dolorosa_12: (teen wolf)
I've been cycling through despair, fury and anxiety since the EU referendum results last week, but let's put that aside to talk about happier things.

I was lucky enough to spend the weekend at a srafcon in London with [personal profile] bethankyou, M and S. We spent most of the time wandering around, hanging out in cafes and pubs, and browsing through the books at Forbidden Planet, but our visit also coincided with London Pride, and we managed to catch a bit of the parade.

I've also just finished up a couple of fic exchanges, My Old Fandom and Night on Fic Mountain, both of which were tremendous fun. Now that reveals have happened for both of them, I can share the fic I wrote and received as gifts.

For My Old Fandom, I wrote 'The Many's Gathered Choices', The Dark Is Rising gen featuring Simon Drew, Jane Drew, Barney Drew, Will Stanton and Bran Davies.

For Night on Fic Mountain I wrote 'In the Wings', a Ballet Shoes-Code Name Verity crossover, featuring Petrova Fossil, Julie Beaufort-Stuart and Maddie Brodatt.

By a strange quirk of fate, [archiveofourown.org profile] Morbane wrote both my gifts for the two exchanges.

I received 'rebound' (Sunshine; Sunshine/Constantine) for My Old Fandom, and 'Find Someone Who's Turning' (Galax Arena; Presh/Allyman) for Night on Fic Mountain.

I enjoyed both fics immensely, and had a great time participating in both exchanges, even if my assignments took me somewhat out of my comfort zone. There were lots of other great works that I found through the two exchanges, and I strongly encourage everyone to have a look through both collections and see if they find anything they like.
dolorosa_12: (teen wolf)
This weekend seems to have been filled up mostly with eating.

My friend [livejournal.com profile] lucubratae came up to stay with us on Saturday. He's moved from Australia to London to do an MA, and wanted to get out of the city for a day or so for a change of scene. We hung out for a bit in one of the faculty libraries so that he could work on an essay for his coursework, and in the evening we went with Matthias, and several of my medievalist friends to a pub that was having its own Oktoberfest, selling lots of German beers and serving German food instead of its usual menu. The pub was busy and lively, and I almost lost my voice by the end of the night, but a good time was had by all.

Today Matthias and I went to the Cambridge Botanic Gardens for their 'Apple Day'. They had twenty-nine varieties of apples available for tasting and for sale, none of which were varieties I'd ever tried — or even heard of — before. I prefer apples that are really sour, and which have a very crispy texture, and I was able to find a lot that fit these specifications. We bought bags of three different types of apples.

I also came away with a little sampler box of gin — sloe and cherry, lemon, and raspberry — and several jars of chili sauce.

After hearing [personal profile] naye talk about [twitter.com profile] GuerrillaKitch, I'd been keen to find an opportunity to try their bao, and I was fortunate enough to discover that they were at the Apple Day. So Matthias and I each had a chicken bao and shared pad thai chips for lunch. A cup of coffee for me and a cup of perry for Matthias and we were set for the afternoon. Thankfully the weather today has been lovely, and it was the perfect day to wander around the Botanic Gardens and walk around in the sunshine.

On a sadder note, I'd like to remind everyone about the fundraiser for Rochita Loenen-Ruiz. It's still going, although the organisers have met the original goal. They are now leaving it open and attempting to reach various stretch goals. As well as helping out a really wonderful human being during a horrible time in her life, donors gain access to a site full of downloadable goodies, including short stories by Aliette de Bodard, printable colouring sheets by [twitter.com profile] Likhain, poems by Rose Lemberg and Shveta Thakrar, and a short story by Bogi Takács. Donors also go into a draw to win lots of other rewards. Please spread the news about the fundraiser, and donate if you can.
dolorosa_12: (what's left? me)
Birth: Stop wrapping your arm around your neck. You're hurting your mother.

0: Yes, your parents are at present a rock music journalist and a foreign correspondent flitting all over North and South America. Don't worry. They won't expect you to ever be that cool.

1: Don't worry. The vacuum cleaner can't hurt you. Neither can the blender. Neither can the food processor.

