phantym_56: (tg - tilt)
 Tonight I don't care about anything. I have not watched the news and I have only glanced over the live feed on the BBC website because tonight I haven't got the energy to care about rioting and my country going to hell.

Tonight I have fed the Pig and eaten too many Doritos and had a very long bath and finished the rubbish chick-lit with the outrageously bright pink cover I started a month ago and I have a very warm laptop on my knees. I have one more tablet to take and then I'm done - two full weeks of trying to swallow a weeny little pill three times a day. I'm going to hurt a lot in approximately four days time and be very unhappy but at least that didn't happen while I was on holiday and the sums I've done work out that I won't hurt while I'm in Orkney either. But I'll be so glad not to have to force the pills down after tonight.

I sat in a meeting with the bank manager - very nice, rather good looking and provided adequate entertainment to not get too bored while we discussed cash flow spreadsheets. Well, cash flow would have been ok. I was there because I'm the one who actually put the cash flow spreadsheet together. But the nice bank manager wanted to discuss the spreadsheet that I didn't make, the one that provided the figures for me to put in my sheet. So I spent an hour and a half not having a clue what he and the accountant were talking about, occasionally daydreaming and being suddenly recalled when he asked for my opinion. I am not an accountant. I am an office dogsbody who happens to have a vague idea how Excel works. But like I say, it wasn't unpleasant to be in his company for a while.

I am still relishing this independence thing. In a little while I will drag myself off to bed, wrap up in my beloved blankets and probably fail to fall asleep.

(Just for the fun of it, I keep writing little snippets of Alex/Joey. Not going to end up in the book. Just because they're pretty. Alex is very disinterested in romantic/sexual relationships and Joey's straight and not looking for anyone new after his last relationship disaster anyway. God knows how they would end up "together". But it's still fun writing them cuddling up together, squabbling over the amount of breakfast one should eat, having a chaotic pile of books, biscuits, glasses, needles and smartphones beside the bed and putting cold hands up each others backs at night for warmth. Fluffy spies are fluffy.)

ALSO!! ALSO!!! Is it just an English thing or does it sound unbearably posh to everyone to shorten the word "umbrella" to "brelly"? Only "brelly" makes a lot more sense than "brolly". Only it does sound unbearably posh to say "brelly". I generally compromise and go for "umbrelly". Because at home, I talk like a four-year-old. (seriously. My "kitchen table dialect" is a hideous mixture of lolcat, babytalk, carrot cruncher and intentional appalling grammar with a smattering of Navy Lark and just a touch of Mitchell & Webb. In my defence, in public I do speak like an adult human being, albeit one who talks too fast and then falls over her words and finishes up stuttering.)
phantym_56: (big book project)
 God bless quiet relaxing Friday nights in. I've eaten a bowl of pasta (my body is currently capable of doing this) and crawled into my parents' bed because they've got a TV in their room and I've watched Mission Impossible 2 and part of 3 before being turfed out. I am on the quiet quite a big Tom Cruise fan. I know he's gone all crazy but you know... (I have a thing for pint-sized men, I'm aware of this. My GCSE crush, Tom Cruise, Bryan Dick, Ed Byrne, Gordon Michael Woolvett, Iolaus from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.) And I've been a Mission Impossible (films) fan since I saw the first one aged twelve or so. I know that the second and third ones went all out for the action with the romance subplots when the first one was quieter and perhaps cleverer and a lot more spy-like but they're still epic fun. I don't ask for high art or philosophy in my films - my favourites include the Mission Impossible series, Pirates, Iron Man and Priscilla. (I'm not actually a big film watcher. My DVD collection seems to be mostly TV.) Back to the subject of Tom Cruise, I also love Knight & Day. Ethan Hunt goes undercover as Roy Miller? They're clearly the same person. (And I'd love Minority Report a lot more and watch it more often if it didn't have the eye fixation. I am ridiculously squeamish about eyes.)

