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The Unexpected Becomes Her.

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21st January 2012

1:00am: Welcome, 2012
Things are rather different.
But... where to begin?

More than a year has passed since the last lj entry I made. At the time, I was trying to decide between two men. Well, descision made. I picked Neil. It didn't go down well with Seif, initially (there were long text reprisals at one point), but things are fine now.

...Ah me. How things change.

Am I happy? Yes, in the real sense. I have lived just long enough to know that a lot of real happiness only becomes evident to us through retrospect, but once or twice I've spotted in the the moment, and this is one of those occasions. Of course, no real happiness feels like we expect it to, and no one has a continuously happy life, but I know this sensation from my days at Gillette Castle, the sense of certainty about what I want, and the readiness to deal with whatever comes my way.

Certainly, relationships aren't easy. But with Neil, I find that I'm able to subjectively appreciate him, even a year on. I am familiar with him now, but the small pleasures of the honeymoon phase, while not overpowering any longer, remain present. I have never had much confidence in men, whom always seemed prone to gross disloyalty and superficial feelings, but I think Neil can get beyond his peers. He isn't foolishly preoccupied with the glamour of relationships (like Oscar Wilde), nor is oppressed by a sense of their futility (Hemingway). Despite having no sense of religious existence, he seems to have come to understand that he is the origin of all his own happiness, and that - while life may be bitter and cruel - reasons for sustained positive subsistence prevail regardless.

It has long been evident to me that life was made for partners. This, coupled with the good fortune I happened to have in falling in love, have resulted a certain contentment. Perhaps it won't last. But for now, it is nice to know where I am.
Current Mood: contemplative

15th January 2011

12:41am: Massive cock-up.
Admittedly, I am fucking useless about deadlines, but this feels epic. I haven't applied to University for the third year, though this year I could have gone back. I just... didn't know what to do with myself, or about it.

I want to write history, but I don't know how, or why. I'm so fucking lost.

Fuck. Fuck, fuck FUCK.

Ok, reboot. Time for me to start doing something with myself.

*second job.
*write to Universities.


8th October 2010

2:36am: Nearly a year on.
So. Where are we at? Lots to write, at this very late hour. But here it is, quickly.

In March, or thereabouts, I went to see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland at the Odeon in Marble Arch. At the box office, there were notices saying that employees were needed. My mother gently suggested I apply, but I wasn't inclined.

Later, I went for in interview at a marketing company. I passed the first round, but spent the second traipsing around after a saleswoman, knocking on doors and begging for charities. It was HORRIBLE. I wore heals, and was in so much pain later that I had to take my shoes off and walk barefoot down a highway as I looked for the tube station to take me THE HECK out of there.

I was so disappointed by the interview, that I felt the need to salvage the day. And then I thought of the cinema and decided: why not? It was eight in the evening and I wasn't going anywhere. May as well go pick up an application form.

What I actually did was take an app and fill it out in the coffee store next door, while masaging my battered feet. I put almost no effort into it. But a few days later, I was called in for an interview.

It was actually rather scary. We had to watch a slide-show and do a group activity, and after that we had one-to-one interviews with senior staff members. But at the end of it, I got the call saying I had a job if I wanted it.

The commute takes about an hour or so, and the hours are actually pretty awful - as late as 3:15am sometimes, before you can take off. But getting a cab from central London is AWESOME fun and the people are really amazing. Growing up in the green belt I never before met such an interesting array of people.

So now I work, which is great, except the hours are poor (which is not); really I'm just thinking that I'll do this until something better becomes available, or I'm able to go to a University.

That's a whole other thing. I will return to edit this entry, but it's a start for now..

here's to learning to write again!
Current Mood: contemplative

27th November 2009

1:27am: The job hunt goes not-so-well.
Getting a job is NOT EASY. I mean, I knew it wouldn't be, but still. HORRIBLE STUFF. I've applied for two jobs and got one of them... but it was under the counter, so I said no. Actually, I didn't say anything. Probably why the man who interviewed me called today, to ask where I was. Where was I? Why, with all the other people who want to earn £5.73 and work a max of 48 hours a week.

I went to the Job Center a few days after arriving in the UK, so that the good ol' government could hook me up with "job seekers allowance" (the dole), 'til I've got something better. When I returned for an interview to determine how "eligible" I am for financial aid (got £50.00 a week out of them, haha!), I asked if there was anyone there who'd review my CV.

Then I went to the bank, and tried to open up an account. BUT, you need to prove you're a resident in the UK to do it. So I called the National Insurance Agency and coaxed them into sending me some mail.

