Yearly Archives: 2012

DIY fail:

Lesson learned Thank you piles of unsorted books for breaking my fall off that ladder.

Losses: One destroyed (work!) ladder, one snapped drill bit.

Gains: Some spectacular cuts and bruises in the morning i’m sure, knowledge not to drill whilst stood sideways on a ladder, and a sense of amazement that I can walk and talk.

I’m pretty sore right now, as I have large slashes across the backs of my thighs that were caused by the edges of the books when I landed backwards upon them.

One leg of the ladder gave way whilst I was drilling holes to mount one of those blinds I was nervous of tackling. So now I have injuries, no ladder to reach up to where I need to install the blinds and continued daylight where i’d really like to have none.

As I type i’m monitoring the weird sensation in portions of the skin on my thighs and back; the cuts are increasingly painful but also some areas of my skin are insensitive to touch. When I breathe in I feel like i’ve crested a roller-coaster, that sort of fizzy feeling inside, and I feel cold. Going to put on my down jacket and see how things go over the next hour. If no improvement, it’ll be off to A&E with me. JOYS.

Update 21:25 – After over an hour of lying on my bed wrapped up in my coat with my feet raised above the rest of me, I still feel pretty weird, and i’m not very warm at all. Hmmm. My skin’s not cold, and I can still feel all the parts of me, so I think staying at home is the best idea. Think i’ll get some tea and toast.
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Back…

More to follow. Leia Ewok Village and Caversham Princess are both coming to visit over the next two days which is going to be grand.
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Thanks, Andy.

Andy Says:

Flavorwire – Andy Warhol’s Best Advice about Art [via]
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Freedom

Off from school then for a couple of weeks for the much unanticipated Christmas.

Yay?

It was a half day at work yesterday, so I hit the supermarket on the way home to avoid the crowds later on (though the place was rammed anyway) and experienced the novelty of shopping knowing I could put things in a freezer. Buy one pizza get one free? Yes please. Alas however, I forgot to buy ice-cream.

Bobby Convey came over for booze, chat and a smorgasbord of high calorie finger food; the last time I invited anyone over to where I live must be at least a couple of years back. Not being ashamed of where I live – another novelty. It was great to see Bobby, and it was particularly interesting to hear how she’s getting on on her midwifery course. She graduated in English and Poetry before going on to work in the charity sector, so re-training at thirty-two in a completely different area is nothing short of amazing.

On the flat front, I lugged some things up into the loft, though failed through not being strong enough to carry a TV one-handed and climb up the ladder. Strangely, I am not a monkey. I’ve now built everything except the wardrobe and resurrecting the Expedit; along with putting the blinds up I am somewhat nervous of tackling these tasks, given the size of the pieces and the necessity of achieving a perfectly straight line. I need to think positive thoughts before drilling.

The majority of the boxes and bags taking up space on the floor contain books or clothing, so getting the bookcase and wardrobe up would really help the situation, but this is something that is going to have to wait until after I leave my family. My thinking is that I head up to see them tomorrow, in the car for the first time at Christmas, as there’s nary a snowflake in sight.

It’s dorkily inspired by t’internet, but i’m going through old photos and picking out some to get printed, so I can frame them and mount them on the wall to be viewed rather than sit as files on my computer; i’m selecting a mix of photos of people and places i’ve visited over the last ten years, to remind me of good times and happiness. There are images of family, friends, my home town, snowy scenes, Kew Gardens, New York, Corsica, Berlin, Paris and Pittsburgh. Yes, Meathead does get a look in, but Coppell does not.

Sigh.
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“Congratulations!”

A memory i’d almost forgotten about has been washing around in my head a lot over the last few days; it’s the time of year no doubt.

I was waiting in the departure lounge to get on the flight to Chicago that would reunite me with Coppell after months apart. I was excited yet nervous, as we’d not been in the same room for months, and although we had Skyped, emailed, texted and spoken almost daily, and Coppell had bought me the plane tickets, there was still a part of me that was worried I might get stood up, not picked up from the airport or find that he was married with kids.

