Childrens lit burnout

Okay, Maurice Sendak is a classic and I love his books, in a general sense. Unfortunately my nephew loves Sendak with the kind of intensity, focus and immediacy that comes naturally to a child of sixteen months. I must've read Where the Wild Things Are five or six times to him while his parents were moving into their new apartment (and Dear Nephew helped enthusiastically between bouts of reading and playing with trains and Duplo bricks, by dragging brushes across the floor,  riding the vacuum cleaner, and trying to plug all electrical household appliances he found into free sockets). I know the damn story by heart now, and so does he, without letting it spoil his enjoyment. If you ask him, "What did Max say?" he responds with a happy shout of "STILL!" and laughs and laughs.

V. important advice on sourcing dried fruits and nuts

Even though the evening-hours sweetshop has the cheapest and freshest walnuts and cashews in town (rancid walnuts are the worst experience in the world and you can't exactly test each one before buying), don't use it as your main source for them. Your feet will get the message that this is a legit place to visit, and then when it's late and you're on your way home, weakened by previous exposure by other people chewing down candy in the pub and tired enough that one pint was enough to give you a buzz (thus not entirely compos mentis), then the hook will already be in place and your baser nature will be landing its catch. I'm glad that a mere hundred grams of refined sugar, jelling agents, artificial colours and flavourings is enough to make me sick.

Bonus idle question for the day: How come globe artichokes on the boil smell like synthetic vanilla?


Pre-emptive karma

Or I hope so, at least.

Sent in a job application today. My supply on copies of official documents was running low, so on the way to the post office I stopped by the photocopy business (thinking that I wouldn't have to make a detour to the university and my department, and have to switch on the photocopier to make five copies). Then went on my merry way.
Only to notice, when I stepped out of the post office, that a) my bike had acquired a flat tyre, and b) that I'd left my card in the photocopier's card reader earlier, and the place would be closed until Monday. Summer opening hours, how I hate ye.


Things could be worse. Noshing on home-grown lettuce, dressed with olive oil and sea salt from Guérande, clears away a lot of frustration.


The danger of suggestion

To make a long story short, I've been updating the local library's SFF department with some suggestions for new books (call it entitlement after I paid them over 20€ in late fees last year), and pimped His Majesty's Dragon to them before Christmas. Since it was Christmas and I wasn't in town, I didn't have time to claim it first, and after that, it's been too popular with other customers. Still haven't got my hands on it. But they've bought the following two parts on their own, so I suppose I can claim it as a success.

Currently feeling: Like the boy in the joke, asked by his teacher to give an example of mixed feelings: 'That'd be seeing you riding off a cliff on my new bike, sir.'

OMG have seen a wizard

Spotted a big tough-looking bloke leaving my local supermarket on Friday, wearing bermuda shorts, a heavy neck chain and a tailcoat. Ms Rowling couldn't have invented a more jarring combination.
  • Current Mood
    silly silly

Literary characters I'd invite into my life ATM

If I were a big-name LJ user, this could become a meme, but as I'm not, it shall probably remain private.

First and foremost of all, one of Hermione Granger's parents. The one of them who does better with phobic patients. (Don't chew half-popped popcorns, however scrumptiously crunchable they are. I'm honestly saving the enamel from the inside of my frontmost molar for any impressionable children in my future.)

Professor Pomona Sprout, and this is the last of the characters from the HP-verse. Half of my jungle always die during the summer months, and I'd like that not to happen.

To bring in a TV character (it really is cheating, but this is my journal), Clive from the "Rose" episode of new Doctor Who. I promised to do a writeup on the history and have got myself stuck in trying to say something nice about the eighties, and the deadline is approaching.

Lieutenant Ralph Lanyon, RNVR. I could do with a bit of managing and being told I worry too much. Alec Deacon can come too if he brings some super-strength cough syrup that modern legislation has forbidden. I caught the flu in the last days of Easter, and the over-the-counter codeine mixture doesn’t knock out my hacking cough.

How I’m supposed to get Cordelia Vorkosigan, Jehane bet Ishak, Ulrika i Westergöhl (formerly of Småland, Sweden, later of Minnesota), Hanna Ness (Telluride, Colorado, back to her home village of Siklax, Osthrobothnia, Finland), Nemi and the assassin of Ian Rankin’s Witch Hunt to sit down at the same table, I don’t know. But it’d be an interesting dinner all the same.

Lord Peter Wimsey, for the joy of hearing him talk piffle, but mostly, and sharing the same invitation as Faramir of Gondor and Pierre Bezukhov, for realising that civilisation and culture is a thin veneer, but holding onto it in the face of violence all the same.

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Feeling somewhat like a proud descendant of Sam Gamgee and Neville Longbottom after getting this one to burst into flower.

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  • Current Music
    Waltz of the flowers

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Just need to get this of my chest in order to be able to concentrate on what I ought to be doing...

Do you know what they don't say in the festive speeches aimed at the Young Ones, Hope of Society (with the implicit aims of getting them into universities and thereby cleaning up the unemployment statistics, as well as pacifying them when they've graduated and get ready to go on the dole)?

Yes, there are going to be a lot of  vacancies in the public sector once the baby-boomers retire. We keep telling you this to give you hopes for gainful employment, but we've been secretly dreaming about pruning the administration down to half its current size without having to fire people, thereby saving tax money and slimming down our rank and file. While simultaneously lying through our teeth to you.

Saving tax money for what? Unemployment benefits?

  • Current Music
    Something soothing on BBC 3