The day before yesterday, I FINALLY got a call from Prospects, who help people like meself to write good CVs, and get out to work. The girl who interviewed me (Laurie) was 24, a former drama student, who never went to University and only passed her GCSE's in Math and English at 23! She told me she'd been unemployed for six months at the start of the year... and it made me feel hopeful. Hey, if people like her can get around the jargon and bureaucracy, and get decent desk jobs then certainly I can, right?

The biggest problem right now is that my CV is (not to put too fine a point upon it) a bit shite. Laurie said she'd send me an e-mail attachment with a CV template, but it "wouldn't send" (as she told me in a phone message today). Dunno what I'm supposed to do about that - we'll see tomorrow morning.

AND my bank account confirmation has not arrived, either. I came to this country with $400.00 in my pocket, to spend until I was established... not a cent of it has been exchanged because I'm waiting for BARCLAYS to do it. Additionally, while my last paycheck just arrived from Gillette Castle, there is nowhere for my father to transfer my money to. So how do I live? On 1) My mother, 2) my uncle, 3)The £13.?? I found in an old piggy-bank, and 4)£10.00 I found lodged in the back of the Oyster train pass that I last used when I was seventeen. I've caved four times: Clearasil facewipes, Marmite, Dr. Johnson and Company by Robert Lynd and Charlie Chaplin's Autobiography.

I know that this lifestyle is probably good for me... strengthens character etc. Atm, I'm really wondering what I'm supposed to do for Christmas. And my father's birthday is on Sunday... some sad little part of me still wants to send him a birthday card. Perhaps I'll send one late. But what about the people here? They all deserve something. And while I wonder all this, I vegetate and watch Garrow's Law and Misfits, and read The Forbidden Game novels (my favorites of ALL TIME), and sort of... despair?

So, perhaps not good for character, after all.
Current Mood: rotten plum

8th November 2009

10:18pm: *STRETCH*
I've been subject to Lj paralysis for a while.

I packed all my things. It was tough (EMPTYING the guest room, which I've lived existed in for the last five years), but I got it done.

There are plenty of things I will miss about being in America. I will miss Hartford, which became "my" Hartford somewhere along the way-- the child that's mediocre to everyone except its parent. I loved the Connecticut river with a deep, abiding love, and I will probably think of it mournfully for the rest of my life. I cannot even write about the castle.

I miss Staples, and the skinny, hollow-cheeked boy who photocopied my postcards.

I went to Boston, to see arcady before I left. We did a ton of marvelous things, all the sort of things I usually love: shops, art galleries, Salem... it was a well-realized send-off. I did think seriously about making an entry on the subject, but reasoned that anyone who could possibly want to know about it would find out in alternate ways.

I returned to the house in Chester, and saw my boxes off ($1,300+ FTW). My mover was a curious fellow - his hobby was making bookmarks. We talked about education and literature, and when he told me he'd dropped out of school, I quoted Twain, and said "never let your schooling interfere with your education!" Later, he asked who my favorite writer, and (though I probably should have said "Milton"), I immediately asked "Have you heard of Samuel Johnson?" The next day, he appeared at my house and gave me two Mark Twain bookmarks, and two Samuel Johnson ones. Just because.

THEN, arcady came to see me in CT, for the last three days of my time in America. I am pleased to say I managed to take her to the Mark Twain House, though there were other failures I'm still sore over (fucking steam train, what was the point of closing for a month?). And then, once she had returned to Boston, my stepmother cooked lamb dinner and tried to make it seem as though my departure was significant.

I was going to take Connecticut Limo to the airport (three hours, but minimum effort for everyone else). My stepmother, rather, thought it might be nice if she, my father, my sister and me went to spend the day in New York. This was a silly idea for a couple of reasons. I already had at least five hours journey ahead of me, so walking around first would add to the exhaustion. Additionally, as soon became clear, everything in the city closes down on a Monday... we ended up going to the Neue Galerie (Austrian and German art) featuring Klimt and Egon Schiele, which was interesting, though really just more of what I'd seen in Austria.

Then I flew out. It seems like a sort of dream... that I was ever there to begin with. Half a decade gone like a transient dark cloud.

I face a couple of problems over here. No bank account, and no job. First step: call the Inland Revenue for proof of my identity as a subject of the Crown. After that, I can open a bank account, and then - finally - apply for work. My mother wants me to apply at the Parliamentary Palace as a tour guide, and though I think it'd be fun I am very ill qualified. Better, I think, would be the Sherlock Holmes Museum. BUT, I will take almost anything. So I could go into retail, or cleaning, here in Barnet.

