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I know I haven't updated in a long while, but I feel so... stuck is maybe the best word. Embarrassed at myself. I'm not really depressed, I'm mostly quite fine just as long as I manage as much as possible to block out the knowledge that what I really should be doing is look for a new job. (Or as long as I'm not having dental hygiene, but that's an embarrassing story for another entry...)

I'm still going on hikes on weekends, I even found a new Russian teacher after the last one left for a job in Hamburg, so it's not as if I'm a complete lazy slob who gets absolutely nothing done.

On the other hand...

issues &c. )


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Meh. I was going to take tomorrow, Fri and next Tue. off and drive to Salzburg this evening, but the weather forecast for the weekend is so thoroughly unappealing (persistent rain, possibly snow, cold) that I decided to postpone the trip until the May 1st weekend, because driving 600 km only to sit at home and read a book seems a rather pointless waste of time and energy. Spring has to stay for longer than a fleeting visit some time, right? Right?! On Sunday's walk (Kritzendorf to Purkersdorf, but you can hardly call it a hiking tour if you're never higher up than 500m...) I was wearing a t-shirt, sweatshirt, zipped-up parka, hat and gloves, and was seriously considering zipping on the parka's hood a couple of times. Icy wind, snow (though not much), and all that can be said for that walk is that it kept me on my feet for about 7 hrs. and presumably burned off some calories in the process.

navel-gazing... )

A few pictures from a decidedly un-Easterly Easter Sunday...


& a few more... )

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Prompted by [ profile] green_maia's posts about MD and religion, and my own comments there.

My reaction to Immortal Sins in comparison to [ profile] green_maia's, as well as other people's, made me remember a blog entry by Ricardo Pinto, where he talks about the Catholic themes he noticed in his writing despite being an atheist, and how differently Portuguese readers and readers from English speaking countries react to the violence in the Stone Dance of the Chameleon books (*). He remarks on the prevalence of the crucifix in Catholic countries as opposed to the plain cross used by Protestant Churches, and goes on to ask, 'How profoundly is a culture shaped, the minds of its children shaped, by the difference between these symbols? The contrast between the abstract instrument of torture and execution, and the instrument being demonstrated in use, viscerally, by having a man depicted on it suffering?', and concludes: 'And it seems that I am Catholic enough to have portrayed a unity between violence and redemption, between violence and love, that is immediately understood by people who have grown up with the crucifix and causes much more of a problem for those who have grown up with the plain, bare cross….'

I have no idea if this would hold up to scientific analysis, but I do find the idea interesting, and it made me think.

My personal religious history, Catholicism, and the religious themes in TW and DW. )

(*) Which, btw, I cannot recommend enough. They're not flawless, but IMO deserve more recognition than they got.

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I know I've been kind of absent lately, but sometimes words feel so pointless and inadequate. Or maybe it's I who feels pointless and inadequate, and on the whole am happier ignoring myself. Everyone around me is moving on with their lives, careers, family; G. has a job interview in Hamburg and my Russian teacher, as it turns out, will be moving to La Palma with her husband. Meanwhile, I'm stuck, I'm frozen, I've been struck for the last ten years, and probably will remain stuck, since I seem to be totally incapable of getting myself unstuck.

Spent most of yesterday's holiday going through another 90-100 pages of my Excel book. Exciting, isn't it.

I'm happiest when I go for long walks; maybe this is another method of avoiding myself? Sometimes I wonder.

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Turbulent week so far. Monday I had a fight with M. over absolutely nothing except all the issues we avoid talking about, that had me violently kicking things and hysterically crying in our kitchen for half an hour. It's weird. Much of the time I'm so unemotional that I think there must be something wrong with me, and then I blow up and lose it completely, and I mean completely, over stuff that is, essentially, objectively speaking, inconsequential. I guess there is something wrong with me.