2: Don't worry. The cracks in the ceiling and in the tiles of the bath aren't ants. Neither are the black lines painted on the floor of the swimming pool. They can't hurt you. The cicadas make a really loud noise, but they're tiny little insects, not one giant animal 'as big as a bear'. It's not your fault your mother didn't explain that in a way you understood. The cicadas can't hurt you.

Your aunts are going to allow you to walk around them in circles, talking at them. They will draw pictures of the stories you tell them. They will transform the couches on your front patio into two horses that take you on adventures. Your grandfather will build you a bedhead and swim with you in the ocean, and your grandmother will tell you stories. Your other grandfather will build you a bookcase, and your other grandmother will sew clothes for your dolls. You will be surrounded by cousins. This will be more precious to you than gold.

3: Stop being jealous of your newborn sister. She is amazing, and you will love her very much.

4: Don't worry that you hate preschool. There is a boy there who hates it even more, so much that he will spend every lunchtime attempting to climb over the fence and escape. One day he will succeed. Your mothers will bond over their children's reluctance to be at preschool. Years later, his mother will be your mentor in your first 'grown-up' job.

5: Don't worry. You will learn to read. It will happen suddenly, and it will feel like a thunderbolt resounding in your head, and you will be astonished, and it will lead you into a thousand other worlds.

6: 'Just ignore them and they'll stop doing it' is the worst piece of advice you will ever be given.

7: The way they treat you is not okay.

8: The way they treat you is not okay.

9: The way they treat you is not okay.

10: This new friendship group is great, but it will not survive one of its members returning to East Timor. Sorry about that.

11: The way they treat you is not okay.

12: You've cut your hair and pierced your ears and changed your name. That's a good start. These new friends you've made in high school seem pretty great. You might want to hang onto them.

It's okay that you love Hanson. You don't need to be embarrassed.

13: The way she treats you is not okay.

14: The way they treat you is not okay.

15: He's not a mind-reader. Tell him how you feel about him.

16: He's not a mind-reader. Tell (this different) him how you feel about him.

17: You're right. You have found your tribe. Hold on to this feeling. You will feel it again, but not for a very long time.

18: You're right. Leaving Canberra does feel like cutting your heart out. You are going to take six years to get over this, but I promise you that eventually you will feel that same sense of place in Sydney.

19: Your mother is amazing, but you don't need to take all her advice.

20: How you're feeling is not your friends' fault.

21: You are making really good academic choices.

How you're feeling is not your friends' fault.

22: I wish I could say 'don't move back to Canberra', but if you didn't, you'd never meet the sraffies, and you'd never go to Cambridge, so you're going to have to grin and bear it.

23: You have made the best and bravest decision of your life.

Remember what I said about finding your tribe? Yeah, you've found them.

24: What he did to you was not okay.

25: You will never feel such extremes of emotion again.

He saved you, but don't make it mean more than it should.

One day, you will be grateful to him for walking away when you couldn't.

(Late 25 and) 26: Hold onto this one. He is what home feels like.

27: Don't move to Heidelberg.

28: Applying for JRFs is a waste of your time and limited emotional energy.

29: See! You were capable of getting a PhD.

30: I'll get back to you in December.
dolorosa_12: (teen wolf)
Note: I'm talking here about my family in very positive terms. I know some of you have difficult or distressing relationships with your families, so this might be something you want to skip if you think it will be upsetting for you to read.

I don't want to make a super long post for International Women's Day, but I did want to talk a little bit about my wonderful, loquacious, gossipy, emotionally articulate, supportive, matriarchal family. My grandmother, who would have turned 87 on Friday, was the beating heart of our family, and was the oldest of seven siblings (five of whom survived past infancy), and her two sisters were always very much part of our family gatherings, laughing uproariously and talking at a million miles an hour. My grandmother did not have any formal education beyond the age of eight, and she wrote awkwardly because her teachers had forced her to write with her right hand, although she was left-handed. In spite of these obstacles, she was one of the most intelligent people I have ever known, a Scrabble and crossword fiend, so witty with her turns of phrase. She is the reason the rest of us are such champion talkers, and why so many of her daughters and granddaughters ended up in fields where words and communication are crucial.

