laliandra: (sweetlooking brazilian)
I have absolutely no idea how that happened.

Well, I mean, I do. I vaguely think about things I want to post and then I get on the internet and forget all about it. I also planned to have finished some of the many and terrible WIPs I have on the go right now, but that, er, hasn't happened either? And then I just think of more things I want to write and I think my brain just sort of gets log-jammed with ideas.

Anyway, in the past month I have tweeted a lot, liked a lot of things on tumblr, finally got myself a TSN icon, totally made "wardo" as a verb happen, played through all three Jojo's Fashion Show games, had the sleep schedule of a mad insomniac and generally failed about the house in my socks and misbuttoned pyjamas.

I have had some on and off temp work, sigh. It's so depressing. The other week I worked for six days, standing up for pretty much eight hours straight every day, and in the end, I scraped past earning £200 *gets back under quilt and doesn't come out*

I also went to a wedding in Wales! It was... Are you going to call me crazy if I say it was very wedding-y? It was like the show-home of weddings. Nat's cousin is a professional cricket player and all of his friends are sportsmen and they all have very WAG parters and it was very... Wedding-y. Also I accidentally flashed my arse to a bunch of people but that's a story for another day.

Oh! Also I watched all of Band of Brothers and wept into my gchat window at [livejournal.com profile] daisysusan and there were pretty boys covered in dirt and heartbreak and it was amaaaaazing.

I've been trying to write this entry for like, five hours, and I'm being terrible at it, so, like, ask me things in the comments or whatever. How have you beeeeeeeen?

To make up for it, here is a masterful characterful study of Mr Rochester, by [livejournal.com profile] laliandra and [livejournal.com profile] moogle62

ps no that is not my crazy wife in the attic shhh just come )
laliandra: (aspiration)
Oh, god, I haven't posted in forever and a day. Or, like, three weeks but whatever. The internet moves at the speed of light and all.

So, I suspect that y'all suspect me of having achieving great and marvellous things in my absence from your flists.

This is sadly not the case.

Sorry.

My boyfriend Nat has been working away, many miles away for the last month, only home at the weekends. So I've been Home Alone. I meant to get a lot of stuff done, mostly writing and maybe some recording. But mainly what I did was mope around the house, watching a lot of crap TV and eating biscuits. Sulkily.

I also went to work. Work sucks, I know, right? It's reached a stage with my co-workers which feels very Assimilate or Die. Like, I have next to nothing in common with any of them, and they are not interested in most of the things I am passionate about and. I can either keep myslef to myself and listen to the music that I like and podfic. Or I can feign an interest in things I really don't care about (can I fake it about fake tan?) and stop myself making sarcastic comments (I swear, I don't mean it badly, it's my sense of humour)  and using complicated words (which Karen [who thought that euthanasia was a country] accused me of doing to take the piss). Stop being the proper version of myself. I don't know. I think I've got so used to being with people like, well, like you guys. Who send me tweets supporting my choice to grin like an idiot while I rewatch clips of Glee on the train and who use words like, "proselytize" and who blame me and &hearts me and squee about sexy revelations with me and just GET ME. 

ANYWAY. Enough of my angstface/FANDOMADORATION. Seriously though. You guys. <3.

Let us focus on what I actually have achieved...

I made my Master List/ Introduction Post! VICTORY IS MINE AND IT COMES IN DELICIOUSLY LISTY FORM. It took me an upsettingly long time because livejournal hates my face and also my attempts at html. Oh, so very much html. So, new friends, old friends, lurkers, please feel free to go comment and ask anything you would like to (I have included suggestions but have no doubt you'll think of something much more awesome) or just marvel at the amount of of RPF I seem to have ended up writing \o?

I read Who Fears Death for bookdeyada and it was amazing and set in Africa and full of fabulous female characters and non Western mythology and, ugh, I loved it so much. I love it when you get to the end of a good book and you just feel this really bone deep feeling of satisfaction, you know? Shoe joy is all glitter shiny and instant but book joy is real fulfilment.

I recorded myself playing television theme tunes on the kazoo and singing show tunes for various people, thus proving that I probably shouldn't be left on my own for long periods of time.