This time I watched it - Mission Impossible 2/3, that is - while half working on Chapter Twelve of the sequel of my own spy series and comparing Ethan Hunt to Alex Leyland. They're not very similar in much apart from that they're not very tall. Alex is absolutely phobic about heights which rules him out of trying about 60% of Ethan's stunts, for one thing. I need to make my spy books a little more exotic. Not too much. That's half the point, that the reality is nothing like James Bond, or indeed Ethan Hunt. Chapter Twelve is a bitch. It's over 1000 words too short, I've got Joey having a bout of despair-induced depression, Alex down in the dumps and a thunderstorm rattling around keeping everyone awake. I've been poking it for about two months now in the hope that it'll finish itself and I can move onto a cheerier chapter.

(I am feeling much better than I was earlier. Tomorrow I am off shopping for a couple of OS maps, a compass of my own and some proper waterproof waterproofs. Mine are waterproof in the way a tent is - touch the inside and the water comes through. And you can't wear waterproofs without touching the insides.)
phantym_56: (ed - red)
Eeesh, missing an entire night's sleep really takes it out of you! I deliberately (and stupidly) didn't bother even trying to sleep Friday night and it's now Monday and I could still curl up and go to sleep right now.

My immune system is still playing am-I-amn't-I with me. I've been fine for several days now but it had me all full of cough this morning and feeling really unnaturally hot for a bit. That's gone again now. It teases me.

I bought some new glasses when I was going through a phase back in the autumn. That was when I discovered the concept of coloured overlays and lenses. I used the overlays for a while but I've stopped now and I don't think I'm any worse without them. But I had vague intentions of getting coloured lenses, so I bought some cheap glasses from the internet. And it would be foolish to spend that amount of money on getting them coloured, especially when I don't think I need them now, so they've gone into circulation as normal glasses. I didn't bother with the anti-reflection coating, all it seems to do is attract fingerprints but... actually, I've had it for so long that I'm struggling with these ones because they do reflect things. And they're not fitted to my face. I have quite a small head and glasses tend to be too big. That's why black-framed ones, even relatively delicate ones, always look ludicrous on me. And it's why they all have to have their arms bent in peculiar ways, to try and keep them on my ears. They've been slipping off all weekend and it's driving me crazy.

I have taken advice and am watching Boardwalk Empire. Can't put my finger on why but I'm quite enjoying it. Only two episodes in but I've got four sitting waiting to be watched later. Generally, if I'm not in a series at the beginning I don't bother, it's too much effort and commitment and just takes too much time to catch up (see my unwatched Battlestar Galactica boxset) but this is only twelve episodes. I'm still very much having trouble keeping who's who straight - I mix up Nucky and Jimmy occasionally at the moment and there's still a lot of people I haven't learnt to recognise yet. Hopefully I'll get there.

As well as that, I've finally picked up a book that I'm really enjoying - oh, I can see its faults, both in story and in style, but it's fun and that's all that's important, frankly. Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding. I'm not going to pretend that it's fine literature. But stories are stories.

Speaking of which, I've spent the last ten days feeling vaguely that April would be a great time to knuckle down on the books I'm trying to write. The Sequel just isn't as much fun as the original Big Book Project. I don't know if that's because I've got something of a plot laid out, whereas the original was total "throw everything I can dream of in there and we'll sort it out later!". I don't know if it's because I'm trying to shoehorn in a couple of new characters who just aren't gelling or if it's suffering from lack of Nat but it's a pig to write. I love Alex and Joey. I love this brotherly/motherly relationship they seem to have slipped into. They're poppets. I guess the real problem is that Joey is coming across as a nerd who'd rather be on his computer and neither of them seems particularly good at the secret agent bit. Arrggh. Boys!
This entry was originally posted at http://phantym.dreamwidth.org/910.html. There are comment count unavailable comments there. I prefer Livejournal but feel free to comment at Dreamwidth if you like.
phantym_56: (ed - lawnmower)
Rewriting this one because I was too tired to bother with capital letters earlier.

My best-laid plans went a little awry when I arrived at work to find a message from my Dearly Beloved Boss telling me to get over to his house to babysit his kids. They're good kids, actually, not suffering too much yet from sharing his DNA, bright sparky little things but still too small to have too much attitude. And a day spent playing in the sandpit and watching Shaun the Sheep and out in the sun is going to be better than spending a day in the office.

