Friday, January 26th, 2007 02:42 am
Phew. A whole night of taking notes on chromatin remodelling, and I'm finally getting a grip on the subject. Just need to write a tute essay on it all tomorrow, and actually turn up and discuss it. My mind is absorbing things a lot better than it used to, which is exceedingly hopeful. It's really too late to carry on now, though, so I shall crash into bed without quite completing my Masquerade Ball outfit - it'll need to wait until tomorrow. Also, the amazing-sounding house may be available for viewing from tomorrow, so I also need to arrange that.

I'm tired, busy, but things do seem to be coming together for me. Not as fast as I'd like, but they're getting there. Oxford, you beat me once before, but I'm back, I know how you grind me down, and I'm not going to let you get on top of me again.
Thursday, January 25th, 2007 09:10 pm
Have a post from last night, when my internets weren't working. Update on today later, I think.

Feeling most odd right now. I'm pretty sure this has something to do with the fact that I've lost my wallet somewhere in my house, and thus also my venlafaxine, which a) alters my brain chemistry (usually in a good way) and b) has a half-life of around 11 hours, so is pretty sensitive to my missing doses. I'm also fairly sure that something else odd is going on, as I have a rash across my chest, and stomach strangeness, which started before losing the wallet. Bah.

The last couple of days have been oddly up and down, with much househunting and an amazingly lovely house being snatched out from under our ([livejournal.com profile] deathbyshinies, [livejournal.com profile] sebastienne, Ashley WINOLJ and [livejournal.com profile] me_ves_y_sufres) noses. We actually viewed it, decided to allow ourselves one night to be absolutely certain, went into the letting company to pay the deposit, and saw someone else signing the form as we went in. I blame myself partially, for tempting the Fates by saying that if anyone were in there asking for it, we'd just have to club them over the head and throw them out. Also, we chose a name prematurely, settling on the House of Negotiable Affections. Well, they proved to be just a little too negotiable, the cheap little tart!

Still, there are other houses available - one really quite nice which we've seen, and some that sound amazing tomorrow, so All Is Not Lost.

In the wandering around Cowley I also happened to acquire a wonderfully tiny flintlock pistol in Bead Games. This made me unreasonably happy. It also coincided with my receiving a mailshot for next years Maelstrom, which I am already excited about, and the finalisation of other mask-related shenanigans, at the Dark Masquerade.

Also had several very strange dreams recently, which I suspect might well be trying to tell me something. (I'm skeptical of the notion that dreams can be genuinely prophetic/meaningful, but I'm pretty sure they're a good flag of the unconscious) Other people's dreams rarely make much sense when recounted, but it had to do with my family finding out I'm bi. I've been thinking about coming out to them at some point, because there's very little I don't share with them, and it feels really shit to have to be hiding stuff from them. Which I suppose is also why I was rather upset recently at my mother's comment on my choice of housemates/friends, "Do you actually know any straight, single girls?", in a Ha Ha Only Serious fashion. Hmm. A glance over my flist indicates that...

Returning to the 'oh-dear-I-do-hope-these-aren't-mood-swings' topic, I seem to be incredibly susceptible to emotional manipulation by music at the moment. In which spirit, I bring you Badger Boys, by the Dancing Did (and if anyone else has anything by them, I will love you forever) and Song For The Asking, by Simon and Garfunkel. And something that made me squee, Torchwood/Under Milk Wood crossover parody thingy
Tuesday, January 16th, 2007 03:12 am
Aha! I have found my knife. I can now leave the house without feeling incomplete.

Tidying taking longer than expected.
Monday, January 15th, 2007 03:31 am
A run up to the Perch and back at 3am was exactly what I needed tonight. I have my first lecture as a returned student in a little over 6 hours time.

A brief list of topics I intend to post on later; antidepressant implants, folk music resonance, self terms in calculus of utility, housing and animals, ethics of meat.

My room is a mess, and it feels somehow wrong to start the term in this state, so I'm going to tidy up.
Monday, December 11th, 2006 05:58 am
God, if such a thing exists, has a wonderfully twisted sense of humour, and perfect comic timing.

