dark_litany: (Spock Chokes a Bitch)
Daddy is confusing me again (or should that be frustrating me? Pissing me off? Making me want to bludgeon him with a heavy object?), with all this soap opera drama that makes up his life - he got the police called on him by A the other day because he pretended to not be in and therefore had to hide behind a curtain like a little girl when she was trying to drop Dominique off. He apparently woke up near midnight to lights flashing and the sounds of people trying to get through the door, so - through his fantastic, coherent, non-nutterish skills of deduction - he immediately assumed someone was attempting to burgle him and went to face them with a kitchen knife. Sometimes I seriously suspect that daddy is just looking for an excuse to play the part of a soft-core psychopath in his everyday life. Turned out they were policemen called out because - get this - 'his family were worried about him'. Yeah, certainly, I'm sure the wife cosying up with her lover in her new house every night after leaving her husband without actually telling him, is worried about said husband. I'm sure she prays for his health every night before bed, as well. God, she's a spiteful, lying bitch.

Though, if there's anyone in this world I'd want to take a knife to myself, it'd be A. The whole little chapter of daddy keeping Dominique and Antoinette out of the house also caused some old stories to be dredged up that I had seemingly forgotten under the wave of shitty things Antoinette did pretty consistently throughout my childhood. So, daddy just had to bring up on the phone this startling parallel between daddy locking A out and something stupidly cruel she'd done when I was younger that I had managed to forget about (daddy was away from home for a day and she locked me and Siobhan out of the house, even while she was quite obviously home). Seriously, how can you hate someone more and more when they don't even figure in your everyday life? Except, I guess A remains a pretty looming spectre and all that because daddy is a tit and doesn't seem to understand the concept of CLOSURE. No, he just has to keep dragging it all out. He has what I refer to as 'Sylvia Plath Syndrome' - you know, emo types that generally enjoy reading confessional poetry and stewing in their own misery (not that daddy would ever read poetry and I personally quite love confessional poetry) but basically I mean people who subconsciously are satisfied by playing the victim. Daddy definitely likes being the victim.
He can't garner much sympathy though when he's actually getting his come-uppance. We're talking here about a woman the entire family despises and has warned him against - it was always hilarious going to

Ireland, seeing her smarm it up with the relatives, while knowing they all bitch about her behind her back. This is a woman who would have been DEPORTED WITHIN THE MONTH if daddy hadn't married her and yet he didn't consider this suspicious? Though, listening to daddy you would think his entire decision-making process of the time highly logical and his marriage to A completely golden - he always comes up with the bullshit excuse of 'wanting me and Siobhan to have a mother'. Firstly, there shouldn't be any killing-offs of mothers that actually exist and one whom I saw quite regularly, even very recently after the divorce. You don't just replace a mother in a child's life by happening to have someone of the feminine persuasion within your house. Especially when it's clear from the outset that your children don't much like said woman (I mean, c'mon, Siobhan descended into a CHILDHOOD FIT OF HYSTERICS when he told us they were marrying; not to mention the actual registry office photographs, which show Siobhan looking sullen and miserable and daddy has very inappropriately laughed about over the years). Plus, she didn't much like us either - a fact finally verified by daddy snooping through the old diaries she's left behind in the house.

I always considered Antoinette to be a pretty hard-minded individual. She's always been a class A bitch and horribly money-hungry, so while I didn't like her I could still see her as a strong enough character with high aspirations and ambitions, which you should respect in a woman. Now, however, after flicking through that diary from the period before she met daddy and just after marrying him, she's turned into someone else completely. Funny how you can live with someone for most of your life and then not know them at all (even though it has to be said I never TRIED to know her because she never really wanted to know me). I mean, seriously, she is completely PATHETIC in these diaries - a real whimpering, love-drunk, love-hungry, sack of shit. She falls in love at the drop of a hat with all these shady-sounding bastards, going on about how wonderful and fantastic and IN LOVE she is, and then the next diary entry relates how they've left her or they don't pay enough attention to her or they haven't quite managed to fulfil the whole Prince Charming role. There's a whole string of these guys and daddy's the only idiot who doesn't come to see what a waste of space she is.

