why theatre is such an addictive environment. It is - and I guess this is no coincidence - the hobby equivalent of moving countries: new, exciting things, short timespans, high emotion and hastily forged relationships. It is incredibly stimulating and intense, and it will show you people in a way you would not otherwise see them (in their underwear. emotionally vulnerable. exhausted. passionate...). Putting on a play, like moving countries, is like falling in love, and it is no wonder that they often get confused. Like a rollercoaster, and I'll quote Billy Bragg because he is better with words than I am: "It was just like being on a fast ride at the Fun Fair- the sort you want to get off because it's scary and then, as soon as you're off again, you want to get straight back on again"

So what do you get, except old pictures and playbills? Why do theatre, when you can't remember the lines you spent weeks learning three days later, when you lost touch with the people you met? Well, here's your doggie bag: you get to keep some of the friends, if you like that sort of thing; perhaps even some of the lovers. Hopefully, you keep your ability to speak, to step out of yourself for a moment. Hopefully you remember the audacity that a stage confers on anyone on it.
Mostly, though, I learned not to take myself all too seriously, and not to trust dramatic emotion.
Humour me, and let me close with Billy:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This charming...

I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear...

I have the Smiths' song of the above lyrics -This Charming Man- in my head and that in turn reminds me of Lilo & Stitch. In fact I have gone out tonight, sort of anyway, in a mild way.

And really, the most apt thing for my mood is the one below -
Keats and Yeats are on your side
While Wilde is on mine

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jeremy Irons, anyone?

I am watching a show on VH1, and they're knocking Jeremy Irons' sense of clothing. I think he looks fabulous. See picture.

I am not going to think beyond bad fashion. It's just not possible. Maybe good fashion. Maybe, if I am feeling especially inspired, I will think about Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada. But only if I'm feeling inspired.

This has been a long day. I am going to find a snorgle.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Whatever, I'm tired now

It has been an intense week, and I am working tomorrow. My social life baffles me, and my social networking technology does nothing to alleviate the general confusion. I need to go and watch The Devil Wears Prada, and wear some really kickass shoes tomorrow. And reserve my spot on the Snapecast Express, apparently.

And your music to soothe the senses today is Roby Lakatos, who is so long out of Hungary that he can perhaps be forgiven.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Naked Time

So what it the deal with all the naked rituals? As you may have gathered, I have a special fondness for the Harry Potter Puppet Pals youtube videos, and one of the more baffling yet amusing elements of these videos is concept of Naked Time. Specifically, Dumbledore Naked Time. If you don't know what I'm talking about, please go check it out; that said, if you've ignored me so far, you probably will this time too.

Cut to The Da Vinci Code, the terrible movie made after the decidedly mediocre book. Chanting, hoods and naked people. A girl is peering into the room. Cut to Eyes Wide Shut, the movie which could have been fabulous, and the ritualistic masked nudity therein. What is it with naked rituals? Is it just the excuse for nudity? Or is ritualistic naked time just kinkier? And what to make of the virtual puppet naked time? Surely this cannot be conceived as being in any way erotic? My favourite explanation of Naked Time is that the HPPP are having a laugh at the expense of the serious nudity. I don't think that this is the intended effect of the videos; I think Neil Ciceriega just thought it was funny to have Dumbledore be entirely randomly naked; and it is. I will however continue to cherish my own interpretation of Naked Time as mocking random nudity in fanfic, on tv, in movies, by showing, not young, firm, erotic nudity; but by instead denuding the featureless handpuppet of perhaps the most non-sexual of the main HP characters (although, what with him now being gay, one might expect changes; no matter, the videos as pre-Gaydore).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

On misery, and how I got to be so wary

(This is an added-to old thing)

Or weary, depending on how you look at it. Yesterday evening was so lovely, when I finally relaxed, and got to enjoy All Hallows Eve, all that. Then there was this persistent noise, it might almost have been metaphorical, and that was the end of the relaxed evening. I stood outside at one a.m. in my pyjamas and my cloak looking up at the stars and wondering if the faint hum I was still hearing was actually there or whether it was a symptom of my mental imbalance.

