tacit: (Psych dude)
I had plans to go to the cinema with Jim to meet R (an ex-housemate), and R's friend Steve who, incidentally, I fancy the pants off. Jim was driving my car, because I was putting on makeup in the passenger mirror for Steve's benefit. I quite often give Jim my keys - I'm not a bad driver, I'm just aware that Jim is a better driver than, possibly, everyone. He also likes to keep an eye on how my car is running. He is fully aware that I don't notice things like squishy tyres or squeaky brakes, and he's probably the only one who ever checks the oil.

Turns out that squeaky brakes are a problem. A week or so ago I got into my car after parking it on a hill and the handbrake felt stiffer than it had been. I ignored it completely, and ignored the occasional high whine, but Jim was all frowny as he drove and telling me I ought to get it checked out.

And then we approached a busy roundabout in the middle lane, with cars either side of us and cars ahead on the roundabout, and the brakes failed. Like, failed completely. They were operating at maybe 10% - which is nothing! - and made awful, awful noises. Apparently we left the brakes disks on the road behind us when they fell clean off the rear wheels. We had no option but to drive onto the roundabout. We were going a little too fast for comfort even had there been no other cars. We missed two cars by inches, and got honked at by a bunch of people, but, somehow, nobody got so much as a scratch.

We were about 500m and two more roundabouts from Jim's house. I'd have rolled to a halt somewhere awkward and obstructive, but Jim felt safe to get us home - we went along at about 15mph and he slowed us with the gears - which also sounded awful but not as awful as the brakes. This is part of why he rocks. My panic response is the hit the brakes; his evolves in nanoseconds into using the gears to slow down. I was already informing him of how much I loved and adored him by about 50 metres past the first crisis.

We switched cars, and after the cinema Jim drove me home - which is an hour round trip - and the next day he pulled a sickie to fix my car, and delivered it to my house. ♥

So, a thank you cake was in order.

cut for cake )

In the past few days I have also:

1) seen Eddie Izzard live. You have not lived until you've seen an intepretation of how dinosaurs might have attempted to communicate Christianity's ten commandments. Arghh roar argh argh, roar argh! Grr!

2) gone to Alton Towers, (it's a theme park) and queued up a lot to go in a halloween themed maze with actors whose job it is to scare and shock, and on rollercoasters that made my knees go wobbly. But not as wobbly as being in a car when the brakes failed.

3) applied for teacher training, although I remain unconvinced that I want to do it. But the deadline was approaching so I thought I'd cover that base and zap off an application. Pros: a honking great bursary while I train and then an actual salary. Cons: crowd control, having a boss, having to work mornings, having to go to teacher training.

4) eaten out four times. But they'd all been planned for ages and as such do not count as a spree: spending; calorific; or otherwise.

Phew. I need a lie in.

tacit: (Default)
Does anyone know anything about a con called the SFX Weekender? It's in February in Sussex.

Because, you see... I'm sort of considering going. *g* I got a message on Facebook from a girl I knew at school, Chris. She's 3 years older than me (it was a lot at the time) and one of the few kids at my school who lived anywhere near me. We used to sit at the back of the bus on the way home every afternoon, plotting how we were going to be the youngest ever authors of a DS9 script, or discussing why B5's gate system made more scientific sense than Star Trek's warp drives. When she went away to uni, I visited her a couple of times for weekends, and she told me way more than my impressionable young ears had ever thought to hear about lesbian sex.

We lost touch over the years - she became bi and found God and became a maths teacher and got married and had a kid. I moved Up North, which is an equally dramatic lifestyle change according to my London-based friends.

I think a lot of why I'm considering going is because I want to hang out with Chris again. I'm not too fussed about seeing John Barrowman, although what YouTube footage I've seen of James Marsters at cons has been promising. Opinions?

In other news, Dex stole and ate an entire loaf of bread last night. Obviously this lost him his breakfast rights. All morning, he has been standing in front of the cupboard where his normal doggy sanctioned food lives, like, 'but why aren't you feeding me?!', but has just laid down, belly bulging, for a carbs coma. It was nice bread, too, the cheeky bugger. He probably wouldn't have bothered if it was the normal cheap supermarket own-brand stuff. *glares*
tacit: (Psych dude)
There are a bunch of things I've been meaning to post about, and for some reason they are all to do with food.

