cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
Hello new people! (from [personal profile] kouredios ) And hello, um, previously acquainted people!

One of the reasons I signed up for the meme was because I'd like to discuss more fannish stuff in this journal, so I figured I'd start with a brief fannish history. I am also, obviously, procrastinating on Yuletide, as I have just hit 1400 words and realised that I really do need to switch the pov back to the one I'd decided was going to be too difficult. Arrgh. Anyway, what better time to summarise key events of my fannish life so far?

The dark backward and abysm of time. )
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
I saw Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and Fucking at the Silo some years ago, and really enjoyed it (apart from the nontheatre bit where I had to book 8 tickets from a work phone in a shared office) – it’s a play in which unpleasant things happen to unpleasant people, yes, but it was dynamic and enthusiastic, and the cast (and the script) managed to pull out some amazing moments (it’s a play that’s made me think a lot about the effects of repetition, for instance). So I was keen to see Some Explicit Polaroids, his next play, and although it wasn’t the Silo theatre company, it was still the Silo venue. I have many fond memories of the venue as a theatre space, apart from the bit where the ceilings are way too low, so anything done in the round – which this was – or with the set in the middle involves very bright lights in the audience’s eyeline for the whole play. Oh well.

Some Explicit Polaroids. )
cyphomandra: vale from brotown using remote (gadget)
I am trying to play the above. This is hampered only by the fact that I hate Snow, I hate Snow's dialogue, I particularly hate Snow's voice actor, and I hate everyone Snow has interacted with so far as well as his plot, apart from that one character who died. Why can't I just be Lightning the whole time? I like her.

(I am also packing. Once again someone has snuck into my house and left hundreds of books there for me to sort through, and once again I suspect it's me)
cyphomandra: vale from brotown using remote (gadget)
I made a long list of all the things I should do this weekend, and then this morning I went and bought Mass Effect 3.

(and then died twice before the opening credits, because I had forgotten just how appalling I am at steering, shooting and finding cover at the same time, but some of it's coming back to me. Well. I've only died twice more since then. So far.)
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
I gather this was for World Book Day on March 1st, but why not. From [personal profile] alecaustin

The book I'm reading )
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
Things the dog likes:

1. Food
2. Socks
3. Me
4. Things to chew on (if not included in the above)
5. Things to sniff (ditto)
6. Other people
7. Other dogs
8. Tummy rubs

Things the dog is okay with:

1. Earthquakes
2. Fireworks
3. Flying
4. Noisy household appliances
5. Personal grooming
6. Me dropping a glass casserole dish lid onto the kitchen tiles about 20cm from his head

Things the dog dislikes:

1. My inability to leap out of bed in the morning
2. My inexplicable fondness for going back to bed after letting him out to the loo at 6am
3. Being stuck in traffic


Sep. 4th, 2010 05:31 pm
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
A 7.1 earthquake hit my city this morning, with a significant amount of damage but fortunately only 1 fatality (from a heart attack, unconfirmed). I am fortunately in Australia and missed it. I don't know how much damage there is inside my house yet (I suspect a lot of books have fallen off the shelves, and I may have lost the computer) but outside looks okay and all my friends, relatives and my dog are fine. I have pushed my flights up and head back tomorrow - have just been buying water, batteries etc as both power and water were still off in my area last I heard. Hope all those others affected are doing okay, and see you soon.


Oct. 13th, 2009 11:55 pm
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
It has been entirely too long since I accidentally erased my only copy of an assignment less than 12 hours before deadline (USB failure plus blithe inattention to an earlier error message). Oddly, it wasn't an experience I missed.

(it's a short assignment and not crucial, but I was about to go to sleep and now I have to reconstruct the damn thing. Entirely my own fault, but still irritating)


Oct. 31st, 2008 08:54 pm
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (FMA)
I ordered the Joan Aiken short story collection The Serial Garden (all her Armitage short stories, including 4 previously unpublished) from Small Beer Press about thirty-five minutes after I heard of its existence (it took me a while to work out the ordering interface! Plus, I was considering ordering a few other books, until I discovered that ordering 1 hardcover plus anything else from overseas costs more in postage than ordering 3 lots of 3 paperbacks). It arrived remarkably quickly, along with a bunch of promos for other books and a postcard in Japanese (a science-themed cafe in Tokyo, I think, where I can buy an original logo beaker for 800 yen and everything else goes well beyond my comprehension). I started reading it. And then I stopped. Not because I wasn't enjoying it, but because there is at least one story in here that I don't know if I want to read.