Happiness, contentment make me anxious; life has a way of beating you up just when you think it's all over. Like a horror movie, where the psychopath/zombie/cannibal/armageddon tries to kill the protagonist one more time. The difference with real life is that it rarely lets you get off with just the one extra attempt.

On the other hand, bad days usually wring the best out of others - rainy days yield random friendly smiles and umbrellas; a timely cancellation gives you an evening off when you need it most. Of course, what with my undercurrent of misery from having to give up Snapecast, there isn't much that can cheer me up. Apart from fanfic and my curious professional ambitions. And the Spouse, pretending to be a deer. And good carrot cake.

Friday, November 09, 2007

In unusual circumstances

I am blogging on the go. It is turning out to be rather a miserable Friday, but I am holding out for a drink and the dearly paid company of the Spouse. While I wait for those, in the sad sad absence of Snapecast, there is only one cure for my ills: silly cat pictures. I wish I had wizard sleeves.


I am listening to The Princess Bride. My mind is on Elvis and Cary Elwes.
"Now, a cartwheel would be something"*

In Spanish, it is called La princesa prometida, I think, and I saw it in in Spanish first, when I was twelve, on New Year, with an older girl. It is a long time ago, and she is no longer there, only that memory.

A good fairytale, a good story, and plenty of silliness. What's not to like?

Princesses are not quite my bag, though somewhere I have a pink princess dress that hasn't fit me since I was twelve. I admit, gladly, with relief, that I am just like everyone else.

*Yes, I know that the actual quote is something to the effect of "Now, a wheelbarrow would be something", but I like my version better.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Woe is me

One of my friends tells me "surely this was to be expected?' - only one never does expect the inevitable. By "the inevitable" I mean, of course, Snapecast's impending retirement. Surely they cannot deprive us of their company so soon? I'm not even done grieving over the end of the series *weeps Japanese-cartoon-style, very dramatically*.

"I'm getting used to the floor" sings Travis somewhere in their early work, and I have been sprawled on it amid symetrically grouped shots of Aftershock, watching The Order of the Phoenix and Star Wars to drown my sorrows. I have been standing in the rain on one leg, wearing my Snape, because ambiguity is sexy t-shirt, singing all the voices in The Mysterious Ticking Noise, but to no avail. Snapecast, I beg of you, don't break my bereaved heart.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

To contradict myself

Update: it occurs to me how much funnier the Stakka Bo video is if you think that I am supposed to practice simple living...maybe I can substite the music for the actual over-consumption.

The lovely KT Tunstall to express the flipside of perpetual insecurity:

Because the past is past, and in the present I have better shoes, better looks and better luck.

Oh, and Stakka Bo. Yeah, I'm feeling cheery, and tipsy, as well as dumb.

How to be dumb

Because I do feel dumb, and I love this song, and I don't know how to fix this feeling, short of getting another degree.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Eagles. Wrapped in American flags.

My home country, my heimat has no history of national patriotism.

America has a lot of it. Flags. Eagles. At first, you think it's odd. Then you decide it's a little over the top. Then you think it's mildly strange (spraypainted on the the back of trucks, next to Jesus). Then you see an NSA powerpoint with a giant picture of an eagle, wrapped in a flag.

You try not to giggle; because if you've learned anything, it is that in the US, the security and secret services have no sense of humour. They have signs in the airport to remind you of it.

On tightly wound men

It has been far too long since I wrote about Snape, and s.s. stone on her lovely blog recommends posting things of interest, so here goes, though I am notoriously bad at being of interest. For some time now, the Spouse and I have been debating the merits of tightly wound men. Your Snapes, your Mr. Darcys, your Mr. Rochesters - men who are distant and arrogant to a flaw (you mean there's a good kind of distant and arrogant?), yet who tremble under the strain of their vehement emotions like so many pressure cookers.

Time for an anecdote, I think. When I was at the UBC, one of the professors there - small, Irish, funny - was complaining about dark, brooding men. Specifically, he told the story of being at a party which also included Colin Firth, he of eternal Darcy fame. Firth was, according to him, standing in a corner looking gloomy, thereby causing all the women to gravitate to the aforementioned corner; and leaving the other men with the hard work of attracting women's attention and talking to them.