I made small talk with the gentleman sitting next to me; he was older, Asian and impeccably dressed in shirt and tie and navy trench coat. He had a considered manner in talking, with a low burr of a voice and a spark to his eye; we talked about our backgrounds and reasons for travelling, and pondered whether all of the passengers were actually going to get on the flight as it was so busy. He told me he and his wife were travelling back from Paris to their home in Chicago. He had lived there for thirty years, but as he was now retired he was getting abroad a bit more

His wife came and sat next to him and I listened to the two of them converse in Japanese; she was also Asian, and I noticed she was slightly hesitant in tackling some of the words she was reading from a book they were looking at together, with her accent very different from his. It was clear that he was guiding her through the pronunciation of a word every so often, and she seemed to appreciate the guidance. She went to check something with the attendants at the gate desk, and me and the man went back to conversing.

He told me that his wife was Japanese-American, and that they made a good team as he would help with her Japanese whilst she helped with his English, as he occasionally stumbled even after thirty years. I told him I was going on to Pittsburgh to see my boyfriend (I used the term for brevity, as I still felt weird using the term), who i’d not seen in over two months, fallen for over the course of days, and that I was a bit nervous.

“Oh, travelling for love? Congratulations!” and he shook my hand.

They began to call people to the gate for boarding; he and his wife bid farewell to each other and then she went down the fast lane to Business Class, whilst he remained seated near me. “She’s a business woman, so deserves to fly business class… I’m retired… I am happy to sit in economy.”
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Skating

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Flat Improvement

So how am I settling in to the new place? Well, thanks.

I now have a phone-line, as well as a bed (I built it yesterday) so no more sleeping on the floor. I am very pleased with it; I went for a metal framed number, with black metalwork and brass knobs, as I have always wanted a bed I could be handcuffed to, and now I have it :)

Still to do, and almost certainly not happening before the Christmas break: Resurrect the Expedit shelves, build another chest of drawers, build – and raise – a rather tall wardrobe, put up the blackout blinds, organise stuff to be recycled or put up in the loft (I am living in an island in a sea of boxes, plastic wrap and discarded cardboard), come up with some sort of solution for cutlery storage (I don’t have a drawer for such a purpose) and get hooked up to the t’internet.

My fingers are still swollen and a bit sore from moving everything, and i’m a patchwork of bruises, but I feel happy to have a phone-line, to be the responsible one paying the bills, to live somewhere I don’t have to listen to conversations a metre from my door, to look out my windows and look at the park, to feel more secure and comfortable in my home.

Still a hell of a lot to do, but things are… satisfying.
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Thirteen Hours

This time last year: Waking up to snow in Pittsburgh, after a thirteen-hour journey to meet Coppell and Meathead. A day spent staring at Coppell and absorbing him, taking in the City of Bridges, getting to know Meathead and eating lots of high-calorie food. Excited, happy and hopeful.

Today: Thirteen hours at work, during which time I spent five hours at Westfield shopping centre chaperoning one-hundred-and-fifty schoolgirls. I watch the planes coming-and-going at Heathrow as we drive pass in the coach.
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Move, Day Two

So, at 9pm I officially left my tiny abode for the last time. When I clicked my seatbelt on as I made the last drive of my stuffed-to-the-gills car, I shouted “YAY!” to no-one in particular.

Fuck me i’m tired. And bruised. And sore. And dirty.

I need to do SO much sorting out of stuff (it got to the stage where I threw unwashed plates into a box just to get them out of my old place), and I lack blinds and heating at the mo (don’t want to plug in the radiators as they are surrounded my boxes), but I should have those things sorted by the end of the week, Or at least I hope so.

Am going to test out the shower, then crawl into bed (or should I say crawl on the new mattress on the floor that I still have wrapped in plastic).
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Move, Day One

Four trips in my little car today, six binbags of rubbish chucked out, two deliveries from John Lewis and Ikea, three flat-pack furniture items completed. Sore hands, sore back, tiiired.