So, when daddy goes on about how shitty a childhood I had and how he regrets me having to experience it and saying he only wanted me to have this ever-elusive mother figure, I just get annoyed. Because he's always been like that - cowardly and selfish. Always pinning things on me and Siobhan (like allowing me and Vaughnsy to overhear a conversation in which he claimed that his life had been fucked up by having us - because we were the blip, the rough spot, in this Happy Families card set he was creating with A and D [I really despise that card set, the one that was lying around the house when I was little and it had these families all perfectly defined, so there was the husband and the wife and the son and the daughter, so bloody perfect it made you want to hurl something]). Because everything about his marriage to A was selfish - it wasn't about mothers and founding this lovely little nuclear structure in which to rear us. It was because he didn't have the balls to be a single father or the cuckolded husband. He just had to find himself the rebound-wife to enervate his paltry little male pride. Plus - what do you know? - he gets himself a young thing in her 20s to role-play this mother part. Yeah, a woman in her 20s, the absolute perfect candidate to be a mother to two children from a previous marriage.

So, when he phones and moans about the same damn things, I get angrier and angrier and angrier and angrier and angrier. Because, she got all the worth and power by leaving in, when he should have got rid of her all those years ago. And he keeps moaning like a bitch, like she's worth moaning over, and sometimes I wish he would go through with all his crazy, full-of-hot-air notions of offing her and her stupid adulterous lover and just stab the cow already. Otherwise, he should just shut the fuck up and move on already.

She's worthless. You don't bemoan the loss of someone worth nothing. Though, the funny, really stupidly, horribly funny thing about all this - the thing that would make me be a bit in awe of A for her balls - is that SHE'S LEFT HIM WITH NOTHING. His entire life is crumbling apart - he's like a ghost in his own home, this big house with five bedrooms and four bathrooms and loads of useless junk that everyone has grown out of and he's still there, the only one left. He's in debt up to his eyeballs, barely has enough money to buy himself food so he's basically living off rice and pasta; he fills his nights with going through the phonebook, even going so far as to contact his ex-wife's mother and sister until they actually ignore his calls because of their frequency, and he sleeps in his office when this big house and the whole emptiness and loneliness of it all becomes too much for him. Because that's his life. That's what A has left him with.

But what's even funnier is Antoinette is driving around in luxury 4x4s, has just got out her third mortgage on a lovely cottage in one of those twee Cambridgeshire villages that's like something out of a bloody Victorian novel, is sending her daughter to some obscenely-priced private school called The Leys in Cambridge, and generally seems to be floating about life.
You like to think life is built up on these rules, that it's like we're all in some classic fairytale where being a good person and abiding by stupid, altruistic norms will get us somewhere in life, get us rewarded in the long-run, and then we can look on at the real shits in life, who seem to be doing so well, and know that something bad's coming for them. But the fact of the matter is, Antoinette will continue to float blissfully along, despite all the possible rage and hate I can accumulate within myself being directed towards her, and daddy will be the one facing possible redundancy when he's already snowed under by debt.

Sometimes I really think I could cry in frustration.

But, in less ranty terms - I have this odd rash on my side, just diagonal of my right boob. It's very annoying and mama has made up this home-made oil concoction to rub on it, so I smell eternally of olive oil and lavender at the moment. It's a bit headache-inducing within close quarters. Also, it's manically itchy and mama made it worse by having all these horror stories about something nefarious called shingles, so I spent quite a few hours researching rashes and generally disgusting myself over rash commentary and detailed photographs. I don't recommend looking up rashes on the net unless you want to frighten yourself.
And, mama has booked the tickets for random, evening-time, zoo-going where mojitos and cider can be had, even though the idea of mixing alcohol and possibly dangerous animals seems a bit foolhardy. And, I have finished Durarara and loved every moment of it (how could I not love an anime that revolves around a headless, female biker who happens to be straight out of a Celtic myth?!), so I look forward to its release on the UK market next year when I can add it to my hoard. So, with that done, I've moved on to Mushi-shi and Mononoke (which has a very bizarre style, like one of those surreal, druggy sketches you'd get off Words & Pictures occasionally) in between watching Serial Experiments Lain (which you need to take a rest from every now and then because of its general oddness and subtle creepiness) and Phantom of the Requiem (which I started watching ages ago and really should get back to).