Why is it that women find these hopeless, erratic, repressed, pointlessly noble and often outright ugly men attractive? Why is it - the Spouse laments - that Darcy gets all the attention, when Bingley is so much more pleasant? How is it that even I, with my love of amiable, enthused men in real life, still go for the fictional brooding stranger? My bet is that it's the suspense - the longer it takes for the man to express his emotions, the more tension in the romantic plot. We may prefer the actual Bingley, but Darcy just makes for a better story (not to mention Colin Firth, who does smouldering very well). The other thing is that women do love to patch up broken things, and all three of the fictional heroes (no matter what JKR says!) mentioned are broken in one way or another, injured by some old secret. If anyone has opinions, speak them, if not...then you're probably doomed to another Post of Interest soon. *throws her head back and laughs demonically*

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Halloween. After a long, stressful day, it turns out that what relaxed me, wore the stress and coffee out of me, is a visit to the (new, nice) dentist.

Halloween. I drove home in the dark through the pretty, leafy neighbourhoods, where kids were trick or treating. It was so idyllic that I couldn't feel any cynicism about it. It was just sweet.

The stressful, yet interesting, day consisted of hearing about very new, very nifty things, which a bunch of people (who don't exist) are willing to commercialise (to the right people, with appropriate security clearance). Oh, and there were some physicists there too, I think, and lots of people in suits. Really, I have the strangest job sometimes.

I wore the Star Trek suit for the first time, but didn't talk to enough geeks to enjoy it much.

On being a shoddy friend, family member and so forth

On the topic of Julius Caesar, the TDEC wishes to let her readers know that it is a good thing that he never had to look after any children, because frankly, between politics and warfare, she doubts that he would have found the time.

She notes, also, that her acronym TDEC has taken the route of IBM's - while the acronym remains, the original reference is mostly lost, as in the case of International Business Machines, where only a minute part of the operation is concerned with actual machines. As such, it would be much more appropriate for the outfit to change its acronym to IB, International Business, a suitably vague description of its ambitions for world domination. When one's brand is the third best known in the world, though, it does not pay to change it, and so IBM will be IBM; and for entirely unrelated reasons the TDEC, too, chooses to stick with the status quo.

The status quo is onerous. It is such that the TDEC is seriously considering skipping her Voluntary Simplicity meeting - which is designed, among other things, to aid people in improving their time management. It is such that communication with friends and family, always complicated across timezones, has been compromised. Most distressingly, the status quo involves very little outright fun/relax time, which includes, but is not limited to: reading anything other than the most undemanding and comforting of writing, quality spousal time, drinks with friends, watching Monk, sleeping late, looking up the number of inhabitants of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; pointless calls, making origami, watching puppet videos on youtube, cooking properly.

Well, the TDEC gets frequent flyer miles out of it, and driving practice. She supposes that that must be a good thing. She is also, somehow, still finding time to blog. She supposes it must be lack of silliness in RL.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scenario for dealing with people you haven't seen in a million years and aren't sure you want to be friends with, in view of modern technology

TDEC opens her mailbox. Somebody she hasn't thought about in years is wanting to be her Friend. She is wanting to ignore, not just the request, but the whole swatch of her past it reminds her of. She considers declining; but the person is inoffensive enough, and has not inflicted any harm on her. And is the past not past.

She responds affirmatively, and allows herself to gloat over trivialities for a moment. In principle she would like to be indifferent to who's ahead (meaning: has a more prestigious job/college education) and who's behind (meaning: has travelled less/has an even more pointless degree), but she can't help herself. It is on her roadmap for Being a Better Person.

Given a choice between being a little mean and being a little disingenuous...

Instead, she writes in the third person, as if she were Julius Caesar.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


The Spouse finally convinced me to join a social networking site. It turns out to be the strangest confrontation with the past - running across people you'd forgotten, and don't especially want to remember; finding your friends, like discovering they're in a secret society. Strangest of all, I find myself looking at profiles of people I hadn't forgotten at all, but somehow packed away; people I'd never thought I'd talk to again. Something to remind me that while the past is past, the people still exist, meandering along in their lives. What a bittersweet thing.

