louiselux: (Default)
Hello all. It seems ages since I last posted, but I have been kind of busy and under pressure for a while. I haven't been keeping up with lj very well or commenting much, so I'm sorry about that. I did post about this under filter when it was happening, but to keep everyone up to speed I am newly made redundant, starting from last Tuesday. I've been feeling very strange and fuzzy since then, with a vague sense that I am missing a meeting or should be getting on with a report or, or something. I'm adjusting though, and it really helps that it was voluntary and I wanted to leave. My colleagues gave me a classy send off that involved a great deal of Pinot Grigio and they gave me some thoughtful presents.

Obviously, I now have all this free time. It suddenly feels like if I'm not careful I'll waste it and won't have enough, somehow. I could spend weeks simply puttering around the house doing all those things that we've put off for years. I could put all the things on ebay that I've been meaning to. I could go to the gym, I could hoover the stairs (they have dust shadows from the newly removed book piles because we have NEW SHELVES). I could do the garden, fill out my passport renewal form, go shopping for new furniture, make nutritious meals or buy things on the Internet. I'm confused. I have a to do list, which is helping.

Of course, there is the small issue of having to look for a new job. I have a lot of transferable skills so I'm hoping this won't be too hard but the way things are that the moment, who knows? I would love something that is less than full time, because I've been investigating setting up my own business. This is one of my dreams, even if at the moment it looks somewhat remote.

That other thing that's been tapping me on the shoulder is to finally sit down and write a novel for publication. It's odd how I feel embarrassed to admit that, as if somehow I am not allowed to write novels and try to get them published. It seems far too ambitious somehow. Perhaps I just grew up too British?

Maybe today, then, should look like this:

Get those stairs hoovered, you know you want to!
Go to the gym
Drink coffee drinks
Don't maunder on about things, there's no point

That's a plan to be going on with, I think. How are you all?
louiselux: (Default)
I got your cards, [livejournal.com profile] athena8 and [livejournal.com profile] toscas_kiss. Thank you both, they're lovely. In a fit of organisation, I posted nearly all of mine last week and some today, so they are making their way to various parts of the globe.

Other news, new socks. £5 from M&S, with angora. Or is it mohair? One of the fluffy rabbits, anyway. I think.

socks )

I'm on holiday from this Friday until January 5. It can't come soon enough as far as I'm concerned. My boss cancelled our team Christmas meal this year. It was going to be on Thursday, but now it's just... not. I'm not even entirely sure why it's cancelled. Not that I really mind because it's always fairly expensive. But it's odd. Something to ask about when I go back into the office tomorrow.

The book I found on the train turns out to be pretty good. It's like a prequel to Renault's Fire From Heaven, from a Roman and Greek point of view. Win!
louiselux: (Default)
I had a hellish meeting this morning with a client, really a terrible awful event, where I actually began to suspect she is fibbing about her CV. It was became plain to me during the course of this meeting that she has not even a tiny shred of nous about how to run a business. Disaster.

In other news, I have lost three kilos! This is since the beginning of May. However, I'm mostly measuring the effects of the gym by how much looser my jeans and skirts and tops are getting. Also, I ran on the treadmill for 25 minutes last night, which is a pretty big acheivement for me not only in terms of fitness but also motivation. Usually I get horribly bored after about 10 minutes, looking at my own sweaty face in the giant mirrors. Mmmm sweat.

In more other news, my new tennis boyfriend is still pretty. Also with a rather adorable and cute habit of pulling his underwear out of the crack of his arse before every serve. From the New York Times:

'When reporters once tried to get to the bottom of the habit, Nadal said the problem was actually his bottom. "A little bigger than usual," he explained.'

I have a Federer/Nadal fic currently at 5000 words, and I keep looking at it and not being able to decide if I want to write the porn or just write them having an excruciatingly polite and adorable tennis rivally of doom. I just love how in real life they're having an intensely dramatic fight to the tennis death-- really incredible skill-- all set against a background of spontaneous announcements of admiration, sobbing, affectionate hugging and monogrammed cardigans. It's special. They are so cute. I might have to stop using that word so much, but I quite literally cannot stop myself. They just are.