1) In looking for my passport last Wednesday night (at 2am when I was leaving on Thursday morning, shut up), I found some bathroom scales on my bedroom floor. I weighed myself for the first time in over a year, and found that I weigh the same as I did when I finished the year of manual labour! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? I suspect every gram of muscle I had has turned to lard and migrated to my ass, belly and hips; there is no other explanation.

2) I have been obsessively doing 'Five a day' - that is, a minimum of five portion of fruit or veg every day. Generally, a handful is a portion. Juice counts as one, regardless of quantity (from a small glass upwards). This is the best food-related drive I have ever been on. I am eating so healthily! I used to normally have three or four portions a day and sometimes suck and have one. Or, um, none. Those last couple have really cut into my unhealthy snacking. My skin is great, my fridge is stocked with all sorts of exciting things, and I get to feel virtuous even when I've also eaten 100g of chocolate because I ate the fruit/veg, and that is all that counts! I don't know how it would be for weight loss, but for feeling healthy and energetic? It's fabulous. I am going to do it every day for the rest of my life.

3) I had an email forwarded to me that contained a recipe for a five minute mug cake. I timed it and really it was more like 7, but that was from the moment I started pulling ingredients from the cupboards to the moment the microwave dinged. I can't really resent those extra two minutes, you know? Cake. In a mug.

[livejournal.com profile] deltacephei and I tried the recipe and pronounced it most acceptable. We also tried it using coffee and walnuts instead of cocoa and chocolate chips. The mix was very wet with the coffee, so I added another spoon of flour and didn't notice the resulting cake texture being any different.

5 minute mug cake )

It lacked that crispy yumminess of the edges of a fresh oven-baked cake, but, you know. Five minutes. I can't complain. If I make it again, I will switch the cocoa and choc chips for a tablespoon of swollen stoned dates, as per my mum's recipe for the best cakes in the entire world ever. In fact, hmm. *hunts* She emailed it to me. Here, have a go. Seriously: THE BEST.

tacit's mum's recipe for Sticky Toffee puddings )

I think it'll work really well adapted to the mug cake because in my mum's recipe, the cakes have the wonderful flavour and the sauce provides the texture sensation. :)

4) I baked my first ever grown-up cake for my mum's 60th. It was good! I learnt how to make ganache. I planned to do more icing modelling, but I started so late in the evening that I just didn't have time. /o\ You can't tell from the picture, but the icing was smooth and the whole thing was a geometric joy - with a ton of chocolate and cake inside. \o/ I now have an LJ tag for cake. I posted a small slice of it to the other side of the world in the guise of Marie Antoinette, but that is another story.

5) At the posh French hotel my mum's birthday was based in, I chose a dessert that had a long description that I couldn't adequately translate, and an in-built menu translation that said, 'pineapple, pineapple, pineapple'. What with my recent fannish love for Psych, I didn't see how to resist. It turned out to be three things: a piece of hot pineapple baked in foil with a vanilla pod; a light pineapple mousse on a sponge base; and a shot glass of pineapple sorbet with something very boozy in it. *swoons* It had three pineapple leaves jabbed artistically into the mousse, swirls of something pineapply doodled on the plate, a rakish line of coconut flakes, and swirls of something bright red and yummy... I wish I'd had a camera with me, it was amazing.

I have not weighed myself again since I got back from France. I do not want to know.

Xmas bacon

Dec. 26th, 2008 10:00 am
tacit: (Default)
I am so very behind on my flist! But this has entertained me greatly.

So, my best friend C arrived at her boyfriend JJ's family farm on the 23rd to help pack turkeys overnight. JJ's mum pulled C aside and apparently there was a conversation that went along these lines.

JJ's mum: Quiet. Come with me.
C: Um...?
JJ's mum: Quick, before JJ notices.
JJ: *eyes them*
C: Uh, ok...?
JJ's mum: R, distract your brother!
Bro (aged 10): *farts* Look at this snot I saved from this afternoon!
*women proceed to dining room, where there is a box by a radiator*
JJ's mum: We found her under a bush. She's about 2 weeks old. She must've been abandoned.
C: *investigates*
JJ's mum: And I'm not allowed to keep her, and you've got that big garden, and I thought that if I got you on board before we troubled JJ...
JJ: *arrives*
C: She's called Abigail and we're bringing her home with us.
JJ: *blinks*. Um...?