My family in England, at least, seem pleased to see me. I caught up with some friends yesterday, and they kindly paid for my meal (eurgh, I haven't changed my money yet and cannot spend a penny 'til I do). I am aware of the fact that my welcome has a sell-by date, and that I must find my own rooms before February, but things keep falling in my way... at least my CV is on its way. Already I am ITCHING for occupation... being without it day after day feels unnatural, and I am ridden with guilt over what feels like laziness. The Christmas season should create job openings, and if only I can be quick about it I can get one of them.

Oh yes! And today was of course, English Remembrance Sunday, which - because of its date - I haven't partaken of for five years. I know I shouldn't have enjoyed it, but I did! The pageantry, and seeing the Queen, all comforted me.

I'm glad I'm back.
Current Mood: aware

13th October 2009

1:51pm: Work-less anxiety.
Loose ends.Collapse )
Current Mood: depressed

6th October 2009

12:09am: Ahead--->
My mother has arranged for us to return to Vienna this Christmas :D There will be Yuletide markets and Viennese food (the Kunsthistoriches for the Vermeer, the Titian and the potato soup). I consider it a good end to an imperfect year... the long, hard, spirit-crushing slog job hunt can then start when I am refreshed in January.

Now I really MUST get my things together. And it has just occurred to me that the gits here have one of my Christmas ornaments (my Gainsborough lady), so I must kick up a fuss and get it back before I depart. I hate making trouble :(

Monday is the last day at the Castle. I will have to say goodbye... I am not so sorry to see the back of one or two of them, but I will miss Allie and Martha. Martha, bless her, has been inviting everyone from the groundskeeper upwards to our end-of-season meal... at least the Nivers will be there and I can fawn all over them before being forced to retire from William Gillette State employment.

Tomorrow, I am going to buy a plane ticket, which will give me a deadline by which to be finished. Perhaps my ADHD will kick in, and I'll be good to go by my deadline. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

EDIT: Bought my ticket (Viiiiirgin) - Nov. 2nd. THAT'S IT. OFFICIAL.

*begins to hyperventilate*
Current Mood: intimidated

3rd October 2009

...more then the usual, I mean.

I haven't packed A SINGLE BOX. I haven't BOOKED A TICKET. I haven't CALLED MY MOVERS.


I need to pack everything, so I can weigh it, so I can call up the moving man and tell him number of boxes/weight. Then he tells me when he can ship them. Then I buy a ticket.

But PACKING. I have so many delicate things... and so many thing I DON'T KNOW HOW TO SHIP. Like my paintings! GOD GOD GODDY GOD.


I think, after I post this entry, I'm going to go up and start. FML WHY AM I SO DAMNED INCOMPETENT??
Current Mood: horrified

26th September 2009

9:00pm: I saw 9 tonight.
It was weird as hell, but I loved it.


PLOT: An old scientist creates a machine whereby the human soul can be transmuted into a robot. SURPRISE! The first robot he imbues with life ("The Beast") goes berserk and destroys mankind. So, the scientist makes it his goal to create a set of little robot dolls (I don't want to call them dolls but that what they looked like to me), which will undo his mistake. MISTAKE NUMBER TWO: he doesn't tell the little guys their purpose (or not properly). Each little doll is numbered; no. 9 is the last to come of the line before the scientist (last human alive) cops it. 9 is set loose, discovers the others (I forget what numbers there are, but I LOVED LOVED LOVED crabby no. 1), and embarks on his [rather obvious] destined mission: to destroy The Beast.

There were loose ends everywhere (the machine is never explained; is mankind simply over then?), but the dollies were so cute! There was even a little romance (?) going on between 7 and 9 (did I mention that 7 kicked ass?). The Beast and its minion were extremely scary, too (one peon looked like a snake, but it had a human cranium for a head [no mandible, ewww]).

The end of the season is coming. I am terribly sad about leaving the Castle (it felt more like a home then any other place in America), but at the same time I am almost breathlessly keen to break out of here.
Current Mood: fragile

31st August 2009

6:50pm: Lol, RESEARCHER
I went to the Connecticut Historical Society Museum this weekend. Just to browse... it wasn't that good (aimed mostly at young children). The lady at the front desk suggested I visit one of the locked exhibits (for which you require a chaperon) and the girl chosen recognized me as a tour guide. I did not recognize her, as I see about 100,000 people a season, significantly more then the CHS. She talked to me about Gillette, and I told her how I loved reading about him... before I know it I'm in the research lab, and this girl is validating forms for me to register as a researcher for Gillette Castle.

...So I spent the afternoon molesting the personal letters of William Gillette, his parents, some of his friends, his niece and his brother Edward. They smelled so good I wanted to EAT them.

Got some photocopies; going back on Friday. NEXT: an assault on the Stowe-Day Foundation (they're the ones with most of the PHOTOS).