Yesterday (being saturday, as today hasn't started yet due to me being in bed) featured many bad things. In the morning, I find out I've been laid off yet again, and am likely to be in serious difficulties with paying rent. I ring my parents to inform them of this news. Uncharacteristic blazing argument ensues over my living arrangements. I phone back an hour or so later to try to patch things up. That's when I get the news of some tests my grandad's been having. He has cancer.

In the face of pretty diabolical news I console myself - I'm going to see Placebo tonight with [livejournal.com profile] sebastienne. Even that is in its way bittersweet, as the tickets are a birthday present from a very special friend back home, who can't come because of work, and whom I see far too seldom now I live in Oxford.

So, I get dressed up ready to go, walk into town, phone [livejournal.com profile] sebastienne, and ask which bus she wants to catch. Oh noes! She hadn't realised that she'd have to do admissions interviews in the morning, and can't make it either. Whilst on the phone outside Sainsburys the final misery is added. A pigeon shits on me. All over the sleeve of a jacket that I have just got dry-cleaned.

There's not a lot that you can do at that point other than throw yourself under a bus or laugh maniacally. I did the latter, all the way back to Hellfire, thinking I might be better off just spending the rest of the day in bed. Now the upturn comes.

Kerry, who gave me the tickets, discovers that she's not working until 4pm the next day, and phones me to say that if I've not given the tickets to anyone else do I want her to come. Yes! So I get indoors, change, and dash back to get the Oxford Tube before I miss the concert altogether. I arrive, find Kerry, and we run into the Wembley Arena as Placebo come on stage.

A phone call on the way back gives slightly better news about my grandad - he's going in for chemotherapy on Monday, and the tumours should be surgically removed around New Year.

These sorts of things happen - life does horrible crap to people sometimes. Having it all in one day just started to feel like a sick joke. Then, suddenly, old friends, music, and surprise provide just the edge you need to break through and realise, yes, it is a joke. A serious one, but a bloody good one too.
Saturday, December 9th, 2006 03:47 pm
Shitty day. Shitty, shitty day.

I have a spare Placebo ticket for tonight, in London. Anyone fancy coming with me?
Tuesday, November 28th, 2006 01:55 am
I start a new job tomorrow. I've had a frustratingly unproductive few days, and am slightly anxious about the next few days, which will require me to actually be awake early in the mornings, and take part in wonderful silliness in Cinderella (tomorrow, wednesday and thursday, tickets from natalie.mills@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk) I imagine these two factors, with the huge piece of pork I had for dinner are causing my stomach to do odd and not entirely pleasant things.

However, looking over my friendslist I have a great deal to be thankful for, if this is the greatest of my problems. So, I'm drinking tea to settle myself, and trying to sleep.
Friday, November 24th, 2006 08:05 pm
Trying to convince myself that non-attendance at the RPGSoc party tonight was a wise decision, and that I'm better off staying in and studying. Not doing too well at the moment, but I'm going to try to get lost in a couple of papers and maybe I'll be more enthusiastic later. I have a number of half-formed ideas I'd like to kick about, and getting them to shut up in favour of the intricacies of the cell cycle and tumour suppressors is a bit of a loosing battle.

At least I think I've thoroughly knocked on the head the idea of using X across my home network. It's one of those wonderful Matt-ideas which will save 5 minutes each week, whilst taking at least 96 hours of work to set up. In short, it's not worth it. Much as it galls me to put aside a technical challenge, I'm going to have to for the sake of common sense.

Humph. So, I'm grumpy and mildly dissatisfied. Cheese toastie, perhaps? Or maybe crumpets. Yes, buttered snack-food it is.
Monday, November 20th, 2006 02:44 pm
I have a job! This has been the cause of a great deal of manic grinning for the last few hours, and of me hugging Joey in the Bod and in the process near destroying a shelf of theology books. I'm going to be working up in Kidlington, for Thames Valley Police. It looks like being basic general admin work, but they still want huge amounts of information for security clearances - stuff that I can't even remember about my own family and housemates. Once that's all done, they're looking for me to start as soon as possible, maybe even before the end of the week.

This is such a massive relief. I don't think it's possible to articulate how stressed I've been over this whole thing, and now I know I'm not going to run out of money, leaving myself/my housemates/my family in the lurch.