Came home that evening, exhausted, completely drained, and thought, there goes my new-found bout of spring energy, and why do I always have to sabotage myself like this, but surprisingly enough I was pretty fine again by Tuesday. Today I finally got my bike repaired, which I hadn't used since the accident, and also completed the application for a two week intensive Russian course in Eisenstadt this July. (There goes my summer holiday... *tiny sigh* ) It's a bit of a cowardly solution, really, because I'm simply too scared to try out my insufficient Russian skills in Russia at this point, but I imagine that twelve days of seven hours Russian daily will make a difference regardless. How I'll cope with having to go back to work immediately afterwards is another question, of course.

I've been so utterly paranoid about getting spoiled for Miracle Day that I avoided pretty much everything, so that so far S4 has been a kind of Schroedinger's cat for me, not quite real, neither here nor there, but [ profile] elisi pointed me towards the promo picture, and between that and the trailer and the hints about the theme I'm starting to get really excited. That said, if the picture is any indication, this probably isn't going to be happy fun times. I do like the a bit older, worn Jack though. (Of course I'll be stuck in Eisenstadt studying Russian for the second and third episode...)

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# Tired, but pleasantly so. Went for a long walk today from Neuwaldegg up the Sophienalpe, after which I temporarily lost my way & sense of direction (Note to self: buy a damn map. It's kind of embarrassing getting lost in the woods practically within the city limits of Vienna), found it again with the help of a woman walking her dog, who asked me for directions, but at least knew where she was coming from, and finally ended up in Sievering. Sat for a while under the oak trees overlooking the old quarry, enjoying the evening sun on my face. Half of the time spring depresses me because of its connotations of new life and growth and shiny happy people in love, all of which I more often than not feel completely out of tune with, but it was lovely. The trees are still very bare with the buds only just opening, occasional faint shades of green over the brown of the hills, but the ground is dotted with bright colours, lots of Leberblümchen, violets, some kind of white flower I don't know the name of, as well as a few others, and whole stretches of it covered in bright green Bärlauch. Sunny and warm, a T-shirt was enough. It's strange, I always thought of myself as more of a city-person, but recently I have this need to get out as often as possible. Maybe the winter has been too long, but today I almost felt a hunger for fresh air and sunlight, to feel the wind on my bare arms again.

# Does this happen to anyone else, that when you've finished something you spent a (comparatively) long time writing your head feels strangely (and somewhat unpleasantly) empty after you finally post it? I noticed this after the last big post, and again today, because I usually take a notebook with me and use these walk to shuffle around the thoughts in my mind, and there was... nothing. A blank. It felt like my brain was fumbling around for something that wasn't there any longer. Or is this me being weird again? In any case, that only lasted for about half an hour until, probably out of sheer horror vacui, my brain came up with something I could write about. It seemed a better idea then than it does now, but I guess I'll see.

# On a related note, watched the Miracle Day trailer [ profile] elisi linked about five times in a row with a huge, probably inane, grin on my face yesterday. I hadn't realised that I was looking forward to it so much. (OTOH... a 35 second trailer, and I already foresee meta writing. *facepalms so hard*)

# Had a rather productive Saturday, too, where I updated the old laptop I got from my sister, so that I can practice my newly acquired Excel skills on an Office version that isn't eight years old. And then did a backup and finally tried to update my iMac to Snow Leopard (finally, because I bought it sometime last autumn and had it lying around ever since; don't ask), found out that it hadn't enough RAM, went to the store, and then did the scary thing where I actually unscrewed the computer and took something out & put something else in. Works fine now, although not without some complications and another trip to the store because if I put anything into the lower slot the computer won't start. They said to bring it in, but I think I'll be happy with the 2 GB (instead of 512 MB) and either keep or try to sell the other 2, because paying them even more money to try to figure out the problem so that I can have another GB (which is all the computer can actually use, or so I was told) that I don't actually need that desperately doesn't really seem worth it.