The problem with watching weird anime, though, is it makes me want to write weird things - I was researching butterfly-pinning the other day because I had the greatest urge to write something about a crazy, sick bastard that 'mounts' butterflies as a hobby. Because there has to be something wrong with you if you enjoy killing bugs and then sticking their corpses in a glass case to stare at - it reminds me of going to the Rothschild’s Museum in Tring a few years back, which has the biggest collection of stuffed animals in the country, and the whole place smelt odd and there was this really eerie silence. Because a place with that many dead eyes in it has to be eerie.

But, yeah, in researching the 'mounting' of butterflies, I came across this horrible article that very dryly and clinically spoke of pinching the insects thorax to kill it before delicately placing a needle through it. I don't know about anyone else, but I like to see my pretty butterflies fluttering about there in the wild, not gruesomely pinned up for God knows how long. Plus, with butterfly populations being quite drastically endangered in this country, people shouldn't be going around squeezing the poor things to death and sticking them in glass boxes.
dark_litany: (LOTR Rambling)
"It may be a bit unstable but it does the job": Strange how mama can take an idle comment I make about a clothes horse and turn it on herself. Though, thinking of it, maybe it is weirdly applicable to her. She is a bit of a nut, after all. And three weeks? a month? (see, this is the point where time goes wacky and vaguely unimportant, what with being a hermit and my world seeming to extend only to the boundaries of the house) into summer break and the idea that mama is completely cracked most of the time has only been further compounded by everyday events.

She's infected me with Springwatch fever, too, which only shows how much of a loser you become when you're stuck indoors all day (which is wholly my fault as I seem to be terrified of this thing called employment). I think I'm going to be completely distraught when the series finishes tomorrow - my Monday to Thursday evenings will be horribly barren with it. Though, here's hoping the webcams stay up, another little geekery I'm completely hooked on.

So, recent weeks seem to have been a merry-go-round of late night anime viewing, yaoi reading (yes, yes, I'm completely cursed and going to hell but the stuff is like CRACK, I just can't stop it, I can't go back - I will forever blame the eerie homo-eroticism of Naruto and Sasuke for driving me to this black hole of fandom), sleep and twitching. We have a family of blue tits and starlings that visit the garden, babies and all, so I've been peering out the French windows too often in the afternoon, armed with a pair of binos. I'm surprised no one's accused me of being some sort of pervert.

Daddy has, surprisingly enough, been down to Rickmansworth once a week since I've been back from Cardiff. I might have had a bit of a heart attack thinking about the frequency of his visits - usually it takes my impending move back to uni for him to appear and recently he's been unusually eager to take me out. I blame his loneliness. He probably sees me as a kind of receptacle for his woes and marital angst. First week back he took me out to West Hampstead for a fish and chip (being horribly mortifying and making loud, bawdy Jewish jokes while sitting across from a couple he judged to be Jewish purely because of their noses) on the bike and I kind of misjudged the ensemble, so I was madly clutching at my skirt as it bunched further up my thighs on the drive down. I definitely do not recommend sitting on the back of a motorbike, driving through heavy London traffic, while wearing quite a short skirt. We did go down through the back roads of Mill Hill, though, past the Rising Sun pub and all the posh, lovely houses of Totteridge, so that was good for nostalgia. Almost made me forget that the hem of my skirt was closer to my bum than my knees.