The weekend has been a cause of much celebration too - LARP being great fun, featuring whores, drunkards and my brother, seeing family, a marvellous lunch with someone I hope to see rather more of in future, and roast chicken dinner with [livejournal.com profile] dtszza and [livejournal.com profile] ken_ners. Life, in short, has turned thoroughly to the positive.

I think all this deserves some sort of celebration, so if people are free, come drink with me! In the Gloc! Tonight! At 8 o'clock! Phone number is here!
Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 07:12 pm
I've not posted in far too long (almost 10 days, in fact) so there's little point in trying to list everything I've been doing. In any case, the last week or so has mostly consisted of pottering in an attempt to get things done and sitting up in bed working through a haze of plague caught from my housemates.

Before the lurgy, I went running quite a bit. It was good. )

My last employer has been dishonest, possibly even criminal in handling my wages ) Employment law is boring.

In fact, my employment status is boring. Don't listen to it )

Umm. In summary, I'm now recovering from illness, but feeling unpleasantly like I'm drunk (having not touched a drop for a fortnight). To conclude my recovery, a night of insane dancing at Intrusion is in order. Best get my arse in gear, or I'm going to miss the earlier more trad portion of the night. Food, shower, dance. In that order.
Sunday, November 5th, 2006 07:47 pm
Two nights spent drinking ought not to leave me pleasantly refreshed, but it seems that they have.

I had hoped to make it up to LARP on Saturday morning, but halfway up Morrell Avenue I changed gear to start climbing, heard a loud clunk, and felt my rear wheel lock solid. Something had caught on the rear shifter, bending it over into the spokes of my rear wheel. So, my thoroughly useless and immobilised bike is now stuck halfway to Shotover. There couldn't be a worse time to lose her, just as I'm advertising for students, but Walking Is Still Honest.

I also managed to drop off an application form to WHSmith without plagarising [livejournal.com profile] sable_veins' treatise on good customer service when buying spoons.

I then wandered down to the Turf to meet Rose WINOLJ, [livejournal.com profile] wonderwelsh, [livejournal.com profile] wicker_girl, [livejournal.com profile] dtsazza and [livejournal.com profile] embitteredpoet, who looked very regal in their white-fur-lined gowns, apart from Het, who just looked achingly cool with her coordinated black-and-white hair. Duncan and Beth turned up later to see Rose, by which time I had almost left to get back to the cricket club to work.

I worked for 5 hours last night, until 1am, then locked up outside the bar and changed sides for another 5 hours, finally creeping home at 6am. The music continued, there was dancing and ribaldry, and general silliness. For all that I adore Oxford and its erudite, cosmopolitan nature, it's important to remember that you can have every bit as much fun with a bunch of pissheads in the back of beyond. However, it does say something about the way people in Northants think to note that the woman I spent the later part of the night flirting with turned out to be a) 10 years older than me (not really a problem, worked out fine for my parents) and b) married (umm, wtf? on the guess that she's not in an open relationship, that puts anything right out of bounds), and that when I asked the others about this they said 'sure, she's married, but you take what you can get, eh?' Now at least there's a situation you don't often come across in Oxford.

This excessively long post was brought to you courtesy of my phone and the X5 of death. Now off to OULES. Hmmm. Wonder if I have a part written yet?
Saturday, November 4th, 2006 06:42 am
Why am I awake this early? There is no human reason that I should wake up at 5:45 after last night, but I have. I know that if I try to get another couple of hours sleep I will inevitably take another six to eight hours, miss LARP and job applications, and be thoroughly pissed off with myself. So I'm doing useful preparation-type things instead, and trying to forget that I'm likely to be working in the bar until 3am tonight. At least it's a 50th birthday for someone from the cricket club, so should be a good laugh.

I'm missing cooking properly - running between Oxford and Northants means that I rarely know exactly what food I have about, and often just plain don't have time to cook. One of my favourite memories of first year is making Sunday dinners with [livejournal.com profile] victory_gin and [livejournal.com profile] more_musings. Be warned, I shall be inviting people to Hellfire for dinner as soon as sensibly possible.