# Again on a somewhat related note, I met with a couple of people partly from work, partly not, Friday afternoon, and one of them showed off her iPhone (complete with a gazillion pictures of her not-really-boyfriend's tattoos) and, wow, does my mobile phone look archaic in comparison. The thing is, though... I hate mobile phones, use mine almost never, and as much as I love and wouldn't want to miss the internet, I don't want to take it with me when I leave the house. I don't know why, but my minds wants these things compartmetalised.

# Woke up yesterday from a dream where I was writing my diss again, except it was about something completely different, although I don't remember what. I just remember a table covered with books, and the feeling of ideas clicking in my mind. *sigh* This is what comes from all the meta writing, delusions of academia.

# For the first time in my life I'm watching Dancing Stars (*facepalm* ad infinitum), and now I can't decide whether I want him to win, if only because of all the thinly veiled homophobic comments I'm hearing at work from customers all the time, since we're selling off his autobiography, or her, because she's such a sweetie, not to mention smoking hot in that dress. (Realistically, neither will win because they simply aren't the best dancers.)

# I think I mentioned I read Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise over my holiday? Sooo much inspiration for non-musical me. For now Shostakovich and Britten, but I'm happily clicking around on YouTube checking out new things all the time...

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I should maybe update again? Finally drove to Salzburg last Thursday, via a very scenic route in both senses of the word, following the Danube until Grein, because you can only take the Westautobahn so many times before getting bored out of your mind, and that was already a gorgeous start to this holiday, sun glittering on the water, the vineyard terraces on the hills that at this time of the year, without the cover of vegetation, gave the whole landscape a somewhat scarred, patched up look...

Friday and Saturday were incredibly beautiful, sunny but hazy, a blue sky behind a veil, distances blurred, all creating a very dreamlike, almost unreal, magical mood. Biked to Salzburg Friday afternoon and took a long walk around the Mönchsberg, the city lovely below, shining in bright pastels against the background of muted browns and light blues. Saturday I drove to Bad Ischl, but ended up just walking around a lot, aimlessly following various footpaths. It makes me feel so uncultured, but I'm really not in the mood for sightseeing or museums these days. I want to either be outside, or read or write. Then drove on to Obertraun, because I wanted to check something out, and walked along the Hallstätter See until the sun disappeared behind the mountains. It was so gorgeous I can't even begin to describe it. I had the camera with me, but no photo would have adequately captured the mood, so I didn't even bother taking it out. Felt surprisingly relaxed and at peace; usually it takes me at least several days to get into this mood.

Sunday was mostly overcast and I stayed indoors, and yesterday the weather changed. Everything is bright and clear now, colours are deeper and warmer already, and it feels more like spring. Still beautiful, but in a different way, and not quite as ethereally magical. Slightly intimidating, for some reason.

What else? I'm spending quite a bit of time beating into shape the Jack/Ianto meta I'm currently writing (I know, I know. I hadn't actually thought it'd be possible to find something new to write on this subject either, but turns out I was wrong. God knows I wasn't planning on this. But it's actually quite good, or at least that's how it felt yesterday when I'd finally transformed the S2 chapter from a formless mess I rather hated, because the main argument is really in S1, into something that made sense and fit logically.)

Still, though. When have I lost the knack of writing meta under 5000 words? I'm at ca. 8300, and the CoE part is only a draft, because I've only just rewatched D1 and D2 yesterday. It's strange... I haven't even cried after the first time, it's not as if I'm falling into a pit of depression for days afterwards, but CoE is still one of these cases where there's always this moment of hesitancy, where I keep putting it off and off, vague thoughts of whether I really want to put myself through this, until I finally give myself a push. Sometimes I wonder if I'd have rewatched it at all if I hadn't wanted to write about it.

Meanwhile, I'm also reading Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise (huge thanks @ [ profile] un_crayon_rouge for the tip!) and am enjoying a lot. Most of the more musical theoretical stuff is of course beyond me, since I can only read music only on a very, very basic level, but it's extremely interesting from a historic perspective, and really helps me to slot into place all the names I'm already vaguely familiar with either from work or TM's diaries, giving them context and chronology.