So, apparently they're adopting the piglet. She's about 3 kilos now, shaky on her legs, and needs to be wrapped up in warm wooly things to stay warm enough, but will grow to Jabba-esque proportions. Apparently you can buy pig leads and take them for walks, as long as a vet approves the route. Dex is gonna have a new playmate, I think?? I will meet her tomorrow - expect photos.
tacit: (Rimmer Quarantine)
I owe people betas and emails and responses, but I have been eaten alive by Christmas. This is me poking my head above the digestive juices on my way down, pancreas-ward. Spleen-ward? Pre-ileum, certainly.

My family has descended upon me, and it's all fun so far - the first two days usually are. It may be a different story after my brother arrives, and by boxing day I'll be sick to death of them. But right now? Fun!

I wanted to share the British tradition of the pantomime with you guys. We went to the panto today, which is a totally normal Christmas thing to me, but according to various people it's incomprehensible and freakish to the rest of the world. What could be more fun than going to the theatre, watching singing, dancing, cross-dressing silliness and heckling the cast? The one we've been to the past few years doesn't have the semi-famous and their career-promotion - it's a purely amateur thing and much better for it. This year was (nominally) Aladdin, and it sold out in November because the writer is a legend in these parts. My group of family and friends caused the panto to overrun by almost an hour today with all the ad-libbing they had to do. They wondered aloud where the princess was as a cue for him/her to come on stage, but we yelled the traditional, 'He's behind you!!' and they looked over at us, like 'oh, it's going to be you lot today, eh?' They did the 'oh, really!? Let me look!' thing, complete with band accompaniment, even though the scene was in a little little set and the only place she could've been was like, in the oven). The tenor - who I quite fancy and who I will always think of as Buttons from a few years back - got the giggles, and the ugly sisters Widow Twanky and the genie diverged significantly (and hilariously) from any script they might have once had, to the point that the princess (less comically talented) was rather confused and my mother (my mother!) cried laughing. Plus, the Widow Twanky had an astonishing range (6? 7?) of garish, wonderful costumes with skirt hoops/bells/sparkles/clown feet/frilly knickers/'microwave safe' labels/5 foot wide hip flares. Buttons accidentally really slapped an ugly sister, the sorcerer couldn't hypnotise Buttons without getting wittily interrupted by a kid a few rows behind us, and a penguin lost a shoe; but everyone hit every note, nobody misdelivered any jokes, everyone danced in step. PANTOS ARE AWESOME. And I don't care how tacky and ridiculous they are.

Is it just us? Sod cricket, Wimbledon and the monarchy - someone tell me pantos have spread!

So, [livejournal.com profile] dodificus , [livejournal.com profile] naye , [livejournal.com profile] deltacephei ... I haven't checked my flist lately and have barely been reading email. I am not dead. I have a spare couple of hours on Wednesday, which I intend to use catching up.

[personal profile] dodificus ! It doesn't work on my ipod atm. Format suggestions?!?

tacit: (Teyla Earthlings)
I just ordered wood for my new living room floor (which is OMG so exciting - you should see the state of the current carpet, ugh) and had a bit of a barny with the guy on the phone. He wanted to know if there would be a 'competent male' on the premises when the delivery comes.

Me: Why?
Him: We just require that there's a competent male for all deliveries.
Me: Ok, but why? (Because if it was some sort of ridiculous harassment prevention thing I'd have accepted it)
Him: To help the driver unload.
Me: Well, I'll help the driver unload
Him: (lengthly explanation of height of van, possibility of wood being on the very top)
Me: What if all the men I know are short?
Him (laughter)
Me: No, seriously. What if the men are all short and weedy and workshy, and I'm tall and strong and willing?
Him: Well, I wouldn't expect a lady to unload. Or a woman.
Me: (bristling over 'or a woman') Isn't ability to unload more relevent than gender?
Him: ...
Me: I'll do it. I spent yesterday distmantling a concrete and steel sectional office and loading it into a lorry. I'm capable.
Him: ...
Me: (No longer amused) There won't be any men here.
Him: If the driver can't unload by himself, you're liable for the extra delivery charge. And the cost of a second man to help him.
Me: !!!!!