It is still raining here; this is positive in the sense that I get to wear my cloak.

Friday, October 26, 2007

It rained today as well. It was raining this morning at 6.30 am when I started for Washington DC, in the dark, and it was still raining on the way back, which took me longer than I am willing to remember. I am now only afraid of ice, snow, and LA.

While I was driving, I thought of a cool post, which now, a tutoring session later, I am too tired to write. To be honest, I was probably too tired by the time I got home. A man-from-Porlock sort of situation, only with the man from Porlock being DC traffic, and without me being a Romantic genius.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Tomorrow is Friday. I am truly grateful. It will be a long day, but at the end of it there will be the weekend, the entirety of which I will spend sleeping, bathing, reading, and talking to as many people I’ve neglected as possible. If I have time left after that, I will lie on the sofa dreaming of a trip down the west coast.

Don’t let any of this convince you that this was not a good day. Apart from the driving, it was all about learning things I can use and teaching things that matter. Not a bad use of one’s Thursday.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rain, ethics and zen

It's a rainy day in Baltimore. I love rainy days. I love the way they can calm you down, slow you down.

Just for the fun of it, let me link to another Gaydore response on a blog I keep an eye on. It has so many of my fixations in one place, and is entirely kosher.

Speaking of fixations, you will notice that I keep coming back to the same things. One of those these things is George Orwell's essay on Ghandi, specifically this quote:

"The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals."

You know, I've probably quoted it before. I think I mentioned that I am in a Voluntary Simplicity group, and the thoughts of people there bring me back to the dilemma implicit in the quote: when do you let go, take a step back, detach, and when do you hang on for dear life? What matters in your life? What drives you*? What makes you happy**? What is worth spending your time on?
I know; my heart is in the right place. What matters is my spouse, family, friends (not necessarily in that order). Also: using my brain and being creative. Being socially useful. So how do I live by that? Where do I find the time.

Orwell is an interesting figure. He is so unlike the other writers I admire - homophobic, fanatic. Also: fiercely political, ethical, active. I respect him more than perhaps any writer for writing things that were right, rather than well-written. I respect him for having the courage of his opinions. I respect him for fighting on the best side of the Spanish Civil War (which didn't really have a good side). Reading his work has changed a good many of my attitudes, my ideas, my concept of what matters.

I still like pretty shoes though.

*Desire, enthusiasm, sheer silliness
**The Goldberg Variations, loved ones, good food, dramatic coats, quiet time, a good discussion, a good book or play, autumn leaves, the sound of rain on the window, Snapecast,...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Ok, I know. I have been less than consistent lately. Rather, I have been less than present lately, in spite of the fact that I have purchased more shoes and had more adventures. I have spent hours being paid to be nice to old people, and will spend considerable time this week being paid to drive through rush hour DC traffic; my personal version of hell as a new driver. I resolved last week to meditate every day, just ten minutes or so. In retrospect that seems the height of optimism.

I will remind myself of Julia Cameron and mention that sometimes it is all about just showing up and putting in the work, no glory or glamour. Which is not to say that I have been writing, because I haven't, being entirely unsure of the usefulness of such an undertaking.

Achievement of the day, then, is showing up this morning, no mean feat. On the plus side, I got to see the Pacific for my trouble. And you know what? That makes it all worthwhile.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The things that happen when you look away for even a second (Deathly Hallows Spoilers!!!!)

Blimey. Dumbledore is gay? Like the whole Harry-is-a-horcrux thing, which seemed like a crackpot idea from overactive minds at first, it has turned out to be canon. I was glad to hear it, really, the series desperately needed some filling in when it comes to the emotional lives of the Hogwarts staff, but I admit this one blindsided me. A previous version of the article mildly states that "explicit scenes with Dumbledore already have appeared in fan fiction". One does wonder who it is who is writing these explicit scenes. I can't say I want to read them, but hey, whatever floats people's proverbial boats.