*sigh* It's Tuesday already, almost the middle of the second week of my holiday. First week of March. Why does there always seem to be too little time, especially for the stuff I love doing, that makes me feel like myself?

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Inspired by [ profile] green_maia, who was wishing more people would post photos of themselves at different ages. I was aiming for one photo per year, but even raiding my parents' albums that didn't quite work out, so there are a couple of missing years, and, to make up for that, and because I couldn't decide which photos to post, a few years with two photos.

38 years in photos )
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Last part of family Christmas over, done with, and survived.

personal ramblings )

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Updating from Salzburg; I took Fri. off and drove here Thu. evening after work, which was a bit stressful especially as I don't really like driving in the dark, not even on the Autobahn, but totally worth it. The first two days were painfully beautiful, a cloudless blue sky, sunny, warm, snow on the mountains and every shade of brown, gold, yellow and green below; I biked to Golling on Fri. and took a lot of pictures in the Bluntautal (will upload some when I'm home again, since the internet connection here is slower than a hibernating snail). Sat. I drove to Werfen to see the castle, which was picturesque enough, but the guided tour was rather frustrating and I definitely had a 'what am I doing standing in a chilly dungeon looking at torture instruments and listening to a guide - "stay by the group, please" - whose boredom with his text at the end of the tourist season was palpable, when it's gorgeous and warm outside' moment and then got out as soon as possible and went for a walk for a couple of hours.

Yesterday I drove to Hallstatt; it was still warm enough for a t-shirt and light jacket, but cloudy and windy and the leaves were falling fast around me, torn from the trees. I didn't visit anything, because I really wanted to be outside, walking, moving, not stuck in some museum; walked up the Salzberg, and then back to Halstatt via another path, and in the middle of all that found a perfect spot for a lunchbreak (a package of Manerschnitten, how clicheed can you get?) with a great view across the lake. Sometimes it really pays being aimless and curious and following unmarked paths. Then spent an hour or so walking through the town, which is adorably picturesque in the 'who do I have to kill to get a house here' way, although you probably have to fend off the tourists with a stick during the summer months.

I thought finding my way out of the Salzkammergut in the more or less pitch-dark (thank you, sudden lack of daylight saving time) was already hard, but I only took a wrong turn once; Salzburg was the tricky part. I barely can navigate my way through the city in daytime; in the dark it's a nightmare. It took me at least half an hour, a couple of what I assume were illegal turns, taking the bus lane once or twice (again, I think; it's a bit hard to tell when it's dark, there are construction sites, markings are changed and over-painted...) and several panicky moments until I found my way back home.

I actually had plans for today (Königssee), but the weather was overcast, I was tired after three days of activity and depressed because of having to leave again tomorrow, so I aimlessly watched TV, read a bit, did Russian homework, and generally speaking wasted the day because doing anything suddenly didn't seem worth it since it was the last day anyway and that thought was more bearable shut up inside. A room is a room is a room. It really makes me wonder why is it so hard for me to enjoy something; why everything is always overshadowed by the thought that it won't last and will be over again too soon. Why can't I ever be content with what is? Why do I always want more? I've always been like that, even as a child, but it really stuck me that maybe spending six months thinking and writing about death wasn't the most psychologically healthy thing for me to do. (And even worse, does it invalidate what I wrote when it becomes so blatantly obvious that I'm working through my own issues?) I should be taking strength and inspiration from doing things I love doing, but instead doing something that actually matters merely makes the rest of my life harder to stand...

(The one book I read during this brief holiday? Janne Teller's Nichts. I'm really not helping myself here. *sigh*)

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If you'd told me a week ago I'd say this, I'd have laughed loudly and sarcastically, but I actually miss the epic meta post. In my head, that is.