Everything seems okay with the furniture delivery, and the mattress is more comfortable and supportive than the demonstration one I squished into in John Lewis. I’ve still got a lot to do tomorrow, including de-constructing and transporting my bookshelf, which is the one thing I am apprehensive about doing. Should be simple enough to do, and it’s not too heavy to move as it’s mainly made of plywood :)

I need to get my skates on tomorrow and haul as efficiently as I can, even if that means just shoving stuff in bags; I can sort everything out later. I was rather disturbed to find a big pile of earth in the space between the wall and the radiator that has been hidden with boxes for three years. Whether there are creatures that have made this pile, or it’s sediment from the radiator I do not know. Either way, ick.

Last night I spent a few minutes making a list of the things I will not miss about my current place of residence, and what I will miss. On the what I won’t miss list, there are fifteen-plus entries; on the what I will miss there is only one.
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“If you don’t want to propagate more mass murders…”



New Statesman – How the media shouldn’t cover a mass murder

Telegraph – Norway killings: does media coverage inspire copycats?
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In a somewhat odd turn of events, I now have the keys to the new flat in my possession. Contract doesn’t start until Saturday, but if I want to, I can begin moving stuff over. Woop!
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Prep-Fail

Today I dropped out of a social event so that I could spend the day clearing out some of the crap from my room in preparation for the upcoming move.

What did I do today? Woke after nine hours of sleep and spent another couple of hours under the duvet listening to Adam Buxton and Edith Bowman on 6Music, wandered five minutes round the corner to get some lunch and dinner, ate said lunch, had a post-lunch “nap” that lasted two hours.

Tomorrow brings a meeting with the owners and hopefully a signed contract. Despite the furniture i’ve ordered and the list i’ve made of organisations I need to tell about my change of address, once my signature is on the paper the move will only really feel like its actually happening.

Maybe I can sort some books for recycling this evening. After the pizza. And some Miami Vice.
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Sick Day – Furniture

Off work today for the first time since my boob op; instead of alcohol poisoning, I think I picked up something when Girl(ing) About Town, which yesterday led me to going home early from work after throwing up a couple of times during the night and generally feeling ache-filled and pretty shit.

I felt better today, aside from a little innards weirdness, and feel a bit guilty at doing pretty much fuck all with my day, aside from doing some washing and tidying. I did, however, spend quite a bit of time putting together the bulk of my furniture order on the Ikea website, and pondering paint colours to put on the cheap(ish) pine table, chair and chests of drawers I ordered. I am now really looking forward to customising, and it turns out lots of other people are similarly inspired.

I picked a wardrobe shell, large table, chair and two chests of drawers for the grand total of £168, which is within my budget; even if I spend a bit on primer, paint, paper or fabric, I still get more bang for my buck going with plain pine, and will (hopefully) derive some pleasure from adding some colour. The last two things to get are a bed frame and mattress, which are going to add another £200 on top of that, but that’s still within my target, so I should be okay.

I’m hoping to sign the contract on the studio this weekend, and although the thought of moving all my crap and cleaning my current place fills me with dread, I am actually looking forward to the mass flat-pack construction-fest that will hopefully be shortly occurring. I think it’s the lover of Lego in me.

Yes, something to look forward to. I hope it actually happens.
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Wet CrockettPAYDAY.

You will be mine 24×36 inch poster of Don Johnson wet-in-the-ocean.

Oh yes.

You will be mine.


















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Girl About Town

Girl About TownMAC Girl About Town.

This evening’s plan:

Will be worn with freshly cut hair, a dress that’s ten years old (too short, too tight and two sizes too small) and a bit of an attitude.

Hoo-fuckin’-rah.



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TFI(nearly)F

Tiiiiired. Left the house at 7.30am, came home at 7.30pm. Yays. The joys of parents evenings. I am MUCHLY looking forward to a lie-in at the weekend let me tell you. Plus, PARTY on Saturday woooooooooooooooo.

The internet at home has been down for a couple of days, so to relax post-work i’ve been spending some quality time with Crockett and Tubbs, which has been ace. Which reminds me, I need to look for that giant Eighties Don Johnson poster I saw a year back on eBay. I can imagine it hanging in my new flat.

(fingers crossed)
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“Have a banana, Anna,”

Everybody Eats When They Come To My House
Cab Calloway


This cheered me up.