It did scupper my rocky road plans, though. I spent forty-five minutes before work chopping ingredients and then didn't get to come home for my lunch hour to melt and mix. That was first job when I got home, followed by a quick bath and shower in which I took great care of my nails (nothing in the world makes nail varnish chip quicker than washing my hair) and then I ate and then I put the contrast colour tips on my precious nails.

I've even been organised enough to put both phone and camera on to charge ready to head off to London. I'm seeing Ed Byrne at Hammersmith tomorrow, meeting a friend for the show and going for some drinks afterwards and then she's sleeping on my hotel floor. I was about to say "we were complete strangers when we met" but isn't that true of everyone? I'll rephrase it. London, late at night. A bar. JD & coke. Inviting a complete stranger to stay in my hotel room. Fast-forward a bit over a year and now we're making arrangements to go and see our mutually favourite comedian together and then repeat the original meeting.

Then I'm meeting my Swiss sister on Saturday. Don't know what we'll do. Meander the streets of London and I'll pretend to be interested while she goes shopping. Probably hug each other on meeting. I haven't seen her in four years! Must text her in the morning, just to check she's still coming.

Odd how I was falling asleep two hours ago and have woken up now.

I miss playing with Alex and Joey. Trouble is, every time they pop into my head, I want to feed Alex. He's so skinny! He doesn't eat! He likes jam and he likes oranges and he loves coffee but he won't eat proper meals. They can't get on with the business of being spies when I'm trying to feed him ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta or something else interesting from whatever cookbook I was reading that day. I need them running around Europe, tracking down baddies, getting bridges collapsing on their heads, falling off cruise ships and sleeping off jetlag (Alex is cute when he's sleeping. He's even cuter when he's drowsy. I love my fictional spies). I need them out and about, doing things. I want to spend my train trip tomorrow at the very least, making a dent in a scene that doesn't involve food. That might ping me back into writing properly. I intended to have some sort of first draft of the Sequel finished by the end of March but at this rate, it's not going to be done by the end of 2011!

Goodnight. Long day tomorrow. Need some sleeeeep.
phantym_56: (ed - ketchup)
Tomorrow I am joining a new club. It's another so-called "extreme" sport. I'm not entirely sure wherein the "extreme" lies but then again, I can't really see the extreme in caving or snowboarding so my judgement is perhaps not so clear here. I can't tell you what it is; there's apparently only the one club for this sport in the entire country and so to tell you what it is would be as good as putting an address label here. Quite excited and therefore will probably be disappointed. Will also be frustrated at inability to do it straight away but I really shouldn't because I know already it'll take five to ten sessions to get the hang of it. /cryptic.

Tonight I haven't done anything I planned to. I've had a bath and read a chunk of the Lies of Locke Lamora (have I recommended this book recently? I love it!) and then did some iPlayering and then, on a whim, ordered a pair of daft t-shirts. There is an Event upcoming in my life and I've been half-pondering what to wear for it. Only half pondering. I'm not a person who gives a great deal of attention to what I wear. Frankly, as long as it covers enough flesh (ie, most of it) I don't care what it looks like. But sometimes, I've discovered, you can get people pointing at you and saying "I love your t-shirt!" And so I've been half-pondering. The Event is still over a month away and I've got a lot coming up during that month so it's at the back of my mind. But tonight - the spark of inspiration! I've ordered a couple of custom-made t-shirts which will be perfect.

Also may have written a fluffy pointless snippet the other night wherein Alex & Joey are boyfriends. It would be adorable but I don't actually think it would work out. Poor Joey - even his limitless patience and boundless good nature couldn't put up with that for long. I have learned a lot about my boys over the last eighteen months but still they surprise me. Alex is not a big meat-eater - not vegetarian but he'll generally avoid meat, apart from occasionally ham or bacon. Joey sleeps in later than he used to and is easily stressed.