Writing that took over my life so completely for the last six months that even now, when I'm walking, or driving, my thoughts still automatically drift in that direction, but there's nothing there any longer; finished, posted, gone. It's like walking into a room and finding it unexpectedly empty, and all you see is white walls, and all you hear is the echo of your own steps.

Actually—and, I guess, pathetically—the last time I invested this much time and energy in writing something I got an academic degree out of it. Granted, the page count was higher there, but I don't remember struggling this much, probably because I knew what I was doing from the beginning and at least wasn't flailing and fumbling around in a completely unfamiliar field. And I don't think I've ever experienced writing and thinking as a process like that. The TW parts are not that far removed from what I've written before, although there are also new thoughts there, but the DW parts are entirely new, and there I had absolutely no idea where this would go when I started rewatching and making notes. Watching it all come together, piece by piece, moving paragraphs around, fighting for the right words, was absolutely fascinating for someone like me who isn't much of a writer. Things started to connect in ways that surprised even me, and especially once I decided on a single chronological sequence for both shows it suddenly became one single story, or two sides of the same story, and you could see how the themes criss-crossed back and forth, developing across both shows...

I miss idly shuffling around all those thoughts in my head, and being surprised by new ones.

And what really depresses me is that this is probably the best thing I'll ever write, fandom-wise. At least at the moment there isn't a show that even remotely inspires me to write something on this scale again, one that I love completely, but with just the right degree of frustration to keep me thinking about it...

(And the thing that makes me want to bang my head against the nearest wall is that my brain doesn't seem to be capable of generating this kind of enthusiasm for something that might actually be productive in the real-life sense. I keep thinking, if I'd at least spent all that time learning Russian, I'd probably be reading Dostojewski by now. Gah. Stupid, stupid brain.)

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I think maybe I should update again? How can it have been a month already?

But I really don't want to hear (or see) myself talk. So many words to chose from, so many things one theoretically could say, in so many variations, but in the end I wonder, does it mean anything at all? Somehow I'm less and less inclined to bother. I feel I'm getting more and more... not exactly misanthropic, it's not that I hate anyone. But I was in Salzburg for two and a half weeks, and in all this time I talked to my mother on the phone three times (she called), but other than that, shops, bus, the guy who was so busy with his iPod that our bikes collided, the lady who asked after a restaurant, nothing else. Silence. No one wanted anything from me, no one expected me to talk to them. Bliss. I used my iPod exactly once at the end of a walk, and the one time I put a CD into the CD player in the car after a hiking tour I turned it off again after half a song. Silence.

It wasn't a great holiday otherwise, because either it was too hot to do anything except maybe go biking for a few hours in the evening, or raining, and I was so absolutely tired and without energy for anything that I didn't even read a lot, but the last day, walking through Salzburg and around the Mönchsberg I felt... still strangely empty, but also very peaceful, a moment of clarity. But then I had to drive home again, and back to work the next day, and it's gone again, buried in the daily meaninglessness.

I'm aware this probably isn't healthy and that I should interact more, but I just can't deal. And it's not as if I have anything to say, after all. I don't want to entirely drift away from lj too, and just now it feels like I easily could. Mostly finished DW/TW meta somewhat withstanding, but still...

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3 pm, sitting in front of the computer typing the new Russian words from last week's lesson, homework still to do, rain outside, back to work in 19 hours, and, god, I want out of this whole pathetic life where the most I do is write about TV shows so badly. When did it all go so horribly wrong? Was it ever not wrong?

At the same time I can't even find enough energy to research hotels and book a holiday for July.

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I'm feeling so much better and more active now that there's actually, finally, some warmth & sunshine & spring.

Even Ch.'s dreary birthday party (Sat.) was slightly less dreary than usual.
Sunday was a bit frustrating though, because I ended up wasting so much time, sitting in front of the computer, guiltily thinking I ought to do Russian homework, now, and putting it off & off & off, because I had some kind of complete mental do-not-want! block, which makes absolutely no sense, because it's not as if anyone is forcing me.