My mother is the oldest of my grandmother's four daughters, and she was the first person in her family to go to university, and one of the first women in Australia to have a permanent show on the radio. She was the first and greatest in a long line of older women who acted as guides, teachers and mentors to me, and is responsible for my love of stories, literature, reading, writing and learning. One of the things I admire most about my mother is her ability to sit down next to any person in the world and find common ground, getting them to open up and tell their story. Above all things, my mother nurtured and encouraged my intellectual curiosity, and her staunch support and belief played a big role in giving me the strength and determination to pursue my academic qualifications to the bitter end.

Cut for photos )

I have the great fortune and privilege to be the oldest of five sisters (one of whom I grew up alongside, the other three being significantly younger), and to have grown up surrounded by aunts, great-aunts and female cousins (as well as my mother's closest female friends, who became like surrogate aunts to me), in a truly matriarchal family, where women's voices, experiences, relationships and feelings were genuinely celebrated. I have also been lucky in that since secondary school, my most important mentors (English teachers, supportive undergrad lecturers, Honours thesis supervisor, editors, MPhil and PhD supervisor, previous and current library bosses) have all been women. Furthermore, at every stage of my life, I have been friends with amazing, intelligent, compassionate and generally awesome women. This matters to me. It has shaped me and guided me, and given me strength and courage, and I like to think that I've been able to share some of that with the various girls and women in my life. I hope that all of the women reading this are able to experience something similar, whether with families of blood or of choice. It is my norm, it is my greatest joy and my greatest strength. It is my feminism.

Cut for more photos )
dolorosa_12: (una)
This time five years ago, I was getting ready to go to my department's annual garden party, over the moon because I had submitted my MPhil and was confident of passing, and of being accepted for a PhD place at Cambridge. Today, I'm getting ready for the garden party, happy in the knowledge that my PhD corrections have been approved and that (after I've paid an extortionate amount for binding and submitted a hardbound copy to the Board of Graduate Studies) I will be graduating in July as Dr Dolorosa!

These past five years have been a mixed bag. Some parts of being a PhD student were filled with joy, while others threw me into despair, self-doubt and fury. I am glad to have written it, and to have learnt what I learnt - about medieval Irish literature, and about myself. I am so grateful that it allowed me to meet a truly wonderful bunch of people, and to become part of several amazing international groups of friends. I met my partner because of my PhD. As a result of my PhD, I had the good fortune to meet several awe-inspiring older women who have acted as mentors for me in all sorts of ways. I can speak and read a good many more languages than I could five years ago!

My PhD gave so much. It took a lot from me, though. I don't talk a lot about that very often, because ultimately I feel that I made the right decision. If nothing else, doing a PhD at Cambridge got me to where I wanted and needed to be, with the right people around me, and the opportunity to meet others who, although not much a part of my life right now, connected with me at the right time to help me become myself.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that my PhD allowed me to live. And while I never want to live through those years again (some of them were just packed with so much living and so many emotions that they were exhausting), I am privileged and grateful to carry them with me.
dolorosa_12: (teen wolf)
Kingston (later Griffith) Public Library, Canberra
This was my local public library when I was a child, and it was like a treasure box to me. It was in Kingston until about 1993, when it moved to a bigger and better location at the former Griffith Primary School. It had the most amazing children's and YA collection, and I discovered many of the most meaningful books of my life there (The Girls in the Velvet Frame! Of Nightingales That Weep! Shadowdancers!). As a teenager, I began every school assignment there, reading the relevant entries in encyclopedias in order to find reference books (my cohort was on the cusp - the internet existed, but it was all but useless as a reference tool). But the truly amazing thing about this library was its librarians, and how dedicated and passionate they were. Every weekend, two of them hosted a reading group for children, where they would read stories aloud and run activities. They were really knowledgeable about children's books and genuinely loved children and encouraged them to read. I wish I'd been able to go back as an adult before they retired and told them how much they meant to me.

The truly sad thing is that in 2007, the ACT government shut down Griffith Library due to a perceived lack of use, leaving the entire inner south of Canberra without a public library. The real reason was that the rest of the old Griffith Primary School site was being used as lucrative conference spaces, and the government wanted to cash in and use the space occupied by the library in order to make more money.