Anyway, it is nice to hear some interesting comments out of JKR; I had rather taken to ignoring her after all the mean/soppy stuff she said about Snape. In line with my getting at real life through blogs, I found the story on Telanu's blog, see dodgy link in sidebar, relevant warnings apply.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I have been reading furiously lately, and it occurs to me that endings are the hardest part to write. Which reminds me that I need to get writing again, or should at least re-work my latest thing, but well, soon...

Anyway, fiction endings are difficult. Tragic endings are a good thing sometimes, and if you can steer clear of too much sentiment, or are really good at it, then it works like nothing else, and is not too impossible to write. Examples: The Last of the Mohicans, my favourite tragic book. Also Happiness, the movie, although perhaps "incredibly depressing" is more apt than tragic. The Time Traveller's Wife is another straight, gut-wrenching ending. Oh, and Under the Volcano. Oh heavens, the thought of it alone; though it is a tragedy/redemption ending, really.One more! JD Salinger's short story "A perfect day for bananafish"; this story is also possible the best short story I've read. If you haven't read it, please do. It's short. Seriously, you need to read it.

Then there are the neither-here-nor-there ending, the ambiguous, tantalising endings. Unfinished, unclear endings are, in my book, the easiest to write and the hardest to read. The have great effect, but are quite...unfulfilling. Of course; that being the point. I respect them most when the author has resisted the temptation to give a story an obvious ending. Examples...hmmm...probably Ulysses. James Joyce's. It sort of smells like a happy ending, but it's Joyce, and you never quite get what you get. I like that. Beckett, of course, Beckett. Master of the neither-here-nor-there in every part of the story. Anything by him, most famously Waiting for Godot. Gone with the Wind, too, does a pretty good job, even if it is far, far too long.

But the hardest endings to write are the happy ones. Well, not really. It is hard, though, to write a good, satisfying, non-cloying happy ending. I still find them most satisfying to read, predictably, but they are hard to come by. Jane Austen is mistress of the art, she writes her whole story for the ending. She does the sentiment well, most of the time. She does make you want it so, and then gives you just what you want. That's good. Particularly in Persuasion. Sadly, it turns out that JK Rowling cannot write a happy ending well; and can't even leave much to the reader's imagination. That, however, is neither here nor there.

Anyway, I have to run. Perhaps more later.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Still no

It is the end of a long day, and I have done a lot, and I don't particularly feel like talking about any of it. My head is swimming; all in all, things are good, though with little enough time to enjoy it.

Well - a silly note then. This weekend I bought a skirt suit that looks remarkably like a Star Trek uniform. It is at the dry cleaners now, but look forward tremendously to wearing it at work with a glint in my eye. It'll carry me through hours of employment related stress. Especially since I have also acquired a cloak. A green one. Kind of like the elves wear in Lord of the Rings.

*throws back head and laughs demonically*

Yes. I'll wear it with my wizard sleeve-equivalent shoes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I know

The blogging has been sporadic this week. What can I say? Things are sub-optimal. Time for some more tea.

Friday, October 12, 2007


When I visited the US for the second time, I had random allergies. Someone gave me American allergy stuff and that was the end of the allergies. Rather unfortunately, it was also the end of sleep for the next couple of days, which I spent feeling like I had accidentally taken something rather stronger and less benevolent than an antihistamine. Many more things are available over the counter in the US than in Europe; moreover, different medication is used. I was reminded of this this morning when I realised why I hadn't slept last night, at least not until I had resorted to means usually reserved for the direst emergencies. If you wonder who reads medication monographs, well, I do. All of them. I remembered then that one of the potential side effects of the medication I'd been given yesterday morning was insomnia. By this afternoon it had finally clicked in my head that the last time I felt this jittery and spaced out was that time on holiday in Florida. Pseudoephedrine being the common ingredient. I guess people here build up a tolerance to it, Sudafed-guzzling lot that they are; but my European bod is used to milder things, and pseudoephedrine's chemical resemblance to amphetamine is pretty tangible to me. Jitters, high bloodpressure, loss of appetite, dizziness. Charming. Who needs illegal drugs when there's 24 hour Sudafed?


When I have a lot of work I really need to do, I sometimes work really hard and just get it all over with in a flash. However the task at hand is a slow, time-consuming one, and so I am having a hard time not procrastinating, especially since I am frustrated about not getting something important I needed to do over lunch done, I am frustrated that I am continually tired in spite of sleeping the required number of hours, and I am frustrated because I can't just get on with this task. As such I am writing this to perhaps be posted later. Anyway.