Now I need to somehow manage to explain why I'm passionate about WHSmith's products without sounding sarcastic or insincere. How many people are passionate about mass-market stationery? (And what else do they do with their lives? I can imagine Pauline from the League of Gentlemen getting terribly excited over stationery, and some stationery is exciting, well... just visit Scriptum. But WHSmith stationery? Nope.)
Saturday, November 4th, 2006 01:26 am
I return from the pub crawl, pleasantly full of good beer and cider, having had a marvellous evening of conversation, prettiness and general joy. Soon it will be time to sleep, but there's time for music yet. Particularly when it's proportion-finding folky stuff. Some are easily manipulated by flattery, some by intimidation, some by bribery. My weakness is for music.

Tomorrow holds a glorious, hectic round of job applications, bar work, LARP and graduation ceremonies. I think I'm going to miss the diversity once I go back to being a normal student, if indeed I ever do go fully back to that - at the moment it seems much more plausible that I'll keep on tutoring part-time.

Definately time to go to bed now - I'm reading some sort of significance into every song. This usually results in all-right pondering, which is something I can ill afford right now. Plans and ramblings, as ever, for the morning.
Friday, November 3rd, 2006 08:09 am
I'd never properly noticed before that Rent begins at just this time of year. It's finally cold enough to go walking and feel the tension between your blood supply and the air, to need to keep moving to stay warm. I can imagine what Scotland and the Lakes must be like - practically deserted, semi-covered in snow, brittle and bright. Why yes, I am pining for the mountains. No doubt if I asked most of my flist if they could resist getting away to somewhere like this the answer would be a resounding 'yes we we could precious, you keep nasty mountainses'. Le sigh.

Lochnagar under snowBothy at Glas-Allt-Shiel

Rent, tea, mountains, GRIN.

And the RPGSoc pub crawl tonight.
Thursday, November 2nd, 2006 01:31 am
Life seems to be occuring at much too fast a rate for me to keep up with a realtime journal, so it's summary time again.

Seemingly for the first time in my life I'm using my academic skills for financial gain. I'm tutoring chemistry, and being paid for it. I keep thinking it should somehow feel dirty, that my knowledge was gained for free and ought to be shared. I just need to remind myself that I'm not going to be able to pay my rent without doing so, and having nowhere to live rather puts a cramp on my ability to teach. Likewise for computer repairs, which are also going some way to keeping me from homelessness and dropping myself/other people in financial trouble.

I went to see The Hired Man, by Melvyn Bragg and Howard Goodall. It was amazingly good, and I think the first time a musical has ever bought tears to my eyes. It's finished now (small local production, short run) but if it's ever on again, I'll be there. The male and female leads were incredibly strong vocally, the production was incredibly professional given their resources, and the score... was just brilliant. I've waited for this ever since I heard the opening song in a show I teched two summers ago, and it was worth the wait.

Less seriously, The Horrors are great fun. Faintly Joy Division reminiscent ska-goth, anyone? I've not been to a decent ska gig in years. Time to remedy that as soon as I have money, I think.

In less good news, my grandad is very ill. No warning, and he still feels fine, but has a large growth at the base of his oesophagus. My whole family's very close to him, and it's really hit the rest of them hard, particularly my brother. I'm just glad I'm still not quite fixed in Oxford so I can get back to Northants and help out.

Think I shall go to bed now, before I listen to more music, become fey and decide that I need to accomplish miracles of productivity before 6am tomorrow morning. That happens much too often, and nights must be used for sleeping, not laying plans.
Sunday, October 15th, 2006 12:01 am
I seemingly managed to imply that I'm eternally exiled from Oxford in my last post - thankfully that isn't true, and if it were, I have a decent selection of masks. My college have tried to exile me, but I'm pretty sure that they don't have a leg to stand on. To exclude me from college grounds, possibly. To deny me permission to enter the city, no. I return at some point the week after next, when my potentially illegal tax-dodging agency contract expires.

Unfortunately, there are a number of good things happening here soonish, including Rent at the cinema (no, I haven't got the DVD yet. I want to see it on the big screen first), Mundy-Turner, Martin Carthy and Norma Waterstone at the Black Lion folk club, Mark Thomas at the Castle, and a production of The Hired Man, which sounds amazing.