Narrabundah College Library
This was my school library during the last two years of secondary school, which in the Canberra public school system takes place in separate schools to the four earlier years of high school. There was nothing particularly revolutionary about it - it was a fairly average public school library, with an okay range of books, dial-up internet that crawled slowly, and a couple of librarians who seemed to know the name of every student.

What was special was the library as a space. College was the first time that we, as students, were given free periods (the timetable functioned in such a way that if you took the recommended six subjects per trimester, you ended up with one free period on four out of the five school days). We were allowed to do whatever we wanted during the frees, and I often wound up in the library with a bunch of friends, ostensibly 'studying', but in actual fact playing cards, drawing in our exercise books, reading novels or gossiping. One of my friends once wrote a poem based on snippets of every conversation she'd heard in the library during her free period.

In other words, the library was our space. The social life there moved at a slower and less urgent pace than on the oval, in the quad or cafeteria, where the push and pull of high school politics and diplomacy exerted more force. The library was a space where we could take a break from worrying about the overwhelming drama of our social lives.

Fisher Library, University of Sydney
The first thing I did in the orientation week at uni was take a tour of the library, as I was anxious to know how to use it. I remember walking in and feeling as if I'd died and gone to heaven. I'd never seen so many books in one place.

Back in the dim dark days of 2003, the library had an eight-floor research library (where books could be borrowed for two weeks by undergrads) and a four-floor undergrad library (where loans were only for a week), a bunch of computers (which always had a huge queue - this was in the days before laptops were common on Australian university campuses, and those that were were extremely heavy). There was also a special reserve area, where course coordinators would move set texts for their courses. Books in special reserve could only be used in the library, and only borrowed for a two-hour period, which did a huge amount to ensure equal access. That said, some of my fondest memories of undergrad were engaging in vicious recall wars with fellow students, as we fought to borrow a limited number of set texts. I used to be particularly ruthless about going in at the start of term and borrowing whatever Shakespeare text we would be studying in the various English classes I was taking.

I got to know the contours of Fisher particularly well. I haunted the two or three cases covering medieval Celtic literature, and knew exactly where to find the history books that were relevant to my Jewish Studies course. Whenever I had to do translation for my Medieval Irish class, I'd take the huge Dictionary of the Irish Language down from the shelf and sit near a ground-floor window, furiously trying to figure out how the spelling of Old Irish words might have changed in Middle Irish texts. In other words, Fisher was the library that taught me how to be a student.

In the years since I graduated, Fisher has got rid of most of its books, to the extent that it's impossible to do any form of postgraduate research in the humanities there. This breaks my heart.

Goyder St Community Library
When Griffith Library got closed down, the people of the inner south of Canberra were so incensed that they decided to do something about it. The result was a community library, run by volunteers out of a demountable building on Boomanulla Oval in Narrabundah. I lived in Canberra during the early stages of Goyder St's existence, and through a series of coincidences, got involved.

In 2007, I had moved back to Canberra basically because of a quarter-life crisis panic. In retrospect, it was a terrible decision, causing the depression I'd had on and off since the beginning of my adult life to reach almost intolerable levels. Cut for a little discussion of the effects of depression ) Anyway, somehow, I remembered through the desperate fog of my mind that I had joined a Philip Pullman fansite several years earlier, and logged back on. I was extremely fortunate that the denizens of that site were truly amazing people who gave me the sole reason to get out of bed that year. Every evening I was in chat with the few European night owls, and [livejournal.com profile] lucubratae, who was the only other Australian on the site, and who, serendipitously, lived a short walk away from me in Canberra. Pretty soon, I'd met up with him in person - the first internet friend I'd ever met 'in real life'. And he volunteered at Goyder St. Pretty soon, I'd been roped in.

In those early days, it was chaos. The volunteers had more enthusiasm than technical library know-how. No one knew how to catalogue, internet was erratic, and there were tensions among the different volunteers. Many residents were outraged at the closure of Griffith Library, wanted to do something to help, but had no time to volunteer. Instead, they donated vast numbers of books, often of poor quality, creating a huge backlog of cataloguing work for the volunteers and contributing to the cluttered, claustrophobic atmosphere of the building.