Second week back daddy brought Dominique around, which was oddly disturbing because she's sprung up like a weed, becoming all skinny and gender awkward, being a bit of a tomboy now. She also has the lovely, apathetic voice of the teenager, all 'alright's and 'yeah's and 'dunno's when you ask her a question. We bonded over our humiliation and disinterest regarding daddy, and she told me some of the gossip regarding Antoinette, who has apparently become rather fat and watches a DVD of her sister's funeral every day. Macabre.

Daddy's third visit was this Sunday. He had Antoinette's Audi for the time being, as A's popped off to Africa with her boyfriend and he has to collect Dominique from St Ethelburga's (that name will never stop being hilarious to me) next week for the last time (she's being shunted off to a new boarding school in Cambridge next year called the Leys, which J. G. Ballard and Stephen Hawking's son apparently attended). So, seeing as the weather decided to be benign, we went on a pseudo-road trip down the M3 and into Hampshire, taking some of the tiny B-roads past all those very English villages, which all seemed to have fetes going on for some reason, with Pimms tents and everything. We stopped off in New Alresford and did this whole illicit, climbing over fences thing (which wasn't very graceful, seeing as I was wearing skimpy tights and a dress. More ensemble challenges) to get down to the lake (which might of been private, IDK), before continuing on to Winchester.

I haven't been to Winchester in YEARS and I have this rather twee little memory in my head of going to visit the cathedral with my grandparents, getting the rather morbid map of the graves and going off to find particular author's and poet's graves like it's some oddly macabre treasure trail. Also remember nanny wounding herself on a railing and one of the priests having to do a bit of first aid in a little broom closet of an office off a transept.

This time, daddy and I just took an amble along the river and came across one of those wonderful second hand book sales that spring up in sloane-y places, round the back of the cathedral. I always end up thinking how easy it would be to take off with a stash of books in those places because you only pay for them by putting the donation through a letter box. It would be so easy to make off with a load of free books. Not that I'd do it, of course. I could have stayed there for hours sorting through all the old editions but daddy's never been much of a book man, so I just got myself a 1960s copy of 'The Painted Veil' and had to be happy with that.

Also, a few weeks ago now (I've been meaning to write about it since but I seem to be a completely lazy bastard when I get going), I went to the London MCM Anime Expo with Hayley, which was brilliant and hilarious and wonderfully geeky in equal parts. I have never in my life considered cosplaying but that event just might had made me reconsider that, because it looked like such a laugh. We had to recover a bit after battling our way through the crowds in the main venue, so we sat down on the floor by the escalators, and it was so much fun picking out costumes and matching them to the anime and character. Predictably, Naruto and Bleach were both fertile animes in the cosplaying arena but my favourite costume of the day had to be the girl dressed up Jareth, who I really should have chased down and begged for a picture with.

A huge Mokona plushie was my first purchase of the day, which was quite amusing to drag around on the Tube afterwards before I lost my geeky nerve and stuffed poor Moko-chan in a carrier bag. I'm wanting the black twin now, though, so I expect a trip down to Piccadilly Circus is on the cards when I make it back from the North York Moors. Got myself some completely random carrot earrings, too (which mama keeps eyeing covetously), some posters, a Hetalia badge, a yaoi keyring declaring myself a 'seme lover' (oh yes) and an onigiri plushie (handmade and everything! I'm thinking of getting Vaughnsy one as part of her birthday present). I seriously could have maxed out my loan in there, what with all the artbooks and mangas and random, nerdy paraphernalia, but I managed to control myself. We had a pick through the yaoi stall for a joke (probably rubbing shoulders with some serious fujoshis, I suspect. There were some Hetalia fans in there, I know, looking for SpainxRomano doujinshi) and generally fought our way about until being completely exhausted. So, great times - I smell a tradition in the making.

I'm off to the North York Moors for a week this Saturday. Mama's been doing (and is currently doing) her geeky thing all week, laying out Ordnance Surveys on the floor and sitting on top of them, planning out walks to break my spirit with. She keeps asking questions like 'Thirteen miles isn't too much is it, Sinead?', which have put the fear of God (or the rambler, really) into me. She has many a Cicerone guide, too, and I always look upon their appearance with a wary eye, as from my experience of walks from their pages, they always end up being the most crippling of the lot. Mama's already bribed me by having us stay at a working sheep farm, though, so I can only steel my energy reserves into a tiring week.