Can I afford all these? Never. So, at least I needn't remain here indefinately. Still, it's good to see old friends round here, so I may well stick around for a little longer. One day, soon, I'll be a little more fixed in where I live, and the minute that happens I'll be adopting two ferrets, and a large dog. Bliss.
Thursday, October 12th, 2006 01:08 am
So, I have a job. I'm temping for a solicitor, who is rather difficult. The organisation is horrific - I get the impression the person I'm filling in for runs the entire place usually, and knows everything that's going on at any given time. I obviously do not. Still, they are paying me. And damn well better be, given I'm getting up at 6am, and not getting back home until 7pm.

I really, really miss Oxford people. And LARP. And OULES.

I think I understand now why exile is a viable punishment. Before, I had always considered that a life of wandering would be no bad thing. I still give it serious consideration occasionally. Still, my current situation is a self-imposed exile, so if it becomes too onerous I can always decide that I'll struggle along on literally no money at all in a better place, rather than being a little more comfortable, but distinctly out of place.

There seems to be a lot of existential angst flying about lately. All of you, you know who you are - you're lovely people, keep on doing the best you can. It's enough.
Sunday, October 1st, 2006 04:36 pm
I've had this journal for 4 years and 8 months. After a gap of just over 9 months I'm returning to write in it again. Livejournal appears to have had an influx of OULES (good), already had a large number of LARPers, who I now know much better (good), and seems to have taken on advertisers (not good at all).

It would be utterly ridiculous to enumerate all that has happened over the past nine months, so instead I'll state where I stand now. I live in an amazing house in Oxford with [livejournal.com profile] oxfordgirl, [livejournal.com profile] mejoff and [livejournal.com profile] lord_sandwich. This, however, is a precarious arrangement as I need work. I need work and the associated money quite urgently, so never quite sure of where I'll be living each week. Wherever my best chance of employment is, I'll be there.

I also have a new domain registered, which at present is pretty skeletal, but is receiving mail. Contact details can be found on the friends-locked post after this one.
Thursday, December 1st, 2005 03:24 am
Intellectual breakthroughs are astoundingly satisfying. I suppose if anything, I can make an analogy to studying a science course as being more like bowling, and an arts course as batting. Developing coherent arguments in the arts has always seemed to be less about surmounting particularly tricky conceptual problems, and more about building a consistent case against as many objections as possible. Science for me has always given more of a feeling of chipping away at something until it gives way. I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this, or why it seems this way to me, but feel free to comment on my brainfart - it's more interesting than the work I'm supposedly doing.

That's the other problem with science - although I understand the necessity for verification and statistical significance and the like, once I have what seems to be an obvious answer I'm inclined to get bored with the problem that fascinated me while it was an unknown. Oddly, the same doesn't hold for technology, be it tinkering with computers or building Real Physical Stuff - I enjoy following those things right through to polished completion.

This post was bought to you courtesy of me realising I had solved a problem I've been working on for a good while, and wanting to ramble about it, but knowing that only [livejournal.com profile] phenylfairy will have a clue what I'm going on about.
Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 01:53 pm
I'm feeling oddly fragile and weak today. At first I thought it might just be that I haven't eaten lately, but I had a huge curry last night. Enough sleep? Check. So what's going on? I sincerely hope that this isn't me becoming an Old Git, after having spent Saturday night in Holywell Manor bar, Monday night at the Cellar reminiscing with [livejournal.com profile] dtszza about the days of Panic, and performing yesterday night, I shouldn't be exhausted yet. So instead I shall blame it all on disappointment, as my best friend is now not visiting today. This also means that she's missing a Faithless gig she has been crazy about for some time, so it's vicarious disappointment too.

Or perhaps it's just the contrasting lack of joy from having stopped listening to Rent. February, when the film comes out, is much too far away. I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] sebastienne and [livejournal.com profile] wonderwelsh will want to see it - anyone else?

I do have rope-climbing practice this evening, as well as a pantomime performance. A blast of physical activity followed by singing and dancing would probably do me no end of good. Before that, though, I have to finish assigning biochemical meanings to patterns of blobs.