The point is, for one shining moment, enough people were angry enough to come together and do something to make their corner of the world a little bit better. And I was carried along with them. The community library got me out of the house for something other than a job that made me anxious and miserable, and for that I will always be grateful.

English Faculty Library, University of Cambridge
While the main Cambridge University Library is more imposing (it's a copyright library and thus has a copy of every book ever published in the UK, as well as an impressive collection of rare books, maps and manuscripts), the English library had much more of an impact on my life. Not only have I spent the past six years researching there, using its excellent collection of books on Celtic Studies, it's also responsible for my current career as a library assistant. In the first year of my PhD, I decided to take a job at English as a weekend invigilator in order to make a bit of extra cash. I loved it so much, and the assistant librarian and librarian were were such inspirational and helpful mentors that I decided to go into library services, rather than academia, after finishing my PhD.

The librarian in particular is just exemplary. She goes out of her way to make sure that English is exactly the library that its users want. She holds training sessions in referencing and editing software and other research skills. She holds weekly tea-and-biscuits sessions for students, a way for them to take a short break from their studies and relax over a hot drink. There are beanbags in the library for students to sleep on. There are poetry competitions, Easter eggs at Easter, sweets and chocolate during exam term and the week when dissertations are due, annual surveys whose results are collated and then responded to in comprehensive reports addressing the main points raised and explaining what, if any, changes will be made. In other words, it's exactly as an academic library should be: a community where everyone's voice is heard.

I love libraries so much.
dolorosa_12: (teen wolf)
As you might have noticed, I've been away from LJ/Dreamwidth for a while, and I apologise for that. However, I have the best excuse: I finished my PhD!

For six hours on Sunday night, Matthias proofread it (a terrifying experience, considering the first thing he said to me upon opening the document was 'you need to change all your en dashes to em dashes, and all your hyphens to en dashes,' causing me to wail and gnash my teeth). On Monday, I had to go into my college library to print it (college charges 3p per page, whereas the English faculty library charges 4p, which is a considerable saving when you need to print two copies of a 306-page document, plus a billion forms). This took several hours, and included a tense half-hour where the printer had a little tantrum. Then I went to get it soft-bound. I wandered into my favourite cafe in a bit of a deranged daze, and couldn't resist telling the barista that I'd finished my PhD. (This is not entirely true. I still have to have the viva, and make corrections based on that, and resubmit the hard-bound, corrected version, but the hardest part is over.)

I waited until Tuesday to hand it in, as I wanted to do so on a day that Matthias had free so that we could go out for lunch afterwards. The woman at the Board of Graduate Studies office was a very friendly, motherly South African who congratulated me in such an over-the-top manner ('you're going to be one of our future leaders!' 'Really, with a PhD on medieval Irish literature? Really?') that I started to tear up. In fact, crying seemed to be the unifying theme of the whole experience. When I was writing a thank-you email to my supervisor I started crying. I cried when I had the printed, bound documents. I cried when I told my mother I was finished. I cried when [personal profile] bethankyou started an 'I'm so proud of Ronni' thread on Facebook.

Because look. I feel overwhelmed with emotion. I started my PhD four years ago. It's been hundreds of books and articles - in four languages, something of which I'm very proud - pages and pages of translation from Irish, countless meetings with my supervisor, 80,000 words, hours of trimming and editing and restructuring and hope and anger and anxiety and, for the past year at least, a constant, dull, crushing fear, and it's finally over. As my mother said, the process of writing a PhD is mainly an exercise in determination and endurance. Your will to finish it must be stronger than the despairing voices in your head telling you you're incapable of writing it.

I've already thanked most of the people who helped me either in person or in the acknowledgements, but I wanted to emphasise my gratitude to another group of people, and that's all of you.

Thank you to the uploaders, to the artists and writers and bloggers and content-creators, to the people who make the stories and the people who pick them apart with discussion. Thank you to the musicians and vidders, the remixers, the cosplayers, the linkers, the rebloggers, those who read and those who comment, those who bookmark and those who leave kudos. Thank you to those who open their interesting lives to me on the screen, with pictures, with words, with eloquence and with wit. Thank you all, dear denizens of the internet. You created a community, and it is beautiful. You gave me the strength to continue.