Thanks Jones & X.Ray









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Ache

A big old hole of longing has opened up inside of me. I seem to be going backwards in moving forwards, and all I want to do is crawl into a hole and not come out for a very long time.

Fucking Christmas. If it’s not memories i’ll be having to cope with it’ll be the family dynamics, adding up to a *not* very enticing prospect. At all.

Currently, I feel worse than how I felt over the Summer, which was not too bad once i’d decompressed from work. The emails from Coppell were over a month ago, but I think they really knocked me back; simultaneously this could just be down to the changing light, weather and memories from last year.

In slightly more positive news, the owners of the new flat have gotten back to me and agreed to the contractual changes I asked them to make. Yays. Even so having somewhere new to live means moving, and I am SO not looking forward to having to do that.

It’s my birthday get together this coming weekend and it will be great to see so many friends in one place. I need to try to get to bed earlier, and escape from too much thinking when I do so, so that I try not to stay down for too long. I’ve not done any art experimentation over the last week as work was so busy, so maybe I need to do a little of that, though when the fuck I will find the time to do that around parents evenings and catching up with marking I am not entirely sure.

Ugh.
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Birthday “Fun”

Last weekend I spent my time en famille, travelling up to see them after a very long and trying day on a school trip. I was exhausted and feeling the effects of the hormones awash in me courtesy of my period, and so, even after my brother took me on a late night and much appreciated trip to the Golden Arches, I was not exactly thrilled to be visiting.

I was feeling pretty down about turning thirty-two. Reflecting on the year that’s passed, I did not come away with the most positive feelings. The highs and lows of Coppell and Meathead and the lows of work, the lack of progress on the housing front, and a general feeling of my life lacking something.

All of this in combination with memories of this time last year, and the memories of where I was last Christmas combined to make me feel pretty unhappy, and that was even before I was in the same house as my Dad.

Sigh.

Anyway, we went out for Sunday lunch before I got the train home. The food was okay, but my Dad was being a pompus arse, and if I started out the meal looking forward to it, I was certainly not prepared for what happened next.

The tables around us filled up with families out for roast beef with all the trimmings, and at the table next to ours the party were accompanied with a small dog. My eye was immediately drawn to it, as this is how my brain works these days, and I noticed, to my shock, that the dog was a Boston Terrier. They’re pretty uncommon in the UK, so for one to be sat next to me was utterly ridiculous, but there it was.

“Oh My God it’s a Boston Terrier!” I exclaimed to no-one in particular, food tasteless in my mouth and emotions swelling up in me almost immediately. I watched the little black and white dog move around under the table in awe, thinking of how I prefer the browner versions of Bostons, and how I miss Meathead… and then I put my cutlery down and had to leave the table.

I went into the toilets, locked the door and cried, as quietly as I could manage. I so very desprately wanted to sob, but I spent the time instead stifling any noise I made and trying and failing to pull myself together. I felt bereft. I went out to splash my face with water, and my Mum appears from the other cubicle to wash her hands. She sees me dabbing at my face with tissues.

“Oh, are you upset?”
I nod.
“Is it because of your Dad?”
“No… It’s the dog on the next table. It’s the same dog as Coppell’s…”
“Oh…” (rubs my arm) “These things happen. It’s just one of those things.”

Fuck my life.
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Sasquatch

Sasquatch! Every time I dry myself post-shower I am rather pleased at how very hairy I am at the moment.

My untamed legs and underarms are rather interesting, with my armpit hair making me perversely happy, as it’s like I have two furry friends along for the ride.

I think there’s a part of me that enjoys imagining a big fuck you to any man that would “dare” encounter me in such a “state”, which is pretty fucking ridiculous, especially as when I first slept with Coppell, I was similarly adorned, and he did not give a damn.

Funnily enough, being next to a naked woman can be exciting enough, no matter her level of grooming.

I think my lack of giving a fuck goes along with how i’ve been feeling generally: undesirable. And I miss being desired. This links in to a feeling of existing rather than living, and the sadness felt when Coppell and Meathead pop into my brain.

