May 24th, 2004


Nothing to see here

I don't know what happened to most of yesterday; I mostly just pottered around aimlessly, tidying a bit, and somehow managed to use up an entire day.

I made flapjacks, using a recipe out of my head. The recipe goes: "Take ingredients of flapjacks, in vaguely flapjackish quantities. Combine to the consistency of raw flapjack. Squish into tray and put in oven. Cook until they reach the consistency of cooked flapjack." There was desecrated coconut in there as well, because it needed used up. Anyway, the result was some very nice flapjacks, which I will probably never be able to reproduce now.

sion_a and I went out for dinner to celebrate his birthday, to the Indian round the corner. It was a lovely meal but I'm afraid I probably wasn't very good company. :-/

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Last night I dreamed Collapse )

This morning Richard Allinson played "Where have all the cowboys gone", which nearly made me cry (as usual), and the new Beth Nielsen Chapman single ("Trying to love you"), which did. Shouldn't be allowed, playing sad songs at that time on a Monday morning.
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Do you read this journal?


Update: Er, this poll appears to have come out in Cyrillic. Not my fault! You should be able to read the bits that matter.

emails I have not sent, part n

You wrote:

THERE'S NO NEED TO SHOUT. A few points, though:

a) If every email you send is marked "URGENT!!!!", "asap pls" and so on, one -- or possibly both -- of two things will happen: i) your emails will all be demoted to the same level of urgency, ii) the updates and edits you're requesting will be done hastily.

b) If, furthermore, these emails are semi-literate four-page nightmares containing randomly spaced URLs, PDF attachments and only vague indications of what needs to be done to these, you can expect people to get confused.

c) It also helps if you cite real URLs for pages you want edited, rather than URLs you've MADE UP RANDOMLY OUT OF YOUR HEAD.

d) If these pages are so badly put together that the webmasters find them confusing, you might want to think about how your users cope.

e) Given that 90% of your illiterately-expressed updates do actually get done -- and done more accurately, more neatly and more correctly than you're asking for, mostly, without you even noticing -- within 10 minutes, it's a bit unfair to SHOUT RUDELY AT PEOPLE the one time that a couple of things get missed.

f) off.

Janet (as webmaster)
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    irate and frustrated

Colours of my life

you are darkredviolet

Your dominant hues are red and magenta. You love doing your own thing and going on your own adventures, but there are close friends you know you just can't leave behind. You can influence others on days when you're patient, but most times you just want to go out, have fun, and do your own thing.

Your saturation level is high - you get into life and have a strong personality. Everyone you meet will either love you or hate you - either way, your goal is to get them to change the world with you. You are very hard working and don't have much patience for people without your initiative.

Your outlook on life is slightly darker than most people's. You try to see things for what they are and face situations honestly. You'd rather get to the point than look for what's good.
the html color quiz

Bollocks. I don't love doing my own thing; I'm cripplingly lonely when I don't have people around me. Doubt if it's true that everyone "will either love [me] or hate [me]", either -- there seem to be plenty of people who are completely indifferent to me. (Which is fine by me.) I'm not at all hard-working (witness the fact that I'm posting shite to LJ).

No idea if my outlook on life is darker than most; it's pretty bloody dark at the moment, but there are Reasons for that which I can't talk about here. On the whole, though, I'd much rather look for what's good than "get to the point": as far as I can tell there is no point other than looking for what's good, looking for Quality.

It is quite a nice colour, though.
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I have received an email to which I cannot reply without risking offending, and to which I cannot refrain from replying without risking offending.

I would like the internet to be accidentally unplugged by the cleaner, please, so that I don't have to make a decision.
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Suits you

Having just said in reply to another comment somewhere else that I didn't think very much really suited me, clothes-wise, I had a look in the mirror.

Today I am wearing one of the ugliest dresses I own. It's black with pinkish-orange stylised flowers all over it like big polka dots, except on the yoke (? bit just below collar) where it's black with pinkish-orange paisley pattern; it has tie-up bits at the end of the (half-length) sleeves, and tie-up bits under the bust (to make it sort of empire-line) -- both sets of ties are paisley-patterned too, actually -- and the top half of it buttons up to a small rounded collar. It comes to mid-calf length, which is possibly the most unflattering length known to woman.

Perversely, though, I think it actually looks okay on me. Maybe I just suit ugly clothes.


From an irate email to webmaster:

"Every day, over three hundred email recipients within the University have to clear out 20 to 30 junk emails which can take up to 30 minutes."

20 to 30! How awful!

(This is before I even get to the question of how on earth it can take you 30 minutes to delete 30 junk emails... unless they mean a total of 30 man-minutes across the 300 email recipients within the University ... and if so, why have they selected those 300 out of the 30,000-odd email recipients in the University?)
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    amusedly irritated

The skull beneath the skin

Several relatives of friends are sick or dying, and there is nothing I can think of to say to comfort my friends, there is nothing that will comfort them, and nothing I can say that would not seem insultingly futile. But it is not just my futility that keeps me silent. It is partly the fact that the first thought that always -- horribly, selfishly -- comes to me is "It will be my relatives next". And from there it's a small step to "and then it will be my friends, and then it will be me".

["I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart.
I am, I am, I am."

Nobody can imagine death, the absence of self. We imagine by imagining ourselves as the viewer, the onlooker, the person having the experience; we can't imagine the inability to view, to look on, to experience. Even imagining other people's reactions can only be achieved with the implicit imagination of oneself as the observer. The self cannot imagine itself out of existence. Imagination dead imagine. It's a black hole which hurts the soul, and the more you look into it, the more it paralyses thought.

The thought comes and hisses its whispers of mortality into my ear when I am close to sleep, or alone, or tired, or in some other way emotionally vulnerable. You will be gone, it says, and no matter what you do, you will have done nothing, nothing. And I think of all the things I want to do, and how little time there is, and how much time I have already wasted, and how much more time I will waste, and I feel nauseous, panicked.

If I start counting I'm done for. Divide and conquer. If I live to n, I'm over a quarter of the way through, in two years it'll be more like a third, and look how fast this year has gone, halfway through already, and how much faster it gets, the accelerator jammed down to the floor, out of control, towards the cliff-edge. Figures buzzing around my head like flies. If I read a book a week, that's 52 books a year, which means I only have n times n times n more books to read in my life, which means I should be choosing more carefully, should be whittling my life down to top 50, top 10, top 5, top 1, top what-would-you-do-if-you-knew-you-were-going-to-die-tomorrow?

And then comes the guilt for feeling this when others are older. I should be grateful. For what? That people I care for are first in the firing line? How can I be grateful for that? The fear comes on me physically, viscerally, dissolving me, reducing me to that heartbeat, that insistent ειμι (οιμοι!) by which we are all declared gods of our separate worlds.

The panic assails me at every level; faced with an hour of time, I worry how little time that is and how little I can do in that time out of the millions of things I want to do. Inevitably I end up wasting the entire hour doing nothing, paralysed by indecision, It is only when the time is over that the motivation returns, telling me do something! anything!, and of course then there is no time, only guilt for time wasted, piling up around me in persistent whispers, like rumours, like sand.

["I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story… I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet."]

Thus it is in the bigger picture, with life as a whole. Now more than ever. I feel as though I'm freeze-framed, waiting for somebody to un-pause my life. I want to live now, and I don't know how. The minutes tick away as if they were years, and I'm grasping at them so frantically, so hopelessly, that they slip through my fingers until I'm hopelessly sobbing, clutching, clawing at the fabric of space and time, screaming stop, wait, I WANT MORE LIFE.