This is for you.

Cían óm eólus-sa
críoch gusa ránag-sa.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I've had about a million tabs open on both my laptop and iPad for ages, so I felt I should make a linkpost in order to get rid of them. The result will probably be fairly incoherent.

First up, What We Talk About When We Talk About Hating Garden State by Jesse David Fox. I can't quite work out what I think about this. My thoughts about Garden State are so confused and muddy. When I watched it (the first and only time), it spoke to me profoundly. This was before I really thought about issues of representation, had heard of (or noticed) Manic Pixie Dream Girls or had any understanding of mental illness.* And I've heard all the criticisms of the film, and they are extremely valid. And yet...

There are a lot of movies, much worse movies, that are as emo, as self-aggrandizing, and that feature an even more manic manic pixie dream girl, but Garden State is the one we talk about. Have you seen the well-soundtracked garbage that was Elizabethtown (the movie that first inspired the term "manic pixie dream girl")? And that's the difference — Garden State was good enough to define the things that we come to hate in certain movies (and certain characters and people). It's become a symbol for its blend of quirky, twee, morose, earnest, precious, hipsterness, and it's resented for it. We've confused its influence for cliché.

This is true. Everything Fox says in that article is true. But it doesn't really excuse Garden State (or Girls, or any of the other texts criticised in the article) its flaws. But I think it's a valid point to keep in mind.

This next post by the DIY Couturier, 'Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You're Depressed' is like a thunderclap of awesome. Obviously I should warn you that the post deals with issues of depression, so stay away if that's something you don't want to read. But it was the first time that I saw someone deal with the day-to-day struggle of depression in such a compassionate and empathetic way. It made me cry.

This piece of art is simply extraordinary. Read the information at the bottom, as it explains the minor controversy surrounding attribution for the art and quote it contains.

My awesome friend [livejournal.com profile] lucubratae has a profile up on the National Young Writers' Month website, because he is amazing.

I signed up on Deviant Art simply so I could follow this fabulous webcomic by Pika-la-Cynique. It's called Girls Next Door, and it's a rather hilarious scenario in which Sarah from Labyrinth and Christine from The Phantom of the Opera are housemates who live in the same building as (among others) Jareth and Erik and thus have to confront their stalkers on a daily basis. The whole thing takes a very light-hearted approach to stalking and harassment, which ordinarily would irritate me a lot, but the concept is so cleverly executed that I overlook that particular issue.

Yesterday's A Softer World hurts my heart. Read it. Read the alt-text especially. Weep.

--------------
*I remember in high school getting into a screaming row with a friend about medication for mental illness and just generally Not Getting It. I wish I could take those thoughts and words back.
dolorosa_12: (sister finland)


I have had many fantastic friendships over the years, but this one has been one of the most meaningful, important and richest in my life. I am very worried about this friend, and there is very little I can do for them.

This song is exactly that friendship.
dolorosa_12: (bridge to the stars)
I've been really lax about posting recently, mainly because I've been INSANELY busy (as [livejournal.com profile] hoopyfroodyford remarked when I told her what I'd been doing last week, 'just reading that made me feel stressed'). One of the things with which I've been busy, though, is so awesome that it requires sharing.

There's been a handover of power at Bridge to the Stars, the Philip Pullman fansite where I've spent many happy years now. Our new webmasters are [livejournal.com profile] angelofboox and [livejournal.com profile] romen_dreamer, and they've been working really hard to transform things over there. They've been helped by a new team of mods and admins (including yours truly, although I've probably done less work than some), and everything is shiny and snazzy and wonderful.

The most important change is that we've relaunched the site as one focused on not only Philip Pullman and his work, but also the ideas and concepts that it explores. You should definitely all check it out!

We also have an LJ comm ([livejournal.com profile] btts_net), a Facebook group and a Twitter account which we share with the members of French Pullman site Cittàgazze.

We'd love to see you there!
dolorosa_12: (bridge to the stars)
I've been really lax about posting recently, mainly because I've been INSANELY busy (as [livejournal.com profile] hoopyfroodyford remarked when I told her what I'd been doing last week, 'just reading that made me feel stressed'). One of the things with which I've been busy, though, is so awesome that it requires sharing.

