February 2008


Listening to: Girls Are The New Boys – Saloon

This is what we do on quiet evenings at work. It’s fun and educational!

P.S. I may have gone a little bit overboard with the italicisation on that last post. Sorry.

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Listening to: Work is a Four-Letter Word – The Smiths

This whole job-search thing has suddenly become less abstract (scary!) – the interview I had today at a far away public library went well enough that they want me back for a second one on Monday, and I also lined up an interview at the closeby university library. I really want the uni one, because it’s within easy cycling distance and won’t be anything like my last academic library because its subject areas include the humanities, but we’ll see. The point is, I will get something eventually, something that utilises my postgraduate qualifications and will earn me enough to stop this whole overseas thing seeming like such a pipe dream (I’ve indulged in some retail therapy over the summer, and my savings are looking a little less impressive than they might) and then I will be like a real adult. Weird (and about time).

A lot of the interview questions today focused on what I thought other people thought of me – what my colleagues would say about me as a team member, what I thought my supervisor thought of me – and I blathered on about getting along well with people and being friendly and supportive, and I guess that worked, but as I was driving home I thought, I always do that. I barely said anything about my skills or knowledge or capabilities – I barely thought of them – because deep down I seem to think the best thing I have to offer is courteousness. I mentioned various achievements, but I always have a hard time coming up with qualities. How fucked up is that? Even now, having gotten my second interview, I’m sitting here thinking “They like me, right now, they like me!”, when I’m way too old to be correlating professional success with likeability. I’m dismayed to find that I embody so totally that gender stereotype of self-deprecation and submissiveness, and that it never occurs to me that I might be intelligent or have valuable life experience or an interesting perspective or decent computer skills.

Did anyone notice the sky today? It was beautiful, full of great big rolling grey clouds.

Listening to: Like Swimming – Morphine

One of my new year’s resolutions was to read all the books in my bookcase (or get rid of them), but… I work in a library. So now I am trying to at least read all the books I bring home with me, and my current reading list is this:

Begun:

The night watch by Sergei Lukyanenko – I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to love it (probably not quite – there’s something just slightly off about the prose, which is probably a translation issue), but so far I quite like it. (I like vampires, but I don’t like Anne Rice or Charlaine Harris – it’s a tough demographic to be in, let me tell you.) The Moscow setting is cool, and I’m really starting to get a feel for the city as the book goes on. It might have to go on my To Visit list. (Anyone seen the film? Any good?)

A lover of unreason: the life and tragic death of Assia Wevill, Ted Hughes’ [sic] doomed love by Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev. I don’t think I will actually read this from start to finish – with a few exceptions, I find biography a pretty irritating genre – but I am curious about Assia Wevill and know almost nothing about her except that she had a relationship with Ted Hughes and killed herself and their child. I mean, Jesus, Ted.

Pogue mahone: kiss my arse, the story of the Pogues by Carol Clerk. Another biography! They look so tempting as they come through returns; I can’t help it. The Pogues are easily in my all-time Top 5 bands, and who doesn’t love a good drunken Shane MacGowan story? Actually, so far I quite like it because the rest of the band have always been a bit of a mystery to me and as biographies go it’s not too bad because it’s like a really, really long Mojo article.

Love is one of the choices by Norma Klein. Words cannot describe how much I love Norma Klein, and I actually cried when I learned ten years after the fact that she had died. She’s like Judy Blume for older readers, and her characters and their situations are always so complex and well-realised (and feminist and 1970s New Yorky) for the YA fiction that they are. This story didn’t go at all in the direction I expected it to – has anyone else read it?

The ultimate uncheese cookbook and Vegan vittles: second helpings by Joanne Stepaniak – I’ve read them, but they’re ILLs and I have to return them on Thursday and haven’t actually had a chance to make anything from them. They’re definitely going on my Christmas list, though.

– Lonely Planet London, from a couple of years ago. Sigh.

– latest Rough Guide to England, which is completely rubbish.

Not yet begun:

The day watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
Softcore by Tirdad Zolghadr
Sick notes by Gwendoline Riley
Heart-shaped box by Joe Hill (I think I will have had enough of the supernatural by the time I finish with Lukyanenko, though)
Far horizon by Tony Park
Salmon fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday (these last two were politely taken home on the recommendations of patrons and coworkers, but I don’t think I’ll actually read them)

From my own collection, I’m reading:

The progressive patriot by Billy Bragg (signed by the author! Whoo!)
Invincible summer: an anthology by Nicole J. Georges
Towards another summer by Janet Frame
The complete polysyllabic spree by Nick Hornby (actually, I’m halfway through but I’ve just lent this to my mother, who’s in a reading rut)
Hugo in 3 months: Dutch beginner’s language course

But really, I’ve been spending most of my spare time lately watching (ahem) Dawson’s Creek on DVD because I’m knitting, knitting, knitting. How could I possibly fit a Master’s thesis into this crazy lifestyle, I ask you?

ETA: Have fixed all of the Libraries Australia links!

Ke Indonesia!

Outdoor bathroom!

Behold, I finally uploaded some Bali photos (they’re not very interesting, but it saved me having to write much of a blog entry – I promise I will again at some stage). There’s a Flickr link on the sidebar there somewhere.