I should go to bed. I'm starting to get a little sleepy. First sign - sudden lack of enthusiasm for anything along with sudden lack of energy. Second sign - creeping desire to curl up beside the computer and have a nap.
phantym_56: (ed - TEAM ED!!)
I had a rubbish morning. I slept badly (convinced in the middle of the nights that there were rats in my room and then dreamed about Ed Byrne and woke up feeling groggy and moody. Bad morning - tired and grumpy became tired and ill-used became resentful became full-on utterly miserable.

Then I came home at lunchtime to find Keith Chegwin's opened his mouth again and unleashed his band of bullies and may have lost my temper sufficiently to have a go back...

Luckily, this afternoon was ok and then the fans were out in full support of Ed when I got home so now I'm just tired and just want a bath. Except that my Rangers have just texted and they're not coming tonight. But I've still got a 25 mile round trip because census is due next Tuesday and I need the Guide leaders to sign the cheque because I'm not a signatory yet. But still, I should have time for a bath tonight. And then an early night for I really do notice the difference almost immediately when I'm tired.

I wrote another 500-ish words of The Sequel - Joey's at it again, surprising me, doing things I never intended him to. When Alex takes matters into his own hands he just tends to get grouchy and scared. Joey is apparently coming down with a cold. I don't think a bit of sniffing and sneezing is going to have too much impact on the story but even so... damn you, Joey.
phantym_56: (ed - sexyhat)

Today I have stayed in bed so late into the day that I started to feel lightheaded from lack of food and drink and decided I really had to get up now.

I have sat on the floor in front of the fire and finally put together my 20 chapters for The Sequel while Sister watches about twenty episodes of How I Met Your Mother back to back. I am not keen on Barney, I like Robyn and I have been in love with Alyson Hannigan's hair ever since I first laid eyes on her in the first Buffy episode I ever watched, quite a while back.

Mum has demonstrated that lack of way with words is genetic by describing the method by which we all spoke to my grandmother over the phone as "talkerphone".

I am watching Three Men in a Boat, which has reminded Mum that "whatshisname... you know.. him... Ed Byrne!" was on the One Show on Thursday. I know. I iPlayered it. She doesn't know that so she described the bit about him naming the baby. I casually said "I hear he's doing the dancing thing". "Yes," she said. "With his hairband." It took me a few watches to notice the hairband but she apparently spotted it immediately. My mother is a little too much like me at times.

I want to straighten my hair. Don't know why; I have a lot of hair and it's quite curly and I'm not physically capable of doing it all by myself. Might be because I saw some pictures of Avril Lavigne who also has a lot of hair, poker-straight and full of bright colours. I liked the scruffy boots thing she had going on as well.

I intended to have a bath tonight but it seems I'm being distracted by Harry Hill. And in a few weeks, I'm going to see Shaun the Sheep on stage. I have no idea how that will manifest itself but it's likely to be populated by smallish children.

And I am rambling


phantym_56: (ed - reunited - squash)

Oww...poor little lactose-intolerant tummy has sent me home for lunch half an hour early, not that I'm going to be eating much. From what very little reading I've done on the subject, humans are born with an enzyme to digest milk and as they grow up and cease to live on milk, their production of this enzyme slows down, so a degree of lactose-intolerance is the default for most people, even if they don't realise it.

For someone who lives on bread and cheese, this can be inconvenient. No, day to day I'm fine. It's only if I overload my system with, say, a colossal mound of cheese beside a bowl of pasta or some ice cream (particularly sensitive to ice cream, fairly small amounts set it off) or some milk. I like chocolate milk. Generally, if I keep it to a reasonably small amount, no more than half a cup at a time, I'm ok. However, if I were to eat a bowl of ice cream, a cheese panini and half a cup of milk all within twenty-four hours... well, today's evidence suggests I can't cope with that.

I'm eating a couple of slices of fairly plain toast and when my lunch hour is over, I'll go back to work and by hometime, I'll have forgotten it ever happened. It's generally over pretty quickly. Half an hour ago I was sitting at my desk trying not to whimper out loud with stomach cramps and now I'm fine. I had a comedy last night and two more next week and I shall tell you about those three all together when I've seen the last one.