Honestly. It's been a while since I've had to deal with this shit. I forgot.

I just hope that the driver passes on news of my freakish, unladylike strength and willing.

tacit: (Default)
I woke up this morning to find that I can SEE!

So awesome.

I celebrated by driving to my follow up at the eye clinic. I was blinking lots and concentrating hard, so it was totally safe.

It was. Shut up.

According to my latest eye test, my right eye is, allegedly 20/20. I say allegedly because although I can focus, it's still hazy and murky. I can't actually see perfectly but the optician thinks I can. Do you think that'd fly with the DVLA? My other eye is lagging behind; I could only read about half the letters on the screen. But I'm hoping it'll catch up? I'm not sure how this works. And, even if it doesn't, I can live with this. 20/20 in one eye is legal to drive and that was my goal going into this.

On the one hand, in the past week I have:
  • Allowed someone to soften my corneas with alcohol, smoosh the tissue to one side, shoot lasers into my eyes, and smoosh is back.
  • freaked out (before, during, after)
  • been practically blind for 2 days and lamely fuzzy for 2 more
  • God, the pain*
  • Whimpered down the phone at my ex-housemate JJ to get him and C to come over and direct me to the good drugs (see above re: pain and blindness)
  • Mislaid the dog in the kitchen
  • Stood in puppy wee
  • Stood in cat food
  • Cried
  • Wanted to call my mother and get her to come and do my washing up and feed me. I have never wanted to summon my mother in my entire life - she's the least nurturing woman in Britain, but she would have mopped my kitchen floor
  • Been unable to read the aftercare instructions the opticians gave me (why so small?!)
  • Been unable to identify which eye drops were which
  • Been deeply confused by an episode of SGA. Eyesight helps during action scenes. Surprising, huh?
  • Did I mention the pain?
  • Been so bored I slept for fun
  • Had a puppy who was so bored he chewed for fun
On the other hand, I can now
  • see.
So, on balance, the pros have it.

* Don't let that put you off if you're considering it. I had the most brutal surgery there is because it was the cheapest. Everyone else I've spoken to in the clinic who's had it done in the past week (easily identified by sunglasses) said they had very little pain. I don't think that's hyperbole - at my 24 hour checkup my eyes were still streaming and I couldn't see very well at all. One guy I spoke to had driven himself there and happily read small print in the far wall, on a poster that was a big blur to me. My treatment was harsh! But cheaper.

p.s. Love and hugs to everyone who wished me luck and sympathy, and texted me, and called me up to relieve my boredom and apprise me of Internet Happenings. I love you all! *smishes flist*
tacit: (Default)
You would not believe how boring it is when you can't:
  • use a computer
  • read
  • watch TV
  • Navigate the outside world because NOW it decides to be bright and sunny
  • Navigate a phonebook, electronic or otherwise
I am typing this with my screen on its biggest setting and the font on about size one million. My keyboard is a blur, and I have to look away from my screen and blink furiously between sentences. I'm gonna go to bed in a minute just for something to do.

On the upside, the stabbing pain has gone away, and my vision can only improve... And it will - I mean, I haven't lost perspective on why I'm doing this. It's just, now would be good.
tacit: (Default)

I feel sick.

And I may be offline for a few days, depending on the OMG PAIN when eyes are attempting to focus/endure anything besides blessed, pitch darkness. Yes, I could have gone for the pricier option that won't disable me quite so much. Yes, I am too cheap.

Sekrit message to Cath - but if I have any time in the morning, I will be spending it re-reading parts 1 - 3 and emailing you!

ETA: But! This started in my comment to <lj user=villainny>, below, and became a bit of a anti-glasses rant. There are so many things I should stop having to deal with as of tomorrow!

Missing a stair because I switched between looking through vs looking under my glasses at the wrong moment. That gritty, dry feeling I get when I've worn my contacts too much. Rain.
Not feeling hideously unattractive whenever I'm not wearing contacts. My entire working life, with the dust and the lense splattering. Lying with my head smooshed into a cushion and being able to see the TV anyway. Reversing the car. Glancing up at someone without needing to move my entire head. Not having to plan my eyesight around social occasions. Snogging. Being able to see when I first wake up.