There's been a handover of power at Bridge to the Stars, the Philip Pullman fansite where I've spent many happy years now. Our new webmasters are [livejournal.com profile] angelofboox and [livejournal.com profile] romen_dreamer, and they've been working really hard to transform things over there. They've been helped by a new team of mods and admins (including yours truly, although I've probably done less work than some), and everything is shiny and snazzy and wonderful.

The most important change is that we've relaunched the site as one focused on not only Philip Pullman and his work, but also the ideas and concepts that it explores. You should definitely all check it out!

We also have an LJ comm ([livejournal.com profile] btts_net), a Facebook group and a Twitter account which we share with the members of French Pullman site Cittàgazze.

We'd love to see you there!
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
This post has been building in me for a long, long time. To a certain extent, it's tilting at straw men, as you may conclude when you've read it, but it's something I really need to say.

It was The Social Network that tipped me over the edge, much to my mortification. Or, not so much The Social Network but the promotional material associated with it.

I've got something inside my head and it's got to come out )

The internet is neither a force for good or a tool of evil. It just is. It is no better, and no worse than the ideals, desires and needs of the people and communities who use it. But my friendships with the sraffies, the Obernetters and the other people I know online have enriched my life in so many ways. I'm tired of being told that we are creating false personae. I'm tired of being told that our friendships are somehow lesser, or less meaningful, or less real, than those forged entirely in the 'real world'. My 'real world' includes the internet and the people on it.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
This post has been building in me for a long, long time. To a certain extent, it's tilting at straw men, as you may conclude when you've read it, but it's something I really need to say.

It was The Social Network that tipped me over the edge, much to my mortification. Or, not so much The Social Network but the promotional material associated with it.

I've got something inside my head and it's got to come out )

The internet is neither a force for good or a tool of evil. It just is. It is no better, and no worse than the ideals, desires and needs of the people and communities who use it. But my friendships with the sraffies, the Obernetters and the other people I know online have enriched my life in so many ways. I'm tired of being told that we are creating false personae. I'm tired of being told that our friendships are somehow lesser, or less meaningful, or less real, than those forged entirely in the 'real world'. My 'real world' includes the internet and the people on it.
dolorosa_12: (travis)
So, I've just got back from a rather epic and amazing srafcon. It started with two days in London with Alex, and then we caught the train to Cardiff to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] thelxiepia. Cardiff was extremely fantastic. We went to a 90s nightclub and DANCED TO 'RHYTHM IS A DANCER' BY SNAP! It was a very brilliant three days. I took quite a few photos, which are behind the cut.

I should also warn that there are spoilers for Torchwood, of all things, in the photos.

I'm going blind in my eyes )

So yeah. It was lots of fun.
dolorosa_12: (travis)
So, I've just got back from a rather epic and amazing srafcon. It started with two days in London with Alex, and then we caught the train to Cardiff to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] thelxiepia. Cardiff was extremely fantastic. We went to a 90s nightclub and DANCED TO 'RHYTHM IS A DANCER' BY SNAP! It was a very brilliant three days. I took quite a few photos, which are behind the cut.

I should also warn that there are spoilers for Torchwood, of all things, in the photos.

I'm going blind in my eyes )

So yeah. It was lots of fun.
dolorosa_12: (travis)
I have had an absolutely epic (and fantastic) weekend. It began with a bang, with the ASNaC Society black tie dinner, which involved three courses of Scandinavian food, one mead-filled drinking horn, one drunken dance uploaded to Facebook and several bizarre d and m conversations with people with whom I wouldn't normally discuss my personal life. I followed this with a sprint through snow-filled streets to deliver some of [livejournal.com profile] losseniaiel's belongings which she'd left in my room, before beginning my first shift at the English faculty library (with complementary blinding hangover).

Then I got on a train and went to Southampton.