We'll have fun, though. I'm really only being sarcastic (well, not over being crippled and tired at the end of it). We'll do our usual random thing and probably end up lost and wet and laughing at inappropriate things, so I'll cautiously look forward to it. Plus, another bribing technique from mama: she's taking me to visit puffins on Saturday, on our way up, and I've been wanting to see puffins for a LONG, LONG TIME, so I've been officially pacified with weird, beaky animals. Also, we'll be visiting Whitby and it may be completely and irrevocably fictional but I WANT TO SEE DRACULA'S LURKING SPOTS. I'm going to climb up to that abbey with the ridiculous amount of steps and nose around the cemetery where Dracula did his vampire thing. It'll be an unleashing of the literary geek within. Or, well, not so much an unleashing - it's not like my literary geekiness (or general geekiness) is hidden very far under the epidermis.
dark_litany: (Scully Glasses)
I think work experience has broken me - my body keeps wanting to wake up at ten in the morning. Which doesn't make sense in the world of Sinead, especially when we're talking about holiday time here. I make it a point to sleep till even more ridiculous times when uni has broken for break. Shows how productivity and employment can't be healthy for me.

Still, I have something bright and shiny and, thank fuck, actually useful to put on my CV now. It was practically a God-send, being given the opportunity to work at Little, Brown Book Group - it's owned by Hachette Livre, which just so happens to be the largest publishing group in the UK (can't you just tell I brushed up on all this publishing shit before I started? Not that it can in handy AT ALL), so I was suitably excited about the fact someone dropped out at the last minute and gave me the chance to squeeze onto the programme.

Plus, it was during the week before Easter, so it was a four-day week and an early finish on Thursday, muhaha! Though, three hours were relinquished each day (two to the Tube, one to getting to the damn Tube) to merely getting there for 9:30, which was all sorts of a pain. I have been thoroughly initiated into the commuter life after a week, which might explain why my brain hasn't downshifted yet into "student!mode". Maybe my body still expects to be thrown out of bed at 6am to start the cold (often rainy) trek to the station to be bungled together in a metal tin with a load of equally miserable commuters. I had to spend two hours a day getting too intimate for comfort with a load of strangers (and backpacks - backpacks seem to be the curse of the rush-hour commute), while skipping from line to line (Metropolitan to Finchley Road, Jubilee to Westminster, Circle/District to Temple). Though, getting off at Westminster was interesting, as it's the deep, evil station where lots of pigeons seem to roost and people like to commit suicide (that's why there's a glass wall between the platform and the tracks, though people apparently jump from the very high escalators, too). Must be the MPs.

The Little, Brown offices were in this plush building along the Victoria Embankment, so I had the Tate, London Eye and Big Ben at my shoulder when I was walking down it. You could actually watch the Thames from the publicity department, where I was sorted for the week. Though, main thing I took away about Victoria Embankment? The smokers. I don't know how many times I had to start power-walking out of the way of smokers trekking down it. It didn't help that in the mornings there was a pandemic of early smoking breaks, so you'd get people squatting shadily in backdoors to the corporate buildings, having a fag or two.

Luckily, publishers don't seem to be full of those types so much - in fact, Little, Brown was a pretty young crowd, like the sort of 20-somethings you see walking around OC's Topshop. Lots of women, apart from some mean looking businessmen in the marketing department (which I thankfully wasn't scheduled to work in) but I was in the publicity department nearly all week, with the ladies from the literary imprints.

Monday was interesting purely because I got to turn financial voyeur and take a peek at what type of pay authors can expect for their books. Pretty paltry. I even felt depressed for them. Especially as most fell under a deficit, being recorded as an 'unearned balance' and when they did get anything it was like a fiver or something. Though, Sharon Osbourne is doing healthily, according to her royalties statement. I surprisingly didn't really talk about literature much that first day - I was put under the care of this older guy called Richard (who had some pretty spectacular nose hair) and we spent much of the morning talking about horror films and bemoaning the loss of the gay in vampire culture.