I love many of Joan Aiken's books - Midnight is a Place and The Whispering Mountain are particular favourites - and her short story collections were amazing (the fantastic ones - the horror ones were almost too effective). And the story this collection is named after, The Serial Garden, broke my heart as a child when I read it the first time; it's about loss, which would be effective at any age, but the particular circumstances of power, powerlessness and guilt are very specific to childhood, or at least the child I was when I read it. Everytime I re-read it I'd hope for a different ending, and there wouldn't be one. It felt perfect as it was, tho', despite being painful; and part of hoping for another ending was knowing that there wouldn't be one, and hoping anyway.

I knew she'd written another story using one of the characters from The Serial Garden - I read it five years ago or so and immediately blanked it out of my mind. I didn't think it was a bad story (I had some issues with later Aiken novels, which seemed to be running , but it wasn't brilliant, and it just trod too closely towards interfering with the original. In the introduction to this collection, tho', two sequels are mentioned. And it's putting me off reading the collection. I really want to re-read all my favourites - the ghostly latin lessons, the Furies, Harriet's hairloom, the one where the parents get turned into insects, the serial garden itself - but then do I just stop? Do I trust the author to not have gone back on their original story, or to have improved it by doing so?

I'm thinking of Diana Wynne Jones here - another author I love, but her recent work hasn't had the same power or effectiveness as her stories in the 70s and 80s. I liked her going back to Chrestomanci with The Lives of Christopher Chant - that worked - but I'd be worried if she embarked on an Eight Days of Luke sequel, say, or another Dogsbody book, both bittersweet books with perfect broken endings. I don't want The Serial Garden fixed, and, once I read something that does that, it's hard to ignore it.

Anyway. For the moment, it's sitting on my floor while I write essays. Maybe I should lend it to someone else and get them to vet it to my exacting standards.
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
There was a review in the June edition of Harper's Magazine whose opening section I've been meaning to post about since it makes me giggle every time I think about it. Also, it will hopefully prod me into tracking down the book, although it's more likely that it will just make me go looking for my copy of Tim Powers' The Stress of Her Regard... The review was by Evelyn Toynton, of The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge by Adam Sisman:

In December 1793, shortly after his twenty-first birthday, a lovesick, guilt-ridden scholarship student ran away from Jesus College, Cambridge, and fled to London. )
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (hare by durer)
Merry Christmas, happy new year and so forth. I've now met almost all my deadlines (still to go - fitting in work, the bank and the post office before making my flight check-in without going ridiculously over the weight limit - two country moves ago I had a politely baffled check-in person ask if there was any reason why I was thirty kilos over), and, although I'm about 10 books and a ridiculous amount of manga behind on posts, almost everything I could possibly write about is now packed into boxes and handed over to complete strangers. I had to provide an itemised list for Customs, and in my somewhat overstretched state I just copied over my book catalogue, involving title and author for everything literary, and added vague approximations like "10 pairs shoes" and "linen".

I am also trying to drink all the alcohol I haven't packed, as if this post weren't scattered enough. But anyway. One of the deadlines that drove me to despair these last two weeks was for Yuletide, but there were two rewards for this; one being that I actually finished a story, but the second, and most important one being that I received an amazing story in exchange - A Song by Starlight, in Madeleine L'Engle's series. i will be more articulate about it later, but I'm madly happy with it and am planning a re-read of all the books in its honour.

(also, tacithydra? There is totally a rather good Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars lesbian romance story in yuletide, about which I shall also be more articulate later.)
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
Blame it on [ profile] tacithydra. However, you can blame me if my attempt to incorporate the text completely fails. What it should show, however, is that I am a massive force for disruption, so really it shouldn't work anyway...

You are The Tower

Ambition, fighting, war, courage. Destruction, danger, fall, ruin.

The Tower represents war, destruction, but also spiritual renewal. Plans are disrupted. Your views and ideas will change as a result.

The Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower stands for "false concepts and institutions that we take for real." You have been shaken up; blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What's most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.


cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)

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