Listening to: Burn Black – Hole

Ooh, the Guardian‘s a bit more interesting than usual today (it’s my homepage and there’s been fuck all worth reading lately):

Ten rules for writing fiction. I particularly like Jonathan Franzen’s advice, even though I despise his fiction (Strong Motion? Oh, how I rue the day I picked that up), and Geoff Dyer’s:

If you use a computer, constantly refine and expand your autocorrect settings. The only reason I stay loyal to my piece-of-shit computer is that I have invested so much ingenuity into building one of the great auto­correct files in literary history. Perfectly formed and spelt words emerge from a few brief keystrokes: “Niet” becomes “Nietzsche”, “phoy” becomes ­”photography” and so on. ­Genius!

Maybe I should start writing fiction again. I saw my friend R. yesterday (we went to see this) and she asked me if I still did – god, I like the idea of it, anyway. (I can only seem to write when there’s something else I should be doing instead – assignments to write, books to shelve. I’ve never been more prolific than when I worked at the uni library – all those afternoons crouched down in the stacks, scribbling furiously in my notebook when I should have been paying closer attention to the 8-digit call numbers…)

Can you make society more ethical? I can barely bring myself to skim the answers – Comment is Free so rarely brings out the best in people – but what a great conversation to try to have! Oh, and okay, I don’t think anyone reading this actually lives in London, but who wants to come to the panel discussion at the British Museum?

I’m thinking about chartership (everyone seemed to be going for it when I was volunteering at the LL and my boss mentioned it as an option the other day). As someone who didn’t even bother to join ALIA, it’s a strange thing to be thinking about, but maybe it’s time to be more of a careerist – I definitely need to find a way to be more a part of the London or UK library community. Or maybe I should just get another hobby.

P.S. Knit the City – !!! How wonderful!


Listening to: Never Be Lonely Again – Slow Down Tallahassee

Two blogs I am obsessed with at the moment:

  • Skatterbrain (found via Cat and Girl) – for all your twee pop needs. I have discovered so much good music here already (my only other sources these days are Mojo and Bitch reviews, so this is important), and I like people who like the Lucksmiths.
  • The Summer! mix from June last year is particularly awesome.

  • Baking Bites (found via the Craftzine blog) – what it says on the tin, basically. I like the writing and its vegan-friendliness (fostering good relations between vegans and omnivores the world over), and look at these recipes: lemon torte, peanut butter rice krispie bars (finally, a use for my vegan marshmallows – I’m sick of hot chocolate. Also, I’ve always been curious about American rice krispie treats), vampire cookies and vegan molasses apple tart!
  • Also, even though I obviously won’t be trying it myself, I am intrigued by this apple pie coffee cake with cheddar cheese recipe.

    Listening to: Samantha Secret Agent – The All-Girl Summer Fun Band

    My new favourite thing is the BBC Pronunciation Unit’s brief but fabulous blog, and the BBC Editors’ blogs in general.

    Also, three Guardian articles I have read today:

  • Antony and the Johnsons light up 2009I am a Bird Now didn’t set my world on fire, but I thought Antony’s performance of If It Be Your Will in I’m Your Man was incredibly beautiful. I like him.
  • The woman with a tiny carbon footprint – The Joan Pick article mentioned by Antony Hegarty above. I like her, too.
  • ‘What happens in war happens’ – Emma Brockes’s interview with Lynndie England. Not such a big fan of hers, but it’s an interesting article nonetheless. Who is this person?
  • I am having a lovely day, hanging out washing, sitting in the backyard reading Kate Lopresti’s Constant Rider zine, eating bits and pieces from the garden (our blueberry bush is producing a handful of fruit or so every day, and our nectarines are almost ripe and earlier I had a cherry tomato), popping inside to skip a song on the iPod and read something on the internet. It’s very relaxing.

    My uncle and his partner were staying here for the past week or so, and I actually quite enjoyed their being here for the most part, but it’s nice to have the house to myself again. (My mum came back from Bali and went straight to Tasmania for a week.)

    Listening to: Drunken Butterfly – Sonic Youth

    This is completely random, but has everyone visited the Cupcake Bakeshop blog? It is magnificent.

    Listening to: You Don’t Give Up – The Blake Babies

    Oh, The Guardian, why? (Well, this is why, apparently, but ugh.) Of course all of the same information is there if you want to look for it, but it’s horrible to look at – it’s so busy! I don’t know where to begin! I don’t know why they’ve been so keen to bloggify themselves lately; I don’t think the blog format works when you have more than a certain number of visitors. I don’t want to read the inane/spiteful comments of a thousand anonymous readers; what’s the point?

    Bah, humbug.

    Listening to: Alone With You – The Sunnyboys

    (I’m never sure if there’s supposed to be a comma there or not. I guess there’s not, but I like to think of it as ambiguous.)

    A couple of craft links:

    Nikki-Shell’s blog, which led me to Wardrobe Refashion (which I think might interest you especially, Rad, and it’s Melburnian in origin).

    And… actually, these have all come from the same place, and if you follow the first link, you’ll find the rest, but there’s this Guardian article on green sewing.

    Also, I finally bought an Adbusters magazine, after idly flicking through them in newsagencies for the last couple of years, and I really like it. It’s the March/April issue, so it’s probably about to be replaced, but there are at least a couple of really good articles (I’m still reading it; I’m sure there are more than that), which – oh! They’re online! Okay, one about consumerism/individualism:

    The reality is that many young people don’t take consumerism seriously because they feel that as individuals, it does not affect them. As media activists like Jean Kilbourne have argued, this illusion that advertising affects “everybody else but me” is nothing new, but I think this is even more the case with Generation Y. Students claim violence in the media doesn’t matter because they grew up playing Doom and they didn’t turn out violent. Or they claim that unrealistic images of women in the media do matter because they know a lot of girls with eating disorders. Many young people don’t seem to have a language for understanding that the media doesn’t just affect us on an individual level – the media impacts society politically, economically, and ideologically.

    And one about us:

    And so today, the lucky country is no longer so lucky, but, rather in the midst of a diverse environmental crisis, a drought of both water and progressive political leadership. It is certainly true that many ordinary Australians are outraged by the wrong turn their country has taken over the past decade. Yet underneath the Australian crisis lies a more fundamental question, one that has plagued the country since its founding: what is an Australian? Is it merely a geographically displaced European, a white, Anglo-Saxon tied by blood, history, and tradition to England or Europe? Is it a recent immigrant to a land that really belongs to the aboriginal peoples who settled it tens of thousands of years ago? Is it a recent arrival from neighboring Southeast Asia, where the culture and customs are quite different from the West?

    That one was really interesting to me, because I don’t read local newspapers (because they’re crap), so I miss out on reading about Australia most of the time. Can anyone recommend some good, thoughtful sources of Australian political analysis and debate? The Guardian has its faults, but I guess that’s really what I’m looking for, in Australian form. Or any decent blogs. Or anything.

    Listening to: Twisted – Joni Mitchell

    Eek. So there I am on I hope that’s okay; I hope I’m not going to get myself dooced. (The internet is public! Who knew?) Anyway, just in case, I’d just like to reiterate how much I love my job and what we do and the people I work with, on both sides of the desk, and the library itself. And how much I love that we even had that debate, and the diversity within feminism. (Also, thank you to Morgan for highlighting my post.)

    Anyway, I am writing an assignment. But I am curious to hear whether anyone does have any thoughts about women-only spaces, because besides being a Serious Student this weekend, I must admit that I have been boning up on my bell hooks in case the subject ever comes up again.

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