Humph.
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Ugh. I am thankful that weekend is over.
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Pug Joy

Hogarth and his Pug William Hogarth
The Painter and his Pug
(named Trump)
1745

Remembered mid-sob session in the shower this evening (the first emotional plunge for quite a few months):

This morning when I was slowing at a roundabout to check if there was a car coming, I saw a man walking a tiny black Pug puppy across the junction.

I shouted “A PUG! Yaaay!” to the passenger I don’t have in my car and then proceeded to tear up I was so overjoyed to see such an expected sight.





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Tired – Black Pool – Work – Birthday

Cornelia Parker
Cornelia Parker with Mass (Colder, Darker Matter) 1997

This week is going to be a loong one. It’s only Monday and all I feel like doing is hibernating. That, or I wish I was on holiday.

Wednesday i’m meeting up with Black Pool, a friend from long ago who I see very infrequently but is in town for work. We were bosom buddies back in school, but she fell in with “the wrong crowd” as they say and has led a very difficult and different life ever since. I saw her earlier on this year for the first time in over ten years and it was brilliant but at the same time really weird as we found ourselves telling our life stories and filling in blanks. So, i’m looking forward to dinner together.

Thursday is Art Club and then hours of fun at a parents evening. UGH.

Friday me and some Sixth Formers are off to Lahnhdan for the day to see a variety of artists talk about their work; highlights include Cornelia Parker and the indomitable Grayson Perry. I’ve been a few times before and the day is always an enjoyable one, so fingers-and-health-and-safety-assessments crossed. When I get back i’m off to visit the family to multi-task on seeing how my Mum is post-surgery (she’s having the port removed from her breast and perhaps a nipple constructed) and also having a birthday dinner.

I’m so tired at the moment that Friday seems about three weeks away.
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Last Night…

…it was so cold in my room, I wore my hat to bed. It was the only way I could find to get to sleep, as the breeze coming from the cracks under and around the door to outside was horrible (even with a draft excluder courtesy of Caversham Princess). The sensation of being warmly wrapped under a duvet and quilt only to have your head feel so chilly is unpleasant. I hope I don’t face something similar tonight. Sigh.
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Aaand relax…

Things seem to be fiiinally moving along with moving home; the people buying the studio are exchanging and hope to have everything wrapped up at the beginning of December. I have no idea whether i’ll be able to move in before Christmas, as there is little time, but I really hope this will be the case. I am of course rather afraid of the amount of stuff there is to be moved…

I really should tidy my room this weekend, as there is a lot of crap lying about, and you know that when you nearly fall on your face because you’ve slipped on that magazine on the floor again, something needs to be done, i.e. getting off my arse.

I’ve been working my spreadsheets to see if it would be possible to jet off for some of Christmas, and came up with idea of multitasking by paying a visit to Kennebec and spending time in Boston soaking up all the museums and galleries. The costs are looking pretty prohibitive at the moment, which is quite the downer, as I was looking forward to having an adventure.

I heard back about that job I applied for- I didn’t get an interview, nor did Flambé. This sits fine with me, as I think that the process was really useful, as it forced me to write something that will be of use in the future, and made me assess my strengths and weaknesses and consider how these could fulfil (or not) positions in other schools.

Thanks to some encouragement from Betty I have been spending a bit of time inside and out of work experimenting in a sketchbook. This has proven to be seriously satisfying, even if it’s only for short periods. I think this is something I definitely need to work into my routine, as just like Pilates and run/walking, it’s good for my well-being.

I went for my first run/walk accompanied by music (Thanks Azealia). It took my mind off the sense of wanting to STOP RIGHT THIS SECOND as I struggle through the minutes. I’m still nowhere near what I was doing over the Summer, and i’ve felt so tired this week that i’ve only gone out once. Still, I quite like lumbering around in my luminous outfit, though of course this makes me more of a target for wankers to beep their car horns at me. Hurdy hurrr.