If anyone's interested in my 'research' on this matter, I have a twine for them, here: junk de lux. I've got 20 more invitations for twine also, if anyone wants one.

Also, sorry for not getting round to answering comments for ages. I'm trying to keep up and failing.
louiselux: (Default)
Something woke me up at 4.30am and then I never went back to sleep. Holy crapola. I couldn't decide whether to have porridge or toast for breakfast so I had both: porridge at 6.30 and toast at 8am, which is a very hobbit-like way of eating. Two breakfasts! It didn't help and now I need some strong coffee and possibly a bun with icing on it.

I've done various nice easy type tasks so far at work: arranging a meeting, some nice relaxing filing, fiddling with the database, writing a fresh to do list, hitting myself accidentally in the glasses with my own fist. Everything is ticking over nicely, no drama, no boss around. It just means that the Large and Difficult task of the day is getting closer. Hrrmm. Maybe I'll take a long lunch and do the challenge on [livejournal.com profile] saiyuki_time.
louiselux: (Default)
Erk. My journey to work took a 1.5 hours longer than it should've done, so I got into the office at 11am feeling like I wanted to go straight back home. Even a latte failed to help, and that's bad.

The Ideal Home Show website has sinister hammers that swivel to follow you round the page when you move your mouse. Looking at you. This is one of the creepiest things I've ever seen.
louiselux: (Default)
Wirk. I has it.

It's my number one top priority to find a new job in the coming months. I've applied for one already this year and have seen another that has an application date of 18 January. I'm well qualified for both, there would be mininal commuting and they pay very well. I'm feeling quite buoyed up by this, even if the thought of interviewing scares me. I know, getting ahead of myself. I don't even expect to hear back about interviews for a couple of weeks. But I would love to get either of them.

In other life organising-type things, I bought myself a tiny wee vaccum flask that's big enough for about two cups of tea, so I can save money on hot drinks when commuting. I took tea in it this morning. Mmm, maybe I can get some instant Turkish apple tea as well, for the evenings.

My new tiny laptop makes such a difference to my commuting life as well - it's so light! I can carry multiple other things in my bag with it, like my new wee flask and sandwiches and tupperware containers of bran flakes. Before, I was lugging round my Vaio and giving myself neck strain from it. Now, I can flit around like a flitting thing.

This morning I read the first chapter of After School Nightmare, which I quite liked, and about twenty minutes of Tin Man. My main puzzlement at first was wondering what this 30 year old woman was doing still living with her parents, but it is quite fun and camp. The Wicked Witch of the West aka the evil sorceress has a metal collar on her corset of evil and it distracts me, because I wonder did she ask for that or was it just a brainwave on the part of her dress designer. Who can ever know?

I got no writing done this morning because I was so shattered from the terrible shock of getting up at 6.30am. Last week I was going to bed at something near that time. Maybe I can write something on the way home.

Also, I am absolutely ravenous. I brough bran flakes as they're cheaper than muesli, but they just don't fill me up like muesli does.
louiselux: (Default)
I think I need some Always Calm spray. In a big bottle. I can spray it all over myself before I go to work thus enabling myself to cope with my team leadering angst, which I feel very keenly at the moment.

In other news, I have done two [livejournal.com profile] springkink stories, and have come up with an idea for a third. The fourth languishes. The highwayman Saiuki AU has turned into a 38 page epic, featuring wilfull misuse of cravats, etc.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] jamjar pointed me at goodreads, so I got an account, here.

It's different to librarything, with the emphasis on having a friendslist and sharing reviews, where librarything seems more about cataloguing and listing.
louiselux: (Default)
Am waiting for a short person with a moustache to come and have a meeting with me about some Very Exciting References I have that he doesn't. He's very sweet. I think he probably won't turn up though, because we've developed this game of saying we'll meet and then mutually ignoring it. It doesn't knock my duck off though, as my mum would say, as he's only down the corridor.