So I visit the usual blogs, get lost on a few of the LiveJournals. I visit them feeling like a voyeur, since I don't participate, just watch.
They refer to it as RL, Real Life. Things like that never fail to make me smile. RL indeed - mostly referred to as a barrier to blogging, or writing. RL can be troublesome, though it does involve dinner and a show, during which I will most likely fall asleep, considering my recent narcoleptic tendencies. It also includes puppets, albeit marginally, in the form of Labyrinth, which I watched yesterday.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Football, movies, such things

From a niceish coffeebar, we bring you your weekend post. I just finished a piece of work and am waiting for the Spouse to finish his. It is Sunday evening, another weekend gone heaven knows where, gone to watching football (actually, talking to people watching football), puzzling and watching Hot Fuzz, which by the by is really good, though towards the end it starts to resemble Shaun of the Dead to an alarming extent. They do rather literally bring an axe to the myth of the English countryside. All the same, it makes me miss England for a minute. Then I remember the terrible service, the terrible food, the idiotic drinking; and I decide I can put up with the US, particularly on a glorious autumn day.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Clothes and food

Somebody has the best jacket in the world and it is not me. I resent this. Oh. Meryl Streep. Empf. Anyway, I just saw The Devil Wears Prada twice, partly through coincidence (cheap impulse buy on a daytrip), partly through bizarre overlaps between it and Snape fandom that you really don't want to know about. Rather than resulting in my pondering Meryl Streep's attractiveness -not to be sneezed at-, which is apparently a popular pursuit, it has led to my being endlessly fascinated by all the beautiful clothes - not usually my thing - and by the opening track, KT Tunstall's Suddenly I See.

On another topic, what is up with anthropomorphic food? Seriously, the smiling pigs and crustaceans, it puts me off food altogether. Dancing carrots. This morning in traffic I passed a truck that had a lobster, a cow and a chicken arm in arm. As in "look, your food, it's happy! Now let's kill it!"

Yuck. No wonder I have to escape into fashion.

Friday, October 05, 2007

To do

Over the next few months things are going to be fairly busy. Both the Spouse and I have miscellaneous work commitments and trips, as well as some personal travel (yay! Thanksgiving and Practicing Idealist/Drek's wedding). Moreover that weekday calendar that I am used to being fairly empty is steadily filling up with all sorts of random stuff - theatre, writing, tutoring, voluntary simplicity discussion things. And I'd love to take up dancing as well.

The lazy part of me, which is considerable, is appalled. But my sociable, image oriented self is pleased.

Also, can I just mention that this man Yeats isn't half bad?

Thursday, October 04, 2007


"Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them."
one of my usual quotes...

Dancing is a another form of oblivion I indulge in - privately, secretively. It's good to forget yourself and remember your body.

Today I spent my work day in front of a bunch of missiles. Strange, the things one does in the line of duty, really. In my time as a civilian, I listen to Snapecast. It makes things better.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Tonight, I just want to sleep. I wish you much of the same.

I had some point to make, but my mum just went home, and the Spouse got back, and I'm tired.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Humanity has not ceased to baffle me. At work, my nemesis has recently decided that, not only do I actually exist, but I am worthy of the human niceties. Two of the people that I would consider somewhere near my wavelength, on the other hand, have been acting strangely, brushing me off in the oddest (and funniest) manner; then complimenting my shoes a few days later as if nothing happened. Of course, my shoes are gorgeous and one may not be able to resist complimenting me on them. Behold the power of the shoe.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

How I wish it were

Cruising youtube after a crazy day, I find myself wishing that life abroad were really this glamourous, all about good accessories and distinguished accents.

Friday, September 28, 2007


My lingering interest in linguistics causes me to read Language Log; and for this I am grateful. Mark Liberman's post about the misrepresentation of research on gender differences in happiness (whatever that means) in the press is fascinating. Head over if that kind of thing interests you, as it does me.