I’m going to get a cup of coffee, gets me a hot water bottle and get on with editing some photos of my experiments. Hurrah.
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Earful

The other day at work I got ambushed over the phone with a chewing out from a parent of one of my tutees, and it was a very unpleasant experience. I found myself being tarred as crushing young people’s opinions and destroying a young woman’s esteem. Obviously, I was shaken by this, and I felt deeply misunderstood; my tutee’s fragile esteem and the educational system is the main issue, but the Mother laid into me as if I was the source of all her daughters problems.

I had, without my knowledge, hugely upset my tutee by referencing a comment she made four years ago. Yes, FOUR. I had no idea the tutee was so upset four years ago, and given how lightly I referenced the comment this week, I had no idea that the tutee would be so affected. What was it she said?

The morning after Obama got elected in 2008 I was commenting to the class how exciting and historic the event was, and how it was inspirational. During this discussion the tutee in question said that “He only won because all the black people voted for him”.

I was genuinely shocked by this comment, as it implied that Obama’s presidency was less valid, and I knew that the *exact* same statement was being frequently being bandied about by conservative racists who objected to having a black president in the Whitehouse. So I immediately replied that it wasn’t true that he only won because black people voted for him, and that I was rather shocked by her comment, as it comes across as racist. I heard nothing more about it.

When Obama got re-elected, I was doing some reminiscing with the form about four years ago, as has been my wont lately (they’re leaving in six months) and so I brought up the comment the tutee made four years ago, laughing about how funny it was. The tutee said that she didn’t mean it, that her point just came out wrong, and I said, in front of the group, that I knew that she didn’t mean it and that I know that she’s not a racist. I thought no more of it and moved along with the usual business of the form.

UGH.

A large part of me thinks, “What the FUCK??? This is plainly ridiculous. Suck it up you over-sensitive idiots” but I care for the tutee involved, and it is clear she is having a hard time at the moment. I don’t object to the tutee, more the Mother’s attitude. I felt like saying to her:

“How DARE you accuse me? For you to say that I crush opinions of children, that I seek to impose my opinions on them, is absolutely wrong. For you to tell me that I am not on the side of the underdog horrfies me, as I work hard to be inclusive, supporting equal rights for LGBTQ people and communicating feminist ideas whenever I can. I am *disgusted* that you think that, and you have very clearly come to the conclusion that this is the sort of person I am, without knowing me. You have judged me on the deeply perverse reaction of your daughter, and I am not responsible in any way for her pathologies. Might I direct you to look within your own family for answers?”

I knew that The Powers That Be would immediately think, “Oh, here’s *yet another* example of Ms monky saying things she shouldn’t” rather than backing me up. So I apologised to the tutee involved, and I hope (God I fucking hope) that everything is now sorted, i.e. I am off the hook with regards The Powers That Be, and that the tutee feels happier about things, and that the Mother shuts the fuck up.
‘”Obama only won because of demographics” which is a lot like saying “I only failed the math test because of numbers”. Similarly heard is “Obama only won because of the Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, women and urban residents”. Conservatives are pretending that these people are nothing more than special interest groups – as if they don’t already constitute a vast majority of the country.’

‘In other words, when a Republican wins an election, it’s because the country as a whole voted for him – end of story. When a Democrat wins, a black man at that, the electorate is dissected so as to lay blame on those pesky minorities and women.’
MrCyriac – Why Obama Won
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Spasms

The facial twitch I developed towards before half term, that disappeared completely when I was off school is baaaack. Joys.

Methinks I might be a bit tired.
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Fin.


The Beach at RedpointBoards of Canada

Back to the whiteboard after a week off. BOO.

Doing some evening doodling to Geogaddi, which is an album I have not listened to in a looong time; I can understand why Teh Internets has a meltdown every time there’s a suggestion new Boards of Canada material might be in the offing.

Considering whether I need to try and factor in some time after school to do some of my own work, like a sort of schedule to create. I usually have too much to do, but perhaps I could find a little time each week to put things aside and do my own thing. I might get some work done, where I have space and equipment, and perhaps feel a bit happier?
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Nightglow

Tentatively back on the run/walk horse. Hurrah. Went out this evening for the first time since JULY. It is very cold out, but my new cold weather, luminous and reflective running gear seemed to be effective, though I think I might need to add something for my neck.
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