I broke my laptop charger dancing to My Chemical Romance but now have a new, shiny one that actually works properly and not just in one special position which takes forever to find. My precious laptop, I have missed you so! *pets, gently* 

I signed up for Muskrat Jamboree which is a very very awesome fandom convention. In America. So, yeah. I AM GOING TO AMERICA and I am going to stay with [livejournal.com profile] brimtoast in New York and meet [livejournal.com profile] shiningartifact and [livejournal.com profile] novembersmith and [livejournal.com profile] swiiftly in Boston and we are going to a FANDOM CONVENTION and OMG I AM SO EXCITED CAN YOU TELL?!?! So, if you are in the New York or Boston area around the end of March/start of April we should totally meet up and have coffee or something. I plan on riding the A train and charming people with my accent!

I have been around on other parts of the internet, even though I have been a terrible poster. I have been on twitter, like, all the fricking time. I live on Twitter. How did I survive work without Twitter? I have a service that allows me to use Twitter like a text message, where I just write out the message and send it to a number, which I find extremely cool. I get to text people all over the  world for free! So I was discussing the Glee version of Teenage Dream as sung by AVPM's Darren Criss with [livejournal.com profile] kaiserkuchen  and she made an excellent point and so I replied

Yes, yes eye fucking, exactly \O/

You may notice the distinct lack of an @ at the beginning of that tweet (incidentally have I mentioned that I hate almost all the words associated with Twitter? Tweeting *shudders*) so of course it or rather Yes, yes eye fucking, exactly \O/
 showed up on EVERYONE's feed. There was some confusion, but mostly in a "Oh, Lal, what is it this time?" kind of way. Which I appreciated. I feel it is a fairly accurate summary of my feelings on the subject anyway. It is extra amusing to me because just a few days I had been telling Kaz that it is basically my greatest fear that one day I will accidentally text Twitter instead of my boyfriend... I mean, going on what most of our conversations are like it will be something about the weather or poorly spelled shop signs but YOU NEVER KNOW. 

I wrote a teeny tiny sequel to my Inception subway!AU fic, (AKA the fic of nothing but crosswords and snarkary, or My Subconscious Loves You, [livejournal.com profile] brimtoast) for [livejournal.com profile] bookshop 's fluff meme. I am well, well aware that this is NOT what I am supposed to be writing, but anyway, I did. This is because I am powerless to resist the lure of being ordered to write something delightful and schmoopy and because the fluff meme is like a big fuzzy blanket that I can wrap myself in after a particularly crappy day and because I wanted to do something nice for many reasons but mainly, as I said to C,  because sometimes people in fandom are dicks. There is a little more further down the thread, by the way, so scroll down if you feel your sugar levels can take it...

I also went dancing a lot, which remains awesome. We are doing a samba routine at a Carnaval club night in December and my friend is trying to persuade us all to wear bikinis. I will be on Team More Than Bikinis, Oh Please, For The Love Of God, but I suspect my team will not win. Possibly we need a snappier name. 

And you guys? How have you been? Didja miss me?! 
laliandra: (aspiration)
So, I have this temping job and it's kind of soul crushingly, brain atrophyingly dull.

I process forms and type numbers into boxes. So, so dull.

But this is not what this post is about. This post is about something that happened while I was chatting to my co-workers. It's to make me remember.

I work in an office with 5 guys. One of them, we'll call him Dick (*foreshadows*) is a nice enough guy, but hellava annoying. I bite my tongue about once a minute because he's always getting things wrong and misquoting or mispronouncing the rest. He is the kind of man who says, "Well, the doctors say that, but what do they know?"

Then, last week, this happened. My person-who-sits-next-to-me-and-possibly-friend Neil (so named for his love of, and resemblance to a young, Neil Gaiman) was telling the story of the time his friend went to a gay bar and accidentally got involved in a fight and was punched by a transvestite. He described it as one of the most surreal things he'd ever seen.

Dick: Yeah, this one time, I was in Mission and there were just these two guys making out in the corner. And I was like, ew, no, too weird!

Me and Neil: What?!

Me: You can't say that. Really.

Dick: Why are you getting so offended? You're not even gay.

Me: Er, firstly, you shouldn't make assumptions about people's sexuality. And second, that's not the point, you are being a bigot, no buts.

Neil: Yeah, homophobia, much?

Dick: Stop criticising me! It's just not something I wanted to deal with, okay?