I've had a couple of discussions about this with M., and she's right, I do, in a way, chose the things I whine about having to do. But why does it feel like so much of my life is being forced to do something, instead of wanting to do it? Why does it feel like I don't have any control? I hate my brain, I really do.

Last Wednesday flickr guy said that one of his 'discoveries' was that he now follows his instincts more and doesn't weigh pros and cons and various considerations so much. The thing is, if I'd followed my instinct, I wouldn't have gone out with him. I felt guilty and obligated, that's why I did it. If I followed my instincts, I'd probably not talk to anyone ever again in my whole life. All right, exaggeration. Not more than once a week, at any rate.

It's not that I don't know that meeting other people can be inspirational, fun, good for me, etc., and so on. But I have to beat my instinct that tells me to just hide in my shell into submission every time, and every time it's a surprise when it turns out to be nice instead of awful. The expectation of awfulness and a lingering sense of do-not-want and when-can-I-be-alone-again? is almost always there. And it doesn't really get better with time. Summer 2007 was the last time I thought I could actually be someone different.
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Tuesday, when our belly-dancing class went for Glühwein and cookies afterwards, I talked to one of the other women and we kind of agreed on how Christmas means less and less every year and how and we've both started to understand the people who just leave over the holidays, and wished we could do that, too.

Since I'm the perpetually single daughter I'm the one who has to uphold the illusion of family Christmas so that it's not just my parents and the tree (real tree with real candles, which apparently is some sort of artistic statement these days?), and then turn up the next day, or the day after, and do it all over again with the whole family. I'm so tired of it. It means nothing, I feel nothing, I just wish it would all disappear. This year I even managed to find a gift my father really liked, which is a bit of a miracle in and of itself, but that didn't mean anything either. And I used to enjoy giving gifts... One of my self-created Christmas traditions is that I give my parents a couple of ornaments for the tree each year, and this year I noticed that mine are sort of starting to take over, but in the end I don't even know why I do it, or care. I guess my sister will get them eventually, because it's not as if I'm ever going to put up a tree for myself.

Is it work that so completely ruined Christmas for me, or is it just getting older and more jaded? Kalt und immer kälter... But it's hard to maintain any illusions when you see every day how it's all about money and people buying random stuff they wouldn't buy otherwise and that probably will end up unread on some bookshelf, but if they don't it's the end of economy as we know it. It's insane. Completely, utterly, crazy.

I'm so tired of it all. Of myself, too. I never wanted to become this person.

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From summer straight into winter. *sigh* Ten days ago temperatures were as high as 27 degrees, last Monday I was biking to my Russian lesson at 6 pm in short sleeves (which, I know, I know, isn't exactly normal for October...); yesterday I was freezing with a long sleeved shirt and jacket. Today the fleece jacket & light coat & gloves came out. 6 degrees. Gah.


Belly dancing class was good today, considering that three weeks ago I was in tears and wanted to quit. I'm blaming last semester's veil choreography, which was all steps & turns that made me dizzy & (admittedly very pretty) waving about of the veil, but barely any muscle work-out, once your arms got used to flinging the veil about above your head, so frankly I wasn't very motivated to practice, and did nothing at all over the summer. First lesson, it felt like my body was something completely alien that had nothing to do with me and that I had no control over, which may sound funny but was actually quite frightening. I've gained a bit of weight since spring what with all the stress and the chocolate that seemed the best remedy at the time, so I haven't feeling comfortable with myself anyway, and that didn't help at all. Especially since even at the best of time there's a certain... disconnect. I like doing it, discovered muscles I didn't even know I had and learned using them, and I do think learning choreographies is actually good for me because if forces me to work with my brain & body at the same time & co-ordinate them, but looking into the mirror, or especially watching the video from last year's show the first time... in a way that doesn't feel like me; it's not the image of myself I have in my head. That image wears DocMartens and learns Russian; is clever, but can't dance. The image in my head doesn't even have much of a gender or sex. At one point today I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought, that actually looks kind of sexy. I don't look sexy in my head. I don't even really want to look sexy in my head. Which is a bit of a dilemma, and mostly I wonder if it isn't the images in my head that I should get rid of, or at least should stop letting myself be limited by them.