I met some sraffies )

It was a wonderful, excellent weekend!
dolorosa_12: (travis)
I have had an absolutely epic (and fantastic) weekend. It began with a bang, with the ASNaC Society black tie dinner, which involved three courses of Scandinavian food, one mead-filled drinking horn, one drunken dance uploaded to Facebook and several bizarre d and m conversations with people with whom I wouldn't normally discuss my personal life. I followed this with a sprint through snow-filled streets to deliver some of [livejournal.com profile] losseniaiel's belongings which she'd left in my room, before beginning my first shift at the English faculty library (with complementary blinding hangover).

Then I got on a train and went to Southampton.

I met some sraffies )

It was a wonderful, excellent weekend!
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
...If you got the goods they'll come and buy it just to stay in the clique.'

I generally don't talk very much about fashion, because I can't see how the thoughts of someone who is contemptuous of the entire fashion industry are at all useful. However, after coming back from London, where I noticed many shops were stocking thigh-high boots, I knew I could keep silent no longer! I suffered in silence through the past year of ridiculous high-heels that look like weapons, but thigh-high boots were a step too far.

Basically, I gave up on fashion after 2001 )

Internet update
I'm still without working internet at home, and my computer is still broken. I'm in the process of trying to buy a new laptop, but I need to work out whether it's cheaper to do so in the UK or in Australia.

What I regret most of all is not that I can't watch TV while I eat dinner or participate in Moonfair over on Obernet, it's that I was away from the computer when [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets posted its 1000th secrets post. Fandom!Secrets is my favourite corner of the internet; I adore its cheerful, anarchic celebration of the bizarreness that is online fandom. The 1000th post was meant to be all positive secrets about fandom; many of them are along the lines of 'fandom saved my life'. You all know that I feel a similar way about fandom, but I thought I'd take a moment to thank my fandom friends for being wonderful, wonderful people. You welcomed me when I was my most unhappy, you've been with me when I was my best and celebrated with me, you've been with me when I was my worst and saved me. I love you all, and cannot even convey with words how much you all mean to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
...If you got the goods they'll come and buy it just to stay in the clique.'

I generally don't talk very much about fashion, because I can't see how the thoughts of someone who is contemptuous of the entire fashion industry are at all useful. However, after coming back from London, where I noticed many shops were stocking thigh-high boots, I knew I could keep silent no longer! I suffered in silence through the past year of ridiculous high-heels that look like weapons, but thigh-high boots were a step too far.

Basically, I gave up on fashion after 2001 )

Internet update
I'm still without working internet at home, and my computer is still broken. I'm in the process of trying to buy a new laptop, but I need to work out whether it's cheaper to do so in the UK or in Australia.

What I regret most of all is not that I can't watch TV while I eat dinner or participate in Moonfair over on Obernet, it's that I was away from the computer when [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets posted its 1000th secrets post. Fandom!Secrets is my favourite corner of the internet; I adore its cheerful, anarchic celebration of the bizarreness that is online fandom. The 1000th post was meant to be all positive secrets about fandom; many of them are along the lines of 'fandom saved my life'. You all know that I feel a similar way about fandom, but I thought I'd take a moment to thank my fandom friends for being wonderful, wonderful people. You welcomed me when I was my most unhappy, you've been with me when I was my best and celebrated with me, you've been with me when I was my worst and saved me. I love you all, and cannot even convey with words how much you all mean to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
dolorosa_12: (Anne Rice)
Inspired by [livejournal.com profile] catherine_clare, I read Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli. I'm not, and never have been, a member of the Harry Potter fandom, and although I was dimly aware of Anelli's identity as webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron, I'd never visited the site. What I am, however, is an internet addict, and a big believer in online community, and I was very interested to hear about the history of the Harry Potter online community.

Harry, A History is an intriguing little book. I've been involved in online fandom long enough now to know that it probably was written with a strong bias, as Anelli sought to justify her own interpretations of, and reactions to, the inevitable wank and debates that plague most online fandoms. As long as you understand this, though, Harry, A History is a pretty good account of the growth of the Harry Potter fandom and Anelli's own experiences of that fandom.

But for me, what shone through most clearly was how fandom had saved Anelli. This is a view with which I have great sympathy, as, two years ago, fandom - or, more specifically, online community did the same for me.

My angst, let me show it to you )

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rushes into my heart and my skull

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