Me: No! Not okay! It's a terrible thing to say and I wouldn't feel right if I didn't say something. Okay?

.....

Yeah.

We went on a break fairly soon after and I posted a brief summary of what had happened, mostly just to get some of RAAAAAAAAGE out of me so that I could, you know, function as a human being. And my twitter flist were amazing, and made me feel much better. But, I started to feel a bit weird about it. Because people kept saying things like, "I'm so sorry you had to deal with that."

And it's not that I didn't appreciate it, because, I did, I really did. It's just. I did what I should have done. What should be the average response to this situation. I wasn't at risk, it wasn't brave. What's the worst that could have happened? A guy I didn't like much who had turned out to be a bigot disliked me? My boyfriend sometimes has to visit building sites for his job, and has been physcially threatened for reacting to racist and homophobic comments. Nothing like that was going to happen to me. No one had insulted me. No one had expressed disgust at the idea of me kissing my boy. I was totally fine.

I have it so easy. I am a white, well educated, cisgendered Westerner, living in a society where I can express my views with next to no personal risk. And that's privilege, and I should use it for something good. I spent the best part of a day worrying about having been impolite. About people thinking I was some crazy person who ranted about issues. So I'm writing about this to remind myself that I shouldn't feel that way. Calling someone out on their bigotry is not the same as being rude, and if they hate me for it, well, fuck them in the ear, as [livejournal.com profile] azurelunatic put it. It's not a big brave thing to do. It's something I regret not doing more. It's something I'm going to do more. I might get to make a man think twice about expressing hateful views in public. Good. We need more safe spaces. Maybe it won't do anything. But I'll still be trying. This is more the me I want to be and this is about all of us.

And this post is a thank you to fandom. For making me work at learning to unpack my privilege. In the end my co-workers backed me up (even the shy, dorky boys and the super macho Marine in training :D) but I could have been one person, saying something unpopular but right. Thanks, fandom, for making me realise that this is something I should be doing without thinking about it. Thank you for giving me the tools to back up my arguments, for teaching me how to admit I'm not perfect. For being queer and kinky and silly so fabulously, and unapologetically unafraid to be different. This is more the me I want to be and this is about all of us.

This post is a reminder, self, to woman up and grow some boobs (note to body: metaphorical boobs only, plz. Boob situation already more than adequate).
laliandra: (aspiration)
I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I've been volunteering in a charity shop. I did it before I had my previous job, and I've been back for about a month. It's fairly awesome.

For those of you who don't know, a charity shop is one that relies on donations from the public and people working there for free, and they use the money they make from selling the stuff to a specific charity. The one I work for is a heart disease charity, there are ones for Save The Children and Oxfam, and pet charities like the RSPCA. We mostly sell clothes and books. I do all sorts of things, I sort and price and tag donations, I sort out the shop floor and I work on the till.

(Tangentially, there is an RSPCA shop next door to us. Several people have brought in donations to us and declared that we are getting their money/items because they don't like animals.  People are so odd.)

I decided to go volunteer for a few reasons. As one of the Great Unemployed, I have a ridiculous amount of free time, and it is tragically easy to descend into wearing your pjs all day and hardly emerging from the house during daylight hours, like some sort of plaid clad vampire.So having something to get up and go to is pretty important, and probably good for me.

And I used to walk past the shop a lot and see the sign that said, "Please Help! We need volunteers!" and I do like to help out. It's a really good thing to do, and that should be reason enough.

Also, it's one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done, on lots of levels.

Generally, the feeling that you get from working somewhere like a charity shop is one of incredible optimism. It's full of people who are all there, working for no money, just to make the world a better place. And there are lots of volunteers. Then, at the end of the day you get to see how much money that has been made by the shop, and you know that all that money will be going to do great things for people who really need it.

And people are always giving us more money or bringing in items to be donated or putting change in our collection box. I have never felt so reassured about human nature as I have working in my shop.

On a personal level, it's been amazing what working there does to my mood. Like I said, it makes me feel better about the world. And everyone who works there is extremely nice. Not being able to find a job plays hell with your self confidence, let me tell you. But at the shop, people are always saying things like, "Lal can do that, she's a smart girl," or "That's a great job you did there" or "What a nice skirt you're wearing." It may not seem like such a big deal, but having people be positive in a really matter of fact way about you is pretty awesome. When I told my boss I had been made redundant she said, "Those bastards! What idiots."