Dentist appointment yesterday, enough said. I think he might be starting to regret that he ever talked me into the braces. I always had a bit of a phobia, but I never used to lose control like that, complete freak-out, hyperventilating, tears, everything.


The Jack/Ianto post is still eating my brain, I don't even dare look at the word count any more. Which means I'm having periodic attacks of get-a-life, because, seriously, what the hell, woman. I'm not getting paid for this. If I put that much energy into writing fanfiction, I could at least pretend I'm practicing for my big novel, or something. This isn't even pseudo-academic anything; G. actually got a paper on Chakotay's tattoo published; can't I at least be interested in something like that? But this character & relationship analysis is a 120% pure & utter self-indulgence. And I highly doubt writing about Jack's issues will help me figuring out my own.

solitary_summer: (...singen die sirenen)
Much better now. Friday evening I thought I simply wasn't going to be able to do this for another two weeks, physically or mentally, but what with the rain yesterday work was mostly (minus a bit of dusting and some 30 for the most part and not counting that annoying German couple who wanted recommendations for children's books five minutes before closing time, non-complicated and non-offensive customers) six hours of comfortably sitting around and reading. Walked home through a drizzle since I haven't had time yet to collect the bike (although OTOH I'm seriously considering at least occasionally leaving it at home in the future and walk, because that means some 80 minutes of Russian vocabulary on my iPod per day...), dinner, an ill-timed nap from 7-9 pm, after which I felt strangely dislocated and spent a good part of the rest of the evening watching bits of a German soap on YouTube.

Was supposed to see the new Almodóvar film with R. today, but since she's still sick took myself off to a long walk in the late afternoon, heading straight out of the city through the 10th district, then along the Liesingbach, finally ending up in Oberlaa, through the park, towards Simmering through the vineyards in the evening sun, and suddenly so full of energy that I didn't take the underground back, but walked all the way home again, almost bouncing along the Simmeringer Hauptstrasse with JB on the iPod, happier and more energetic than I've felt for a very long while. Some 4 hrs. all in all. Also, map, because I clearly have too much time on my hands.

Finished Everville and started rereading Galilee, and sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who's reading Clive Barker because he invariably makes me feel better about myself, the world, humanity, ever since I bought Sacrament years ago when TR mentioned Barker in an interview and like the good NIN fangirl I was at the time I promptly went to some bookstore (pre-amazon days, or at least pre-me-&-amazon days when you still had to rely on whatever novels the English section of a Viennese bookshop would carry; sometimes it's downright scary how fast things are changing...) and picked up the first, er, only, CB novel I found there.

I don't know how he does it, but somehow he makes my too-literal and completely-lacking-in-imagination brain that ran smack! into some mental wall every time the therapist asked me to imagine myself in some kind of different situation, happily follow him as he anihilates all the borders between the real and the fantastic, horror and mystery, the physical and the transcendent, and effortlessly makes me - atheistic, über-realistic me - almost want to believe that the world is really such a miraculous place. Or at least that our minds can be.

(Also, I love his female characters. Coldheart Canyon isn't my favourite novel, but how many novels are there where overweight, obsessive female fans are sympathetic co-protagonists with a journey of their own?)

I also kind of wonder, sometimes, why every single author who's had a major influence on me, from Oscar Wilde to E.M.Forster to Virginia Woolf to Marguerite Yourcenar to Derek Jarman to Clive Barker to Thomas Mann has been (more or less) gay. Not that I think this is a bad thing, obviously, but I do wonder what exactly is the pattern here...