Life on Mars is sooo slashy. Sam Tyler is like this exotic creature from another planet, all clean shaven and short haired and sensitive. I love the attention to detail in this program, because he even looks physically different from the others somehow, healthier, with his better skin and teeth and hair. How can his grumpy-bastard boss fail to be charmed, in the end? That's right, he can't. Are they doing it on purpose? [livejournal.com profile] olympia_m woke me up to the potential last week and yay, last night's episode just cemented it that little bit more. Also, John Simm is very cute.

Update - the man came to the meeting, at last, after all these months! It was a good meeting.

It occurs to me that I haven't written in a film or television fandom for years, not since the X-Files. I don't know if this is to do with any differences between these types of fandoms, for example, are there are easier points of entry into lit and manga fandoms? Maybe I'm less likely to fall in love with a character on screen than on a page - but that can't be true because I love the Doctor and Benton Fraser and Greg House, but have not wanted to write them at all. Maybe it's to do with what stimulates me more - characters created and presented with either words or pictures? Hmmm, I'm sure I had more thoughts, but I'm not getting any further with this so I'd better leave it here.
louiselux: (Default)
My four hour meeting of doom today was so good. I am happy! About work! I have an angle for my paper and I know what I want to do with the past year's research. I'm revelling in the complete and utter joy of having a direction, finally. All I have to do now is write the damn thing.

In other news, I signed up at the last minute for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide, too and am feeling pretty pleased.

A handy list for me: Louise's fic to do list )
louiselux: (Default)

Work fretting, some venting ... )

But I'm not worried enough to let it spoil my weekend, which will be spent in delightful Tynemouth, at [livejournal.com profile] connotations. I'm very excited. Very, very. I've even printed out some of my fic to bring, like [livejournal.com profile] toscas_kiss said to.

I'm thinking of bringing some doujinshi too-- Saiyuki and Death Note, some of which I now remember I said I'd scan for [livejournal.com profile] lebateleur, but never actually did. I suck, I'm sorry. 


Sep. 4th, 2005 11:54 pm
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We spent the day quietly, playing with our hangovers in the garden. I backed off from the news a bit this weekend because frankly it's all just too much to cope with.

I spent this evening in a novel way-- filling in a job application form: research analyst (culture). Why are these things so dreadful to fill out? But it's done now, and all I have to do is hoof across Birmingham tomorrow morning to drop it off. Go me.

I very much need to write something with lots of porn in it.
louiselux: (Default)
Was sitting here trying to understand the idea of affordances, then realised my eyes had been out of focus for entire minutes and I'd better have a break.

Affordances: things that can happen between you and the world.  I think product designers have misunderstood the idea of affordances. It got mixed up with the idea of product semantics and for designers came to mean 'percieved affordances' or, to put it another way, the object gives you clues about how to use it.  The product will embody conventions and constraints that let it be used in certain specific ways. Ie, a percieved affordance of a hammer could be that you pick it up by its nice rubbery, grippy handle. This sort of idea (ie, the material used for the handle invites you to touch it, the shape tells you where to pick it up) is very much the sort of thing that product semantics was focussed on, and I say was because interest in PS has waned and most people these days are interested in things like user experience or product values.

The real affordance of a hammer is that it extends your ability to hit things.

This is what I think so far today. I am probably wrong, but at least I reached a conclusion.

So, a product contains signs that invite you to take advantage of the real affordance. Donald Norman calls these signs affordances, thus confusing the issue. But, what he calls an affordance is really only a 'perceived affordance'. A perceived affordance isn't an affordance at all, but a sign to tell you that there's a real affordance. Real affordances are not put there by designers. It seems they are invariable and are a quality of the world.

I can't go on, it's too hard.


Feb. 15th, 2005 05:03 pm
louiselux: (Default)
*shriek of despair* 

Spent all day trying to make one of our websites work. Have smashed it up good. 

The bright side is that it's only a test site, but can I kill the person who designed this so called 'easy to use content management system' ? Please?


In other news, February has bought me many blessings! (am channeling Tohru for this part)  So far this week I've had a card with sweet mini ficlets from [livejournal.com profile] daegaer, Wild Adapter 2 and 3 from the gorgeous, seductive Sasuga Japanese Bookstore and a cup!  The cup comes, I think, from [livejournal.com profile] jamjar and it's a special Reload cup. So cool-- thank you:D

My [livejournal.com profile] remixredux fic is shaping up to be very interesting, for me at least - I've thought more about form and structure for this than for anything else I've written. My usual approach to structure is to not. Or to rather let the story fall out of my head as it wll and then either impose something on it, or to leave it as is. 