And I like being able to interact with people. Headingley, where the shop is located is a strange place in many ways. It's one of the student areas of Leeds, where a lot of student housing is and most of the businesses there are quite student orientated (bars, takeaways etc). But it's also right next to a really nice upper class part of Leeds, AND really near one of the poorer areas. So you get all kinds of people coming into the shop. My favourites, I have to say, are the students looking for fancy dress outfits. And my favourite of those are the boys who come in to buy dresses.

It's amazing.

They always come in groups, stand round the rail and have this conversation.

Guy 1: Dude, what size am I?
Guy 2: No idea. I think my girlfriend is a, 12, or something?
Guy 3: This looks huge, but it says 20, and I'm usually a 38 in shirts.
Guy 4: Why are there no odd numbers? Why does it start at 8?
Guys: THESE SIZES MAKE NO SENSE. WOMEN ARE CRAZY.

Then the large majority? Get really into it and start trying to find whole matching outfits and holding the dresses up to themselves in front of the mirror to see what suits them.

I do have a new found hatred for people who A) cut all the tags out of their clothing, thus forcing me to guess what size something is when tagging it. Even though I am one of those people! Tags are annoying. But seriously, I am a really bad guesser of sizes. B) Commercial radio. OMG you guys, it is so bad. Local commercial radio. Where you can hear the same songs every hour! Interspersed with low budget advertising for car dealerships and outlet malls!  C) And this is real hatred, people who try and get money off. One, this is a CHARITY SHOP. Any money you give us goes to charity. And you are begruding 50p? Seriously? Two, you are already getting a good deal. Most of the stuff we get in is hardly worn, and loads of it is brand new. I would say that on average people are saving over £10 PER ITEM. Also, did I mention that we are a charity shop. And you know who are the worst at this? Not the students. Not the old people. No, it is middle aged middle class women who come in laden with bags from high end retailers and then think that £4 is too much for a brand new pair of Levi jeans. I'm sorry, but it makes me SO ANGRY.

Luckily, for every person who makes me mad, there is someone who tells you a joke, or tells you to keep the change or who buys books and then brings them back the next week to be sold again

Something I find quite interesting and quite like, is that the shop is very much ruled by women. There are guys who work there, but the staff are mainly female and all the people in charge, managers, supervisors etc, are women. They are not hippy drippy types, either. And it's really cool! There are free tampons in the bathroom, and really good biscuits in the staff kitchen. No one is allowed to be disrespectful, although friendly banter is encouraged all round. My bosses do not take crap from anyone, and won't let you, either. And everyone is free to complain about stuff but everyone just gets on with the job in hand. It's kind of hard to explain, but the general atmosphere is so great and the work ethic so good it makes me wonder just how awesome the world would be if it was run by really no-nonsense women from Yorkshire.

Volunteering. I recommend it! Cheap clothing (I get a staff discount! How ridiculous is that!) and the ability to make a fairly cynical person like myself all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Other than that, how is everyone? Twitter is awesome. The two days of summer we had, also awesome. Househunting? Sucks.
laliandra: (booksmarts)
Well now.

People who know me will be utterly unsurprised to hear about this.

I write a lot of blog posts that I don't post. Like, a lot. I plan them all out in my head or sometimes even in Word, and then leave them be. But Lal, I hear you say (in a whisper of pixels) why would you do this?

Firstly, because I am the world's biggest procrastinator. Without proper deadlines/encouragement, and frankly, with them, I just do not get shit done. It's an issue.

Secondly, because these posts are not my usual "here is some stuff that has happened to me recently!" They are more Thinky Thoughts about all sorts of things that I get into my head. And, I'm not used to writing like that and not sure if anyone would be interested. And yes, I know, it's my own LJ. But sometimes I fret. It's an issue.

So I figured I would chat to y'all about it. Because then you can make me do it, because then you can tell what you would actually care about reading, because then you can remind me of all the other things I have said I'd blog about and, er, never have. :D! You will note that there is no actual "All of the Above" Option. This is because I am evil. But you can always elaborate in comments!


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laliandra

October 2016

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