Book 3 of the Looking Glass Wars arrived yesterday. I'll have to reread the first two before I touch it. And also finish Best Served Cold. And I'm still holding out hope that Republic of Thieves is published next Thursday. Waterstones says it is and I've preordered it but I'm so used to being let down by this book that I won't be surprised if it isn't.

My reading list looks something like this at the moment:
Finish Best Served Cold
Finish Sleepyhead
The Heroes
Republic of Thieves
The Looking Glass Wars
Seeing Redd
Arch Enemy

The toaster still smells suspiciously like burnt toast. Must just go and check it's ok.

I am using my bored-time at work to do some writing on The Sequel. I told myself 100,00 words by end of March. That is looming horrifyingly close considering I only have about 35,000 words.

4.22pm - Still feeling a bit icky. Don't know why, over-drinking of milk doesn't usually hang around this long. It's probably a combination of too much milk and not enough sleep. Hot and headachey and could just curl up and go to sleep.


phantym_56: (london - westminster dragon)
Something fairly significant happened today. Well, no, not really. I finished the last Harry Potter book and in doing so, in one month, I have now read 1/4 of the books I read in the entirety of last year. 28 last year vs 7 in January this year. I hope to keep up something resembling this level of reading but admit that I started Deathly Hallows about a week and a half ago and abandoned it for a full week. I read it the weekend it came out. I was at Guide camp at the time and therefore I took in very little of the camp but I also took in very little of the book. And that was three and a half years ago, so re-reading it this last week or two has felt very much like reading for the first time. I have been amazed and surprised and trying to guess what'll come next and been flung around all over the place. And as you may have figured from my "7 books in January", the other 6 were the other Harry Potter books. It's been great fun reading them all in one go and I may have some things to say about them later on when I can be bothered to formulate some thoughts and sentences.

But I did my reading in the bath (best place for it, it seems. Three baths to get through Deathly Hallows. Long baths...) and came out really itchy. I literally scratched my skin raw. My arms and stomach were worst - all red and sore-looking. A good rinse off and then a proper wash seemed to help and lotion definitely did. I don't generally bother with lotion - it feels all heavy and oily and yucky but I thought it might be a good idea today and now everything feels unnaturally but delightfully soft and most importantly, non-itchy. Matey bubble bath (what? You don't have to be six to use it! My dad is nearly sixty and he loves it!) has never caused me a problem before and I rinsed the bath before I got in so I can't imagine there were any lingering cleaning chemicals in there. I came out wearing a towel and my glasses, to run straight into Dad coming up the stairs. He took one look at me and had hysterics. I mean the sort of hysterics where you not only can't talk but you can also hardly breathe and then although she had no idea what was so funny, Mum started laughing at him laughing and I just stood there, When he eventually sort of recovered the power of speech he managed to communicate that what was so hilarious was that my glasses were so steamed up when I came out of the bathroom that they were completely opaque, which was what I suspected.

Also been daydreaming about Alex's days in basic training, which is great fun, although I have no intention of actually writing any of it down properly.
phantym_56: (ed - reunited - drink)
I am sitting on a radiator eating onion crackers and drinking apple & blackcurrant. I got home from work feeling I could make a bit of a dent in The Sequel's first chapter but within five or ten minutes I realised I was sufficiently dehydrated that I was going to have to abandon the work to find some fluids. I'm normally very good at drinking. In fact, I've realised as I've grown up that either I drink ludicrous amounts or my friends don't drink nearly enough. Squash for fluids, crackers for salt, radiator for warmth and I'm settled for the evening.

I don't know what happened yesterday. I felt groggy and zombified in the morning from lack of sleep but by afternoon, I was actually feeling properly not-very-well, complete with constant shiveriness. I felt pretty ill. Came home from work, fell in the bath and stayed there reading for more than three hours. (Apparently this is not strictly normal either?) and although I didn't sleep brilliantly last night, it at least merited a :| rather than a :( in my diary and I've felt fine all day today.

Seems Silver's coming home in a week/ten days or so. I have very mixed feelings about this. Very. I more or less skipped the hormonal-confusion thing when I was a teenager but it seems I couldn't evade it forever.