Ok, I remember why i signed up it now. After the next week, this should be pretty awesome. But tomorrow? Sickywobblypukeyscariness!

Naming poll

Jul. 8th, 2008 11:48 am
tacit: (kitty 8 weeks)
I've had my gorgeous little kitten for almost a week, and she rocks in every way, even putting up getting soaked by the dog's post-drink clampy jaws. She's very brave and bold for her age and size, and purrs easily. She's affectionate, and likes to curl up in small spaces like elbows and necks. She's a cutie! But she's still nameless.[Poll #1219715]

Dog help!

Jul. 5th, 2008 10:11 pm
tacit: (John kitty)
Who knows dogs? I brought home my pup today. He's very cute and playful, and is doing fairly well with the housetraining... but he's mounting me! He's only 8 weeks old, so it can't be hormonal. And I put him in his cage - which he was fine with while I was in the room - but as soon as I'm out of sight he whines and barks and howls. Which is more of a problem than the mounting, as it's driving me crazy. Mounting I can deal with - lots of judicious ignoring til he stops. Is the howling inevitable? Do I give him ten minutes to see if he shuts up, or should I be preventing this behaviour in some way? Act or react?

The cat, on the other hand, is an angel.

The dog's making my ears bleed. Will be patient. Will. Not. Panic about taking on a puppy when I really don't know what I'm doing. I read books and all... but the learning curve is steep!

Help me obi-flist! *headdesks*
tacit: (kitty 8 weeks)
ETA: My God, the formatting issues! *stabs LJ*. Let's try that again, without the randomly interrupted paragraphs and missing text.

I have had the most awesome seven days I can remember having in... years, possibly.

It went like this:

So... I've had a bit of an overdose of squee this past week. It has been awesome.

And, kitty needs a name! Any ideas?
tacit: (team love)
Last night I went on a date with Funeral Guy a friend of my cousins'.

It was such a great date! I like him a lot and am already eagerly awaiting my next date with him - usually at this point with guys I get a bit 'Yeah... but really?' But he's easy to talk to, and a lot of fun, and attentive and sweet. And clever and playful... he's pretty ideal, really. And we've got a lot in common - we grew up in the same town and went he went to the boys' version of my school, and, obviously, he knows my cousins really well and was perfectly willing to give me loads of truly excellent gossip about their exes and babies and feuds.

I may rewrite history later to say that it wasn't really our first date, because I did end up being a dirty, dirty stop out - in his hotel room, which is just so classy. (Although we did get breakfast in bed that neither of us had to go and make, which I could definitely get used to.) But I'm not sure I'd rather say that I met him at funeral. Or that I met him for the first time at my cousin's wedding when I was 18 and he was married.  Hmm. He hasn't told my cousins yet and neither have I, and I told him it was his call - he sees them more and knows them better.

But there is a point to this post! (Beyond me going 'LOOK! A MAN! EEEE!' which is pretty much my default today). His favourite TV show? Smallville. HE'S A GEEK! This makes me so happy. He claims it's not about Lana (he thinks she's a whining pain in the arse as well, he has taste!) or Chloe, he just likes the Superman stuff. I asked him whether he ever suspected Clark and Lex were doing it, and he apparently never did. So, who's got vid recs of Clark and Lex eye-fucking? Something that convinces the viewer they are totally doing it, or at least that they wish they were. Perhaps not one of the genre that starts 'given that they're blatantly shagging, don't y'all think x/y/z?' I want one that subtly re-edits canon, not one that tells an entirely different story. Apparently it was on last night and he missed it cos he was out with me, and he'll miss it again next Wednesday because I intend to go see him again that night. I'm going to put the two eps on a memory stick, with a vid or two in there too. I'm going to introduce him slowly to my geekish ways.

Speaking of geekery, I am obsessed with a new show! It's all [livejournal.com profile] deltacepheiand [livejournal.com profile] naye's fault. Move over SGA, Torchwood's got me hooked. I am so in love with Jack and Ianto, and Jack/Ianto. This LJ may see fannish content again after all...