Btw Mama:
1) Call me on Friday - remember that I can't call you.
2) Yes, movers means people to move things back to England pour moi.
3) They're making a new series of WAKING THE DEAD♥♥
Current Mood: cheerful

25th July 2009

12:09am: TODAY...

I went to the Samuel Clemens Mark Twain House. I am so glad they're open - there was talk of remaining closed, because the sparkly visitor's center they built five years ago has bankrupted them.

I think I am more in love with this pace every time I visit - exactly the sort of heavy, uncluttered ornamentation I like. However, obviously, my DARLING CASTLE comes first.

Markie did taste very nice, though. And I have more postcards for my collection - I have quite a few from different years, now :)
Current Mood: complacent

4th July 2009

3:24pm: Small sale at a high cost.
The day before yesterday, I went through my books and sold some of them.

I sold Austen (books & miscellanies - not the ones my mother bought me)
I sold Dickens (ALL BUT TWO).
I sold Twain (novels, not life).

I sold art books,
And art catalogs.
I tried to sell Turner,
But was prevented by a sudden and brief return to sanity.
I sold poetry books
And poets
I forget why I chose to sell Keats, but kept Brooke. Seems very silly now.

I sold History
And Biography
And Biology

I sold Clara Schumann.
I sold Harry Houdini.
I sold Beatrix Potter.
My old friends
And numberless others
I didn't sell Samuel Pepys. WHY DIDN'T I SELL SAM PEPYS?

I didn't sell Milton either.
I should have done.
I don't need him.
But he winked up at me from the page
{which is odd, because winking is very un-Miltonesque}
And I cracked
Like old paving stones, trying to supress the roots of a mighty oak
And put him back.
Screw him,
I'll manage it next time.

Didn't sell Johnson
Or Mozart
Or Sickert
{Johson would shout
Mozart would weep
And Sickert wouldn't let you sleep
Ever again
If you did}

I struggled with the notion of selling Shelley. I tried to
But in the end
I didn't.
Thank God,
I'd already given everything Moron Byron

Who knew,
You could sell
$120 worth of flesh
And live to write about it?
Current Mood: wasted

30th June 2009

11:27am: Ok... I am going to try to remember Virginia.
Though this may prove harder, now that I've let the time pass.

Here we go, then.Collapse )

ALSO: I edited my last entry, about another book I descovered.
Current Mood: sentimental

28th June 2009

11:59pm: The Prince & the Wild Geese
Catterpillar love.Collapse )
Current Mood: romantic

23rd June 2009

11:41pm: Argh...
I have left off writing for so long that now I almost don't know where to begin. It seems as though, if I committed all the things I have knocking about in my head, I'd never stop. Additionally, I've been (for one reason or another) writing a lot to various people. Part of it might be the brand spanking new Parker pen which arrived in the mail last week (LOVE IT THANK YOU MAMA).
But I do want to write. SO. Virginia will be my next entry - for now I'll write the entry I intended to post before that. It's simply about a children's book I found, but I care about it, so perhaps someone else will too.

The art of Trina Schart Hyman.Collapse )
Current Mood: contemplative

19th June 2009

12:54am: A pair of remotely interesting videos.
Enjoy Mama :)Collapse )
Current Mood: excited

15th June 2009

11:16pm: A Virginia Lady.

Her father was a simple conductor, but she dreamed of bigger things.

So far: Maryland, Alexandria, Mount Vernon, Jamestowne. ♥♥♥ JAMESTOWNE. More photos on FB.


I had icons for you, arcady, but they spontaniously disappeared before I could save them. I'll try again when I get back.

I also have some new children's illustrations by a wonderful artist, and a little story. Worth waiting for, I hope.

I saw Star Trek with my sister. OMG DO WANT YOUNG MR. SPOCK. I developed such a SERIOUS CRUSH on that character as I was watching... MUST NEEDS SPOCK!ICON SOON.
Current Mood: apathetic

9th June 2009

1:40am: So I just realized something quite silly.
Or decided something. Either way.

I am re-watching the 1980's Sabrina With Julia Ormond, and she's just told Linus where her name came from. "Sabrina fair/ Listen where thou art sitting/ Under the glassie, cool, translucent wave,/ In twisted braids of Lillies knitting/ The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair..."

Sabrina is the martyr who is called upon to save a virgin from "a fate worse then death" - the movie is actually a modern adaptation of Milton's Comus.

I will probably delete this entry in the morning... but I knew there was a reason I loved that movie.
Current Mood: cheerful

3rd June 2009

8:15pm: My job eats up my time awake.
Nonetheless, there are some things that bare mentioning, before I sink back into dreamsCollapse ).
Current Mood: thoughtful

24th May 2009

5:50pm: Argh, I am so tired.
Bloody Hell.Collapse )
Current Mood: exhausted
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