Am leaving work now. In two hours I'll be in the swimming pool, so if anyone wants me you can reach me there.

Happy Random Wombat Day
louiselux: (Default)
For those of you breathlessly following the fascinating progress of the paper that ate my life, it is done! Finished and sent off at teatime. I even got a response thanking me for my submission.

I enjoyed a long lunch today with Kevin. We went to the Arts Cafe and criticised the recent redesign of the interior. Why can't people remember that wood has a colour? It can be all shades of yellow, red, brown, grey. You can't just sling wooden things together and hope they'll work. Humbug. The furniture is very modern. The nice thing is that as it's connected, literally, to the church next door, for which it serves as a drop in centre, the cafe is a good mix of people, pensioners, families, earnest-looking arty types, stylish young things like me and Kevin. Er. But the food was decent and the waitress seemed to find us amusing. After that we went to the Rag Market, to look at the rags, then to Waterstones where K was getting a shiny book on Ideo. I had to run away then because lunch had gone beyond merely long and was getting on for epic.

On the way home I finished The Charioteer and was struck by how much more I understood what was going on compared to when I was 15. Some of the scenes and lines have stayed with me since reading it at that age, even though I'd forgotten where they were from. Coming across them again was a special pleasure.
louiselux: (Default)
Responding to feedback: a guide for the bashful fanficcer by [livejournal.com profile] nindulgence is funny! I usually veer between The Replies Heartfelt, Analytical and Hasty, with a smattering of Reply Ecstatic when I manage to put my hard-won dignity to one side for long enough to squee.

One thing about people who run their own businesses: a lot of them are hyperactive. The furniture man I met today was *so* excitable he had to talk non-stop and with no breaks between sentences or thoughts.

Erm, moving swiftly on, here's a bed time rant story. Virgin trains and the sad tale of the leaky hand basin )
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Spending the day with wet legs is bad. This is the second morning this week that the rain has bucketed down, and now my umbrella is broke and my trousers have absorbed gallons. We spent yesterday morning getting wet and visiting a bed factory in Tipton, which is a beyond god-forsaken place. The factory was interesting, although I didn't get to lie down at any point. My job has done a dramatic u-turn from being bad to being the job that I originally applied for. The website saga is still not resolved, but I no longer have to fret about them.

I'm still reading LOTRiPS (see my knowledgeable use of the little i!), and I've got down to M in the recs archive I'm using. It's odd, but I'm finding it a very relaxing thing to do, just reading one story after another. I haven't read serious amounts of fic for a long time. It's nice, like my brain is being put on hold. It's a lot easier than writing anything, so maybe that's why it feels like such gentle, fluffy activity. Oh, wait, that's the fic.
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Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] iibnf! Your party sounded wonderful.

We had a bonfire party last night. Thank god A turned up with a palette he found in a skip on the way here, otherwise I would've had to start throwing the furniture on from sheer embarrassment. Note: don't invite people over for a bonfire party if you've got no wood. Silly Louise.

This is not my week for thinking sensibly about anything. Whining. )
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I'm at a scary stage of my nano novel where I have to get the plot together. Sadly, I've come to that oh-so-familair point where it's largely hidden in the mists. I'm sure it'll come clear though, as long as I keep plodding on. Keep the faith, yo.

Next Thursday me and Boss are visiting the firm that stuffed up our websites. Back from my holiday on Monday I decided that I'd had enough and couldn't take the crapness of them one minute longer. I've been compiling the long list of problems with it. Three closely typed pages. It's really not going to be a fun day.

More fan stuff
This has been a good fannish year for me. I've made more friends this year, met and talked with more people than in all my past three years in fandom. And that's all about making the effort, putting myself out there. I've written more too than I ever have before and what I've written makes me smile when I think of it, rather than cringe (mostly).

It all makes me feel very happy.

And eee! I have my Yuletide assignment. I'm going to make someone else very happy this Christmas.