Rest of the week, though, I was hanging around the publicity department, getting to sit at an actual desk and everything rather than being banished to the kitchen with about fifty crates full of royalty statements. It was fairly cosy round there and quite interesting in terms of eavesdropping - the ladies were pretty frantic all day, phoning up journalists and sorting out press releases and generally doing mysterious, publishing things on their computers. They were a really intelligent bunch, as well, the way they discussed literature and authors all the time, so I was pretty much salivating from all the wondrousness of it all. I mean, the office looked basically like a mix between a bookshop and a library - there were all these nooks scattered about to read books, like mini-libraries and these high-backed, cushy sofas. Books were just about EVERYWHERE - I had problems getting my feet comfy under the desk purely because there were so many bound galleys there; and there were book cover designs scattered all over the table tops, alongside shelving units filled with books and these deep filing cabinets also FILLED WITH BOOKS. So, yes, I was in my own personal employment Heaven.

My duties weren't anything particularly thrilling or literary - though I thankfully wasn't expected to do any coffee runs at any point in the week - just your typical menial fare aka organising the newspaper cupboard (I won't miss having those ink-blackened fingers) and sorting out press releases by mailing out books to the critics and scouring the newspapers for press-cuttings. Basically the stuff the workers are too busy to do. Though, I wasn't complaining - I got to have some nice cosy jobs to do while appreciating the office's cappuccino machine - even if it's a shame I didn't get posted to the editorial department, which is the area I'm really interested in.

I did get a load of free books at the end - a dozen of them! The publicity ladies were saying goodbye and then just started scouring their bookshelves, grabbing books and chucking them at me. It made getting the Tube back pretty annoying but I have a stack of new books to enjoy over the summer holidays!

I braved a trip to Stevenage on the weekend, mainly because daddy has become some pathetic in this whole Antoinette/divorce debacle that I think he needed the company. Siobhan was going, as well, so that made the whole thing a little better - daddy got the chance to whinge and I had the opportunity to spend a few days with Vaughnsy. It was actually kind of disturbing how little things change in middle-class suburbia - everything was exactly the same. Not that I expected things to be drastically different or anything but you'd think the passage of two years would show up somehow. Though, my old room does resemble nothing less than a transit camp nowadays. I went in there on the Saturday night to find my bed missing and piles of random shit left over by Antoinette and Dominique. I picked through some of the useless tat, just to see if I'd missed anything, but all I wanted to bring back to Ricky with me was my Holy Communion dress and my old children's books. Felt a little sad over my abandoned teddies squashed into my old wardrobe, though.

We didn't get up to much - not that bank holiday weather would ever allow you to - just lazed about in front of the open fire daddy slaved over and geeked out over Star Trek. I got to meet Dominique's guinea pig, as well, (named Susie, bizarrely, after an ex-girlfriend of daddy's) and basically laid claim to it for the whole weekend, keeping it in my lap for ages and stroking the thing half to death (though I'm sure she enjoyed it, if her purring is anything to go by). Anything that falls under the thrall of Dominique is to be pitied, after all, and given some extra lovin'.

I'm in Londinium for some R&R tomorrow - or, in other words, for some shopping. I got down on the Saturday before my birthday, as I was in town for some birthday cocktails with Vaughnsy, but I didn't really get it all out of the way. We went to Match EC1, which was fairly quiet for a London bar on a Saturday night but we had a nice chat with the bartender - he was one of those sorts that you could just tell what sort of flavours you were into and he'd create a new cocktail on the spot! There's something undeniably sexy about a man who can create fancy booze. Shelled out eighty quid for the night (I picked up the tab) but it was worth it all - especially when I got banana beer and chocolate coffee and funny, popcorn-flavoured candles (strangely addictive in terms of sniffing) out of Vaughnsy as a birthday present. A quiet birthday, then, but I quite like it that way.


dark_litany: (Default)

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