The loveliest thing

I would love to have posted a picture of my beaded top in response to s.s. stone. Instead, you will find the latest addition to my list of Shiny, Beautiful Things I Own. They are a little too small, so I have to go back and get another size and cross my fingers that they have it. I love the slight pointiness. I am usually not a wearer of pointy shoes, but the points on these are...the shoe equivalent of wizard sleeves (see also the fake button).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Emblems of Conduct

I am letting Hart Crane talk to you, because I can't verbalise my thoughts.

By a peninsula the wanderer sat and sketched

The uneven valley graves. While the apostle gave

Alms to the meek the volcano burst

With sulphur and aureate rocks...

For joy rides in stupendous coverings

Luring the living into spiritual gates.

Orators follow the universe

And radio the complete laws to the people.

The apostle conveys thought through discipline.

Bowls and cups fill historians with adorations--

Dull lips commemorating spiritual gates.

The wanderer later chose this spot of rest

Where marble clouds support the sea

And where was finally born a hero.

By that time summer and smoke were past.

Dolphins still played, arching the horizons,

But only to build memories of spiritual gates.

"The Emblems of Conduct", Hart Crane

Hum ho

Yes, I know, I am hardly posting. I have noticed that, while it seems to matter whether or not I post, it does not, on the whole, seem to matter what I post about. Or how lengthily I post. So perhaps I should just write two-line posts with cute pictures of moose or something all the time, and be done with it.

In front of me, I have someone's business card. It says "strategic advisor". I love the vagueness of this title, to the extent that I rather covet it. What strategy? Whose? What is he advising on? On strategy? Or is he strategic to the organisation as an advisor?

You know, on the whole, enjoying the little things in life is a wonderful skill. Sock puppet nudity, for example, is great. Autumn round here, clear and blue, and a little chilly. Reading a really compelling piece of writing. Making food with loved ones. Lolcats. Compliments, given and taken. Severus Snape t-shirts. It's all wonderful; and it doesn't take much of anything.

Monday, September 24, 2007

No more

You would think that it was a wonderful thing: two of my favourite things linked - I am referring, of course, to Fake Steve and Stephen Fry's blog; because Stephen Fry blogged about his affection for the iPhone. I'd almost forgotten - the man is a geek.

Stephen Fry, actor, writer, comedian, wonderful voice for audiobooks, friend to the select stars, and more of that stuff, the man has a place in my heart, as I believe I have mentioned before. I have sort of lost track of him recently because his own website kind of crushed the best website about him, but sadly his own site wasn't all that interesting at the time. So I got bored and wandered off, and then he wasn't writing any books either...anyway, so here he is on Fake Steve, so of course I go over and read the post. Well, some of it anyway, because about a page into the enormous post I get bored, I know, I have the attention span of a goldfish, but Stephen, blogs weren't made for posts this long, really, they weren't. You should write that book instead.

iPhones. He really likes them. Well good for him. Oh, I'm not saying I don't, they're all pretty, and they're so nifty, and oooh icons and all the things it does and youtube (puppetry on your phone!), and maps, and yes, it's just...good. Apple approaches technology as it were jewellery. The are of course downsides as well; but either way it's beside the point. I resent how much of an idle luxury it is, how much of a pointless, overpriced toy. And to hear someone I respect and admire go on and on about how many smartphones he's just disappointing. I don't live such a frugal life, so I'm not one to throw stones. We all perceive different things as luxuries. In my case, travel is my great luxury - it's terrible ecologically speaking, and not something I really want to cut down on. I know I should leave the Galapagos and the Cook islands well alone, but given half a chance, I would go. I am still disappointed though. I could be excited to remember that the man is a geek. Instead I just think it is self-indulgent.

Is it a problem that I am basing this rant on about a third of a Stephen Fry blogpost? Meh, it's a blog, who am I kidding anyway. A sad day in the land of the Beast, especially since I didn't bring any chocolate to work. Instead I am craving the Stephen Fry audiobook of The Half-Blood Prince.
Anyway, I'm still going to add him to my blogroll. Because he's a nice man. Because he's a good writer. Because he's a good actor. But mostly because he's nice.

I guess it all ties in to the no more heroes anymore thing...