Does anyone want a bag?
I've know for a long time that I should never ever buy any more accesssories. I've enough to sink a fully-grown battleship. I own 23 bags of various sorts. That's TOO MANY BAGS.
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Work is very gnnnghh. I nearly lost my rag with one of my researchers today. But as one of my friends pointed out; 'Louise, with you that means you probably just frowned at them.' I did take him aside for a quiet word though. But she does have a point. I'm almost always calm under pressure, but I'm getting less sleep these days and that cranks up the tetchiness-- to the point where I might frown at someone! Oh no!! Or have a quiet word!!! Be quiet my inner raging Hulk.

Anyway, wrote some gay porn on the train. Felt better.

And, and! Waiting to get off the train tonight, standing in the vestibule closet to the driver's cab as the train was pulling in, I coud hear the driver singing. He was singing arias! He was a terrible singer, but it was a beautiful moment.

Teachers is on. James Lance! *lech*


Sep. 26th, 2003 10:33 am
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Oh lord. Sanity break.

Yesterday at work, I got talking to man who fixed the lifts, and he showed me his lift shaft. Sorry, I did try and not write that, but it just came out. Anyway, I'd never seen a lift shaft before. He showed me the 2 ton weight that balanced the lift, hanging on five thick steel hawsers, and the door opening mechanism (a chain gear not unlike a bicycle). After seeing those hawsers, I'll never be afraid again of them snapping. And he debunked a Hollywood lift drama convention. If anything were to go wrong with the lift mechanism, it would shoot straight to the top of the lift shaft, not plummet to the bottom, because the counterbalance is always heavier than the lift itself; it would be the counterbalance that fell, not the lift. He had a few terse words to say about Bruce Willis as well.

And, in an unprecedented outbreak of high culture, we are going to see the Eroica symphony tonight. I'm still not sure how they're going to fit the entire BSO into Reading Concert Hall-- it's tiny.
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In the back of my notebook I drew a chart, and I keep a tally of all the times my train is late, or arrives late at it's destination, or is cancelled. I don't know why I'm doing this, but at the end of a year I'll get a nice bar chart out of it.

Work was a bit daunting today, and I was late home again, so am feeling a bit frazzled. I'm getting to know the characters on the train: there is Sweating Man - he, well, sweats. A lot. Like big drops of it splashing from his nose to the table. I've seen him twice, and he looks like Harry Potter, aged 20, down to the black hair, specs and too-big clothes. There is Sinus Man. Sinus Man snorts constantly in that deep back-of-the-nasal passages way that makes me want to hit him with a brick. And why do all the Virgin train managers refer to the vestibule area as the 'vestible'? And, more to the point, why have Virgin trains suddenly picked on this obscure, dying word and plastered it all over their trains? Most people have no idea what a vestibule is anymore. It just seems an odd decision. I don't mind, because I like the word and will look forward to using in it conversation, perhaps tomorrow, because tomorrow is National Orgasm Day (not sure who organised it, mind you). Vestibule. Let's do it in the vestibule area, darling! Or...not.

I think tomorrow should be National Orgasm Drabble Day. Any takers?


Jul. 21st, 2003 09:20 pm
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Work was..interesting. I have no idea yet what I'm meant to be doing, but my little team seem friendly enough and helpful. I spent the afternoon browsing rival websites, and chatting. It's a bit odd being a Team Leader, but with nothing to lead in yet. The journey is not too bad, but on the way home it's quite noisy so I might invest in some extra-strength ear-plugs. I got some more of my Snape/Lupin done though, and while I was scribbling away, some parent started reading OotP outloud to their kid! It would've been okay, but the bloke had a monotone voice.

Here are some pictures I took of my garden last weekend:


The page doesn't take too long to download.
louiselux: (Default)
Ulp! And also - holycrapitssoearly! My new waking up time is 6 am, compared to a lovely and relaxed 8am in my old job, but you know, up with the worm an all that. Or is it a lark? But it's a sunny day, and I just got some lovely feedback on a story, so the shock is cushioned a bit. I have to leave for work in about 15 minutes - must find shoes!


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