I think I shall go back to Alex being hot and cranky in Morocco.
phantym_56: (ed - reunited - lion)
I am not exactly out of sorts today but.... *groans*

Day started brilliantly. I was running a little late anyway, couldn't find my keys in my bag. Instantly knew where they were but that didn't stop me running around the house desperately hunting for them. No. They were in the car we went to the grandparents' in yesterday. Phoned Dad, who works 20-odd miles away. Phoned work. Blessed colleague came and picked me up (although I now unaccountably feel beholden to her). Dad said he didn't have that car. Phoned Mum. She only works 6 or so miles away. She dropped my keys off at lunchtime, enabling me to lock the building at 5pm and get to Brownies.

So I was a little late and car-less and found a message on my desk to please call Boss's Feisty Mother. Last week, in my haste to get a job done for Dearly Beloved Boss before running into a meeting I wasn't actually needed in, I didn't read an itinerary properly and made a booking for Sunday morning that should have been made for Monday. Great. Just what I need first thing on a Monday. Fortunately, Dearly Beloved Boss seemed pretty calm about the whole thing. I phoned, made the arrangements and then tactfully re-wrote my email with the line "then you just have to do x" instead of "but you'll have to do x" which really does make all the difference.

And ok, the rest of my day went fine. Except now I'm cold, not in a bone-deep sort of way, just in the sort of way that makes me want to cling to a source of heat, like a radiator or a hot water bottle. The heating went off ages ago and all the hot water bottles in the house have been eaten by some gremlin or other. Blankets are lovely and warm but I want to cling to something hot! I crave it!

So sleepy! Forget trying to figure out what order my 21 chapters of The Sequel should go in. I've got them all on bits of paper, I've stuck a few together in sets - these three go together in this order, these six go together in this order etc but I've still got six or seven chapters loose and I don't know exactly where to put them. Does Joey have a car crash before or after the poisoning-induced psychotic episode? When do they get held hostage? Where do I put Something Else? Yes, some of my chapter descriptions are incredibly vague. When is this scene set during a theatre production of Macbeth going to happen? etc etc. I suppose tomorrow at work I'll sit there and quietly stick 21 small pieces of paper together to create a long ribbon while pretending to work. Am I rambling? Yes. Because I'm too sleepy to be able to concentrate. G'night all.
phantym_56: (ed - reunited - shower)

What idle thoughts are passing through my head tonight? Not many but those that are seem to be slightly worried ones. Tomorrow we have a "treat day" which means going to a spa for the day, with everyone from work!! So not ideal circumstances but people like Old Sage Boss, Housewife Colleague and probably Dearly Beloved Boss will stay in the relaxing room reading newspapers all day long which means I don't have to be anywhere near them if I don't want to.

What I have to do tonight:
Feed the Hog
Bath/prepare for spa etc
Pack soft loose clothes for "Mind & Body class" - I can already tell this is not going to be "my thing"
Clear out car so Accounts Assistant can get in it - it's cold and dark and I'll take a plastic bag out in the morning and chuck everything in there then.
Wrap Secret Santa present.
Pack stuff like towel/shampoo/hairbrush/swimsuit etc

So what am I doing tonight?
Sitting on the bed wearing an all-in-one fleece suit, against a radiator munching Free Samples Chocolates and daydreaming.

Despite my lack of actually doing anything to get ready for it, I am looking forward to the spa. I'm particularly looking forward to the magic head massage which will apparently "lull me to sleep". Particularly good for people who are stressed, have insomnia, headaches or sinusitis or are mentally overworked or tired, the website says. I was half-dead from insomnia at the time I booked this and then it went away (under the influence of the blankets - blankets rule!) but I haven't slept so brilliantly the last couple of  nights so I'll still appreciate it. And I'll appreciate being able to lounge around, read a book and maybe do some writing of my own.

In which I figure out why Book 2 isn't as much fun to write as Book 1 was )

  • Alex with his new partner
  • Alex gets accused of treason and runs
  • Alex finds Joey and they find somewhere to hide
  • Check for evidence in HQ
  • Interview a couple of people
  • Gather some information
  • Go to Egypt to meet the person who sold them out
  • Back into the Service
Straight from A to B. Boring.
 

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June 2012

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