And speaking of books, there's finally a new one out by Eva Menasse, but (*sigh*) it's a collection of short stories. Confession time - I hate short stories. However well something is written, unless I get at least a few hundred pages to immerse myself in a story and its characters it just never seems worth bothering.

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So tired. Best intentions for a morning run again, but while I did manage to crawl out of bed only about an hour after the alarm rang, this was one of these days when I knew it was useless to even try. I'm trying to suppress the guilt by telling myself that I'll do some belly-dancing practice later, which I have completely neglected since the end of the semester, but I really haven't been in the mood. Which I assume is more or less directly related to the fact I've been feeling so completely uncomfortable with myself, my body, the whole being a woman thing recently. I can't exactly pin-point why, and I have no idea how to fix it, because I've never really felt like that before.

In the meantime the TW/CoE post I'm currently writing has almost reached the 5000 word mark which is a whole different reason for *facepalm*ing. I'm (happily, albeit guiltily happily) throwing away time on this that would probably be much better and certainly much more productively spent reading a book, taking photos, learning Russian, going for a walk, anything, everything else. Oh wait, trying to figure out what to do with my life, searching a new job or at least start exploring opportunities. /sarcasm

In a way it makes me so angry at myself that doing this still feels so satisfactory. I'd feel better about myself if I were at least writing fanfiction, because that at least seems a little more of a creative effort, more active, in a way. Interpretation and meta is mainly about bringing my thoughts into order, making the chaos less chaotic at least in this tiny, completely unimportant space. In a way it always revolves about control.
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The immediate answer would be, not much, because mostly it was fucked up, not a lot of fun and the root of so many issues I'm still struggling with.

On second thoughts though, what I do kind of miss is being messed up and weird and not fitting in, but at least not being aware of it, not to the full extent. I miss that lack of self-consciousness. In many ways life was much easier like that, not always having to be aware of one's own faults and shortcomings and the things one should change and cannot. Having this vague but still unquestioned trust that things will eventually get better.

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Er. I feel like I should be updating with, um, actual words, maybe? The thing is, recently I whenever (rarely) I manage to type a couple of half-sentences, I invariably stop and wonder why I even bother, because it never seems worth saying, much less inflicting on others. Words dry up and fade away before the (metaphorical) ink has even dried.

I've also always thought being able to see things from different perspectives was a good thing, but I'm actually starting to wonder. Because for me it's almost too easy, comes so very natural, no effort at all. It's a lot easier than actually making a judgement, having a decided opinion on something. I do draw my lines, but even then, I'm mostly still able to at least sort of understand where it all comes from, however offensive to me it might be. I don't know what kind of person that makes me. And as a result mostly I tend to just... hover in the middle of everything, options and possibilities and motives and reasons and histories and... fade, in a way, as a person. Transparent. At the very least life must be easier and more clear-cut if your brain isn't wired that way. When not almost every opinion comes with so many 'but's and qualifications that in the end it doesn't even seem worth stating.


Yesterday, after much postponing, I finally got to see the Star Trek movie with G.. And okay, let's not touch the whole lack of women in that film, and maybe I didn't like Kirk a whole lot (seriously, that man should have ended up on the Darwin Awards list instead of in a captain's chair...) but every one else was completely adorable and the whole thing thoroughly enjoyable. (I know, Vulkan turns into a black hole, billions die, Spock's mother dies, big drama & whatnot, but in the end it's the warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia and childhood memories, and Der Weltraum. Unendliche Weiten, *tadüüütadadadaaa*... that lingers.) I'm still trying to figure out who Karl Urban reminds me of, though. The LotR trilogy is apparently the only movie I've seen him in, but the thing is, every time he appeared on screen, I was thinking 'Russian', not 'Rohan', and I've no idea where that association might come from.

Had three spritzers afterwards and actually a lot of fun geeking out, in, ironically, the same pub where we had that huge blow-up years ago. It was really nice, which makes me hope things won't become all tangled & complicated again...

Now what to do about this urgent urge to watch some old school Trek... *g*


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March 2013

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