May. 16th, 2008 05:42 pm
tacit: (Default)
I've paid my deposit, in 7 weeks I'll have a puppy!

Puppy picspam... ) 
tacit: (Default)
So, I haven't been around LJ much lately because RL's insane. Housemates are moving out, workhouse is winding down. I've been driving up and down the country a lot, collecting ebay furniture and uttering the phrase 'No really, I'm stronger than I look' on what feels like a daily basis. We've moved from the grouting of tiles to the purchasing of soft furnishings, which is quite an upgrade in the fun department.

I've been plotting out how my life is going to be after my housemates move out (in a couple of weeks! I'm looking forward to it!!) and after we finally finish the house we've been building/renovating for the last year.

One of the big changes I'm going to make is pets. I'm going to get a cat and a dog; or more specifically, a kitten and a puppy.
Specifically, potentially, one of these puppies )
tacit: (Default)
I got home from Edinburgh five minutes ago and the first thing I did was turn my computer on (yes, I know, shut up), and I am so in love with you all! Somebody got me a year of paid LJ time!!

I actually welled up. I adore how the Internet can bring about friendships with people on the other side of the world. The only drawback is that I cannot give you all real physical hugs; because I very much want to right now.

Whoever it was, thankyou!
tacit: (Default)
I don't usually post about my dates, because there's only so many times I can write OMG SO BAD before I want to spork myself. But tonight? You'll like this.

First date. We went to a cheapish restaurant. Conversation was a real struggle - he didn't pick up any of my conversational salvos and didn't offer any of his own. He'd answer open-ended questions with things like 'hmmm'. Maybe he's shy, I don't know. I also no longer care. The bill came, and it was £31.45. I put down £20, because I'd had dessert and he hadn't, and I figured that was about right . He studied the bill for a really long time, and then fished through some change and put down £11. So, it was 45p short. I waited a moment, expecting him to add to it, but no. I had to fish my wallet out of my bag again to fix it.


I was so surprised I actually laughed out loud. And then I made my excuses, and I left.
tacit: (Default)
I've just booked a flight to Edinburgh for my birthday next month. YEY!

I've never been and I've always wanted to go. I'm going to spend a weekend there with my best friend from school who I really don't see as often as I'd like. AND she's a veggie, which gets me out of feeling obliged to try proper haggis - bonus. I'm going to wander the streets, and see the castle, and fantasise at the pictures in the windows of estate agents. And then I'll have a couple of drinks with my bestest, oldest friend and catch up.... I can't wait!

Anyone been to Edinburgh? I'm only there one night - any places I absolutely have to check out?


Also, I'm going to Paris in three weeks for a hen night, which will be far more alcoholic than I'd ideally like, but still: Paris. I plan to shop. I HAVE MISSED HOLIDAYS!!
tacit: (Default)
I just emailed an ex to suggest a drink sometime. He's completely gorgeous but we had nothing in common. Bad idea? y/n

Have also emailed four other guys from various dating sites, hopefully consigning myself to the bus problem - that several will come along at once. I figure it's like being unemployed and sending out job applications - no sense in just going for one at a time, right?

It's possible I've cracked. This is how bad first dates happen! Bad, self.

tacit: (Default)
1) Ok, [personal profile] unadrift    and I have been debating this and the dictionary is no help. Is it: racking one's brains; wracking one's brains, or (::squints::) wrecking one's brains? How do I not know?!  ETA:  It's racking. Thanks [profile] sapote3  !

2) Also, into what position do I need to contort myself to get my left hip to click? It clicked out the other day, and now I have an irritating array of painful limitations, like not being able to lie on my back with my knees tented, or slouch on the sofa with my feet on the table in front of me. Or, I can slouch that way, but only if I don't mind sharp, grindy pain through the back of the joint when I get up again. I am not impressed. Fix me! ::pouts::

3) And, for reasons having nothing to do with any stories I am currently writing, particularly not anything that was supposed to be, like, 1000 words but might already be disturbingly longer... in a team!orgy, who would be the ultimate boss? I'm leaning towards Ronon, but, Teyla? Or does Rodney have secret sexual power over them all? Does John bring his dubious natural leadership into the bedroom?

4) Button then zipper, or zipper then button?
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